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

Patient: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: almost 7 years ago, Female, Age: 63, Stage I, ER Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    • Hamsagal
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    over 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Routine mammogram in April 2011; suspicious, so repeated as diagnostic scan few weeks later; still suspicious, had US which confirmed lesion (not cyst; first "oh no"). First biopsy in May (was difficult becasue I am so small); benign but still suspicious! Had 3 choices: (1) lumpectomy, which, if positive, would have to have more surgery to remove margins. (2) MRI every 6 mos (3) a second biopsy with Achieve needle, known to be more accurate. I chose the third option as didn't want surgery if unnecessary. Second biopsy was difficult to get (again) but when the radiologist hit it, and the needle "popped" into something solid, I knew..... When the pathology report came back (June 21) IDC, I was not surprised but very angry! no history; very fit; what the ***** Had a few tests: MRI, abdominal US, etc and then had to make appt with surgical oncologist to make my surgery decisions. The tumor was very small (.7mm) and appeared to be close to my chest wall, near the middle of my chest. Though I was considered to be low risk, as it was caught "early" and was very small, this was a very difficult time for me. The anger and emotions were overwhelming, but I had made the choice to stay private, telling only my husband and 3 close friends. My friends were amazing; came to my appts, walked and talked the anxiety out of me on regular occasions and were "just there" as I worked through this. My surgeon was great, though I only saw her once pre-op; she seemed to understand totally the head game I was going through. From this point until my surgery, considerable time passed as I had to make the decision between a partial mastectomy (with SNB) followed by radiation and hormone therapy or opt for a total mastectomy with following consultation with a plastic surgeon (my dear girl friends in tow) I made the decision to go for the partial and booked it that afternoon. Almost 2 months had passed, but I was caught up in vacation schedules and was content to stay very busy at work. Booked for Wed. Aug 31, telling my children, co-workers and a few others only the week before. I stayed at work until the Friday before which kept me very busy and focussed on other things.

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  2. 2
    • Hamsagal
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    over 5 years ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgery went very well; best possible scenario considering I was dealing with cancer... the surgeon took less than anticipated and the margins were clear along with the lymph nodes. I had my two friends act as my spokepeople for those who wnated to know how I was doing; it worked really well as I didn't want to talk to people and was focussing intently on keeping part of my life "cancer free". My 6 week recovery period went smoothly. I healed well and was able to get back to walking 1 to 2 hours per day. This was a bonus as I was off work and could walk as much as I wanted to. i did feel some fatigue, though, sort of like being hit by a truck, but I had a lot of support. One of my huband's friends has become my personal chef, bringing 4 course meals, paired with wine, several times per week! there was little chance that I would loose any weight! I consider myself very fortunate..........

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    • Hamsagal
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    over 5 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    had a long wait for radiation, 10 wks, but gave me time to heal very well from the surgery. I felt so well that I went back to work part time and felt guilty being home. Finally scheduled for 16 radiation treatments, finsihing Dec 9th. I had to travel 3 hours daily, but had chauffeurs every day. The treatments were relatively painless though I experienced some burning in the surgery site about 10 mins later and occassionally throughout the day. The final week I started to get sunburned and itchy, skin broke out in a rask and had some peeling under my arm. nothing that zinc oxide and Baby Powder couldn't fix. I was very lucky again, with minimal side effects.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Hamsagal
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    over 5 years ago
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    Confusion

    Side Effects

    following radiation, and the start of Arimidex, I have had several side effects. (also on a sleeping pill as have had insomnia since this whole episode started back in May). So, I can't figure out what is causing the side effects, but they include: mental fogginess, fatigue, constipation, nausea, joint pain (Arimidex for sure). My appetite is suppressed, but I continue to go on my daily 1 to 2 hour walks. the past 2 days appear to be slightly better and I see teh medical oncologist on Jan 10th..My friends cntinue to support and counsel me.

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