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

Patient: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: about 5 years ago, Female, Age: 57, Stage IIA, HER2 Positive: Yes, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    about 5 years ago
    Alyce's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    My tumor is a triple positive (see no point in calling this a POSITIVE!) it is being fed off of my estrogen, progesterone and HERS-2 as well. Surgeon has elected to NOT do surgery, but try chemo for 4 months. This was decided after I asked her to do a double mastectomy and reconstruction and be done with it. We see the oncologist for the first time on 4/12/2012. Bone scan, CT scan and Echocardiogram were completed on 4/10/2012. Results will be shared with us on 4/12/2012. Measured at 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm, grade 2, don't know what the stage is yet. Port-a-cath installed 4/5/2012. Grade 2, Stage IIA.

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  2. 2
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    about 5 years ago
    Alyce's Avatar

    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    Breast Cancer Surgeon surgically implanted a port a cath on 4/2/2012. Went in at 1 pm and came home that night about 7:30 pm. Took some time getting used to it. First 3 nights slept in my recliner. Laying on my side, it felt like it kept wanting to slide left or right, depending on which way I was laying. So gave surgery some time to heal before going back to my own bed to sleep. Now I hardly notice it. Except you do see a lump just below my right collar bone and the "hose" connected to it that loops up my neck and back down, buried deep into a vein so it won't slip out. They said to take it easy for several days. If you get too active, it could cause the port to roll over, upside down, making it unusable and they would have to go back in and rotate it back. ......I was a good girl!

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    about 5 years ago
    Alyce's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Had my first chemo on Monday 4/16/2012. They said the first treatment would be longer than the future ones. They go slower on purpose so they can monitor any reactions and act accordingly. 9 am - 4:15 pm. They loaded me up with Aloxi (nausea prevention), Corticosteroids (decrease inflammation, enhance chemo drugs, increase anti nausea medications, Emend (prevention of acute and delayed nausea and vomiting), then came the chemo.... Carboplatin, Taxotere, Herceptin all day long. About 2 pm they gave me 975 mg of Tylenol. All of the above was sent in through my port a cath. Except the Tylenol. Then the next morning, we came in for shot of Neulasta to increase the production of the infection fighting cells. It's been 28 hours and so far, feeling pretty good. They said the nausea drugs from Monday will start to wear off by Friday, they have had me get several over the counter drugs to take plus some other prescriptions to counter side effects.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    1 Comment
  4. 4
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    about 5 years ago
    Alyce's Avatar

    Other

    Side Effects

    Have struggled with a lot of heartburn the first week following the first chemo. Nausea a bit but no vomiting. (yea) Forcing myself to be up and about but forcing myself to not over due it. Worst thing has been learning to re listen to what my body is telling me. Listen and learn. Been in class for a week now, the teacher has been cranky (me) and the student has been stubborn (me, again). But each day seems to get a little bit better. No processed food. Just good nutritional home cooked or home prepared meals and taking supplements to offset some of what the chemo is killing off inside that I need to keep up to proper levels. Trying to eliminate any foods that contain added sugar and / or high fructose corn syrup. Have a juicer and use it for more nutrition, to increase the nutrient intake. Using fruits and veggies. Found some great tasting drinks with no perservatives, man made sugars, etc, just natural ingredients.

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  5. 5
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    about 5 years ago
    Alyce's Avatar

    Cancer is shrinking

    Celebration

    Saw the oncologist today. He reviewed my CBC reports, the original one, before chemo started, then the two that followed since the first chemo treatment. He was more than thrilled with what the blood report was reporting. It was way better than what they had expected. Totally surprised him. When he went to physically exam the tumor, it was no longer as large as it had been and was no longer hard like it had been. Fact is, I had to feel it out to show him where it was because he could not locate it! He was thrilled with the success we are having. (NOT more than I though!). So we go with our 2nd round of chemo this coming Monday, 5/7/2012. He said changing my diet and taking supplements would not make a difference. But I have changed my diet, purchased a juicer....so I can increase my intake of vitamins from fresh grown fruits and veggies, virtually removed sugar from my diet, no products with high fructose corn syrup and no processed foods. No pop, coffee, some tea and lots of water. My weight has started to come back down to where it should be as well and I am trying to walk a couple of miles each day as well. I am also taking several supplements, coordinated with a nutritionist, to help fight the cancer and counteract some of the side effects. My first chemo was on a Monday, my last nausea pill was one on the following Sunday. Other than that, I have been doing really, really well. It has been 16 days since my first chemo and I'm just now starting to see SOME hair loss, but not in masses....at least not yet! The last 10 days I have felt pretty much normal. I do have a metal taste when I drink water but I add lemon juice to my water and I don't taste the lemon, but I don't taste the metal taste either, plus I'm getting more Vitamin C! Yea! We are excited about our success!

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  6. 6
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    about 5 years ago
    Alyce's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Had 2nd round of chemo on Monday, 5/7/2012. Felt pretty much lousy until Friday morning, 5/11/2012. Then the ole body started taking a turn for the better. Still not perfect, but a whole lot better than what I have been! Thursday, sore achy at the back of my neck, my shoulders too and when I pressed in on my checks, my check bones hurt and very tired. Husband gave me some clariten for the bone pain and some pain pills. Made a huge difference, good thing he was doing the thinking for me....cause I could not think straight as to what I needed to do to ease my discomfort. I spoke (complained), he listened and figured out what I was needing! <;)

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  7. 7
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    over 4 years ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgeon took out the lump, had clean margins. Took out 2 two lymph nodes. One was clean. 2nd had a trace.. .35 mm evidence of cancer. Surgeon says between the Herceptin and the radiation will take care of the 2nd node. HOWEVER, the surgeon is not happy with how wide the clean margins were. She wants to go back in and do a 2nd surgery to take out more tissue from the exterior of the tumor site. NOT happy with this. IMHO, I think she should have gotten it done the first time around. >:(

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  8. 8
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    about 5 years ago
    Alyce's Avatar

    Cancer is shrinking

    Celebration

    Wow, had our 2nd follow up visit with the oncologist yesterday. I am doing chemo every three weeks for a triple positive breast cancer tumor. After TWO treatments of chemo, the tumor has now gone from a very hard substance 4.5 cm x 4.5 cm...that took a couple of biopsy needles to penetrate to get enough tissue to test for cancer.....to a soft gel like substance.....and now after the 2nd chemo....it is the size of A PEA! He said my bloodwork was great. But was astounded with the progress and the size of the tumor. He said whatever I am doing...to keep doing it because something is obviously working! YEA! So we will keep going with the supplements and the change in diet. He says we will continue the chemo as scheduled until mid July, then we will do a lumpectomy because he wants the surgeon to go in and make absolutely sure the tumor is gone. He is very optimistic that the chemo will totally eliminate the tumor. I can live with that! My prayer warriors have been doing an awesome job! Could not be where we are without their support! YEA PRAYER WARRIORS!

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  9. 9
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    almost 5 years ago
    Alyce's Avatar

    Sexual side effects

    Side Effects

    Ok, I am bringing the elephant into the room......triple positive tumor, for chemo get IV's for Carboplatin, Taxotere and Herceptin. ONE more chemo, then surgery, radiation, then Herceptin, through IV continues till April 2013. Any one have pain issues during sex? If my husband makes one more crack about not gettin' any, I think I'm going to crack him! <;) Also 1st chemo, I was back on my feet after the 4th day. Last chemo (5th treatment), took me a week and a half......is this about normal?

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  10. 10
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    almost 5 years ago
    Alyce's Avatar

    Cancer is shrinking

    Celebration

    Finished last round of chemo on 7/30. Saw the surgeon today, 8/9. Same one we saw in March when she said back then, that regardless of chemo, that I would have to have a mastectomy due to the size of my tumor ( it was over 1.76"). She came in today, all set to schedule the mastectomy and move on.....BUT she could not find the tumor! She did a physical exam and did a sonogram. She could not absolutely be sure of where the tumor was, even going back to her notes from March and going directly to the tumor location.....she still could not find it! We will still do surgery, but we are planning on a lumpectomy and that is only because they want to go in and find if they are any physical remains of the tumor, remove it and tissue surrounding the tumor to make sure they get all cancerous cells. At this time, all evidence show the lymph nodes are just fine. Nothing shows up on physical exam nor on the sonogram!!!!

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  11. 11
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    over 4 years ago
    Alyce's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgeon had clear margins around the tumor sight from the first surgery on 8/29, but margins were not wide enough to satisfy her even though the pathology report showed clean margins. So she went back in a 2nd time on 9/17, to clean out more tissue and to get a wider margin. Sent it off to pathology for another report. Have not talked to the surgeon since the surgery. I am home recovering.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  12. 12
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    over 4 years ago
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    Other

    Radiation

    Ok, moving on to Radiation now. We meet. Dr. Rine on Monday 10/1 for the first time for a consult. Anyone want to give me any tips on what to expect and what questions to ask? Thanks!

    Painless Experience: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  13. 13
    • Alyce
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating) ...
    over 4 years ago
    Alyce's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    Just finished my 30th radiation treatment yesterday. So glad to be closing this chapter in this journey!

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