ThinkPink's Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Living with cancer as a chronic illness (undergoing adjuvant therapy), Diagnosed: over 7 years ago, Female, Age: 57, Stage I, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    about 6 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    After a routine, annual mammogram and magnified slides & ultrasound, two small lesions were discovered. I had an ultrasound guided core needle biopsy that confirmed cancer in both tumors (.5 cm and .7 cm). Diagnosis: invasive ductal carcinoma. My breast surgeon originally thought it was the same tumor, but MRI revealed they were 2 separate cancers. Grade 2, Stage 1, ER/PR+, HER2- / Ontcotype score: 21

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  2. 2
    about 6 years ago
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    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a uni-lateral (right), skin sparing mastectomy in March 2010. Sentinel node biopsy with 0/5 nodes positive, confirmed stage 1. Released from hospital the next morning after surgery. Had JP 2 drains. The drains are a major pain because it is hard to get comfortable while sleeping, you have to find a way to pin them up during showering/bathing and in your clothing ... but they are a necessary evil and easy to take care of. Recommend a mastectomy camisole with drain pockets that can be velcroed in and out.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    about 6 years ago
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    Breast Reconstruction (Flap)

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had immediate reconstruction with mastectomy in March 2010. Chose to have the latisimus dorsi flap reconstruction with silicone implant instead of going through the process of a tissue expander. Goal was so that I would not have to routinely visit plastic surgeon for fills, but developed a seroma at the site where the muscle was cut away and had to have it drained approximately 20 times ... so I didn't avoid the plastic surgeons office every week after all. Am very pleased with the look. This type of reconstruction does leave you with an additional scar on your back (in the bra line) from where they take skin for the graft for the flap on the breast XXX.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  4. 4
    about 6 years ago
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    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I am post-menopausal and take Femara, an aromatase inhibitor, and feel that it has many side effects. I now have joint pain in my fingers and hips, hot flashes, tire very easily and have had weight gain. Another side effect is bone loss. I already have osteopenia and could lose more bone density from the medication. We monitor it with annual bone scans. I participated in a study at Indiana University using breathing techniques to control severity of hot flashes. The techniques were not very effective for me. I take 75mcg of Effexor (anti-depressant) which significantly reduced the number and severity, but I still do have them.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  5. 5
    about 6 years ago
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    nipple/areola reconstruction

    Procedure or Surgery

    This is an outpatient procedure that I had approximately 9 months after mastectomy. The exact method to create the areola and nipple can vary from surgeon to surgeon. Post procedure care is easy.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  6. 6
    about 6 years ago
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    Anniversary

    Celebration

    Celebrated first anniversary cancer free, March 2011

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