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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Life Is Good As A Survivor...

"Life is Good"
Friends and family, most of you know that In August 2009 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a lumpectomy, chemo, recently finished all of my radiation treatments and am now living my life "cancer free!" Looking back, wow!... I got through this! That Chemo was wicked, I remember telling my husband about a week after the first Chemo treatment that I can't do this, this is alwful and that the cancer is going to come back again so what's the point. I had to find that inner strength in me again to just do it, take one day at a time, be determined and focus on reaching the next milestone.

My mother haven't been there for support, we haven't spoke since last September - a lot of family drama with her that I just couldn't deal with. I just want to say it means so much to me the amount of support you all have given me and am forever grateful for your friendship. Thank you, thank you again for all of your prayers, kind thoughts and especially cheering me on motivating me to stay focused, fighting even harder to beat this cancer... "I won't back down" - Tom Petty
With all my post updates and photos, I kinda felt like you all was going through this with me. I hope that I showed you that breast cancer is a very serious disease, it is beatable and again your best defense is early detection. If you suspect a lump no matter how small, don't hesitate and get it checked out by your doctor ASP, time is critical.

A poem I received as a Survivor at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk


Thank you for standing by me,
and lending an ear.
For helping me out just by being near.

Thank you for cheering me on or
saying a prayer.
For holding me up and showing
you care.

Thank you for making me laugh
and giving me hope.
For showing support and
helping me cope.

Thank you for all that
you've done and all
that you do.
I'm so very fortunate
to have someone
like you

-Linda Nielsen

Radiation went well, burnt and made me tired. I embarrassed a male intern who wanted to examine me and I said, "Doesn't it look like a dried up baked potato?", He just smirked. My skin peeled, healed nicely and looks pretty good considering. I've lost 5 toenails that peeled off and very slowly growing back. I had surgery again last month to have my chemo port removed from my chest. I have about 2 inches of hair on my head now, a lot of white, kinda like a salt/pepper look.

It's been a little more than 2 months post treatments and it was kinda weird that I didn't have all these appointments to go to every day. I'm unemployed now, leaving behind 2 great jobs to just focus on me getting better. I'm in a real financial crunch that I've never faced before causing me some anxiety and stress. Going to devote my summer to my health - gain my strength back, build my immune system up again and look for work in the fall. Doc says I need to exercise so I've been taking a lot of walks on my "crushed" foot and even walked "Relay for Life" and "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer " walk raising $130 through generous donations, thank you very much. I've been going to the Victory Center for weekly massages and facials and support group meetings which I found interesting sharing similar stories.

There will be no hormone therapy for me since my cancer is triple negative and doesn't respond to those treatments, chemo was my only option. Also, my cancer is aggressive and does have a tendency to want to reoccur in 2-3 years. Nutrition will be a major factor in preventing reoccurrence, so my goal is to keep working on balancing my diet trying to cut out as much sugar possible, need to work on low-fat, and Oh, 1 or 2 beers only on "special occassions"!... no biggie, not like I drink that much anyways. I am going to go see a Nutritionist for advise since I'm such a picky eater. After this month, I will only be going for follow up visits every 3 months now. At the end of August, I'll have my 1st mammogram and MRI since my diagnosis, a little anxious about it but optomistic that it will be just fine. I'll keep you posted on those results. Until then, have a safe summer and hopefully I'll see some of you around.
Peace, Love and Good Health, Melissa Stukenborg Paskvan

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