Real Life Heroes: Cancer Up Close and Personal

October 4, 2008 at 5:37 am 5 comments

In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I would like to post every Saturday a personal tribute to someone in my life who has had to battle with cancer. This is a tribute to my Step-Mom Jan, who seven years ago had a radical mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

My freshman year in college I took a ballroom dance course and there was a very low ratio of men to women enrolled in the class. I asked my teacher if my single Dad could participate. Jan was enrolled in this dance class as a faculty member of Indiana University and within a few weeks, the two got acquainted during class time. Jan and my Dad were engaged and married by the following semester. Twenty some years later, I am very happy to say, we all love Jan dearly. She has been a wonderful blessing to me and my family’s lives.

Jan adores animals, and has been known to adopt several cats over the years that didn’t have a home. At the age of 71, she remains very active and takes her health seriously. She has a flair for gardening and home decor, volunteers for several local community projects, as well as being a wonderful Grandmother to 16 grandchildren!

Thank you Jan for being such a fine human being and for sharing your love with us. And thank you for your valiant fight seven years ago to still be with us. May you continue in good health and cancer free!

If you live in the Hoosier State of Indiana, you can buy your own Breast Cancer Awareness License Plate with a Life Saving Message, at Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust, Inc.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Decorative Diva  |  October 4, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    I’m originally from Indiana. My paternal grandmother had a radical masectomy due to breast cancer, and thankfully she’s still alive this day because of it at 85. I had a breast cancer scare at age 23, and had a huge benign cyst. One of the men in my life has male breast cancer in his family, which his grandfather had. Just this year, he had to have a bilateral masectomy, to remove all of his male breast tissue because of lumps that he’d had that they were worried would turn into cancer. Breast cancer is a very scary thing to me.

  • 2. Jen Hill  |  October 4, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    You’re originally from Indiana? That is so cool DD!

    Sounds like Breast Cancer definitely hits you and your family very closely. Thank you for sharing your stories and hopefully our determination to find a cure with lead to one.

    On the Total Beauty -Total Cure MySpace Page ( it says that about 1,990 men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. So sorry to hear of your family’s struggles.

  • 3. Decorative Diva  |  October 4, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Yeah, I was actually looking at that MySpace page the other day and saw that number! It really is sort of a silent thing in men, no one wants to talk about men having it.

    And yes, originally from Indiana, but I’m so glad to not live there anymore. I didn’t fit in very well. I did much better when I lived in San Francisco, and I do quite well here in Florida. 🙂

  • 4. Jen Hill  |  October 5, 2008 at 7:53 am

    I am so glad you have found a home! I’m still searching in some respects, although many of my dreams take place in Indiana.

  • […] prostrate surgically removed after being diagnosed with prostrate cancer.   His wife Jan, who I wrote about last Saturday is a breast cancer survivor of seven years.  I want to include the men who struggle with cancer […]


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