Stories about breast cancer that can inspire and inform

Blog  |  Newsroom

Paula Schneider Gets ‘Real’ About Breast Cancer

Real Talk is a new content series led by Susan G. Komen where guests are talking about all sides of breast cancer. From diagnosis to treatment, to living with metastatic breast cancer to life after treatment ends, and all the challenges in between.

Who better to kick off Real Talk, and talk openly and honestly about breast cancer, than Susan G. Komen President and CEO, and 15-year breast cancer survivor, Paula Schneider?

Click Image to Listen Now

In her own words, Schneider shares her breast cancer experience and desire to get us talking about the hard times so we can cope better, heal better and overcome the disease better.

If you go to one of our Races and Walks, or any of our community events, it’s a very happy vibe all around as we celebrate survivorship But that’s not the real, full story for everyone.

Even if you’re ringing the bell at the end of your treatment, to get that point, you’ve lived through surgery, radiation, unexpected body changes, body image issues and acceptance, and all of the life changes to go along with it. Those are really, really, tough experiences that people don’t talk about enough. And for those people who are living with metastatic breast cancer, they’ll be in treatment forever, and they’re living from scan to scan, which is terrifying.

And while breast cancer is not easy, you have to fear the disease more than you fear the cures or the opportunity to be cured. I don’t want people to hear these conversations and think, ‘Well, if I ever got it, I wouldn’t go through chemotherapy, or I wouldn’t get a mastectomy or any of those things.’ That’s the wrong attitude if you want to stay alive.

When you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, you join a club. By talking about the disease, the treatment, the impact it is having on you, your loved ones, your network of people, we can help each other to cope better. We can process better. Hopefully we can heal better, and we can all live better by talking about whatever it is we’re going through.

In the U.S. alone, 280,000 people are going to be diagnosed with breast cancer just this year. That’s 280,000 people who are going to have shared experiences. And there are hundreds of thousands of people who aren’t talking about their struggles or may think they’re the only one struggling.  

But when a group of people is talking about something and it’s a shared experience, it’s no longer embarrassing. You’re no longer the one person to ever, ever feel a certain way, or think a certain way, or experience a certain event.

Susan G. Komen is there for anyone needing help once they hear those words that change their lives forever: “You have breast cancer”. Anyone can call the Helpline for mental and emotional support from trained professionals. The Patient Care Services Center offers some incredible and important resources for patients and, in some cases, their loved ones. Call 1-877-GO-KOMEN and get the help you need today, because no one should have to go through breast cancer alone.