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, January 31, 2012

In Memory Of My Very Best Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sister, Tracy Barrett Geiger Krieser, Age 44

I can't promise that I'll be here for the rest of your life... but I can promise that I will love you for the rest of mine~

I found this quote in a magazine on the night Tracy passed as I was enroute on a airplane trying to get to her in North Carolina. This quote stood out to me because this is who Tracy was, knowing her time was limited but loved each of us Triple Negative Breast Cancer sisters. I tried, I really did, but I did not make it to Tracy in time and was completely shattered when I missed my connecting flight. I can tell you that she went quick and peacefully to go home to the Lord and to be with her momma. I was told that Tracy knew that I was coming and that she was holding out for me but was just too tired... I was heartbroken but was at peace knowing that she was no longer suffering nor in pain anymore. My tears that flowed was out of love for my girl, my beautiful Tracy. 
Throughout our journey together as breast cancer sisters, Tracy and I quickly bonded and was drawn to her positive but realistic take on life and her sense of humor, we shared many late night laughters... God, that girl was so funny, she would get me laughing so hard. Tracy and I did shared a special sisterly kind of bond, she was my twin I would always tell her. Tracy was unique and had an incredible lust for life... to know her was to love her. Tracy's fight was for quality of life, she didn't want to be held down from sickness, weakness and fatigue... She traveled with her husband and friends till the very end. She trail ride, zip-lined and met up with many of her Triple Negative Breast Cancer sisters that she met in our support group, Tracy did live life. 
At the top of my bucket-list was to meet my TNBC "Twisted Sisters" before one of us has a recurrence, never thought that my Tracy, the one that I have grown very close to, would be the first. I met up with Kitty & Tracy for a girl's weekend this past May in Louisville, Kentucky, we all were just so giddy to finally meet each other face to face, we had so much fun. I had stayed with Tracy twice at her home in North Carolina over the summer, just spending time together, helping her out with her horses and running to doctor appointments. I was just down there again at Tracy's just after Christmas through New Years, Tracy was tiring but it was all good to just be there by her side comforting her with affection. This past week, our phone calls grew shorter, it was exhausting her. I have missed a couple of Tracy's phone calls just a few days prior to her passing, and I was torn that she wasn't accepting incoming calls. I told Tracy early on to please check in with me daily even if it was just to say goodnight and she did. I also asked Tracy to not ever push me away or shut me out when things got bad, Tracy called me one last time Wednesday night before she passed, the conversation was short but it was good to hear her laughter and tell me she loved me one last time. From there, I myself didn't know much of what was going on and received very little information on Tracy's condition. I truly admired Tracy for her strength and bravery, taking on her cancer as she did, she did it her way and had no regrets. 
Tracy loved all of you TNBC ladies, she really did. We will treasure her memories and great conversations we had with her in our group. Tracy would want us to be strong and not remain sad very long for she was at peace with her own fate. Tracy had left footprints on our hearts and I'll never ever forget her infectious smile, she had a wonderful, beautiful smile. Tracy loved her horses... ride on Tracy, ride forever.

Love Lives on 

Those we love remain with us 
for love itself lives on,
And cherished memories never fade
Because a loved one's gone...

Those we love can never be 
more than a thought apart, 
For as long as there is memory,
They'll live on in the heart.

My Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sister, Tracy from North Carolina went home to the Lord on January 20th...
My lady friends, please keep up with your monthly breast 
self-exams and annual mammograms. TNBC is a nasty cancer that has no targeted therapy yet. Please consider a donation to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation (TNBC) in memory of Tracy. http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/donate.htm
Thank you and God Bless, Melissa

Monday, January 16, 2012

Brenda, Her Determination To Fight Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

Brenda, One of my TNBC friends posted this pic of the snowman she just made. Let me tell you a little bit about Brenda. In 2005, Brenda was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer and her treatment was Lumpectomy and 12 weeks of radiation, she had declined chemo. Brenda had tested positive for BRCA1 and had her ovaries and tubal removal as a preventative for ovarian cancer in 2009.  June of 2010, Brenda's cancer returned with mets to her lung, then to her paratracheal lymph node and then to her liver, she is now stage 4.  Brenda's first clinical trial had failed her where her cancer grew. Brenda had just finished her 2nd trial last month around Christmas time and has received clean scans and is living life cancer free. This pass year was not easy for Brenda, her chemo treatments had made her very, very sick and weak. To see Brenda just a few weeks after her last treatment, building this "survivor snowman", she's truly amazing and her smile says it all... I truly admire her strength and determination. Happy New Year Brenda Beguin! Be well, be happy and dammit, LIVE LIFE!... you so deserve this!
(Click link to read Brenda's Journey)

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