(Laura Simon) [Order this photo]
Years battling breast cancer: Almost one; was diagnosed in November 2011.
The hardest part: I guess, physically, it was going through the chemo. Mentally and emotionally, it was everything. My whole world came to a stop. You think you have the world by the tail; I did. One sentence and your life is changed forever. The hardest part was just getting my mind around it. I found the lump in the breast myself. I'd had my yearly mammogram six months before and everything was fine. When I found the lump, I went straight to the doctor and had a biopsy. I told them to call me at work with the results. They had to tell me three times, I was so stunned. I figured it would be benign. I'm such an optimistic person that I hadn't given it any thought.
Advice for others: Stay around positive people. Stay away from anything negative. Even the Internet -- it got to where I wouldn't get on the Internet; there's so much negative stuff that could bring you down. Watch funny movies, learn to laugh and get lots of support.