Maureen Corcoran

Posted by on Jan 26, 2012 in Blog | 8 comments

Maureen Corcoran

No one knows who will be chosen to be among the one out of ten people to get breast cancer.  Unfortunately I was one of them but luckily I am here today.   This was fifteen years ago when my son, Aaron Corcoran, was in High School.   It all seems like a blur today but it was a journey I would not wish on anyone.  Thank goodness there is better treatment and drugs today BUT there needs to be a cure.

Once a year I went in for my regular check up and mammogram and all was clear.  But something didn’t feel right to me.  I am a big believe in women not relying just on machines but to self-examine themselves.  I found my lump and went back to get it checked out in detail.   That is when they decided to do a biopsy and found out that I had breast cancer.  Since my gynecologist was a good friend, he referred me to a very good Oncologist in St. Louis, who managed my treatment and coordinated all with the surgeon.

When I went into surgery, I didn’t know if I would be getting a mastectomy or just a lumpectomy.  I remember thinking “why cut off the whole hand when it could be just a finger”?  I told the surgeon, that if it didn’t look like it spread but seemed contained, just do a lumpectomy.  I was one of the fortunate women who ended up getting a lumpectomy and only had cancer in one lymph node.

The real fight begins with theradiation and chemotherapy.  The radiation didn’t bother me but some of my friends who had breast cancer said that it burned their skin.  I just found that it made me a little tired but that was all.  But, on the other hand, the chemo was a different story.   To go into a room and sit for hours to get this horrible poison entering your body and killing all your cells was nothing to look forward to.   First of all, I am a person who doesn’t particularly care for needles in the first place so sitting in this big lounge chair each month was not my idea of fun.   The first few times I was just scared but felt ok afterwards.  Each time I went it became harder and harder to handle.  It gradually took all my energy, took my hair and made me feel like I was fighting for my life.  Of course, I was,  but I really didn’t think that way.   I had to keep a positive attitude for myself and my family.  This was very important to me, but unfortunately I could not hide the fact I was listless and sometimes helpless.  I was fortunate to have a supporting family and friends.

After the radiation and chemotherapy was done, I was put on a medicine called Tamoxifen.  I call this the “fat” drug.  I went from a size 7 to a size 16.   This was unbelievable for me but a small price to pay for life.   I know today there are much better medicines which is a good thing.

My son and husband were so supportive and I can’t thank them enough.  To this day, I am not sure I took the time to explain this all to my son and felt badly that they had to see me like I was.  I just know that it is very important to keep a positive attitude because I feel this is what helped me through my journey.

I had a network of girlfriends who were right beside me the entire time too.  When I lost my hair and wore a wig for a short period of time, they wore one too.  They would have even shaved their own hair for me.  They also made me hats and took me out when I was healthy enough to go.  They made me feel so comfortable and loved.    I really didn’t care for the wigs.  I felt they were scratchy and itchy so one day they convinced me that my bald head looked great so I tossed the wig aside and walked tall with my beautiful bald head.

Life is a journey we all must travel.  And, I am so proud that my son, Aaron Corcoran, is including part of his journey to continue fighting for a cure for Cancer.

Donate to her son’s 3-Day Journey now!

8 Comments

  1. I know you are proud of your son. And he is proud of you. Team Tiara is lucky to have him! Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. Maureen, WOW, has it really been 15 years? I’ll never forget the day we were sitting in your kitchen and you were talking about how awful it was to watch your hair fall out bit by bit. You so very bravely said, “I’d like to just shave it all off and get it over with…Will you do it?” And, of course, because you asked, I did. Your wonderful attitude made what could have been an onerous task one that taught me a life’s lesson in how to live the hand you’re dealt with grace and courage and always a sense of humor. Thank you for being you.
    Love you much, Tish

  3. This donation is in honor of my dear friend, Maureen Corcoran, whom I love dearly! She is one of my heroes! Love, Susan Berris

  4. Maureen, I didn’t realize you are a breast cancer survivor. I am too but of less than a year. Your story parallels mine. The support of family and friends got me through the rough times. My girlfriends made a HUGE difference in my overalll well being during treatment, as yours did. Thank God for all the support you and I received!! We are truly blessed.

  5. 15 years have pass, it feels like a lot longer time, a different chapter of our lives. I remember the day in K.C. running across the very windy street to go listen to Mama Ray sing…holding our wigs on laughing like fools. Getting in the RV and you saying that all for the wigs..bald is beauiful.
    Love you Maureen, glad your in my life
    Arron what a great way to show your Mother and women you know and love ..TO FIGHT FOR THE CURE. Keep the great spirit up.

  6. Mo, A very moving story. I’m so glad you survived so I could get to know you and become one of your friends. Your son is just like you, amazing!

  7. Thank you all for your warm and wonderful comments. I feel truly blessed.

  8. To my wife, Maureen, the bravest person I know.

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