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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

  • Jonna Diaz Profile

    Well, I had my first chemo treatment on Thursday, 7/12/12,.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 3A Patient
    almost 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Jonna Diaz Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      Because of this we site I was very calm. I know everyone reacts differently but just the communication with others going through similar experiences really helped me a lot.
      I had a few very mild side effects Thursday through Friday afternoon. I wrote them all down along with the times that the...

      more

      Because of this we site I was very calm. I know everyone reacts differently but just the communication with others going through similar experiences really helped me a lot.
      I had a few very mild side effects Thursday through Friday afternoon. I wrote them all down along with the times that the simptims started. When I went in for my neulatsa injection, Friday afternoon, I went over them with the nurse.
      I had light chest pain Thursday afternoon and evening that came and went but it was gone by Friday morning. The nurse said that it was OK. If its was a constant pain then that would be a possible concern but that was not the case with me. The palms of my hands got hot and felt prickly. The nurse stated that the was probably from hormones in the pre-meds before the chemo administration. I also had a very light headache, it is more of a back ground thing. I still have it even today but it is very tolerable.
      I have done, I feel, very well. I have been up and about doing things around the house, example; dishes, laundry, cooking, etc. However, I am taking it easy not doing to much.
      I was told by the doctors, nurses and pharmacist that the patients that get up and move seem to do better than the ones that just sit around and stay stationary. I am taking their advise. I have even tried to do some light walking. However, I am only doing what I feel like doing and no more.
      Another lady that was getting her first treatment at the same time as me wasn't doing as well as me. I saw her when I went in for the neulasta injection, Friday afternoon, and she was having really bad headaches and neausia. So, just keep in mind that everyone is different and do only what you feel you can.
      I just pray that it doesn't get to bad. I am taking it one day at a time. I know that each day will be a new journey.

      2 comments
    • Maria Torstensson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi Jonna! I'm just a few days behind you and will start my chemo treatments on Tuesday. It's been very good for me to read about your concerns and your reaction. I hope the reaction of the treatments want be worse for you. I still hope that I will be strong enough to work the days when I'm...

      more

      Hi Jonna! I'm just a few days behind you and will start my chemo treatments on Tuesday. It's been very good for me to read about your concerns and your reaction. I hope the reaction of the treatments want be worse for you. I still hope that I will be strong enough to work the days when I'm feeling well. I have been told to exercise in order to be strong in front of the treatments and I have really tried to prepare myself. I wish you all the best and take care. //Maria in Sweden

      Comment
  • Morgan Moser Profile

    I'm having sentinel node surgery on Tuesday and then chemo. (because the lump is 4.5cm) Are there any other options?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Morgan, I had a tumor about 3.5 cm and they knew I had positive nodes through biopsy. I started with chemo (my choice) and then did surgery. The rationale was, as Sharon suggested, to see if the tumor would shrink, thus giving me another option outside of mastectomy. In the end, I had a total...

      more

      Morgan, I had a tumor about 3.5 cm and they knew I had positive nodes through biopsy. I started with chemo (my choice) and then did surgery. The rationale was, as Sharon suggested, to see if the tumor would shrink, thus giving me another option outside of mastectomy. In the end, I had a total response to the chemo. Translation=the tumor was completely gone and the nodes tested clean. I then had breast conservation surgery (area of tissue was removed and the rest was 'rearranged,' if you will, to reshape the breast) and had 14 nodes removed. It seems odd that they would go ahead and remove nodes, which was probably the mor painful part of any surgery for me, BEFORE the chemo. As usual, I agree with Sharon! You might want to call tomorrow and tell them you'd like some more information, rationale, and the chance to get a second opinion. Good luck!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Morgan,
      My advice is a second opinion. So as I understand your surgery, they are just taking out the sentinel nodes and not the lumpectomy or mastectomy until a later date? I wish I had a treatment to suggest but only being a fellow breast cancer survivor I don't know. The only other...

      more

      Morgan,
      My advice is a second opinion. So as I understand your surgery, they are just taking out the sentinel nodes and not the lumpectomy or mastectomy until a later date? I wish I had a treatment to suggest but only being a fellow breast cancer survivor I don't know. The only other treatment I have heard of is to have a course of chemo treatment before having surgery to see if your tumor will shrink. Of course, they are looking for cell in your sentinel nodes. I ended up having cells in one of my 5 sentinel nodes but it didn't change my treatment plan. I was slated for chemo. anyway. It just changed my stage from 2A to 2B. Morgan, if you aren't settled with your treatment, tell your doctor. You need to chew this over with your surgeon a bit more. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      1 comment
  • 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.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2013
    almost 7 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Susan Green Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      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...

      more

      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!

      2 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      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. ...

      more

      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
  • Francine Williams Profile

    Can anyone tell me if sores in the mouth are side effects from chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • R. SUTHERLAND Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      Pink magic works bs

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Yes, that is one of the side effects. Dry mouth and sores. Like Karen said....there's a mouthwash for that. Just ask your doc.

      Comment

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