Susan Heller



I am alive today because of a double mastectomy when cancer was detected in only one breast. My mother had breast cancer also before me. She too opted for a radical mastectomy. Going through cancer I learned a lot about this disease and myself. 

1. I will always be glad I took aggressive action. My doctor said I just needed a lumpectomy and would NOT need to have both breasts removed.

2. It was my body, so I made an appointment with another physician. After telling him I wanted both breasts removed, he agreed. That was what his wife chose to do, too. 

3. The surgery was a radical double mastectomy. When they say one will be flat chested after that surgery, they are not kidding. In fact, I was slightly concave.

4. I also had chemotherapy. I had chemo twice a week and would get terribly, violently sick. It is a strong nasty army of fighters killing any cancer cells. 

5. Now many many years later, I am still cancer free. For me the rough treatment was the perfect treatment. 

6, I have had reconstructive surgery where my own stomach tissue was moved up under my skin to form two new breasts. The surgery with three surgeons (one on each new breast plus the anesthesiologist) took many hours, approximately six. This was at no cost to my husband and me, except our small insurance deductible. 

7. I have given talks to groups about this experience. For some reason unknown to me, God gives me very funny things to say. 

8. In my high school speech class the teacher told us.”if you can make people laugh or cry, they will listen to what you have to say. “. There were enough tears shed by cancer patients and their families, that I opted to use humor. 

9. When I am asked to speak, I am excited to do so. Funny things roll out of my mouth without much talent of my own. 

10. It is almost a high for me. When I open my mouth funny words and experiences come rolling out. 

11. I usually end my talk on a less humorous note. Asking all who are in attendance to have the women in their life do breast checks and see their physician up to at least once a year. . But do her own breast checks more often. 

12. I love giving these talks. And wish I could do so more often. Cancer waits for no one. It rages on undetected until it has progressed too far. Whomever is living in that body must make hard decisions. 

13. I believe in chemotherapy and surgery. And what ever becomes the norm in the future. 

14. Please give generously to cancer research. Susan G. Komen did not survive as I have. But in her honor research goes on and we all benefit from that research. 

There will come a day when all kinds of cancer will be no more! But until then , it is incumbent that each American give generously to research to draw the finish line closer and closer to No more cancers ever again! 

Susan G. Komen is an excellent organization to receive donations

I believe in heaven all who have ever died from cancer of all kinds, and those touched by a friend or relative with this damnable disease will someday be reunited in heaven. I for one look forward to seeing my mom there. . She was also a long time Survivor
Blessing to all who have been touched by this nightmare disease. 

When in high school many many years ago I agreed to be the fourth person in a four person relay. I wanted for the number three girl to hand off the baton to me. 

Unfortunately I waited in the wrong lane. Number 3 girl had to stop and look for me. I grabbed the baton and off I went. 

But again lady luck laughed at me when I fell flat down on the track as I stepped on my undone shoe lace. 

But like finding out one has cancer, we cannot stand up and run off into the stands to hide. We have to stand up, dust ourselves off and finish our cancer race. Then we become winners of the best kind.