T Nation

I Survived Breast Cancer!

Those of you who have been on the boards for awhile may remember me telling my story. I will post all the details below but in short, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 34, had a double mastectomy and returned to flipping tires, pulling trucks and just lifting damn weights within months of both surgeries.

I am lucky enough to have a husband who is a trainer as well as having a certification myself. I searched until I found doctors who would allow me to go back to weight lifting and even encouraged it!

I had many people in my life who helped me through a very tough spot in my life, many of whom reside right here on T-Nation. At the time I also had a workout partner who was on the forums and she helped me with my rehab by being supportive when I got frustrated with the little weight I could move.

Now that I am fully recovered (although still on tamoxifen), I am doing the breast cancer 3 Day walk here in Phoenix. The walk is the first weekend in November. Any donations would be greatly appreciated. Please see my donation below along with a link to the site to donate.

And thank you for reading my story!


Donation Page: http://www.the3day.org/Arizona07/shelleanderson

My story:

Please support me as I take an amazing journey in the fight against breast cancer! The Breast Cancer 3-Day is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. Net proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment.

How much is a life worth? How much is MY life worth to you?

How much would you give to help your daughter, daughter-in-law, grand daughter, wife, mother, friend or neighbor if it meant they would never have to suffer through the pain and fear caused by breast cancer? What if your donation saved just one life by helping with early detection of breast cancer or better yet, the eradication of breast cancer all together?

Those of you who know me personally know my story. I was diagnosed on Christmas Eve 2004 at the age of 34 with breast cancer. I had been to previous doctors who told me I was too young, I shouldn’t worry about my symptoms because the cancer was on my dad’s side and even to come back in 6 months if my symptoms persisted!

Luckily I found a doctor that took my symptoms seriously and she ordered many tests include mammograms, ductograms, ultrasounds and finally a contrasting MRI. On Christmas Eve she told me it was cancer, on New years Eve she told me it was 5CM in size and that I should consider a mastectomy, probably a double to be safe.

Enter the next holiday, Valentines Day 2005. One double mastectomy to go please, hold the fries.

I was one of the lucky ones, I had good insurance, and I found doctors that took my case as a priority. I didn’t end up needing chemo or radiation like they previously thought because my lymph nodes were clear and the tumor had broken apart by the time I had surgery.

But now I live with the constant reminder, the fear that it may come back with a vengeance. And even worse, I live with the thought that I might pass this potentially deadly disease on to a son or daughter some day in the near future.

Please help by making a contribution to the Breast Cancer 3 Day. I’m going to walk the 60 miles as a tribute to my friends, family and coworkers who helped me through the experience and with the hope that I can help save just one woman.

Please consider this, I can reach my goal if:

3000people contribute just $1 toward my goal
300 people contribute just $10 toward my goal
120 people contribute $25 toward my goal
30 people contribute $100 toward my goal

Every step makes a difference, every donation helps.

Thank you!

Shelle, I’m glad to hear of such positive things from you. I know your story (as you know mine about my dad when he passed away last year of cancer), and I think it’s incredible that you’ve fought this and won.

You’re awesome and an inspiration!

But you still owe me a rematch in arm wrestling. I’m ready to take you down!!!


Thank you so much, that means alot coming from you. Now, arm wrestling? You don’t want me to embarrass you a 2nd time, do you? Remember, I have the pictures to prove I WON!!!

It would be nice to see you again, bring your wife and head to AZ :slight_smile:

congratulations for such a positive attitude

and for having a nice ass [if that’s you in the pic]

I would love to bring Stacey and come out there again. It would be fun and a good chance to do some strongman training…and get that rematch!!! :wink:

It’s getting nice enough to workout at home again too. I love the setup at home, its just not condusive to workout there when it’s 110-120 degrees out during the day.

That’s why my home gym is now inside my apartment in the second bedroom. :wink:

But I still perform certain things outside.

Well, guess you’re hosting strongman training next then?

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
That’s why my home gym is now inside my apartment in the second bedroom. :wink:

But I still perform certain things outside.[/quote]

I hope you’re on the bottom floor, Nate. We wouldn’t want you crashing through the floor and injuring yourself.

What an inspirational story, Shelle. So glad to hear you are doing well.


you have such an inspiring story. My grandmother had breast cancer and survived after a masectomy and the whole chemo and radiation and you may remember you helped with great advice for my Mom who suffered her second bout with colon cancer this year. She previously had uterine cancer which she beat.

Thank you again for the advice and the support for my Mom this year.

I will definitely be signing up for your walk.


Shelle, you are such an inspiration to me and so many others! I’ve contributed to your walk, and I’m sooo glad you’ve beat cancer so you’re here to walk for others. Stay healthy…and strong! :slight_smile:


At this moment, I cannot get enough of stories such as yours. My youngest has just gone through a major chemo protocol for bone cancer and is going in on Oct 1st for surgery. Although the chemo has worked very well, there is still a real risk the he will lose his leg. Can’t bear thinking about that…

Even the best case scenario will leave him with another six months of chemo and reduced mobility.

thanks again

Great cause, great person :), just great all the way around. You are in inspiration Shellie. I still remember me and mom reading about you and the way your story helped her and I keep pressing on.

Im donating right now and I hope everyone does. Like she states even a dollar it doesnt seem like much but nit all adds up people

Thank You Shelle and congrats and keep on truckin girl. :slight_smile:

You are an inspiration and testimonial to breast cancer and cancer survivors.

AZ, congratulations on your survival and a prayer for continued health goes out to you. Last year my mom beat breast cancer and at her one year check up this year she has another shadow on her ultrasound. We are waiting for her MRI to find out for sure.

The waiting is the worst and the fear is intense. My mom is amazing she did the survivors walk last year at the Relay for Life the day she had her lumpectomy. I applaud you and your efforts to raise awareness to this cause. There are very few on earth today that cancer does not touch. Good luck with your goals and God Bless.


[quote]Hot AZ wrote:
Well, guess you’re hosting strongman training next then? [/quote]

I’d love to. I have almost everything we need except a large tire (but I know where to get one for free - I just don’t have the room for it at my apartment). :wink:

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:
Nate Dogg wrote:
That’s why my home gym is now inside my apartment in the second bedroom. :wink:

But I still perform certain things outside.

I hope you’re on the bottom floor, Nate. We wouldn’t want you crashing through the floor and injuring yourself.[/quote]

I originally had my home gym set up on the second floor in a previous apartment. But that’s when I only had a power rack, 300lb Olympic barbell set, flat bench and a few small things.

I now live on the first floor and have much more equipment. I wouldn’t dare have this stuff on a second floor anymore. The neighbors would probably get pissed when I’m doing deadlifts!

Nate - don’t you know you’re not supposed to “slam the weights down?”. LOL

Everyone, thank you so much for the kind words, well wishes and donations. I truly appreciate it!!! When i was encountering doctors that told me I’d never lift again, it broke my heart. It was the kind words and encouragement back then that made me push further and harder to find doctors that would help me but let me lift again!

And as weird as this sounds, cancer probably made me a better person.

I’ll say a prayer for your mom. I know the waiting is soooo hard. I had a scare where they thought it had moved to my bones, the waiting on the MRI from that was the worst. Please keep us posted on her status and if she needs anything or someone to talk to, please PM me!