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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

  • Bianca Larrea Profile

    I just started my chemo treatments. (my husband was delployed the day before) Does anyone know food support groups for breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 2 answers
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi Bianca, I would recommend you get involved in a church. You are going to need a lot of help and support in many ways. The church will be able to tell you where the food banks are in your area as well as other services you may need. The church will also be able to give you the spiritual and...

      more

      Hi Bianca, I would recommend you get involved in a church. You are going to need a lot of help and support in many ways. The church will be able to tell you where the food banks are in your area as well as other services you may need. The church will also be able to give you the spiritual and emotional support you will need. Remember that God loves you. Good luck to you!

      1 comment
    • Natalie Grant Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      What city are you in?

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone had BC return and did you take tamoxifen? I'm curious to find out how much of an impact these drugs can have on prevention of re-occurrence.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      I had DCIS in 20o3 a very early stage had bilateral subcutaneous mastectomies with reconstruction (they leave 1/4 of the subcutaneous tissue , nipple and Areola). DCIS was too small of tissue to test if it was estrogen positive. So did not take tamoxifen. In 2008 had a reoccurrence of DCIS along...

      more

      I had DCIS in 20o3 a very early stage had bilateral subcutaneous mastectomies with reconstruction (they leave 1/4 of the subcutaneous tissue , nipple and Areola). DCIS was too small of tissue to test if it was estrogen positive. So did not take tamoxifen. In 2008 had a reoccurrence of DCIS along the incision line surgeon went back completed the bilateral mastectomies and had negative lymph nodes. Was advised to start tamoxifen in 2008 since micro invasive cells were seen. Was on it for three years and have recently switched to arimidex as I'm menopausal. My aunt had a lumpectomy and radiation then 5 years of tamoxifen at her 10 year mark she had a reoccurrence of her breast cancer in the same breast. So with or without taking tamoxifen I've seen reoccurrences of breast cancer. It's just how the cards fall. Take care and may God bless

      1 comment
    • l h Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had lumpectomy for invasive ductal carcinoma... tried tamoxifen but suffered blood clot side effect and also visual disturbances, so I stopped after a few months. Have been cancer-free since 2006.

      1 comment
  • lisa byrd Profile

    Has anyone opted to NOT get treatment?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      My best friend opted not to follow the treatment plan and died. Her cancer, although advanced could have been treated. It was a tragedy because she left behind so many people loved her such as her husband, her grown children, her lovely grandchildren, and her many friends, who are devastated. ...

      more

      My best friend opted not to follow the treatment plan and died. Her cancer, although advanced could have been treated. It was a tragedy because she left behind so many people loved her such as her husband, her grown children, her lovely grandchildren, and her many friends, who are devastated. To this day, I am angry at the decsion she made. I continue to miss her and also have a commemorative tattoo in honor of her. I will go visit her grave today being St. Patricks Day. I will lay down Shamrocks, and play "When Irish Eye's Are Smiling" on my ukulele. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, it made me fight even harder to remain alive. It is so unfair to bring such sadness to those around you by a premature end to your life. Yes, treatment is not easy and not fun but life after breast cancer is oh, so much sweeter.... (I love you and miss you Sue Ellen)

      Sharon

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I agree with Sharon, there are so many people to leave behind. I am not afraid of death but I am afraid of leaving the people I love so I will do, take, or go through anything. The alternative is permanent.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    am having surgery to remove lymph nodes since one came back positive after my mastectomy even though frozen section was negative. Had a choice between radiation and surgery - Did i make the right decision> Surgery scheduled this Thursday --

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      3/13 nodes positive for me... If surgery can get you out of radiation or chemo ... Sounds like a good choice to me!!!!! I had rads and chemo and surgery--- surgery - was easiest and least side effects. For me... Everyone is different-- so it really does have to do with you going with the...

      more

      3/13 nodes positive for me... If surgery can get you out of radiation or chemo ... Sounds like a good choice to me!!!!! I had rads and chemo and surgery--- surgery - was easiest and least side effects. For me... Everyone is different-- so it really does have to do with you going with the choice you feel is right for you!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I had a mastectomy with 5 sentinel nodes removed. They looked ok on the MRI, and when my surgeon removed them she told me they found no cancer during surgery. Alas, on the final pathology report, they found microscopic cancer cells in one of the nodes. Shoved me from 2A to 2B. It didn't...

      more

      I had a mastectomy with 5 sentinel nodes removed. They looked ok on the MRI, and when my surgeon removed them she told me they found no cancer during surgery. Alas, on the final pathology report, they found microscopic cancer cells in one of the nodes. Shoved me from 2A to 2B. It didn't change my treatment plan but it's still lousy news because my cancer was not contained within the original tumor. When I first read your email, it sounds like you are having all your nodes removed? If that is the case, and I rarely give my opinion here but I think that is overkill. Having all of your nodes removed invites lymphadema and that is a very lousy way to live the rest of your life. I hope they are only removing the sentinel nodes which are the nodes first in line from your breast.
      If you are having a complete dissection because of one node, it's a harsh choice. The surgeon said to me, I had an 8% chance of cancer being in other nodes but since I led such an active lifestyle lymphadema would have been a bad sentence for me to live with. If this is the case and they are taking all your lymph nodes on one side, I'd be talking statistics and getting a second opinion. I truly am worried for you and I just DON'T usually put my strong opinion out here on this board. Read about Lymphadema, you end up having to wear a compression sleeve, going to a special physical therapist, and its forever. I would be taking the radiation without a doubt. Please keep us posted. Take care, Sharon

      2 comments

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