Here’s Marilyn’s story, in her own words:
I was diagnosed eighteen months ago with TNBC Stage 3C Grade 3 with 33 positive lymph nodes and a 5.2 cm. tumor. I immediately had a left mastectomy and a complete axillary node dissection. Then I entered a study at UNMC [University of Nebraska Medical Center] and received 4 cycles of Adriamycin plus Cytoxan followed by 4 cycles of Taxol plus 4 cycles of gemcitabine plus 4 cycles of Avastin and an added 6 months of Avastin every three weeks. After chemo, I had 35 daily treatments of IMRT radiation with a boost at the end.That was what my doctors did.I changed my diet and eliminated sugar and fat and lost 35 pounds. I still eat that way – except when I went to Spain. I walked a mile a day through treatment and added pilates two times a week after I recovered from surgery.I went to a wonderful twelve-week program called A Time to Heal and my type of program included our caregivers, so my husband came too. My friends fed me healthy, fresh organic food through chemo. I continued to work part time – which was really good for me.In May I finished treatment and took my first trip to Spain to visit my daughter, son-in-law and grandson. In August I went back to work full time. I just returned from my second trip to Spain and feel very, very blessed.I have a ton of energy — probably walked 4-5 miles per day in Spain and kept up with my toddler grandson – even helping my daughter carry him and his stroller up and down many stairs at the metro station! I have a strong faith and look at each day as a gift from God. I believe I am at this point because of Him, my doctors and caregivers, my family and friends, my students and co-workers and my positive attitude.