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

Patient: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Female, Age: 51, Stage I, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    over 5 years ago
    MollyAWelsh's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    First reaction was that I already had enough on my plate and was already burnt out and exhausted. I had no idea how I was going to be strong enough to get everything done before my surgery. Now to explain more regarding my situation. My husband is in a wheelchair. He has MS, dementia and epilepsy. He started having seizures at beginning of Nov. and was hospitalized, then in rehab center and nursing home. My husband has been home since end of Dec. and has been a 24/7 care. He can't be left alone and falls alot. I literally pick him off floor to place him back in wheelchair. He can't even manage his medications. With me having to have surgery and radiation....there is no way I can do 24/7 cares anymore. Thus I had to make arrangements for my husband to move into an assissted living facility for a couple of months. Before the cancer diagnosis, I was trying to make arangements for respite care. That is how fried I was. I guess I do get respite, but via a cancer diagnosis wasn't the way I was thinking.

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  2. 2
    over 5 years ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had lumpectomy Yesterday (March 6). Before surgery they located cancer site using a wire that they hook to the titanium chip marker that was placed there during biopsy. They said not everyone gets the wire. Some people have lumps that are large enough that it can be seen and flet. My cancer wasn't a lump. Even though they knew it was there, they still couldn't feel it. Preliminary tests show that it is stage 1 and I am a good candidate for hormone therapy. I see cancer team a week from today. I will be having radiation. Preliminary tests also show that there was no cancer in the Sentinel node. Oh, yeah....I DO NOT have drainage tubes.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  3. 3
    over 5 years ago
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    Sentinel lymph node biopsy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Went to Nuclear Medicine for them to inject radioactive dye around cancer site. They then watched the dye move from injection site and to the node. They map where that node is for the surgeon to biopsy. I had four injectioins of the dye. They sprayed numbing stuff on breast before giving the injections. So injections didn't hurt anymore than a normal shot. In my case, I had the same radiologist doing this injection after he placed the wire to guide surgeon to the cancer site. But people don't always get the same radiologist doing both. Not everyone gets the guide wire. My cancer was so small it could not be felt. The wire was hooked to the titanium chip placed during biopsy. Wire felt like it was pulling, so I was in some pain. By the time I got to surgery, I wasn't feeling that wire pulling.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  4. 4
    over 5 years ago
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    Decision Point

    Met with radiation Doctor. He described three different options for radiation. Two of them are full breast and one a partial breast proceedure. Partial breast radiation would involve the insertion of a catheter into the cavity left by the removed tumor. Raditaion would be administered through that catheter. Partial breast radiation is twice a day for a week. The full breast radiation methods differ in the number of days and intensity of radiation. I will be doing the full breast, 5 days a week, for 6 weeks radiation. I live about 10 minutes from the cancer center.

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  5. 5
    over 5 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    Started radiation today, April 4th. Five days a week for 6 weeks. Last radiation date is May 15th.

    Painless Experience: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    1 Comment
  6. 6
    over 5 years ago
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    Swelling

    Side Effects

    Wasn't able to have radiaition today because I am swollen. My marks weren't lining up properly in the machine. They had to re-SIM me and come up with a new plan. I will continue radiation on Monday. I still will have the 30 treatments....My last day has changed.

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  7. 7
    over 5 years ago
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    Skin changes

    Side Effects

    I have 7 radiation treatments left. Skin is very red and breaking down. I have been cleaning the bad areas with peroxide and water as directed by the doctor. Also have to use an antibiotic cream to make sure I don't get an infection. Radiation onocologist said my skin won't be healed until late June, thus my husband still can't move back home from the assisted living facility. I feel like I am letting him down, but he is a 24/7 care and I won't be able to care for him until my skin is healed. His transfers will damage my skin further.

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  8. 8
    over 5 years ago
    MollyAWelsh's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    YEAH !!!! Had last radiation treatment today. They told me that the radiation will keep working for the next 2 weeeks. I will also continue to have skin changes during the next two weeks. I Start Tamoxifen in 3 weeks. Onocologist wants me to heal a bit first.

    2 Comments
  9. 9
    over 5 years ago
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    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I start Tamoxifen today.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  10. 10
    almost 5 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Found a lump growing. Didn't show up on mammogram or ultrasound. Had excisional biopsy. Lump was scar tissue from radiation.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  11. 11
    about 3 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had another excisional biopsy. There were skin changes and thickening on the same breast as lumpectomy. Nothing appeared on mammogram or ultrasound. Doctors wanted MRI, but insurance said no. Thus I had to have the biopsy that showed scar tissue.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    0 Comments