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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

  • kristina ware Profile

    today is the day i.get my lumpectmy im excited and im.scared is.it.normal

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I felt the same way. Best wishes

    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      Survivor since 2007

      I am thrilled to hear you are having these kinds of thoughts because they are SO NORMAL! They are also so truly POSITIVE!!! You will fine and we will all be praying and sending healing thoughts your say. Blessings to you --normal-- sister! Much love and take care, Sharon

  • Thumb avatar default
  • Thumb avatar default

    Diagnosed in August of this year had my lumpectomy on 10/24/12, now have to go back on 11/7/12 to have surgery for lymph nodes is this normal ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 5 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Coco Smith Profile
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      In Australia the surgeries occur at the same time - we get the radiotracer injection the day before or the morning of our surgery, for small tumours a guide wire is inserted under local anaesthetic to identify the tumour location accurately for the surgeon, a low compression mammogram image is...


      In Australia the surgeries occur at the same time - we get the radiotracer injection the day before or the morning of our surgery, for small tumours a guide wire is inserted under local anaesthetic to identify the tumour location accurately for the surgeon, a low compression mammogram image is taken also to assist with surgical tumour location, then once we are in the surgical theatre and have been given the general anaesthetic, a wand is waived over our armpit to detect the hottest radioactive node, it is then removed, often felt by hand for rice like graininess [a sign of cancer cells] and sent off to pathology for testing while the lumpectomy is being done. The results for the sentinel node are phoned back to the theatre - if the sentinel node is clear of cancer, normally no more nodes are taken and we are stitched up. If the sentinel node has cancer cells, then they normally remove nodes till they get to the point where they appear cancer free. It is like working your way through a bunch of grapes.
      The in-surgery sentinel node pathology testing I referred to has a false negative rate of 5-10% ie., the node reads as clear but later and more thorough pathology testing may detect cancer cells. The in-surgery node testing is done by slicing the nodes into fine slices, and examining them but it is always possible for cancer cells to hide inside slices, or outside the slices being examined and also for the technician to make a human error and not see cancer cells. So that is one reason I can think of why someone could be called back for more extensive node removal. The remaining nodes sample are usually sent off with the excised tumour for deeper pathology testing. That can throw up more issues.

      It is not clear from your question if you have the sentinel node testing done at the time of your lumpectomy or not.

      There may well be other legitimate reasons for returning for a separate operation to remove your lymph nodes , but the first thing I would do is ask the surgeon to tell you why it all was not done in the one procedure, with the one general anaesthetic for you to recover from and one off work/recuperation period?
      You deserve very clear statements in that explanation.
      I sincerely hope it has nothing to do with the surgeon maximising their income by performing two separate operations, requiring two lots of general anesthesia on you, longer recovery period, more stress, more time off work etc.
      Then you can make up your mind if the answers you received are convincing, reasonable and stack up to professional practice or not.

    • julie s Profile
      Stage 2A Patient

      Did they take any lymph nodes at time of lumpectomy? What was the status of those?

  • Kerry K Profile

    Why do people get breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 1 answer

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

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