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

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Que Sera Sera... Remembering Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sister, Janelle Wade

Tomorrow is never promised...

"Please, please, please, don't underestimate being grateful. 
Enjoy it. Relish in it. It's quite an extraordinary thing."
~Janelle Wade

"If we can leave behind a legacy of love
and memories, then we are blessed and
richer than anything money can buy."

~ Janelle Stauffer-Wade

After a courageous battle with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Janelle Stauffer-Wade, 41 was called home to her Lord on September 16, 2013, releasing her from her pain. Janelle fought with all she had, to stay around for her son for as long as she can. I know this was heartbreaking for Janelle to have her 8 yr. old son worrying about how sick she was.... 

Janelle's journey started in April 2012 when she was diagnosed with stage 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer at the age of 39. In just 2 short weeks of diagnosis, Janelle's breast tumor had grown from 2cm to 4cm and has spread to 10 lymph nodes and her chest wall. Janelle had undergone dose dense AC/Taxol neoadjuvant chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and 35 rounds of radiation finishing treatment mid-January 2013. Just being off from treatment for 2 months, Janelle's first post-treatment pet scan showed mets to both of her lungs. Not the news Janelle expected. April 2, 2013, she started chemo again, Cisplatin/Gemzar, but the lung tumors progressed in size.  
May 2013, Janelle's chemo was switched to Carboplatin/Taxotere, again the cancer continued to spread and grow. June 2013, Janelle's cancer had spread rapidly in her body and had invaded her liver.  
"Dear God: Please keep my mom, my dad, my dog and my family safe. Please God. I'm really scared. Amen". - my son 
Janelle's oncologist spent the next 3 months trying to get her into a clinical trial... "I will have to say that, if anything, this has taught me that you HAVE to be proactive about your health." Janelle spent this time off with spending time with her family and a trip back to her hometown. August 2013 scans showed spread to her bones, multifocal metastastic disease involving the brain and progression in her lungs and liver. 
Posted in our online support group from Janelle, "Thank you, everyone, for your love and support. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have each and every one of you in my life, even if it is my virtual life. I hope you all know how much I love and respect you!!!" We loved Janelle too!
Janelle promised her son that she was fighting this cancer really, really hard and that she fights her hardest when he fights alongside of her. Janelle had undergone full head radiation but sadly, her cancer began to overpower her...

One thing that was always constant of Janelle, was her always being upbeat and witty as she accepted her recurrence... "It's weird, maybe, but I feel almost... relieved? ...that I'll never have to obsess about whether or not it will be back. It is. And we deal with it."
Janelle had gotten a new tattoo on her wrist after her recurrence, "Que Sera Sera" from a song that her mother used to sing to her when she was a little girl,  "Whatever will be, will be." As Janelle started her new journey, her tattoo was a reminder that whatever is, is.  
Janelle was selfless and was a beautiful soul. We'll miss Janelle in our group of ladies, emptiness is already being felt. Love you and God Bless your family. 

Janelle's last post in our TNBC Sisters group dated Sept. 1, 2013:
About a year ago, after I decided to leave my job and devote all my time to me and my health, I sat up late one night perusing the internet for a like-group of women who had the same weird breast cancer I had. This breast cancer with these weird initials (TNBC??) that I had never heard of before. I needed someone to connect with. Who knew what I was going through. Who I could find support from, but somewhere I could give support to others. And I found it here on Facebook. Facebook - this silly little social networking site. That's sometimes a bit of a joke, when you speak of it you shrug a bit, perhaps in a bit of shame that you are soooooo involved in reading Facebook at 1:00 in the morning when there doesn't seem anything else to do, silly games (Candy Crush, anyone? I said I'd never do it....eating my words now!)
So I find this group of women on FB. A private group of women, spread out not only over the US but the world. For this past year, I have gotten to know these women. Our tiny group of probably less than 100 women has now exceeded 400. These women I have never met in person have become my cocoon of support and of love.
And last night I was honored and blessed to meet in person 2 of my sisters. I've known them for a year, and finally got to meet them in person. Hug them, see their faces, their crazily familiar faces that I feel I have known for years. I am so blessed, beyond words, beyond anything I can say. 
Thanks for making the trek to Vegas, and the trek to my house. I love you ladies so much, I am so thankful to know you, and to count you more than friends but close sisters.
 — with Ronise Zenon and Reata Gfm.

"Celebrate everything!"
Reata and Ronise Zenon visiting Janelle
"But you ladies, from day one, have been a sister to me. You are understanding, you get it...our wonderfully dysfunctional family. You all understand what every single one of us is going through. You ladies stick up for each other more than blood relatives often do."

~ Janelle Wade 

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal2 Corinthians 4:16-18

14th Honoree - Janelle Stauffer-Wade

Woman Fights Rare Breast Cancer


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