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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

  • vicky kayley Profile

    Was originally diagnosed er positive and plan was chemo radiation and tamoxifen, then 3 weeks ago was told I didn't need rads, now they changed their mind I need rads but not tamoxifen, am gutted

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Get a second opinion, and a third one if you still aren't comfortable! The back and forth is a little disconcerting.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Very confusing............ Usually ER positive would require Tamoxafen I can't understand why they wouldn't want you to have it. I agree with Marianne with this much confusion going on you should seek a second opinion.

      Comment
  • kelly merkling Profile

    How did your kids react to your hair loss? I have a five year old girl and she's scared.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Kelly, my daughter was 4 when I was first diagnosed I had been open and honest about my breast cancer and the need for surgery to get rid of it. Thought all was good as my husband and I tried our best to be positive and continue living a regular live. When my daughter was in kindergarten...

      more

      Kelly, my daughter was 4 when I was first diagnosed I had been open and honest about my breast cancer and the need for surgery to get rid of it. Thought all was good as my husband and I tried our best to be positive and continue living a regular live. When my daughter was in kindergarten the teachers aide was wearing pink for the month of October and she told the class that her mother died from breast cancer. This was about a year after my diagnosis my daughter was coloring at the table and out of the blue says "mrs. -- said if you have breast cancer you die ". I was dumbfounded took a deep breath and tried to reassure my daughter told her I had breast cancer and did not die. Breast cancer can be treatable. My daughter said "okay " and went on coloring. It wasn't until she said that, that i realized my daughter was scared I would die. She is now 12 I think that fear is still in the back of her mind. She will see a doctors appt on the calendar and she'll question me what it is for. I think it is a bit hard for girls they see what we are going through and they wonder if they will have to go through the same thing. When my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer her daughter was twelve and just starting to develop her concern was that she was doomed and wondered when she herself would get breast cancer. Just have to reassure our daughters. Just because we have cancer doesn't mean we will die. Just because we have cancer doesn't mean they will too. Most important is to let them know that cancer is yucky but there are many survivors and every year better testing and better treatments. I did not need chemo, so I can't really answer your question about what to tell your daughter about loosing your hair, but I thought sharing my experience with my daughter might give you a little insight. Take care hugs

      Comment
    • Christina Archambault Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      My son was also scared he is autistic so it was worse , he wouldn't make eye contact at all if I wasn't wearing anything on my head at all. I just wore a bandanna on my bald head and got books about other mommys going through what I am so I could explain it to him in different ways. Or I would...

      more

      My son was also scared he is autistic so it was worse , he wouldn't make eye contact at all if I wasn't wearing anything on my head at all. I just wore a bandanna on my bald head and got books about other mommys going through what I am so I could explain it to him in different ways. Or I would put my wig on and let him brush it.

      Comment
  • Shawna T Profile

    My Dr added two more chemo sessions on top of the original 4. Should I be worried? This has delayed my surgery and I want this cancer out of me!

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 3A Patient
    about 8 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I agree with Vicki E. Your oncologist is probably going for overall tumor shrinkage before doing the surgery. The cancer cells are being wiped out in the process.... try not to worry as this extra treatment before you have surgery is GOOD!
      Please contact your oncologist's office to clearify...

      more

      I agree with Vicki E. Your oncologist is probably going for overall tumor shrinkage before doing the surgery. The cancer cells are being wiped out in the process.... try not to worry as this extra treatment before you have surgery is GOOD!
      Please contact your oncologist's office to clearify this. It sounds like you don't have enough information to put your mind at peace. Take care, and healing hugs, Sharon

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Shawna, I understand your concern. As Sharon mentioned, your Onc is probably trying to shrink the tumor more before surgery. I had chemo before my surgery as well. I had 8 rounds before my surgery. Then when they went in the tumor had not shrunk as much as they'd hope & I had 13 positive lymph...

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      Hi Shawna, I understand your concern. As Sharon mentioned, your Onc is probably trying to shrink the tumor more before surgery. I had chemo before my surgery as well. I had 8 rounds before my surgery. Then when they went in the tumor had not shrunk as much as they'd hope & I had 13 positive lymph nodes with some extranodal involvement. So....I had 8 more chemo treatment with two different drugs than the first time. I know it's difficult. Hang in there. Hugs

      Comment
  • Nicole W Profile

    Has anyone had a low score on the Oncotype test but still chosen chemo? I had lumpectomy with negative nodes but lymphovascular invasion so I think I want to be as aggressive as possible despite the side effects of chemo, but not sure yet.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2013
    almost 8 years 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • Susan Green Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      My onco score was 29 and I decided not to have chemo or radiation. My oncologist wanted me to go through both. She said that it would only increase my chances of cancer returning by 5 percent, and that was not enough for me. I had a mastectomy in Jan. of this year and am doing fine. My cancer...

      more

      My onco score was 29 and I decided not to have chemo or radiation. My oncologist wanted me to go through both. She said that it would only increase my chances of cancer returning by 5 percent, and that was not enough for me. I had a mastectomy in Jan. of this year and am doing fine. My cancer was fed by hormones. I had a lump that was 5 cm with negative lymph nodes. I would talk to my oncologist to see how likely your cancer would return without the chemo or radiation. This was my choice. I am on hormone blockers for 5 years, and I felt that if that is what was feeding the cancer, it should be enough as they removed everything! Good luck with whatever you decide and go through!

      2 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Nicole,
      Your Oncologist will give you the long list of side effects from chemotherapy. You are literally take a type of poison which kills both cancer cells and other fast dividing good cells. It's a tough call. After having been through chemo, I would look long and hard at all sides of this. ...

      more

      Nicole,
      Your Oncologist will give you the long list of side effects from chemotherapy. You are literally take a type of poison which kills both cancer cells and other fast dividing good cells. It's a tough call. After having been through chemo, I would look long and hard at all sides of this. You can't tell if you are going to be the one the chemotherapy does irreparable harm and damage to your body. I came out of it with severe osteoporosis. Other women come out with heart damage that can't be repaired. A woman I worked with and my mother-in-law both died of the heart complication..... not their cancer's. There is no way to advise or describe how you will feel going through chemotherapy. It is a very tough struggle in which you have to depend on others to help get you through it. If you have a job, you may not be able to continue until you are through treatment. If you have children, they are going to be seeing a pretty sick Mommy. On top of that.... you will lose your hair, possibly eyelashes, eyebrows, too..... the worst of all....ugh.

      Women need to choose the treatment options and be as aggressive as will make them feel they have done what is possible. Despite a low onco score, you really want to feel you have done every treatment available to you. If so, then it is really only up to you. My Onc and I discussed women who, no matter if a treatment is only going to be of 1% benefit to them, they still wanted it. This is your body, your choice, your life and if choosing to go ahead with a more aggressive treatment then it doesn't matter what anybody else advises.
      I hope more weigh in on your question.... it's a tough one.
      Take care, and good luck, Sharon

      1 comment
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