I promise

"I promise, Suzy... Even if it takes the rest of my life." - Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure

What is Triple Negative Breast Cancer?


Just in recent years, Triple Negative Breast Cancer has sparked interest in the news where instead of calling the tumor as ER-negative, PR-negative, and HER2-negative; researchers began using the shorthand term, "Triple Negative," dubbed the "new type" type of cancer. Being Triple Negative, you don't have a targeted therapy and that your only treatment option is chemotherapy.

Triple Negative is seen in about 15% of all breast cancers. Triple Negative is a very aggressive cancer that tends to strike younger women, pre-menopause, especially among African-American women and women who have BRCA1 mutations. The tumor tends to be fast growing and is less likely to show up on an annual mammogram. TN is more likely to metastasis early on; has a high rate of recurrence in the first 2-3 years from diagnosis and has a poorer prognosis than other types of breast cancer due to lack of specific, targeted treatment for TNBC.

Carpe diem

Seize Each new Day with Renewed Strength,
Believe in Yourself, Go forward with
Courage and faith
to face whatever Tomorrow may bring.

Chicks For Charity motto:

Enjoy life. Laugh a lot.
Work hard. Play hard.
Be thankful for our blessings.
Share the wisdom. Give back

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

An Evening with Annie Parker 2018

On January 4, 2018, I was invited by University of Toledo Center for Health & Successful Living and College of Medicine and Life Sciences for a very special visit with Annie Parker, a breast cancer survivor and genetic testing advocate.  It was Annie Parker who insisted there was a connection between cancer and hereditary after her mother, sister and herself have all battled cancer.  
Annie pushed for research that led to the 1994 discovery of the BRCA1 gene mutation by Dr. Mary-Claire King, a Geneticist.  Annie Parker was one of the fist women to be genetically tested for BRCA1 that confirmed her belief of a link between hereditary and breast cancer, upon her receiving a positive diagnosis of the BRCA1 gene mutation.  
We met with Annie Parker as she arrived at the University of Toledo Center for Health & Successful Living where she was welcomed by their staff and the support of breast cancer survivors who have participated in their services. From there, we had lunch at 31hundred Restaurant at the Radisson Hotel where we had nice conversations with Annie Parker and showing each other photos of our dogs on our cell phones.  Later in the early evening we went to the showing of the film, Decoding Annie Parker that recounts her story of fighting breast cancer and the discovery of the BRCA gene mutation.  Annie Parker did speak on the film, her journey and her book, Annie Parker Decoded, followed by a panel discussion by UTMC medical and counseling
doctors and staff.  Afterwards, it was off to eat again for dinner at the Inverness Country Club and a recap of the role and importance of genetic testing.
Thank you UT Center for Health and Successful Living, UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences and Annie Park for this wonderful day of sharing stories and education on genetic testing and hereditary breast cancer.  

University of Toledo Center for Health and Successful Living
with Annie Parker

Sharing breast cancer stories with Annie 

Sharing stories of how UT Center for Health and
Successful Living has helped us survivors in our journey

University of Toledo's President Sharon Gaber introduces
Annie Parker during the film, Decoding Annie Parker

Annie shares her story of breast cancer that
inspired the movie, Decoding Annie Parker

Panel discussion on breast cancer research and genetic testing

Melissa with Annie Parker with a signed copy of
her book, Annie Parker Decoded

Annie discusses how she insisted there was link
between breast cancer and genetics and pushed for
research in genetic testing which led to the discovery of
the BRCA gene mutation that put you a high risk
of a diagnosis.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Motor City Dragon Boat Paddling Practice 2017

On July 17, 2017, TNBC sister Terry whom I met at a breast cancer conference in Philadelphia  and lives in the Detroit area, had invited me to come paddle with them at their Motor City Dragon Boat practice at the Ford Yacht Club in Groses Ile, Michigan.  The Motor City Dragon Boat Team consisting of may breast cancer survivors and co-survivors compete at various dragon boat race festivals raising funds donated to Breast Cancer Charitable Organizations that help survivors.
I was grateful for this experience and I had a lot of fun with these group of survivors and even was asked to join them at their upcoming race in Chicago... I had to decline the race invitation for I felt I was not coordinated enough with the paddle plus it was just too physical for me to keep up.
Thank you again Csilla for this wonderful fun experience on the waters and I hope to meet up with your team again for another adventure.

Motor City Dragon Boat Team

That's me, all the way to the back where
Csilla coached me on paddling

Us breast cancer survivors...
TNBC sisters Terry and Melissa on the right end

Team Motor City Dragons with me standing
between Terry and Csilla

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Northwest Ohio 2018 Honorary Survivor

**Meet this year's 2018 honorary survivor!**

At the age of 41, Melissa Paskvan was diagnosed August 6, 2009 with Triple Negative Breast Cancer after finding a lump during a self exam.  She reacted fast and 2 days later got in for a mammogram followed by an ultrasound.  Having dense breasts, her 2cm lump did not show up on her mammogram. Melissa insisted on a needle biopsy right then and there.  2 days afterwards, she received the dreadful phone call from her doctor...
8½ years cancer free now, Melissa is very active in the breast cancer community advocating to further breast cancer research.  Please join Melissa in the fight to end breast cancer with your support and participation at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on May 19th, 2018. 

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. - Helen Keller

Toledo, Making Strides American Cancer Society Walk May 19, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Register for 2018 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Northwest Ohio

Help us fight to end breast cancer!

Nice day for a photo shoot for an upcoming commercial... 
Register for May 19, 2018 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk starting at Hensville Park, Downtown Toledo.  Lots of great entertainment and activities are planned for this event.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Who Inspires you?

 "I am inspired by all these beautiful lovely ladies pictured in this photo. I admire your strength in your journey to face the challenges you come upon. You all are the reason I continue to fight for our TNBC cause... for continued research, better treatments, a targeted therapy and ultimately a cure. Embrace hope, Hope for more tomorrows!"❤️

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

NW Ohio Komen Race for the Cure 2017

Proud supporter of Komen, NW Ohio -Melissa
12,000 people participated in the 24th Annual Komen Race for the Cure in Downtown Toledo on September 24, 2017.  Thank You Northwest Ohio for your support and donations that help uninsured/underinsured women in breast health services and for breast cancer research.  As an 8 year breast cancer survivor myself and my bond with many other breast cancer survivors across our nation, I truly do appreciate everyones support in helping reducing the lives lost to breast cancer. 
Close to 94% of patients living with metastatic breast cancer were previously treated for an earlier stage of breast cancer.
Susan G. Komen has announced $31 million in 2017 research grant funding focusing on metastatic breast cancer including:

  •  Advance in understanding on how and why breast cancer spreads, and how to treat or prevent metastasis 
  • New treatments of targeted therapies and drug developments for aggressive types of breast cancer, including TNBC
  • Why drug resistance occurs in breast cancer patients and how to overcome it
  • Disparities in breast cancer outcomes
  • Funding young investigators in breast cancer research 


Thank you Northwest Ohio Komen participants and spectators
for your continued support of us breast cancer survivors!

All of us survivors in pink!

Triple Negative Breast Cancer sisters, Melissa and Genny

Our supporters!

In Celebration of Melissa Paskvan
Survivor Champion 8 years!

Pink sisters Melissa and Joyce
with our froggie fan!

Triple Negative Breast Cancer sisters,
Melissa P. and Melissa J. with cancer researcher,
Dr. Amit Tiwari

Pink Ribbon survivors!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Komen Breakfast 2017

The Annual Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness Breakfast held in September 2017 with my pink sisters!

The Victory Gals are in the house!
Rita, Carol, Areena, Diane, Beth, Melissa J. Kim, Melissa
& Lynnette

Melissa P., Deb, Rita, Melissa J. and Carol
First 4 of us on the left are TNBC survivors

Pink sisters, Lynnette and Melissa

Melissa and Chrys Peterson

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Northwest Ohio Medical Mutual's Hattitude Breast Cancer Awareness Brunch 2017

Lovely and uplifting breast cancer awareness brunch presented by Medical Mutual of Ohio at the Inverness Club in Toledo on Sept. 16, 2017.  Also, it was a great opportunity for me to get Young Survival Coalition's information out there for support of young women diagnosed with breast cancer.  Thank you Debra. A. Green for this annual awareness event in bringing women together and reminding us on the importance of early detection in breast cancer.

Educating about unique needs in young
women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Melissa representing Young Survival Coalition as
 a State Leader

Peggy, Dianna, Sharon, Deb and Melissa
The last 4 of us on the right end are
triple negative breast cancer survivors

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Over the Edge for The Victory Center 2017

I, myself didn't really go over
the edge... but, I did make a
donation in support of Devorah
and The Victory Center
An once in a lifetime way to raise funds for 
The Victory Center, whomever registered and raised over $1000 in donations had the opportunity to rappel down from The Edison Building in downtown Toledo, OH. 
An amazing over $150,000 was raised from 
this event benefiting the services that The Victory Center provides to cancer patients.  
On September 8, 2017, Myself and a few other supporters of The Victory Center  gathered at downtown to cheer on our breast cancer support group facilitator Devorah, as she went "Over the Edge" of the Edison Building in honor of all of us cancer survivors and to those that we cherish in memory.  Devorah had personally raised over $2500 for this fundraiser.  So grateful for people like Devorah for making an impact in the lives of cancer patients and survivors.

Devorah, in her own words: "I have decided to add a spiritual component to this event.  I will read the names of loved ones whose lives have been touched by cancer as I descend the 16 stories.  You are welcome to give me several names to add to this list.  The purpose of doing this is to validate the lives of these individuals, and to honor them for going through their cancer journey and fighting to live one day at a time."

Devorah making her climb down

One brave lady!

Devorah reads list of cancer survivors
names as she descends down the

at about halfway point

Reached the Libbey Sign...
formally the Toledo Edison Building

Purple Warrior representing all of us survivors

So proud of Devorah for
her accomplishment

Melissa patiently waiting in a line of
Devorah's supporters to congratulate her

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Click to help fund mammograms for the uninsured

The Breast Cancer Site

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Inspire health and wellness support groups

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation
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The SCAR Project

The SCAR Project
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Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project

Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project
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