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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    Mom has breast cancer. It's either Stg 1&2 (cuz they found another lump in other) or all same cancer at Stg 4. Her appts are just bad news more tests more appts....I don't know what to say to help her stay strong when I fear the worst?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    about 3 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I guess I don't understand if she has breast cancer found in both breasts and what are the stages? 1, 2, and 4? At the point of diagnosis, it is pretty confusing because you actually won't get the final diagnosis until after her surgery is done and the report comes back from the pathologist. ...

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      I guess I don't understand if she has breast cancer found in both breasts and what are the stages? 1, 2, and 4? At the point of diagnosis, it is pretty confusing because you actually won't get the final diagnosis until after her surgery is done and the report comes back from the pathologist. My stage changed after the surgery because one of my nodes had cancer in it.
      At this point, there is a ton of testing.... she will have lots of bloodwork, and possibly CT Scan, PET Scan, MRI, MUGA.... and MORE bloodwork. Keep a copy of all of her tests in a 3 ring binder, tape all of the business cards taped on the inside of cover. When you go with her take tons of notes, or audio tape her consultation appointments.
      At this point, you are just trying to get through all the preliminary testing. Once you get a treatment plan, at least her path will be a bit clearer. Believe it or not, you actually get a feeling of comfort and security from hearing your treatment plan. She will probably have surgery, either lumpectomy or mastectomy, chemotherapy, and maybe radiation. If her tumor is larger, she may have some chemo treatment before surgery to shrink the tumor. I wouldn't get wrapped up in the drama of "What her chances are?" She just puts on her woman warrior gear and goes into battle. We here on this site are either going through treatment or have been through treatment. I had breast cancer 5 years ago and am alive, well, and enjoying the heck out of my life. There are LOTS of options for treatment of all sorts of breast cancers. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      U can tell her she will be fine and u will be with her every step of the way. U will fight with her. Encourage her and pray with her. My sister read the bible to me and it gave me such comfort. I'll be rostering for the both of u. God bless.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Just finished radiation yesterday! Afraid of taking tamoxifen due to the scary side effects? Any suggestions?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      You have already gone through the toughest.... this IS part of your treatment! You are lucky enough to have a type of breast cancer that is ER+ and feeds off hormones. IF you don't take this, there is a chance of cancer returning. Talk about side effects, you have already been through SIDE...

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      You have already gone through the toughest.... this IS part of your treatment! You are lucky enough to have a type of breast cancer that is ER+ and feeds off hormones. IF you don't take this, there is a chance of cancer returning. Talk about side effects, you have already been through SIDE EFFECTS if you had chemotherapy. You haven't given it a try.... DO NOT LET THE CANCER WIN! Be brave enough to go ahead and complete your treatment. I can assure you, you will be consumed with regret if you don't and the cancer returns. Continue to wear your girl-fighter-warrior-armor! You have the opportunity other women don't have. Take the Tamoxifen! Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • K G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      The most scary side effect of me NOT taking it is my cancer returning. The side effects of taking it are well worth it to me. Everyday is not a picnic by any means, but every side effect I feel---means I am Alive!!!!! I have been on Tamoxifin for 8 months now. Just my little old take on it :)....

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      The most scary side effect of me NOT taking it is my cancer returning. The side effects of taking it are well worth it to me. Everyday is not a picnic by any means, but every side effect I feel---means I am Alive!!!!! I have been on Tamoxifin for 8 months now. Just my little old take on it :). The first pill is always the hardest to swallow. I can remember where I was, what time I first took it, etc. Good luck-you can do it!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    what will i look like after a double mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 3 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I tried to find a photograph that would let you view what you would look like because it is difficult to imagine. I had a single mastectomy and you can see where all the breast tissue was removed so my chest is flat with a single line type scar in the area. It was done quite nicely and my dear...

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      I tried to find a photograph that would let you view what you would look like because it is difficult to imagine. I had a single mastectomy and you can see where all the breast tissue was removed so my chest is flat with a single line type scar in the area. It was done quite nicely and my dear surgeon, a talented young woman did a nice job. I admire her skill because whether is was her skill or my skin type, the scaring is inobtrusive. EVERYBODY will have a different feeling when they see their chest for the first time. It is something someone can't predict for you. We can only share out personal experiences. Since my breasts were small they never were a focal point for my self esteem or my feeling of femininity. So, the only thing I was saying goodbye to was a bit of tissue that was giving a home to breast cancer. I was delighted to get rid of "IT". I did not have reconstruction and wear a prosthesis. It is comfortable and I am ok with it. Lots of young women opt for reconstruction, but I am 64 now and was 59 when diagnosed. Again, this is a personal choice! I look at my scar and it appears to have a bit of the shape of a "smile". Seems appropriate because I am oh SO happy to be rid of breast cancer. Don't get me wrong, it is scary at first but again.... I can only share the way I had to wrap my head around the different look on half my chest. I would like to get a comical tattoo across the scar..... like a zipper or something. I would do it except by oncologist who I still have to face once a year---hates--- tattoo's. Hang in there darlin' take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Leah Fortune Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      When I saw mine for the first time(single) I called it my man boob. It reminds me now of just being young and carefree.

      Comment
  • Traciann brundage Profile

    I have the worst taste in my mouth and can't get it out. (have tried everything) Everything from candies to ice cream to chocolate to food lettuce. Any ideas? (have thrown up 5 times from the taste)

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 14 answers
    • View all 14 answers
    • Sandy Zenda Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I replaced silverware with plastic until that metallic taste left. Hope this helps you.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Traciann,
      ARRRGH! You have THE TASTE! Since this is making you nauseated to the point of vomiting that may times, you need to contact your onc. I would give Altoids a try (you know... the "curiously" strong mint) Peppermint is a natural stomach soother. Foods tasted lousy to me and there was...

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      Traciann,
      ARRRGH! You have THE TASTE! Since this is making you nauseated to the point of vomiting that may times, you need to contact your onc. I would give Altoids a try (you know... the "curiously" strong mint) Peppermint is a natural stomach soother. Foods tasted lousy to me and there was not a lot that was acceptable. Hang in there but you can't keep vomiting, stomach acid is VERY tough on your teeth! Not to mention dehydration. BIg hugs, Sharon

      Comment

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