Category Archives: Breast Cancer Stories

Dana-Farber Patient Stays Positive Through Metastatic Breast Cancer

At 29 years old, Adriana, 38, of Massachusetts, was diagnosed with metastatic (stage four) breast cancer after noticing a lump in her breast and feeling some “strange symptoms.” Only three months after a move across the country, Adriana was told her best bet would be to move back home for her treatment. “I talked to some doctors down in Florida, and they said to me, ‘You’re not going to get good care down here, if you’re from Massachusetts, go back to Dana-Farber’” said Adriana. “Within a few months, I had moved to Florida, packed up my bags and went back …

 

Rania Samaha: Mother, Caretaker, Patient

If you read about Dina Sabra’s experience with breast cancer, I’m sure you remember her cousin and caretaker, Rania Samaha. Like Dina, breast cancer has played a huge role in Rania’s life. 
Rania As a Caretaker
Rania, is a caretaker to the maximum extent of the word. As a 9 year old, Rania was giving her diabetic mother diabetes shots and joined her mother in every hospital room her mother has ever been in. As a newlywed, Rania took in her father-in-law and looked after him until he passed of colon cancer 3 years later. As a 33 year old, Rania dropped …

 

Share Your Story: Dina Sabra (Part 1/2)

“In my mind, it was always a matter of, not if but, when,” said Dina Sabra, Canadian-Egyptian breast cancer survivor. With breast cancer making an appearance in her maternal family history for over three consecutive generations, Dina knew breast cancer would be an unwelcome visitor in her life one day; however, she didn’t expect the visit to come so soon. Dina’s grandmother, mother and aunt all battled breast cancer post-menopause, prompting Dina’s shock when her battle came at age 36. 
As a result of her family’s relationship with breast cancer, Dina routinely visited a breast specialist in Dubai, UAE, where she, …

 

Living with stage IV male breast cancer: Michael Selsman’s story

Michael Selsman with wife Kara and sons Adam and Jacob at Dana-Farber’s annual Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week event
When Michael Selsman came home from his morning jog two years ago, he noticed a lump on his chest. It was strange, because he’d never seen it before, but he figured it was probably just an irritation. A couple of weeks passed, and the lump grew larger. So Michael made an appointment with his doctor. The results were surprising — stage IV breast cancer.
“I was shocked. I’d never heard of men getting breast cancer. It took me a while to even drag …

 

Can Women Get More Than One Lumpectomy?

For many women with localized breast cancer, a lumpectomy followed by breast radiation therapy may be the most effective treatment, with survival rates equal to a mastectomy. But if the cancer comes back, can women have additional lumpectomies?
Women should not have a second lumpectomy in the same breast if they were previously
Mehra Golshan, MD, FACS, director of Breast Surgical Services with the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber, meets with patients to customize breast surgery approaches.
treated with a lumpectomy and radiation, says Mehra Golshan, MD, FACS, director of Breast Surgical Services at the Susan F. Smith Center …

 

Dana-Farber team helps teacher find inner strength during breast cancer fight

Before a diagnosis of breast cancer, a double mastectomy, and months of grueling treatment, fifth-grader teacher and mom Colleen Sullivan “never, ever” would have described herself as strong or envisioned a classroom full of 10-year-olds clapping as she removed her wig. But Colleen’s journey fighting cancer at Dana-Farber has given her a new perspective of herself—and on life.
“Life is a gift,” she says. “I now understand the idea of stopping to smell the roses.”
Colleen was diagnosed after her primary care doctor found a lump during an annual physical. Within days, tests confirmed that she had invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). As …

 

Despite Metastatic Breast Cancer, Foster Mom Continues Opening Her Home

Lise Pass has been living with metastatic breast cancer for nearly a decade, but she prefers focusing not on her disease, but rather on her children – all 48 of them.
Lise (left) and Sami Pass with the family’s latest foster son.
In addition to a biological son and daughter who are now adults, Pass and her husband Harry have been foster parents to 46 boys and girls.
The way Pass sees it, being a foster mom has played as big a part in her getting through cancer treatment at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber.
“You have to empower …

 

Patriots BCA game holds a special place in Bakes4BC volunteer’s heart

 
After four years cheering for the New England Patriots I still get the same excited, giddy, anxious feeling before every game. Each game is special and I feel lucky to be a part of every one. But, there is one game in October that holds a special place in my heart.
Every October the NFL goes pink to support breast cancer awareness. Each team dedicates one game during breast cancer awareness month to call attention to the disease in hopes of promoting early detection. The result of this game is a powerful visual. Players, coaches, stadium staff and cheerleaders dress in …

 

Themed Chemo Visits Help Breast Cancer Patient Cope with Treatment

Cancer treatment is never fun, but Cheryl St. Onge figures if she has to go through it, she’s doing it with style — and smiles.
Each time the breast cancer patient arrives at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center at Milford Regional Medical Center for her infusion visit, she wears a different themed outfit. One time she was a cowgirl with boots, hat, and a fringed vest; another time she came ready for a Hawaiian luau with the appropriate loud shirt and lei. Last month she was a nurse in scrubs.
Susan and Rita on “Margaritaville Day” (That’s a sports drink margarita)
Cheryl and …

 

Peter Devereaux Last Blog: Time to get caught up with Peter

This was the last blog Peter Devereaux sent to us last month.  It is with heavy hearts we share Peter’s last blog again in light of his recent passing at the age of 52 from male breast cancer. 
For us, Peter was a beacon of light and an inspiration to anyone who had the wonderful opportunity to know and meet him.  For me, meeting Peter was indeed a special gift I will hold in my heart forever.
Peter was a true fighter both in the ring and out of the ring;  a hero who not only served his country bravely but …