Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Shelley Rossetter, Kameel Stanley, Keeley Sheehan & Keyonna Summers

High Heel Hike: Still time to join!

16

September

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Only a few days until the Tampa Bay High Heel Hike! There's still time to join the Deal Divas to walk for a breast cancer cure this Saturday in Hyde Park Village. For joining the our team, you'll get some free goodies (can you say FEATHER BOA?!), and you'll have the most fun ever! Go to highheelhike.com to register, and be sure to choose Deal Divas.

We still have a few free registration spots left. Just e-mail a story of how breast cancer has impacted your life to shayes@sptimes.com, and we'll waive the $25 fee and get you on the Deal Divas team for free.

Walkers: meet up at 11 a.m. in Hyde Park Village and look for the Deal Divas wearing tbt* red boas. You'll get your free shirt then!

~ Deal Diva Stephanie

(Photo: John Pendygraft, St. Pete Times. And yes, that's me. And yes, it was awkward. The things we do for charity!)

Below are stories from readers Marjorie and Karen, who will be with us on Saturday.

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I had my first mammogram at the age of 32.  My mother has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and I went to my doctor in a panic. Since my mother’s tumor was discovered very early, a lumpectomy and radiation were successful.

I continued to have mammograms every two years until I hit the big 4-O.  By this time we had moved to Pinellas County and I had to find new doctors. At the radiologist’s office, there seemed to be huge problems with scheduling.  I would arrive promptly for my appointment only to wait for over an hour while others, seemingly with no appointment, were seen before me. This was very annoying until I realized these women had been told their mammograms had been abnormal in some way and needed to be re-tested. From that moment on, my annoyance was completely gone. How wonderful that these women could been seen promptly and have their fears laid to rest or have courses of treatment begin sooner. In the back of my mind was also the thought that some day I could be in that situation.

That day came. What my doctor called an “artifact” was discovered. I went (without an appointment) to have the mammogram re-taken and have an ultrasound.  After the re-test it was suggested that I should be put on a six-month schedule of testing.

It was determined the “artifact” was a cyst, which has not changed.  I am now back on a yearly testing schedule. I always say a little prayer for those women who arrive unscheduled.

- Karen Geraci

Raising money for breast cancer research is near and dear to my heart.  My mother Jeannette was diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 90s at age 51. After a lumpectomy and radiation, I’m glad to say she’s been cancer free for close to 10 years now. Then my Aunt Amparo was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years later, also in her early 50s. Unfortunately, although she felt the lump in her breast, she didn’t tell anyone about it right away. Although they were able to do the lumpectomy, in addition to radiation, she also had to undergo an aggressive treatment of chemotherapy. And she’s had to have some reconstructive surgery as well. I’m glad to say that after some rough times, she too is now cancer free and doing well. Then my cousin Solanlly, Aunt Amparo’s daughter, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She too battled and won and has been cancer free for several years.

Although research shows that the majority of cases of breast cancer are not hereditary, it’s a very scary thought to think that yet another female member of my family could fall victim to this disease.  I’m determined not to become the next victim, or at the very least to do everything in my power to make sure that it’s detected early. From the age of 25 I’ve been getting my annual mammogram and doing self exams. I think that more women should have mammograms done earlier as part of their well woman visits. And it’s only with support for a cause and research of the disease that we can fight this disease more aggressively, and win.

- Marjorie Yont

[Last modified: Thursday, May 20, 2010 5:10pm]

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