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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Inspiring Breast Cancer Quotes When You Need a Lift...

Whatever path you're on in you're breast cancer journey, draw strength from those that had battled before you. As Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor, Robin Robers would say, "This too shall pass." More inspiring quotes can be viewed at http://www.healthline.com/health/breast-cancer/quotes

"Never lose sight of Hope... Hope for More Tomorrows!" - Melissa Paskvan

My personal Hero!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Catch That Look by Ann Pietrangelo... and More!

I'm seriously excited to read Ann Pietrangelo's new book, Catch That Look, a memoir of her Triple Negative Breast Cancer journey. I'm trying to slow down with all of my projects and relax with a good book about my TNBC sister who had walked my path.  Ann was so kind to sign my copy of Catch That Look before sending it to me... Thank you Ann! I was thrilled when Ann told me that she was going to the same breast cancer conference, C4YW in Orlando! I finally got to meet Ann in person!  I first met Ann online about 2 years ago when she did a story on my for her TNBC series. Ann is a healthcare writer and authored two books including No More Secs!, a memoir of her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.

"Where the road leads, for now, is a mystery. I'm just grateful to be on the road." - Ann Pietrangelo

I'm so excited!

Love my TNBC sister!

Melissa and TNBC sister, Ann

Saturday, March 29, 2014

MY TNBCDay Fundraising for Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation

My TNBC online fundraising event closes at the end of the month, March 31, 2014. I have raised thus far $670 towards funding in our hope in finding our targeted therapy.

TNBC Sisters Unite for Hope for More Tomorrows http://tnbcday2014.kintera.org/tnbcsistersunite_melissa 

"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." - Helen Keller

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Visit for TNBCDay 2014 Informational Session with Dr. Lisa Newman

On March 3, 2014, the day where TNBC Awareness is nationally recognized with many grassroots events planned in support of bringing awareness to Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Any money raised during these events and online events will be donated to the TNBC Foundation in it's efforts in funding research to help find our targeted therapy for TNBC.  I started a fun day off by attending an informational session with my pink sister, Jyll up in Dearborn, MI with Dr. Lisa Newman, a very well respected oncologist from the University of Michigan Medical Hospital, who has done extensive research on TNBC in African-American women. I also had the pleasure of meeting up with my TNBC sister, Maureen from my online support group. I was very excited to meet Maureen and she was so sweet to talk to.

“Triple Negative Breast Cancer is one pattern of the disease, but it is one that we have to have a heightened sense of awareness,”  - Dr. Newman said.

My notes from the session:

- Basal-Like  and TNBC tumors have a  80% overlap
- Carboplatin drug treatment is more effective in TNBC tumors
- Latest research: Androgen receptor (marker)
- 30% of TNBC patients will have an recurrence

Brain - 30%
Liver - 40%
Lung - 20%
Bone - 10%

Who does TNBC affect?
White-American - 16%
African-American - 26%
Ghana-African - 82%

TNBC Frequency
Young women
Palpable breast lump 
Chemo therapy 
Mets to Brain 
Less likely to recur after 5 years.

Obesity linked to risk of TNBC: Stay fit, eat well balanced diet

Pink sister, Jyll and Melissa

TNBC sister, Maureen and Melissa

Melissa and Dr. Lisa Newman

Us TNBCDay supporters with Dr. Lisa Newman

(Click link to story)

(Click link to Dr. Newman's research)

McAuley High School Alumni, Mary Mikula Zvanovec remembered...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Toledo Walleye's Pink in the Rink 2014

Our Toledo Mud Hens supports TNBCDay!
I tell you, I always have so much fun hanging out with my pink sisters... Thank you ladies for your good company, laughter, supporting breast cancer awareness in Toledo and of course, supporting the Toledo Walleye in a standing room only crowd of 8,200. Unfortunately, The Walleye's lost to Greenville Road Warriors, 3-1 on March 1, 2014, but there was a huge crowd of "pink" and survivors representing "Survivorhood" and there's me spreading the message of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Awareness Day. 
A special thank you to Toledo for always supporting our local breast cancer events and helping us get the message out there in our community and raising money for our cause.

Promoting TNBC Awareness among a crowd of 8,200 people!

Me and my pink sisters: Karen, Melissa P., Jyll, Lori, Rita, Diane and Melissa J.

Karen, Melissa and Jyll

Jyll, Lori and Rita

Me and my fans, Muddy and Muddonna!

Spike digs my sign!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

MLB Honorary Bat Girl Contest 2014...

I'm spreading TNBC awareness among the MLB fans again this year by sharing my story of my fight with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Your vote will help me get closer to a chance to be a voice for TNBC awareness as honorary bat girl for the Detroit Tigers, "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" game 2014. Follow the link and search for me by name, Melissa Paskvan under the team, Detroit Tigers. Thank you, M. http://mlb.mlb.com/honorarybatgirl/2014/gallery.jsp (Click link)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Remembering TNBC Sister, Colleen Tice...

Colleen Tice
December 12, 2012, Colleen Tice was Diagnosis with Stage 3c, Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Colleen had lost her mother to TNBC in 2010.  In December 2013, Colleen was having pain in her neck that affect her hearing and vision and had said at times, it's like looking through a kaleidoscope. Colleen underwent brain scans, spinal MRI and x-rays and was excited that each test came back, "Clear" and hearing, "No cancer." Her oncologist was baffled as to what could be causing Colleen's pain and had referred her to a neurosurgeon. Colleen had passed on January 27, 2014 at the age of 41. 
After her passing, it was learned that Colleen's cause of death was indeed cancer... cancer was found in the meninges lining of her brain, cancer at her brain stem and a cancerous lymph node in her chest near her airway. 
Colleen Tice, another sister from our online support group, gone too soon.

Excerpt taken for her obituary written by her husband: "She knew she was going to beat this ugly thing. Always telling me "no worries daddy, no worries". Colleen was determined to show her boys that you can survive cancer..."

http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Colleen-Tice&lc=4425&pid=169427136&mid=5839285 (Click link to obituary)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fun Time at Toledo Rockets for the Cure 2014

The ladies and I had an exciting time at The Toledo Rockets for Cure game where the team auctioned off their game jerseys, helping to raise $13,582 for breast cancer research.  The Lady Rockets defeated the Ohio Bobcats in front of a season high crowd of 4,692 with a 62-58 win. I love having a girl's day out with my pink sisters and having a blast living life!

Capotosto’s skyscraping 3-pointer with 1:01 left helped Toledo rally to a 62-58 win.
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/UT/2014/02/16/Capotosto-comes-up-big.html#GgyFqg3xJ9Ae1hW8.99
Capotosto’s skyscraping 3-pointer with 1:01 left helped Toledo rally to a 62-58 win.
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/UT/2014/02/16/Capotosto-comes-up-big.html#GgyFqg3xJ9Ae1hW8.99
Us Victory Center Ladies!

Me and my favorite Lady Rocket, Andola Dortch

WTOL's Chrys Peterson and Melissa

Melissa and Andola Dortch
I'm sure gonna miss seeing her play

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Terry Lewis 4 Year Fight with Triple Negative Breast Cancer

"I am a survivor, its in my blood, so I know I will survive for many, many years to come!" - Terry Lewis, 2010
Terry Lewis
I have just learned that a TNBC sister from my online support group has passed recently on December 20, 2013 at the age of 53. Terry battled Triple Negative Breast Cancer for 4 years with her original diagnosis in December 2009 with a 12.5cm lump, Stage 3C with 25 positive lymph nodes.
Terry originally finished treatment in September 2010, had left mastectomy, 6 months of chemo, 35 radiation treatments and was receiving Avastin and Zometa. Clean scans in November 2011 but 6 months post treatment, March 2011, Terry learned that her cancer has returned to her remaining breast and skin and started chemo again, Taxotere and Xeloda that turned out to be ineffective.  A new treatment of Gemzar and Carboplatin with a clinical trial on Iniparib was started in July 2011. March 2012,  Terry's cancer has spread more in the right beast and had undergone mastectomy. November 2012, Terry started the BEACON Study with a randomized study drug, Nektar-102.
The last I've read this pass October 2013, Terry was to start hyperthermia treatment that uses heat to kill cancer cells. 
Good-bye my sister, you fought a long and courageous battle.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day as TNBC Sisters Unite Take a Stand for Hope for more Tomorrow

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sisters Unite Take a Stand for Hope for More Tomorrows. We are young, we are the faces of TNBC! Honor a loved one affected by TNBC with a donation to Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. Thank you, Melissa Paskvan http://tnbcday2014.kintera.org/tnbcsistersunite_melissa

TNBC Sisters Unite for Hope for more Tomorrow!

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