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Bonnie's Story

About her story

"There's some things in life you have to share. You have to have someone to lean on, and they'll help you get through."

After performing a self-breast exam, Bonnie Brooks discovered a lump and immediately scheduled an appointment with her doctor. On September 11, 2008, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 metastatic breast cancer. With a difficult treatment regiment ahead, including chemotherapy, she realized that she could not face breast cancer alone.

"I was always very independent and I've learned with breast cancer you can't always be independent," says Brooks. "You have to be dependent on people to help you through."

Hear Bonnie's inspirational story and learn more about how she overcame breast cancer.

Related Questions

  • jackie Dautovic Profile

    2 weeks after re-excision biopsy, I have fatigue and 99.4 temperature. Is this normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years Answer
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am scheduling my biopsy. What should I know to ask a breast surgeon? Don't want to be awake during biopsy. Can they see what it is, and just do either Lumpectomy or Masectomy? Hubby not helpful, and no friends in the area....

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi there,

      First, I'm sorry you don't have the support you'd like from your husband. We all understand your fear and anxiety -- just know that there are a bunch of women who are here to give you the support you need.

      Second, you don't say what kind of biopsy you're having, but I suspect it...

      more

      Hi there,

      First, I'm sorry you don't have the support you'd like from your husband. We all understand your fear and anxiety -- just know that there are a bunch of women who are here to give you the support you need.

      Second, you don't say what kind of biopsy you're having, but I suspect it involves minor surgery. You don't really have to be awake, but you don't need general anesthesia either. What they can do is give you what they call "IV sedation" which really relaxes you. They may also throw some stuff in there so you don't remember the procedure at all. They will definitely make the entire biopsy area numb so you won't feel any pain. the biopsy doesn't take very long -- putting you under general anesthesia would probably take longer!

      Third, a diagnosis isn't a one-step process. We ALL want to know right away. A breast surgeon will have an idea once he/she sees the lump. But in my experience they don't usually do frozen sections (a quick look by a pathologist) during or immediately after a biopsy. They send the tissue to the pathologist so he/she can look at it carefully and make a proper diagnosis.

      If it's cancer, the doctor will want to talk to you about what type of cancer it is, along with a number of other things. Most importantly, he/she will discuss options with you. Ultimately it will be your decision, but as long as your doctor is a BOARD CERTIFIED surgeon who likely specializes in breast surgery, he/she will steer you in the right direction.

      Best of luck to you. Keep us posted!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Anonymous,
      There are decisions to be made from what is found by doing the biopsy. SInce you have not had one, a needle biopsy is not a "for sure" having breast cancer. Needle biopsy's are done awake. As awful as it sounds, it is a quick procedure and many times the doctor doing the biopsy...

      more

      Anonymous,
      There are decisions to be made from what is found by doing the biopsy. SInce you have not had one, a needle biopsy is not a "for sure" having breast cancer. Needle biopsy's are done awake. As awful as it sounds, it is a quick procedure and many times the doctor doing the biopsy has some information to share. A small area of the breast is numbed, and the needle used to take the sample, doesn't hurt, you just feel pressure. Again.... just because you are having a biopsy, certainly does not mean you have breast cancer. So many of my friends have had biopsy's and of all of them, I am the only one who turned up with breast cancer. Please take one thing at a time. If you have not had a biopsy and actually been told you have breast cancer assume you DON'T until the biopsy results are back. In the world of breast cancer.... there are a lot of testing, and decision making that goes into it even before you have surgery. One step at a time....
      You have the biopsy, in about a week, you get the results. Most of the time, there is nothing wrong and you just go on with your life. If you do have breast cancer, you will have a series of testing before you have surgery. After surgery, you will hear about the rest of your treatment. Every woman is treated as an individual. A diagnosis of breast cancer is NOT a death sentence! We, who have had breast cancer, will be your friends, and sisters in this journey. BUT FIRST.... you have to be diagnosed with breast cancer!
      Hang in there darlin' you may not join our Ya-Ya Sisterhood until you hear those lousy words.... "You have breast cancer...." Here is wishing you WON'T be one of the members!
      Hugs and caring, Sharon

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I just had my first chemo treatment on Monday. I'm feeling very tired and having headaches. Is this normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      The way you are feeling is oh so normal. I would just expect the week of the chemo to feel like that. It was my "couch time" watching movies. Netflix and I had a close relationship! The chemotherapy is really doing a number on not only the cancer cells but your good cells. It is no wonder we...

      more

      The way you are feeling is oh so normal. I would just expect the week of the chemo to feel like that. It was my "couch time" watching movies. Netflix and I had a close relationship! The chemotherapy is really doing a number on not only the cancer cells but your good cells. It is no wonder we become very tired. Listen to your body, don't try to be heroic the week of your treatment. Take it easy, hopefully you have good nutricious easy-to-prepare food around to eat. Remember to drink lots of water too. Take it easy.... this is your first treatment. I used to think of them as being one more down and closer to getting back to my normal life. Hang in there.... what you are experiencing is as normal as possible. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • vicky kayley Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was exactly same after 1st one had my second last Tuesday and today am so tired I don't know what to do with myself. Just listen to your body and rest that what I do good luck x x

      Comment
  • Sharon Danielson Profile

    Read about this and wanted to share it regarding chemo-hair-losshttp://www.msc-worldwide.com/

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2007
    over 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hey Sharon...great idea posting this!! I'd read of women using the cold cap & they swore by it. They didn't lose much of their hair. Some said that didn't lose any! It's worth checking into !!!!

      Comment
    • Kim Amelio Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      My mom actually asked about this and was told by her oncologist that wearing cold caps may actually prevent the chemo from going to that area.. So I guess if it were me.. I'd rather be bald and not worry about the cancer going to my brain - just my opnion

      5 comments
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