It’s another beautiful year. The response to the 2000 calendar for Sisters’ Journey was overwhelming. Never before have so many among us revealed their inner feelings about dealing with breast cancer. Different faces, both familiar and not so well known, heralded new months for another year of life and the triumphs of good health care and the love of family and friends. The word about the value of monthly self-breast examinations and regular medical attention spread to all who gaze upon the portraits and essays.
You see, that is what this calendar is all about. Women of color are needlessly suffering the physical and emotional anguish that breast cancer brings to them and their families. For most, early detection is the key to successful treatment. Monthly breast examinations, check-ups, and mammograms are the tools to use. We must take advantage of these tools. We must not fear the consequences. We can win. The stories of those who have addressed this disease prove the value of facing the situation.
As we embark on another year and the second adventure into publishing a 2001 calendar, I look back, with happy feelings of success. On the dawn of another year of life, we are all blessed. Whether we battle with crucial decisions about our health or whether we are enjoying another time of freedom from Cancer, we are together.
I thank each and every one who has helped, once again, with this project. Materially, the calendar has brought a monetary contribution to the Connecticut Chapter for the American Cancer Society. That organization not only provides some of the valuable research but also conducts a rigorous campaign of advocacy so that all can understand the significance of the battle. However, and perhaps more importantly, making a calendar has highlighted the strengths of my sisters, women who have faced and defeated breast cancer I share their triumphs each and every year.
Linda White Epps- Founder
I was born in New Haven, but now I live in Lanham, Maryland. I discovered a lump in my breast while doing self-examination in January 1982. After further testing and consultations, I had a radical mastectomy in May 1982 and I underwent nine months of chemotherapy.
While lying in bed one night, I just happened to run my hand across my chest and I discovered a lump on my right breast. I called the clinic. They told me to wait until the surgical clinic opened on Wednesday.
My surgery was a success. I did not have to have chemotherapy or radiation. With the support of my family, I am doing great. I am glad I found the lump when I did.
I had been performing self-exams regularly and continued to notice a tender area in my right breast. During several visits to my doctor, needle aspirations were performed. I was assured that everything looked fine.
What a way to start the millennium! The middle of January 2000 came and I got the biggest surprise of my life. It all really started in September 1999 with my usual mammogram. Having had about five or six x-rays, I was then told to return the next day for additional x-rays.
The year 1987 was traumatic for me, because my mother, Lillian Pollard, died on January 10. In the latter part of May, I found a lump in my right breast by self-examination. My primary care physician gave me an appointment immediately.
At the time of my breast cancer, I was a widow with three grown children. Before my husband died, there was always a houseful of foster children in addition to my own.
On May 30, 2000 I had an appointment at the Yale Sports Center on Long Wharf for a previous shoulder operation. While there, I started having pains in my chest and back. I am also a heart patient. I’ve had three heart surgeries in the past.
I had cancer in the year of 1993. I was at work when I got the pain and I called my doctor and he said I must come into the office. I did and he performed a biopsy. He told me to go home. He called to tell me I had cancer the same day.
I found out that I had Cancer when I went for my yearly physical, which includes a mammogram. That is when a lump was discovered in my right breast. An ultrasound was ordered to verify the finding. When it was verified I was devastated.
Within a few days, I had a mammogram, which clearly indicated a growth that was about two centimeters in size. After being examined and consulted by my ob-gyn and a highly recommended surgeon, I underwent a stereotactic biopsy.
I am thankful for the love and support of my family and I give the highest thanks to my God who has helped pull me through this.