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

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Going to California... Visiting my Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sisters

This past October 2013,  I had the most fabulous time with a weekend of adventure in California hosted by my Triple Negative Breast Cancer sisters from our online support group.  We had planned a girl's weekend get-together full of fun and relaxation. Feeling the excitement as I was in the sky for 6 hours flying over mountains as this is my first trip to Cali.  I arrived in San Jose on a Thursday where I was picked up at the airport by TNBC sister, Kathleen (Katie) whom was my roommate 8 months prior at Seattle's Young Survival Coalition Conference for breast cancer survivors.  Katie showed me around her hometown in Saratoga and have introduced me to her family before we headed to San Francisco to meet up with 2 more TNBC sister's Maria and Lisa Lee whom were meeting us for lunch for some Dim Sum at Yank Sing restaurant.  I had also previously met Maria at the Seattle conference too.  I've tried a lot of different kinds of Asian foods and enjoyed fine wine over good conversations and a lot of laughter. Katie gave me a tour of San Francisco as we headed towards the Golden Gate Bridge. I just took it all in and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.  Katie and I headed to the mountains for our weekend at the cabin.  
On Friday, another TNBC sister that I had also previously met in Seattle, Lisa B. drove in and spent the day with Katie and I in the mountains for wine tasting at Saluti Winery where we tasted several kinds of wine.  We drove through the mountains enjoying the spectacular view of endless vineyards and forestry and made a stop at Apple Hill for some shopping. 
On Saturday, Maria and Lisa Lee met up with us again at the cabin for eats and beer tasting night. After a fantastic weekend with my ladies, there was one quick stop in Sunnyvale that I absolutely had to make before I get on that plane to head back to Ohio. I had to see TNBC sister, Stephanie whom was one of the first  TNBC survivors that I had met online 3 years ago as I just finished treatment and she was starting hers. Though it was a very short visit with Steph, it completed my trip  and was really nice to meet her face to face. Thank you ladies for a much needed "group therapy" weekend, I really enjoyed myself and appreciate your hospitality. Much love xoxo Melissa

My view from the sky...

I'm getting closer...


San Francisco, here I come!

TNBC sister, Maria and Melissa... 
Mmm, what's this?
shanghai dumpling... very juicy!

Let's try this...

Stuffed crab claw - Om-nom, nom... Like this too!

 Lunch date with the ladies for dim sum at 
Yank Sing, San Francisco TNBC sisters, Lisa L. and 
Katie standing, Maria and Melissa sitting.
...and I said I don't drink wine!

I wanna ride on one of these...

Bay Bridge, San Francisco

Bay Bridge, San Francisco

Streets of San Francisco

Wires!... what's this?

Cali Palm trees... Oh Look, Lisa's my tour guide!

Houses in San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Riding across the Golden...

San Francisco Bay

San Francisco Bay across from the city

Golden Gate Bridge and Bay

Golden Gate rush hour...

Sailboating across from Alcatraz

Melissa and Kathleen - Taking in the view...

Awww! The mountains... the view... SPECTACULAR!

My stay for the weekend...

Wine tasting at Saluti Winery with TNBC sisters
Kathleen, Lisa B.  and Melissa.
"Fight like a girl, Drink like a lady"

Lisa B. and Melissa at Saluti Winery

Melissa at Saluti Winery in the mountains

Lisa B. at Apple Hill

TNBC Sisters Lisa B. and Katie

Apples... everywhere! ...and all kinds!

Love this view in the mountains - Apple Hill

Melissa and Katie

Melissa and Lisa B.

The forbidden apple... Melissa

Melissa - Lovin it!

My first time eating artichoke... Delicious!

Another great tasting... 
Salmon topped with capers on cream cheese and bread

I'm glad Katie showed me how to eat this

TNBC sister, Lisa B. and Melissa at the cabin 
in the mountains of California

They arrived... at the cabin! Melissa, Katie, Lisa B., 
Maria and Lisa L.

TNBC sisters, Lisa B., Katie, Maria, Lisa L. and Melissa

Cranium!... fun with board games with Lisa

My observers... as I taste different foods and drinks. 
Melissa, Maria and Lisa

Beer tasting...

Start from light to dark...

TNBC Sisters, Maria and Melissa

TNBC Sisters, Lisa Lee and Melissa

TNBC sisters, Maria and Lisa

Beautiful mountain roads... 

Curve ahead...

Wine country...

California wineries...


Spectacular view!

 Solar Mills... lots of them! 

FINALLY!... Meeting TNBC sister, 
Stephanie Flores face to face

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