CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Lori Faire celebrated her 12 year anniversary of being cancer free at the end of February.
Looking back, it was a life changing diagnosis.
In fact, she remembers receiving a phone call on Feb. 27, 2004, that she never expected, like it was yesterday.
"I can say that is probably the worst call I have ever gotten in my life," Faire said.
The diagnosis meant four chemotherapy treatments and eight surgeries in two years, including a mastectomy and reconstruction.
However, Faire said one of the hardest realities was losing her hair.
"If you knew me then, I had hair down to my waist," Faire said. "I always had a lot of hair ever since I was a little kid... People really knew me by my hair. That was kind of my trademark."
Faire said her hair would fall out in clumps. She described it as a big fluffy cat in the bathtub or sink.
Eventually, she cut it all off.
"No woman wants to lose all their hair. I don't care if you have hardly any, women don't want to lose their hair," Faire said.
Now, 12 years later, it's a lesson she embraces.
In fact, she uses it as a way to encourage other women going through the same struggle.
"My hair had never been cut short," Faire said. "I had never had bangs cut. I said if I can lose my hair then you can too."
It's a survivor story Faire tells to give others hope that they too can beat the ugly c.
"I might not ever know why I had to go through all this, but I said if it was to just help one person in anyway... it was worth it to go through it," Faire said.
Faire offers this advice for women currently battling breast cancer: be positive, have faith and rely on a good support system.
Without those, she says, beating cancer would not have been possible.