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Donna is a wife and mother who first had cancer in 1994 but was diagnosed with mBC in 2004. She has seen a lot of advances in cancer therapy and is telling her story to instil hope.

This is Donna’s story.

Diagnosis: I didn’t have a lump at first. I had ductal cancer that started back in October 1994. At that time, they didn’t think it could be cancer. I’m talking about 1994; this is 2017. No tests came back that showed anything wrong, until it did go wrong. I should have had surgery to find out why I was continually dripping blood from my left nipple. When a biopsy confirmed cancer, I chose to have a double mastectomy and took chemo afterwards. I had one malignant lymph node on the left side. Almost 10 years had passed, but in 2004 I felt a lump. Three weeks later we found a malignant tumour on my scar. This was the first metastasis.

Treatment: I was treated with radiation which worked until 2010, when they found cancer cells swimming in the liquid on my lungs after removing four pints of it. At that time, I was sent to Fredericton to see a specialist. He sent me back to Moncton to start chemotherapy. This doctor told me I was going to die, and that chemotherapy might buy me time.

I didn’t want to take chemo, but my daughter told me I had to try, so for her, I did. The chemo worked – I’m still here. My cancer is in the lining of each lung and has stayed the same since 2013.

I post on Facebook reporting how I’m feeling and updates on my last chemo cycle or CAT scan results. Let me also add that I am reporting this for people who have just been diagnosed, and I want them to know in my 20 years, my experience has been that a lot of good things are happening for cancer patients.

Living with mBC: I can’t say that I’m living normally, but my life is good. I’m sharing all of this because not everyone with cancer is going to be as fortunate as I have been. It’s a big journey when you go through chemo and you’re sick with no energy, knowing your husband is doing a lot for you. The happy part would be where I am now, which is knowing that my last CAT scan was fine and has been for a year and that my blood tests appear good. This is thanks to a new treatment which I started in May 2016. Throughout all of this, I realized the importance of hope.
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