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Jan's Story

About her story

"I am one woman among hundreds of thousands of women who are learning to be courageous, and to overcome, and to live in the face of cancer."

Jan was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in June 2009 after undergoing a routine bone scan for an unrelated injury. A wife and mother, Jan described her initial diagnosis as a complete shock.

"I remember just the sensation of having the wind sucked out of my lungs, a sucker punch, or something that stops you mid-stride," says Jan about her diagnosis. "And then as you begin to breathe again, there's this one million questions that circle your mind. "

Realizing that her family needed her and that she had some things she still wanted to accomplish, Jan decided to fight. Her touching story of survival and hope is an inspiration to anyone facing the difficult journey of breast cancer.

Related Questions

  • Thumb avatar default

    The past three generations of women have died of breast cancer in my family, all pre menopause. including my mother when i was 9. How big is the risk of me developing it at some point too?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    about 4 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      The best advice is to meet with your gyn. and frankly discuss your family history. You will need to meet with a geneticist but I don't understand about waiting until you are 18. Your guardian should be able to give permission for a blood test. There are many decisions to be made if you are...

      more

      The best advice is to meet with your gyn. and frankly discuss your family history. You will need to meet with a geneticist but I don't understand about waiting until you are 18. Your guardian should be able to give permission for a blood test. There are many decisions to be made if you are positive for the BRCA gene. Hopefully, you will escape. If not, you won't have to pass away as a young woman, you can get ahead of the fate the women in your family suffered. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      So sorry to hear of your losses. You have an increased risk and sounds like you are being proactive and are discussing it with your doctor. There are many things that reduce your risk of getting breast cancer such as eating a healthy diet, exercise, maintain a healthy weight and limit alcohol...

      more

      So sorry to hear of your losses. You have an increased risk and sounds like you are being proactive and are discussing it with your doctor. There are many things that reduce your risk of getting breast cancer such as eating a healthy diet, exercise, maintain a healthy weight and limit alcohol use. Going to your gyn regularly and doing self exams are important. Report any changes to your breasts to your doctors immediately. There are many things including medications that help prevent cancer in high risk women. Hopefully you will never get it! I know many women who have a strong family history and do not have cancer. Live life to the fullest! Keep the questions coming, we are here for you!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Does having BC necessarily mean a shortened life expectancy, or once it's removed can things get back to how they were before with same chances of a long, healthy life?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Girls, I can't disagree or find fault with eating healthy and making wise choices, but a good and peaceful life is one of balance. The quest to avoid all things that may or may not be harmful to this fragil vessel that contains the real us is more than what we consume. In the earnest and...

      more

      Girls, I can't disagree or find fault with eating healthy and making wise choices, but a good and peaceful life is one of balance. The quest to avoid all things that may or may not be harmful to this fragil vessel that contains the real us is more than what we consume. In the earnest and well-meaning attempt to seek the best for ourselves, we sometimes heap stress needlessly upon our healing bodies and give ourselves over to fear that robs us of the very thing we're trying so desperately to secure-a well body. Stress could undo all the good. Perhaps my age shapes my ramblings and a cancer diagnosis may even shorten what time I have left, but I do know that we didn't cause our illness and may not even have much power to prevent a recurrence. There is something profoundly human and intimate in having an ice cream cone with my grandchildren on the 4th of July, sharing a medium-well rib-eye with my son who has an auto-immune disease and never experiences hunger or weight gain or sharing a piece of pecan pie with my husband of 43 years on our anniversary in August. Don't make the mistake that some of us may have made: trying so hard to live the right way, we missed living.

      4 comments
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I definitely agree with the diet suggestions! research other things as well, such as body products and health and beauty items. Having cancer these days, especially breast, is NOT a death sentence. I thought it was but once I was given a lot of information and empowerment from a great team of...

      more

      I definitely agree with the diet suggestions! research other things as well, such as body products and health and beauty items. Having cancer these days, especially breast, is NOT a death sentence. I thought it was but once I was given a lot of information and empowerment from a great team of doctors I felt like I was going to be fine and I am , a mere 9 months later. I am cancer free and feeling great! Many women are diagnosed like me in their 30's and go on to live healthy cancer-free lives!

      Comment
  • kim sosa Profile

    I received my cocktail of chemo I will be taking Doxorubicin, Cyclophosphamide & Paclitaxel. Has anyone been on any of these and what should I expect? I start next Wed. Excited to start my journey and kill this bc and be normal and healthy again.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 1 answer
    • shen cruces Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      Hi Kim, I am currently on AC and will be following it up with taxol also. I have only had two treatments so far and they have been spaces two weeks apart so I get to have the neupogen shot too. So far I am tired the day of chemo but I drink lots of fluids, not just water, to flush my system. ...

      more

      Hi Kim, I am currently on AC and will be following it up with taxol also. I have only had two treatments so far and they have been spaces two weeks apart so I get to have the neupogen shot too. So far I am tired the day of chemo but I drink lots of fluids, not just water, to flush my system. The next day is okay, then I am tired for the next 3-4 days. I keep on the schedule for the nausea meds which work well for me. I was told not to get behind on taking them. I eat lots of protein, fruit, and really anything that sounds remotely appetizing. Everyone's body is different so you might have less or more side effects. Hopefully less. I do visualize the chemo drugs doing their job (I picture PacMan chasing down all the cancer cells). It helps to feel confident that these drugs are helping us get back to our lives. You may be nervous the first day. Just make sure you drink lots of water starting the day before chemo and stock your fridge with things you like to eat. I had some heartburn issues after chemo so I always have foods that are easily digestible ready for me to grab. Best of luck to you. You and the chemo are going to kick some cancer butt on Wednesday!

      Comment
  • Diane Lewey Profile

    What is the percentage of breast cancer recurrence for women who are treated with tamoxifen?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 1 answer
    • Amanda Metivier Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Recurrence rates differ depending upon stage. Also depending upon adjunct therapy such as surgery, radiation and chemo.

      1 comment

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