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

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


  1. Melissa you are so inspiring. You bring hope alive to all of us. Love you. Brenda beguin

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for reminding us ALL about that magic little number - the recurrence percentage.
    It can be overwhelming when your head starts to spin in a few different directions with worry and, while everyone's obviously different, that number is nothing to FEAR!
    Love you BIG bunches!

  3. I was really worried reading about the spinal pain, and MRI- thank goodness the results were cysts. Wonder how they know the difference btwn return as a tumor and stating cysts. Such good news though- We all look to you with admiration! Keep up the positive attitude! Janet

  4. Thank you Janet, your kindness means so much to me. Believe me, I was getting a little nervous about getting the spinal MRI. They shot dye into my veins for part of the MRI images, I guess the way it showed in contrast, it wasn't cancerous... They better be right!
    I've been babying my back since and been having slight pains since.

  5. I'm glad it's not as bad as you thought it could be... what can you do for prevention? Or can you do anything to help alleviate the cysts or make them go away?


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