There is power in stories. For 2004, Sisters’ Journey presents in this our fifth calendar the stories of 13 more phenomenal women – 13 because, for the first time, our survivors include a set of twins. They join others, spreading assurance to women all over that you can survive breast cancer. Our journeys might be just a bit different, but we walk together down life’s highway together.
Sisters’ Journey is proud to celebrate five years of accomplishment. Members of this group have participated in many activities sponsored by the American Cancer Society. There have been moments of advocacy in Washington. The trips to conferences provided information about recent research and growing relations with people across the country.
The organization known as Sisters’ Journey has distributed more than 5,000 calendars across the country. The annual Pink Teas attracted audiences of nearly 400 on the last Sunday in October over the years. Through Sisters’ Journey’s work, women of color have relaxed a boundary and joined support groups throughout the region. Our own support group not only meets monthly but also provides the collective energy that pushes us all forward. A history of five years is a celebration of survival. And the journey continues.
In addition to all of this, Sisters’ Journey is now looking forward to sharing more through a newsletter and a telephone line. Materials in a multi-media library are being gathered to lend one more educational mechanism. Increased activity with several national groups will provide continuing education and better understanding. Adding a family event to the list of annual events will allow attention to caregivers and family who are so important to recovery.
As we move along, turn the pages of this calendar. Think about the words from the 13 women featured in this year’s issue. Examine the similarities and differences in their journeys. Turn to this calendar and the work of Sisters’ Journey for guidance on unknown routes. Understand that you are not alone. Look to others to find strength.
Linda White Epps– Founder
In 1980, during a self-examination, I felt a lump in my breast. My first reaction was shock, anger, and fear. I thought this was the end because I lost my mother to cancer.
In June of 1994, I had a benign lumpectomy performed on my right breast. During my annual mammogram in October 2000, I knew something was wrong.
Cancer was detected on my left breast in 2001. I never felt any pain. One day, I felt a small ball. Having a ultra sound and a mammogram, the doctors did not find anything. I insisted on having the calcium lump removed.
I am a 15 year breast cancer survivor. I reside in North Haven, Connecticut and have been married to my husband, Bill, for 41 years.
In August of 2001, I surprisingly noticed a lump in my breast, while I was visiting my mother. After returning home, I instantly called my doctor.
In August of 2000, I went for a routine mammogram and was shocked to learn that a lump had been detected in my right breast.
In September 1999. I went to my medical doctor for my yearly physical examination. During this exam, he discovered a small lump in my left breast.
December 23 1990, on my 50th birthday, I went to my Gynecologist, Dr. John Haley for my annual examination. I had not been performing self examinations of my breasts. A lump was discovered in my right breast.
I showered and checked myself. Was that a lump I felt? It seemed different from the rest of my breast, but I thought maybe it was just me. I checked myself as I laid down in bed, became concerned and made a mental note to speak to my doctor about it.
My journey began in July 1995 when I went for my yearly physical and mammogram. A lump was discovered in my right breast. I was devastated when I first learned of my diagnosis.
I had just returned to work after a left total hip replacement and anticipating having to do the same with my right hip in the not to distant future, when after an abnormal mammogram and subsequent biopsy, I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer.
I was 37, scared and frightened. I knew that the decisions I had to make would be very important ones.