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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

  • Tom Schink Profile

    My mom just got diagnosed with breast cancer (early Stage 2) and is extremely worried that she will lose her job. First, what's the likelihood of that and second, how can I try to calm this fear?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 2 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Tom, I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. There are laws to protect your Mom so she won't lose her job. Tell her to go to her human resources dept. at work and file FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) papers. Her Dr. will have to fill out his part of the paperwork. This will protect her when she has...

      more

      Hi Tom, I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. There are laws to protect your Mom so she won't lose her job. Tell her to go to her human resources dept. at work and file FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) papers. Her Dr. will have to fill out his part of the paperwork. This will protect her when she has to take off work for treatment. She should also inquire about any disability benefits her employer might offer. Best wishes to you and your Mom

      Comment
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I agree with Diana. It's definitely against the law to fire someone if she has cancer.

      Keep in mind, she might be scared in general and just not voicing it because it's really hard to. I worried a lot about missing work, when really, I was scared I was going to die. There are probably ...

      more

      I agree with Diana. It's definitely against the law to fire someone if she has cancer.

      Keep in mind, she might be scared in general and just not voicing it because it's really hard to. I worried a lot about missing work, when really, I was scared I was going to die. There are probably deeper fears under this one about work. Not that you need to pry them outta her, but remind her she needs to take care of herself, that you're there to listen, and that you'll take her to anyone else she wants to talk to, including a support group.
      Best wishes.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My good friend has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. What can I do or say to help her through this?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Francine Williams Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hello my name is Francine and I was where ur friend is now all I wanted to here was that my family/friends were goin to be there for me every step of the way !!Assure ur friend that GoD Makes no Mistakes and there's a million and one prayers goin her way!!Take care and remember to always smile...

      more

      Hello my name is Francine and I was where ur friend is now all I wanted to here was that my family/friends were goin to be there for me every step of the way !!Assure ur friend that GoD Makes no Mistakes and there's a million and one prayers goin her way!!Take care and remember to always smile that is one thing Cancer can't take from u

      2 comments
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Be there as often as you can. I remember it getting hard when ppl kept asking "how are you feeling?". Bc if I was honest I would have said I feel like crap, I'm scared, I feel sick, I'm afraid of dying, etc. So, get in the habit of saying: I hope you're feeling well today, or I was thinking of...

      more

      Be there as often as you can. I remember it getting hard when ppl kept asking "how are you feeling?". Bc if I was honest I would have said I feel like crap, I'm scared, I feel sick, I'm afraid of dying, etc. So, get in the habit of saying: I hope you're feeling well today, or I was thinking of you today. Also, don't say "let me know if there's something I can do" bc it puts the burden back on her and it's so hard to ask for help. Instead, ask when her appointments are and plan to go with her (if she has no one else that can go), stop by (call or text first) with a meal when she's sick from chemo and clean up a little while you're there. Bring funny movies or books ('the sh*t my dad says' is hilarious--someone gave it to me), bring gossip, distractions are good. Try not to probe by asking a ton of questions all the time, but let her know you're always there to listen. She'll start to open up when she wants. If she's sad, let her be. Be comforting but don't give advice. (like empathize and say you know it must be hard and scary, but don't say things like, look for the silver linking, or try to be positive...some days, she'll just be sad and angry will need a shoulder to cry on)

      When she's feeling well, keep her busy! If you aren't always free, create a calendar for friends/colleagues that can cook, visit, take her out, etc.

      If she plans on wearing a wig, offer to go with her to pick it out before her hair falls out. Then, when it starts to fall out, offer to shave it (my friend gave me a Mohawk).

      When her treatments are over, months from now, keep checking in...that's a tough time emotionally, even when hair starts to grow back. Breast cancer is life changing and we still think about it even post treatment.

      Of course, you can't do it all, but get your friends together to help with all of this.

      I've truly seen who my true friends are with how they've dealt with my diagnosis. I'm young(32), and I've read and agree that breast cancer is lonely for young women bc most of our peers have no idea what it's like. If your friend is young, help her check out programs for young women with BC

      best wishes

      Comment
  • gima green Profile

    Did being out in the heat bother you with having radiation treatment?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 4 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I did my treatments from mid July to the end of August and only was told to stay out of the sun until completion of the treatments. I mean I could go out to say check my mail but not to do any sunbathing, etc. which I don't do anyway and always have my sunscreen on. I always had mine as early...

      more

      I did my treatments from mid July to the end of August and only was told to stay out of the sun until completion of the treatments. I mean I could go out to say check my mail but not to do any sunbathing, etc. which I don't do anyway and always have my sunscreen on. I always had mine as early in the morning as I could and had a nice glass of ice water to drink on my drive home since I had a 14 mile round trip.

      Comment
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Yes, I tried to stay as cool as possible.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Will I vomit from radiation therapy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Liz B Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      No. Radiation therapy is specific to the area being treated, it will not affect your stomach. You may feel tired, and your skin will feel burned after a few weeks of treatment, but you won't lose your hair or feel sick to you stomach the way that you do from chemo.

      1 comment
    • Laura Zarowny Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had 30 consecutive radiation treatments for breast cancer and I didn't have problems with vomiting. I did blister though.

      Comment

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