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Introduction

 
Introduction

Chapter: 1 - Introduction

Subchapter: 1 - Introduction

Each of our lives is a story. We journey along a road of experiences and emotions, passing significant milestones along the way. When suddenly, the road beneath our feet takes a sharp turn, breaking from what was once certain.

Breast cancer causes this break. Perspective ruthlessly shifts; you and your loved ones see the road differently than before.

However, we see the road has not ended–it continues on through new hills and new valleys. We know that life has done this before, curiously forcing us into foreign places and down roads that seemed impassable. Yet somehow these challenges become fertile soil where seeds of strength, love, and resilience mature and grow strong.

Remember, this is a road that has been traversed by thousands of women, women with full lives and loved ones. Women whose dreams–whose lives–were threatened by breast cancer. Women who now share stories of endurance and hope.

Beyond the Shock® is first and foremost a resource for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Secondly, it is for their loved ones to gain a better understanding of the disease and to feel a stronger sense of connection. Finally, it is for doctors to reinforce their instruction and advice.

This is the first of a series of videos, divided up into chapters and sub-chapters. These videos will provide information for you to process, share and use to your own benefit. You will learn about breast cancer: it’s types and stages, how it grows, how it is diagnosed, and how it is treated. More than anything else, Beyond the Shock® is a place to gain knowledge for today and receive hope for tomorrow.

Related Questions

  • Ethel Brooks Profile

    If you have bilateral mastectomy, how long does it take to recover from the surgery? I hear about the tubes for drainage - how long are they kept in you? What are extenders if you have reconstruction surgery?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 0 Patient
    almost 9 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      I had an unilateral mastectomy in 09. I also had a tissue expander. My drain tubes were in place for almost 2 weeks. They really were annoying! Didn't hurt, but just bothersome. I used a mastectomy cami and it was wonderful. It had a pouch in front to stuff the drain tubes in. I wore...

      more

      I had an unilateral mastectomy in 09. I also had a tissue expander. My drain tubes were in place for almost 2 weeks. They really were annoying! Didn't hurt, but just bothersome. I used a mastectomy cami and it was wonderful. It had a pouch in front to stuff the drain tubes in. I wore bagging, button down or zipper up tops and it was fine. The tissue expander is not fun though. It is a hard, implant like thing that has a magnet in it. The magnet is for the fills. The doc fills a syringe with saline and with the magnet guides the needle to the right spot and then he pokes your skin and into the expander. How long you have to have the expander in all depends on how big you want and how long it takes for you body to stretch. It didn't hurt at all except for the stretching of the muscles. My neck and back would ache for a few days. I was lucky, it only took 2 months before I was ready for the permanent implants. Over-all it isn't a horrible surgery as far as surgery goes. I have had worse for sure!! And I was only in the hospital 1 night too.

      7 comments
    • Pam Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I had bilateral mastectomies 8 months ago. Stage I invasive but very small. Genetic testing negative. Sentinel Lymph node negative. Estrogen progesterone positive. Post menopausal. Age 56. I had tissue expanders for silicone gel implants for only 3 weeks before implant exchange. Drain tubes...

      more

      I had bilateral mastectomies 8 months ago. Stage I invasive but very small. Genetic testing negative. Sentinel Lymph node negative. Estrogen progesterone positive. Post menopausal. Age 56. I had tissue expanders for silicone gel implants for only 3 weeks before implant exchange. Drain tubes for almost the whole 3 weeks. They are annoying but not horrible. I wore my surgical bras and loose tops. Not a huge issue, really, but was ready for them to come out! The exchange surgery was quick and not a big deal. Went to opening home game of OU football 2 days after!! Made it thru half! Taking Arimidex ...no chemo needed. Doing fantastic'nnb

      10 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    found a lump upper breast near armpit, very sore and shooting pain

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      It sounds like an enlarged lymph node. Please get it checked. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Deb  Liebzeit Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Get it checked ASAP!

      Comment
  • mary  o sullivan Profile

    is d first oncologist app scary .i already had surgery and reconstruction

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 2 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I had my first oncologist appt. 2 days before my surgical consult (just the way things worked out). Even though I worked in healthcare (doing X-rays and Mammograms) it was a little intimidating but the oncologist made it easy for me. The breast patient navigator was supposed to meet me there...

      more

      I had my first oncologist appt. 2 days before my surgical consult (just the way things worked out). Even though I worked in healthcare (doing X-rays and Mammograms) it was a little intimidating but the oncologist made it easy for me. The breast patient navigator was supposed to meet me there for the appt. but got called away for something else. She used to work at the oncology clinic so when she was there it really helped me since I had no family in the area. She actually sent the lung patient navigator to be with me as she also was in on my first biopsy the week before but she didn't show up until just as I was leaving the exam room. The breast patient navigator was there for my second biopsy and other appts. along with being with me prior to surgery, in the OR, and the recovery area afterwards. She was going to come upstairs and be with me for a time but the surgeon sent her home. I moved away after my chemo. treatments but we still have email contact, she's young enough to be my daughter and if I had one I'd like her to be just like Andrea. Take someone with you for your appt. as they can be a 2nd set of ears and perhaps write things down for you.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      stage_4 Patient

      Yep, I too bilateral and referred for chemo. Feel scared too, also angry that breast cancer is affecting so many more women now. Something out there is causing this to happen! its not just a freak occurrence of nature. Whether it be environmental, dietary or something else, I just wish that we...

      more

      Yep, I too bilateral and referred for chemo. Feel scared too, also angry that breast cancer is affecting so many more women now. Something out there is causing this to happen! its not just a freak occurrence of nature. Whether it be environmental, dietary or something else, I just wish that we could discover the cause and save thousands of women from this emotional turmoil and trauma. This should not be happening. I certainly don't feel like I am on a journey, its a battle to me and some days are really difficult! We both have to move forward and be brave, and know that it will get better. I like this quote by Winston Churchill - If you are going through hell, keep going.. Good luck to you.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Mums has been diagnosed with grade 3 nst. With 6 months of chemo then removal/mammogram after. Parents say everything will be ok but are they protecting me. Is it usual to do chemo first and isn't grade 3 more advance?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      It depends on each individual , but chemo can be first.

      Comment
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      My strong chemo was first. Then double mass, then follow up with herceptin and hormone therapy. Each person's situation is an individual journey. A good strong support system and positive attitude is very helpful. Good luck to you n your mums.

      Comment

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Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.

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