Five Years Cancer Free!

Five Years Cancer Free! An Inspiring Breast Cancer Story to give others hope. Celebrating in front of Maroon Bells, Inspiration, Relationships, Friendships #Health #Breastcancer #inspiration #relationships #Friendships #cancer

Whew! Talk about a breast cancer marathon. From the shocking diagnosis to my double boobectomies, the implants of my bionic boobs and subsequent challenges of taking estrogen-suppressing and depressing pills, I’ve finally crossed the five-year finish line. Hang on while I catch my breath.

I couldn’t have done it without you, my readers, my family, and friends who cheered me on every step of the way. This blog has been a life-saver. Literally.

When I posted my first Boob Report in May of 2013, I recounted the shock of learning I had cancer. It included the hilarity of simultaneous scheduling madness by two Evelyns, each on different phone calls and ears. What wasn’t funny was the misinformation that I hadn’t been in for a mammogram for three years. It was enough to freak out with the alarm of a phone call after a routine exam, but three years?

I had my mammogram two years before in 2011 and had skipped a year. This every other year plan had been recommended by insurance companies. Since I had rare lobular cancer, (like skinny fingers as opposed to ductile round tumors) the tumor wouldn’t have shown up on the mammogram the year before. Skipping the year I was diagnosed would have been a disaster. That’s why I recommend getting an ANNUAL mammogram.

Anyway, this started a process of testing. I had no idea how severe my cancer diagnosis would be. I wondered if I would be alive at Christmas. Think of how scary that is.

After the MRI, they discovered the tumor was 19 mm long. Stage one. By a hair. My oncologist said the MRI couldn’t catch the edges of the tumor and to plan on stage two diagnosis since it would be at least 20 mm. I would have radiation and possible chemo.

I planned to get a Wild Rider henna tattoo and rock my bald head.

Then a miracle happened.

After that first blog post, a blogger named Maria at Swimming into My Fifties did something extraordinary. She contacted bloggers via email. Some had thousands of followers.

The day of my double mastectomies, I woke up super-charged, stoked that I’d be rid of cancer by day’s end. I had no fear or doubt. When I met with my reconstruction surgeon before the surgery, I joked about the nipple cupcakes my friends served at my Boob Send Off party.

Annagiulia and Betta

boob cupcakes

Lots of fantastic friends attended the party hosted by Karin Waters, who later organized my meals. 

two ladies, one wearing bra outside her blouse

friends gathered outside at boob party

Little did I know that at the same time, over forty bloggers would host #SusieStrong Day. Some were hilarious. Others were so touching, my tears flowed. Looking back I still get shivers and my eyes well up. No wonder I was so happy.

I knew Maria and the blogging gang took the hashtag to Twitter but I must have only looked at the “Top” feed. Today, I clicked on “Latest” and scrolled back to 2013. There were so many well-wishers! Seriously. I am so lucky.

Many people prayed that day. When I think of all the blog views and how some said they would put me on their church’s prayer chain, there must have been thousands.

I am humbled and eternally grateful to each and every one of them.

The bloggers who still have sites and blogged #SusieStrong posts make up my Bosom Buddy Blogroll. I will be forever indebted and send all kinds of positive vibes and prayers to all of you! If you’re reading this and you wrote a post, let me know.

August McLaughlin made this for me after our blog meet-up in California!

Breast cancer boob support friends

So when my results came in, my oncologist seemed surprised to see my tumor had shrunk a little. I knew why. Now you do too.

I just got another shiver.

So when some people choose to go through cancer privately, I totally understand their choice. Everyone is different. It can be an added challenge to go out in public when some people make well-intentioned but rude comments. I will tell anyone who is in the first or second year of recovery and survival, it gets easier.

AND NOW IT’S OVER!

In five years, I’ve written twenty Boob Reports. This is my twenty-first. Commenters have given me tons of support. I appreciate every one of you!

What’s next?

The fog of the drug is lifting. I have a lot more energy. Ha! Yes, that is possible. I have a few more posts to write and then The Boob Report will become a book some day. In the meantime, feel free to share them with a friend who has been diagnosed. Some will crack you up too!

“Heck, yes, they’re fake. The real one’s tried to kill me!” 

Heck yes, these boobs are fake t-shirt

Do you fight setbacks with humor?

Twenty humorous and hopefully inspirational breast cancer stories:

The Boob Report – Roadblocks and U-Turns

The Boob Report – Laughter is the Best Medicine

The Boob Report III – Post-op

The Boob Report IV – Coming Out of the Haze

The Boob Report – Bosom Boosting Buddies

The Boob Report – A Sticky Situation

The Boob Report – Back to Reality, Oops There Goes Gravity

The Boob Report – Buns Up!

The Boob Report – Warning: Wild Rapids Ahead

The Boob Report – Waiting for Release

The Boob Report – Tits for Tats

The Boob Report – Sex and Yes! Sex!

An Open Letter to My Boobs

An Open Letter From My Boobs

The Boob Report – The Dirty Little Secret about Alcohol

The Boob Report – A Comedy of Terrors

The Boob Report – Three Years Cancer-Free

The Boob Report – The Sun Rises After Cancer Drugs

Boob Report – Anxiety and the Fantastic Five-Year Finish Line

What Not to Say to a Cancer Survivor

141 thoughts on “Five Years Cancer Free!

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  1. Susie, I’m so thrilled at your good report! Wonderful news that you are five years cancer-free! And I love hearing about the women who have rallied around you in support all along. I give you a LOT of credit for approaching such an incredibly frightful life event with humor and positivity. Among my many friends with Cancer diagnoses, so few stay positive, I’m afraid. This is hard for me…LOL!…it is NOT all about me, I get that. But I do believe that any health outcome is enhanced with a positive outlook. So you’re a beacon that speaks loudly. And I admire you so much, Susie!

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    1. Thanks so much, Debra! It is super scary in the first couple of years. I made some dietary changes (no alcohol, soy, flaxseed) and figured that would improve my chances, so I worried less. Everyone has their own way of dealing with stress. I’m a proactive person and always want to solve the problem even if I have to wait a looong time to see if it worked! 🙂 Now I’m happy dancing.

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  2. What amazing friends and fellow bloggers. It’s at times like that you really appreciate the support and friendship isn’t it? So pleased you’ve hit the five year mark Susie. Get out and celebrate.

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  3. Susie, your courage is effervescent! May it spread to all those in doubt, through words of encouragement and chains of prayer!

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    1. Thanks so much, Cindy!

      Yes, yes, YES!!! The challenges can be huge and survivors so seldom hear, “You can do it!” I think prayer helps tremendously too. I am a very lucky lady!

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  4. We all love that shirt!!!
    Cheers and happy dances forever.
    Bloggers. What can I say – people say they cannot make a difference “just little me”…well, yes, grains of sand make a beach, and you never know what your one little word can be or do…one little word can be just the one that floats the spirit, changes a thought, completes a supporting hug.
    Your smile and message is brightening many today – and a beacon of hope for others.
    Ride on, Wild Child!

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    1. Your post was the most beautiful. I’ll never forget it! I need to print all of them out and make a book. Thanks so much for being there for me, Phil, every step of the way. I’m riding on!!!! (((hugs)))

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! Congratz! But the wow comes from the fact that I remember all those reports and was already following you for quite awhile before that…time flies! I believe you were one of my very first follows back in 2011…is that possible?!
    Scott

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  6. YAAAAAY!!! … ** runs around in a circle waving arms like Kermit** … you didn’t think I’d let an anniversary pass without doing my Kermit dance did you? 😀 … Congratulations and huge hugs! 🙂

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  7. Congratulations on reaching 5 years! And your attitude to cancer is inspirational. My Dad has recently been diagnosed with cancer, so it’s good to read how others have coped and dealt with it. Scary times ahead but I’m sure he’ll get through it with the treatment he’s due to have and the support around him.

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    1. Thank you so much!!
      I’m sorry to hear about your dad, but cancer is more beatable now than ever! He may enjoy reading some of my boob reports. A few male followers said they enjoyed them and went through cancer at the same time. Support with lots of positivity really helps! I can’t tell you how many times I got pitying, oh my god, you’re dying, looks. It was awful! Better to hear, “You got this! You can kick cancer’s ass!”

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  8. I am in awe of your strength and positivism. I am not sure how I would react but I know that I am very scared of health checkups and medical issues. I know we all have to face them at some point in life or the other, but these things sure drive me scared. I loved to know how fellow bloggers supported you on your recovery and I am reading about your cancer free 5 years, I am also with you wishing you the best ahead. ❤

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  9. Congrats to you, Susie on reaching the 5 year mark. I’m so thankful you had such awesome support during your ordeal. Stay strong and stay healthy. You inspire many people.

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    1. Thanks so much, Lisa! That’s the plan. It’s been a week since I went off that horrid medication and I feel so much better!!!

      I’m sitting in my car after being rear ended. You never know what life will throw at us! We’re okay and the car is drivable. Another wild ride!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Amazing story! I am so so glad to hear you are 5 years cancer free. I pray it stays away forever!

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  11. To say you are in Inspiration would be putting it mildly! I just love reading your stories and sharing your adventures. Congratulations on your five years!!!!! (note 5 exclamation points) xoxoxox

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