survivor of the day: tdonna kachen

Age: 63

When were you diagnosed?
August 2010

Are you cancer-free? If so, for how long?
Yes, I just passed my 1 year anniversary on Sept. 21st and Oct. 5th. Two surgeries were needed; a lumpectomy, then clearing one of the margins.

How have your family and friends helped you?
Just by being there and allowing me to be alone when I needed to be or offering to take me for my radiation treatments or bring me lunch. A good support system is everything.

What tips do you have to help other breast cancer survivors stay positive?
Surround yourself with positive people. Educate yourself but don't overanalyze or you'll think the worst. Laugh... a lot. You can't be negative when you laugh, so it's good to watch Ellen!

What has someone done to make you feel better?
Everyone made me feel better, from the wonderful emails, cards and flowers; especially from our contractor and his crew. That made me feel really good.

What advice would you give someone who is about to go through treatment?
Stay positive, surround yourself with positive people, laugh.

What was the scariest moment?
Hearing the doctor say you have cancer and you're scheduled for surgery in two weeks.

What was the funniest moment?
The technicians taking a picture of me on the radiation machine for my collage. (It was off.)

How has breast cancer made you stronger?
I made it, but more than that, I sat with people every day during my radiation treatments who were far worse than me and they were so positive and in good spirits. How could you not be stronger by just being with these wonderful people?