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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

  • regina stavropoulos Profile

    hi all.has anyone had their ovaries removed after a mastectomy?i had surgery in january no chemo I am now taking tamoxafin, my dr wants to decrease the estrogen levels further so has asked me to consider this? thanks I hope you are all keeping well

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2014
    over 3 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Patient

      I was considering also but dr advised against removing ovaries studies have shown it may lower life span I suggest doing research before you decide if it's right for you.

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I haven't heard of that unless you have the BRCA gene. If I were you, I would get a 2nd. Opinion.

      Comment
  • Karen G Profile

    I'm feeling anxious about Thursday's first chemo treatment. Any advice or hope?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    almost 6 years 14 answers
    • View all 14 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      My last chemo was about 1 1/2

      3 comments
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      The unknown is probably the scariest part. The oncology nurses should explain everything step by step. Be sure to be hydrated. Most places have juices, crackers, tea etc available. Try to think of it as a step towards killing your cancer. I know everyone reacts differently, I had a rough time,...

      more

      The unknown is probably the scariest part. The oncology nurses should explain everything step by step. Be sure to be hydrated. Most places have juices, crackers, tea etc available. Try to think of it as a step towards killing your cancer. I know everyone reacts differently, I had a rough time, but many others do fine. Good luck, keep us posted.

      Comment
  • Valerie Lawrence Profile

    Is it a good idea to remove your ovaries if you're on tamoxifen and always had problems with overies? (such as ovarian cyst and fibrosis)

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I would discuss this with you physician. I am taking Tamoxifen and having my ovaries removed has not been suggested but I am 54 years old. Good luck to you!

      1 comment
    • Natasha Nunnally Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It could depend on a lot of factors. If you tested positive for the BRAC gene then I would definitely say yes. Also if your HER2 status was positive I would also say yes because Tamoxifen increases the chance of recurrence in the ovaries.

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My sister starts chemo on Monday and is wondering should she eat a good meal the night before? Eat light? Drink plenty of liquids? How soon after will she start feeling sick?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      The night before Her first chemo she should be able to eat anything she wants. She should drink lots of fluids all during the time she's getting chemo. Its very important to stay well hydrated. The day of chemo it's best not to eat anything spicy. Weather she gets sick or not really depends on...

      more

      The night before Her first chemo she should be able to eat anything she wants. She should drink lots of fluids all during the time she's getting chemo. Its very important to stay well hydrated. The day of chemo it's best not to eat anything spicy. Weather she gets sick or not really depends on the chemo drugs she's going to be given. If its Adriamicin/Cytoxin to begin with...it does have the tendency to cause nausea. They should administer something for nausea in her IV during chemo to help combat the nausea. They'll also prescribe something for her to take during the first few days. It's very important to take the meds before she starts to feel nauseous. They really do help! I felt slightly sick but never bad enough to throw up. Every woman is different. I hope that your sister has mild side effects. About the only side effect that can't be controlled is the fatigue. Nutrition is very important during chemo. Some doctors offer nutrition classes or give informative books. Tell you sister to ask about this. The American Cancer Society has some great info on nutrition for cancer patients as well as many other things for cancer patients. :)

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I think the only advise I would give her is to drink plenty of liquids. Funny thing about my oncologist's office, patients would bring in the most fabulous array of foods to munch on. There wasn't one of my chemo appointments that didn't look like somebody's birthday (potluck) celebration! ...

      more

      I think the only advise I would give her is to drink plenty of liquids. Funny thing about my oncologist's office, patients would bring in the most fabulous array of foods to munch on. There wasn't one of my chemo appointments that didn't look like somebody's birthday (potluck) celebration! Goodies everywhere.

      Everyone is so different how they react to their treatments. Your sister may not feel nausea as there are excellent anti-nausea drugs now. I was lucky not to have any nausea. I just lost my taste for lots of different foods. I craved salads and spinach. I would literally eat bags of fresh greens. As for my usual favorites... chocolate and coffee? Couldn't stand even the thought of them.. She may feel tired and weak the first few days after her treatments. It would be great if you could have some meals made for her as she won't feel like cooking for herself. I had a dear friend who made me home made soups. They were delicious and easy to heat up. I started feeling back to normal about the 5th day.
      She is also going to start to lose her hair a couple of weeks after the first treatment. It is so much better to shave her head before it starts to drop out. Maybe you can pick her up a couple of nice scarves, or hats, or a wig to match her hair. So me, I did not enjoy my hair coming out in globs. I grabbed my horse clippers and gave myself a buzz cut. You are very loving to help out your sister at a time like this. It's a tough go but she will be ok. Please check in with us if you have any questions or concerns. Take care, and love to your sis. Sharon

      1 comment

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