I was 49, the mother of 8 children, age range 21 to 6, when I Was diagnosed with a 2.5 cm lump. Mammogram did not show anything specific. The MRI did. Two surgeries within a week. Chemo for 6 months and radiotherapy for 6 months. No prior symptoms: I had breast fed all my children, no cancers in the family, I felt pretty safe on that end. It just came out of the blue! I was determined to survive and I can still remember the anger, the disbelief. It changes a lot things when you realize that your life could just be taken away. For a long time I could not project myself into a distant future. All my energy was focused on the fight and maintaining life as usual. My partner was not much help, emotionally swamped and rejecting. When the treatment ended I felt like an abandoned child wondering if it was really over. Fortunately that did not last long. Real life rapidly took over and I felt FREE as never before in my life. Breast cancer enhanced my potential: I feel free, strong and can't be bothered with petty things. Life is highly valuable!
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