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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

  • vicky kayley Profile

    Does anyone have advice? It's day 14 and my hair is already falling out… thought I was mentally prepared, but I'm gutted.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 16 answers
    • View all 16 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I also dreaded the hair loss and in hindsight, it was the hardest thing. For me, it made it real and public. I teach high school kids so once the hair went I had to come clean about everything that was going on. And it makes your ordeal so obvious to everyone you come into contact with. But...

      more

      I also dreaded the hair loss and in hindsight, it was the hardest thing. For me, it made it real and public. I teach high school kids so once the hair went I had to come clean about everything that was going on. And it makes your ordeal so obvious to everyone you come into contact with. But like the others, I quickly got over it. There are some really great perks! The biggest is I can sleep a lot later and taking care of my 1 inch of hair is so easy. I have tried to find the silver lining. In the grand scheme of things, it really is a small loss compared to the great gains you get from the chemo treatment. My tumor and cancerous nodes totally responded, so I view it as a small price to pay for my health!! we all understand. You'll get through it as you get through the rest of it.

      Comment
    • Linda Burke Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Oh Vicky! I am right there with you. I just finished round 2 of chemo and lost my hair. This is the thing that I feared the most from the beginning. It is horrible. I hate it. There is no easy way around it. The thing that gets me through, is now I have gotten through what scared me the...

      more

      Oh Vicky! I am right there with you. I just finished round 2 of chemo and lost my hair. This is the thing that I feared the most from the beginning. It is horrible. I hate it. There is no easy way around it. The thing that gets me through, is now I have gotten through what scared me the most, and I survived. There are no more unknowns for me, only the light at the end of the tunnel. I read a quote that helps me on a daily basis......"when your greatest fear comes to pass and you survive, you discover who you really are". Hugs to you Vicky. You will get through this, you are not alone. Linda

      2 comments
  • Bev Hollis Profile

    I am 2 years past first finding out I had BC. I have had chemotherapy, radio, 5 operations and am now on tomoxifen and zolidex. I am tired all the time, completely exhausted and I keep putting on weight. Has anyone else had this problem? X X

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 2 answers
    • Bev Hollis Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It's so hard, thank you for replying. I def had more energy when I was having treatment. Had a hospital appointment last week and they said I can stop having the zoladex injection, I'm hoping that will help me get back to normal x

      Comment
    • Lynnette Belt Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes I have been taking
      Arimidex since last May and I have gained 30 lbs am exhausted and cannot walk my mile and a half I used to walk every day, I had more energy during radiation!

      Comment
  • Lori S Profile

    For anyone who has finished chemo, how soon after did your taste return? And hair return?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      When I underwent chemo the first time...my hair began to grow back a few days before my last chemo treatment (Taxol). As for tasting my food. My last go round with two different chemo drugs gave me a platinum taste in my mouth. It's been almost 5 weeks & my food tastes better, although there are...

      more

      When I underwent chemo the first time...my hair began to grow back a few days before my last chemo treatment (Taxol). As for tasting my food. My last go round with two different chemo drugs gave me a platinum taste in my mouth. It's been almost 5 weeks & my food tastes better, although there are a few things that turn my stomach now. Like oily meats such as pepperoni, etc. Maybe it's because my boyfriend cooked so many Digiornos frozen pizzas when I was going through chemo. Lol. Can't even look at a 3 meat frozen pizza in the store without almost gagging! Lol

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I can't remember how long until I got my old taste for my two favorite things.... coffee and chocolate came back. I think it was pretty quickly.

      As for my hair, I completed chemo. in the first part of January and have a picture of me with my 60th birthday cake April 14th and my hair has grown...

      more

      I can't remember how long until I got my old taste for my two favorite things.... coffee and chocolate came back. I think it was pretty quickly.

      As for my hair, I completed chemo. in the first part of January and have a picture of me with my 60th birthday cake April 14th and my hair has grown out to a very short "buzz" cut. It just takes a while!!! I will be interested to hear more stories.

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Is it ok to travel (by plane.. Short flight) and stay in hotel 1 week after chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    about 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Ali is right check with your onc then have a great time. Do anything you feel good enough too.

      Comment
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I'm sure it's fine! All depends on how you feel. If youre worried about germs, bring a mask. White blood count is lowest 7-10 days after chemo. Ask your doc just in case. You deserve a trip!

      Comment

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