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Millions of women around the globe struggle with the day-to-day reality of living with breast cancer. Maimah never believed she would be one of them. Since a young age, Maimah was taught to always do self-examinations—even though there was no history of the disease in her family. At age 32, she discovered her biggest fear, a lump.

Maimah immediately scheduled an appointment with her doctor, who performed an aspiration, but it was unsuccessful. The doctor told her to come back in six months so they could try again. In that time, the lump doubled in size, so Maimah insisted that a biopsy be done.

While waiting for the results of the biopsy, Maimah continued to go about her daily life, anxiously awaiting the results. While on a conference call at work, Maimah could see her other line ringing. The number was from her doctor's office. It was in that moment that she realized she had breast cancer. "I just knew, intuitively," Maimah says. When she was diagnosed, she immediately thought of the consequences. "I thought, 'I can't leave my daughter.' I'd have given my left leg and arm to stay here with her. I can't leave her without a mom," Maimah says. "I was terrified."

Today, two years after her diagnosis, Maimah is doing well but realizes now that her life before breast cancer wasn't what it should have been. "I had this whole facade of being superwoman, always being perfect. Breast cancer strips you of that because you realize that's not important," Maimah says. "All that matters is what's inside."

"Sounds like a spiritual journey as well," Oprah says. "For every woman I've ever talked to who has been through it, it's a spiritual transformation that occurs."
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FROM: Christina Applegate: Why She Had a Double Mastectomy
Published on September 30, 2008
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.

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