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Age Diagnosed with IBC: 44
Year of Diagnosis: 1996
Current Status: Cancer free

I am a 26 years survivor of IBC. I was diagnosed in Aug of 1996 at age 44. You can do the math. I am proud to tell you all I am 70 years young. In those days, it was staged as a 3B cancer. My initial biopsy was done at Abington Hospital a suburb of Philadelphia. Due to a very quick thinking family doctor and a radiologist who had seen IBC in a friend of his, I am here today. My oncologist, who had trained at the University of Pennsylvania, saw me within a week of my diagnosis. I was given 4 rounds of CAF, followed by a mastectomy by a wonderful surgeon at Penn (no reconstruction). I then had a stem cell transplant often referred to as high dose chemotherapy which was followed by 30 plus rounds of radiation. I have never had reconstruction as I had enough done to me after 10 months of hospitals and doctors. A diagnosis of cancer takes a lifetime to wrap one’s head around. After ten years cancer free, my oncologist, Michael Spiritos released and told me to live my life which I have tried to do to its fullest. I credit my survival to support which came from my Ohev Shalom of Bucks County Community led by my Rabbi, many many friends and neighbors, my 4 parents, relatives near and far, and of course my husband Michael (47 yrs plus) and my sons who at the time were 17 and 14.

Share how you got through treatment:  Friends who took me, sat with me during chemo, and were just there for me and a therapist who has been with me all these years. A caring family dr who gets it.

Advice for those with IBC: Be relentless and believe.

Nina Surden

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