No Age No Stage recipient Carol Crawford shares her story.
When in Feb this year (2012), surgeon Dianne Runk diagnosed me with stage 3 invasive breast cancer involving 3 lymph nodes on the left side. In March, I had the lumpectomy to confirm her diagnosis.
In April I began what turned out to be four grueling months of chemotherapy. The chemo was so strong, I lost my headful of thick hair within 7 days. Luckily we were heading into one of the hottest summers we had in quite some time. Only someone who's been through this knows the extent of its effects on a human body. My body.
My largest hurdle during this time is the fact I live alone caring for my 3-bedroom ranch home and 6 cats. For awhile, in the beginning, my church family was more than willing to step up and help me. But after a couple months of chemo, seemed everyone got busy (I know they are) and left me to flounder on my own. My family was unable.
PRG Board Member and No Age No Stage program recipient, Pattie Noel, shares her full-circle experience
with Pink Ribbon Girls.
In 1999 I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 35. I went through surgery and chemotherapy. I then began hormone blocking therapy. All was well until 2002 when my surgeon found another lump on the same side but this time in the lymph nodes. The malignant lump was removed and I was shocked at the news of breast cancer recurrence. I again went through chemotherapy and this time 6 weeks of radiation were added. Since my cancer is hormone sensitive and the previous therapy only worked for 3 years I underwent a full hysterectomy thrusting me into early menopause at the age of 40. This enabled me to begin taking a post-menopause hormone blocking therapy. I went for regular check-ups with my oncologist every 4 months.
I found Pink Ribbon Girls (PRG) in 2003 and began attending support meetings with other survivors. It meant so much to me to be able to talk with others who had gone before and to offer my help to those currently in treatment. I made lasting friendships and became more and more involved with PRG. I began serving on the board, attending educational conferences, helping out at awareness events and continued reaching out to others newly diagnosed.
In March of 2008 I asked for some scans to be done because my tumor markers were trending up. They showed cancer in my chest lymph nodes and 2 ribs on the right side. So I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at the age of 44. That was 4 1/2 years ago and I’m still being treated successfully. Many people are surprised at how well I am doing. I’ve been through some chemotherapies, radiation and hormone-blocking therapies that have worked to put me in remission on and off. Since I will be in some kind of treatment for the rest of my life I know how important good nutrition, support from family and friends and my faith in Christ is to give me purpose, strength, health and the will to persevere.
PRG has helped me so much through this diagnosis with support from other survivors, especially those also diagnosed with metastatic disease. When going through difficult chemo treatments I signed up for the No Age No Stage program and enjoyed the healthy, delicious meals. It was such a help to me since it was difficult to find the energy to prepare meals and also to even think of what I wanted to eat. When I was feeling good I had the opportunity to deliver some meals to others in the programs which was very rewarding.
I am honored to serve on the current PRG board and proud of how far we have come in the past 11 years. I’m excited for the future growth of our programs to assist more women in Ohio and around the country. The support we continue to give each other is more important than can be expressed. We have so much experience and love to share on this journey.
Thank you PRG for being there for me!
ASG offers a full range of financial services, including Architecture and Design, Construction, Custom Millwork and Furniture, and a full range of Banking and Security Equipment.Pink Ribbon Girls and ASG are asking banks, credit unions and pharmacies to purchase a special edition pink pneumatic tube carrier, emblazoned with the Pink Ribbon Girls logo. These carriers can be ordered through the Pink Ribbon Girls website (need a link to order form that can be filled out online - order form sent to you separately). You can also order your other colored carriers with the Pink Ribbon Girls logo.