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Survivor Stories

In June of 2014, Noreen decided to get a mammogram before her insurance ran out. As it was, her mammogram came back suspicious. Noreen insisted her doctor do further testing and an ultrasound revealed an 8mm tumor.

After a biopsy was completed, Noreen had a partial mastectomy in July of 2014. During the first partial mastectomy, the doctors found a second tumor. Doctors told her that they needed to remove the right breast. Realizing that breast cancer runs in her family, Noreen decided to proceed with another surgery, bilateral mastectomy. After surgery, doctors told her they had found multiple pre-cancerous tumors. Noreen knew she had made the right decision concerning her surgery.

All of this happened rather quickly - over 3 month’s time...and all because "I decided to get a mammogram before my insurance ended."

My journey with God started on 9/11/2008 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I only asked God to help me get through it with grace, dignity and a good attitude. There was no place for self-pity. I had chemo-therapy and radiation. I contracted a staph infection, and pneumonia twice. At all times, I felt God's presence. There were tears and fears, but also laughter. I was blessed with lots of support from co-workers (3 shaved their heads for me), family, and friends. The staff from the cancer center were great. But mostly my support came from my total reliance in God. Today, I am a grateful survivor that is ready to give back to others. -Elba

Co-survivor - In Jan. '09 while Marcy was in the recovery room, the doctor waited for me to give his prognosis. I was devastated to hear the news. We knew further surgeries, aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments would be necessary for the best chances for Marcy making a full recovery. Marcy had always had a strong positive outlook on life, but it was even more apparent in the impending months to come.

Being uncertain of the future, I educated myself as much as possible…reading brochures, articles, and searching the internet for information and treatments of Marcy’s cancer. We talked about the hair loss, the nausea, the weight gain, the exhaustion, etc. and we prepared ourselves knowing the several months of treatment would wear on Marcy’s body and mind. I knew it was just as important for me to have a positive attitude and to remain strong and confident that she would come through this ordeal. We leaned on each other, as we have done for many years. I knew I wanted to support her any way that I could. Marcy is a 'fighter'. Through it all, we both maintained a strong, positive attitude, which we believe attributed to Marcy’s on-going recovery.  -Marvin

On January 17, 2008, our world changed. The message she left was “we really haven’t been close lately, but I really need a friend”. I could tell from her voice that something big was wrong. How can we expect for the conversation to start besides being like ripping off a band‐aide. Her voice was so distraught when she said "I have breast cancer and its stage 3". You could have knocked me over with a feather. I did not know what to say, much less what to do.

I did not know what to expect when I stopped at Marcy’s that night with my box of Kleenex. I was quickly put at ease by the best there is! We talked more than we cried.

Cancer is SOOOO scary and I don’t figure that I will ever meet anyone that is as positive and open as Marcy. From the first day with the Kleenex she made me feel that everything would be okay. My mind was going 90 miles an hour and I am positive that hers was worse, but as always, she made the people around her feel like it was okay. Anyone who knows Marcy will know that this is her personality. I don’t know what it is about cancer that makes people fear talking about it. I can’t tell you how many people ask me questions about how Marcy is doing that won’t ask her direct. I usually try to let them know what I know, but I am no medical expert in any way, shape or form, and I try to tell them that it is okay to bring it up with her. I have watched Marcy battle every hurdle the past year and barely waiver. I know for me it was a life altering/growing experience and I can’t imagine not being involved. It was not easy for me but I knew that what Marcy was experiencing was much worse and it was more important to do what little I could then to stand by and watch from the outside.

Reba McIntire's song says it best…"Let your heart lead the way"….ie: None of us are experts at this, so it's OKAY if we step in the DoDo… -IQ

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