loading... close

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

  • Nicole Adams Profile

    Does a mammogram hurt?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am always concerned when a question is asked about pain levels associated with ANY procedure related to breast cancer and the responses are uniformally rosy or at least, minimal when it comes to reporting pain.
      The real answer is - the pain levels depend on a host of factors and it can vary...

      more

      I am always concerned when a question is asked about pain levels associated with ANY procedure related to breast cancer and the responses are uniformally rosy or at least, minimal when it comes to reporting pain.
      The real answer is - the pain levels depend on a host of factors and it can vary enormously from one women to another. For example, if you have dense breasts and a history of breast pain and sensitivity to having your breasts touched heavily or manipulated, as well as strong hormone related breast pain, then it is feasible that you will find mammograms painful. Further, scientists have recently found that sensitivity to pain is genetically based, so if you are part of the population who have the pain sensitivity genetic make up [you will know who you are as you will have a history of people assuring you X or Y does not hurt much but when you have it, the roof of yor head blasts off with pain - thats when they start calling you a wimp or pathetic or whatever] then your experience more pain than those without the gene.

      I am so sick of the ability to withstand pain being portrayed as a moral virtue when in fact a lot of it is the luck of the draw with genetics.

      I also regularly run into women who actively avoid much needed mammograms because of the pain. I then see scientific studies where resources are poured into answering the question "wh do women avoid having mammograms even when they are free?" One reason they regulary fail to cite is the pain. Yes, pain NOT discomfort.

      I am writing this because I am a breast cancer survivor who not only finds mammograms very painful, I am also one of the 40% of women who developed breast seroma following surgery. A seroma is a fluid filled sac in the breast which in my case although smallish, is also very painful. I have to hold what remains of my right breast if the car goes over a speed hump as breast jiggling is painful.

      I am supposed to have my first post surgery annual mammogram in about 8 weeks.The idea of my scarred breast with a seroma, which already experienced bad pain on mammograms without these features scares the dickens out of me. I had an MRI [which I paid for myself] late last year - zero radiation, zero pain and a far more sensitive test for invasive ie., the most dangerous kind of breast cancer. In my case, due to dense breasts, mammograms are also only around 60% accurate albeit better at detecting non-invasive forms of breast cancer.
      I have now decided I am not going to put up with the pain from mammograms any more. I have therefore written to the centre that will be conducting my annual mammograms for the rest of my life and said I do not consent to having any mammograms done in future without adequate pain relief. I know from experience a local anesthetic injection - which I tolerate well - completely ends all pain. I am also willing to consider trialling a numbing agent like EMLA cream applied an ahour or two before the mammogram and wrapped in saran and/or breathing through one of those pain relief tubes ambulances and paramedics carry with them.
      If anyone reading this has any concerns about the pain involved in having your breasts - with or without surgeyr scars and seromas - squeeed and flattened to one inch thick - then I urge you to contact the mammogaphic service ahead of your appiontment and put it in writing that your consent to the procedure in contingent on being provided with a decent choice of pain relief.
      Do not be held to the standard of the most stoic or tough patient and refuse to be emotionally blackmailed into shutting up and suffering needlessly. The pain relief options I have llisted are cheap, simple and used every minute of every day in all sorts of medical settings, so the side effects are minimal.
      Don't let them get away with hurting you if avoiding being subject to pain is a priority to you. By all means if avoiding or embracing physical pain is acceptable to you - then go ahead without pain relief.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I find them very painful. I had one years ago because a lump was found. I'm small and the area is dense, so all I kept hearing was how little fat I had from the technician to the specialist. I then had to go for an ultrasound anyway because they couldn't really see because of the density. I...

      more

      I find them very painful. I had one years ago because a lump was found. I'm small and the area is dense, so all I kept hearing was how little fat I had from the technician to the specialist. I then had to go for an ultrasound anyway because they couldn't really see because of the density. I ended up with scrapes above and below my breasts and pain for quite a while after.
      I haven't gone again because of the pain, but know that I'm supposed to. If the same thing happens, what's the point? Still the doctor insists on the mammogram. This is not how they would look for testicular cancer and some of us find our breasts just as bad for pain. I think it is barbaric how they have not made this test less painful

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Haven asperation done do to my issues that mean cancer

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I think you are going to have to try that again. Don't you just hate auto-spell-check?
      If you are asking about an aspiration type of biopsy, then NO it doesn't automatically mean you have cancer. You wait for the results come back from the lab. Many more women have biopsies that come back...

      more

      I think you are going to have to try that again. Don't you just hate auto-spell-check?
      If you are asking about an aspiration type of biopsy, then NO it doesn't automatically mean you have cancer. You wait for the results come back from the lab. Many more women have biopsies that come back negative, rather than positive. You had the biopsy done because the other tests were inconclusive. A test of some of the suspicious cells are the only way to really diagnose whether it is cancer or not. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I'm not sure what your question is.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    85 years old just diagnosed, do I go through treatment?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      This is so difficult to answer because we are all different and realize there are many different types of breast cancer. The woman who stated she was 65 and had inflammatory breast cancer..... that type of cancer is extremely aggressive and the treatment is also extreme or else you are dead.
      I...

      more

      This is so difficult to answer because we are all different and realize there are many different types of breast cancer. The woman who stated she was 65 and had inflammatory breast cancer..... that type of cancer is extremely aggressive and the treatment is also extreme or else you are dead.
      I had Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer and was diagnosed at 59. It was a rather aggressive form. I chose to have a mastectomy but I could have chosen a lumpectomy. Because I chose mastectomy, I didn't have to have 6 weeks of radiation. I had 4 rounds of chemo. and 5 years of taking a daily pill. I felt the treatment was reasonable and not terrible. I am 7 years out from my treatment and except for missing a breast, I am absolutely healthy and enjoying my life.
      You need to talk to your oncologist and see what treatment would be for your case. My neighbor who is in her late 70's had a later stage breast cancer and is taking a hormone blocking drug. While it did not get rid of her cancer, it stopped it from progressing.
      There are usually different ways of treating breast cancer but it depends on your individual type of breast cancer, the stage, and how aggressive it is. Just as we are all different.... so are our breast cancers. You need more information. Take along a family member, or good friend to take notes and hear what the oncologist has to say.
      We do care about our "sisters" and please keep in touch with us. Best to you, Sharon

      Comment
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I think a lot would depend on your general health and the type and stage of cancer. My mother , also in her 80's, had a lumpectomy and radiation twice a day for five days. But, this was for stage 0 breast cancer. She tolerated that treatment well.

      Comment
  • Carla Victor-rawson Profile

    My lumpectomy scar is 7 weeks old and ands hard and a bit lumpy, is this normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I have the same problem. I had first surgery in feb and second one in march. The onc says it is scar tissue and I just had a mammo last week and the radiologist said it is scar tissue too. It is very tender and I hate feeling it in there. I wouldn't even know if I had a cancerous lump with all...

      more

      I have the same problem. I had first surgery in feb and second one in march. The onc says it is scar tissue and I just had a mammo last week and the radiologist said it is scar tissue too. It is very tender and I hate feeling it in there. I wouldn't even know if I had a cancerous lump with all that in there.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Carla,
      It is scar tissue and will flatten out in a few months. Take care, Sharon

      Comment

Educational Video

Personal Story

Related Topics

Looking for another topic?
Use the search box in the top right.

Footer 3

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

spread the word