Komen Colorado’s Personal Stories section lets you walk alongside the writer as they face the challenges and triumphs associated with receiving the news no one wants to hear: “You have breast cancer.” Written in their own words, these stories offer insight into the courage it takes to face breast cancer and the inner strength gained from the fight. Read a few personal stories. We promise, you won’t go away unmoved.

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  • Personal Stories


Allison Linz

I am not much of a writer but I wanted to share my story as I find there are not a ton of younger women that have written about their experience with breast cancer. I am 26 years old and found a lump in my breast last year around September.


Candice Leighton

My diagnosis was Stage IIIC Breast Cancer with Lymphoma. Lil’ punk ass started in the left boob and went to my lymph nodes. So, that’s why it’s been kicked up to Stage 3.


Connie Martschinske

In March 2014 I went in for an annual mammogram. At that time they found some calcifications so in April I had a biopsy done to remove the calcifications. When they did they found some cells that the results were not what they expected. In May 2014 my surgeon suggested I have the tissue removed because I had a 1 in 10 chance that it could be cancer.


Cristina Painter

My husband was stationed in Belgrade with the United Nations at the time, and our daughter was 3. I was essentially a single parent who took care of everything.
When I woke up the morning of April 10, 1998 it felt like I must’ve slept on a button or my daughter left a small toy on the bed. The feeling was on my right breast. Got up felt around and discovered a lump. Hmmmmm.


Debra Richardson

I was diagnosed at my very first mammogram when I was 40. With no history of breast cancer in m family I was shocked. My cancer was not a lump, it was smaller than a grain of salt and could not be detected by exams, only by the mammo. I’m so fortunate that it was caught early. Early detection really is key to treatment options.


Erin Monroe

Mahatma Gandhi once said – “be the change you want to see in the world.” This aphorism took on a whole new meaning when I was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago at just 27 years old. Forced to grow up faster than the average 27 year old, I had to make some pretty quick decisions that I knew would impact me for the rest of my life.


Kathleen Syko-Kramp

In 1999 I had very heavy dense Breasts. They where getting heavier and changing. My doctor and I decided that for the sake of my back and my breast health that I should have a breast reduction. So in November 1999 I had a breast reduction. In the pathology of the breast they found cancer very low and deep to my chest wall. It was not a lump and if I had not had the reduction I believe it would have spread before they would have seen it on a mammogram.


Kerrie Daufeldt

I was not diagnosed with breast cancer. I was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of cancer called Small Cell Neuroendocrine. I was diagnosed the day after my 4th daughter was born. She is the reason I am here to tell my story.


Kimberly Crown

In January of 2004 I was contemplating a breast reduction. All my life I have always had large breasts, I had just turned 35 and decided it was time. I interviewed several plastic surgeons, and finally in late February found one I liked, we had agreed to take my triple D size breasts to a C cup. So for several months I saved money and waited to hear from insurance finally in May insurance approved the surgery and I had saved enough for the out-of-pocket portion.


Kitten Lockwood

Friday the 19th of Sept, 2008, during my annual mammogram, the person taking my pictures saw a lump. Right away, and thank God he was there that day, she asked the doctor to come take a look. They asked me to come back later that day, without a word of why. You can imagine the fear going through my mind.


Kristina Schermer

Just weeks before my 27th birthday I was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine MRI. I was BRCA 2 positive and was simply being monitored closely. Being well aware of my family history I thought it would be best to be cautious. I could have never suspected that the very first MRI would reveal that I already had breast cancer in my left breast.


Kristine Matheny

I was diagnosed on 1/22/2016, I’ll never forget the day I thought my life was over. I am 37 year old mother of 5 ages 19 to 3. I have 4 children home with me, 1 is incarcerated and family is 1200 miles away. I thought having a troubled child was the toughest thing to face, that was until my diagnosis.


Lauren Lamb

I have never been diagnosed by breast cancer, but I am here to tell the story of a little girl and her battle with her mom’s breast cancer. That was me. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was about 4 years old.


Liz Joye

I remember the day like it was yesterday…. On November 5th 2013, I felt a lump in my breast and called my doctor who had told me to come in for an appointment because she knew my mom is a breast cancer survivor. That next day I went in and she had felt the lump as well, she was able to get me in for a mammogram and ultrasound, which confirmed I had a mass.


Patsy Maes

In February of 2013 I turned 60 years old, I figured that my life has been good to me and I’ve lived a good life. But then at the end of August, 2013 I was having pain under my right arm and I could feel a lump I let it go for two weeks and then I couldn’t stand the pain anymore.


Shirletta Haley

While doing my routine home breast exam, I noticed a lump in my left breast. Just 7 months prior, I had a mammogram. Therefore, I did not give much thought to the lump. Soon, the lump became painful. I scheduled a doctor appointment. My doctor did another mammogram. The mammogram revealed not 1, but 2 lumps.


Susan Wells

My personal journey started in March when I started noticing some differences in my breast when I looked in the mirror. Being a retired nurse and x-ray tech, I knew the importance of self breast exams, mammograms and noticing changes in the breast. When the change became very noticeable, I contacted my primary care physician right away and within three days I had an ultrasound, biopsy and diagnosis.