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

Friday, November 15, 2013

One for the Bucket List... Detroit Red Wings Breast Cancer Awareness Night 2013

I have seen posted several times in my online support groups, what is on your bucket list?  I've seen other survivors list a trip to Ireland or Hawaii, another wants to go skydiving... me? I just want to go to a Detroit Red Wings game. On October 12, 2013, I was able to cross this off my bucket list as I went to my very first pro-hockey game on their breast cancer awareness night against the Philadelphia Fliers.
Always in good company with a very good friend, Angie whom it was her first Red Wings game too. My highlight was seeing Red Wings goalie, Jimmy Howard skating out onto the ice rink geared up in a pink ribbon helmet and pink arms and legs padding with pink ribbons on his shins... Personally I thought he looked bad-ass! Detroit Red Wings closed the game with a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Fliers. 
Angie and I finished the night with a bite to eat at Detroit's Hard Rock Cafe, watching the Detroit Tigers live on big screen. Also, I bought this HardRock pink ribbon guitar pin, I always wanted one of these since I first saw them when I was diagnosed. Next on my bucket list... Detroit Piston's game.

Melissa Paskvan and Angie

5-2, Red Wings

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Jonna's Body, Please Hold, Toledo Performance 2013

Jonna Tamases and Melissa Paskvan
October 10, 2013, Me and my Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor sister, Diane met up with other survivors of our support group for a night of laughter and inspiration watching a one-woman play, Jonna's Body, Please Hold. Jonna Tamases, who wrote and stars as herself in her 1 hour cancerous dark comedy performance that chronicles the invasion of cancer in her body, but uses humor in getting through her challenges. Jonna, a 4 times survivor had battled Hodgkin's Disease twice, Large-Cell Lymphoma and Breast Cancer and remains cancer-free today. After the show, I had the pleasure of meeting Jonna, a very sweet, funny and compassionate lady who was very interested in hearing my journey and being 4 years out from cancer myself.

3 breast cancer survivors here!
TNBC sister Diane, Jonna and Melissa


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Angelo Merendino ‘Observing and Reacting’ Humanizes Cancer Exhibit 2013

On October 5, 2013 returning from a breast cancer benefit, I made a stop in Cleveland to see an exhibit that I've been following for the past year of Angelo Merendino's photography of "My Wife's Fight With Breast Cancer." Angelo's work is amazing, capturing challenges and sadness as his wife battled her breast cancer. In this exhibit, 'Observing and Reacting' Humanizes Cancer, Angelo's black and white photos reveals the reactions from people passing by his wife, Jennifer, bald and using her walker as she walked in her city of New York City. Being a breast cancer survivor myself, as I walked through this exhibit and looking at each photograph, I could visualize myself walking beside her with the pedestrians staring at you with being bald and looking sick.  The photographs reminds me of my own experience of when I was losing my hair, and my son didn't want me to come to his school's halloween party because he was afraid that the kids would laugh at him, because my hair was all "messed up" now. Yes, my feelings were a little hurt, but I assured him that it will be ok. I showed up at his classroom party with me wearing a fleece hat in 70 degrees weather... and all the kids were staring at me but didn't say anything... a little awkward it was.
Originally from  Akron, Ohio , Angelo married Jennifer in 2006. 
5 months later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and lost her battle in 2011.

Me walking her shoes...

“Love every morsel of the people in your life.”
~ Jennifer Merendino

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