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Bonnie's Story

About her story

"There's some things in life you have to share. You have to have someone to lean on, and they'll help you get through."

After performing a self-breast exam, Bonnie Brooks discovered a lump and immediately scheduled an appointment with her doctor. On September 11, 2008, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 metastatic breast cancer. With a difficult treatment regiment ahead, including chemotherapy, she realized that she could not face breast cancer alone.

"I was always very independent and I've learned with breast cancer you can't always be independent," says Brooks. "You have to be dependent on people to help you through."

Hear Bonnie's inspirational story and learn more about how she overcame breast cancer.

Related Questions

  • VERNA RIVERS Profile

    How many lymph nodes are in and around the breast?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 2 answers
    • melissa perlman Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      There are thousands. They are connected via vessels and form their own circulatory system. Help to transport fluid. Not blood. If damaged or too many nodes surgically removed, will cause lymphedema. A chronic swelling of an area. Treatment includes compression sleeves and/or massage to mobilize...

      more

      There are thousands. They are connected via vessels and form their own circulatory system. Help to transport fluid. Not blood. If damaged or too many nodes surgically removed, will cause lymphedema. A chronic swelling of an area. Treatment includes compression sleeves and/or massage to mobilize fluid.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Verna.... in the body, Lymph Nodes are a system in themselves. There are LOTS of lymph nodes, head, neck, arm pits, abdomen, groin....etc . When I had breast cancer, the surgeon took out my sentinel lymph nodes... usually under 5. These are thought to be the first lymph nodes where cancer...

      more

      Verna.... in the body, Lymph Nodes are a system in themselves. There are LOTS of lymph nodes, head, neck, arm pits, abdomen, groin....etc . When I had breast cancer, the surgeon took out my sentinel lymph nodes... usually under 5. These are thought to be the first lymph nodes where cancer will start to spread. Instead of doing a more radical "remove all auxillary lymph nodes" they just start with these few sentinel nodes if it is early stage breast cancer. By doing that, they can save the patient from possibly developing lymphadema.... a permanent swelling of the arm. Hopefully, someone else can add more information. It is easy to find more on lymph nodes by just "googling" LYMPH NODES. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I've just started chemo treatment on May 28 ~ treatment will be every 3 weeks, I had a PET scan and I had a panic attack, is this something that I will be having a lot of? I even took xanex to calm my nerves. :(

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      If you think about what is happening to us when we going through treatment, just about every one of us imagine we are in a life and death struggle. We are already in a mind-set of "fight or flight", then we are shoved into a little tube bombarded with x-ray or strong magnetic bla-bla, because...

      more

      If you think about what is happening to us when we going through treatment, just about every one of us imagine we are in a life and death struggle. We are already in a mind-set of "fight or flight", then we are shoved into a little tube bombarded with x-ray or strong magnetic bla-bla, because our doctors are looking for MORE CANCER! It is no wonder every woman does not have a huge panic attack when faced with all of that! You are suffering the highest stress you have ever faced in your life. I have known other women who have had panic attacks while undergoing chemo, it isn't caused from the chemo itself but from the entire situation we find ourselves in. You are not really yourself during all of this treatment but rather on-the-edge of fear. I wouldn't worry this is the way you are going to be throughout your treatment because it isn't. As for the scans, you may have to face.... I would rely on a Xanax to take the edge off. Make sure you have someone to drive you to and from your scan appointment. Please do not add this worry on top of your treatment. LOTS of people are claustrophobic (and not going through chemo) it is ranked as one of those top anxiety things humans get. Hang in there....this really isn't a reaction or side effect of the chemo., it is a side effect of FEAR. You WILL make it, darlin'
      BIg hugs, and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Patricia Stoop Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      We can fight the anxiety or embrace it as part of this crazy journey. I've heard of many having panic attacks during scans or treatment so you are not alone! Holy moly you've been through so much on the last little while I'm sure!!!!! I actually find scans relaxing and try to meditate (focus on...

      more

      We can fight the anxiety or embrace it as part of this crazy journey. I've heard of many having panic attacks during scans or treatment so you are not alone! Holy moly you've been through so much on the last little while I'm sure!!!!! I actually find scans relaxing and try to meditate (focus on my breath or a healing golden light passing through my body from the machine.....) However I find waiting for the results very anxiety provoking and at my worst have taken the odd Xanax.... I also walk daily, meditate occasionally and snuggle my dogs. Counselling a bit early on when I was anxious too. Take care and take a moment to pause and breathe!

      Comment
  • Christine Horne  Profile

    I have. Just been diagnosed my doctor is recommending a mastectomy and I am very confused not sure what to do?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Christine, when I heard those words, "You have breast cancer" I thought it was the end of my life. It is devastating to every woman who gets that awful news. I think you are missing some important pieces of the diagnosis and only heard a couple of things... cancer and mastectomy. You are...

      more

      Christine, when I heard those words, "You have breast cancer" I thought it was the end of my life. It is devastating to every woman who gets that awful news. I think you are missing some important pieces of the diagnosis and only heard a couple of things... cancer and mastectomy. You are probably in a bit of feeling of shock and we all understand where you are at right now. As Brandi has said, you need to take someone with you who can take notes for you or record what is said at your appointment. Some facts you need: What type of breast cancer do I have? What is the stage, grade, and the hormone status. What treatment is needed? What additional testing will I need before I start treatment? CAT Scan, PET Scan? Bone Scan? MUGA, MRI? Do you think lymph nodes are involved? Will I need BRCA genetic testing? (done if you have mom, grandmother, sisters with breast cancer) Will I need chemotherapy and/or radiation, and hormone therapy? These are some important question you need to ask and have answered. Every breast cancer is a little bit different and thankfully, your treatment will be tailor made just for you. We have either been through treatment or are going through it. I would be very selective what you read on the internet, it can scare you terribly, and may be out of date or not be related to your cancer. We are here to help you through this. We aren't doctors but we can share our experiences with you. Collectively, we have been through it all and are here to do what we can for you. Please hang out with us, you will make it. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Brandi Mixon Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      First things first! Sit down, take a deep breath, try to relax! This is scary and yes you feel like you have to rush your decision. Take a little bit of time and study all your options. There are a lot of them out there. Any question you think of, write it down so you'll have it when you go back...

      more

      First things first! Sit down, take a deep breath, try to relax! This is scary and yes you feel like you have to rush your decision. Take a little bit of time and study all your options. There are a lot of them out there. Any question you think of, write it down so you'll have it when you go back to the doctor. No matter how silly or insignificant you think the question is, write it down and ask it. You need to do research but don't go to too many web sites, not all are reliable! The American Cancer Society site is the best that I found. There is also the American Breast Cancer Foundation. Talk to your family, honestly! When you go back to the doctor take someone you trust with you. If possible record your conversation so you can go back and listen to it before you make your decision! You're at the right place. Just remember, we are not doctors, just women like you that have heard those same four words "It is breast cancer." That's where everyone's journey starts! God bless you!!!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Which chemo regimen is best for stage IIIA? Dose dense or every 3 weeks?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 3A Patient
    about 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Women are hooked on comparison's. If your treatment is different from another.... you worry things just aren't right. No one out here can say what is best for you because, your care team looks at your unique cells in your cancer. Your treatment is just for YOU, try not to worry if it is...

      more

      Women are hooked on comparison's. If your treatment is different from another.... you worry things just aren't right. No one out here can say what is best for you because, your care team looks at your unique cells in your cancer. Your treatment is just for YOU, try not to worry if it is different from someone else who has totally different cells in their breast cancer. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I was told either way it would be dose dense. Rarer I did it every two weeks or 3 weeks. I did it every 2 to get done faster and I had it done on Thursdays. That way I could be better by Tuesday.

      1 comment
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