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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

  • Elizabeth Dycus Profile

    How can you know for sure that you have a lump in your breast?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 1 answer
    • Catherine Nodurft Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      To know for sure, visit your doctor. Your doctor can conduct a clinical breast exam and feel for any lumps that may be of concern. Make sure you do a breast self-exam on a regular basis so that you are familiar with your breasts and know when there is something unusual. Here's how to do a...

      more

      To know for sure, visit your doctor. Your doctor can conduct a clinical breast exam and feel for any lumps that may be of concern. Make sure you do a breast self-exam on a regular basis so that you are familiar with your breasts and know when there is something unusual. Here's how to do a breast self-exam: http://breastcan.cr/SelfExam

      Comment
  • blair greiner Profile

    I am on A/C and had 1 treatment. I have a horrible head cold and I think it turned into an ear infection. I am in so much pain. I am calling the doctor tomorrow but I am nervous about going into a germy office. Will this delay my chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 5 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Blair, I understand your concerns. You might want to call your Oncologist first before you see your general practitioner. My onc treated me for anything I had during my chemo treatments. They will know what to give you that won't interfere with your chemo drugs AND you won't have to go in that...

      more

      Hi Blair, I understand your concerns. You might want to call your Oncologist first before you see your general practitioner. My onc treated me for anything I had during my chemo treatments. They will know what to give you that won't interfere with your chemo drugs AND you won't have to go in that germy office! :). Hope you feel better soon. Hang in there. Hugs!

      Comment
    • vicki e Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      Blair I also got a raving earache after my first treatment. Turned out it was swimmers ear (from water getting in my ears in the shower). We can't fight off bugs that we can when our immune systems are strong. I haven't had an ear infection in thirty years so it came out of the blue. Hope you...

      more

      Blair I also got a raving earache after my first treatment. Turned out it was swimmers ear (from water getting in my ears in the shower). We can't fight off bugs that we can when our immune systems are strong. I haven't had an ear infection in thirty years so it came out of the blue. Hope you have meds now and feeling better.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am going in for a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy. Could anyone please tell me about the pain involved and the experience of the whole procedure?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    about 5 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • P C Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 0 Patient

      Hi, I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy on Sep 29, 2011. My surgery went great, wide clear margins and both nodes they removed were negative. About two weeks following that, I developed some seromas in my breast at the surgery site and at the area just below node removal. My surgeon...

      more

      Hi, I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy on Sep 29, 2011. My surgery went great, wide clear margins and both nodes they removed were negative. About two weeks following that, I developed some seromas in my breast at the surgery site and at the area just below node removal. My surgeon drained the one below the node removal only one. He gave me pain medication to he me through that. About a month later, I had external pinpointed beam radiation for only 7 days, twice a day. It was not bad at all. I did have, and still do have what mu radiation oncologist calls zingers. They are very sharp pains, which have almost gone away. My seromas are completely gone. I have intermittent swelling on my right breast, which they say is normal. It also is less and less as time passes. Right now, I am taking Tamoxifen and Effexor. I am feeling so much better, but still not totally back to feeling as I did before my DCIS surgery, but I will get there. I had my 6 month mammogram and it was all good, only showed scar tissue from surgery and radiation. every so often, I have a bit of nausea, but I have found that if I drink ginger ale, it really helps. I have a prescription for Compazine, but have only had to use it twice. I had a little nausea and fainting incident a few months ago, but it all worked out. I fell pretty hard and had to have some metal stitches in my head, and a few days I the hospital to make sure it was nothing more Eros causing me to faint. All in all, it is goin good for me. My whole procedure was eventful, but not a bad thing. It is best to educate yourself on your contusion, mine was DCIS, stage 0 , clear margins, neg sentinel nodes, but positive estrogen and progesterone receptors. This is the reason for Tamoxifen. The Effexor was to counteract the hot flashes and it has really helped me feel better and speed up recovery. If you understand you care for your cancer plus a good support network, things, or me anyway, go muc smoother.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      We are unique individuals and can have a range of reactions to any procedure. I was on the "good" end of everything. I did not seem to have much discomfort with anything. My perception of discomfort to the sentinel node mapping was no more than pinching. The tech told me I would feel that......

      more

      We are unique individuals and can have a range of reactions to any procedure. I was on the "good" end of everything. I did not seem to have much discomfort with anything. My perception of discomfort to the sentinel node mapping was no more than pinching. The tech told me I would feel that... which I did but it was nothing significant to me. I had 5 sentinal nodes removed. I had a mastectomy, I took no pain medication afterwards. I was up and around within 3 days. We all seem to have a fear or fears of what is about to happen. My big fear was the anesthesia. Since I was so afraid of it, I "interviewed" anesthesiologists and got recommendations. I think I was just SO HAPPY to wake up, the rest of the post-op stuff was nothing. We all have different pain tolerance. Mine, is obviously, on the high side. I would never say to a woman "Oh, it's nothing" because it isn't. There are a lot of mental images that go through every woman's mind. There may be some unexpected post-op problems that come up which you can't be prepared for. The other thought that went through my mind as I was approaching the surgery.... this was something I had to so to save my life. I developed a positive let's-get-going attitude and marched right into it. Sometimes bravery comes from acting that way. I became brave by --pretending-- to be brave. I wish you the very best and hope you have as easy a time as I did. I had a young woman surgeon who specialised in breast surgery. I had utmost confidence in her and my young woman anesthesiologist. I was not disappointed. Blessings to you in your journey. Take care, Sharon

      3 comments
  • brandi z Profile

    I have to say my second AC treatment is going better than the first. I promised myself I would take my anti nausea every 6 hours as allowed and I've been eating normal food. This has helped my exhaustion on day two. Hoping day three isn't much worse.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 5 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Brandi... I'm glad your second A/C was easier on you! Each treatment was a little different for me. Are you doing 4 then Taxol afterwards?

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Brandi... I'm glad your second A/C was easier on you! Each treatment was a little different for me. Are you doing 4 then Taxol afterwards?

      Comment
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