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Surviving Breast Cancer: Observations from Barb Scanlon

Surviving Breast Cancer: Observations from Barb Scanlon

All of us are survivors in some way, but we think of surviving cancer as being more difficult. Experts tell you that if you go ten years without a reoccurrence ofbarbscanlonframe.jpg cancer then you are really a true survivor. Well, I went ten years and then the rascal showed up again. What I have gained from this experience is that every day without treatment should be added to your tally of survivor days, something like accumulating points in life.

These points should make you so grateful that you can quit worrying about reaching some special milestone like six months, or ten years. That doesn't really mean anything. What's important is that you live each day. You will hear people say, "He lost his life to cancer," and this is true of someone who focused so much on their illness that they quit living the days that breast cancer survivor.jpgthey have left in this world. None of us know when our time will be up in this world. Do something good, be someone special, help others, and love. I saw this little message on the Internet and thought it was a wonderful way to live. Aspire to inspire, before you expire.

I remember when I was first diagnosed. I thought the doctor must be wrong. How could this be? I was only 45 years old, not a smoker, no alcohol use, and I had a daughter. They say that childbirth reduces your risk of breast cancer. My first visit to the surgeon was horrible. I decided to get another opinion and went to Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh. Trusting in my doctor and the care I received in Pittsburgh made a big difference in my own mental prognosis. I was starting to believe that I would be all right.bcpinkribbon.jpg

I can remember that my first prayer was please let me see my daughter graduate from West Virginia Wesleyan. The time passed quickly, and then I sent another  prayer request. God, I'd love to see my daughter married. In 2001, my breast cancer reoccurred. I thought at first that I was really in big trouble now. Why would it have come back? I soon felt that if I beat it once, I could surely do it again. I now had two granddaughters, and it started all over again. God, I'm not ready to leave, I want to see the girls, graduate from college, and I want to share in their adult lives. In 2007, we were blessed with a grandson, and I want to be here when he is a husband and father.

The cancer experience makes you realize what is important in life. It makes you a much stronger person.

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