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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

  • 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
    almost 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
  • kim sosa Profile

    How long is recovery for a simultaneous bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction surgery? My doctor said I wouldn't have to do mammogram anymore if I went this route. Is that true?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had a bilateral mastectomy and expanders, recovery took a few weeks but wasn't too bad. I am still having expansions done every two weeks, only have two more to go. I hope to have my exchange in July. I will still have to have mammogram follow ups but I didn't have to go through radiation...

      more

      I had a bilateral mastectomy and expanders, recovery took a few weeks but wasn't too bad. I am still having expansions done every two weeks, only have two more to go. I hope to have my exchange in July. I will still have to have mammogram follow ups but I didn't have to go through radiation because I had the mastectomy. I think you have made the right decision having the bilateral, for me it was a no brainer and is something I know I will never regret. One bit of advise, have lots of pillows for support for sitting and sleeping and if you don't have a reclining chair try and get one. Good luck and I hope everything goes well for you. Our little reward for going through this is our brand new perky foobs (fake boobs) at least it is something to look forward to.

      Comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Recovery after a mastectomy with reconstruction varies depending if they use skin expanders or insert implants at the time of surgery I had my implants put in at the time of my surgery this is a link to my story I take you from my diagnosis,surgery and then recovery...

      more

      Recovery after a mastectomy with reconstruction varies depending if they use skin expanders or insert implants at the time of surgery I had my implants put in at the time of my surgery this is a link to my story I take you from my diagnosis,surgery and then recovery http://home.roadrunner.com/~amj/as for not needing mammograms. You are able to have mammograms with reconstruction I was followed with a mammogram every 3 months for a year then every 6 months for several years I'm grateful for that as I did have a reoccurrence along the incisional line. If you don't have a mammogram ask for some type if follow up ultrasound, scan, or MRI.

      Comment
  • Anj Donahue Profile

    I just finished 4 dose dense chemo treatments of AC approximately a month ago. Since then I've been getting hot flashes that have only increased in frequency. Is this a definite sign of the dreaded early onset menopause? P.S. I just turned 27.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had 4 A/C followed by 4 taxol, finished in early November 2011. I did get my period back in march 2012, after 8 months of not having it. Your body is going through so much with chemo, it takes a while for it to get back to a "new" normal. I turned 30 in February. I went through 34...

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      I had 4 A/C followed by 4 taxol, finished in early November 2011. I did get my period back in march 2012, after 8 months of not having it. Your body is going through so much with chemo, it takes a while for it to get back to a "new" normal. I turned 30 in February. I went through 34 radiation treatments and am now on tamoxifen (started about 3 weeks ago). Only time will tell what will happen with my period now that I'm taking that. Fingers crossed for some normalcy! Best of luck!

      Comment
    • K G Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      No, it is not a definite clear sign menopause. I finished all my chemo last October. I like you had hot flashes, but have had 2 periods since. I am 34. I know it is such a scary time, just hang in there and give it some time. Congrats on getting through AC.

      4 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    How accurate is staging after neoadjuvant chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 1 answer
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I'm not sure. I had neoadjuvant chemo as well , but I was staged before my chemo began. I had more chemo after my mastectomy because of the extranodal activity they found when they went in. Maybe one of the other ladies on here will have that knowledge. :)

      Comment
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