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, May 25, 2015

Victory Center's Treasures Fundraiser 2015

Booze cart raffle
Victory Center's Treasures Benefit was a great success last Friday, May 15 with raising funds for the Victory Center http://thevictorycenter.orga cancer wellness center that offer a variety of "feel good" services to cancer patients for free including support groups, massages, healing touch, wig bank, belly dancing, exercise classes, art classes, fighting back with nutrition and much more.  Myself and a few other survivors volunteered our time at the fundraiser... I worked the Booze Cart Raffle selling $10 raffle tickets for a chance to win a gift basket containing various bottles of premium liquor.  The nights event was highlighted with a live auction and a silent auction of donated gift baskets and items.  For the silent auction, I've been eying an art piece all night and finally put a bid on and won the painting of vibrant colored ribbons by artist, Greg Justus.

Night out with the girls

Lori and Melissa

Being silly with Penny in the Photo Booth

More Photo Booth Fun!

My silent auction win! Lovin it!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Komen Series # 2: Urgency in the Metastatic Breast Cancer Community

In the coming days, I'll be sharing a series of posts of what I learned at the 2nd Annual Komen Blogger Summit that I attended on May 8, 2015 in Washington DC. Here, I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Judith Salerno, CEO and President of Susan G. Komen as she discussed their mission over dinner.

Women living with metastatic breast cancer are not a statistic, they are individuals who have plans for their lives too.  Dr. Judith Salerno understands there's an urgent need from Komen to help women with metastatic breast cancer in what they need now to live as full of life as they can for however days that may be.  Komen is making it a priority to help find a new drug to extend the lives of women living with metastatic disease. 

With over 1400 organizations in the United States working to fight breast cancer, Dr. Judith Salerno is very passionate about encouraging collaboration among these other organizations who are willing to work with Komen to do what they need to do to reach their common purpose of ending breast cancer and suffering. Salerno stated that they need to get the message out, "together we can do so much more than we can do alone."

Friday, May 22, 2015

Breast Cancer Lecture With Dr. Mabry on May 21, 2015

UTMC Breast Cancer Surgeon, Dr. Helen Mabry

Breast Cancer is not one Disease,
But a group of biologically distinct diseases.
What does this mean?

It means that it doesn't make sense to ask, "what causes breast cancer?"
It also means that individualized medicine is not  just desirable,
It is crucial.

Very vigorous exercise can reduce breast cancer risk
by 50% in postmenopausal women.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Spring into Survivorship, Blooming in Pink 2015

On  April 11, 2015, I spent my Saturday with some very special friends attending  the first ever, Lucas County Breast Health Coalition Breast Cancer Conference at Lordes College. Many different local organizations helped in the planning of this special event to bring several speakers to give workshops, Keynote speaker and breast cancer survivor, Molly MacDonald, vendors, catered lunch, give-a-ways and Sisterhood. Work shops included Nutrition, Yoga, Finding your Passion and Your Financial Future.  Survivorship Conferences and programs likes this is very much needed and appreciated in our local community as we need continued support as we work through finding our new normal, long-term chemo side-effects and getting on the path of healthy living.  This is the kind of positive enforcement we need coming out from a cancer diagnosis and being among other survivors who understands what we have gone through.  Thank you Komen of Northwest Ohio for funding this special event. Many local vendors were there on hand with their tables set-up displaying information and their services that they offer to breast cancer survivors.  I attended the workshops on Nutrition and Cancer presented by Promedica's Registered Dietician, Marcia Grandsko; and Finding your Passion in Life presented by Life Coach, Tamara Vellozzo... both offering great information as I move forward in improving a healthy life style for myself.  Below are some notes I've taken to share with my readers:

Preventing cancer through nutrition:
1. Be lean as possible without being underweight.
     - Find balance between diet and lifestyle
     - Weight: 5 feet tall = 100lbs, every inch afterwards, increase 5lbs
2. Physically active 30 minutes daily.
     - Start with walking, work up a sweat 
3. Cut back on sugary drinks and products.
     - Limit sugary food, sugar feeds every cells
     - Starch, milk and carbs turns to glucose 
     - Insulin is a growth hormone, Insulin feeds cancer
     - Eat a sweet with protein to slow down production of insulin
     - To get HDL up for cholesterol, Exercise MOVE!
4. Eat More variety of vegetables and fruits daily.
     - Cancer survivors must consume 7-9 servings.
5. Limit consumption of red meat and lunch meat.
     - Take away one thing a week
6. Limit alcoholic drinks.
     - One a day
7. Limit consumption of salty foods.
8. Don't use supplements.
     - No regulations!
     - Find nutrition in foods first.
     - Vitamins, no mega doses like 600mg or 1000mg
9. Breast Feed.
10. Follow recommendations!

Finding your Passion in Life
     - Live Joyfully. Have purpose and passion.
     - Move from surviving to thriving.
     - Create in mind, transform into physical.
     - Joy, happiness and health: Change what you do want.
     - Action engages intention
The Passion Test Formula
1. Intention
     - Switch to ways that is more positive.
     - Speak in loving and kindness 

2. Attention
     - What you put attention on grows stronger in your life.
     - Step back towards your passion, makes you feel good
3. No Tension
     - Self care is important.
     - Self love and self care start in thoughts.
     - Surround yourself with people that supports me...                                                               
       ...and if they don't, Release! Release! Release! 

Melissa P., Melissa J., Jyll and Devorah

Passion and Positivity Coach, Tamara Vellozzo

Molly MacDonald, CEO and Founder of http://thepinkfund.org

Molly MacDonald, My Winged Victory
 "Sur Thriver" 

Gail Cooper, Molly MacDonald and Diane Cherry 

Breast Cancer Survivor Speaker and Founder of the Pink
Fund, Molly MacDonald and Melissa

Lucas County Breast Health Coalition Committee Members

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Triple Negative Breast Cancer, Komen 2014 Research

Komen invested... "more than $80 million in over 115 research grants and 20 clinical trials focused on TNBC ."  Thank you Komen and to their supporters who helped raise funding towards such researches.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Komen Series #3: Together, We Are Strong in the Mission

While attending the reception and dinner at May 8, 2015, Komen Blogger Summit with fellow bloggers and Komen's social media team, conversations continued on Metastatic Breast Cancer while speaking with Komen Founder, Nancy Brinker.  Although it is not common in the U.S., 5% of newly diagnosis women will be diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer.  Nancy Brinker touches on this area saying,
"...we need help developing the kinds of stories and keeping  passion alive with the people who want to tell these stories and making them real and calling the media to accountability to make sure this is kept high and near...
 ...at the end of the day, if we don't do these things, we don't keep this issue to your point, the 5% of the people, and they don't know people still got it, you're right, people, they think that everybody is just gonna walk in the park and they are just gonna live with it..."
Komen's recently advocated to Congress for more funding not only for breast cancer research, but the need for more biomedical research support in general, increasing the NIH budget.  Another issue Komen discussed was oral parity... to take a pill that can make a difference in quality of life while going through treatment.  Dense breast and different kinds of screening were also discussed as well as disparities in breast cancer.
"It means that we, our voices together can make a difference. Elevate the conversations as we say, we can really bring people together and make them more aware." _ Dr. Judith Salerno

Komen Founder, Nancy Brinker
Nancy Brinker speaking on Metastatic Breast Cancer
Nancy Brinker and Melissa Paskvan
Nancy Brinker gladly signed our photo from last year
Me and my personal hero, Nancy Brinker
...and Nancy signs my copy of her book, Promise Me
Me with my blogger friends, Komen Grantees and Nancy Brinker
Together Stronger, Thank you for tweeting Nancy!
Dinner discussion with Dr. Judith Salerno, CEO of Komen
Nancy Brinker introducing British singer, Matt Goss to us
I go to shake Matt Goss hand and he says that he's a hugger :)
...and he smells good too! Matt Goss and Melissa Paskvan
Melissa Paskvan and CEO and President of Komen, Dr. Judith Salerno
Me with Komen Marketing team, Rhasheda Boyd and Tracy Mueller

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Matt Goss Singing Strong at Komen Washington DC Race for the Cure 2015

Video I took of this amazing singer, Matt Goss who dedicated this song, "Strong" to his mother and to those that are battling breast cancer. Matt Goss has come together to help raise awareness and fundraising to support Komen's mission. Please follow link for more details: http://ww5.komen.org/MattGoss

Friday, May 8, 2015

PINK SNEAKERS In Toledo, Walk on!

We kicked off the PINK SNEAKERS weekly cancer survivor walk on May 4, 2015 presented by The Center for Health and Successful Living of the University of Toledo. Come join us on Monday evenings at 6pm at Ottawa Park, Toledo, OH.


Healthy living starts here!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dr. Lisa Newman's Research on Triple Negative Breast Cancer in African Ancestry

Melissa and Dr. Lisa Newman
Here are some slides I photographed on Triple Negative Breast Cancer of Dr. Lisa Newman's talk at Komen of Northwest Ohio's Power of the Promise Reception on April 30, 2015. Dr. Newman has been doing extensive research the past several years on Triple Negative Breast Cancer in African Ancestry and results showing a possible connection with an inherited gene.

Fewer systemic therapy options for TNBC

Younger age!

Need more African-American women 
in clinical studies

Early Detection is Critical in TNBC Survival!

 Is African ancestry associated with a 
hertitable gene for TNBC?

African ancestry at higher risk for TNBC

Monday, May 4, 2015

Komen of Northwest Ohio, Power of the Promise 2015

On April 30, 2015, I attended the Power of the Promise Komen Grant Reception with my survivor sister, Jyll at the Inverness Country Club in Toledo, OH.  Komen announced over $500, 000 in community grants to 13 organizations supporting breast health services in Northwest Ohio. I was excited to see
Dr. Lisa Newman speak at this event and talked much about her research in Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Thank you again to Mary Westphal, Executive Director of Komen of Northwest Ohio for your energy you put into our community in educating the importance of breast health and providing funds to those in need of mammograms.

Melissa and high school classmate, Amy Thorpe Wiley
Melissa, Barb Oxner and Jyll
Chrys Peterson
"We have a promise to keep."
Melissa, Dr. Lisa Newman and Jyll
Mary Westphal, Miss Ohio, Melissa, Miss Teen Ohio and Chrys

(Click link to story)
Komen of Northwest Ohio announces 13 grant recipients

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Click to help fund mammograms for the uninsured

The Breast Cancer Site

Click to join me in support group

Inspire health and wellness support groups

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation
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The SCAR Project

The SCAR Project
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Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project

Breast Cancer Awareness Body Painting Project
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