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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

  • jaspal kaur Profile

    How reliable are the gene Dx testing, can we take decision of not taking chemo based on low score of OncotypeDx?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Lori S Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It is only one tool in the decision making process. You need to take in all test results, tumor aggressiveness and characteristics, etc. Having a low score is encouraging though. I had it done and was in the middle (close to the higher side). Because of my tumor aggressiveness and other...

      more

      It is only one tool in the decision making process. You need to take in all test results, tumor aggressiveness and characteristics, etc. Having a low score is encouraging though. I had it done and was in the middle (close to the higher side). Because of my tumor aggressiveness and other factors, I opted to do chemo because of the high risk of recurrence and just finished my 4 rounds. Radiation will be next. My cancer was caught early. I was stage 1, invasive initially only thought to be DCIS).

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I completely agree with Lori S. It is a tool to help you and your doctor make a treatment plan. I also would have chosen to do the treatment she chose too. My brother-in-law was diagnosed with IDC around Christmas and his oncotype-DX turned out to be a 1. He, correctly, chose not to do...

      more

      I completely agree with Lori S. It is a tool to help you and your doctor make a treatment plan. I also would have chosen to do the treatment she chose too. My brother-in-law was diagnosed with IDC around Christmas and his oncotype-DX turned out to be a 1. He, correctly, chose not to do further treatment with the blessing of his oncologist. I think the outcome of this test results will help you and your doctor make the right choice. If after you speak to your doctor and are still not sure, don't hesitate to get a second opinion by another oncologist.

      Comment
  • gina richardson Profile

    Tomorrow is the big day that I start chemo. My nerves ate starting to get the best of me. Any last minute tips for a first timer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 16 answers
    • View all 16 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Gina,

      You WILL BE OK! You are nervous because you have no idea what's up with the appointment. My sessions were always about two hours. The port makes it much easier. I did not have any numbing cream but I don't remember it ever being painful. They run saline to clear your line, and a bit of...

      more

      Gina,

      You WILL BE OK! You are nervous because you have no idea what's up with the appointment. My sessions were always about two hours. The port makes it much easier. I did not have any numbing cream but I don't remember it ever being painful. They run saline to clear your line, and a bit of Heperan (sp) to keep it from clotting. I got a metalic taste but that went away. They bring in your "Recipe" in bags, hang them on a "tree" and start running it. At some point, they bring in a HUGE syringe of "red stuff" and inject it into your line. You feel nothing. I always asked them questions, not out of fear but genuine interest. Bring your electronic gadgets with you, your phone, a great book, snacks, water, etc. I would fall asleep because they gave me some kind of additive that made me sleepy. (they probably just wanted to shut me up for a while) Honestly, I looked forward to my appointments because each one meant I was another step closer to being done. I made friends of the staff, looked foward to seeing them and talking. The same with the patients. I never found it to be a bad experience. I would much rather have been playing with my horses but try to "make lemonade" out of your chemo appointments! Hang in there Gina, you will be ok. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Karen G Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I had my first one a week ago Thursday. I was also really nervous but at the end of the day I had to say it wasn't so bad. If you have a port it also makes it easier just make sure to use the Emla cream to numb it. They have me a Saline Drip first. Than I got my premeds a Steroid, Emend (for...

      more

      I had my first one a week ago Thursday. I was also really nervous but at the end of the day I had to say it wasn't so bad. If you have a port it also makes it easier just make sure to use the Emla cream to numb it. They have me a Saline Drip first. Than I got my premeds a Steroid, Emend (for Nausea) and Pepcid to coat your Stomach before the Chemo drugs go in. I am on the AC T regimen so the nurse pushed the Adriamycin in while I sucked on an ice pop to prevent mouth sores. After that they gave me the Cytoxin through the IV bag. You don't feel any of this going in. I was there for 5 hours but it usually is supposed to take 3-4. Bring some snacks and a light lunch with you and a water bottle (drink a lot to flush out the drugs). I brought a book with me but was too nervous to read. My husband came with me too only because it was my first time and I was scared. Before you know it it is over. Hope this helps.

      1 comment
  • brenda austin Profile

    What's the incidence of developing C diff during chemo after multiple rounds of oral Augmentin? Having diarrhea but can't tell if it's my usual post chemo or something new.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 1 answer
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It could b c diff, actually too much antibiotic use can cause it. I would check with your doctor and have a stool specimen checked for c diff.

      Comment
  • Julie W Profile

    Hello. I will be doing #4 of 4 of cytoxan on Monday and starting taxol #1 of 4 two weeks later. was on Effexor but suffered too many side effects from it, so it was stopped 2 days ago. Last night my side effects got worse with nausea and metal taste. I

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Julie,
      We are taking so many drugs, that have so many side effects, this is a bit of a balancing act. You need to bring these concerns to your oncologist as soon as you can. It is complicated and some of these side effects we just have to grit our teeth BUT... talk to your oncologist now,...

      more

      Julie,
      We are taking so many drugs, that have so many side effects, this is a bit of a balancing act. You need to bring these concerns to your oncologist as soon as you can. It is complicated and some of these side effects we just have to grit our teeth BUT... talk to your oncologist now, don't suffer until you are told you have to! We don't get extra points for suffering in silence. Hang in there darlin' take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Sorry you are feeling so lousy. I used plastic utensils and it helped with the metal taste. You are almost halfway there! Hoping you will have minimal side effects with the taxol. Please keep us posted.

      Comment
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