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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

  • Mimi Carroll Profile

    How many doses is a year worth of Herceptin? If you had to take a break and interrupted treatment did you have to start year over? Did you have weekly or 21 day dose?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I got my herceptin at first with the chemo every three weeks for 5 treatments n then every three months for another 7 a total of one year. I was not given an option to interrupt treatment unless of course it affected my heart.

      Comment
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I meant every THREE WEEKS, not months

      Comment
  • kim sosa Profile

    I'm starting chemo tomorrow what are things that I should eat/drink and what should I stay away from? Any advise for chemo would be great! Very nervous about putting these drugs in my system but it is going to get me better.

    Asked by anonymous

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

      I was told to avoid spicy food and I learned why...my senses were magnified do things were super hot!! Check with your onc, b/c I've read that while on certain chemo drugs, one shouldn't eat fresh fruit/veggies. I could, but I remember worrying about it. Drink lots of fluids before during and...

      more

      I was told to avoid spicy food and I learned why...my senses were magnified do things were super hot!! Check with your onc, b/c I've read that while on certain chemo drugs, one shouldn't eat fresh fruit/veggies. I could, but I remember worrying about it. Drink lots of fluids before during and after to flush it out as quickly as possible! Watermelon and grapes were my savior. I also stomached band foods...plain whole wheat pasta sometimes with basic sauce and a bland cheese. Crackers with cream cheese were also good! Yogurt is another. I ate Greek bc it has protein and it was really good when I didn't feel well. Best wishes

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Hi Kim, the most important thing is to stay hydrated. My taste was altered and I craved greens and ate tons of spinach, and salads. I think the warning about produce would be the fear they might be contaminated with E-coli, salmonella, or something equally as nasty. You could get really sick...

      more

      Hi Kim, the most important thing is to stay hydrated. My taste was altered and I craved greens and ate tons of spinach, and salads. I think the warning about produce would be the fear they might be contaminated with E-coli, salmonella, or something equally as nasty. You could get really sick from something like that even if you weren't on chemo! There are well publicized outbreaks of these things occasionally but you would also get that from meat or cantalope, anything could have a contamination these days. I think it would be 10 times more difficult if your immune system was not functioning properly. I ate the salads that were pre-washed and never had any problem. It was just one of the few things I really wanted to eat. If at all possible, I think a well balanced diet that included fruits vegies, is especially important. Like anonymous, I never became sick at all. I took a drug called "Emend" and I was fine. As I said.... unfortunately, my taste was messed up by the chemo and I just lost my taste for different foods. I think you just have to see how you react. Put the best food you can into your body. I also never had a drop in my blood count, luckily, it always stayed in the --normal-- range. Hang in there, Kim!

      Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I Have stage 4 breast cancer that has spreaded to my liver, anyone else with the same problem

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Tamara Davidson Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I'm 31 stage 4 with small met to lung and in remission,, don't know how long I'll stay in remission but I wake every morning and give thanks to the man upstairs that he has showed me how to humble myself and appreciate every day as a gift,,,good luck and I wish blessing upon you through out your...

      more

      I'm 31 stage 4 with small met to lung and in remission,, don't know how long I'll stay in remission but I wake every morning and give thanks to the man upstairs that he has showed me how to humble myself and appreciate every day as a gift,,,good luck and I wish blessing upon you through out your journey ,,, peace to you my friend:)

      1 comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      You are NOT alone. There are many diagnosis of the same or similar and you march through treatment like a warrior. Mets, in breast cancer is not --the end-- it's just a more involved treatment. I have heard of so many women where it's treated like a chronic disease. There are going to be...

      more

      You are NOT alone. There are many diagnosis of the same or similar and you march through treatment like a warrior. Mets, in breast cancer is not --the end-- it's just a more involved treatment. I have heard of so many women where it's treated like a chronic disease. There are going to be some women who read what I am writing and poo-poo me for putting a happy spin on this. It does no good to look at, and feel negative. The thing I feel is a most valuable part of treatment is that of hope. When I was going through treatment, my dear friend was a nurse who worked in a breast diagnostic clinic. She gave me the best treatment, hope and positive thoughts. I try to pass along what she gave me to others. I am not saying this isn't a tough battle, I am just saying to put on those big girl panties and put your head in the wind and be a warrior. Hang in there darlin' Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
  • Liza powell Profile

    I had my first dose of chemo and 4 days later i feel so horrible and helpless , is there any advice anyone can suggest to feeling better

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 7 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Liza I'm sorry your feeling so bad. It would hit me worst on day four as well. Drink lots of water to flush out the chemo. Eat what you can. Take your nausea or pain meds. Easier to take it away than to treat it. If you can go for a little walk, even if its around your yard, do so, it may make...

      more

      Liza I'm sorry your feeling so bad. It would hit me worst on day four as well. Drink lots of water to flush out the chemo. Eat what you can. Take your nausea or pain meds. Easier to take it away than to treat it. If you can go for a little walk, even if its around your yard, do so, it may make you feel better. Listen to your body & nap if needed. You've been thru a lot. Hang in there, it gets better. Prayers to you.

      2 comments
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi Liza, I did not have to go through chemo but I just wanted to say I will be praying for you. Hang in there. Lots of love and hugs to you sister.

      1 comment

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