October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We asked readers to recount how breast cancer has touched their lives. Here is one of those stories ... The Breen family: Victoria Prestia of Illinois (from left); Michele Chalmers of Gainesville; Diane Paciencia of San Antonio, Texas; Joan Breen and husband Grover of Fleming Island; and son Chris of Melrose. Victoria, Diane and Joan are all breast cancer survivors. Joan Breen is also an ovarian cancer survivor My name is Joan Breen.
In 2006, I was attending Lewis University near Chicago, working on a bachelor’s degree in business and only one year away from graduation. During a routine mammogram and ultrasound, a spot was found on my right breast. A biopsy found stage 0 breast cancer, where cancer cells are contained in the part of the breast where they started. I attended classes with stitches and pain, determined to finish my degree. Then in 2007, my job in operations administration was eliminated. By