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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

  • Sarah Phinney Profile

    I'm having a double mastectomy and reconstruction later this week. What are helpful things to know beforehand (recovery, life after, etc,) that I might not have been told by the doctor?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    about 8 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Sarah, I had my double mastectomy in Oct.  There are a few things that other women told me that helped me a great deal. For your hospital stay bring some pants with an elastic waist, and a button down, or zip up top. I was sent home in a surgical bra but had a camisole with pockets to hold my...

      more

      Hi Sarah, I had my double mastectomy in Oct.  There are a few things that other women told me that helped me a great deal. For your hospital stay bring some pants with an elastic waist, and a button down, or zip up top. I was sent home in a surgical bra but had a camisole with pockets to hold my drains that I wore afterwards. Most insurance companies will cover surgical bras, camisoles, etc. There are"Pink Pockets" you can order online that will attach to the inside of your clothing as well to hold your drain bulbs. When taking a bath I used a long shoestring to loop my drain bulbs around my neck to keep them out of the way while bathing. You can also use a lanyard. I brought two small pillows with me to go under each arm on my ride home to make it more comfortable.  :).  If you have a recliner that would be awesome. It was a lifesaver for me. You will have to sleep on your back for awhile & I was so much more comfortable in my recliner than anywhere. If you don't have one, get several pillows so you can prop yourself up to a comfortable position. Be kind to yourself. It's emotionally hard losing your breasts. Get plenty of rest. I'll say a prayer for you in your healing. Come back here anytime you have questions or just need an ear. There are some awesome women here that have been in your shoes. Best wishes Sarah!

      1 comment
    • Trish Watt Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      One more thing, let people help, it makes THEM feel better. The other thing I learned from my oncology nurse is not to let the pain get ahead of you, as soon as your uncomfortable take your medicine......you will not become addicted to them, your body will let you know when to stop. The other...

      more

      One more thing, let people help, it makes THEM feel better. The other thing I learned from my oncology nurse is not to let the pain get ahead of you, as soon as your uncomfortable take your medicine......you will not become addicted to them, your body will let you know when to stop. The other thing I didn't expect is that this is a long process......I had my bi-lateral mastectomy March of 2010, implant surgery December 2010, nipple placement (if you decide to go that route) March 2011 and my final tattooing in November 2011. As you can see it's a slow process and indeed it needs to be. Let your body recover between surgeries and let your incisions heal. Everything I went through was worth it and I now don't worry about the cancer coming back as much as before....it literally and physically takes a great weight off of your mind. Good luck, I'll check back to see how you are doing.

      Comment
  • celien thorne Profile

    Where do you think the best placement of a low profile port is?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 8 years 2 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I had my port placed in my upper chest. I have heard of some placed in the arm but also with some problems in that area. I haven't had any problems at all. I was so glad i had it in the long run!

      Comment
    • Elena Ohlbrecht Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I agree, mine is in my upper chest. It was easy to access and I never had issues with it. Good luck.

      Comment
  • crissy dellacamera Profile
  • Sharon Danielson Profile

    I had regular mammograms and 7 months after my mammogram I found a lump. At that last mammogram appointment, I also had an ultrasound. When it was diagnosed, it was over 2CM and staged 2B IDC with a positive lymph node.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2007
    about 8 years 1 answer
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I was just diagnosed a couple of weeks ago after finding the lump myself during a self exam. I had just had my yearly mammogram 2 months earlier and they told me "Everything looks good see you in a year!" The oncologist said this lump could have been growning for several years and the mammograms...

      more

      I was just diagnosed a couple of weeks ago after finding the lump myself during a self exam. I had just had my yearly mammogram 2 months earlier and they told me "Everything looks good see you in a year!" The oncologist said this lump could have been growning for several years and the mammograms didn't pick it up, but the ultrasound did and the MRI with contrast did also. I'm not sure a mammogram is enough anymore from what I hear on many of the tumors.

      2 comments
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