loading... close

Renee's Story

About her story

"I will still smile and I will still fight."

After discovering a lump during a self-breast exam, Renee scheduled a doctor's appointment and was later diagnosed with an aggressive form of Stage 4 breast cancer.

"The moment I heard that I had breast cancer, I had a game plan in my head that I was going to fight," said Renee.

Renee's prognosis for treatment was difficult, but she decided early on that she was going to fight. Even after losing the use of her legs, Renee faced breast cancer with a smile.

Watch Renee's story and discover why her inspiring testimony and life touched the hearts of the producers, directors, and staff behind the National Breast Cancer Foundation's Beyond the Shock program.

Related Questions

  • beth horowitz Profile

    Has anyone had to use special breathing during radiation due to the heart being too close to the treatment area? What was it like?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 1 answer
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I'm a left- breast cancer patient and had radiation to that breast. Knew about risks to heart but the only special breathing techniques I'm aware of are in studies. I was to breath normally so as not to move my chest outside the markers.

      2 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    I had a lumpectomy and 5 nodes removed. (all negative) I have pain in my shoulder joint when I swing my arm in any direction. Is that normal?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      You should go see your doctor about that. If the pain is in the shoulder joint itself it could be something unrelated to the surgery. A couple years ago my shoulder began to get uncomfortable and I figured it was muscle pain and did stretches . It got more painful when moving the arm like your...

      more

      You should go see your doctor about that. If the pain is in the shoulder joint itself it could be something unrelated to the surgery. A couple years ago my shoulder began to get uncomfortable and I figured it was muscle pain and did stretches . It got more painful when moving the arm like your saying . Ended up being what's called a frozen shoulder. It has to do with the tendons inside the shoulder joint and one cause can be due to hormonal Issues like menopause. I had to go to physical therapy to resolve it but it took a while. I'm not saying that's what it is but I know after my surgery it hurt to move the arm but I wouldn't say it was shoulder pain. More muscle pain. Good luck . Hope you get some answers.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thanks

      Comment
  • gima green Profile

    Did being out in the heat bother you with having radiation treatment?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 2 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I did my treatments from mid July to the end of August and only was told to stay out of the sun until completion of the treatments. I mean I could go out to say check my mail but not to do any sunbathing, etc. which I don't do anyway and always have my sunscreen on. I always had mine as early...

      more

      I did my treatments from mid July to the end of August and only was told to stay out of the sun until completion of the treatments. I mean I could go out to say check my mail but not to do any sunbathing, etc. which I don't do anyway and always have my sunscreen on. I always had mine as early in the morning as I could and had a nice glass of ice water to drink on my drive home since I had a 14 mile round trip.

      Comment
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Yes, I tried to stay as cool as possible.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Hello all, thanks for all your wonderfully helpful responses to my RT question. I had my first RT treatment today. Went well but my skin is pink. Is that normal for the 1st treatment?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Coco Smith Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hello Jayme,

      Your pinking sounds fast - all the women I know got it about a week into RT. There must be some who have ultra sensitive skin who experience it faster, however you need to listen to your body and action your concerns. You would not have posted this unless it raised issues for...

      more

      Hello Jayme,

      Your pinking sounds fast - all the women I know got it about a week into RT. There must be some who have ultra sensitive skin who experience it faster, however you need to listen to your body and action your concerns. You would not have posted this unless it raised issues for you.

      I would raise this immediately with the Radiation Oncologist in charge - ask to speak to them in person at the clinic + ask the RT operator how often their machines are recallibrated, when was the last date the machine being used on you was recallibrated and can they please double that check your dosimitry calculations are correct.

      I only raise the latter three issues as unfortunately there have been some terrible cases of poorly callibrated RT machines and/or incorrect dose calculations burning patients badly. Google New York Times and radiation for the series that revealed these problems. A signpost for these more serious problems was immediate pinking. Unfortunately some patients did not insist on getting immediate answers, and ended up with serious health consequences. I encourage you to raise your concerns now and not be a passive patient if you have something troubling you like this. RT is a serious, serious procedure and unfortunately the system for monitoring machines and errors is far from ideal - which means we need to be vigilant about protecting ourselves. Good luck and it would be great if you post what they tell you, how satisfied or not you are with their explanation and then how it all goes.

      Comment
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Yikes! Coco's suggestions sound valid. I also think being pink after one dose seems strange. I didn't really notice much change in my skin for weeks, maybe 4 or so. I had a burn under my armpit (had nodal involvement) but that didn't even begin to surface until the last week. I would also...

      more

      Yikes! Coco's suggestions sound valid. I also think being pink after one dose seems strange. I didn't really notice much change in my skin for weeks, maybe 4 or so. I had a burn under my armpit (had nodal involvement) but that didn't even begin to surface until the last week. I would also bring your concerns to your rad onc immediately. definitely refer to that research Coco mentioned. Even if all is fine in the end, you must advocate for yourself! And also keep moisturizing, immediately after treatment and before bed. Add a 3rd dose if you can get it in prior to 4 hours before treatment. Good luck!

      Comment

Educational Video

Personal Story

Related Topics

Looking for another topic?
Use the search box in the top right.

Footer 3

Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.

spread the word