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

Sunday, December 18, 2011

SABCS: Loss Of RB In Triple Negative Breast Cancer Associated With Favorable Clinical Outcome

"Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have shown that loss of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene (RB) in triple negative breast cancer patients is associated with better clinical outcomes. This is a new marker to identify the subset of these patients who may respond positively to chemotherapy."
http://www.jeffersonhospital.org/News/2011/December/sabcs-loss-of-rb-in-triple-negative-breast-cancer-associted-with-favorable-clinical-outcome.aspx (Click link to full story)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Metastatic Breast Cancer Series: Understanding Palliative Care Guide

A challenge of metastatic breast cancer is getting the most out of your treatment while continuing to live life fully. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Series: Understanding Palliative Care guide will help you make sense of palliative care and better understand the role it can play in developing a whole approach to treatment. The guide’s eight sections explain palliative care and its benefits, as well as the related options that can support and sustain your treatment. Learn how choosing palliative care can enhance your quality of life, and get strategies for coping with the difficult feelings associated with managing metastatic disease. The guide also provides practical information on paying for palliative care. This guide was written with the assistance of healthcare professionals and women living with metastatic breast cancer.

Download a PDF of Understanding Palliative Care. http://www.lbbc.org/Understanding-Breast-Cancer/Guides-to-Understanding-Breast-Cancer/Metastatic-Breast-Cancer-Series-Understanding-Palliative-Care

Monday, November 28, 2011

Every Breast Cancer Survivor Must Listen To "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" Sung By Martina McBride

Power Ballad, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" sung by Country Singer, Martina McBride is about a woman battling breast cancer. The first time I heard this song was when I was watching this performance on Country Music Awards 2011, it gave me chills listening to it taking me back to my own battle with breast cancer. This song brings inspiration and hope to those going through cancer to overcome their struggles through strength and love.

Martina McBride belts out the chorus, “When you’re weak, I’ll be strong / When you let go, I’ll hold on / When you need to cry, I swear that I’ll be there to dry your eyes / When you feel lost and scared to death, like you can’t take one more breath / Just take my hand, together we can do this / I’m gonna love you through it

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Remembering Evelyn Lauder, Creator Of The Pink Ribbon Campaign

Evelyn Lauder, founder of the pink ribbon campaign, has passed on November 12, 2011 from nongenetic ovarian cancer diagnosed in 2007. Lauder was a  former executive of Estee Lauder Cosmetics and daughter-in-law to it's founder Estee Lauder.  Best known for her advocacy for women's health after battling breast cancer herself in 1989, Evelyn Lauder and a friend, Self magazine editor, Alexandra Penney launched the pink ribbon campaign in 1992 at department store's Estee Lauder make-up counters with handing out pink ribbon bows to women to remind them of breast exams. At a time when talking about breast cancer was taboo, creating the pink ribbon symbol for breast cancer health led to the designation of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In 1993, Lauder went on to establish the Breast Cancer Research Foundation that has raised more than $350 million to help fight this disease.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Cancer Treatment Team: Dr. Candilee Butler, Dr. Iman Mohamed And Dr. Jeffrey Forquer

Dr. Candilee Butler, MD- My Breast Care Surgeon

Medical School:

University Of Toledo College Of Medicine
Toledo, OH, United States
Graduated: 1982 

Residency Hospital:

Med College Ohio
Toledo, OH, USA
Year completed: 1988

Internship Hospital:

Med College Ohio
Toledo, OH, US
Year completed: 1983 
Dr. Candilee Butler MD practices general surgery in Toledo, OH. Dr. Butler graduated with an MD 29 years ago.
  • General Surgery- Board Certified 
Most Common Procedures: 
  • Breast Tissue Expander Insertion
  • Mastectomy
  • Lymph Node Biopsy
  • Lymph Node Removal
  • Breast Lesion Removal
  • Diagnostic Breast Procedure

Please call Candilee Butler, MD at (419) 841-6600 to schedule an appointment in Toledo, OH or to get more information.

Dr Iman Mohamed, MD- My Medical Oncologist 
University of Toledo Medical Center Toledo, OH- Current position
Internist, Medical Oncologist- Board Certified
Professor, Medicine
Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology
Medical Director, Breast Center
Medical Director of the Comprehensive Breast Center at the UTMC Cancer Institute

Medical School:
Kuwait University
Health Sciences Centre
Faculty of Medicine
Satfat, Kuwait
Graduated 1985

Residency Hospital:
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital
Pontiac, MI
Internal Medicine
Year completed: 1993

Fellowship Hospital:
William Beaumont Hospital
Royal Oak, Michigan
Year completed: 1993

Dr. Iman Mohamed, MD practices Hematolgy in Toledo, OH. Dr Mohamed graduated with a MD 26 years ago.

. Hematology
. Oncology
Ohio licensed since 1999
Special Interests:
Clinical: Breast Cancer/Genetic Counseling
Research: Novel Therapy for Metastatic Breast Cancer and Locally Advanced Breast Cancer

Please call Dr. Iman Mohamed, MD at (419) 383-6644 to schedule an appointment in Toledo, OH or for more information.

                       My Chemotherapy Nurses

Michelle Bragazzi, RN, BS
My "Clodronate" Study Coordinator

University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo,OH-
Jacobson Center for Clinical Research
Position: Oncology Research Coordinator
Phone: 419-383-6962

My Clinical Study:
Phase III Trial of Bisphosphonates as Adjuvant Therapy for Primary Breast Cancer

The purpose of this study is to compare overall survival in patients receiving clodronate versus ibandronate versus zoledronic acid as adjuvant therapy for breast cancer in an attempt to prevent bone metastasis.  Bisphosphonates are a diverse group of compounds, which have profound effects on bone mineralization and resorption.  This study was for a confirmed diagnosis of primary invasive adenocarcinoma of the breast (Stage I, II, III) with no evidence of metastatic disease, primary disease within the breast must be resected, either with mastectomy or breast sparing surgery, receiving standard (systemic) adjuvant therapy for breast cancer, at least 18 years of age and female. This study is ongoing but is now closed to participants. 
Principal Investigator:  Iman Mohamed, M.D.

Dr Jeffrey Alan Forquer, MD- My Radiation Oncologist

Medical School:
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Columbus, OH
Year completed 2004

Internship: Riverside Methodist Hospital

Residency: Indiana University
Dr. Jeffrey Alan Forquer MD practices radiology in Maumee OH., Sylvania OH., Oregon OH. and Toledo OH. Dr. Forquer graduated with an MD 7 years ago.

. Radiology- Board Certified
. Radiation of Oncology
Ohio Licensed

Please contact Dr. Jeffrey Alan Forquer, MD at (419) 824-1952 to schedule an appointment in the Toledo, OH area or for more information.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


                            Karen Miller Herbert
"..and as I signed, I thought of all my sisters"
-Karen Herbert, TNBC Survivor

Chris Gagliardi
"...my start to spreading the word"
- Chris, TNBC Survivor
"we did the survivor lap in memory of Kimmie"- Chris
"I told the lady I didn't want it to be about me
and then I grabbed Terry I wanted it to be about the
TNBC and spreading the word" - Chris

"I am off to the walk girls...I will make u proud"
- Chris
 "Melissa u have taught me, all of us so much...
u inspire me to spread awareness"- Chris
"Only the start I am on a mission..."
- Chris

"Very emotional and amazing day today at the walk...BUT PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF I AM GONNA HAVE MY STORY TOLD, ALONG WITH TERRY OF COURSE...finally Melissa wooohoooo...look for it on WWW.tri-statemediaonline.com....finally spreading the word about TNBC...it is a start"- Chris Gagliardi
Chris's story: http://tristatemediaonline.com/2011/10/25/13000-people-walk-to-find-a-cure/

I am so amazed by my TNBC pink sister friend, Chris Gagliardi's determination as she blossomed into becoming the voice for all of us Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivors. I just love her drive and energy into how active she's been in spreading the word of  the importance of Breast Self-Exams as that is how she found her lump. Chris has worked hard holding fundraisers for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk where she raised $3400 alone and $5300 as a team, "Team Gags" honoring her as Pace Setter as she was called to take stage, receiving her ribbon. Chris stood up for all of us to TNBC, she's letting the world know we're all fighting back! Chris ROCKED her "Breast Friends Forever" t-shirt, as she proudly wore our (Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor friends) names on her shirt... what an honor to all of us!
Excerpt from a posting:

October 22 at 4:44pm

  • You like this.

    • Melissa Stukenborg Paskvan Chris, I am so touched and honored that you're wearing my name too tomorrow... I guess I never realized how I have touched people's lives but am glad that I was able to give you some insight. Please remember that this walk tomorrow is all about YOU, your fight and celebrating your survival... Take it all in and enjoy, you're winning your battle! Thank you Chris, Be well and Live Life! ♥
      October 22 

Melo Roman
"Woo hoo I made it!!!!!! 5 miles pinkies. what a beautiful day.
Jus looking at all the survivors and people with cancer making
 the stride gave me strength. Loving all my pinkies."-Melo
"This lil diva wasn't playing. She walked
for all her doggy friends and pinkies."-Melo
"I had a blast. I took longer because I kep getting 
stop cause my dog looked like a diva with her 
fakes lashes."-Melo
"Thank you Melo for walking and honoring me too..."- Melissa
 "you all wc free huggies too all."- Melo

Kimmie Kim
Rest in Paradise, Kimmie!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pink Wig Dance - Breast Cancer Awareness Video, "Love Is A Battlefield"

I just love this video and had to share! In celebration of survivorship and raising awareness of aggressive breast cancer in young woman, my Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor friend, Julie united with other survivors in producing this video, "The Pink Wig Dance." Julie's the one in the black polka-dot shirt. 

-"Aw thank you so much! I'd be honored to have you add it! wow. we had so much fun producing it. we did it a year ago and hope it will eventually go "viral" LOL :) - Julie Olsen


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jolene VonMillanich In Memoriam

Jolene, friend from the SCAR Project passed away today, October 30, 2011 from breast cancer at 25. May you rest peacefully and your Legacy live on through SCAR art.

 Jolene was the reason I loved the SCAR Project, her story was amazing and her strength and bravery was unbelievable. She was the woman of self-acceptance to all these young ladies who had gone through similar journeys. Although gone too soon, Jolene is free from all her suffering.

Jolene, you're truly an inspiration!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Love You And Sure Gonna Miss You Kimmie! xoxo

Our Kimmie Kim 

Lost a Triple Negative Breast Cancer sister friend, Kimberley Byrd-Quarrels from our online support group on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. There's one thing all of us pink sisters can agree on, "Gone too Soon..."  Kimmie was an inspiration to all of us in the group, she set the bar as a "fighter" as she fought so hard to this bitter end of her battle. Kimmie, we are all just so stunned by your passing, but we understand that you longed to be free from all your pain. 

I was just recalling our last messages you left for me and to our group just a week ago prior... I'm gonna share our conversation to show how strong and beautiful you were...

    • Checking in on you, hope they get your pain under control for you.                        
      Miss you in TNBC xoxox
       October 12 at 9:23pm 
      Kimmie Kim I'm getting new meds today- in my Donna Summer voice "this is my last chance - Last Chance for Love" ---- doesn't match the issue but its the song - lol- I'm praying it eases up- that's all I want
      October 13 at 1:17pm  

      • Just wanted to say Hello to everyone in the group! It has been a World Wind experience as I'm sure for all off us! My biggest issue is I haven't had a bowl movement in over 2weeks, in hospital twice, and has fallen twice - TWO much to take (lol) but I'm hanging in there- Ladies I don't know how much I have left - I'm overwhelmed!

        Love You All - ♥

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