Friends, It’s Another Beautiful Year!
We are celebrating the lives of 13 more Breast Cancer survivors – 13 more ambassadors ready to spread the word in the African American community that with early diagnosis and treatment you can increase your chances of survival. Our hopes are that their courageous storytelling will inspire so many to schedule yearly mammograms and perform monthly self-breast exams.
While we celebrate lives extended we need to take a moment and reflect on the lives lost: Beverly Hilton Kimbro, Arabella “DeeDee” Pina, and Yvonne Cooper-Watson. We will be forever grateful to them for bravely sharing their stories with us, stories that empower others to share as well. Yvonne, in particular, not only shared her own personal story but also was a pioneer in our journey of helping so many who were fighting their own battle with cancer. We will miss our friend who not only encouraged those with cancer but also encouraged those of us who worked with her side by side. Our condolences go out to all the families and we hope they can find comfort in knowing that their loved ones helped so many.
This year, we also are saluting a Breast Cancer survivor who turned 100 in October. This special person happens to be my Aunt, Vivienne West Brown. She is proof that early detection and prompt treatment is the key to saving lives. Although my family is aware of three generations of breast cancer, we may never know like so many other families of incidences of generations’ prior. Through it all, we have learned how very important it is that we know our family’s medical history, are educated on this subject and are proactive in our own health care.
Making a calendar has highlighted the strengths of our sisters and women who have faced and defeated breast cancer. We share your triumphs each and every day. Again, thank you for your continued support throughout the year. We would not have been able to continue without you.
Phyllis W. White
In October 2005, I went to have an annual mammogram. I received a letter and a phone call from my primary physician, Dr. Kumar, suggesting that I should have further testing performed on my right breast.
I was sent for a routine mammogram and to my surprise there had not been one documented on my records since 2001. I had somehow fallen through the system.
On January 8, 2007, I received a called from the Radiology Group and Dr. Shoshanna Zax that I needed to come in for additional testing of my left breast. I was scheduled for a biopsy on February 15, 2007.
My journey began while on vacation in Germany. I discovered a lump in my left breast. It was removed and I received radiation treatment.
Two days after my mammogram, Dr. Richard Barse, my primary care physician, called and asked me to come to his office for a biopsy. Two days after my biopsy, Dr. Barse called me at my job and asked me to come in as soon as possible.
Yes, after enduring two (2) biopsies, a mastectomy, and radiation therapy while under the excellent care of Saint Raphael Hospital, I found the courage to approach the battle for my life with a positive attitude.
In the year 2001, I was hospitalized for gall bladder surgery. I had mentioned to my nurse of a lump in my breast and was concerned because I had lost a considerable amount of weight.
Crystal’s story began in 1992 when she went for a mammogram because of the hormonal therapy she was receiving. Her test results showed abnormalities which lead to her having a biopsy of her right breast.
On April 12, 2004 I had a mastectomy of the right breast. My surgeon scheduled me for the regular return visits, and informed me that everything was going quite well (or so I thought).
I went to see my oncologist for the OK to return to work but those were not the words I heard. I heard instead that they were unable to clear all the cancer.
On December 30, 2005, I went in for my annual mammogram. I have always done self exams and have never felt or discovered anything unusual. During the examination a shadow showed up on the x-ray.
In October of 2003 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. A wife and mother of two teenage daughters, I had absolutely no warning, no lump, no symptoms, no family history!
I was then contacted by my doctors and they recommended a biopsy to analyze the cells. The results were that I had cancer of the right breast.