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Penny's Story

About her story

"I knew I had to take this horrible, bad thing and turn it in to something positive."

In March 2010, Penny was diagnosed with Stage IIB Triple-negative breast cancer.

"There's something about when you've been diagnosed with breast cancer, it's like being elected to a club that you never wanted to be a part of," says Penny. "But, when you're there, you're really glad there's other people with you."

A busy salon owner, Penny realized that her diagnosis and treatment would completely change her lifestyle. But, through breast cancer, she learned that it was her family and support that meant most to her.

Watch Penny's story and learn how a rare form of breast cancer changed her life and helped her realize that all things work out for good in the end.

Related Questions

  • Connie Herrick Profile

    I had my first chemo treatment on 9/2/11--taxotere/cytoxan. If I lose my hair, when can I expect to see that happen?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2011
    over 8 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Donna Beasley Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hey Connie, all comments in reading go hand in hand with my chemo . It's been a year since my last treatment, you too will make it through this part. I use to make jokes about how much you didn't realize why you needed hair in so many areas. Well when you loose it you realize why.... Eye...

      more

      Hey Connie, all comments in reading go hand in hand with my chemo . It's been a year since my last treatment, you too will make it through this part. I use to make jokes about how much you didn't realize why you needed hair in so many areas. Well when you loose it you realize why.... Eye lashes..... Keep tears in N trash out... Nose....keeps the drips in your nose otherwise your setting there and it just keeps pouring out.... Under arms and legs don't have to be shaved. Yes! Funniest for last..... And don't mean to sound vulgar or unlady like.... But "Miss Kitty" starts loosing first, and when gone from that area there was no control of hitting in toilet... Almost like one of the boys everywhere! Like I said you have to make best out of this part but that laughter is truly the best medicine. Best of luck lady let me know if you need to talk or a good laugh. Donna

      1 comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Connie. I'm currently going through chemo. My oncologist told me most women will start losing their hair within two weeks of their first treatment. She was right. I began losing my hair within 13 days from my first chemo. Losing your hair is understandably upsetting but I will tell you this...

      more

      Hi Connie. I'm currently going through chemo. My oncologist told me most women will start losing their hair within two weeks of their first treatment. She was right. I began losing my hair within 13 days from my first chemo. Losing your hair is understandably upsetting but I will tell you this and most women will say the same.....I was so upset about the prospect of losing my hair. The fear of losing your hair is truly worse than actually having it gone. I never would have believed it...but it's true. When my hair began falling out ( my hair was really long ) I had my boyfriend give me a buzz cut. It was difficult but I felt more empowered that way. It was easier than watching it come out in clumps.

      Hugs and best wishes in your journey,

      Diana. :)

      5 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    I had a second surgery as they didn't get clear margins the first time. So far I am stage 2a grade 3 2 lymph nodes involved. Is that bad? Still draining so can't get chemo yet.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Breast cancer IS just plain bad! I was 2A and after my surgery was downgraded to a 2B because I had one lymph node positive. It is better if you don't have any lymph node involvement but you deal with what you have. Not knowing any more about your breast cancer except stage and grade,(type) 2A...

      more

      Breast cancer IS just plain bad! I was 2A and after my surgery was downgraded to a 2B because I had one lymph node positive. It is better if you don't have any lymph node involvement but you deal with what you have. Not knowing any more about your breast cancer except stage and grade,(type) 2A has you far from the end of your rope. Your surgeon and/or oncologist will go over all of your tests before you go on to the next part of your treatment. You are at a very treatable stage so you will be ok. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I had lumpectomy then a second to clean up margins by the everything was done I was stage III ER no nodes. Mentally and emotionaly I was a wreck. I'm not a stupid person but I just get my head wrapped around everything. Everyday more life changing decisions to make. I had to make decisions about...

      more

      I had lumpectomy then a second to clean up margins by the everything was done I was stage III ER no nodes. Mentally and emotionaly I was a wreck. I'm not a stupid person but I just get my head wrapped around everything. Everyday more life changing decisions to make. I had to make decisions about issues I didn't think I had full understanding. Looking back I think it was denial. Breast cancer is a very bumpy road and so indivdual I finely figured out to trust my doctors/nurses/trusted and my good judgement.

      Comment
  • Rachael Leslie Profile

    My girlfriend was diagnosed with breast cancer yesterday. The appointment with the surgeon is next week to get specific answers. I want to do anything and everything I can to help her through this. Any advice is very much needed and appreciated!

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Rachael,
      How wonderful your dear friend has you standing by her side. She is probably going through the depths of the most terrifying hell right now. I agree with what Anne Marie has said. When I was diagnosed, my friends left me.... which was a horrendous shock. What she will need is your...

      more

      Rachael,
      How wonderful your dear friend has you standing by her side. She is probably going through the depths of the most terrifying hell right now. I agree with what Anne Marie has said. When I was diagnosed, my friends left me.... which was a horrendous shock. What she will need is your support. Go with her to her appointments.... the diagnostic ones will be particularly important. She will need someone to --take notes-- as she will never be able to remember most of what is being said. This is a step by step process. Try to keep her from going to the really dark side. There are a ton of positive stories and outcomes to this lousy diagnosis. We, here, are living proof. Some of the journey's have been very tough but these strong women are here to share their struggles and outcomes. You are a dear friend to want to help her through this battle. Please stay in touch with us, we are here to help you and her along her path. Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      My heart goes out to you and your girlfriend cancer affects not only the patient but the loved ones also. The best thing you can do for your girlfriend is to be at her side offer to go to all her doctor appts with her be her second set of ears ask those questions that she forgot to ask because...

      more

      My heart goes out to you and your girlfriend cancer affects not only the patient but the loved ones also. The best thing you can do for your girlfriend is to be at her side offer to go to all her doctor appts with her be her second set of ears ask those questions that she forgot to ask because when you are with the doctor we patients go blank I don't know how many times I was going to ask this that or the other thing and get into the office and I go blank my husband would just chime in for me Be patient with your girlfriend she will be on a whirlwind of emotions. Hold her tell her it's okay to talk about it all with you let her know your feelings also. My husband and I held each other up luckily one was always stronger then the other on those bad days. I have a link on my profile to my story of my personal experience with breast cancer in 2003. I take you from the initial diagnosis the biopsy surgery and recovery with a reflection a year later. Even though my type of breast cancer or choice of treatment may be different I hope by sharing my experience it will help other women and there family. http://home.roadrunner.com/~amj/

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Is it normal to have irregular periods while on Tamoxifen? I've been on it for 4 months, but have only had one period.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    over 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      I had been on tamoxifen for three i have been on tamoxifen for 3 years had a period once a year. I had yearly endometrial biopsies and uterine ultrasounds to evaluate the uterine lining since endometrial cancer is a possible side effect of taking tamoxifen. You should give your gyn a call along...

      more

      I had been on tamoxifen for three i have been on tamoxifen for 3 years had a period once a year. I had yearly endometrial biopsies and uterine ultrasounds to evaluate the uterine lining since endometrial cancer is a possible side effect of taking tamoxifen. You should give your gyn a call along with your oncologist and make them aware you have had a period. Tamixifen is an estrogen blocker so periods should stop although it is not uncommon to have break through bleeding but it should be monitored

      Comment
    • Cheryl Wornham Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi I started tamoxifen in Jan and just had my first menstrual cycle in May my oncologist wasn't to concered about it

      Comment

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