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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.

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  • Jessica Fisher Profile

    Started chemo yesterday AC, feeling pretty worn down nautious and achy which I expected , but also very emotional just want to cry for no good reason . Has anyone else experienced this?

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    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Yes, it's very normal. I've been having my treatments since May of last year. Emotionally it's hard sometimes. Chemo can exaust your body and mind. Sure...you want to be positive. But you're going to have "down" days. Anyone that can stay positive 24/7 doesn't have both oars in the water. Allow...

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      Yes, it's very normal. I've been having my treatments since May of last year. Emotionally it's hard sometimes. Chemo can exaust your body and mind. Sure...you want to be positive. But you're going to have "down" days. Anyone that can stay positive 24/7 doesn't have both oars in the water. Allow yourself to cry. It's ok to let those feelings out. Then you can have room for the good feelings.  :).  I can see a touching commercial on tv and cry at the drop of a hat. Reading stories of  other women that have been in our shoes help me tremendously. I love the book "There's No Place Like Hope" by Vickie Gerard!! And it makes me feel better helping others. I'll be thinking of you and you'll be in my prayers as well. Hugs Jessica and keep the faith!

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    • Tiffani Warila Profile
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      When I was getting AC (and then T) I started off real positive, but as the treatments went on I started to get frustrated, sad, and just wanted to be done. I started to count down the treatments. It made me feel so much better thinking "I only have 4...3...2...1 more treatment". I did also get...

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      When I was getting AC (and then T) I started off real positive, but as the treatments went on I started to get frustrated, sad, and just wanted to be done. I started to count down the treatments. It made me feel so much better thinking "I only have 4...3...2...1 more treatment". I did also get really emotional sometimes. I think I would hold it in, and then i would get to a breaking point, and EVERYTHING would make me cry. I felt like the children's book "Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day". I finished my 8th round of chemo Nov. 5, and I still have sad days, but they happen less often.

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  • Susan Green Profile

    My oncologist said that cancer could have spread even though I had a mastectomy with negative lymph nodes. Has anyone had this happen?

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    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I think it all depends on the pathology of the breast cancer. There are so many other findings once a detailed report comes back one needs more information. Did you doctor say this in a context of recommending further treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation? There is probably always a...

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      I think it all depends on the pathology of the breast cancer. There are so many other findings once a detailed report comes back one needs more information. Did you doctor say this in a context of recommending further treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation? There is probably always a possibility of a cancer spreading but you / we need more information. If you are unsure about additional treatment, I would advise you to get a second opinion. Susan, good luck to you. There are a ba-zillion of us alive and well post breast cancer!

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    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
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      Well, dang I wrote a whole long bla-bla and somehow it vanished. The testing your doctor is waiting for is probably an "Oncotest DX" This test looks at the actual tumor cells and pathologists are able to grade them as to their probability of recurrance. If they are a higher grade on the scale,...

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      Well, dang I wrote a whole long bla-bla and somehow it vanished. The testing your doctor is waiting for is probably an "Oncotest DX" This test looks at the actual tumor cells and pathologists are able to grade them as to their probability of recurrance. If they are a higher grade on the scale, they will recommend further treatment. This way, if they are a low grade for recurrance, you won't be receiving unnecesary treatment. My brother-in-law had breast cancer and the onco DX and his cells were so low grade he didn't have to have any further treatment after his mastectomy. I did not have an onco test 4 years ago because I had one positive lymph node. (BUT...) My oncologist had just returned from a breast cancer symposium and there had been a completion of a study which benefited me. I only had to have 4 rounds of chemo because of the study because the study showed any more chemo would NOT benefit my type of breast cancer.....YAHOOOO! . Every single day, little advancements are made in diagnostics and treatments. The way it is going, treatments are becoming less drastic than they were in the past. This test you are waiting for does take longer than the other pathology for your tumor. This will be the final one in the line of all the diagnostics. You will move along to the next step. Susan, don't worry.... you will be ok. There are a ton of positive stories out here. Women are living long lives. I hope you keep in contact. We are a great big supportive group out here. We want to help other sisters who are going through this all too common battle. Again, please stay in touch. All the best to you, we all know what you are going through. Big healing hugs, Sharon

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  • Nicole W Profile

    Has anyone had a low score on the Oncotype test but still chosen chemo? I had lumpectomy with negative nodes but lymphovascular invasion so I think I want to be as aggressive as possible despite the side effects of chemo, but not sure yet.

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    Survivor since 2013
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    • Susan Green Profile
      anonymous
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      My onco score was 29 and I decided not to have chemo or radiation. My oncologist wanted me to go through both. She said that it would only increase my chances of cancer returning by 5 percent, and that was not enough for me. I had a mastectomy in Jan. of this year and am doing fine. My cancer...

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      My onco score was 29 and I decided not to have chemo or radiation. My oncologist wanted me to go through both. She said that it would only increase my chances of cancer returning by 5 percent, and that was not enough for me. I had a mastectomy in Jan. of this year and am doing fine. My cancer was fed by hormones. I had a lump that was 5 cm with negative lymph nodes. I would talk to my oncologist to see how likely your cancer would return without the chemo or radiation. This was my choice. I am on hormone blockers for 5 years, and I felt that if that is what was feeding the cancer, it should be enough as they removed everything! Good luck with whatever you decide and go through!

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      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Nicole,
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      Nicole,
      Your Oncologist will give you the long list of side effects from chemotherapy. You are literally take a type of poison which kills both cancer cells and other fast dividing good cells. It's a tough call. After having been through chemo, I would look long and hard at all sides of this. You can't tell if you are going to be the one the chemotherapy does irreparable harm and damage to your body. I came out of it with severe osteoporosis. Other women come out with heart damage that can't be repaired. A woman I worked with and my mother-in-law both died of the heart complication..... not their cancer's. There is no way to advise or describe how you will feel going through chemotherapy. It is a very tough struggle in which you have to depend on others to help get you through it. If you have a job, you may not be able to continue until you are through treatment. If you have children, they are going to be seeing a pretty sick Mommy. On top of that.... you will lose your hair, possibly eyelashes, eyebrows, too..... the worst of all....ugh.

      Women need to choose the treatment options and be as aggressive as will make them feel they have done what is possible. Despite a low onco score, you really want to feel you have done every treatment available to you. If so, then it is really only up to you. My Onc and I discussed women who, no matter if a treatment is only going to be of 1% benefit to them, they still wanted it. This is your body, your choice, your life and if choosing to go ahead with a more aggressive treatment then it doesn't matter what anybody else advises.
      I hope more weigh in on your question.... it's a tough one.
      Take care, and good luck, Sharon

      1 comment
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