A Breast Cancer survivor - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A Breast Cancer survivor

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Every year thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer... And every year we hear stories of triumph and defeat. But this month we bring you a very personal story. From one of our own.

It tells us a story that teaches us all to believe. Especially this close to mother's day.

As a reporter it's my job to tell stories. But rarely do I tell my story. But this time telling my story, or rather my mom's story, can give hope to other women who've faced breast cancer.

In life there are ups and downs. But its moments like this that shape who we are. This is the story of my mom, Michele squires, a breast cancer warrior:

It's a simple word: believe. But for my mom, Michele, believe is a way of life.

"My mother was diagnosed about 11 years ago and she was given a good prognosis. And she made it all the way until just one month shy of her 5 year anniversary and the cancer returned," said Michele Squires.

Stage 4 breast cancer. Which, in October 2003, took the life of my grandmother.

"I made a promise to my mother when she had the cancer return that i would get mammography's, so i was monitored fairly closely with mammography's," said Michele.

But it was a self breast exam that discovered something suspicious. At the time - life was busy - high school graduation - my mom had a new job and a year of graduate school. My mom didn't want to go to the doctor.

"It was my husband who said 'you need to get in there and have it looked at right away," said Michele.

April 15th, 2004 - my mom was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

"It was quite a shock to receive that diagnosis myself, 6 months after losing my mother," said Michele.

On May 3rd, 2004, she was referred to mayo clinic for an aggressive treatment - a double mastectomy, with chemotherapy to follow.

"They sent us to University of Iowa for chemotherapy. The parking garage happened to overlook Kinnick Statium so until i turned left instead of right i thought I was going to a game," said Jeff Squires.

But my dad was going to a game And he was the coach.

"I didn't believe the doctors when they said we're gonna go after this we're gonna be aggressive and you're gonna make it," said Jeff.

Months of chemo treatments, loosing her hair, and the many side effects - my mom had an army of support.

"We had the best doctors, both at mayo and u of i. We had the most caring people. You cannon find better," said Jeff.

"There's great power in prayer and there's great power in all the people around you who rally for your good health," said Michele.

So when believing was hard, it was friends and family that helped win the game.

"And you use whatever faith you have and you make it work," said Jeff.

A game that, five years later, has turned believe into life.

"To be here now is just short of a wonderful gift because I didn't expect to be and I am. And I thank god everyday that I am," said Michele.

My mom completed her chemo treatment in october of 2004. A few months later my family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, where my mom works as a drug counselor.

Using her life experiences to help offenders find hope.

It's hard to believe it's been five years, but my mom's story reminds us all that there is power, if you just believe.

You can find pictures, extended interviews and a message from Lauren's mom on her blog.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires
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