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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

  • Anne Thompson Profile

    I am switching from Tamoxifen to Arimidex...thoughts?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2011
    about 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I will probably be on Tamoxifen for another year or so and then on to arimidex so I am also interested in anyone's experience also. I am 54 but still haven't been through menopause, hadnt even started, my onco will test me again in a year or so, so until that happens I am on Tamoxifen. Side...

      more

      I will probably be on Tamoxifen for another year or so and then on to arimidex so I am also interested in anyone's experience also. I am 54 but still haven't been through menopause, hadnt even started, my onco will test me again in a year or so, so until that happens I am on Tamoxifen. Side effect haven't been too bad on tamoxifen and no weight gain but would like to know what o expect when I go on to arimidex, if I ever do.

      Comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      I switched from tamoxifen to arimidex about 4 months ago the first month I had a period a common occurrence per my gyn oncologist. Did have a endometrial biopsy to make sure all was okay. Hot flashes are more extreme dripping wet bone and joint pain also more severe then when I was on tamoxifen....

      more

      I switched from tamoxifen to arimidex about 4 months ago the first month I had a period a common occurrence per my gyn oncologist. Did have a endometrial biopsy to make sure all was okay. Hot flashes are more extreme dripping wet bone and joint pain also more severe then when I was on tamoxifen. My oncologist says it should all get better as hormone levels balance out. Take care

      2 comments
  • anonymous Profile

    Marie D. checking in. Thank YOU all so much for your prayers, I indeed can feel them!! Please keep praying for clear lymph nodes and clear margins. I am in pain, but it's all good.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    about 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Kathy Basham Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      It surely does help to know that others care and are covering you in prayer. It's especially nice because it's sisters who know what you're going through. We are praying and hoping the best news for you.

      Comment
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Praying for all GOOD news!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I've just started chemo treatment on May 28 ~ treatment will be every 3 weeks, I had a PET scan and I had a panic attack, is this something that I will be having a lot of? I even took xanex to calm my nerves. :(

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      If you think about what is happening to us when we going through treatment, just about every one of us imagine we are in a life and death struggle. We are already in a mind-set of "fight or flight", then we are shoved into a little tube bombarded with x-ray or strong magnetic bla-bla, because...

      more

      If you think about what is happening to us when we going through treatment, just about every one of us imagine we are in a life and death struggle. We are already in a mind-set of "fight or flight", then we are shoved into a little tube bombarded with x-ray or strong magnetic bla-bla, because our doctors are looking for MORE CANCER! It is no wonder every woman does not have a huge panic attack when faced with all of that! You are suffering the highest stress you have ever faced in your life. I have known other women who have had panic attacks while undergoing chemo, it isn't caused from the chemo itself but from the entire situation we find ourselves in. You are not really yourself during all of this treatment but rather on-the-edge of fear. I wouldn't worry this is the way you are going to be throughout your treatment because it isn't. As for the scans, you may have to face.... I would rely on a Xanax to take the edge off. Make sure you have someone to drive you to and from your scan appointment. Please do not add this worry on top of your treatment. LOTS of people are claustrophobic (and not going through chemo) it is ranked as one of those top anxiety things humans get. Hang in there....this really isn't a reaction or side effect of the chemo., it is a side effect of FEAR. You WILL make it, darlin'
      BIg hugs, and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Patricia Stoop Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      We can fight the anxiety or embrace it as part of this crazy journey. I've heard of many having panic attacks during scans or treatment so you are not alone! Holy moly you've been through so much on the last little while I'm sure!!!!! I actually find scans relaxing and try to meditate (focus on...

      more

      We can fight the anxiety or embrace it as part of this crazy journey. I've heard of many having panic attacks during scans or treatment so you are not alone! Holy moly you've been through so much on the last little while I'm sure!!!!! I actually find scans relaxing and try to meditate (focus on my breath or a healing golden light passing through my body from the machine.....) However I find waiting for the results very anxiety provoking and at my worst have taken the odd Xanax.... I also walk daily, meditate occasionally and snuggle my dogs. Counselling a bit early on when I was anxious too. Take care and take a moment to pause and breathe!

      Comment
  • vicky kayley Profile

    Well start chemo tomorrow and thinking bring on the fairy dust as I now cal it, have to have daily injections to boost my immunity. It a bad thing, gosh there is a light at the end of the tunnel x x love and healing hugs to everyone x x

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      VICKY!! There IS a light, but the end of tunnel is probably tough to see right now. Best of luck and be strong! But also, allow yourself to have all of your emotions--anger, sadness, etc...you need to let it out. But laugh when you can too. Hugs to you girl!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      We all have our particular little ways to take another step toward getting over this formidable enemy. I love your fairy dust! When I was going for my treatments, I was going to a party with all my closest friends. I looked forward to it because it was another treatment down on my schedule. ...

      more

      We all have our particular little ways to take another step toward getting over this formidable enemy. I love your fairy dust! When I was going for my treatments, I was going to a party with all my closest friends. I looked forward to it because it was another treatment down on my schedule. We laughed, we ate junk food, we wore funny hats, there was really a party atmosphere. I with you buckets of "Lemon-aid" you are making out of life's lemons. Take care, Sharon

      Comment

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