flamingogirl's Journey:

Survivor: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma > Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 7 years ago, Female, Age: 48, Stage IIB, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: No, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    over 6 years ago
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    found lump/diagnosed

    Oh No

    I found a lump in July of 2012. It was above my left breast so at first I didn't think anything of it, thought maybe pulled cartalidge even though I don't exercise (denial?). Or maybe something else from a previous injury when I pulled my scapula from years before (it still gives me issues). Went to my gyno in Aug and mentioned it, he couldn't feel and told since he could not feel it, and since it was more prominent during my menstrual cycle it was probably nothing. I should have stressed a mammogram, but I didn't, probably since I had just started a new job in May 2012. I finally saw my PCP, she definitely felt it and was upset they the gyno could not (I live in a small town and all the docs know each other). She sent me for a mammogram asap, which was a couple of weeks. I saw the PCP the week of Thanksgiving, had the mammo/ultrasound on Dec 6. They saw something and said they needed to do a biopsy. That was scary. Did the biopsy on the 10th, with another mammo. They really should do those mammograms when the boob is numb, didn't feel a thing. Since the tumor was so high on the chest wall, it took 2 of them to manipulate me. I have never been so manipulated in my life. LOL. Had to wait for the phone call til the next day. Got the phone call while at work. Yes, I was told over the phone. I didn't even think about it. I was in shock. The only question I could think of was if I could take ibuprofen for the pain. Then I burst into tears after I hung up the phone. Luckily it was late in the day and I work at a wonderful place since I was in no condition to work anymore. So off I went. I was in shock and cried off and on for that week. After that I decided it is what it is and said what next. I am gonna beat this thing!

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  2. 2
    over 6 years ago
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    Breast Reconstruction (Implant)

    Procedure or Surgery

    The reason I disagreed on what I expected is I expected it to be way worse than what it was. The worse part about my surgery experience was coming out of anesthesia. I don't do well, I get really nauseated. After that, it was a breeze. I did have a drain, but it was super easy. I have not had reconstruction yet since I just finished my chemo.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    over 6 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I had 8 total treatments. The first 4 were Cytoxan/Adrimycin. The side effects were a little harsh for that. I was extremely fatigued and had some nausea a few days after the treatment. The nausea was treated with anti-nausea meds. The fatigue was treated with lots of sleep and rest. :) My oncologist gave me a month break in between treatments during which I decided to get sick. Luckily it was just a minor sinus infection. My second 4 treatments was Taxol. I had no side effect on that one, no nausea whatsoever. Yay!! I did get a little tired by the end of the treatments, but nothing compared to the first round. I just finished my treatments and now am waiting to get my PET/CT scan

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  4. 4
    over 6 years ago
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    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    I had fatigue when I was on the Cytoxan/Adrimycin mix. It was awful at times. Just taking a shower was exhausting. I managed to get through it though, that is what counts!

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  5. 5
    over 6 years ago
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    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    I actually just had the nausea. It was kept under control with Zofran/Compazine combo. This was only with the Cytoxan/Adrimycin mix. I had no nausea on the Taxol.

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  6. 6
    over 6 years ago
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    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    I have awful neuropathy. It seems to affect my right hand the most (I am right handed too). My oncologist tells me it will go away, but may take up to a year. I hope so. I feels strange to type and that is what I do for a living. I still have 2 months before I go back to work, so hopefully it will be better by then. The Taxol made it worse. :(

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  7. 7
    over 6 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    I had a dual celebration. I finished my treatment and celebrated my birthday 3 days later. It was a wonderful week. Now I just have to wait for my PET/CT scan and the results.

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  8. 8
    over 6 years ago
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    Remission

    Celebration

    Got the results of my PET scan today. Yay, cancer free!!! I finally feel comfortable saying I am a SURVIVOR!!! I am so glad. I will still have to see oncologist every 3 months for 2 yrs. I never really realized that I was given a double whammy, very aggressive cancer plus triple negative. Not gonna let that stop me, nor did I let it. I will also have another scan in 6 months just to make sure it stays gone, but my oncologist felt comfortable enough saying that my chances are very good that it will not come back. Yay!!

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  9. 9
    almost 6 years ago
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    Breast Reconstruction (Implant)

    Procedure or Surgery

    I'm not completely recovered yet, but so far so good. I have had minimal pain. My doctor prescribed Valium and Vicodin for the pain. He wants me to take the Valium mostly, so I have been taking that around the clock. Started backing off yesterday and today. Taking Vicodin a couple of times a day now at the most. Seems all I do is sleep though. Hoping it will be out of my system by the time I go back to work in a week. I was really expecting more pain. I am really please so far with the way it looks though.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  10. 10
    about 5 years ago
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    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    I was getting ready for more reconstruction surgery. I had what we thought was scar tissue spot, but it ended up being a recurrence of the original cancer in skin cancer form. Of course they usually find it in the incision, but I can't do the normal thing. :) It was no where near the incision or the original tumor. Go figure. I had surgery to excise it on 9/3/14, did not go deep enough for clear margins and now have to have more surgery on 9/17/14. Yay. Now I will have to have radiation. Hoping the PET scan will come out ok.

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