Breast Cancer Survivor: Sherry Glinsky

Sherry Glinsky

As a little girl, whenever I would see the rays of the sun filtering through the clouds, I would imagine that God was communicating with me. Little did I know then, this image would come into play years later.

Fast forward to April 2005, Good Friday. I was looking forward to the long Easter weekend and spending time with my husband, George. While getting dressed, I noticed that the contour of my left breast looked slightly different. That prompted me to start feeling around, and that’s when I discovered a lump. Since my yearly physical happened to be scheduled for the following Monday, I decided I would wait until then to talk to my doctor. My holiday weekend turned into one of worry and apprehension. On Easter Sunday, while my husband and I were waiting in line at the Starbucks drive-through, I noticed the sun peeking out from behind a group of clouds, its rays forming a beautiful fan. I thought about God and wondered if it was some sort of sign. At the time, I did not point it out to my husband, and we decided to go for a ride. After about an hour, my husband stopped the truck and asked me if I had noticed the sun and cloud display while we were at Starbucks. That’s when I knew God was trying to give me what I call “positive reinforcement.” I knew I would get through whatever was ahead.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer (stage 2 invasive ductal carcinoma) and underwent a mastectomy. I started chemotherapy the Friday before Memorial Day, and had my last treatment the Friday before Labor Day.

I also found positive reinforcement through my colleagues at work. My workspace was decorated with a pink paper chain; each link that was removed meant one step closer to the end of treatment. If I had to take a few days off, I would come back to work to find cards, small gifts, hugs and encouragement.

As a six-year survivor, my advice is to pray and have faith in your recovery; find ways to stay positive. Attitude really is everything!

Breast Cancer Survivor: Karen Drissel Fitzgerald

Karen Drissel Fitzgerald

I was diagnosed with breast cancer on April 10, 2012. My type of breast cancer is IDC (Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma); stage 1. My treatment plan included a lumpectomy and then six weeks of daily radiation.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, I had to put the wheels in motion so that I could start the process taking into account that I also have been diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) back in 2008. The diagnosis was difficult in the beginning because you hear the word “Cancer” and automatically your mind and thoughts are just spiraling. There are so many questions that you have and so many answers you are searching for to understand breast cancer. In time, the answers come, and the questions dwindle but it is a day by day process.

Words of Hope

Breast cancer is not the end of who you are as a woman. My husband, children, close family and friends have been with me throughout this process from the beginning and their support is encouraging and greatly appreciated. When I feel down they are all there to lift me up and remind me that “I can do this.”

Recognize there will be good days and bad days and that it’s ok to cry and it’s ok to get mad. You will question “Why me?” but once you have done all that you have to believe that you can go through this process and win!! It’s definitely mind over matter and the more positive you are, the better you will feel and the stronger your determination will be to beat breast cancer and be a survivor. Remember there are a lot of people who need you!!