I’m a Breast Cancer Survivor: Flora Norton
I had to deal with a cancer diagnosis twice in my life. The first time I was in the shower and noticed my nipple was inverted. I instinctively knew it was cancer. I went to the doctor and he confirmed that it was breast cancer. I did not receive any treatment that time. Chemotherapy was offered, but I declined. I did not want to experience all the side effects of the treatment. The second time, I found a lump while doing a self-breast exam. That time I chose to get treatment; I chose Tamoxifen, again in lieu of chemotherapy. However, I only stayed on that for about three weeks since I experienced some really bad side effects. I had surgery as well, resulting in me losing my first breast in 1984 and the second one in 2000.
I had a tremendous amount of support from my family. My mother, sister, brother and my daughter were all there for me and helped me through it, both times. During my second bout with cancer in 2000, I was in Reno and SGK had only been around a year or so. I was offered group counselling sessions, but it broke my heart to see young girls who were my daughter’s age diagnosed with this disease.
I walk every year for SGK to spread the word about the organization and hopefully help bring awareness for a cure. I have walked every year since I found out about it in 2000. I decided to be part of it in hopes that one day no one else will have to suffer or go through what I had to. My advice to readers is to be aware of any changes in how your breasts look or feel and always get your mammograms. Early detection has saved my life, twice. Having a very positive outlook in life is really important to survive this disease. Don’t let it win!
Story by Pypeline Editing
Flora Norton (Photo Credit to RGJ Media)