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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

  • Angela Kroninger Profile

    My aunt recently got diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. What does this entail and how can I help her?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Nancy Collins Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2002

      I was diagnosed with Stage III Invasive Lobular BC at 43. She'll have (I opted for mastectomy(ies), to take away as many chances as I could that it would come back, surgery, chemo and radiation. For me the hardest part was losing my hair. Be sure she finds a wig before starting chemo, or...

      more

      I was diagnosed with Stage III Invasive Lobular BC at 43. She'll have (I opted for mastectomy(ies), to take away as many chances as I could that it would come back, surgery, chemo and radiation. For me the hardest part was losing my hair. Be sure she finds a wig before starting chemo, or bandanas. I hated a wig, but I was going through chemo and radiation during the hottest part of the summer, so I wore bandanas. Just be there for her, tell her if she needs anything to let you know. We need to be as independent as we can, so someone hovering over us (me and the people I've met along the way have felt this way) isn't good. If she wants to talk, listen, but let her bring up the topic of cancer. Try to treat her like you would before her diagnosis, which I know is hard. You feel so helpless, but you just being there for her, is the great gift you can give her. She'll go through a lot of emotions, which she may or may not show around you, but PLEASE never take it personal if she gets snappy. Not only are we scared, but our bodies are going through some major changes. She's lucky to have you!!!

      Comment
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      When I had the same type of breast cancer, I was living in an isolated rural area. My neighbour was wonderful. I hardly knew her, but she began leaving little packages of home-grown veggies at my door. A friend who lived 2 hours away made several trips to visit and she brought some special...

      more

      When I had the same type of breast cancer, I was living in an isolated rural area. My neighbour was wonderful. I hardly knew her, but she began leaving little packages of home-grown veggies at my door. A friend who lived 2 hours away made several trips to visit and she brought some special yogurt that had extra "healthy bacteria", because I had thrush from the chemo. Another friend who was too far away to visit, sent me a little figurine of one woman with her arm around another. Another friend from my church sent me a greeting card every week to cheer me. My pals from work brought me a gift basket with cozy pajamas, a fluffy throw, and some bath stuff. These are the things that mattered most to me when I was "going through the fire".

      You could make up some meals and freeze them for her. I could only eat soft food for a while so noodle casseroles or soups might be good. If she needs help with housework you could organize a cleaning bee. Most of all, just be there for her without smothering.

      Comment
  • Dezeray Paris Profile

    any pain with stiches for drain after mastectomy? My right side feels like it is tearing. It hurts SO bad sometimea I dont want to move AT ALL. I went to er it hurt so bad and they said looked a little loose but it was ok?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 0 Patient
    almost 5 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      The drains are the worst part. DO NOT LET THEM HANG. My right side was horrible. Soooo much better when they are out. Hang in there. Prayers to you.

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      The drains are the worst part of the process. When you finally get them out you like life is worth living again. Everyone I know hates them.

      Comment
  • Delores Dale Profile

    My mother has had her breast removed and her lymph nodes. What is the fatty tissue called under her arm? Will it continue to grow? Is there anything she can do about it?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    almost 2 years 2 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      I thought I felt a lump in my armpit last month. I mentioned it to my Oncology people as I just happened to have a 6-month followup appointment. She felt it and said it was just "excess fat". It's odd as it is only on the side I had my mastectomy on and not the other one, too. She didn't seem...

      more

      I thought I felt a lump in my armpit last month. I mentioned it to my Oncology people as I just happened to have a 6-month followup appointment. She felt it and said it was just "excess fat". It's odd as it is only on the side I had my mastectomy on and not the other one, too. She didn't seem concerned so guess I won't be either for now.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      A plastic surgeon can during reconstruction. If she chooses no reconstruction the PS can still deal with it.

      Comment
  • Erin Wolf-Goldstein Profile

    It's been two months since my double mascetomy with re construction, I have tissue expanders in, anyone else finding these painful after each time they fill them?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 5 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Mary Chase Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My PS said she has not had anyone who has had trouble with pain from expanders. I don't believe her!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I have never heard of anyone NOT having pain with expanders. Arrrgh. You will get rid of them and all will be fine. Hang in there.... Take care, Sharon

      Comment
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