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Penny's Story

About her story

"I knew I had to take this horrible, bad thing and turn it in to something positive."

In March 2010, Penny was diagnosed with Stage IIB Triple-negative breast cancer.

"There's something about when you've been diagnosed with breast cancer, it's like being elected to a club that you never wanted to be a part of," says Penny. "But, when you're there, you're really glad there's other people with you."

A busy salon owner, Penny realized that her diagnosis and treatment would completely change her lifestyle. But, through breast cancer, she learned that it was her family and support that meant most to her.

Watch Penny's story and learn how a rare form of breast cancer changed her life and helped her realize that all things work out for good in the end.

Related Questions

  • Lydia Bujanda Profile

    I was dx with dcis and opted for unilateral mastectomy. Final path report showed a small .4mm invasive tumor that had spread to breast and was triple negative. Now my onc wants to do chemo, isn't this too aggressive since I did have mastectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      So true Blair. I'm also triple negative. Did chemo then surgery and soon I'll begin rad therapy. Goal is to make sure there isn't even one of those horrible cells. Jayme

      Comment
    • Mary Foti Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Your oncologist is not being aggressive -- he/she is being thorough. There is no follow up treatment after surgery, radiation and chemo if you have triple negative breast cancer. Medications like tamoxifen and Arimidex and herceptin don't affect triple negative; therefore your oncologist is wise...

      more

      Your oncologist is not being aggressive -- he/she is being thorough. There is no follow up treatment after surgery, radiation and chemo if you have triple negative breast cancer. Medications like tamoxifen and Arimidex and herceptin don't affect triple negative; therefore your oncologist is wise to suggest chemo because there is a very small chance the cancer may have already spread beyond the breast and the chemo should work to kill any of those before they get a chance to set up shop somewhere else in your body. A mastectomy is a wise move also, but it can't always prevent a recurrence by itself.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Why have a double masectomy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 1 answer
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      That's such a tough decision, and a very personal one. For me, I chose to have a double mastectomy for several reasons. My "good" breast had several micro calcifications as well as other small cysts. My stage of cancer didn't allow me to have immediate reconstruction. But after I go through...

      more

      That's such a tough decision, and a very personal one. For me, I chose to have a double mastectomy for several reasons. My "good" breast had several micro calcifications as well as other small cysts. My stage of cancer didn't allow me to have immediate reconstruction. But after I go through radiation & given the "thumbs up" I will have reconstructive surgery. If I had kept my left breast....it would have to been operated on to match my reconstructed breast. So symmetry was another reason. Although I chose to have both breasts removed there are no guarantees my cancer won't return in the future. It could  even come back somewhere else in my body. That's a reality. But I choose to remain optimistic in my recovery & knowing I have done everything in my power to keep a reoccurrence from happening. Good luck and God bless you in whatever you choose.

      Comment
  • Alana Self Profile

    My mom starts chemo (adriamycin/cytoxan) soon. Can anyone tell me their experience with these chemo drugs? I know everyone is different but just curious how it was tolerated.

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    over 4 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Your mom is lucky to have a daughter who is so caring! Encourage mom to drink lots of water to avoid getting dehydrated. Taking anti nausea meds as prescribed before she feels sick helps prevent nausea. Loosing your hair is so traumatic and upsetting. See if there is a Look Good Feel...

      more

      Your mom is lucky to have a daughter who is so caring! Encourage mom to drink lots of water to avoid getting dehydrated. Taking anti nausea meds as prescribed before she feels sick helps prevent nausea. Loosing your hair is so traumatic and upsetting. See if there is a Look Good Feel Better program in your area. It is sponsored by the American Cancer Society. They give tips on wigs, hats, scarves, and give out free makeup! Lots of fun! Go wig shopping with her before she loses her hair. It will fall out 14 to 21 days after her first treatment. Try to find ways to distract her from cancer. It can be so consuming. Encourage her to do something that brings her joy each day. Keep the questions coming and let us know how she is doing. We are here for you and your Mom!

      Comment
    • Brandi Mixon Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      So glad to hear you helping your mom. Family support is so very important in getting through this.

      I had six rounds of Taxatere Adrimycin Cytoxan (TAC) every three weeks. It started with the Adrimycin (the red devil) and as soon as she started the infusion I could taste it. When I had two...

      more

      So glad to hear you helping your mom. Family support is so very important in getting through this.

      I had six rounds of Taxatere Adrimycin Cytoxan (TAC) every three weeks. It started with the Adrimycin (the red devil) and as soon as she started the infusion I could taste it. When I had two rounds left a friend suggested I suck on lemon drops. So I tired it. It was so much better. The taste wasn't non existent but it was much less than the previous rounds.

      I had my treatments on Mondays, followed by Nuelasta on Tuesday. Thursday and Fridays seemed to be my bad days. I got dehydrated twice because it was so hard to drink anything, nothing tasted good. Also, my onco prescribed me some Magic Mouthwash before I started my chemo and I never had bad mouth sores because as soon as I would feel them coming up I would use it.

      The best advice I can give is for her to follow what the doctor says because everyone is so different in their treatment. Never be afraid to call the doctors if she has questions or problems. Try to stay ahead of any nausea she might have and just keep loving her and take good care of her. You both are going to do great through this!! God bless!!!

      Comment
  • bizuayehu sitotaw Profile

    signs of stage four breast cancer

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 4 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      This is almost impossible to say because it depends on the type of breast cancer. Many of the symptoms are invisible because they take place in the lymph system. If the main cancer is in the form of a tumor, it will get larger, but not all breast cancers form lumps. If you are worried, get...

      more

      This is almost impossible to say because it depends on the type of breast cancer. Many of the symptoms are invisible because they take place in the lymph system. If the main cancer is in the form of a tumor, it will get larger, but not all breast cancers form lumps. If you are worried, get your self to a doctor immediately. Breast cancer is a tough disease but the longer you wait, the more intense the treament and the more difficult it will be to win the fight. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Stage 4 Breast Cancer usually spreads to the liver, bones, brain or lungs. It is wise to report any unusual symptoms such as prolonged unexplained pain, persistent cough, shortness of breath, drop in appetite, unintentional weight loss, weakness, prolonged fatigue, or sudden/significant changes...

      more

      Stage 4 Breast Cancer usually spreads to the liver, bones, brain or lungs. It is wise to report any unusual symptoms such as prolonged unexplained pain, persistent cough, shortness of breath, drop in appetite, unintentional weight loss, weakness, prolonged fatigue, or sudden/significant changes in vision to your doctor. Keep the questions coming. We are here for you!!!

      Comment

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