Posts in: Cancer
By Virginia J. Pillsbury
Lena Jordan was a nine year breast cancer survivor when she graced the October 2009 issue of HealthSource magazine.
When the cancer was confirmed Jordan remembers her reaction: “I crossed by legs, folded my arms and said to my doctor, ‘what are we going to do?’” Because it was an infiltrating carcinoma and had already veined out into the breast tissue, Jordan and her husband Wayne opted for a mastectomy, which she had in early November of 2000. She and her husband also decided that Jordan wouldn’t have reconstruction. While at first she hid her scars from her husband, one day he comforted her by saying, “You were in a battle for your life and those are your battle scars – they are nothing to be ashamed of.”
Jordan says that her Christian faith helped her fight that battle. “I prayed that I would not be faint in spirit, mind or body,” says Jordan. HealthSource, October 2009
Jordan kept a journal – well, actually she filled seven journals, during her cancer treatment journey. “It was real therapy for me to do that and I wrote about the good and the horrible times,” she says today.
She met the right people along the way, and those journals are now a book “Goodbye Breast Cancer Hello Faith: Laughing when there is Nothing Funny.” It is a tribute to her faith in God over the last thirteen years. “This book is not about my cancer as much as it is about my faith in God,” says Jordan who says that she learned to “laugh in the storm and trust God to do the impossible in her life.”
Now a thirteen year survivor, Jordan continues to praise God, love her family and help other women diagnosed with breast cancer.
By Shannon Pulusan
The fight against breast cancer requires the combined efforts of every individual. We may not all be doctors caring for patients or lab researchers seeking a cure, but we are a community eager to maintain the health of our neighbors.
Beyond the month of October, there are a number of local events promoting breast cancer awareness. This year long effort encourages people of North Florida to participate in the mission against a serious disease. You may walk, run, or even bike marathons to generate research funds. There are also social gatherings that equally inspire the hope to overcome breast cancer.
Here is a list of local breast cancer events in North Florida:
- August 26, 2013, 7-8:30 pm: Breast Cancer Support Group at the Women’s Center of Jacksonville (takes place every following Monday at the same time & place)
- September 21, 2013, 8 am-5 pm: The Inaugural Jacksonville Dragon Boat Festival at the Jacksonville Landing!
- October 12, 2013 from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm.: 2013 Boobsapalooza at Lynch’s Irish Pub, at 514 First Street North in Jacksonville Beach, FL
- October 14, 2013: Lexus Champions for Charity Golf Event
- October 19, 2013: 2013 Komen North Florida Race for the Cure® at Metropolitan Park, 1410 Gator Bowl Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL
- October 16, 18-20, 2013: SenioRITAs at Sawgrass
• Tuesday, October 1, 2013 5:30-7:00 pm: SenioRita Kickoff Party
• Wednesday, October 16, 2013 6:00 pm: Party and Auction at Sawgrass Country Club
• Friday, October 18, 2013 8:30 am: First Round Play Begins at Sawgrass Country Club
• Saturday, October 19, 2013 8:30 am: Play Continues
• Sunday, October 20, 2013 8:30 am: Semi-Final & Final Matches
- Pink Ribbon Golf Classic
• Wednesday, October 9, 2013 6:00 – 9:00 pm: Tee Off Cocktail Party
• Thursday, October 10, 2013 7:30 am – 2:00 pm: WOMEN’S GOLF TOURNAMENT Ponte Vedra Inn & Club Ocean & Lagoon Courses
• Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:00 – 8:00 pm: Underwood Jewelers 330 A1A North, Ponte Vedra Beach
- November 10, 2013: 5th Annual Bike 26.2 with Donna
- February 23, 2014, 7:30 am: The 26.2 with Donna Marathon Relay
- April 4-5-6, 2014: The RITA Championships
Mark your calendars and bring out your pink!
How a group of women refuse to let cancer win
By Gloria Wakefield
This picture was first published in the October 2010 article, “A Hopeful time for Breast Cancer Patients,” in HealthSource’s annual breast cancer issue about sisters who have inherited the BRCA 1 breast cancer gene mutation. Remember Angelia Jolie! These are my sisters and nieces. I am Gloria Wakefield, far left, with Rhonda, Deb, Stephanie, Kelly and Kim. We have tested positive for the BRCA 1 breast cancer gene. My nieces have not yet been tested.
Kim, far right, and I were both diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. She was age 38. It was a second diagnosis for me; my first having been 22 years earlier at age 38. I am happy to report that Kim and I have no evidence of disease to date in 2013.
So why are we back again sharing our story with you? Because even though we have no evidence of disease today, we both know that we are not cured and that breast cancer recurs five, ten, fifteen and even twenty-five years after an initial diagnosis and treatment. We also know that Rhonda and Deb have an 89% chance of getting the disease and that their daughters, Stephanie and Kelly have a 50% chance.
We would like to share with you some important facts about the status of breast cancer in 2013:
- In 1975, 1 in 11 women were diagnosed; in 2013, 1 in 8 women are diagnosed; in 1991, 114 women died every day from breast cancer and in 2013, 112 women die every day.
- Even though we are “aware” and billions of dollars have been raised and spent toward research, in the past 40 years we still do not know what causes it, how to prevent it or how to treat it effectively to stop it from recurring in our bones and organs and causing death.
- We “race for the cure” toward our current treatments that include surgery (slash), radiation (burn) and chemotherapy (poison) with no great effect on two important outcomes: preventing it and making sure no one dies from it.
- The breast cancer research communities are working diligently to find a cure, however, billions of dollars have been granted to them with no accountability or sense of urgency as to when or if a cure may ever happen.
- The lack of collaboration among the many research communities to share past, present and future research innovations continues to delay progress.
The status quo is not working and we do not have the luxury of time to continue the indefinite wait for knowing how to prevent it and knowing how to treat it more effectively. We have to change the current research processes and conversations now. Fortunately, we have an organization working very hard to make this change happen.
The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), a non-profit grassroots organization of breast cancer advocates established in 1991, has challenged the scientific community through its Breast Cancer Deadline 2020 campaign. The challenge is to know how to prevent breast cancer and to stop the spread to bones and organs by January 1, 2020. The campaign was launched in 2010 and with only seven (7) years to go, there is much work to be done.
My sisters, nieces and I hope that now that you know the status of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in 2013 that you will want to do whatever you can to support the breast cancer deadline 2020 efforts. Learn more about it at breastcancerdeadline2020.org.
If you are interested in supporting the deadline, please: