Meet Bobbie Niehaus
My name is Bobbie and this is my life, my story and my passion for pink.
I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and Ductal Carcinoma Insitu, triple positive breast cancer at the age of 31 on 12-12-12. This was devastating news to receive, I had a lot of life ahead of me. I had just married Tom Niehaus, my best friend and my rock on 10-10-10.
My life was flipped upside down like a roller coaster, I did not know whether I was coming or going! With my age and the aggressiveness of my cancer, we had to move quickly and come up with a game plan. So many appointments, testing, consultations, and being stuck with all kinds of needles.
On 12-28-12, I went in for my bilateral mastectomy. About 2 weeks after healing, my oncologist said she was going to have my tissue sent off for the Oncotype Testing, which will tell whether I am a candidate for chemotherapy and my risk for reoccurrence.
My oncologist said my case was very rare, it took longer than usual for the results to come back because apparently they had a team of 8 pathologist that examined my tissue. Finally results came back that I had both HER 2 Negative and HER 2 Positive Cells in my tissue, plus my risk for reoccurrence came back 78%. This is when I found out I would be put on Tamoxifen for 10 years.
This determined I was definitely a candidate for chemotherapy. I was scheduled for a portacath the following day, and scheduled to start chemo the following week.
I went through high dosage chemotherapy treatments every 2 weeks, for 4 months. Herceptin was added and I would have Herceptin every 3 weeks for a year. My hair started falling out a week after my first treatment. Losing my hair was difficult but the hardest part was when my oncologist told me that with the treatment cocktails I was receiving, I probably would not be able to have children. This was devastating news. We were newlyweds and were just planning our life together.
I dealt with nausea, headaches, joint pain, heart burn, stiffness, fatigue, no appetite, on top of all the physical and emotional pain. Being diagnosed at such an early age, I dealt with self image, sexuality, fertility and body image issues.
I opted to have breast reconstruction and this process started in August 2013. This was a 7 month process, first with expanders, and alloderm. I went in every 3 weeks for a saline fill to expand the expanders to re-stretch my skin. Then February 2014, I went in to get my implants. This was the day, I could start to feel whole again.
It was Spring 2015, it was recommended that I have a total hysterectomy due to having multiple adnexal masses on my ovaries and having a lot of discomfort and pain. Pathology came back clear, no cancer was found.
I decided cancer was not going to win! Cancer had taken a lot from me, but cancer was not going to take my spirit nor my positive attitude.
I started getting involved in the community and volunteered for several organizations. My motto was to "Stay Positive, Attitude is Everything."
I started spreading awareness, and how important it is to do your self breast exams. No matter your age, race or history, cancer doesn't discriminate. This is something I am strongly passionate about. Newly diagnosed patients were being referred to me so I could help them through there journey, and help with resources that were helpful to me.
I was interviewed by several news stations, my story was in several publications, and I became the face of Susan G. Komen Lexington. I helped start two support groups in Lexington, KY for young women diagnosed with breast cancer. I was invited to attend and be in several fashion shows for breast cancer awareness.
During my journey and fight with breast cancer, I dreamed of running my own non-profit, and this year my dream came true. I am the founder of My Pink Navigator, INC.
Our mission is to eliminate barriers and provide organization in the lives of breast cancer patients through education and navigational support.
We will provide Chemo, Surgery and Beauty Bags to women fighting breast cancer.
These bags are full of care product, and resources to help make their fight less stressful.
As funding allows, we will also be helping with barriers with transportation and lodging expenses due to treatment, surgeries and follow up visits.
My dream is to cover the whole state of Kentucky and even the entire USA.
Categories: Stories of Courage