What I Learned From Fighting Breast Cancer 

 Originally Written: July 26, 2013

By  Hanna Trafford

breast cancerMy friend Kathy wrote this couple months ago. We are both now going through radiation treatment and let me tell you – none of this is a whole lot of fun! Radiation treatments are done every day (except weekends). Kathy has a total of 33, I have a total of 30. We each now have 10 left to endure. Radiation leaves you quite sore – kind of like a really bad sunburn. Majorly uncomfortable to say the least – but it has to be done!

Here is Kathy take on what she learned from her fight – and I will of course add my thoughts and experiences later.

Kathy 2
My friend and Ninja Warrior lives in Dunedin, Florida with her husband Joe and her furry friend (a cat) Eienstein. We have never met, but over the last 7 months we have been in touch daily, sharing our cancer fight experiences, our laughs and our complaints and pains. We have become sisters and can’t wait to meet in person!


Well…….tomorrow will be exactly one week since I had my last chemotherapy treatment…..all I can say is “ I SURVIVED AND THRIVED”!!!  It was a long process…but, it’s finished and behind me now! I can only go forward in my journey…and I still have a long way to go……but I am POSITIVE that everything will work out on the bright side!  🙂

Since being told in December of 2012, that I have Stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer….I have learned a LOT of things, and been reminded of other things that I already knew…but “ forgot “.  Some of these things are really small things and some are HUGE….. I will try to share a few of them with you….feel free to either agree or disagree with me…..these are only MY opinions and thoughts……

Let’s start with this one….a person’s outward appearance has absolutely NOTHING to do with WHO that person TRULY IS.  Whether I am bald or have a full head of hair, or if I am missing my eyebrows or eyelashes, or if I am walking around in a scarf or a hat…….NONE OF THAT DEFINES ME as a soul having a human experience. Look into my eyes…..and you will have a much better idea of the soul and warrior that I am….look for my “spark” and you will see ME! Believe me, you can look around a chemotherapy room, and you can see all of those souls…..some are in a much better place than others are, and you can see that too!  Make SURE that you look a person in the eyes when you are speaking with them, you will see a LOT if you only take the time to look.

A positive attitude and a sense of humor will get you through ANYTHING that life throws at you! People tend to be at a loss for words around a Cancer patient….don’t be! Follow my lead, and I will leave you laughing, I guarantee it! When I finished my chemotherapy treatments, I was asked to “ come back and visit anytime” by all the nurses and also by the staff at my Oncologist’s office. I was also “ thanked” for being so positive and cheerful, and there were MANY hugs exchanged by all. I have seen many people on the “ negative” end of the spectrum, and I can tell you, they are their own worst enemies! The sad thing is, they do not realize it and they will not do as we’ll with this disease.  BE POSITIVE NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOUR WAY!

In general, other people are amazingly supportive! I cannot BELIEVE the many things, big and small, that people have done to support me! I have been amazed every day by the offers of help, the stories of hope from cancer survivors, the helpful hints for surviving chemo and radiation, the encouragement, and most of all, the laughter when these stories have been shared! Hanna and I have shared a LOT over the past few months, good and bad, and we have laughed our way through it all!

There are many more things that I could mention, but to me, these are a few of the important ones.  My surgery is in a few weeks, a mastectomy, followed by 4 to 6 weeks of daily radiation treatments, and then reconstruction surgery, don’t worry or fret though….I am up for it….you can’t keep a Tough Canadian Ninja down! I am ALREADY A SURVIVOR!!

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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