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Renee's Story

About her story

"I will still smile and I will still fight."

After discovering a lump during a self-breast exam, Renee scheduled a doctor's appointment and was later diagnosed with an aggressive form of Stage 4 breast cancer.

"The moment I heard that I had breast cancer, I had a game plan in my head that I was going to fight," said Renee.

Renee's prognosis for treatment was difficult, but she decided early on that she was going to fight. Even after losing the use of her legs, Renee faced breast cancer with a smile.

Watch Renee's story and discover why her inspiring testimony and life touched the hearts of the producers, directors, and staff behind the National Breast Cancer Foundation's Beyond the Shock program.

Related Questions

  • terri valiente Profile

    Has anyone had proton therapy in place of radiation?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 2 answers
    • Linda Burke Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Terri, I just finished a course of HDR Brachytherapy , which is a form of proton therapy. I had a Savi catheter inserted into my left breast by a surgeon, and then received high dose radiation directly through that catheter into my left breast. I was able to receive higher doses of radiation...

      more

      Terri, I just finished a course of HDR Brachytherapy , which is a form of proton therapy. I had a Savi catheter inserted into my left breast by a surgeon, and then received high dose radiation directly through that catheter into my left breast. I was able to receive higher doses of radiation but again, only into the space where my tumor was. This meant I didn't have radiation anywhere else in my body. I had to go twice a day, 6hours apart, so at 830am and again at 230pm for the radiation. The radiation lasted 7 minutes. In 5 days, I was done. The catheter was removed at my last treatment and was painless. This type of radiation has been around for 9 years, and is fairly common, but many women do not know to ask for it, and many doctors do not think to offer it, especially if the hospitals are not equipped to deliver this type of radiation. God forbid, but if I were ever to need radiation in that left breast again, say another lump was found, I could have it again, which you could not if you have traditional radiation. I would recommend this type of radiation to everyone. The catheter was a bit cumbersome, but 5days versus 6 weeks was definitely an advantage. Good luck to you. With this type of radiation, you have it done Before you start chemotherapy ,not the traditional afterwards because the catheter insertion is done either at the lumpectomy, or right afterwards . My best wishes to you.

      3 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I don't know of anyone having gone through this type of treatment. I just "googled" it and quickly found a study being done.Good luck to you, Terri!
      http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00614172

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Do i have to go through both chemo and radiation? What if if i don't want to do either one? Is there a such thing as just to do a lumpectomy and that should be it?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Anonymous,
      Nobody wants to go through the treatment for breast cancer. It is lousy.... to say the least. I think you are still going through the shock of discovery and you want to not have to face the prospect of what is ahead of you. This is completely understandable. As far as your...

      more

      Anonymous,
      Nobody wants to go through the treatment for breast cancer. It is lousy.... to say the least. I think you are still going through the shock of discovery and you want to not have to face the prospect of what is ahead of you. This is completely understandable. As far as your treatment goes, it all depends on many factors yet to be found. No two treatment plans are the same. It really has to do with the type of breast cancer, stage, grade, ER, PR, oncoDX, your age, etc. Each woman's cancer is different as will be the treatment course. We would all wished the same... a little surgery and get on with your life. What you are going to find are options for the best way of treating this disease. If, after you hear the treatment plan, you are not satisfied, get a second opinion. We all go through the shock of hearing this terrifying diagnosis. Breast cancer is a formidable opponent. It is nothing to be trivialized. You want to beat this thing and never have to face it again in your life. Reoccurrences happen.... and that is why you want to kick breast cancer in the butt right now while you have the best chance. We are all here for you with our support, our experiences, and our advice. Hang in there... and take care, Sharon

      1 comment
    • Diane Washington Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Yes it is necessary its not a great thought. But living is it also give a greater chance of living and cancer not returning. They base treatment on what stage you come in with. Not as the way you end up. I felt the Same i was fighting and kicking the whole process but chemo. Behind now 28...

      more

      Yes it is necessary its not a great thought. But living is it also give a greater chance of living and cancer not returning. They base treatment on what stage you come in with. Not as the way you end up. I felt the Same i was fighting and kicking the whole process but chemo. Behind now 28 treatments of radiation left I have taken two , but I am alive Lumpectomy are great but the steps chemotherapy, radiation is what kills all that that surgery don't get.

      Comment
  • Edward Smith Profile

    At my post mastectomy consultation, what can I expect? I am stage 1 with no residual tissue and nodes are clean.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 3 answers
    • Betsy Krueger Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I also had my staples taken out at that point. I was amazed that it didn't hurt! Of course there's numbness at the mastectomy site, but this was the first time I realized what that meant. The numbness around the scar is still there, but the area where I have no feeling is smaller.

      This was...

      more

      I also had my staples taken out at that point. I was amazed that it didn't hurt! Of course there's numbness at the mastectomy site, but this was the first time I realized what that meant. The numbness around the scar is still there, but the area where I have no feeling is smaller.

      This was also the point at which I was handed off to the oncologist to discuss treatment--chemo, radiation. My cancer is DCIS, and I didn't have to have any more treatment. My DCIS had wide margins, and no node involvement.

      Hope it went well for you.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      You may get some further pathology results and the surgeon will check the mastectomy site. Depending on what sort of reconstruction you are having, if any, this will be discussed as well. Good luck

      Comment
  • Carla Victor-rawson Profile

    Has anyone had 35 rounds of radiation ? Scared, heard negative things. Please help , any advice would be helpful

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Lori S Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had 33 treatments with no major issues. There was some sunburn like issues, but all was manageable.

      Comment
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I am almost done with 28 treatments. I also had chemo and this is a breeze compared to that. The only thing is getting there every day which is getting a bit old, but the appointments are quick and easy. I have had no bad side effects aside from a little bit of fatigue very recently. Be sure...

      more

      I am almost done with 28 treatments. I also had chemo and this is a breeze compared to that. The only thing is getting there every day which is getting a bit old, but the appointments are quick and easy. I have had no bad side effects aside from a little bit of fatigue very recently. Be sure to use the cream/ointment they give you for the area and drink lots of water - both things keep the skin hydrated to help minimize the burning effects that the radiation can have. No worries! You'll be fine! :)

      Comment

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