Community member portrait of Nicole Bonner

Meet Nicole Bonner!

Here at AdvancedBreastCancer.net, we want to spotlight those affected by metastatic breast cancer. Through our community member spotlight interview series, we had the honor of hearing Nicole's story.

A HR and HER2 negative metastatic breast cancer diagnosis

How & when were you diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer?

I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in May 2019. At the time I was working on a remote island in Borneo and began getting back pain. We discovered fractured vertebrae and after a spine biopsy, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. I then had a lumpectomy, an oophorectomy, radiation on my spine for pain relief, and was put on Tamoxifen.

What type of breast cancer do you have? Was it recurrence or de novo?

I have hormone receptive breast cancer, HER2-. I was diagnosed de novo with mets in my spine, liver, and pleura.

What information/support was most helpful for you when you were newly diagnosed?

The support of my friends/work family in Borneo was overwhelming. I can never express my gratitude enough for them at that time. My boyfriend of 16 years, Gav. He was my absolute rock and still is.

Then, of course, the most important people of all, my parents, who are from the other side of the world gave me all the unconditional love a person could want. They paid for me to have the best treatment and just stood by me as they always do.

What's your favorite part about AdvancedBreastCancer.net and how has online support helped you?

My favorite part of AdvancedBreastCancer.net is to know that I am not alone in living with this disease. It's inspiring to see all of us kick-@$$ women thriving in the face of adversity. Also raising awareness about stage 4 cancer is important.

What 3 pieces of advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer?

  1. Try not to stress about things you can't control.
  2. It sounds cliche but I honestly think that a positive mindset plays a big part in how we can cope with this day-to-day and be thankful for the little things.
  3. Reach out to the community. Us gals that have made it into this community can be a big help and a tonic if you have worries you don't want to burden your loved ones with.

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