Tag Archives: Breast Cancer Survivor

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

Within 10 days of being diagnosed with DCIS breast cancer, Dina Sabra was off to Lenox Hill Long Island Jewish Hospital in the Upper East Side for a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Despite Dina’s Canadian citizenship and lack of insurance in the US, she chose to undergo her operation in the States because she would be treated much quicker as a patient paying out-of-pocket. Initially, the hospital wanted to keep Dina around for a few months before her operation, but they ended up being able to schedule her in three and a half weeks after her arrival. “I guess …

 

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, …

 

Fear of Recurrence

One of the challenges of being a breast cancer survivor is the fear of recurrence. It’s a strange fear for me at this point, more than four years out from the end of my treatment. I don’t look like a cancer survivor anymore, and most days I don’t feel like one. Most of my coworkers don’t even know I have been through cancer, and I would think that it would surprise them, given that I am just 33 years old. My breast cancer is no longer a regular topic of conversation among my family and friends. It just seems further …

 

Breast Cancer Misconceptions

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month fast approaching, I checked out the web for some misconceptions about breast cancer. It turns out there are many! Here are the top 10 from fellow breast cancer survivor, Sheryl Kraft, which can also be found here:
 
1. Breast pain is a symptom of breast cancer. That’s rarely the case; breast cancer, especially early breast cancer, usually does not cause pain and may exhibit no noticeable symptoms. Most aches, pains or tenderness can be attributed to things like fibrocystic breast changes and the rise and fall of hormones, or a benign fluid-filled sac (a cyst), which …

 

Yoga as Part of the Healing Process

One of the most helpful forms of stress relief for me throughout chemotherapy was taking up yoga. I was fortunate enough that the hospital where I was treated, Mass General, offered a free weekly yoga class for breast cancer patients only. It was a special low impact yoga and the instructor was a breast cancer survivor herself.
My mom and I went almost every week throughout the 14 weeks of my treatment. I got special permission for my mom to be able to take the class with me. It was her first exposure to yoga, and I was very new to …

 

New Hope for the Future of Breast Cancer Treatment

I read an article the other day about a new “Smart Bomb” cancer drug that seems to be helping with advanced breast cancers. It started me thinking about wonderful charities like Boston Bakes that raise so much money for breast cancer research. Even though there is still no cure for breast cancer, researchers learn more every day, treatments improve, and women’s chances of survival increase.
This particular form of treatment doesn’t lead to hair loss or vomiting, like the traditional chemotherapy can. I think that is a great breakthrough, as well as the best part which is increase in the length …

 

SurvivingTriple Negative Breast Cancer

Patricia Prijatel is a triple-negative breast cancer survivor. She featured the following excerpt from her book which is soon to be published in this guest post. Patricia is an award-winning teacher and writer known for both her insight and her humor.
In her words…Triple-negative breast cancer has caught the attention of major researchers throughout the world, which is a great thing—it means that we are learning more and more about how to prevent and treat this illness. The downside of the research popularity is that the media and medical journals have developed depressing and frightening catch phrases for it, such as …

 

It’s Not About the Hair!

This guest post is about Debra Jarvis, an oncology chaplain and breast cancer survivor. The post is in Debra’s own words, taken from the Introduction in her book, It’s Not About the Hair: And Other Certainties of Life and Cancer.
I am the general oncology outpatient chaplain at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). I see patients who are receiving chemotherapy, getting radiation, having their blood drawn, or waiting to see their oncologists.
I was in my fourth year at the SCCA when I received the upsetting news that my mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer. However, I didn’t have much …

 

Tamoxifen…A Five -Year Trip

Following my lumpectomy and radiation for my first cancer, my oncologist was so happy to tell me that my tumor was estrogen positive and I could take Tamoxifen to help prevent a recurrence. He made it sound like I had won the lottery. “Just take one pill a day for five years,” he said. After what I had been through in the previous six months, taking  a pill a day seemed like a walk in the park.
When I returned for my three-month check up I was five pounds heavier and had a spare tire of fat forming around my midriff. …

 

Cancer tests your mettle, management consultant discovers: Karen’s story

After receiving her diagnosis and undergoing a lumpectomy near her home in Maryland, breast cancer survivor and management consultant Karen Webster searched the Internet to find the right cancer center and oncologist for her follow-up care. She wanted more than a traditional approach and settled on Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and its breast cancer specialist Eric Winer, MD — 750 miles away.
“Something about his write-up appealed to me,” recalls Webster. “In addition to offering the very best treatments, he also seemed focused on quality of life. I knew immediately that he was my guy. So I got an appointment …