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, June 26, 2012

Triple Negative BC | Breast Cancer Network Australia

About us

A place for women with triple negative breast cancer to share information.

Our Story

Im a 34 year old mum of 3 who recently was diagnosed with BC. To add to that we discovered there was no hormonal involvement, hence the triple negative status. There is not alot of information out there in regards to TNBC, so I thought a group just for us would be a nice way to share our ups and downs, and show support for each other along the 'journey'. 

Triple Negative BC | Breast Cancer Network Australia
(Click to link)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

You Will Be Heard Whitney...

I arrived walking into a line leading into the funeral home. The viewing line zig-zagged into and through 4 rooms and back out again passing by many family portraits of Whitney and Sandy's family. Hundreds of Whitney's family and friends including myself waited patiently and quietly for 1 hour to hug our Sandy and give her our condolences. You could feel the love and support for Whit's family that evening. Sandy amazingly strong, I hugged her. We briefly spoke of telling and getting Whitney's story out there, her story needs to be heard. I went on to walk up to where Whitney was resting in her rose pink "bed", she looked peaceful and beautiful lying with her pink ribbon blanket and a picture of her dog, Buster at the other end. Whitney was wearing the matching bracelet that is shown in the photo with her and her family hands together in a circle, all wearing matching bracelets. The tear-jerker for me was seeing her old brown teddy bear beside her, the same teddy bear that I saw with Whitney lying in her hospital bed with her 3 weeks prior. I went on to meet Whitney's aunt, cousin and grandmother and spoke briefly of how we met in our online TNBC support group. Ladies I chose to go to Whitney's viewing rather than the funeral and burial the next day. It's painful to see one of your sisters have passed but it's even more painful to see a friend, our Sandy lay her child to rest. Whitney, may you be at peace and God bless Sandy and her family. 

Whitney Yoder Lowe

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Anne M. Wolf Fund For Triple Negative Breast Cancer Research

Our mission is to support scientists and researchers in their effort to find a cure and to raise awareness about breast cancer. 
The Anne M. Wolf Breast Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in honor of Anne M. Wolf, who was just 29 years old when diagnosed with Stage IV Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Her battle against breast cancer ended after four short months of fighting. During her fight, she was surrounded by an 'army' of family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and various community members who were determined, like her, to be victorious over breast cancer.

A majority of proceeds will benefit The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute.  Funds will be used to support Triple Negative Breast cancer research efforts, under the direction of Dr. Charles Shapiro, MD and Director of Breast and Medical Oncology.
The Anne M. Wolf Breast Cancer Foundation
P.O. Box 83, Orrville, OH 44667

http://giveto.osu.edu/areastosupport/philanthropyprograms/campuscampaign/YourGiftsatWork/Anne.M.Wolf.fund.html (Click to link)

Anne's Army 5K Race to Battle Breast Cancer 2012
Saturday, June 23, 2012 8:30 AM
The Ohio State OARDC
1680 Madison Avenue
Wooster, OH

(click to register)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Dr. Lisa Newman Hope To Correlate African Ancestry To Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Dr. Lisa Newman
"We are very interested in looking at whether or not African ancestry in and of itself might actually predispose women to a biologically more aggressive form of breast cancer, such as the triple negative breast cancer."
Sixty percent of Ghanaian women who have breast cancer have triple negative breast cancer, according to Newman.
"Western sub-Saharan Africa is an important geographic location to focus on because that's where many of the slave colonies were located several hundred years ago," says Newman.
(click link to story)

"The study, published in Cancer, finds women in Ghana are more likely than American women to test negative for each of the three markers. Among women with breast cancer the largest percentage testing triple negative were the African women -- 82 percent -- followed by African-American women -- 26 percent -- and white American women -- 16 percent."

Read more:  http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2010/07/26/Blacks-have-higher-breast-cancer-risk/UPI-92151280184542/#ixzz1xcBKeF8C

Dr. Lisa Newman

Lisa A. Newman, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S.
Professor of Surgery and Director, University of Michigan Breast Care Center

University of Michigan Health Systems
1500 E. Medical Center Drive
3308 CGC SPC 5932
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5932

Monday, June 11, 2012

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation's Peace, Love and a Cure 2012

An evening of raising a lot of cash and a tribute to a few great women making history...

Cristy Norwood, Laura Roppe'
 and Sara Kouten, my TNBC sisters!
5th Annual, Peace, Love and a Cure 2012 event, hosted by The Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation was held in May honoring Robin Roberts for her TNBC awareness efforts and going public with her story inspiring survivors like us; Dr Lisa Newman, MD for her research on breast cancer in African-American women; and one of my TNBC sisters, Cristy Norwood for her bravery and sharing her inspirational fight of TNBC as a mother, "Warrior Chick."  To date, this PLC annual fund-raising event has netted exceeding $1.25 million dollars for research, patient treatment assistance and awareness to this aggressive, TNBC. A huge success for us TNBC survivors, our targeted therapy will be found soon, I just know it! Thank you Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation and to all that supported this event.

Cristy Norwood accepting her Courage Award

I had followed this TNBCF Peace, Love and a Cure event through live updates on their Twitter page. LOL, I tracked down Laura Roppe'  at the event through live online streamlining via TNBC Foundation's Twitter, tweets! I just love Laura Roppe' she's my rock star!... and get her book, Rocking the Pink, I'm reading it now and smiling through it!

Laura Roppe' and Robin
Roberts Rocked the Pink!
"When I sat down at my computer to write a book for no apparent reason, I never imagined that, a short time later, I'd be posing for a picture with one of my heroes, triple negative breast cancer survivor Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, as she enthusiastically held up my book -- or that it would contain her endorsement on the front cover!  Last week, I met Robin at a fundraiser for the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation (where Robin received the Champion Award ), and when she saw me and my book, she screamed "I LOVE THIS BOOK! IT'S SO FUNNY!"  And then she proceeded to tell anyone within earshot that they absolutely must read it.  In the above picture, can you tell I am FREAKING OUT?  I am.  In addition to being beautiful and generous, Robin has become a source of inspiration and encouragement for those who have followed her down the cancer path.  A year before my own diagnosis, Robin had shared her journey through breast cancer with viewers onGMA.  After that, when my own diagnosis unexpectedly came, I knew I could overcome it, having just watched Robin strutting her bald, badass self down a fashion runway.  I cannot emphasize enough how much Robin inspired me as a role model and fellow triple negative survivor.  And now, here we stand together, smiling, with my little book, and a shared message that anything is possible!" ~ Laura Roppe'

(Click to link)
(Click to link)

Robin Roberts Announces Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) Diagnosis

"Today, I want to let you know that I’ve been diagnosed with MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome.  It's a disease of the blood and bone marrow and was once known as preleukemia.
My doctors tell me I'm going to beat this -- and I know it's true."

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/entertainment/post/2012/06/robin-roberts-battling-rare-blood-disorder-/1#.T9XzPBxUy-0 (Click links to story)

I am just heartbroken by this news this morning, I look up to Robin Roberts as she is a 5 yr.Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor herself and have shown the world her determination and courage throughout her journey, live on Good Morning America. My heart and prayers go out to Robin, we'll see you through this! ~ Melissa Paskvan

(Click link for full story)

"The way we cure cancer today is by chemotherapy usually," said Gregory. "You may combine chemotherapy with radiation, and those drugs if they cure the patient probably have given a little bit of damage to the bone marrow, and depending on how much damage has occurred to the bone marrow, stem cell patients may develop the therapy-related myelodysplastic syndrome." http://abclocal.go.com/wls/video?id=8697524&pid=8697412 
(Click link to video on what is MDS?)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fight For Whitney Lowe, Remembering My Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sister, 26 yrs. Young...

Whitney Yoder Lowe
I sit here and try to make sense of why we're losing so many sisters to Triple Negative Breast Cancer, why Whitney? She was 26,  just way too young to be dealing with breast cancer. On Friday, June 8, 2012, after a 19 month courageous battle with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, my friend, Whitney Lowe went to sleep to drift away into the arms of our loving God to be among our other TNBC pink angels. Whitney was surrounded by her loving family, telling them that she loved them and she'll see them all soon... shortly afterwards, she passed peacefully.  Passing on the day of their local Relay for Life walk, that evening 16 of her family member gathered to walk in the event in memory of their beloved Whitney. As promised to Whitney, her mother, Sandy will continue to keep her legacy alive as she will advocate for the fight against Triple Negative Breast Cancer and spread awareness of the importance of early detection in young women... This was Whitney's wish.

I had just visited Whitney and her mother, Sandy just 2½ weeks prior knowing this would be my last visit with Whit but it was a very nice visit. I have witnessed the most loving  and courageous connection between a mother and daughter, they were a "team" as they both would say... I admired that in them two. If there was fear of uncertainty, Whitney did not show it.  Sandy remained strong for her daughter, in survival mode living life with Whitney for today.  Whitney so wanted to live and hoped her latest chemo treatment would be her "miracle" but her cancer had spread and weakened her body. A couple of months prior, Whitney had taken her dream tropical vacation to Puerto Rico with her family, a family togetherness that leaves treasured memories of her love and happiness, this was her living life to the fullest. 

Last August 2011, I was thrilled to meet Whitney and her mother, Sandy face to face during one of her chemo treatments at the Seidman Cancer Center in Cleveland, Ohio. I had met them both through my online TNBC Support Group shortly after Whitney's diagnosis. Whitney was a beautiful, sweet  and amazingly brave young lady who had so much life to fight for, but her clinical trials had eventually failed her... healing prayers were all that was left to offer.

May you rest peacefully, Whitney as we continue your fight for other young women faced with this dreaded disease... Whit, you'll always be in my heart, and you will be missed by all that you have touched, love you my sister. 
Sandy, I pray God gives you the strength to bring you through this... you and Whit are an inspiration to women everywhere, I love you my dear sis.

Sandy, Whitney and me

Us Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sisters so need our targeted therapy and ultimately a cure for all of us.
We desperately need TNBC research moved into clinical trials, then moved into FDA approved treatment, we don't have time for the 5 year wait for this transition to happen.
(Click on link to make a donation to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation for research)
Thank you.

God took an angel,
but we gained a guardian

Death leaves
 a heartache 
no one 
can heal,
Love leaves
a memory 
 no one 
can steal.

(Link to obituary)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

RSK2 Inhibition Has The Potential To Prevent Triple Negative Breast Cancer Recurrence

"...identified a protein critical to the survival of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients. This breakthrough research has the potential to cure TNBC by targeting a protein called RSK2, which eliminates TNBC cells completely. The study, published June 5, 2012 in Stem Cells medical journal, reports that RSK2 inhibitors have the ability to kill all of the cells including cancer stem cells which give rise to cancer recurrence. This cutting-edge discovery will potentially personalize the treatment of TNBC on an international scale.

"RSK2 inhibition provides a novel therapeutic avenue for TNBC and holds the promise of being one of the first targeted therapies for this challenging form of breast cancer," says Dr. Sandra Dunn, UBC."

(click link for full article)

Vyvyn Lazonga Tattoo's Beautiful Artwork Covering Breast Cancer Scars

Overcoming self-image issues with tattoos over scars from breast cancer surgery becomes part of the healing process.
Vyvyn Lazonga has been a tattoo artist for more than 40 years. She also does nipple revision with tattooing the areola and nipple on to breast reconstruction breasts.

Madame Lazonga's Tattoo
1529 Western Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2012

I am walking in honor of... women everywhere.

Ok ladies, I need to be honest with you, I feel bad because I know I should be setting an example... I've been having some serious lower back pain issues for the last 2 weeks, been trying to ignore it. It hurts to sit, like my spine is compressing down. Went for a walk today, I was pretty stiff and uncomfortable. Pain is worse when I'm sleeping, like lying on my side. I only find relief when I'm lying flat on my back. I'm pretty sure it's not muscle. I had this same back pain this past November for a couple of weeks, Yes, I blew it off back then too. I'm not one to be an alarmist but now I'm starting to get that gut feeling... I don't know, I guess it's getting to me because my husband and friends are starting to give me a hard time about it. I'm sorry, I've just been resting a lot when I'm not at work hoping it was just a strain. Your thoughts?
Talked to my nurse... based on my symptoms, doc wants me to have a spinal MRI in the next couple of days. Said it could be 1 of 2, an injury or the "C". 
I wasn't consciously stressed until after I talked to my nurse who is also a TNBC survivor of 5 yrs. and told me it "could be" cancer.
Pain over 2 weeks this time in back and I think a week or 2 back in November, same area... slight bone achiness in legs and forearms off and on too since last fall.
I did it, it's done and I'm going to be further in debt... Closed MRI with contrast sucked, it was hot in there as I'm having hot flashes and was hard to breathe in there after awhile. I probably won't know anything until Monday, Life is GOOD!
Had a really restless night with anxiety...

So I had a little bit of a scare, I've been having some major lower back pain for the last 3 weeks and had an MRI of my spine w/contrast because of my breast cancer history. NO CANCER!... but I do have cysts in my spine. Referred to an Orthopedic to see what they can do for me. Back is still hurting and at times making it difficult to walk, sit, cross legs, drive, bend over, sleep on side and stand. I get relief by lying flat on my back... This is what brings me back to why I still walk for these breast cancer events, I'll always have that reminder but I do not fear the 15% chance that Triple Negative Breast Cancer could recur... I'm not that statistic!

Thank you ladies for being here for me... To tell you the truth, I was kinda on the fence about this... First time I've been a little worried since dx, not a good feeling.
 My lumbar spine MRI impressions:
1. No abnormal post-contrast enhancing lesions.
2. 4mm perineural cyst at L2-3 in the left neural foramen.
3. Small Tarlov cysts at the S2 segment of the sacrum.
I just don't know after everything I've been reading that these small cysts would be causing so much pain...

I walked for my TNBC sisters that are still
 fighting, those that are celebrating and
remembering those that were taken
from us because of this disease.

Me and TNBC sister, Rita

Me and TNBC sister, Genny

Me and Toledo Rockets, Rocky

Making Strides at Levis Commons

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