Breast Cancer Stories Continued
Men Get Breast Cancer Too! Victor Martinez that works for the El Paso Times wrote his own story on how he got breast cancer. Check it out at:
Peggy Anderson's Story: "I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 after feeling a lump, and my doctor felt this same lump.
I had an analog mamogram and clinic breast exam, and the technican told me to go home and put tape on the lump to see if it grows. My Birad Score was 0, normal. My doctor sent me to have an ultrasound on my breast. The technican did half an ultraound, as she was tired. I went home frustrated, and my doctor call me on 5/21/04. She sent me back with explicit instructions for a complete ultrasound on my breast. I know now how important it is to trust your gut instinct and to know your body.
Roma, a different technican gave me a full ultrasound, and I had a biopsy on 6/11/04 with Dr. Hoyer at the same appointment. They were both wonderful.
I got a call about my biopsy results. I was given the stage score of 1 by the pathologist, who misdiagnoised me.
An MRI (for women with dense breasts) was schedule in June that picked up the breast cancer under my arm. Now if I was to have a sentinel node biopsy or two nodes removed in July, I would have mestastic breast cancer. I am glad that I had the MRI. The tumor under my arm was 1.5 with mestastic carcinoma and extradonal extensions. (I had 19 lymph nodes removed at the time of my first surgery in July.) I was also positive for estrogen and progesterone receptors and had a 2 plus on my Her2 neu that was sent to the Mayo clinic to be rested with the Fish test. I was glad my insurance paid for the re-testing. My treatment would of been different if this wouldn't of been done.
I had three surgeries in July of 2004, labeled lumpectomies and then a partial mastectomy, as they needed to get clear margins. My diagnosis was Stage 2a with a different pathologist. My diagnsois was invasive ductual carcinoma (even thought it didn't show up well on the analog mammogram, and they thought it was ductal). I also had 70% in situ that included cribriform, micropapillary, comedo necrosis types of the intermediate nuclear grade cells. I had 21 lymph nodes removed under the arm in which one was metastic around the edges, so I had radiation and extra radiation.
Later I had two more surgeries from lumps near my breast, and they were negative for cancer. I had five surgeries all together.
The hormone blocker I have been on is Armidex, an aromase inhibitor. I have been on it since the fall of 2004. I have bone infusions one time per year. I have some neurapathy, lymphedema and fibrosis. Higher radiation fields increase one's risk of lymphedema. The neurapthy and fibrosis are from radiation. The later from overlapping fields.
The Mayo Clinic has helped me to clarify my understanding of and the diagnosis after examing my records and slides as well. (Dr. Loni Neal). This doctor stresses how important it is to maintain a healthy weight. I cannot say enough good things about her. She actually referred me for sleep anpea, and I was diagnoised with it down there two years ago. (I had been untested after a referral in 2004 locally.)
I have had wonderful doctors at Essentia, Dr. Park Skinner (my exceptional surgeon for 5 surgeries) and Dr. Krook, my oncologist. Dr. Krook has since retired. He helped me to find humor and laugher through my cancer. I just loved him. Dr. Sande has been my oncolgist since Dr. Krook retired; he is super and is on top of his game. I like how detailed he is, as I am very much the same way. Patients love him. Dr. Ingrid Nisswandt Larsen remains my family physican and is is the best family physican because she REALLY listens to you. I cannot say enough about here. She is at a couple of clinics.
"I know as a multiple cancer survivor that facts speak for themselves. Mammograms that are analog pick up slow moving cancers and miss cancer in dense breasted women."
I actually beam when I hear breast cancer news about things similiar to what I wrote in my book in 2005. I wrote the breast cancer book, Dear Auntie, Why Me? to raise money for breast cancer through the SMDC Foundation, The Peggy and Jim Anderson Breast Cancer Fund to educate staff at the national level at conferences in the areas of breast cancer surgery, radiation, and oncology. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyp3BKFpBOI
Dragon boat racing has become one of my passions. I talked to Steve Johnson, CEO of SMDC, and he asked the Rotary to raise money for breast cancer through the dragon boat races. It turned out to be for breast health though. My passion became his as well. That's how all the dragon boat racing fundraising started. (I was on the Survivor Sistership team from 2005-2008. I remember the first year we raised money for the Red Cross and all of the following years it has been for breast health. I helped to start The Many Faces of Breast Cancer Teams, and we will have been in existence from 2009-2011. I am the energized bunny behind it.)
Last year I wrote the first chapter in a national dragon boat racing book called, Reaching for Life. I wrote the chapter called Hope is in Every Moment. All the copies for the first printing were sold in 3 days. It was published a second time, and they are considering a third publication. http://www.racedragonboats.com
I have about a 85 % cure rate for a recurrence of breast cancer according to my oncologist. I chose to not drink the red kool-aid or in other words not have chemo. It is not for everyone, and I believe in personalized, individualized treatments based on evidence. I am a patient who is high risk for thyroid cancer due to radiation to the neck as a baby, and I have multi-nodular goiter, one nodulal growing into the vocal cords and esophagus. No one said life would be perfect. We can always see others with more difficult roads that they are walking. I cannot complain.
Breast cancer runs in my father's side of the family. I had a cousin die of breast cancer in her 30's. I have a sister who had breast cancer. My grandmother was diagnoised in her 30's and died of metastic breast cancer. (See my book for further details.)
My husband is a prostate cancer survivor. Cancer touches everyones lives in some way or other. Jim deserves an award for supporting me 100% since 2004, after my diagnosis. He has been out there in the community participating with all his heart since 2004."
My Cancer Affiliations:
-In 2005 I became a member of The National Breast Cancer Coalition since. We go to Washington DC each year to lobby for the National Breast Cancer Coalition. One ask is for breast cancer research money for the major medical centers through The Department of Defense Breast Program. http://cdmrp.army.mil About 800 advocates attend each year.
-In 2007 I became a member of the American Association of Cancer Research after attending their first conference on Health Disparities. I was recommended by a local doctor.
-In 2005 I became an ACS CAN member. I was on the Relay for Life Committee for several years, participated in the event locally and nationally in the past.
-I became a member of The San Antonio Breast Cancer Coalition in 2008 after attending the conference. I can remember writing a paper about the long term effects of Tamoxifen that was published on an AVON CD. This morning as I lay in bed listening to the same results but with the addition of if you quit your 5 year treatment early you will get a recurrence. I recalled my taking pages of notes and recording all of the medical lectures.
-In 2005 I became involved with The MN Breast Cancer Coalition www.mnbcc.org and participated in The Breast Cancer Awareness Association since 2006 by attending, dropping off flyers about the event and sending out flyers, getting donations, and helping by working at registration in various years.
-I am been an active participant in Women Rock since 2004, obtaining donations for the event, having a table at the event, gathering breast cancer educational materials to be distributed, participating, getting volunteers, helping to get rockers, and much more as one of the three active committee members (Bonnie Nimmo and Christy Case Strohm). This event is sponsored by and put on my Charter Media and their staff volunteering their time and energy to this great cause. The staff are numerous through the years. We have raised over $180,000 for the local hospitals thus far through Charter Media.
-Many people know me from doing health fairs/craft shows. Others know me from being a speaker on the topic.
-I have been a volunteer for the MN Department of Health Sage Program for since 2005 getting volunteers for the Sage TV phone banks. This is something I do for the MN Breast Cancer Assocation, ACS, and The National Breast Cancer Coalition. I also put out flyers and send out brochures. There are many women who cannot afford a mammogram let alone treatment. We just need to find them in our communities.
-My husband and I have been community ed teachers through the University of Minnesota, Duluth, School of Pharmacy Program from 2006-2011. Each year we have 2-5 students that we meet with through the year. They learn about our medical history, our prescriptions, make recommendations, we give them our tons of insight as retired teachers will do, and they do a presentation at the end of the year for us as their final project. One of our very first pharmacy students is now a pharmacist doctor at Walgrens, and we are very proud of him. This is a great program at UMD.
-I started a fund called, Dogs Get Breast Cancer Too. It is for female puppies to get fixed before their first heat. We had a dog that got mammary cancer from not being fixed years ago. This fund is a Duluth fund at a local vets office for those who can't afford to fix their female puppies.
"My message is "Each Day is a Gift." My aunt gave me this cross that I have kept on my TV for years and it says: "What you are is God's gift to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God. " (She really liked this quote from Abbey Press.) There are wonderful people that come into my life all the time, and I know that what we are doing here at Circle of Hope, Inc. will really help the women in most need. Really caring for others is what it is all about." As Lao Tzu once said, " Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love." Joseph Addison once said, "Three grand essentials to happiness in life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."
If everyone has Hope, Faith, and Courage, they will ready for the next chapter in their life after a diagnosis of breast cancer.-Peggy Anderson
"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."-Martin Luther King, Jr.
"We walk by faith, not by sight.-2 Corinthians 5:7
"For everything there is a season."-Ecclesiastes 3:1
"Faith is like electricity. You can't see it but you can see the light."-Unknown
"Faith will sustain us during the toughest times in our lives."-Peggy Anderson
"Remember all things are possible for those who believe."-Gail Devers
"Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge in the light."-Helen Keller
"Have faith. God's care will carry you....so you can carry others."-Dr. Robert H. Schuller
"What Faith Can Do" by Alicia Castillo and song by Kutless, found on You Tube, buy from Amazon or look for it on pinkspired.
"Through the centuries, we faced down death by daring to Hope.-Maya Angelou
"Believe that problems do have answers, that they can be overcome, and that we can solve them."-Norman Vincent Peale
"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope. We have two options, medically and emotionally: Give up, or fight like hell."-Lance Armstrong
"When there is Hope, all dreams are possible."-Peggy Anderson
"Hope is not a dream but a way of making dreams become reality."-LS Suenens
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do."-Eleanor Roosevelt
"Keep Hope in Your Heart...Hope is the thing with feathers-That perches in the soul-and sings the tune without the words.-And never stops-at all"-Emily Dickinson
"He who does not hope to win has already lost."-Jose Joaquin
"Hope-is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out."-Vaslav Havel
"We so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed doors, that we do not see that which has opened for us."-Alexander Graham Bell
"Hope keeps us focused, keeps us steady, and calms our fears. It is a state of mind and being. The journey may be different but with hope we may travel a different road. It may come full circle from where we began because of our calling."-Peggy Anderson
"Life without hope has no meaning. Faith and Hope are intertwined, as we carry hope in our minds and hearts throughout our life. With hope we do not dwell on the past but look forward toward each tomorrow. It's important to have a hopeful spirit."-Peggy Anderson
"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've brought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my trouble are going to have troubles with me."-Dr. Seuss
"No matter what the statistics say there is always a way."-Bernie Siegel
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak: Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."-Winston Churchill
"Courage is being strong, caring for your bodily vessel that houses your heart, mind and body on this earthly presence."-Peggy Anderson
"Courage is a state of mind that reveals a positive attitude. It maintains a love for others, a belief in everything that is positive, a healthy sense
of humor,a belief in the goodness of all human beings, and a love of life."-Peggy Anderson
"Our courage is being challenged in these troubled times and in these troubled waters that flood our life."-Peggy Anderson
"Cancer begins with a "C." but the dictionary has a lot of "C" words. They include Compassion, Confidence, Courage and Cuddles."-Linda Scott
Peggy Anderson Publishing Company (writer,crafts, current owner)
Former owner of the 2 year online store: The Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Store
The above website is on the book Peggy Anderson wrote called, Dear Auntie, Why Me? in 2005 to raise money for
SMDC/Duluth Clinic Foundation for the Peggy and Jim Anderson Breast Cancer Fund. This fund was to be used for
national training by staff in the oncology, radiation, and surgery departments for breast cancer treatments only. No part
of this book maybe duplicated without person of the author.This is an old commercial but it tells about the book:
-Peggy also typed The Duluth Grill's cookbook for fundraising for this same fund.
-Peggy also wrote the first chapter in a national book on dragon boat racing that has been re-printed two times. The book is
titled: Reaching for Life, Breast Cancer Survivors and the Sport of Dragon Boat Racing. Peggy wrote the chapter called
Hope is in Every Moment, did the bookmarker, Knowing Oneself. Kim Storm is also in this book. Volume 1 was pubished
by Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing, Penny Behling, organizer of dragon boat races across the U.S. and Rev. Raul Fernandez-Calines,
a Presbyterian minister, and law school professor.
Featured Area Voices.
It can also be found under the regular Area Voices Blog website, and on WDAY News 6/News On Line, as well.
-This blog is called Breaking Health News.
Featured Area Voices.
It can be found under the regular Area Voices Blog website as well.
-Peggy has written poems and had them pubished in various places. The most recent is in Trail Guide-to the Northland
Experience in Prints and Poetry, 2008. (Dancing Children, Leaping Like Goats and To The Past Seasons of My Mind.)
-One poem was called Loneliness and Growing Up was selected at the World Poetry Convention and received the Golden Poet
Award in 1991.
-Duluth Budgeteer Column writer
Peggy has many other blogs as listed and not listed below including:
-Booklet Written: Pocket Folder, Symptoms & Signs of Breast Cancer & It's Recrrences in the Body by Peggy Anderson-
Written by Peggy and edited by Dr. Kwong, both were ACS ambassadors at the time.