My Journey -
My Battle with Breast Cancer
ended today, October 16, 2006
Never, Never Give Up.

    September 8, 2006

    My doctor found a lump in my breast and told me to schedule a mammogram.  I was a busy satellite television entrepreneur with
    my husband and felt I was too busy to take the time.  So I waited three months before my mammogram was scheduled.

    I finally had my mammogram and on December 28, 1988 I learned from my oncologist that I had ductal carcinoma.  I then saw a
    surgeon, Dr. Thomas Moore and on January 3, 1989 he performed surgery.  I did not know what the outcome would be as we did
    not know the extent of the cancer.  I woke up with a mastectomy and the removal of 19 lymph nodes from my right side.  My
    cancer was F1 positive estrogen receptive.  The doctor said I had a lot of cancer in my breast.

    There wasn’t any cancer in my lymph nodes, therefore my follow up treatment was five years of Tamoxifen. The side effects
    were migraine headaches.

    Things changed between 1999 and 2002.

    I had been having back problems for four years.  I did acupuncture and massage therapy for relief. I had x-rays but was
    diagnosed with degenerative disc disease.  I was in remission for thirteen years.

    In May, 2002 I had a recurrence of breast cancer that had metastasized to the bones.  Later the cancer moved to my liver, lymph
    nodes and lungs.  My doctor in Sedona, AZ did not check my blood the year before.  A 2002 bone scan led to the diagnosis of

    I pursued my options and began treatment at a holistic clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I was with the clinic for six months.  During
    this time I thoroughly detoxed my body.  A picc line was inserted to my upper arm so large amounts of vitamin C, potassium and
    calcium were administered directly into my body to boost my immune system. I did this five days a week, four hours each day at
    the clinic.  I continued this treatment another six months at home after I left the clinic.  My diet consisted of organic veggies,
    grains, chicken and fish.  I did not eat meat, dairy or fruit, and nothing with sugar as cancer loves sugar!

    Along with the holistic treatment, I looked to the IU Cancer Center for medical help.  I was introduced to Dr. Anna Maria Storniolo
    (the best) at the IU Cancer Pavilion in October 2002.  She was upset that the doctor in Sedona, Arizona had not run more
    thorough tests the year before.   I tested Her 2U negative and I was also estrogen receptive positive.  Dr. Storniolo still treats me
    today and has become a close friend and a positive influence in my life.

    Dr. Storniolo started me on Faslodex (hormone shots) and Femara, neither being successful long term for me.  In addition to all
    that was going on with my cancer and treatments, I had to have my gall bladder removed!

    My next chemo was Taxol.  I had three treatments, one every three weeks.  I lost thirty pounds and looked like death before
    having radiation.  My tongue became increasingly sore.  But I got through it.

    My lymph nodes had become swollen due to cancer causing the liver duct to the colon at the duodenum to close off.  I became
    jaundice as my liver was unable to dump toxins.

    I had four (ERCP) liver stents installed in 19 weeks.  Twice I was in the hospital with blood infections.  During this time my picc
    line was removed.  I saw Dr. Morfis at IU for radiation treatments to reduce the tumor around the bile duct.  I had very high doses
    which can cause skin irritation.  However I did not have skin burns as I applied Aloe Vera gel on my skin daily.  After radiation,
    the tumor shrunk so I no longer needed the bile duct stent!  However cancer was now showing up in my liver.

    I still kept on my very strict diet, no dairy, no red meat and no sugar.  I would drink a green drink every day, use all organic foods
    if possible and take many supplements.  (Green Drink is “Radiant Greens” a powered dietary supplement which is organic,
    vegetarian and Vegan.))

    After radiation I returned to monthly Taxol for 3 more months.  My side effects were nausea and hair loss and my tongue was

    Then my tumor marker went up indicating it was time for a chemo change.  Tumor maker and CT scans are my best indicators
    of cancer activity.  My bone scans and PET scans were sporadic and produced undependable results.

    My chemo was changed to Xeloda for the next 15 months which created side effects of blisters on my hands and feet.  But it
    was worth it.  I soaked my feet and hands in aloe gel.  My tongue was sore and my stomach gave me problems.  For me, pure
    100% organic aloe helped to ease my feet and hand symptoms.  I also took 2 oz of aloe gel every night for my internal symptoms.

    Cancer spread to my liver and also created a substance that looked like ground glass around my lungs.  This affected my
    breathing.  After 15 months on Xeloda my tumor markers and tests indicated it was no longer working.  Again it was time for a

    In April 2005 my hemoglobin was 7.6, so I had my first blood infusion.  I had lots of support from donors who are my friends.  

    My next chemo was Gemcitabine or Gemzar.  The side effects were headaches and nausea.  

    CT scans taken:    9/2005  -  12/2005  -  3/2006
    I had pleural effusion which is liquid that settles between the lung and the chest cavity reducing lung capacity.  My breathing
    was becoming more labored with daily activity along with a morning cough.  I couldn't bring anything up.  It felt like a bronchial
    problem.  I was constantly clearing my throat.  I began bouncing on a large exercise ball to clear my lymph system and pleural
    effusion.  The doctors then drained the cavity to relieve the pressure.  I continue to drain at home.

    In late summer of 2006, I was offered a couple of chemos and a clinical trial which I declined.  My body has been weakened to
    the point where I am on God’s rest, oxygen and a couple of blood infusions to strengthen my body and my mind.  I am improving
    every day.  Go when you can.  Rest when you are tired, and always have faith in God and in your doctor.  Never give up on

    The Komen Foundation has helped give me strength.  Please participate and support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer

    Jan Schroeder
    December 30, 1947 - October 16, 2006