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Topic: Bark for Life

Forum: Stage IV and Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY —

A place for those managing the ups & downs of a Stage IV/metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Please respect that this forum is for Stage IV members only. There is a separate forum For Family and Caregivers of People with a STAGE IV Diagnosis.

Posted on: Sep 29, 2010 04:14PM

Spoonchek wrote:

About a year ago, I became involved with the local American Cancer Society (ACS)as a volunteer. My first involvment was the event called "Bark for Life" which celebrates canines as caregivers to those with cancer. Surprisingly, they asked me to speak about my experience and so I did and throughly enjoyed the chance to communicate. (of course my dog Truman is everything to me as I live alone and have no family left)

Well this year they've asked me to speak again and so I'm writing my speech for the event on Sunday. Of course the point of the event is to celebrate canines and their contribution but its also a chance to inform and educate people about the realities of cancer. I know I can't just bum them all out with too much talk about metastic cancer, but I do plan on spending some time on the subject before I move into speaking about my dog and his invaluable place in my life.

I have a lot of thoughts about what to say but I thought I would throw the subject out to you all for more ideas. (It's not supposed to be a long speech....)

Any thoughts?


Mets to bones and skin Dx 5/26/2008, IBC, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 29/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 6/6/2009, IBC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Sep 29, 2010 07:59PM Fitztwins wrote:

Sometimes when you are given a crap sandwich (diagnosis), you end up finding  joy in the smallest things in life...they come in different packages..some of them furry. New puppies, kittens, etc.. bring such simple joy. Their excitement in life and the simple things take our minds off of cancer...They love you and don't care that you are bald or gained 40lbs because of treatment. They snuggle next to you when you feel so tired all you can do is sleep or glare at space, they go on walks with you, when it is the only exercise you can muster...they eat the food you can't because you are sick to your tummy.

They love you in sickness and in health and they don't have to 'get' it either...


mom to Bella (daisy dog), Charlie (aussie), Sookie (calico kitten) and Desi (15 year old cat)

Enjoy Every Sandwich. Dx 12/12/2004, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 1/19/2005 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap Chemotherapy 2/1/2005 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 5/1/2005 Breast, Lymph nodes Targeted Therapy 6/1/2005 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2006 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 6/2/2008 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 7/1/2008 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 6/15/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 9/5/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab)
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Sep 29, 2010 09:02PM Spoonchek wrote:

Thanks you guys for replying and yes Bonnie I did find that thread that you referred to and am reading it for input into my speech.

Big Hugs,


Mets to bones and skin Dx 5/26/2008, IBC, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 29/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 6/6/2009, IBC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Sep 29, 2010 09:41PM Shanagirl wrote:

Spooncheck,  thank you for posting this.  I call my dog my "therapy dog"At the time I was diagnosed with BC I was actively involved with volunteering for Mid Atlantic Great Dane Rescue and a foster home for incoming dogs and puppies.   When I began my chemo treatments a 5 month puppy had come in because his owner, who lived on an airforce base, somwhere in South Dakota, and was being given up because the owner was suddenly being deployed to Afghanistan.  I agreed to take him into foster.  We fell in love and decided to adopt him during my chemo tx.  He has been my constant companion since, along with our 3 pugs who never leave my side.  I think they are all my therapy dogs.


Shanagirl Dx 1/13/2009, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 2/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Sep 29, 2010 10:18PM Diana63 wrote:

Shannagirl I didnt know you were a puglover ;) we have a pug, sheltie & a mut/mix. Our pugs name is Piglet she is mostly my dh dog, mine is the mut/mix. She has been by my side during all of my treatments. The other dogs run when I throw up but not Sassy she stays right beside me.

Teri, good luck on your speach, post back and put up the speach you use.

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Dx 10/6/2007, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 4/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 29, 2010 10:41PM - edited Aug 20, 2013 05:50AM by lifegoeson

Shanagirl!  My therapy dog (and yes, I call her that too) is a Great Dane!  I'm single and I live alone and Kenya has been my best friend and she got me through this.

Here's my story of Kenya & me - and it's a little long....

I was diagnosed with cancer and had a bilateral mastectomy and LD flap reconstruction and placement of TEs in March 2009.  Kenya stayed at a friend's house while I was in the hospital.  When I came home,  I had 8 drains and I also had to have a catheter bag because of some complications I had.  I could barely get around and I could not use my arms at all.  

My friends came over and told me that Kenya should stay with them for a few more days.  I was adamant, and insisted she come home.  They said, "She's so big, she will jump on you and she'll pull the catheter and the drains, and you'll be back in the hospital" and blah blah.  I finally said that Kenya was coming home if I had to get in the car and go get her myself.  They gave up, and brought her to me.  She was gentle as could be.  She sat by my side, she put her head in my lap, she was my constant companion for the next few months while I recuperated.  She knew that she needed to be gentle, she just knew, and she was so sweet.  

She would not let me out of her sight.  A neighbor would come over to walk her, and I had to stand outside and they would just be able to walk her up and down the block - she literally would not let me out of her sight.

Eventually I recuperated, and started taking her for walks myself again.  About 2 months later, she started to become weak in her hind legs.  She dragged her toes, she collapsed and couldn't get up, and she could no longer climb any stairs or even get up onto the bed.  

I took her to the vet and long story short, she was diagnosed with Wobbler's syndrome.  She then had a dorsal laminectomy on the discs in her neck.  After that surgery, she was paralyzed.  She could not move anything but her eyes.  It was the most heartbreaking thing ever.  The vet said it could be a very long recovery, and she might not recover at all, or might recover a little, but only time would tell.  

Well, after all I had just been through, there was no way I was about to lose that dog.  So I did for her what she did for me.  She was in the vet for 6 weeks.  In the beginning, she needed to be fed piece by piece by hand.  I came in and fed her every meal.   I was back at work by this time, but I visited her for an hour in the morning every day before work, plus on my lunch hour, and then I'd go and just sit with her for hours every night after work, just petting her and talking to her while she laid there unable to move.  

She slowly regained some movement in her legs.  The first day she was able to lift herself up, everyone in the vet cheered.  Happy ending - after about a month, she stood up, and then she was able to walk, and now she can even run and climb stairs.  She's not perfect but she's really happy and that's what matters.

(edited to add) - I just realized this is in the Stage IV forum.  I hope you don't mind the intrusion... I saw the thread title and had to add my inspiring dog story. :)  

Dx 1/29/2009, DCIS, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-
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Sep 30, 2010 02:03PM Leah_S wrote:

lifegoeson, dog stories like that are good for all of us!


Dx 11/3/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 1, 2010 02:18PM Spoonchek wrote:

I just finished my Bark for Life Speech and thought that I would post it here---its rather long to read in this fashion but I hope that if you care to read it, you will find that my desire is to not only speak of our beloved pets but also to speak of our situation as well.  I am of course limited in how long I speak and the "tone" of my message but I just couldn't do this without trying to be honest about things that mean a lot to me. Also please note, my intention is certainly not to offend anyone here on this board in any way.

Bark for Life 2010

By Teri Anderson

Good Morning everyone!! I stand here today representing one of the approximately 11.4 million people in this country living with cancer and I want to thank each and every one of you for coming today. 

This year there will be an estimated 1.5 million new cases of cancer diagnosed in this country. 209,000 are expected to be breast cancer diagnoses.  Heartbreakingly about 570,000 people in this country are expected to die of cancer this year with 40,000 of those deaths being breast cancer patients. 

You have may have heard and it is true that breast cancer diagnoses have slightly decreased over the past few years. The amount of decrease is due to earlier detection, improved treatment and lower incidence of the disease occurring.  All of that is excellent news but it doesn't address the status of those living in fear of a reoccurrence and those living with "incurable" cancer otherwise known as "metastatic" or "stage IV "cancer.  Stage IV cancer is used to describe cancer that has moved from its original site-to a new-distant location. More precisely, the cancer is considered to have "metastasized" to the new location.  If cancer metastasizes it shows up most often in the bones, liver, lungs or brain OR it can actually appear in more than one location. This diagnosis often arrives with a reoccurrence of cancer that one hoped was cured or it can be made the first time cancer is detected.

What you need to know is that Stage IV or metastatic cancer-is incurable-BUT "TREATABLE."  What that means is that your oncologist will tailor cancer treatments that are geared to the particular characteristics of your cancer. The goal becomes managing the cancer and hopefully extending the time before the cancer becomes resistant to the treatments you are receiving. 

What happens if the treatment stops working which means the cancer has "progressed"?? Well your doctor will switch you to another treatment that's available.  The key word here is "AVAILABLE" ......Lives are extended by having treatments available to try as time goes on.....while we wait for a cure-that is our means of staying alive.

I'm going to share with you the stories of two women that became known to me through an online forum for people with cancer. The first posting I read led me to a website where I watched a video. Apparently some local group had started videotaping this woman's cancer journey. I clicked on the video and this is what I saw......It was a woman I'm guessing in her early 30's sitting on a couch with her two young children on either side of her....the video then cut to the woman and her husband in a private interview. What came after that had me in tears.  You see the young woman had RUN OUT of treatment options and her doctor had told her that she had very little time left to live. The video then switched back to the woman with her kids on the couch. She was singing the song "Que Sera Sera" to her children and trying to hold back her tears obviously struggling with her doctor's announcement but resolved that this was a moment to make memories for her children.  It was HEARTBREAKING to watch.  Her kids were enjoying their mother singing and you could see that she was determined to get through the song.....She haltingly sang pushing back tears from her eyes and trying desperately to control herself.  At one point one of her children asked "why are you crying Mommy?" The woman swallowed hard and said to her child, "Mommy's just sad." She ultimately finished her song and the video ended. She passed away about ten days later.

The second story concerns a posting that immediately caught my eye on the forum.  It was titled "How do you say goodbye?" A lump formed in my throat as I clicked to read the email---I knew this was going to be bad news. Well the email was from a grandmother who had been very vibrant in her postings-she was approximately 62 years old and her picture was of a woman who had a lot of life left to live. What I read was a courageous, thoughtful letter to the people on the board, thanking them for their love and support over the years of her cancer journey and saying good bye.  You see, she had also run out of treatment options and was told she had very little time left. Reading her words I was in awe of her ability to sum up her feelings with grace and clarity. Again, tears flowed down my face.....She passed away 5 days later.

These two women represent people living with metastatic cancer in this country. They are frighteningly young women who are mothers of often very young children, single mothers with kids worrying out loud about who will love and take care of them if Mommy dies, they are spouses, sisters, daughters, mothers and grandmothers that all have lives to live for and desperately hope that they will beat the grim statistics of their situation.

I am one of those people.

My initial diagnosis came in May of 2008.  The tests all showed that a mastectomy was necessary and I chose to do a double mastectomy knowing that I only wanted to go through the surgery once and because I was convinced that it was only a matter of time for the other breast to be affected. Unfortunately the surgery revealed that my cancer had spread LOCALLY and was present in all of the 29 lymph nodes that were removed. The result was that I had Stage IIIc cancer-advanced and invasive type cancer.  This was not good news although I tried to console myself by thinking that at least it wasn't Stage IV cancer.  I went through 16 rounds of chemotherapy and 5 and ½ weeks of daily radiation and hoped and prayed that even though I had to have one treatment until the end of 2009, I hoped that I could eventually resume my life being on "high alert" for a reoccurrence.  Well that hope faded about one month after I finished radiation when cancer was found in 2 places in my bones....I was Stage IV.

You know what's worse that hearing you have cancer? And believe me those words are DEVASTATING....its hearing you have a reoccurrence and now have metastatic cancer that is incurable.

So what do you do???  You do anything and everything to go through the shock and devastation that really comes with any cancer diagnosis.  It's different for everyone but I can definitely say that it's a frightening, stressful experience that affects everything about your life. You are never the same again. Your moods can change in minutes from being scared to hopeful to certain that your death is around the corner. It's tough to explain unless you've "been through it."

Yes, I have good friends who care deeply and try very hard to be there for me, but I have no family left, I'm unmarried and I live alone..... But I'm not really alone at home.  The one constant in my life has been that little guy over there who is everything to me. .......I have Truman and that dog has been my saving grace since the first day I was diagnosed.  He senses how I feel at any given moment and is there even if my moods swing like a pendulum. I don't have to form a sentence with him, I don't have to reassure him, I don't have to pretend that I'm okay-I can be my stripped down raw self no matter how frightened and sad or emotional that I feel.  He is how I get through most days because cancer is a very personal experience and it can also be a very lonely experience. You can't really and truly "share" your cancer experience. Your particular journey and your feelings about it are your own like everyone else's experience.

Dogs however are just there for YOU. You can say whatever is on your mind out loud without the need to explain yourself. You can be 40 pounds overweight, have no makeup on and walking around in your underwear with a dog.  You don't have to phone them to come over, you don't need to work into their schedule, you don't need to feel as though they really don't understand or feel awkward because you realize they don't really want to talk about it anymore.  I find that to be stress relieving and therapeutic on so many levels.

Truman licked my bald head, tickled my neck when my hair started growing back, laid next to me when I was too tired to be upright....He rarely left me alone and just sat silently nearby watching my every move. Without fail he jumped on the bed when he heard me crying and came over to me to lick my hand and lay down. He still does all that.

In my lowest points, Truman has been a reason to get up in the morning when I'm too tired and too emotional to face the day. I love him too much to fail him in any way and that also means that one of my strongest hopes is that I live longer than Truman.  I wish I could tell you that is a sure thing but currently it is not. I don't want to have to send him away or be the first to say goodbye.   He is there and so I feel less alone. In turn he's something that depends on me and I'm so grateful for that. It gets my focus onto something other than cancer.

Dogs want you to be okay and that's because of their devotion and unconditional love for you. There is a woman who posts on one cancer forum that has a lab mix dog who senses when she is unsteady and stands next to her so she doesn't fall. There are countless other stories of people citing their dogs as a safe haven around which they can truly be themselves.  Obviously they're not troubled by the details of your situation and no matter how frightened or grim your statistics are-they seem to have "hope" in their eyes. They are all about love and nothing else. You may be wondering about what statistics I'm speaking about.  Well for metastatic, stage IV breast cancer patients, there is about a 22% chance that they will be alive in 5 years. Though that survival percentage is frightening, you need to know that it has improved over the past 15 years. According to a recent press release by MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the years of 1985-through 1994 saw only an 11.2% five year chance of survival for those with metastatic breast cancer. Things are improving but that's still and average of 78% of breast cancer patients dying in 5 years.

That word "hope" that I said a moment ago.....that is like air to breathe for all cancer patients. It is essential and gets you through some very difficult times. Oh everyone has hopes of some sort throughout their lives, some big, some small. But I have found that there is nothing that can compare with the hope to live. It's bigger than anything else.

In closing let me say that if I had to be in this situation at all, it's a little better now than it was even 8 years ago. I am benefiting by the use of a treatment that came on the market in 2002.  Oh it's not without risks---as most cancer treatments have-but its helped me at least to this point and I "hope" that it continues to work for me. But the problem is what I stated before---what happens when it stops working because cancer mutates and eventually becomes resistant to a given treatment?  What, if anything else will work for me? That question is what terrifies people with metastatic cancer. Will they run out of treatments?

Well it is events like these that give me hope.  With your help people that suffer a reoccurrence or already have Stage IV cancer have a reason to hope. There is a long road ahead but strides are being made. Dollars are needed however and this is why I want to thank each of you.  With your presence here and your dollars raised, I may be able to outlive Truman.....and people that want to live out their lives, see their children and grandchildren grow up and take part in what life has to offer may be able to do so too.

We're all hoping for that.......

Mets to bones and skin Dx 5/26/2008, IBC, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 29/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 6/6/2009, IBC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Oct 1, 2010 03:02PM scuttlers wrote:


That is absolutely POWERFUL!!!  Thank you for sharing it ... and now I have to go find something to clean all these tears off my face, take a deep breath, and try to stop crying!

Can I share this with others?


My favorite side effect of treatments is BEING ALIVE! Dx 2/4/2009, IBC, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 11/17 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Oct 1, 2010 03:08PM BarbaraA wrote:

Teri, that was so powerful! I can't stop crying. There will not be a dry eye in the room.

Sometimes you're the bug and sometimes you're the windshield. Dx 4/30/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 11/25/2014, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+ Hormonal Therapy 11/25/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Oct 1, 2010 03:12PM Spoonchek wrote:

Oh gosh, thank you guys so much for the compliment!! That is very re-assuring that it sounds coherent and meaningful.  Yes, Sherrie please feel free to share it with others if you'd like....I so appreciate the input...

Mets to bones and skin Dx 5/26/2008, IBC, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 29/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 6/6/2009, IBC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Oct 1, 2010 03:29PM ibcmets wrote:

Teri, Thanks for sharing your speech with us.  It's beautiful.  I also got a lovely dog when I was diagnosed.  I had this urging to go to see the dogs at the shelter and I could not leave without my little Lucky.  She's a papillon mix who is just perfect for my son and I.


6/2009 stage IV diagnosis w bone mets ,Xgeva , 2015 brain mets, liver metastasis
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Oct 1, 2010 04:19PM Spoonchek wrote:

Thank you so much for your very kind replies. I wanted you to know that the "second" story I mentioned in my speech was of Linda Henshaw (Nanalinda) who's post before she recently passed, touched me deeply.


Mets to bones and skin Dx 5/26/2008, IBC, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 29/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 6/6/2009, IBC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Oct 1, 2010 07:25PM 3katz wrote:

Teri - Wow! I have goosebumps. (I knew right away your were talking about nanalinda -yes, her post was very powerful.) Money will be pouring out of the pockets of the attendees with that speech. It is fabulous. Again . . . Wow!

Amy D - orig dx 2005, stage III / recur-mets Stage IV dx 2008, multiple bone lesions / er/pr+, her2neu+++ / Dx 5-2010 brain met
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Oct 1, 2010 09:03PM - edited Aug 20, 2013 05:51AM by redsoxfan

Dear Teri.  How eloquent and powerful and moving.  I cried when I read it and then wept as I read it to my husband.  You describe NanaLinda's letter written with "grace and clarity."  Your speech has grace, clarity, and love. 

Truman is lucky to have you. 

We're all lucky to be here, a place where the truth about life and death, fear of recurrence, fear of treatments or running out of treatments can be shared and understood.

Thank you so much for helping me feel ok about feeling the fear tonight.

Good luck with your wonderful speech.

God bless us all.

Dx: 4/13/10. BCS 4/28/10. Final Dx: IDC 2.5 cm. Stage IIA. Grade I. No LVI in tumor. ER/PR+ HER2-. SNB 4 nodes negative. Oncotype DX 19. No Chemo. Rads 6/23-8/4/10. Tamoxifen.
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Oct 1, 2010 09:18PM Diana63 wrote:


“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Dx 10/6/2007, IDC, 5cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 4/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 1, 2010 10:10PM RobinNY wrote:

Teri....I am speechless....you have done a beautiful job of telling our story ...and tell it from your heart.

  I too got a puppy when I was first diagnosed in 1999....and now 11 years later....he is my therapy dog again.  Sabre is a beautiful Black Lab who can make the darkest day easier to bear.

You have many sisters in this room....you are not alone.

Good luck with your speech.



If what doesn't kill you...makes you stronger ~ I should be able to bench press a Buick. Courtesy of "Fight like a Girl" Dx 10/1999, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 3/8/2010 Femara (letrozole) Dx 4/8/2010, ILC, Stage IV, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 7/12/2012 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 10/1/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 2/18/2013 Navelbine (vinorelbine) Chemotherapy 6/17/2013 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 8/18/2013 Doxil (doxorubicin)
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Oct 1, 2010 10:23PM konakat wrote:

Teri -- your speech is beautiful, heart-rending, just perfect.  Thank-you for sharing it.

Elizabeth's Mantra: When in doubt, eat cake. When you haven't a clue, add ice cream. Elizabeth's Mets: Liver, bones, brain (yuck), and lungs (more yuck). Dx 5/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 13/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Oct 4, 2010 11:58AM Lowrider54 wrote:

Teri...Bravo!  Thank you for sharing it...my fur-child, Harley the Sheltie is my buddy and I am amazed at how he knows when I don't feel so good - just comes and lays his head in my lap...

Smile...it will make people wonder what you are up to...Initial dx 04/99 - CMF; 9/2009 bone mets Arimidex; 6/2010 Faslodex/Xgeva; 8/2011; abdominal wall invaded, ER/PR flipped to TN, Abraxane/Avastin//Xgeva 09/02/2011; 11/2011Xeloda/Avastin/Xgeva. Dx 9/16/2009, Stage IV, 5/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 4, 2010 12:30PM lwd wrote:

Thank you for sharing, Teri.  A wonderful, powerful speech.  Our fur children are there during the good times and the bad.  I don't know what I would do without my Golden. 

Hugs and support,


Lane Dx 2/4/2009, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/7/2009 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/17/2012 Hormonal Therapy 11/7/2012 Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Oct 4, 2010 01:46PM - edited Aug 20, 2013 05:52AM by Spoonchek

I wanted to let you all know that my speech went very well and I'm so glad I had the chance to make it as I felt as though I was speaking for all of us and that felt good!  You were right, my words actually did move a few people to tears.....I was very touched that people were responding and finally the chance to speak about OUR situation came about.

A handful of people came up to me afterwards either complimenting me on the speech or engaging in conversation about what I said--a few told me that they learned something or didn't realize that the situation was as I described and thanked me for the information.

I agree totally with the postings on the board about "feeling overlooked", misunderstood or buried in the flurry of pink and posters with smiling faces saying that they "beat" cancer. I also agree and am irritated with the celebrities that give the impression that they have "put cancer behind them" and therefore give the public the wrong impression that we don't exist. Yes, I guess we can be considered to many as "depressing" but we live the truth of what cancer can mean and that reality can happen to anyone, even those who "think" they are cured.

I really appreciate all of your support and comments and I'm just glad that I got the chance to speak for us.


Mets to bones and skin Dx 5/26/2008, IBC, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 29/29 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 6/6/2009, IBC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Oct 4, 2010 04:33PM Fitztwins wrote:

Job well done Teri, what a beautiful speech.

Enjoy Every Sandwich. Dx 12/12/2004, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 1/19/2005 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap Chemotherapy 2/1/2005 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 5/1/2005 Breast, Lymph nodes Targeted Therapy 6/1/2005 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2006 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 6/2/2008 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 7/1/2008 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 6/15/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 9/5/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab)
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Oct 4, 2010 06:08PM cmhartley wrote:

Wow what a beautiful, eloquant and heartfelt speech.  It brought tears to my eyes.  There are times when I feel so alone in this journey but all I have to do is just look over at one of my 4 dogs.  They are the greatest companions in th world...so full of love, loyalty...I wish more people can be like my dogs. :)


Original Diagnosis: 3/08/2005 Stage IIb IDC, ER+, PR-, HER2-, 3/11 nodes positive; Recurrence 10/22/2009 extensive bone mets; 11/20/2010 diffuse liver mets; 1/2013: grade 4 liver cirrhosis, portal hypertension and esophageal varicies Chemotherapy 4/5/2005 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 10/4/2005 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2009 Dx 10/22/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 3/11 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2010 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2010 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 5/15/2010 Avastin (bevacizumab) Chemotherapy 5/20/2010 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 3/22/2011 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 7/1/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy 2/13/2013 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy 12/6/2013 Gemzar (gemcitabine) Radiation Therapy 1/2/2014 Brain

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