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Story...a brave and beautiful friend
A story of one woman's bravery,
willpower, and determination to beat cancer...
This is a story
about an amazing woman...my gorgeous friend Pam.
started just 4 years ago when Pam's husband Dana was at the store next door
to our shop. Sue, the owner of the Riverbend Country Store, was chatting
with him as he made his coffee. Somehow they brought up Pam's illness and
Sue mentioned that we owned a wig shop next door that worked with women and
children with cancer on a daily basis. Dana promptly came over and
introduced himself. We had made an appointment to get Pam a makeover for
the upcoming Inaugural ball...(Dana was a police officer at the time and had
gotten a huge invite). Our new Governor had just taken office and the
event was big. Pam came in and we started chatting as I did her makeup and
styled the fabulous new wig she would be wearing to wow the crowd. I
instantly found her kind and sweet. Well...that's how it started...this
lovely woman and I.....over time...became joined at the hip...we had so much in
common. We are only 10 months apart (She's
older..sorry Pammy...had to say it...heheheheh)
and I couldn't believe I had met such a wonderful human. We are the best
going to her Medical appointments together....her hair had grown back to a very
short cut after months of grueling chemo therapy and many, many surgeries.
Pam had been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. We would make a window
shopping trip of it after her appointments. We always had such fun...had
lunch out and ran all over the big mall that was close by.
got her clean bill of health...we decided to celebrate and get our noses
pierced...(Great thing for 40 year olds to do...).....Oh the adventures we've
had. OUCH!!!!!!!! They look really cool though. LOL
introduced to her amazing family. Her parents...Ron and Lee...I wish they
would adopt me. Ron has a keen and hilarious sense of humor and Lee is
sweet and kind. Her sisters are all so cool and she has a huge extended
family. Pam and Dana have 2 lovely daughters...Morgan and Stephanie.
They've been so brave and supportive through this whole thing. Morgan is
13 and Steph just turned 11.
out that Pam was amazingly artistic. I started teaching her how to do
professional makeovers...and now...she's better than I am. It's amazing.
We traveled to a wedding in Lyndonville together (She lives there) and did a
whole wedding party together. The girls looked great! We got invited
to the wedding.....this pic was taken at the wedding.....(Pam
is on the right).
are at a retro 70s & 80s party.......FUN!
Doesn't Pam look gorgeous as a
months had gone by with her feeling great...BAD news had struck. They
found a cancerous tumor on her spine....We were all devastated! This had
elevated her condition to Stage 4. Pam had surgery to remove it and underwent
radiation...this made her so ill. Her immune system was so low...she
picked up a cold...and she had to go into the hospital. I had NEVER felt a
heart pull like that in my life. There's the most beautiful woman/friend
I've ever known...laying in a hospital bed...PALE...and sick...I felt so
helpless. She pulled through ...she's so strong...but they couldn't get
her fever down and it was so so scary. Her tumor marker went down and
relief was again in site.
months...the marker was on the rise and another spot was found on her rib.
My heart sank for her and her beautiful family.....
Dana to consider taking her to
*Cancer Treatment Centers of America. They've done
miracles with terminal patients.
an appointment and flew out to Illinois. CTCA covered the flight.
They are true miracle workers with this stuff.....
Pam's first chemo treatment...we knew
her hair would fall out. They were giving her highly concentrated
infusions for 3 days straight.
My husband Chris and I had invited Dana and Pam over
for an afternoon of fun once she was feeling better. My
husband and I that morning buzzed our hair off with the clippers to about an
inch high...when we met she first saw us...she giggled unmercifully...then I
gave her the clippers...took the guard off...and she took the rest off. I
buzzed hers down...her husband Dana right after her. Pam has the most
perfect shaped head...(She's on the left this time) I look like an alien who had been dropped WAY too many
times as a child. heheheheheh
(Dana..Pam's Husband, Pam, Me, and my husband Chris)
My daughter Sarah was in a
Local Community Production of Jesus Christ Superstar...IT WAS NOTHING SHORT OF
AMAZING! Pam and I went to the
play and Pam brought her those gorgeous flowers. We are so proud of you
She is just going back for her third Chemo treatment
this week - 4/28/05 - we are so hopeful that this will be it. Her prognosis before
she went was grim...but with all the technology they have...it looks so good
right now. After she had recovered from this next treatment....she will go
back to Chicago and be reassessed.
5/21/05 - Pam called me last night from CTC in
Chicago....SHE IS IN REMISSION! THE PRAYERS AND LOVE HAVE HELPED SO MUCH.
Thanks so much to all of our friends that kept her in their prayers.
We love you Pam!
Pam has just returned from her "Every 3 month checkup"....again...clean of
- A few more trips...and still CANCER FREE!
10/06.....Another Trip.....Still Cancer Free.
Pam moved to Arizona...I miss her so much...but she is still cancer free.
YIPEE! We had such a nice visit last week when she came for a visit.
Pam Still remains Cancer Free...I love you Pam...I miss you sweetface!
Pam moved to Arizona for her health. I miss her so much. She remains
cancer free to this day.... I love you Pam! :D
the 1940s, a woman's lifetime risk for breast cancer was 1 in
22. Today, it is 1 in 7.
all known risk factors and characteristics are added together,
including family history, genetics, smoking and obesity, more
than 50% of breast cancer cases remain unexplained.
the same time that breast cancer rates have tripled in the past
50 years, an estimated 85,000 synthetic chemicals have been
registered for us in the United States. Less than 10% of these
chemicals have been fully tested for their effects on human
many of these chemicals accumulate in body fat and remain in
breast tissue for decades, every woman, man and child now
carries synthetic chemicals - including some that induce mammary
tumors in laboratory research- in their breasts and bodies.
Breast cancer is the most
common malignancy in women and the second
leading cause of cancer death (exceeded by
lung cancer in 1985). Breast cancer is three
times more common than all gynecologic
malignancies put together. The incidence of
breast cancer has been increasing steadily
from an incidence of 1:20 in 1960 to 1:8
The American Cancer Society estimates that
211,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer
will be diagnosed this year and 43,300
patients will die from the disease. Breast
cancer is truly an epidemic among women and
we don't know why.
Breast cancer is not
exclusively a disease of women. For every
100 women with breast cancer, 1 male will
develop the disease. The American Cancer
society estimates that 1,600 men will
develop the disease this year. The
evaluation of men with breast masses is
similar to that in women, including
The incidence of breast
cancer is very low in the twenties (age)
gradually increases and plateaus at the age
of forty-five and increases dramatically
after fifty. Fifty percent of breast cancer
is diagnosed in women over sixty-five
indicating the ongoing necessity of yearly
screening throughout a woman's life.
Breast cancer is
considered a heterogenous disease, meaning
that it is a different disease in different
women, a different disease in different age
groups and has different cell populations
within the tumor itself. Generally, breast
cancer is a much more aggressive disease in
younger women. Autopsy studies show that 2%
of the population has undiagnosed breast
cancer at the time of death. Older women
typically have much less aggressive disease
than younger women.
- A lump is detected, which is
usually single, firm, and most often painless.
- A portion of the skin on the
breast or underarm swells and has an unusual
- Veins on the skin surface
become more prominent on one breast.
- The breast nipple becomes
inverted, develops a rash, changes in skin texture,
or has a discharge other than breast milk.
- A depression is found in an
area of the breast surface.
Women's breasts can develop some
degree of lumpiness, but only a small percentage of
lumps are malignant.
While a history of breast cancer in
the family may lead to increased risk, most breast
cancers are diagnosed in women with no family history.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, this
should be discussed with your doctor.
|How to do a Breast
THE SHOWER Fingers flat, move gently over every part of each
breast. Use your right hand to examine left breast, left
hand for right breast.
Check for any lump, hard knot or
thickening. Carefully observe any changes in your breasts.
BEFORE A MIRROR Inspect your breasts with
arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead.
Look for any changes in contour of each
breast, a swelling, a dimpling of skin or changes in the
nipple. Then rest palm on hips and press firmly to flex your
chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match
- few women's breasts do.
LYING DOWN Place pillow under right
shoulder, right arm behind your head. With fingers of left
hand flat, press right breast gently in small circular
motions, moving vertically or in a circular pattern covering
the entire breast. Use light, medium and firm pressure.
Squeeze nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these
steps for your left breast.
*Cancer Treatment Centers of