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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

  • Jennifer Edgarton Profile

    Almost 7 days post AC Chemo...Dreading this week wih loss of hair. Does the extreme smells go away inbetween infusions? Emotions are high.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 6 years 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • Roberta S Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      I agree with Keri it feels like you are pregnant. In every way. Lol
      Don't dread the shave. Make it fun and quick! Just tell yourself it's temporary and a small price to pay for life. That's what I do! As far as food for me the saltier and sweeter is the best one week out from chemo but as each...

      more

      I agree with Keri it feels like you are pregnant. In every way. Lol
      Don't dread the shave. Make it fun and quick! Just tell yourself it's temporary and a small price to pay for life. That's what I do! As far as food for me the saltier and sweeter is the best one week out from chemo but as each week goes on it gets better until the next round. Love me some Mexican but the scales hate it! Lol. Good luck girl :)

      1 comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Patient

      The first couple of days after the shave were hard for me seeing my new look was scary . But now it is okay I got passéEd the hump and this is a girl that loves lots of hair .. I do wigs and find the one I got looks very real making the transition easier. I did pay for real hair trying to feel mt...

      more

      The first couple of days after the shave were hard for me seeing my new look was scary . But now it is okay I got passéEd the hump and this is a girl that loves lots of hair .. I do wigs and find the one I got looks very real making the transition easier. I did pay for real hair trying to feel mt best .

      1 comment
  • Kimberlee Andersin Profile

    I have one more session of taxamill left then I am scheduled for surgery in about 3 weeks. I will have a bilateral mastectomy. Any advice on questions to ask the plastic surgeon? I'm scared and don't know what to expect.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 2 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I did the DIEP flap. They used the skin and fat from the tummy. I lost no muscle( ab or lat). Nothing foreign in my body that needs to be exchanged for something else foreign. The healing isn't to bad I think the abdominal is the hardest part, for me. Think about it and do some research it might...

      more

      I did the DIEP flap. They used the skin and fat from the tummy. I lost no muscle( ab or lat). Nothing foreign in my body that needs to be exchanged for something else foreign. The healing isn't to bad I think the abdominal is the hardest part, for me. Think about it and do some research it might be right for you.

      6 comments
    • Linda Williams Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I just went through the same thing. As far as questions I can't be of much help as for what to expect I might be able to help some there. Keep in mind everyone is different but for me I have had very little pain my chest is still numb in mostly the center i had a spot in the center that wasn't...

      more

      I just went through the same thing. As far as questions I can't be of much help as for what to expect I might be able to help some there. Keep in mind everyone is different but for me I have had very little pain my chest is still numb in mostly the center i had a spot in the center that wasn't healing and he restitched it today without numbing it. I also had a centenal node removed so the back side of my arm to my elbow felt like it was bruised. A chill on my chest will give me a strange tingle. I have spacers in so it feels strange very tight. Your drains will be annoying but probably won't last long mine was in a week on the right side and two on the left. My pc wanted a total of 30 ml or less for the day for 3days before he took them out. One last thing since I'm having reconstruction my chest doesn't look pretty I have long scars across the center of both breast my first thought was well that's hideous!! BUT it won't stay that way it will be repaired when they do the implants. I also want you to know it is scarey I was scared to death but you will get through it, I have great drs that really do care about me and yours I'm sure care about you, you'll do great! I hope this is some help to you and please keep me posted.

      Comment
  • Pam Boysen Profile

    Hi everyone. I am 6 months past chemo and 3 months past radiation, on Femara for 5 years. I am having lots of bone pain and hot flashes. Is this a side effect of the Femara?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2011
    almost 8 years 2 answers
    • Cathy Wadkins Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes chemo, femara, all these things works against your body. Just endure what ever

      Comment
    • Sue Rice Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Yes, that is the main side effects of Femara you can get treatment to help ease the flushes, talk to your gp or oncologist they will help. I am on femara as well and the hot flushes were unbearable I used to take Effexor which helped ease heaps but gave me headaches so now take Clonodine. Good luck

      Comment
  • Kim Amelio Profile

    My mom just got diagnosed - I am so scared. She sees the surgeon on Monday to schedule a bilateral mastecomy. What should I expect and what can I do?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    almost 8 years 2 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Kim, I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. It's wonderful that she has a caring daughter like you! :). I just had my bilateral mastectomy on Oct. 24th and am still recovering. Usually the hospital stay is just overnight. She'll have 2 or more drains that will need to be emptied periodically and...

      more

      Hi Kim, I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. It's wonderful that she has a caring daughter like you! :). I just had my bilateral mastectomy on Oct. 24th and am still recovering. Usually the hospital stay is just overnight. She'll have 2 or more drains that will need to be emptied periodically and the fluid measured when she returns home. Her dr and/or nurses should explain the correct way to do this. You could help her with this. She won't be able to lift anything over 10 lbs or drive for a few weeks. Also taking a bath with the drains can be a little tricky at first and might need some help. I took a long shoestring and tied the drains up ( like a necklace). This kept my incisions dry and drains out of the way so I could bathe. If she has a recliner ....that would be a great help. She won't be able to lie on her side to sleep for awhile and my recliner was a lifesaver for me as far as being comfortable! If not....then several comfy pillows so she can prop herself up would be good as well. All those things will help her as well as helping her with meals. Emotionally it's difficult losing your breasts. It will be an adjustment for her. Give her lots of TLC. :). I'll say a prayer for your Mom and best wishes on Monday!!

      Comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Good Morning Kim,
      Diana gave you such good tips and what to expect. Your mom is lucky to have you at her side to go through this together. I too have some information that may help you and your mom through the rough first stages of recovery....always remember that there is light at the end of...

      more

      Good Morning Kim,
      Diana gave you such good tips and what to expect. Your mom is lucky to have you at her side to go through this together. I too have some information that may help you and your mom through the rough first stages of recovery....always remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel....I have written my experience in a paper I have posted on line for other women to read. Our type of breast cancer maybe different along with our choices of treatment, but the more we share and the more we know the better it is for us to deal with the road ahead. You may access my story at http://home.roadrunner.com/~amj (In my story I take you from the initial abnormal mammogram, the biopsy, surgery and recovery period after my bilateral subcutaneous mastectomies. I also have a reflection of a year later)
      May God Bless

      Comment
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