carrie61's Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 6 years ago, Female, Age: 56

  1. 1
    • carrie61
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    carrie61's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Due to calcifications in my left breast, I'd been undergoing bi-annual digital mammograms for about 3 years. November 4, 2010 I went in for yet another mammogram & was told I had a suspicious area that needed to be biopsied. I found out November 17th, 2010 that I has Stage 2b invasive cancer in my left breast. I still remember the phone call from the breast surgeon. Shock, terrible fear & the need to reach out to my family and friends. Luckily, they were all supportive.

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  2. 2
    • carrie61
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    carrie61's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    On December 27, 2010 I had a unilateral mastectomy on my left breast. I had immediate expander surgery. This time period is honestly a blur for me. After the surgery I went home, took 3 weeks off work, managed the horrible drains & rested. I developed an infection to the expander & had to have it removed 1/31/11. My newly constructed, beautiful breast was gone. I started to prepare for chemo which would start in February.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  3. 3
    • carrie61
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    carrie61's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I had my first chemo, cytoxin & taxotere, 2/17/11. I had an allergic reaction to the taxotere & had to be given double Benedryl, but made it through & was able to complete the 6 treatments, every 3 weeks. My white blood cells were so low after the first chemo that I had to have massive infusions of antibiotics. Luckily, the situation resolved itself & I didn't have to go into the hospital. Chemo is something that those who haven't been through it just can't really understand. It would "hit" on the 4th day after treatment: unbelievable weakness, flu-like symptoms (always wondered if it was the Neulasta shot??) By day 6 I was better. It could have been worse. I never experienced neurapathy, nausea, diarhea or any of the more common side effects. Lost my hair--wore wigs & little caps. I now have a curly pixie. I am grateful for every day of "new normal"

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  4. 4
    • carrie61
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    carrie61's Avatar

    Hair is back

    Celebration

    Yes, hair is back. But I look back on the past year & the upcoming anniversary of my mastectomy & am grateful grateful grateful to be here. I even have a new breast again, having undergone yet another implant surgery in September. This one took with no infection & normal healing. I am single & trying to date again. I find it somewhat delicate determining when the best to reveal my circumstances. I don't know if anyone else is in this position. I want to live again. I want to find love. I want to truly take every day & love it for what it is & holds. This cancer has changed me in a very positive way.

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