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Treatment: Taking One For The Team

What's going on Survivor fam, it's great to have you back!

Things are getting busy all around as we near the holidays and chill up a bit with dropping temps. But one thing that always heats things up is our founder Reggy Stainfil with his stunning photography (see above!).

Time after time Reggy captures the strength and beauty of our Survivor sisters and here we hope to give more insight to each survivor's story.

As an avid soccer fan and lifelong player, Mary J. Ciancimino's diagnosis in December 2012 wasn't going to stop her game, on the field and off!

"Soccer is a magical game. I never want to stop playing. It's in my soul. Survival is worth it!"

And survive she did. Just 2 months after diagnosis Mary underwent a mastectomy in February 2013, then began chemotherapy in April 2013 which she finished in August 2013.

She refers to her treatment regimen as ACT Treatment, which is what many patients and doctors refer to the triple threat chemo tactic which includes three main drugs of anthracyclines, such as doxorubicin (or Adriamycin), cyclophosphamide such as Cytoxan, and taxanes, such as paclitaxel (or Taxol).

According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center this is a very common combination of chemotherapy which follows the order of anthracyclines and cyclophosphamides first followed by taxanes every other week or weekly.

Taking on treatment is no small feat and many times it can feel discouraging with too many hurdles to get over ahead. But this is why we find Mary's self-motivation and approach to her treatment super cool and inspiring!

"Every treatment I received I dedicated to someone I love who has inspired me. Some are present in my life and some have passed. That got me through each treatment and has kept me going. I went into each treatment with thanks for what they had given to me. That's what gave me the courage to get through it all."

Perhaps it's her soccer background and sportsmanship that fueled her "take one for the team" approach.

Wherever it stems from we like this approach so much we may even apply this to all tough obstacles or even tough days, outside of diagnosis or breast cancer. Along with her novel dedication-approach to treatment, Mary credits her partner Eva, family and friends for their love and support which she says kept her positive and even laughing during her journey.

Mary echoes the words of the author Shaun Hick to remind us all that sometimes it takes some cloudy days to appreciate a clear blue sky.

"You need to spend time crawling alone through shadows to truly appreciate what it is to stand in the sun."

Not only is Mary our November survivor but it's also her birthday month so a huge happy birthday to her and we share in her celebration of life and cancer-free living at that!

We can't believe the holidays are so near and hope you stick with us as we finish up 2017 and gear up for 2018.

Be sure to join us next time as we introduce our December survivor and look back on such a wonderful year here at EOTS and preview the awesome year ahead.

Until then, have a blessed Thanksgiving and keep your Eye On Strength!

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