A survivor’s breast cancer story can help newly diagnosed breast cancer patients learn from women who have faced similar experiences before. Ling-Ehr’s breast cancer story was shared in the September chapter of the Breastlink Angels 2013 Calendar.
The Breast Cancer Story of Ling-Ehr
Ling-Ehr L. – Age 57
Diagnosis – August 1999
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
I was very nervous when I had my first round of chemotherapy at Breastlink. Although I had an idea about breast cancer treatment through reading books and articles, I did not personally know anybody who had gone through the process. Then a kind lady came and greeted me with a nice smile and told me that she was a volunteer and a breast cancer survivor who had completed the treatment I was about to begin. Amazingly, those few words were enough to ease my anxiety significantly. I realized that I was not dealing with this by myself. I also discovered that there were others who felt the same way I did, as we were all in the same boat.
Love, support and understanding from family and friends helped me get through those tough days. Thanks to them, I was able to find my strength and confidence. There were tears of fear, but also laughs of hope. I cannot say that I am “grateful” to have had breast cancer. Yet, I cherish the memory of each segment of the journey, including the hairless days, with my husband and daughter by my side. Those were difficult times for them, too. The whole experience was a lesson for me about learning to be more appreciative and tolerant of life, and to feel how wonderful it is just to be alive!
It has been 12 years since my initial diagnosis. Today, I am a survivor who volunteers at Breastlink. I feel very blessed to be able to share my experience with newly diagnosed patients, as understanding that they are not alone is very important to them. A hug, a smile and even holding hands, without uttering a single word, are often the best encouragement I can offer. I realized that doing so is a tremendous healing experience for me as well.