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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    I was just diagnosed with estrogen testosterone+ breast cancr. What can you tell me about?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Mary,
      Simply... it means your cancer feeds off of hormones. Did you get your Her2 status.... is it + or -
      After treatment, you will probably be prescribed a hormone blocking drug. I was ER+ PR+
      Her2- After my treatment, I was prescribed a hormone blocking drug to take for 5 years.
      If you are...

      more

      Mary,
      Simply... it means your cancer feeds off of hormones. Did you get your Her2 status.... is it + or -
      After treatment, you will probably be prescribed a hormone blocking drug. I was ER+ PR+
      Her2- After my treatment, I was prescribed a hormone blocking drug to take for 5 years.
      If you are premenopausal it will be Tamoxifin. If you are post menopausal, it will be a drug like Letrozole.
      Your treatment depends on what type of breast cancer you have, what stage, and what grade. Treatment will consist of a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone treatment. I had surgery, chemotherapy and hormone treatment. There is not a one standard treatment for all breast cancers. The treatments are "targeted" depending on many factors. That's why we can't tell you what you are going to have. You will have a bunch of tests CAT scan, bone scan, MRI, PET Scan, etc. Not all of them, but some of those.
      You can learn a lot right on this site. Keep in touch with us. We have all "been there, done that" and are living good lives. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Do you mean estrogen-progesterone+ breast cancer? Testosterone is found in males not females. What has your doctor told you? Since I was estrogen/progesterone+ after my surgery and treatments I'm taking an Estrogen blocker. They vary depending on if you're pre or post menopausal. Other parts...

      more

      Do you mean estrogen-progesterone+ breast cancer? Testosterone is found in males not females. What has your doctor told you? Since I was estrogen/progesterone+ after my surgery and treatments I'm taking an Estrogen blocker. They vary depending on if you're pre or post menopausal. Other parts of the body can produce estrogen besides ovaries.

      3 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    Does anyone have advice? I'm having back spasms while taking Zometa and Faslodex. I have Stage 4 cancer that went to the bones and it hurts like crazy.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Doreen Finley Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had the same problem. Turned out I had a fracture in my spine. One of the tumors burst and caused the fracture. I thought I was in pain from sleeping on my old mattress. The MRI caught it. There are several treatment options if that is the case.

      Comment
    • Mona Callender Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes honey call your doctor and get pain pills.....no sense in being in pain. God Bless you...

      Comment
  • teresa clark Profile

    Fatigue but no nausea/vomiting for my first chemo treatment!! Can I expect the experience to stay that way?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      The steroids kept me feeling pretty good for the first 2-3 days after treatment and then I'd start to feel cruddy. I never actually vomited (well, ok, I did twice, but it was random and I wasn't even feeling that bad at the time!). Mostly I just felt like a constant nagging queasiness, never...

      more

      The steroids kept me feeling pretty good for the first 2-3 days after treatment and then I'd start to feel cruddy. I never actually vomited (well, ok, I did twice, but it was random and I wasn't even feeling that bad at the time!). Mostly I just felt like a constant nagging queasiness, never really like a full-on nausea, if you know what I mean. Good luck!! And keep up the positive attitude!!! I swear, it makes a world of difference to just convince yourself that you feel ok (even when you really don't ;)

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Teresa,
      It is difficult to predict how anyone will feel. I felt as you do, fatigue and no nausea. If you go back to work, be SURE to be aware your immune system is compromised. I don't know how much exposure you have with the public but become a bit of a "germaphobic" while you are going...

      more

      Teresa,
      It is difficult to predict how anyone will feel. I felt as you do, fatigue and no nausea. If you go back to work, be SURE to be aware your immune system is compromised. I don't know how much exposure you have with the public but become a bit of a "germaphobic" while you are going through treatment. Wash your hands often, and don't be touching your eyes, nose, mouth, face. This is a serious flu that is going around. You do not need to pick it up! Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
  • Libby B Profile

    My mother has breast cancer and is about to start chemo, she will be receiving treatment once every three weeks, because her treatments are spread out is there less of a chance for bad side effects; nausea, hair loss, etc.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 2 answers
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Most treatments are three weeks apart. Everyone reacts different to chemotherapy. I lost my hair quickly, after 2nd treatment, it was starting to fall out, so I had it shaved and walked out with my wig. The side effects, if she gets them, will happen regardlessnif the treatments are three weeks...

      more

      Most treatments are three weeks apart. Everyone reacts different to chemotherapy. I lost my hair quickly, after 2nd treatment, it was starting to fall out, so I had it shaved and walked out with my wig. The side effects, if she gets them, will happen regardlessnif the treatments are three weeks apart. Mine were bad but by the end of second week in felt better for about a week n then another treatment! It is hard but we all get through it. Good luck to ur family

      2 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      This was the same rotation I was on. Her hair will start falling out approximately 2 weeks after her first treatment. As for other side effects, it is individual with each patient. There are excellent drugs for nausea. I never had one day of nausea BUT my sense of taste changed. I craved...

      more

      This was the same rotation I was on. Her hair will start falling out approximately 2 weeks after her first treatment. As for other side effects, it is individual with each patient. There are excellent drugs for nausea. I never had one day of nausea BUT my sense of taste changed. I craved salads, and spinach....go figure! I could not stand the taste of my two favorites.... coffee and chocolate! Some people describe their sense of smell also changes. Certain aroma's become intolerable. These are all temporary. It all returns to normal after the chemo ceases. The first few days after my treatments, I describe it as feeling like I had the flu. I was weak, and tired. Within a week, I would start to feel better and return to my normal self. Your mom's immune system will be compromised and she should be extremely careful about being around anyone with a cold or flu. Have her wash her hands frequently. I had a sign on my door that asked people with cold, flu, sore throat to not enter.
      It seems the 3 week schedule has more to do with letting your body recovered from the treatments, and have your blood levels hopefully return to normal. I had injections of Neulasta the day after my treatments. I also took a drug called "Emend" for nausea.
      While she is without hair, lots of woman wear great looking scarves, or cute wigs. I chose to "GO COMMANDO" and embrace my "baldness". I would wear a hat only to keep my head warm. It is all up to her what she is comfortable with. You are very loving to help support her through this trying time. Hang in there!

      Comment

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