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February, 10 2013: Dolling Survivor: Julie

Please tell The Dolling Foundation your story.

My name is Juliette Bragg. In early 2008 at the age of 45 I received the most devastating news a person could hear, news that would change my life forever.

My team of doctors called me in to the hospital to advise me of the test results from my mammogram and the biopsy of my left breast.  I was informed that the tests were positive for cancer cells.  I was diagnosed with a malignancy.  The initial diagnosis was traumatic and beyond my comprehension.  I knew at that moment I had to face a multitude of decisions with my doctors, family and friends.  My doctors and I decided the best treatment was for me to remove both breasts (Bi-lateral mastectomy).

On May 8, 2008 my hospital roomed was filled with family and friends.  We joined hands and prayed together before my surgery.  Out prayers were answered and the surgery was successful.  Removing ll cancer from my left breast but unfortunately my lymph nodes were positive for cancer cells, the cancer had grown.  I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer and the tumor was stage IV.  I know my road to recovery required lots of faith and determination.  I knew I had to fight in order to live.

After surgery I would have to undergo one and a half years of chemo therapy and after completion of chemo.  Radiation therapy from everyday for 12 weeks. I was blessed to get through of this with very little side effects or complications.

Having been diagnosed with cancer was an eye opener.  It taught me that life is too short to post pone.  It showed me how much I really enjoyed life.  It helped to grow as a person and I changed my ways for the better.  Cancer humbles you.  It makes you a more caring and loving person.  Cancer teaches you to be kind to yourself and others.  To be thankful for each day granted and to treat it joyously and make every day and moment special.

It’s been four years since diagnosis.  I’m alive, happy, healthy and cancer free.  I can now say to the world, “I AM A CANCER SURVIVOR!”  I won the fight.

MY heart is filled with an abundance of live for everyone.  I respect all people.   I walk with faith and hope and I wear a big smile.  I love life and all that it has to offer.

How was the process with getting the wig made?

The process was fast and simple, very professional.  My head was measured, pictures were taken of my side profile, front and back of my head and the information was emailed.  The entire process took two weeks to completed.

Now that you have the wig, how has helped you in your everyday life?

Having the special made wig has helped my self-esteem, confidence and it so convenient.  I wear it with pride.  I hold my head high and I walk with confidence, I feel GREAT!

With this wig I now feel…

Fabulous, beautiful, sexy and more confident than ever before.  I love my wig, I love the new me.  Thank you Dolling Foundation.  I get so many compliments! Everyone think it’s my natural hair.

What helps you get through your fight with cancer?

The thing that helps me get through each day is my faith.   I truly believe that all things are possible through prayer.  Strong burning desire to live knowledge of my disease, hope, inspiration, fight, determination, laughter, exercise, healthy eating habits, maintain a positive mental and emotional attitude.  Most importantly LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! And support from family and friends.

When you found out you could lose your hair did it have an impact on
your self-esteem?

When I found out I would lose my hair it had a great impact on my self esteem.  I didn’t want to leave the house.  I didn’t want people to stare or look at me strange.  I didn’t want people to feel sorry or pity me.  Some of my family and friends would often cry and that would make me sad.  So the Dolling Foundation changed my life.  I no longer had to worry about the things I mentioned above.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

As a cancer survivor I would like to tell others that have been diagnosed to have faith and truly believe.  Always maintain a positive attitude (mental and emotional).  Don’t let negative thoughts get the best of you.  Fight, fight, fight, stay strong.  Know that there are many wonderful and helpful support groups available.  Remember to educate yourself regarding your disease and with all the tremendous advances being made daily in cancer research and treatments, there is always HOPE!

I’d like to thank the Dolling Foundation for letting me tell my story.  I have truly been blessed and I hope that I have touched and blessed the lives of others.

Along with the Dolling Foundation we can make a difference.