Witness the accounts of Breast Cancer Paitantes telling how they get the News.
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Female: It just touches my heart to know that I made this much of a difference. Female: I don’t have any fears for the future. I have a lot of hope. Female: If this happens to you don’t close yourself in your home just go out, be with people, be with people you like and love. Female: So the message I hope to give to all women and people is have a positive attitude in life. Jill Eikenberry: Welcome to Breast Cancer Strength & Courage. Michael Tucker: Thanks for joining us as we share personal stories of women that found what everyone needs they face a crisis of any kind, strength and courage. Jill Eikenberry: I needed it when I heard that frightening diagnosis, breast cancer, more than a decade ago. Hello I'm Jill Eikenberry. Michael Tucker: And I'm Michael Tucker and I needed it too as her husband. I desperately wanted to help but struggled to find the best ways. Jill Eikenberry: Remember how afraid I was and how little information I had about the disease? Michael Tucker: I think I was just as afraid, but maybe for different reasons. Of course I worried about losing you but I also worried about failing you. Men want to be heroes for their wives. Jill Eikenberry: What we both learned was the power of someone holding your hand. Michael Tucker: Yeah, either literally or figuratively. Jill Eikenberry: Mike and I have shared many things over the years including our love of acting on the stage of the screen, but nothing has been as dramatic as the challenge we've met with breast cancer. Michael Tucker: How do you get the strength and courage you need to see you through? Jill Eikenberry: It’s not about beating the disease even though that is our fervent hope, it’s about lifting yourself up. It’s about embracing life. Michael Tucker: Come with us as we explore the lives of a few women who have found ways to do just that. Jill Eikenberry: We begin with Susan who was newly diagnosed and in shock. We’ll follow her journey throughout the program. Michael Tucker: And along the way you’ll meet people who will inspire you with imaginative, bold, sometimes quiet always interesting ways to summon strength and courage. Jill Eikenberry: Life can change in a moment. For Susan Gregory and her family that moment came at 7:34 am, Tuesday, January 21. Susan Gregory: I was totally shocked, stunned. It can’t be happening to me. Breast cancer happens to someone else. Cancer happens to someone else. Tim Gregory: What do I say? What do I do when I get home? I was trying to process my thoughts, it was very difficult. I mean the grief—you're going through grief, I was going through grief and just feeling numb. Jill Eikenberry: Susan Fleming became Mrs. Tim Gregory in August of 1985. Their story is one of love, faith and a few challenges but nothing that might prepare them for this. Tim Gregory: Life had change. It was a single phone call that had it changed. Jill Eikenberry: On Wednesday, Susan and Tim along with Susan’s mother visited Dr. Ernie Bodai to discuss treatment options. Susan Gregory: I thought it would just be a few weeks of radiation. I have no idea I had to decide between a lumpectomy and radiation and chemo, or a masectomy and chemo. That was the furthest thing with my mind. Tim Gregory: Surreal would be one word to describe my emotions and just recognizing this can’t be real, but it is and trying to deal with what’s happening. Jill Eikenberry: Within days, Susan would be in surgery. Susan Gregory: I think the hardest period of time was between Wednesday when I was diagnosed and Saturday having the surgery. Tim Gregory: Recognizing that Saturday is coming and knowing that your life is definitely going to change again. Susan Gregory: Every 30 minutes I looked at the clock and I would think in these many more hours this is what will happen and I kept thinking tomorrow will come too soon. Everything changes tomorrow. Jill Eikenberry: Saturday arrived and Susan and Tim entered into their new reality full on. Susan Gregory: I had to make a logical