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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    Since starting chemo treatment, my mom has been unbearable. Everything frustrates her to the point that she starts arguments. She pushes everyone away and doesn't respond to kind words, love or attention. When or will this ever end?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. Having cancer is devastating not just for the patient but is hard on their family as well. I was diagnosed in May and I've gone through a wide range of emotions. I think the mental toll has been harder than the physical part. Shock, anger (why me), feeling...

      more

      I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. Having cancer is devastating not just for the patient but is hard on their family as well. I was diagnosed in May and I've gone through a wide range of emotions. I think the mental toll has been harder than the physical part. Shock, anger (why me), feeling helpless, afraid, & so much more. Is your Mom going to a support group or any type of counciling? It can make a world of difference just to be able to talk to someone else that can relate to what we're going through. That's been in our shoes. Depression is very common among cancer patients as well and she may need something to get her over the "hump". Breastcancer.org is a very good website that has discussion boards for women with breast cancer. You can also contact The American Cancer Society for resources such as support groups in her area. I know it's hard but try to be patient with your Mom and I pray that you'll both get through this trying time. Hugs and best wishes, Diana

      Comment
    • Surf  Momma Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Having someone tell you that you have cancer is the worst news that you could hear. Love your mom through this She feels awful on the inside and out. This will get better for everyone ....eventually. Trust me-spoken from a survivor

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    How is vascular invasiveness tested?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 2 answers
    • Laura Cornwell Profile
      anonymous
      Industry Provider

      vascular invasion is something doctors look for in a breast cancer tumor under a microscope. If there is vascular invasion in the tumor, they can see breast cancer cells inside of tiny blood vessels. Sometimes the vascular invasion is there, but it is difficult for doctors to see. There are...

      more

      vascular invasion is something doctors look for in a breast cancer tumor under a microscope. If there is vascular invasion in the tumor, they can see breast cancer cells inside of tiny blood vessels. Sometimes the vascular invasion is there, but it is difficult for doctors to see. There are some special dyes that are used to make the invasion easier to see. Doctors look for vascular invasion because if it is present, it is easier to expect that the cancer cells have made their way outside of the tumor into the lymph nodes or farther. But, invasion can be present without any signs of cancer spread to lymph nodes or elsewhere.

      Comment
    • S al jarrah Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      When we talk about vascular, we are talking about the blood vessels and the lymph nodes. When it comes to the blood normally we detect locations where vessels might have carried tumour cells by a high definition CT scanning, with those images it's safe to say that the vessels have not carried...

      more

      When we talk about vascular, we are talking about the blood vessels and the lymph nodes. When it comes to the blood normally we detect locations where vessels might have carried tumour cells by a high definition CT scanning, with those images it's safe to say that the vessels have not carried anything when the images are clear. To detect if the lymph vessels has carried any tumour cells to lymph nodes, we started relatively recently with what we call a " sentinel lymph technology"; with this method we inject a dye that has the ability to detect the first lymph node that was touched by tumour cells and remove it accurately. other methods exists but am trying to be as clear as possible. Senoir internal medicine resident, Geneva's university hospital.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Does "ones" libdo ever come back after Breast Cancer and Ovaries removed?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      The cancer diagnosis, surgeries, chemo, and radiation ravage intimacy, but you will recover that gift. Be patient with yourself and allow time to heal both body and mind. I want lie to you, you have to work at it but that is true of all relationships in good times and bad. Breastcancer.org has a...

      more

      The cancer diagnosis, surgeries, chemo, and radiation ravage intimacy, but you will recover that gift. Be patient with yourself and allow time to heal both body and mind. I want lie to you, you have to work at it but that is true of all relationships in good times and bad. Breastcancer.org has a great link on sex and intimacy. Stay in touch, don't despair, and treat yourself kindly. Cyber hugs to you. :-)

      Comment
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      After reading Sharon & Jo's reply, I guess I am very fortunate. During chemo I was very dry, irritated & tired, but my husband & I still had sex. Now, 4 months post chemo (on herceptin & tomoxifin) He does always initiate but I always reciprocate. We had a very strong sex life before cancer - we...

      more

      After reading Sharon & Jo's reply, I guess I am very fortunate. During chemo I was very dry, irritated & tired, but my husband & I still had sex. Now, 4 months post chemo (on herceptin & tomoxifin) He does always initiate but I always reciprocate. We had a very strong sex life before cancer - we had only been married 6 months - & knowing he still wants me & thinks I'm sexy is a turn on for me. He's really good taking the care I need - if I need more 'attention' to get in 'the mood' & the use of lotions. Being open with each other has helped. I hope things work out for you. Prayers to you.

      Comment
  • Jill H Profile

    Had u/s,mamm,biopsy. Results come Monday. In good spirits but emotional when I think of my boys. Don't know how to tell ppl if it is cancer. want to be educated and prepared when I get results. Thoughts?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 3 answers
    • Tara Mitchell Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Hi Jill, I'm so sorry u have to go through this. No matter the results, you will get through it. From my experience telling people, I waited until I had a definitive diagnosis then I jumped right in. I was upfront and honest about what it was BUT I immediately added that this was an illness not...

      more

      Hi Jill, I'm so sorry u have to go through this. No matter the results, you will get through it. From my experience telling people, I waited until I had a definitive diagnosis then I jumped right in. I was upfront and honest about what it was BUT I immediately added that this was an illness not a killer. Cancer still has such a stigma attached and people seem to assume the worst. You know what they say about people who assume. That attitude only makes it harder for you to maintain a good outlook and you should keep that if nothing else. Yes this is a tough battle but we are warriors and that's how I presented it to others. Be honest but don't let others bring you down. This is your "adventure" and you are in control always. I used humour when sharing information and laughed about a lot of what was happening. Actually it's not all doom and gloom. There are humorous moments so give yourself permission to have real feelings ( think goldfish bowls and condoms in the blood lab). Wishing you the best of everything!

      4 comments
    • Life is Good! Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Let's hope you don't have cancer and won't have to have that conversation! But, if you or someone you know does, there are resources to help. Here are good suggesions for telling young children: ...

      more

      Let's hope you don't have cancer and won't have to have that conversation! But, if you or someone you know does, there are resources to help. Here are good suggesions for telling young children:

      http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/features/telling-your-child-you-have-breast-cancer-5-things-you-need-to-know

      http://www.cancer.org/treatment/childrenandcancer/helpingchildrenwhenafamilymemberhascancer/dealingwithdiagnosis/dealing-with-diagnosis-how-to-tell-children

      I told my closest friends and relatives, but asked a few to pass it on to others, so I didn't have to rehash everything over and over. Email was a good way for quick updates for surgeries and treatment. Be careful about what you post on social media.

      The LEARN section on this site is a great way to get info for you. Use reputable sites like breastcancer.org and http://www.cancer.org/.

      Take someone with you to your appointment. Write a list of questions and take notes.

      Surround yourself with positive people. Do something that brings you joy each day. Please keep us posted on the results! We care about you!

      1 comment
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