warrior's Journey with Breast Cancer

Patient: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: almost 6 years ago, Female, Age: 63

  1. 1
    • warrior
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Oh No.........i received a call back after a routine mammo. When I went back I was told that a mass was noticed and that I would need a biopsy. The biopsy came back positive. I have Cancer.

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  2. 2
    • warrior
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
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    More Cancer found in my other breast after an MRI

    Oh No

    Oh God......I was scheduled for a lumpectomy. I was told I caught it early. I would have the surgery, be out the same day, and just need a few rounds of radiation treatment.

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  3. 3
    • warrior
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    warrior's Avatar

    Decision Point

    BIG decision. Now that I know it is in both breasts, and the mammogram actually MISSED it in my left breast....the lumpectomy is no longer looking like an option. I have to decide if I am going to have a double mastectomy. I am going to require reconstructive surgery. Update...fast forward 5 months. I had the double mastectomy. I have expanders in my chest which will be filled every two weeks until I am at my desired breast size. I have to tell you....through everything.......these expanders have caused me the most grief. I can never get comfortable. I slept sitting up on a chaise lounge the first 3 months. If I went to bed and rolled over in my sleep...I woke up screaming. There are hard plastic pieces right under my skin. NOW....big decision time. If I need radiation (and it looks like I will) do I do it before or after my breast surgery? My thought is that after all this pain, do I want to take a chance and have the radiation ruin my new implants?? The radiation can cause them to shrink, warp, wrinkle, etc. Did I go through all that pain for warped breasts? Or do I do the radiation first, which means I will have to live with the expanders possibly another 4 - months. It will take me 2 months to get the radiation done, and then.........depending on how I heal, that will determine when I can do the surgery. Risks both ways according to the plastic surgeon. My skin inside and out can be burned and not as easy to work with, Or, as I said I could have gone through all this..and then need another surgery to fix or remove them.

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  4. 4
    • warrior
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    warrior's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I knew that this would be bad. I just had no idea how bad. I came home a total invalid. I could not take care of myself. I was devastated. I have had other surgeries...but this left me feeling helpless. I could not reach for a glass to get myself a drink. It was horrible.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  5. 5
    • warrior
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    warrior's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I started my chemo 5 weeks after my surgery. By this time I was able to get around a bit. I was still very sore. I have expanders in my chest and the plastic surgeon has started to fill my breasts. I can feel the hard plastic under my skin. My breasts ?? My chest ?? is KILLING me. The ride to my doctors is torture. I hold a pillow to my chest and cringe every time we hit a bump or a pot hole. I was scared to death of the chemo. Sadly, I know so many people that have been through it. Everyone I knew had gotten so sick, and suffered so many bad side effects. THANK GOD........I am going for my third one this week, 12/30/11 and so far (except for losing all my hair) I feel good.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  6. 6
    • warrior
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    warrior's Avatar

    Other

    Oh No

    C DIFF............Back in the hospital...thought I was going to die !!!! Finished my first 1/2/ half of Chemo on Friday. YAY !!! I was so happy and felt so good.......I spent Saturday out shopping and even went out to dinner. Finally...I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I woke up Sunday with the runs. This has happened before, I was not alarmed. I was careful what I ate. I made myself rice dishes, had a banana. I thought I could bind myself up. As the day went on, it got worse and worse and worse. On Monday morning, I started to get nervous. I have a hard time drinking enough fluids on a regular basis, there was no way I was going to be able to replenish what I was losing. I knew that I was going dehydrate. When I became lethargic I finally gave in to the fact that I had to get to the hospital. I could not help myself. Long story short.......when they tested my stool, they found the bacteria. They told me that this was going to be my worst NIGHTMARE....and it was !!! I was in the hospital 3 days. They had to put me on a very strong antibiotic that I need to take 3 times a day for 14 days. It is a foul tasting big chalky pill. Being this sick may delay my chemo. I want to cry. Thinking about enduring this for another month or two is going to make me go off the deep end. WARNING...C DIFF is NOT killed by the anti bacterial gels. Be super careful about eating anything...especially when you go for your treatments. If someone just touched the handrail on a chair...YOU can pick it up !!!! Wash your hand with warm soapy water and touch NOTHING before you eat. March 16, 2012..Finally finished my Chemo. The second half (Taxol) was soooooo much worse or me. A day or to after receiving the chemo, I would get such severe bone pain, that I literally could not move. This would last 2-3 days. Nothing helped, pain meds eased it, but I was miserable. I took a lot of hot baths because I read that they could help. But as soon as I got out....there it was again. Now it is April 3. I am finished with my Chemo for over two weeks. I was expecting to start to feel great by now. Instead I have horrible Neuropathy. Pins and needles in my fingers and toes. I can hardly type. This is the first time I am on the computer. I can't to simple things like button or snap something. The feeling is so uncomfortable it keeps me up all night. I seem to be more exhausted then ever. If I am out even a few hours,I am dead tired. ????? When is this going to be over?

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  7. 7
    • warrior
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    warrior's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    Very disappointed. I prayed so hard that I would not need the radiation. I was stage one when this all started, and I was first told I just needed a lumpectomy. Here I a now.....double mastectomy, chemo, radiation, and they are now talking about some kind of pill after all this, that I will need to take for 5 years. Anyway...I need 33 radiation treatments. The actual treatment only takes about 6 or 7 minutes. The big problem is that is 5 days a week. For me, that means stopping my day, to travel 1 hour to get the treatment and one hour back. So far, I have had about 11 treatments and do not have any bad side effects, except that I am a little more tired then usual. I am suffering horribly from a side effect from the chemo....neuropathy. I have terrible pins and needles in my hands and feet. So bad that at times I can hardly walk. I can't really type anymore. They have given me a drug called Lyrica. I really hope it helps.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  8. 8
    • warrior
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    warrior's Avatar

    Anniversary

    Celebration

    I am celebrating it being one year since I was diagnosed with Cancer. It was a horrible year....but I AM DONE ....YAY !!!!! My hair has started to grow back. It is about 2 inches. Long enough to go out without my wig or turbans, if I choose. My energy level is back, I want to do a million things. Sadly, what nobody tells you at the start of this journey, is that you may never quite be "yourself again" You need to find a new normal. I have developed neuropathy in my feet and hands from the chemo. As much as I would love to run around all day, after a few hours, my feet are killing me. Right now, I am doing everything I can to try and help myself, accupuncture, rehab, massage therapy. I Take supplements, and Lyrica which was prescribed for me. I will keep trying.......because I am a SURVIVOR !! Now...I have to start the 5 year plan. My doctor has prescribed Tamoxifen 1 pill everyday for the next year. Depending on how I do, what side effects, etc etc. After that she wants to put me on Arimidex. Well, to say the least, this has been quite a ride !! Thank God I had a great support system. I am now looking into doing some volunteer work to help other Cancer victims. I want to pay it forward. October is breast Cancer awareness month. I have put together a team to walk for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. We are raising money as I type this. I may not be able to do the full walk, but I am really happy that I will be there. I wish I could help all of you. I find this site difficult to navigate. Right now, a copy of a question was sent to my e-mail address. I would love to answer,but I can't find the question. I am going to keep trying. Good Luck everyone. Send me a message if I can be of help.

    1 Comment
  9. 9
    • warrior
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
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    Oh No

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

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  10. 10
    • warrior
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    warrior's Avatar

    Other Care

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

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  11. 11
    • warrior
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    warrior's Avatar

    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    My last chemo treatment was March 16, 2012..It is now Jan 15 2013...a full 10 months later. My neuropathy has not abated. I am still taking the lyrics 50mg 3x a day. It is not unbearable, but it has changed the way I live, and cramps my style. ( my precious high heels are all gathering dust) A more serious problem is starting to emerge. One of my breast implants is rippling very bad. At first, my thoughts were...I am NOT having another surgery....I will wear a padded bra to hide this. Sadly, it is getting so bad that the implant seems to actually fold when I bend or move a certain way. That is really uncomfortable and actually hurts. My plastic surgeon said.."No worries..you need some tweaking " TWEAKING....is she kidding??? Another surgery and she calls it TWEAKING. I seriously wanted to strangle her !!! Meantime, I still have a lot of pain under the arm where the lymph nodes were removed??? Hello ......I realized I need to find a new normal. I have accepted that I will never be completely the same..........but.....I need to move on now.

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