"The first thing that gets in your head is, 'I'm going to die.' That's not right. No, you're not going to die. Dig down and find something to help you get through this."
-- Patricia Bass
FAMILY: Sons John and Justin; four grandchildren
OCCUPATION: Registered nurse in the University Hospital emergency room
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: 1983; radical mastectomy
One day in 1983, Bass was lying in bed and found a lump in her breast. Less than a week later, her breast -- and the cancer -- were gone.
She was 36 years old.
"You could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out," she said. "I had two young boys, a husband and no family history."
Bass was determined not to let the diagnosis get her down, leaning on her husband, her family, her friends and her faith to help keep her strong.
"Make sure you have a good surgeon," she said. "If you don't understand something he tells you, make sure he puts it in language you understand. If you're not satisfied with your surgeon, go elsewhere.
"Make sure you know everything that's going on, what treatments you have to go through, how it's going to change your life.
"You've got to have faith (in God). It's too big for you to handle on your own."