Surviving Breast Cancer Twice-My Story

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I remember the terror that built within me the morning that I found a lump in my breast. Getting ready for work while in the shower I felt something there that just didn’t belong. Both my mother and aunt had died from cancer and it was always in the back of my mind, always lurking, always wondering if I too would be a victim to this deadly disease. Panic took over, as I did not know whether to go into work or try to get an appointment with my family doctor. I decided I would go and see the company nurse as soon as I got to work.

I was very much surprised to hear the nurse say to me “Oh it’s nothing, don’t worry about it, it is just a little bump that is probably a fatty node”. For the life of me I could not believe she just sloughed it off in this way. How in the world could she possibly come up with this diagnosis, by just touching my breast? Promptly I left work and headed straight to my doctors office.

After seeing me my family doctor had me into see a specialist that same week. Now riddled with complete fear and worry, I saw the specialist and within a week I was in the hospital having a lumpectomy as well as nodes taken from under my arm. Awaiting results was not an easy thing to do, but good news did come back fairly quick. The surgeon felt that she had removed all cancer so there should be no need for chemotherapy. But I would have to go to the Princess Margaret Hospital for follow up. The doctor I saw there was doing a study and asked me if I would like to participate. He then explained to me that he would hand me an envelope. In the envelope would be a card saying no radiation or radiation. I picked no radiation. When I think back now to this time of my life, it seems like a pretty bizarre way to screen patients for radiation. At the time I was quite happy picking the envelope stating no radiation.


Please do a Self-Breast Exam

Six Months Later

Six months had passed and I was happily involved with the love of my life. It was Christmas time and we were visiting his mother and family. For some reason the breast in which I had had the lumpectomy done was really sore. After the holidays were over I went to see my surgeon who immediately booked me in to have a biopsy done as the lump had returned. Awaking from surgery to find out the news that I had feared. It was cancer and my surgeons’ advice was to have a radical mastectomy done. I felt sick to my stomach; just when my life was going so well, why did this have to happen to me. If I had picked the dam envelope that said radiation, would I still be here today hearing that the cancer had returned.

Waking up after the mastectomy had been done, there sitting by my bedside was my boyfriend. We had only been dating for about three months, and yet he was my main support system, beside me all the way. I had met him shortly after having the first lumpectomy done and knew that this was whom I wanted to spend my life with. I had heard so many stories from women that as soon as there was a whisper of breast cancer, their boyfriends and even husbands hit the high road, not wanting to have any part in their lives. I was so fortunate to have this man in my life.

Chemotherapy this time around was a must. I went once every three weeks for six months. I would get depressed and feel sorry for myself, and get sick but I never felt hopeless and would constantly tell myself that I would survive this disease. I had too much to live for and there was no way that cancer was going to beat me.


People in Your Life

Have you or someone you know had breast cancer?

  • Yes I have had breast cancer and beat it.
  • I am currently fighting breast cancer.
  • I know people that have or have had breast cancer.
See results without voting

Cancer Returns in the Remaining Breast

The cancer returns four years later in the remaining breast. To read about my ongoing battle with this disease please read part two of my story.

Cancer Returns 23 years Later

In September of 2013 I was diagnosed with Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. I'm determined to beat cancer yet again even though all of my doctors have told me that it is incurable. It is in both lungs, a tumor in my chest, and small tumors in my neck throughout the lymph nodes.

More by this Author


Thank you for visiting my article. Please leave a comment to let me know that you were here. Have a great day! 32 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

bdegiulio, Thank you and Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to you and yours as well.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

breakfastpop, So nice to see you here. Thank you!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

FlourishAnyway, Trying to stay strong thorough the lung cancer. Some days it's harder than others.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thundermama, Somehow I think the link got broken. Hope you were able to find part 2. Thanks so much for ready about my Journey.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

Susan, I just read your story and the latest update that the cancer has returned. I am so sorry to hear this. Keep fighting and your positive attitude will carry you through this. You've overcome many obstacles over the past 23 years and this is just one more hurdle to jump over. I wish you the Merriest Christmas possible and a very Happy New Year to you and your family. You will be in my prayers.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 2 years ago

I am so sorry that you have had to go through so much. You are a truly amazing human being for wanting to share your story.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Susan, I am sorry you had to go through this. Thank you for sharing your story. It will inspire others as they struggle with this and other battles. Stay strong. Going to read part two now.


Thundermama profile image

Thundermama 2 years ago from Canada

Words are failing me right now. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your incredible spirit. I too am headed to the second part of your story. Wishing you health and strength in your journey.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Betty, As it states in the title "Breast Cancer". Stage 2b. Nodes that were removed were cancer free.


Betty 3 years ago

what kind of cancer? Stages? Nodes involved?


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you healthylife and so nice to meet you.


healthylife2 profile image

healthylife2 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

I'm following your journey and know how scary it is to go through cancer. It is kind of you to share your experience so others like me do not feel so alone. Sending hugs!!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Brian, Thanks for stopping by to read this and for your comments.


BRIAN SLATER profile image

BRIAN SLATER 4 years ago from Nottingham Uk

Susan I didn't know. I'm so glad you are alright now-thanks for sharing, kudos to you. :)


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Sunshine, I think you're pretty fantastic too!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I'm glad I did. I'm sorry you had to go through it. I think you're awesome!!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Sunshine, Thank you for reading my journey. It means so much to me.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

What a scary journey!!! Heading to part 2.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Sun-Girl Thank you so much for reading and for your very nice comment.


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Interesting and quite informative,am sorry for the ailment but i believe in you because you are strong lady.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Skims Thanks so much for reading and for your comments. I wish you all the best your treatments and recovery. Take Care and think positive even though I know that it is very hard to do in times like this.


Skims 5 years ago

Just read your blog - and part 2 - as a cancer sufferer myself and enduring my first rounds of chemo with surgery afterwards I think you are an incredibly brave woman - I only hope I can be just as strong as you.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you everyone for all your wonderful comments I really appreciate them.

SweetMarie besides Princess Margaret I had all my surgeries done at the Credit Valley Hospital. I used to call it the Credit Valley Hilton as it was just after they opened that hospital and I thought at the time wow what a beautiful hospital. Thanks for reading.


SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Thank you for sharing this with us all Susan. It's ironic that we have that Princess Margaret Hospital connection...what a small world.


carrie450 profile image

carrie450 5 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

Hi Susan, I can well understand what you must have gone through. I have a friend who is going through the same at this very moment, waiting for the reports to come back. We have to fight this disease with every being in our bodies, live day by day and above all always having hope and thinking positive.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Beautiful recount, thanks for sharing. I'm on to part 2.


Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 5 years ago

I can really feel how frightening this must have been. Looking forward to reading Part 2 and hoping that it has a happy ending.


gmmurgirl profile image

gmmurgirl 5 years ago from Pilipinas

Hi Susan. Just read this hub now and I am deeply moved by your story. Moving on to Part 2. Thanks for sharing. You seem like a really strong woman!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks so much Minnetonka. So glad that we are following each other!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

Hi Susan. I was so glued to your personal cancer journey. I too am a survivor and it really helps to meet others that have been through this experience. I am so glad you went to the doctor even though the nurse at your work told you not to worry. I found it really odd that they had you pick an envelope regarding treatment. When I was diagnosed with lung cancer(never smoked)they set me up with radiation and chemo after surgery, even though they believed they got all the cancer. I want to start following your blog too. I also have a blog called Twinc-ess Diaries. The address is twincessone.blogspot.com/

I will look forward to a connection to you on hubpages and your blog with someone who knows what its like to go through the cancer journey:)


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks so much for stopping by to read this TurtleDog.


TurtleDog profile image

TurtleDog 6 years ago

Wow. I just read this part and I'm moving to part two. Such an incredible story. Thank you for sharing this.

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