noregrets11's Journey with Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Patient: Breast Cancer > Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 6 years ago, Female, Age: 48, Stage 0, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    about 6 years ago
    noregrets11's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgery was outpatient and took a few hours, but went OK. Didn't do too well with pain meds administered in recovery following surgery - extreme nausea, couldn't keep anything down. They ended up giving me something for the nausea that worked great, but it immediately knocked me out so that my husband could get me home (about 30 mins) before the next wave hit. After I slept it off, it was pretty smooth sailing from there . . .about 3 days to get back to my normal myself. Waiting for the pathology report to find out if it was truly DCIS (non-invasive) vs invasive and whether it was larger than expected were far worse than the physical experience of having the lumpectomy. Advice to others, make sure your surgeon is specializes in surgical oncology because he or she can make decisions before and during your lumpectomy that may prevent you from being cut multiple times in an attempt to get clean margins. For example, my surgeon removed the area with the cancerous ducts based on the MRI. He then shaved the cavity where the sample came from to establish a 2nd tissue margin. He dyed the outer half of the 2nd tissue sample blue at a width that is acceptable. The samples were delivered to the pathologist separately and analyzed separately. The pathologist found that the tumor margins from the lump itself were not clear; however, the margins in the 2nd sample that the surgeon removed during the lumpectomy were clear. The point: the surgeon's experience with cancer related surgery led him to take the 2nd sample during the initial operation. If he had not, I would have had to have a 2nd operation to get clean margins . . .which would have come with a physical, emotional and financial toll.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  2. 2
    about 6 years ago
    noregrets11's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    I am halfway through 36 treatments (28 full breast/8 lumpectomy site boosters). Treatment (travel time + wait time + treatment time) can be anywhere from 1.5 - 3.0 hrs, depending. The actual treatment time (when I'm on the table and the beams are flying) is 2 - 5 minutes. Fortunately the medical and support staff at the cancer center where I go are a great group of people. So far, things have gone fine with treatment - a little tanning, but no skin irritation; no loss of appetite, and very little fatigue. I'm drinking a ridiculous amount of water every day to try to remain hydrated and keep my skin hydrated, exercising at least an hour every other day in an attempt to stave off radiation induced fatigue, and trying to watch my diet and appetite to make sure I'm getting the recommended daily protein intake. However, within the last week, I've seen the fatigue roll in like a huge wave and knock me out couple of times. A 1-2 hr nap seemed to do the trick in both cases.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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