Brenda Thomas

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On November 2, 2017 I will be a “31" year Breast Cancer survivor.
I was only 37 when I discovered a knot under my arm, a needle biopsy indicated it was Breast Cancer. The breast could not be saved; a left side radical mastectomy was performed, 48 lymph nodes removed, 3 were malignant. I endured 25 radiation treatments and one year of chemotherapy. I was scared; I had two sons 10 and 13 and was married to the love of my life Cliff. I continued to work; I certainly didn’t look well but my spirits were great, attitude positive and my faith and determination unfaltering!

I love sharing my very positive story of surviving breast cancer. I owe my survival to God, the medical professionals, family and friends. I convey there is a life after breast cancer. I have been married for 47 years and thank God for giving me such a wonderful supportive husband. I have never had breast reconstruction (not any options) but he has never shown it made any difference. He loves me just the way I am. I have seen my two sons grow into fine men. I have the joy of being a “Nana” to my two granddaughters, Kelsie and Haylie. We are so blessed with wonderful doctors and facilities in Charleston. We should all take advantage of all the preventive medicine that is available, regular self-exams, mammograms and support research as we continue to race for the cure for breast cancer.

How did you first learn you had breast cancer?

I found a lump under my arm after moving some petitions at work.

How did that make you feel?

I was sacred that I would die. My boys were 10 and 14; I wanted to see them grow up.

What did you do?

I went to my family dr, he ordered a bone and liver scan to see if it was in other places.

How did your family react?

They were very supportive but was very concerned that I would not live because it was in my lymph nodes.

What advice would you give others?

Do your regular check ups!

How do you feel now?

With pink ribbons and balloons flooding our vision each October, we must remember that breast cancer is not pink, nor is it feminine or pretty. It is a horrible, deadly disease that does not discriminate.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I am a cancer survivor of Thyroid, Breast, Basal, Esophageal and recently Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma Cancer. God has been with me always. I pray they find a CURE for cancer in my lifetime!