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Cindy's Story

Cindy Burdick's Survivor Story


Faith, Family and Friends


My doctor said it was nothing. Yes, my breast was swollen, but there was no lump and nothing showed on the mammogram. She thought maybe it was fluid. So we did an ultrasound, and nothing showed on that either. I left the doctor’s office with one breast that didn’t match the other and with the feeling that something was really wrong. A month later, I found out I was right.


I was diagnosed on April 7th, 2004. A needle biopsy showed that I had Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). I hadn’t heard of that before and it turns out that not very many people have either. It’s atypical and often misdiagnosed. By the time they found mine, I was at stage 3. And I had a cancer that hardly anyone gets. It made me feel really alone. But my family was always there, helping me get through what I knew would be a battle for my life. IBC is a very fast moving cancer so the treatment had to be very aggressive. I had a chemo cocktail for 5 months, then a mastectomy, then seven weeks of radiation. It was very hard on my body that I ended up in the hospital because my white count was so low.


What did I feel like when all that was happening? Well, I was scared. That goes without saying. I was very angry. I hate to admit it but there were many times when I asked God, “why me?” But most of all, I was determined it was not going to get me. With each new hurdle my resolve to survive this got stronger. And I know that strength came from my faith, my family, and my friends. My husband took me to every appointment, my granddaughter helped me shave my head, and I had another granddaughter, just two months old, who kept reminding me why I wanted to stay alive. When I felt bad, I would just sit and rock her. It was so healing. As a 6 year survivor, I feel very blessed. I made it and now have renewed faith in God, deeper friendships and unending gratitude for my family.