Fran Robinson is Susan G. Komen San Diego’s 2015 Co-honorary Survivor
“I think I walked into this so blind because I didn’t know anyone who had cancer.”
Unlike Rochelle, Fran did not have any family history of breast cancer so she didn’t think she was at risk.
“It is a common misconception that if you don’t have a family history you are in the clear,” said Farmer Sherman. “The very opposite is true. Ninety-five percent of breast cancers are not genetic.”
Fran was diligent about getting a mammogram every year. She found a lump on her chest and wasn’t too concerned as she had gotten a clean mammogram six month earlier. As a precaution she went to her family doctor. The doctor sent her to get yet another mammogram as well as an ultrasound. The second mammogram again showed nothing. She wasn’t getting any readings from her mammograms; however, the ultrasound did and it was scary. Fran was diagnosed with Stage III Triple Negative breast cancer and her tumor was rapidly growing.
She has been battling breast cancer since 2010, undergoing round and rounds of chemo and radiation, doctor visits. Fran keeps fighting, but the cancer keeps coming back, every time. During Fran’s brave battle she has only taken a total of 90 days off work and also dealt with a divorce against a cancer that just won’t relent.
“I should have asked more questions. I wondered, but didn’t always ask, I just was unsure of what to ask. I did research on the computer about Triple Negative breast cancer, but that always left me depressed, scared and crying,” said Fran.
With no history of breast cancer in her family, she learned she has advanced breast cancer and began a different form of chemo and radiation. Metastatic breast cancer (also called stage IV or advanced breast cancer) is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body (most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain). Fran credits her personal support group at work, such as Rochelle, her friends and her faith in God while she continues her fight.
“I think we need to be around people, because we inspire them and they inspire us to keep going,” said Fran.
Fran decided to share her story as a Susan G. Komen San Diego co-honorary survivor in hopes of helping others. Fran’s advice to other women is to stay on top of your doctors, ask questions and to write everything down.