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, August 31, 2015

My Annual Mammogram..

I had 3D imaging mammogram and breast MRI all done in the month of August.  After seeing three calcification spots on my mammogram, I just wasn't comfortable with my mammogram report's impression: Benign.  I'm on heightened alert to these testings, since I have dense breast tissue, and my mammogram 6 years ago failed to detect my malignant tumor that was 2cm and was found by myself.  After discussing with my doctor of my concerns, we both agreed that I should follow up with a breast MRI since I haven't had one done in over 3 years, which I did and was waiting on results.  As I have been experiencing pain in my left breast in my previous surgical area and also to the breastbone, I  went to a free breast exam clinic given by a local breast surgeon at a local event... The doctor said everything felt normal and the pain is probably from the after-effects of radiation to the area.  Today, I went to see my doctor and learned my breast MRI tests came back normal which put my mind at ease. Ladies, be your own advocate for your body and make sure you're completely comfortable with report findings.

This is the new 3D imaging mammogram machine...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

6 Years Ago...

6 years ago... Survivor of Triple Negative Breast Cancer. No celebration, only sadness I feel... for the ladies that are still battling this horrible disease. I have two friends that are battling again as they fight through Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) recurrences. Today, I lost a dear friend, Holly to this very disease that I prayed to God to spare her and make her well again. Friends, I can't perform miracles, I can only be a voice for TNBC, keep telling my story and bring attention to our disease and push for funding and better treatments. Today, no congratulations please, only prayers for Holly's family and to those that are still fighting the fight. Thank you very much and much love, Melissa

Monday, August 24, 2015

My Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sister, Vickie back to Ohio...

I am beyond thrilled to finally meet my very special Triple Negative Breast Cancer Sister, Vickie Roy-Sneedon a few weeks back on July 29, 2015.  Vickie was one of the first TNBC ladies that I first connected with online in the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation Support Group over 5 years ago and have kept in contact since.  That was back in the day when I was newly diagnosed searching for other women who shared the same TNBC subtype of breast cancer that I did and only found very few as TNBC was a fairly new type of breast cancer that was discovered in 2005.  I quickly learned that Vickie and I had a lot in common, being TNBC; we both participated in a TNBC Foundation awareness video; we both loved cats and we both had a Tortoiseshell cat and a longhair black cat AND... though Vickie lives in Australia now for the last several years, we are both from OHIO!
I told Vickie back then that whenever she makes in back to the States to Ohio, to look me up and that we would meet up in person. Ok, this wait was long overdue, 5 years later I get a message from Vickie saying that she is coming home to Ohio during the summer.  I immediately responded that we must get together while she's in town and we need to make this happen! The time came and we decided to meet and drive halfway to Norwalk, Ohio from where I live and halfway from her hometown. Vickie picked the location of this nice coffee shop, Sheri's Coffee House where we hugged, sat and chat for awhile.  We noticed a pink ribbon painted in a wall mural inside the shop, and I inquired if the owner of the coffee house was a survivor... so awesome that she was a long-term breast cancer survivor too!  Vickie, Thank you so much for meeting me and strengthening our special sister bond, I love you!

Melissa Paskvan and Vickie Roy-Sneedon

The beautiful mural where the pink ribbon caught my eye...

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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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