Saying 'Not Today' to Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: Lee Ann's Journey

Dec 15, 2021 8:50 AM ET

For Lee Ann, learning she had Stage 4 triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) came as a real shock. As someone who regularly had mammograms starting in her twenties, she considered herself healthy. But at age 63, after discovering a lump and an enlarged lymph node, she was now facing the most aggressive type of breast cancer.

Due to the nature of TNBC, effective treatment options are extremely limited compared with other breast cancer types. Lee Ann knew it was going to be a tough journey ahead, but she faced it with courage from the get-go and made “Not today” her mantra.

“Not today. You’re not going to win today,” she would say aloud to her cancer every day.

Lee Ann’s first round of treatments started shrinking the tumor in her breast and then the second round helped get rid of the two nodes in her neck and chest. “The only one that was being persnickety and stubborn was in my armpit,” she recalls.

At this point, the combination chemotherapy and immunotherapy she received had done as much as they could for her. Fortunately, Lee Ann qualified for a therapy that had recently been approved for metastatic TNBC. She has been on the therapy for more than a year now. 

Lee Ann says she’s grateful for the availability of new treatment advances, adding, “It’s hope for the future, and it’s hope for today, because cancer is not going to win today.”

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