Baldredhead's Journey with Breast Cancer

Patient: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Living with cancer as a chronic illness (undergoing adjuvant therapy), Diagnosed: over 4 years ago, Female, Age: 56, Stage II, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Don't Know, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    over 4 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    1 Comment
  2. 2
    over 4 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  3. 3
    over 4 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    2009, cancer came back.....

    0 Comments
  4. 4
    over 4 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I am here to tell you there is NOTHING normal about a mastectomy! All in all, however, it went well. Don't know if it's flattering to be too skinny to pull a flap from my tummy, but they had to make an incision in my back and pull back muscles through to support the implant, and then take a bit of skin from my back to patch the breast. Lymph nodes were removed as well, as I was stage II.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    3 Comments
  5. 5
    over 4 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    Breast Reconstruction (Flap)

    Procedure or Surgery

    Difficult to say if it went as expected - What an unusual relationship to have with a plastic surgeon! They were very kind and very good, however!

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    1 Comment
  6. 6
    over 4 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    Breast Reconstruction (Implant)

    Procedure or Surgery

    Wow - cancer and a boob job at the same time - talk about mixed emotions! Fortunately it cost no more and insurance covered a small implant on the side that didn't have cancer so the "girls" are not only perky, but even as well!

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  7. 7
    over 4 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    2012 Cancer is back......aw man......I looked up at God and said "Really? Cancer again?

    0 Comments
  8. 8
    over 4 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Chemo is the biggest challenge yet, but it is showing me how strong I can be. I am working through it, and will have my third out of six treatments in two more weeks. I am having chemo every three weeks.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  9. 9
    over 4 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    I had hair like Venus, in that famous painting "The Birth of Venus" - I miss that stuff, despite finding a pretty good wig - Really makes you look at yourself differently! Now every once in a while it seems odd to see myself with hair! I think I look like a mannequin sans wig.....Interesting.

    0 Comments
  10. 10
    almost 4 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    The journey continues....this time I am almost finished with radiation! I have had radiation before related to this same breast, so they are monitoring closely to make certain they do not radiate any areas twice. The thinking is that if the cancer returns and marches a bit, it will march toward my collarbone and armpit area, so they are concentrating on those areas. It is going well, and I have been able to continue doing all the things that I normally do, but have added the beloved NAP to my afternoon whenever possible! I have days when I am not in need of the aforementioned nap, but I have also had days when I could hardly wait to get home from work and indulge in it! I am applying the cream they gave me, but would have loved to know that it shouldn't be applied within 3 hours of the treatment (I was putting it on before I left for work in the morning and leave for radiation at 7:30 during my work day, returning after). I have now begun applying the cream after treatment and at night, but didn't learn this fact until I only have 8 treatments left....I'm just saying! Also nobody mentioned that I need to put the cream on my back as I am apparently having radiation on the back of the area as well - but now I am a much wiser little survivor on both lessons!

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  11. 11
    over 3 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    Ongoing celebration and observations!

    Celebration

    I'm five months out of chemo and I'm at an awkward stage where I have enough hair to make the wig slip around (can I get a WOO HOO?) but it's not long enough to have any shape or form.....I have been surfing the internet and it seems that the most frequent time for people to cease with the head covering and go "au naturalle" is around 6 months - What wondrous dilemma as I try to figure out when is the right time to try and begin "shaping" this little bit of hair...had quite a bit of fun last week with some spike gel, however, and will continue hair sculpting.....perhaps a fauxhawk? :) All this to say that recovery and renewal goes on, and rebirth is a beautiful thing. Blessings to you all out there, and let's smile today knowing that renewal happens...perhaps more slowly than we would like, but it's all good!

    1 Comment
  12. 12
    almost 2 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Tamoxifen didn't bother me so much - It didn't really impact my life too much, and the side effects were minimal.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  13. 13
    almost 2 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Femara has been more difficult - I am frustrated by joint stiffness and pain, and am so tired all the time! (a little whiny here, forgive me...)

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  14. 14
    over 3 years ago
    Baldredhead's Avatar

    Anniversary

    Celebration

    Mid-December was the one-year anniversary of beginning chemo - For some reason that caused me to be quite reflective, and honestly, a tad down - Not certain why, except possibly looking around at things that have changed a bit - Thankfully, I am still here to reflect and look around, so all is well despite my "whining" a bit. I am not sporting a head of hair that is about an inch long - and dark, dark auburn...I hear this changes quite possibly, however, so I may eventually get back to my strawberry blonde roots....Thank you all for listening, for encouraging, and for being the source of strength that you are to so many - I truly appreciate you all! Let's keep talking - There is still much to experience!

    1 Comment