Bethie's Journey with Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcin...

Survivor: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 8 years ago, Female, Age: 53

  1. 1
    • Bethie
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 3 years ago
    Bethie's Avatar

    Relationship issues

    Oh No

    On January 5, 2009, I got fired from my job. That same afternoon, my doctors office called and asked me to come to the office in an hour. I found out that there was a problem with my mamogram. The next day I had another mamogram and a sonogram. I saw this spot that I thought was huge. Two weeks later, the guy I was living with, went on vacation to Florida. So not only was I alone for the needle biopsy, I was alone on January 28th when the surgeon called and told me that I had cancer. I listened, asked questions and took notes. I thanked him for calling and after hanging up the phone, I dropped to my knees, screaming. My mother lived 5 hours away, so all I had were my dogs and I thank GOD they were with me as I made phone calls. My diagnosis was to be the end of my relationship. The day he took me to a doctors appointment and told me he didn't want to hear anything about what I was going through was a knife in my heart. My momma drove 5 hours each way to be with me for my lumpectomy and my first 2 chemo treatments. A week after my 2nd treatment, my momma, brother and a friend of the family showed up at my house, where I had been packing, and loaded my life in a moving truck and put my dogs and me in my momma's car and moved me back to Carthage, MO where I belonged. With the love and support of my friends, family, medical community and the grace of GOD, I have been cancer free for 4 wonderful years. I still have problems from the chemo. It ate the lining of my stomach, the cartilage in my knees, and really screwed up my internal thermostat. But, it's all good. Medication helps my belly, I have 2 new knees and my house is cool to cold year round. But having cancer has been a great learning experiance for me. My BFF, Who lives in North Carolina was diagnosed in 2012 with anal/vaginal cancer. She and her husband are raising her then 2 year old grand-daughter. Bless her husband, he tried so hard, but just he was just all thumbs. So, I moved 1300 miles from everything I knew and moved to North Carolina. Due to where she was being radiated, she was in major pain and very sick. It was a rough and frightening 3 months, but once again GOD was good. Just this weekend, we walked in the local Relay For Life, my 5th, her 1st. We could only do the survivor lap due to the heat, but it was a very joyous time.

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  2. 2
    • Bethie
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 3 years ago
    Bethie's Avatar

    Lumpectomy with Axillary Lymph Node Dissection-36 lymph nodes removed 1+

    Procedure or Surgery

    When my port was placed, my surgeon was concerned about the weight of my breast pulling the catheter out, so he placed it basically in the center of my chest. One week after my 1st chemo treatment, the stupid thing flipped! My oncologist was able to manipulate it back the way it was supposed to be, but he would not use it until it was fixed. So I went back to my surgeon and he went in and fixed it. When I woke up, I was all set to go to my second treatment. Thank GOD for my momma. That evening, my body went crazy. My pulse was racing, my throat was tight, I was laughing and crying at the same time. So, momma took me to the hospital, where the doctor called my surgeon and they figured out that the shortened catheter had probably tickled my heart. So, with some Atavan and a good nights sleep, the next day I was as good as new. Except for the gully the surgeon dug in my chest to place the new port, that I swear he tied down with bailing wire. Oh, what fun. Due to the removal of 36 lymph nodes, I have pretty bad Lymphedema in my right arm. It looks like I have a wing!

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    • Bethie
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 3 years ago
    Bethie's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Chemo. What a trip. At first I was on 3 different meds, but don't ask me to spell them (LOL). My favorite one was a given to me second in the treatment round. But it was not a bag, instead, it was a huge syringe filled with a red liquid that my nurse would inject in the IV tubing over 5 minutes or so. Momma and I named it "PacMan", for those of you too young to remember "PacMan", ask your folks (Did I just age myself or what!?!?). When ever I got "PacMan" I would picture him gobbling up my cancer. I had been scheduled for 6 treatments, but that was ok. I had my 5th treatment on June 3, 2009 and walked my first Relay For Life 3 days later. Not only was it hot, this treatment was a little worse than the others, I was the only one there that was bald as a billiard ball. So, I had my purple (favorite color) umbrella with a sign I had made pinned to the back of it. "Biopsy-scary.....Diagnosis-terrifying....Treatment-sucks....Surviving breast cancer....priceless". A lot of people got a good feeling reading it. I also found out at the Relay, that a friend had passed from oral cancer. That took the wind out of my sails. I bawled like a baby. Tuesday after the Relay,my aunt took me to a doctors appointment. When I got home I heard the sweetist voice coming from down the hall singing "Happy Birthday" to me. It was my BFF from North Carolina!! She and my mother had been plotting behind my back for months. She had asked me what would make me better? Of course with her husband being a crab fisher, I told her crab cakes and gumbo. So she sent a freezer box with shrimp and fresh crab, for the next 8 nights I ate seafood prepared every way you can think of. She is a fantastic cook. And believe it or not, I didn't have to have my 6th treatment! I tell everyone that she cured me.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Bethie
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 3 years ago
    Bethie's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    The radiation wasn't too bad. They gave me lotions and creams to help with the dryness and the mild burning sensation. One morning I went to the bathroom after waking up. The dogs came running down the hall to say Good Morning and one of them jumped up on me. OMG did that hurt! She had ripped the skin off my breast. We ended up stopping the radiation for 2 weeks to let it heal, but by the end of August, I was done. No big reminders of it except the skin feels a little different.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  5. 5
    • Bethie
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 3 years ago
    Bethie's Avatar

    I chose other because they only let you pick one side effect.

    Side Effects

    Due to the cancer and/or chemo, I suffer from a lot of problems. Diabetes, chemo brain, fatigue, hot flashes, liver problems (not a drinker), Lymphedema, mouth dryness, sexual side effects, vaginal dryness, had to have both knees replaced, can't stand the heat and my emotions are bouncing all over the place.

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  6. 6
    • Bethie
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 3 years ago
    Bethie's Avatar

    Relationship and a loved one.

    Loss

    By the time I was diagnosed, things between us were already rocky. In November of '07, he had fallen off his semi and hurt his back which required a year of therapy, medications and only my pay from working at a nursing home and his workmans comp. He suffered a heart attack in May '08 which delayed his back surgery and stopped his workmans comp. He blamed me for everything, he finally started sleeping on the couch. He ended up having his surgery in November of '08, and even though I felt our relationship was over, I stayed and took care of him. But when I was diagnosed in January of '09, any symbolism of a relationship was gone. He wanted nothing to do with my surgery or treatments. The day I left him and went home with my momma, I screamed and cried for 2 hours because I thought I still loved him. But he never really loved me so the farther I got and the more time that went by made me realize how much better off I was. So long sucker!!! You lost the best thing that ever happened to you. On May 14, 2013,my former mother-in-law lost her year long battle with liver cancer that had spread through out her body before settling in her brain. She faught hard and loved her family with all she had until the end. She is very loved and very missed.

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  7. 7
    • Bethie
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 3 years ago
    Bethie's Avatar

    Other Care

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

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  8. 8
    • Bethie
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 3 years ago
    Bethie's Avatar

    Celebration

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

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  9. 9
    • Bethie
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 3 years ago
    Bethie's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    I celebrate every day because GOD is good and He has been by my side ever since.

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  10. 10
    • Bethie
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 3 years ago
    Bethie's Avatar

    I was a caregiver

    Other Care

    My BFF was diagnosed in July 2012 with anal/vaginal cancer. She her wounderful husband by her side and her parents came up from Florida to help with her then 2 year old grand-daughter. But none of them had dealt with cancer before, so I was needed. And it felt good. She convinced me that I really just needed to move out to North Carolina, so I did. Leaving behind my family and friends. It was a very, very rough 3 months. At one point,she had a drug reaction that would have killed her, if we hadn't found the right doctor. But just this weekend, we walked in the Relay For Life, my 5th and her 1st. Now it is time for me to go home. I have done what GOD asked of me, so now it is my turn.

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  11. 11
    • Bethie
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 3 years ago
    Bethie's Avatar

    Side Effects

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

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  12. 12
    • Bethie
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 3 years ago
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    Clinical Trial

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

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