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Penny's Story

About her story

"I knew I had to take this horrible, bad thing and turn it in to something positive."

In March 2010, Penny was diagnosed with Stage IIB Triple-negative breast cancer.

"There's something about when you've been diagnosed with breast cancer, it's like being elected to a club that you never wanted to be a part of," says Penny. "But, when you're there, you're really glad there's other people with you."

A busy salon owner, Penny realized that her diagnosis and treatment would completely change her lifestyle. But, through breast cancer, she learned that it was her family and support that meant most to her.

Watch Penny's story and learn how a rare form of breast cancer changed her life and helped her realize that all things work out for good in the end.

Related Questions

  • Thumb avatar default

    am having surgery to remove lymph nodes since one came back positive after my mastectomy even though frozen section was negative. Had a choice between radiation and surgery - Did i make the right decision> Surgery scheduled this Thursday --

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    over 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      3/13 nodes positive for me... If surgery can get you out of radiation or chemo ... Sounds like a good choice to me!!!!! I had rads and chemo and surgery--- surgery - was easiest and least side effects. For me... Everyone is different-- so it really does have to do with you going with the...

      more

      3/13 nodes positive for me... If surgery can get you out of radiation or chemo ... Sounds like a good choice to me!!!!! I had rads and chemo and surgery--- surgery - was easiest and least side effects. For me... Everyone is different-- so it really does have to do with you going with the choice you feel is right for you!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I had a mastectomy with 5 sentinel nodes removed. They looked ok on the MRI, and when my surgeon removed them she told me they found no cancer during surgery. Alas, on the final pathology report, they found microscopic cancer cells in one of the nodes. Shoved me from 2A to 2B. It didn't...

      more

      I had a mastectomy with 5 sentinel nodes removed. They looked ok on the MRI, and when my surgeon removed them she told me they found no cancer during surgery. Alas, on the final pathology report, they found microscopic cancer cells in one of the nodes. Shoved me from 2A to 2B. It didn't change my treatment plan but it's still lousy news because my cancer was not contained within the original tumor. When I first read your email, it sounds like you are having all your nodes removed? If that is the case, and I rarely give my opinion here but I think that is overkill. Having all of your nodes removed invites lymphadema and that is a very lousy way to live the rest of your life. I hope they are only removing the sentinel nodes which are the nodes first in line from your breast.
      If you are having a complete dissection because of one node, it's a harsh choice. The surgeon said to me, I had an 8% chance of cancer being in other nodes but since I led such an active lifestyle lymphadema would have been a bad sentence for me to live with. If this is the case and they are taking all your lymph nodes on one side, I'd be talking statistics and getting a second opinion. I truly am worried for you and I just DON'T usually put my strong opinion out here on this board. Read about Lymphadema, you end up having to wear a compression sleeve, going to a special physical therapist, and its forever. I would be taking the radiation without a doubt. Please keep us posted. Take care, Sharon

      2 comments
  • patricia bacon Profile

    Has anyone had pain in your breast and chest wall a week after compressions?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Patricia, I would contact the office that performed the mammogram. Do you have any kind of bruising or discoloration on your breast? I seem to remember you wrote about this recently, is that right? I'd call tomorrow and ask about this. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • patricia bacon Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Sharon, no bruising on outside of breast just sore feeling inside. I will call doctor also going see a breast specialist for second opinion next week. Just concerned about the pain and discomfort in breast. Thanks for giving me comfort and caring.

      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
    about 8 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...

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      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
  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone else had issues with their toenails and Taxol?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 3B Patient

      Mine turned a little black so did my finger nails but I didn't lose any ;) I just kept them polished.

      1 comment
    • Lisa M Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      My toenails were fine, but after I finished my treatments I noticed horizontal grooves in my fingernails. They finally grew out so back to normal :)

      Comment

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