#LastChemo: 'It takes a village,' says breast cancer survivor

February 8, 2015 | by City of Hope

Michele Dahlstein, a 50-year-old breast cancer survivor from Upland, California, celebrated her last day of chemotherapy on Dec. 30. She shares her story in her own words:

breast cancer survivor Breast cancer survivor Michele Dahlstein proudly shows off the medal commemorating her last chemo treatment.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma stage 2) on Aug. 11, 2014, after my yearly mammogram at City of Hope's Women's Health Center, followed by a screening mammogram and biopsy. After consultations with Dr. Laura Kruper and Dr. James Andersen, I underwent a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction on Sept. 15, 2014.

Because I had two positive lymph nodes, I also underwent four rounds of chemo (after consulting with Dr. James Waisman).  I began my chemo on Oct. 30, 2014, and had my last one Dec. 30, 2014. My first chemo was the roughest. I experienced many side effects. Now that I'm finished with my treatment, I'm looking forward to getting back to my “normal" life ( having more energy, teaching, exercising, traveling and tasting food).

It takes a village! Thank you my family, friends, everyone at City of Hope's Women's Health Center, Dr. Kruper, Dr. Andersen, Liz Yates, Dr. Wasiman and Lori Rezanek-Kells. You're the best!!!

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Have a #LastChemo photo or story to share? Share with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or by email at media@coh.org.

Learn more about becoming a patient or getting a second opinion at City of Hope by visiting our website or by calling 800-826-HOPE (4673). City of Hope staff will explain what's required for a consult at City of Hope and help you determine, before you come in, whether or not your insurance will pay for the appointment.

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