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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

  • nichole havens Profile

    Had double mastectomy 3 days ago. I'm really sore and swollen. Would it be ok to take my bra off for short periods?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    almost 7 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Kathy Basham Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I haven't worn a real bra since my surgery 16 months ago. Marianne is right though, ask the doc.

      Comment
    • Brandi Mixon Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I never wore a bra after my double mastectomy. If the doctor didn't tell you to I would just go without!!

      Comment
  • Mary Denoble Profile

    Lumpectomy,one node,4 weeks post op. Is it normal to have vein along inside of forearm become distended ? Do I need compression sleeve ? Distention goes down with massage. Thanks for thoughts.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 1 answer
    • sharon s Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Try some snow angel movements on you bed
      Try some movements that have you squeeze your shoulder blades tight but keep your shoulders down.
      I would suggest you see a PT for much more specific help.
      You don't want strong massage. You want to be firmly patterned toward and into the armpit. There...

      more

      Try some snow angel movements on you bed
      Try some movements that have you squeeze your shoulder blades tight but keep your shoulders down.
      I would suggest you see a PT for much more specific help.
      You don't want strong massage. You want to be firmly patterned toward and into the armpit. There is a technique learn and about 16 exercises to work the arm through eventually.
      When resting , keep it above your heart Use your pillow.

      5 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone gone in for a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy and come out with a partial mastectomy axilllary lymph node dissection?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    almost 8 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I don't think this is all that uncommon. I remember my mastectomy was late because the woman before me ended up with a mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection. Tests can only show so much and things can change once the surgeon starts the actual surgery. It is a shock to wake up and...

      more

      I don't think this is all that uncommon. I remember my mastectomy was late because the woman before me ended up with a mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection. Tests can only show so much and things can change once the surgeon starts the actual surgery. It is a shock to wake up and discover things didn't go as expected. My surgeon told me my 5 sentinal nodes were clear. After the actual complete pathology was done, one of the nodes had a small area of cancer and my diagnosis went from a 2A to a 2B.
      I was pretty upset. This probably happens a lot more than one would think.
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Yep. I was to have a lumpectomy at the bottom of the breast and up to the edge of the areola. I told him if he had to take the areola and nipple to take the whole thing He drew on me so I could see what he PLANNED to do based on the core biopsy and ultrasound and how he would arrange the the...

      more

      Yep. I was to have a lumpectomy at the bottom of the breast and up to the edge of the areola. I told him if he had to take the areola and nipple to take the whole thing He drew on me so I could see what he PLANNED to do based on the core biopsy and ultrasound and how he would arrange the the tissue. My 3 sentinel nodes were clean and he got good margins but I ended up with a partial mastectomy. The incision is well hidden in the crease beneath my breast but he had to cut to the base of the nipple and remove a tiny secftion of the areola. He did a great job piecing me back together. Until they get in there and the all the tests results are in, the final product can be an unknown to us until we wake up. Cancer has a nasty way of messing up the best plan our doctors try to accomplish for us. Good healing to you. Jo

      Comment
  • Jonna Diaz Profile

    I am starting AC chemo this Thursday. How do you feel during the administration of the chemo? Does it make you feel strange or does it burn or anything? I'm pretty anxious about it.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 3A Patient
    almost 8 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Hi Jonna, so sorry you joined the club. I too, had 4 rounds of AC and felt nothing while it was being administered. They put something in my recipe that always made me take a nap. The infusion room is a place you thought would be sad and depressing. I was never in there when it wasn't...

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      Hi Jonna, so sorry you joined the club. I too, had 4 rounds of AC and felt nothing while it was being administered. They put something in my recipe that always made me take a nap. The infusion room is a place you thought would be sad and depressing. I was never in there when it wasn't somewhat of a party atmosphere. Always goodies to eat, and we were --all in the trenches-- together so there was a very funny.... "gallows" type of humor. I never dreaded my treatments because the sooner I completed then the sooner, I would get back to my real life. My hair started to drop out 2 weeks after my first treatment. I shaved my head with my horse clippers! My taste changed.... my favorite stuff... coffee and chocolate really tasted awful. I was NEVER nauseated. I felt like I had the flu.... achey 3 to 4 days after the treatment. After about the 8th day, I started feeling better and my life return to good. I had treatments every 3 weeks. All in all, it was just a process I had to go through. I stayed very positive and laughed.... a lot. You stand up to it, and march through the process. I can't predict how you are going to feel because we are all different. You WILL feel tired and you will have less energy but this will all pass. Be an advocate for yourself. If something doesn't seem right QUESTION IT!!!! I was always polite, never cranky with the staff BUT.... if I had a question, it better get answered. Hang in there.... you WILL get through this. We are all sisters in this crazy way. Please keep in touch with us.... we really want to help you through this. Take care, Sharon

      6 comments
    • Lisa W Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Hi Joanna! I started my first chemo April 6 of this yr. it's hard to believe I have already completed 10! I did 4 treatments of the AC ( every other wk) then started the T (taxol) portion, which I have completed 6. I have 6 more to go. I'm on weekly treatments on T. ...... As for how it feels....

      more

      Hi Joanna! I started my first chemo April 6 of this yr. it's hard to believe I have already completed 10! I did 4 treatments of the AC ( every other wk) then started the T (taxol) portion, which I have completed 6. I have 6 more to go. I'm on weekly treatments on T. ...... As for how it feels. What I have found on this board is that everyone is different...so my experience might be how u will feel......I have a "port" which I use a cream an hr before treatment. Helps numb the area. Then when Im at the hospital for chemo, I still have them use the cooking spray. Lol! Yes, just in case. ;) it's very quick and I don't feel it when the insert my IV. ;) my nurse then starts my pre-meds. It's about 4 bags of IV meds( benedryl, atavan, pepcid, anti-nausea med) then the A (red bag) then the C (clear). All of which for me were done through my IV. I did geek sleepy once my benedryl was given. my process was about 4hrs total once I got into my chair. I was so anxious my first time I thought I was going to pass out. But, I did fine and now I look "forward" to going. Only because I can say YES! I'm 1 more closer to being done. ;) I will say...drink lots while u are there, yes, the "red" chemo "A" does make u pee red. I drank so much while I was there I was also peeing alot too. Lol! When I was done w:treatment, I also had the nuelasta shot the day after. My dr suggested taking Claritin to help w/any bone pain I might have. I did, just as a precaution and did well. I won't go into side effects- as everyone is different. Ive been extremely lucky- I'm doing well. Staying positive really helps! Well...all in all...take each treatment 1 at a time. Listen to your body. You will have good and bad days. That's okay. I wish you the best! Keep fighting like girl...prayers and hugs to you my sister!!!! ;/)

      Comment
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