Kris' 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: 45, Stage I, HER2 Positive: Yes, ER Positive: No, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    • Kris
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Kris' Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    After being diagnosed with Her2nu positive breast cancer, my oncologist suggested I begin with chemo and wait to have my mastectomy. His hope was to use my cancer as a marker to see if chemo worked or if we would need to use a more aggressive chemo. I had 12 rounds of taxol and herceptin for 12 weeks beginning in April 2011 and finishing in June 2011. After 6 rounds my oncologist did an MRI and it appeared my cancer was shrinking. We continued the rounds and due to neuropathy had to decrease the taxol somewhat for the last 2 rounds.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    0 Comments
  2. 2
    • Kris
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Kris' Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    My hair began to fall out after 2 rounds of chemo in April of 2011. I was having chemo weekly so in lower doses. By the 5th round I cut my hair short and the week after decided to shave my head. I never lost all my hair, this could be due to lower doses or the chemo I had received. Best thing was not having to shave my legs all summer! I finished chemo in June and my hair was beginning to grow back by September when I began teaching again. In October I began to not wear hats near as often. In the beginning of December 2011 I had my first haircut!

    0 Comments
  3. 3
    • Kris
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Kris' Avatar

    Allergic reaction

    Side Effects

    I was slightly allergic to taxol so they had to give my doses very slowly. I would get an "itchy" mouth as they were giving it to me.

    0 Comments
  4. 4
    • Kris
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Kris' Avatar

    Vaginal dryness or irritation

    Side Effects

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

    0 Comments
  5. 5
    • Kris
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Kris' Avatar

    Chemo brain

    Side Effects

    I still continue to feel my memory is not what it used to be. I am very unsure of my memory and that was not the case before this time.

    0 Comments
  6. 6
    • Kris
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Kris' Avatar

    Mouth dryness

    Side Effects

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

    0 Comments
  7. 7
    • Kris
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Kris' Avatar

    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    This was probably the most concerning to my oncologist. He did not want to give me so much medication that my neuropathy would continue beyond treatment. He was so careful to ask me about it every week. Due to this, I believe that is why I did not continue to have neuropathy beyond chemo. I have not had problems since then and I have spoken to many women who continue to have neuropathy. I am very grateful he was so careful!

    0 Comments
  8. 8
    • Kris
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Kris' Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had my mastectomy of my left breast in July 2011. It went as expected and the recovery was as expected. I had finished chemo with blood levels that were pretty good so I had surgery 3 weeks after finishing chemo. I recovered to the point of returning to most parts of life after a few weeks. I struggle somewhat with the loss of the breast. I think the loss of the hair was much easier to cope with that this. I recently heard that Amazon women would hack off their left breast to show their fierceness! I think I may try that attitude! :) I am also struggling with the fact that there is not enough tissue and skin left over to do a simple implant reconstruction. So this is the side effect I was not expecting. Without having radiation, there was a strong change that I could do a simple reconstruction by placing an implant in a space made and thus have a less invasive surgery. Now, I have to make the decision of TRAM, Latismal or DIEP... I think this is why I have joined this group, to learn what other women have done and how it has affected them.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    1 Comment
  9. 9
    • Kris
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Kris' Avatar

    Breakthrough

    Celebration

    My lymph nodes were clear after my mastectomy and the chemo seemed to work as no cancer was remaining in my breast! So I did not have to have any more chemo and I did not have to have any radiation!

    1 Comment
  10. 10
    • Kris
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Kris' Avatar

    Targeted therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I continue to have herceptin infused every three weeks. Herceptin is much easier than taxol. I will have this done until April 2012. I continue to be checked for my heart health every three months with a MUGAscan. The only other side effects I have had are joint pain and low potassium. The potassium did not begin until November 2011. My joint pain is definitely helped by the drug Tramadol.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    0 Comments