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

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

YSC 2015 Part 2: The Experience of Sisterhood...

YSC Houston 2015
Last March 6-8, 2015, I attended Young Survival Coalition Summit in Houston, Texas for a weekend conference filled with 500+ breast cancer survivors, workshops, discussions, inspirational speakers and vendors.  I have gotten to know many of the breast cancer survivors from attending conferences from previous years and each year I connect with many more survivors that I am just thrilled to meet and get to know them.  ...and every year, many of my TNBC sisters meet up and spend much of the weekend together, living life and having fun!  These are the ladies that I bond with and keep in touch with on our online TNBC support groups.  This year, my roommate was Tammie Turpen, tho not  TNBC, but a very special pink sister to me.  We had a fabulous time together dancing at the BBQ Under the Stars dinner picnic that was held across the street from the hotel with BBQ foods and a DJ that played dance music all night long.  That was probably the highlight of my weekend just dancing, laughing and just having a good time with all of my pink sisters, whom I haven't seen since last year's conference in Orlando, Florida.
The vendors in the exhibit hall always have a lot of resources information, giveaways, photo booths and a lot of cool things to purchase like t-shirts and pins. Me, I just like networking with the people of the different organizations and learn about how their organization is helping breast cancer survivors.  
The "In Memory" board is always emotional as we post photos and inspirational notes to remember those that are no longer with us.
One of the ladies I met up with outside of the conference was IBC/TNBC survivor, Terry Arnold who was from Houston and took time out of her day to come pick me up along with a few other ladies from the conference and take us out to breakfast and drove us by MD Anderson Cancer Center where Terry Arnold's organization, Inflammatory Breast Cancer Network has raised money for breast cancer research at MD Anderson.  
I was very excited to listen to Dr. Susan Love give her talk on Collateral Damage of Breast Cancer and get my picture taken with her and sign my copy of her book, Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book.  
Also, breast cancer survivor and author of Silver Lining, Hollye Jacob gave an excellent motivational speech that inspired us to finding our "silver lining" in our journey.  Hollye also provided every survivor with a free copy of her, The Silver Lining Companion Guide... of course, I got that signed too. 
I was so excited to see Dr. Judith Salerno, CEO and President of Komen National, attending the YSC Summit and bumping into her.  I have met Dr. Salerno at a previous Komen conference, and I just love her dedication to Komen and us breast cancer survivors. 
Young Survival Coalition CEO and breast cancer survivor, Jennifer Merschdorf is always a breath of fresh air when I listen to her presentations... She is so passionate about her work, bringing us pink sisters together every year and keep us all connected through their YSC website and Facebook.  This kind of support is very important to us survivors, getting us all together in one place to share stories and actually talk to someone who "get's it."  The Initiation Sucks, but the Sisterhood is Forever!, is a bold statement spoken by Jennifer and sums it up of what this conference is all about, support for each other and bonding that lasts a lifetime...  and I am so very thankful to Young Survival Coalition for the work they put into this Summit to educate us on the latest research and treatments for breast cancer, managing our side-effects and living a healthy life again, both physically and emotionally.
I attended 4 breakout session: Living Fully With, Through and After Cancer by Tambre Leign, Breast Cancer Update, Triple Negative Breast Cancer by Dr. Virginia Borges, Sex and Intimacy by Jean Rowe and Fitness and Nutrition, a Powerful Combo by Sami Mansfield.  I have posted a couple of other separate posts on the TNBC update and and fitness presentations, so look that up in my blog too. 
Outside of the conference, we pink sisters did a lot of dining out every night plus taking a train ride to the Rodeo to see many Texas Longhorns, shaved sheep and baby chicks being hatched.  After the Rodeo, we went to Pete's Dueling Piano Bar that was packed with standing room only to see 2 very entertaining piano players keying away on their pianos and singing fun popular songs like Journey's, "Don't Stop Believing" and Billy Joel's, "Piano Man."  We also spent a lot of time just sitting around in the lobby at night socializing or you could find us at the hot tub... we love the hot tub and pool with friends!
I look forward to seeing you all at 2016 YSC Summit in Atlanta!

Leaving the snow behind... Houston Bound!
Lobby time... Kathy Cook, Angela Martin, Julie Diehl,
Cindy Mammoser, Melissa Paskvan, Laura Hoytlyn,
Shreen Marie and Dusty Showers
TNBC Survivors, Alex Cortes and Melissa Paskvan
Dinner at Pappasito's Cantina...
Left side - Dusty Showers, Angie Martin, Kathy Cook
Right side - Melissa Paskvan,  Alexandra Cortes
and I see Jeanna Holler down towards the end.
TNBC Sisters, Alexandra Cortes and Melissa Paskvan
Umm, Dusty!
Breakfast at Black Walnut Cafe with the pink survivor
sisters Becky Maxson, Melissa Paskvan, Terry Arnold
 Founder of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Network, 

Stephanie Landis and Norma Zimmer seated.
Terry Arnold is TNBC/IBC
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Each Other Gives Us Strength...
Tammie Turpen, Marisa Phillips, Dusty Showers,
Angela Martin, Eden Lackey and Michelle Green
Sara Kouten, Kathleen Vithanage, Lori Flowers of Triple Step 
Towards the Cure and Melissa Paskvan
TNBC survivors, Melissa Paskvan and Roxanne Martinez
Dinner again at Pappasito's Cantina with my TNBC sisters...
Left - Sara Kouten, Natalia Munoz, Alexandra Cortes
and Michelle Green
Right - Kathy Cook, Angie Martin, Tammie Turpen,
Melissa Paskvan, Jeanna Holler and Roxy Martinez
TNBC survivors, Kathleen Cook and Melissa
TNBC Sisters, Angela Martin, Kathleen Cook,
 Alexander Cortes, Natalia Munoz and Melissa Paskvan
Melissa Paskvan and Komen's, Carrie
TNBC Sisters, Melissa Paskvan and  Natalia Munoz
TNBC Sisters, Heather Ingo-Nutile and Melissa Paskvan
TNBC Sisters, Jeanna Holler and Melissa Paskvan
Susan G. Komen CEO and President, Dr. Judith Salerno 
and Melissa Paskvan
We were the "Highlight" of YSC Summit 2015!
BBQ Under the Stars... Roxanne Martinez, Melissa Paskvan,
Sara Kouten,  Alexandra Cortes, Angela Martin,
 Patti Parker-Phillips, Kathy Cook,  Natalia Munoz,
Tammie Turpen, Michelle Green, and Jeanna Holler
Dancing at BBQ Under the Stars... 
Angie Martin, Tammie Turpen, Melissa Paskvan 
and Heather Ingo-Nutile
TNBC Sisters Kathy Cook,
Patti Parker-Phillips,  Angie Martin
and Melissa Paskvan
TNBC sisters Roxanne Martinez,
Melissa Paskvan, Patti Parker-Phillips,
Sara Kouten,  Angie Martin, Kathy Cook,
Tammie Turpen, Michelle Green,
Alexandra Cortes and Natalia Munoz
TNBC Sisters, Kathleen Cook 
and Melissa Paskvan
Welcome to Young Survival Coalition Summit 2015
Sisterhood is forever!
YCS Co-Founder, Roberta Levy Schwartz
Tambre Leign, Life Coach at Well Beyond Ordinary
Ask the experts with Dr. Susan Love on the end.
Dr. Susan Love, Breast Surgeon, Author of
Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book and Founder
of Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation 
"For a future without breast cancer"
 and Melissa Paskvan
Dr. Susan Love and Melissa Paskvan promoting her book
Pink Sisters Melissa Paskvan, Terlisa Sheppard,
Felicity Galenti and Roxanne Martinez
TNBC Sisters Always...
 Standing: Angela Martin, Sara Kouten, Patti Parker Phillips,
Kathleen Vithanage, Kathy Cook and Michelle Green
Kneeling: Natalia Munoz, Melissa Paskvan and Jeanna Holler
Roxanne Martinez, My roommate Tammie Turpen 
and Melissa Paskvan
TNBC Sisters, Melissa Paskvan, Sara Kouten 
and Kathy Cook
Texas Rodeo time, TNBC sisters style...
Kathy Cook, Michelle Green, Sara Kouten, Alex Cortes,
Melissa Paskvan and Natalia Munoz
Fun at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar with my TNBC sisters...
Sara Kouten, Natalia Munoz, Alexandra Cortes,
Kathy Cook and Melissa Paskvan
Cramming in the evevator... Oh wait, selfie!
Roxanne Martinez, Angie Martin, Michelle Green,
Heather Ingo-Nutile, Tammie Turpen,
Melissa Paskvan and Jeanna Holler
Dusty peeking over Melissa, Kathy, Sara and Jeanna
TNBC Sisters, Kathy Cook and Melissa Paskvan
Group selfie with Flat Jolene... always with us in spirit.
Kathy Cook, Marisa Phillips, Sara Kouten, Jeanna Holler, 
Natalia Munoz, Alex Cortes,Melissa Paskvan, 
Tammie Turpen, Dusty Showers and Angie Martin
Dusty Showers, Tammie Turpen, Carol Hachey,
Heather Ingo-Nutile and Melissa Paskvan
Melissa Paskvan and Kenny Kane of 
Hollye Jacobs, author of The Silver Lining 
and Melissa Paskvan
Melissa and Jennifer Merschdorf, CEO of 
Young Survival Coalition
YSC sisters forever!
Departing...  Kathleen, Melissa, Sara Kouten, Alex,
Heather, Traci Gordon, Tammie, Patti, Jeanna,
 Kathy, Angie and Dusty
Good-bye Kathleen Cook, we love you!
Downtown Houston
Last minute good-byes... Tammie, Melissa, Jeanna, Traci,
Laura, Julie and Patti
YSC CEO, Jennifer Merschdorf, Tammie Turpen
 and Melissa Paskvan
Don't let those LandSharks go to waste...
Tanyis Brunscheon, Tammie Turpen and Melissa Paskvan
In memory of our TNBC Sisters we lost

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