Kimi1017's Journey with Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcin...

Patient: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Living with cancer as a chronic illness (undergoing adjuvant therapy), Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Female, Age: 49, Stage IIA, HER2 Positive: Yes, ER Positive: No, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    • Kimi1017
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    about 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    The "Oh No" part as you will notice if you read on is ver short. From the very beginning, I told myself "If this is cancer, I'll just treat it like any other disease, do the treatment, make any lifestyle changes, and just live on". If others have to deal with other diseases and treatments like heart bypasses, dialysis, etc, then this is mine. I said that on day 1 and I'm still saying that now.

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  2. 2
    • Kimi1017
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    about 5 years ago
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    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    When I found out that I had breast cancer, I decided to do the mastectomy right away. I told myself I would rather not have a breast than have it spread. I just wanted to take it out right away. I checked into the hospital the same day the doc read my results. That's how fast my decision was. They did the surgery the next day, I stayed 1 more day in the hospital, then was home the day after that. It was Christmas Eve. I refused to look at the negative side and dwell on the positive...the tumor was out, there was no lymph node and blood invasion, I was basically "cancer-free" at that point.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    • Kimi1017
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I had to do 6 cycles of chemotherapy. At first I dreaded it more than the mastectomy because of too many movies, and everything i was reading on the net. One of the first things that kept my spirits up was what one of my friends whose mom also had cancer said to me "you know, everything you watch in the movies, that's all exaggerated". That and my faith in God (which I must say grew a hundredfold since my diagnosis). One thing I was so surprised about was people I knew, and some who were just friends of friends, who had also undergone this, suddenly started popping up and started giving me advice, tips, shared their own experiences and, I must say all their advice helped me get through my chemo with relative ease. Even something as simple as gargling with a certain mouthwash helped (I never had any mouth sores). I did my 1st chemo overnight in the hospital because the doctor wanted to see if I would have any side effects. With all the pre-meds these days, thankfully I didn't have any. I felt really weak (It was even too much energy to talk) on days 3-5 but when I started getting filgrastim injections from day 5-8 to boost up my neutophils, I started to get my energy back. My plan was to stay home a week after chemo then go back to work on the 2nd week till the day before my next cycle. For the next 5 cycles, it was all outpatient but what I experienced was basically the same as the 1st and I was able to follow my work plan till the end. I still have to do Herceptin treatment (IV), a targeted therapy, till the end of the year but I have no side effects from that. Some of the other side effects I had: 1) thinning of the hair - everyone told me my hair would fall out so I prepared before I even started chemo by already buying a wig (my friends made it a shopping spree for me) and I cut my hair very short because I didn't want the trauma of falling hair in clumps. One of my friends who had already gone through this suggested not to shave my head to avoid nicks and cuts so I'm glad I didn't coz I felt that even if my hair fell a bit, I just looked like a XXX rocker! In the end, it just thinned out but I never really lost all of it. 2) stomach gas trouble (heartburn/acid reflux?) - I would get this a day or two after but the doc gave me a pill and when I would drink it, it would be gone soon after. I never felt nauseous or anything like that. 3) change in the taste of water and food - I never really lost my appetite except maybe on the day after chemo so I never had a problem with eating. Water just "felt" different in my stomach (couldn't drink cold water), had a metallic taste in my mouth, and generally my taste buds were just off. None of these affected my appetite, though. 4) low energy level - I just got tired more easily and that I wasn't at 100% That's about it...this is why I think I had it relatively easy. I hope others resd this so they don't feel the fear I had when I was reading about chemo on the internet. Stay positive always! It's always so important! And whatever religion or beliefs one may have, JUST CONTINUE BELIEVING!

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  4. 4
    • Kimi1017
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    about 5 years ago
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    Other

    Other Care

    I am still undergoing targeted therapy treatment and will add here when I experience things.

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  5. 5
    • Kimi1017
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Breakthrough

    Celebration

    Joy of joys! I just finished my 6-month barrage of medical tests and am officially all clear! My cancer tumor marker is even lower than it was before. Still continuing to do my Herceptin treatment till the end of the year. Another blessing is that the Herceptin has not affected my heart after 6 months of infusions. Continuing to pray that this is another step towards full recovery.

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  6. 6
    • Kimi1017
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    about 4 years ago
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    Remission

    Celebration

    Just finished my yearly tests: chest xray, blood work, bone scan, whole abdomen ultrasound and mammogram and IT'S ALL CLEAR! God is so good!

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  7. 7
    • Kimi1017
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    almost 4 years ago
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    Remission

    Celebration

    Just had my 1-year check-up. ALL CLEAR!

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