MarnieC's Journey:

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 13 years ago, Female, Age: 61, Stage IIA, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: No, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    • MarnieC
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Although my mother and grandmother both died from breast cancer, I was determined to be the one woman in my family who didn't get it. I studied it, researched, read, changed how I ate, and when I got my diagnosis I just couldn't believe it. So now I am ecstatic that I have survived it.

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  2. 2
    • MarnieC
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Breast Reconstruction (Flap)

    Procedure or Surgery

    I would have to say that if I had the choice again, I would have chosen the abdominal flap rather than the latissimus dorsi - it has changed the balance of my shoulder and continues to be a source of necessity for stretching and yoga, both of which help me quite a bit.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    • MarnieC
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    The worst part about having the lumpectomy is that I lost my left nipple. I still miss it! But it was WAY better than a mastectomy, I'm so grateful I didn't lose my breast entirely.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • MarnieC
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    It took my 4 months to decide to do chemotherapy. Being a natural therapist, I really didn't want to go there. In the end, though, even my natural therapists were encouraging me to do chemotherapy as well as everything that natural medicine had to offer. I had a rather large, fast-growing lump and although it didn't infiltrate my lymph glands everyone was concerned that I do everything I could to increase my chances of survival. I used Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy, goji juice and homeopathics during my entire chemotherapy process and these helped me so much I never once had to vomit.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  5. 5
    • MarnieC
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    I had a party once I'd finished treatment and one year had passed cancer free. Met some of the friends who helped me through it at an Italian restaurant and we had a really wonderful evening. Memorable!

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  6. 6
    • MarnieC
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    MarnieC's Avatar

    Decision Point

    I had a really difficult time deciding about whether or not to do chemotherapy. My oncologist wasn't impressed but he wasn't nasty either. After 4 months of going my own way (which incidentally I'm really glad I did - I spent that time cleaning up my diet, getting much stronger after the two surgeries and bolstering my immune system), he had me undergo a bone scan and chest x-ray to make sure the cancer hadn't spread and then put me on a 6-month regimen of chemotherapy. The deciding factor for me (oddly enough) was my natural therapy treatment providers urging me to do the chemotherapy - and also a book entitled "Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type" which stated that Blood Type A's (which is me) have a more difficult time overcoming cancer cells because they mimic a Type A blood cell. Very confronting for me.

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