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Breast Cancer Survivor

BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR BETH WATCH BETH'S MESSAGE Heart

Hi. My name is Beth, and I had a diagnosis of breast cancer just over five years ago. It sounds pretty simple. At first, it's just two words breast cancer. But as you know, there are a lot of different types of breast

There are a lot of different types of treatment, test symptoms, everything else. It can be very, very, very overwhelming. So my advice to you is just to stop. Don't think about the whole plan.

Don't think about how long the treatment is going to take. Take it one day and one session at a time. Good luck.

BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR JOYCE BUDZISZEWSKI WATCH JOYCE'S MESSAGE Heart

Hi. My name is Joyce Budziszewski, and I'm the district manager in the central region for Brighton collectibles. And I've been asked today to talk to you about my experience with breast cancer. Yes, I am a survivor. I had cancer 27 plus years ago, and I am so excited that Brighton is doing a cause that is helping with our research to find what we can do to support breast cancer.

In my 27 years, I have realized that every survivor's experience is so different. I actually got to meet a lady who does all of the DNA testing on the women that have breast cancer. And she said that the reason that we haven't found a cause yet is because there is nothing that connects all these different women together. So I'm going to take down a journey. And my journey started on Christmas morning. Believe it or not, I woke up and I took my shower and I was like, wow, there's something different here. There's something going on. So of course, my whole family was there, and I proceeded to have conversation with them. And then the next day, I went to the doctor and the doctor was a good friend of mine. And he said, well, just a precaution, let's go ahead and let's have that mammogram done.

I was only 35 years old. I was not in the bracket as someone to be watched at 35 years old, it was very rare for anyone to get breast cancer 27 years ago. Obviously, it took two weeks for the mammogram and the sonogram to come back again. I'm going to tell you, it was 27 years ago. So this was also very new and fresh that it took a while for the test to come back.

And when they came back, there was nothing on any of the scan. So I was sent to a breast surgeon just because my doctor was so concerned, the breast surgeon immediately knew what was going on and wanted to do a biopsym – went in like, three days later, and he found a growth that growth had doubled in size. And so he said he was sending it off to a lab and they were going to check it out. Well, again, two weeks later, it came back and he asked me.

He called me at my home and asked me if there was anybody there. And of course, what did I say? Yes, my children were here with me. Well, he proceeded to explain to me that I had cancer. And then I needed to see him tomorrow at 5:30.

And I had to have a radical mastectomy. And at that time, it was a new procedure to bring your latissimus dorsi from the back forward. And that's what we did. It saved my life. They found a mass that was 6 CM long by 15 CM.

And they also found two other forms of cancer. So you can't be too sure. This research that Brighton is supporting through the sales of our breast cancer bracelets through the month of October is so important not only to me but to you and your mothers, your grandmothers, your sisters, your friends. As you can see right here, here are past years of breast cancer bracelets that I have supported, and I would really love for you to support the cause too. This means so much to me, because today I have gotten to be able to spend time and be with my five grandchildren and see my lovely two daughters grow up in to be wonderful mothers and see them get married.

So please support the Breast Cancer Program here, the Power of Pink, through the month of October at Brighton. We really appreciate it. Thank you.

BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR MITZI TALLY WATCH MITZI'S MESSAGE Heart

Good. Hello. My name is Mitzy Tally and I was honored to be asked by Brighton to participate in their breast cancer awareness video. My message is very simple. Get your mammogram.

My older sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36. After her diagnosis, I became very vigilant. I got my check up. I got my mammogram every year, and I was really fortunate that for 15 years, no problems – went through them all clear, they became very routine. I never had a worry about getting them, until July 2008.

That year I had a check up. No problem. Went from my mammogram and received the shock of my life when they called me early the next morning to say they found something suspicious. You need to see a breast surgeon as soon as possible. So, that started my journey.

One of my best friends told me not to worry that this would be a year of my life and then I'd be able to move forward. She was so right. Following multiple surgeries, chemo, radiation and everything. I was so excited on April 29, 2009, for one of my oncologist to tell me you're officially considered cancer free. Thankfully, I'm still cancer free and I'm happy to be a twelve and a half year survival.

My cancer was only found via a mammogram. Had I not gotten it that year, it could have been another year or longer before it was found. And my outcome may not have been so bright. So everyone get a immigrant. Thank you again to Brighton for participating and for all you do for breast cancer awareness.

Everyone don't forget. Get your mammogram.

BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR PATSY JOHNSON WATCH PATSY'S MESSAGE Heart

Hi. Good morning. I'm Patsy Johnson, and I'm a 30 year breast cancer survivor. In saying 30 years of survival just makes me be more proud to be part of this breast cancer awareness video that Brighton is so generously doing. When I was diagnosed, there really wasn't a Susan G. Komen foundation. At that point, I had no one really to turn to and talked to except my doctor, who didn't really offer a lot of information that is now available. But certainly it said we're going to do a mastectomy because you don't need to worry about this later on in life. And those words did prove to be true. I guess I was really at the time unaware of how meaningful that would be.

The night before my surgery, my mother phoned to let me know that a classmate of mine who had just finished this path, wanted her to tell me that this would not be the worst thing that ever happened to me in my life. And I thought at the time that's very cold comfort. But, you know, she turned out to be right. The ladies from the American Cancer Society could not have been more gracious and more helpful along the way. They let me know I was not dying with cancer.

I was just momentarily living with it. This became my mantra. I did take a lot of comfort in those words. Over the years, I've unfortunately witnessed too many of my friends go down the same path. I felt it was incumbent upon me my duty, but more my pleasure to help be, one of their greatest cheerleaders, to see them alone.

And if I inspired one person to remain positive, then I've won. Thank you for listening. Go get a mammogram.

BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR CLAUDIA IRMAS Heart

“It was ten years ago. I found the lump myself, before getting a mammogram. The doctors said it would probably have been missed by an ultrasound test. The surgeon scheduled a biopsy quickly and the result was positive. I have a longtime friend (since elementary school) who is a doctor – who was a huge support to me, as well as great friends like Carrie Kaufman (who works in the creative area at Brighton).

One of the most important things in my recovery was the support of my Family and Friends. Another all-important factor is finding the doctors you need. I believe in giving back, and as a chairperson of the American Cancer Society, I have helped them make strides toward prevention, research and a cure for breast cancer by participating in many of their events.”

BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR SARAH PEPPLE Heart

“I was 32 when I was diagnosed and I’m 35 now. I wanted to share my story to help people in the community. I had felt a lump for a few years, and my doctor, who is also a breast cancer survivor, told me to watch for any changes. The next year, when it changed, my ultrasound test was negative. Six months later the lump was bigger, and oddly shaped.

When I got a biopsy, the physician said it was not cancer, but two days later he called and said it was cancer. After having a double mastectomy, 6 months of chemo, 40 rounds of radiation and then reconstruction, I now can pursue having children. Before my diagnosis, I was already a positive person, but now I seize the moment more than ever. Experiences are more important to me than things.”

POWER OF PINK BRIGHTON CARES Heart Heart In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to remember and honor members of our extended Brighton family. POST A DEDICATION
BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR GAYL WALDER Heart

“I found out I had the BRCA gene after my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. My first option was to do nothing and hope that I would fall on the side of the percentage of women whose BRCA gene did not develop into invasive breast or ovarian cancer. Another option would be to take the cancer drug tamoxifen. I would still need approximately three mammograms and a C-125 test every year. The last option I faced was to have a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy.

"The decision for me was very difficult, but then it became clearer. I took one look at my four children and knew exactly what I needed to do. I was fortunate to receive a gift, the gift of knowledge and choice. I had the option to act, so I decided on prevention. Yoga and meditation saved me during that time, so I became certified as a Yoga 4 Cancer instructor. On my journey, people have been there for me, so I am there for them."

BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR JANICE WEST Heart

“Eleven years ago, when I found a lump I was told that I would be okay, and I am. But getting back to normal after treatment took a long time. Breast cancer makes you feel loss. I am humbled by how great my treatment turned out to be, and by all the support I received from my family.

I am one of 9 kids, and my siblings are wonderful. This diagnosis changes you. You start listening to people more. My daughter Katie was a huge support to me throughout the process. Today, I manage a dermatologist’s office and Katie is one of the nurses. We are blessed to see each other every day.”

BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR BECKY RUIZ Heart

“I was at home, and I had just had a mammogram a couple months before, and I did a self-exam. I got another mammogram and was told I was fine. A few months later I was still feeling uncomfortable, so I went to my gynecologist, who sent me to a surgeon for a needle biopsy. It was cancer, so I had a mastectomy. I was 36 years old and had two small kids, so I opted for a mastectomy and not a lumpectomy, just to be sure.

Three weeks later I started chemo, which lasted for 9 months. I later had reconstruction. Six months later I found out my cancer was estrogen-related, so I also had a hysterectomy. So many people helped and supported me through the process, including my husband, cousin and girlfriends. I walked with Susan G. Komen Foundation six times to raise dollars for breast cancer research. It’s been 28 years now. I wanted to see my kids graduate, and today I have grandchildren. I deeply appreciate every day.”

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