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.

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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

Friday, March 1, 2013

C4YW Seattle 2013 With my Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sisters...

Until November 2012 when I booked my flight, going to the C4YW Conference Seattle 2013 was just a dream I toyed with. To meet all of my Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sisters there too, well that was the icing on the cake that I just couldn't pass up. Big thank you to TNBC sister, Brenda Beguin for talking me into it to come out and meet her in person along with 15 other TNBC sisters from our online TNBC Sisters group. These are the ladies that I talked often with in our group offering each other support, encouragement, insight, compassion and laughter but had never met in person. Meeting all of them for the first time was amazing, being able to give them a  real hug and putting a voice to the faces I've only seen online.  First to meet was Patti Parker-Phillips whom I met at Seattle Airport for she had just flown in around the same time as me. 

A short time later, Kathleen, my "roomie" arrived at the airport and we got a car rental and adventured to downtown Seattle to do a little shopping at Pike's Public Market and grab some lunch at Lowell's restaurant overlooking the waterfront. Not even 2 hours into our trip, we had our rental car towed with our luggage and my Mac laptop in it, because we didn't see a second sign that was posted stating that the parking zone turns into a bus lane after a certain time. Luckily, we were able to get ahold of Brenda to come get us, who is from the Seattle area and was close-by from her treatment center. Meeting Brenda for the first time was us waving down her car in the middle of the street giving her a hug through the window and getting situated in her car while there's stopped traffic behind us. Kathleen got her rental car out of impound parked under an overpass and I took over driving Brenda's car for she was feeling fatigue from her treatment. As I was driving I went down a narrow road and stopped at a little red light and was almost struck from the driver side by this red railed streetcar because I was stopped on it's tracks, Oops! As I slowly backed off the tracks, I couldn't bear to look up as this bus, train or what ever it was that crept pass us just inches in front of us. I just had to share that adventure! 

Over a 3 day weekend February 22-24, 2013, I met up with several Triple Breast Cancer sisters from our online support group for a much needed break and live life among some fabulous sisters with good conversations and a lot of laughter.  650 of mostly young breast cancer survivors flooded the Hyatt Hotel, Bellevue, WA. during an annual C4YW 2013 conference hosted by Young Survivor Coalition and Living Beyond Breast Cancer.  
  A little overwhelming, seeing the faces of all these young women affected by a disease that we all feared of and have overcome so many challenges to live life again as close to normalcy as we strive for. This was a fun-filled weekend of networking with other survivors, researchers, health advocates, and breast cancer related vendors. We attended a few of the various educational workshops dedicated to the unique needs of young women affected by breast cancer, listened to speakers and survivor stories, posted memorials to a remembrance board. One of the highlights of the conference weekend was the "survivor dance party" with a DJ, desserts, drinks and good company of dancing like no one is watching!  
I'm glad I was part of this event, I met some amazing people and strengthened my bond with my sisters... it was quite an uplifting experience that I'll always treasure.
We were able to sneak some sightseeing in where Kathleen, Angela Munoz, Maria Lagman took a drive back to downtown Seattle and went up in the Space Needle for a spectacular view of the buildings, water and mountains.

Hundreds attending the annual Conference for Young Women Affected
by Breast Cancer (C4YW) gather in downtown Bellevue last weekend

Melissa, Angela Munoz, Kathleen and Maria

Dinner with the ladies at Maggiano's

Melissa Paskvan- C4YW Seattle 2013

Me with Lori Flowers and
her beautiful mother, Carole
of Triple Step Towards
The Cure

Angela, Kathleen, Maria, Sara and

Melissa, Kathleen and Maria at the top
of the Space Needle

Marielle, Brenda, Melissa,
Alexandra, unknown and Juls

Lisa, Marielle, Melissa giving
smooches and Patti

Sara, Jenni, Alexandra, Juls, Ronise,
 Angie, Kathy, Tina, Melissa and Marielle
9 of us are Triple Negative

My TNBC sisters: Lisa, Angie, Melissa,
Ronise, Sara, Alexandra, Tina and Kathy

Us TNBC ladies with Brenda's Oncologist,
Dr. V.K Godi
He's saving Brenda's Life

Kathleen, Tre', Melissa and Brenda

Melissa, Stacy's daughter, Stacy,
Marielle, Brenda and Ronise in the back

We're all TNBC Sisters: Angie,
Melissa, Marielle, Sara, Ronise Lisa,
Patti. Brenda and Tre' in the front

Melissa, Jenni, Sara and Brenda

Sara, Jenni, Sara, Tre', Melissa, Brenda
and Marielle

Kathy, Ronise, Angie, Sara and Melissa

 Melissa with Triple Step Towards the
Cure ladies
 Lori Flowers, her mother Carole 

Melissa with Tami Boehmer, she did a
story on me on

Me with one of the SCAR Project 
models, Joselyn of

Melissa with Dusty Showers of

Sara Kouten and Melissa sitting in on
a workshop

Melissa, Marielle and Kathleen
Love our new t-shirts

Angela, Brenda, Marielle and Melissa

Kathy, Angie, Ronise, Sara and Melissa

Melissa, Brenda and Jenni

Melissa, Angela, Kathleen and Patti

This must be me dancing to
 "I will Survive"

Melissa with TNBC sister, Stacy Meyer

TNBC sister, Alexandra Cortes
and Melissa

TNBC sister, Tre' Lee-Williams and Melissa

Melissa and pink sister, Sara Romero
Isn't she a doll!

TNBC sister, Angela Martin and Melissa

TNBC sister, Kathleen Cook
and Melissa

I went to 3 workshops, here's my chicken scratch notes that I took:

1. BRCA Testing
Heredity Cancers
- 80% BRCA
- 20% TP53, PTEN and others

P-16 Mutation- Melanoma- small percentage of hereditary ➔ Genetic Counseling

Genetic Study
- Local Academic

2. Healthy Eating
- Colorful diet
- Get your veggies in however you can daily
- Simple ingredients ➔ visually grown in nature
- Vitamin D is a hormone

Set up for success
Protein is huge
Take your weight and divide in half gives you grams of protein to consume daily
Ex. 160lbs ÷ 50% = 80 grams of protein
1 egg = 7g
1 cup of beans = 14g
1 cup of milk = 8g
3 oz. of meat = 21g

* Not getting enough protein, you crave more sugar
- Regular protein food at each meal
- Organic - cut exposure of pesticide by 80%
- Meat and dairy- grass-fed
- Organic- no antibiotics nor hormone
- Less processed foods

Get enough bacteria in our diet
Most of our bacteria is produced in our gut
- Yogurt
- Sour kraut
- Raw and unpasteurized 
* Needs to be from refrigerated section and doesn't need to be warmed up.

Nourish and Strengthen Immune System
- Seaweed - powerhouse
- Stinging nettle- powerhouse
- Dark leafy greens
- Beets, carrots, garlic, green tea, wild mushrooms

Sugar- less processed
* "No microwave"

- Platinum drugs works best
- Looking at more of an individualized protocol
- Clinical trials- FDA will not approve less than 50% survival outcome

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