triciab'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 7 years ago, Female, Age: 55, Stage IIA, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    about 7 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Other than not having had surgery with general anesthesia before, everything went as expected. Disappointed that 1st sentinel node had 2.1mm cancer which guaranteed chemo in my future.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    1 Comment
  2. 2
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    about 7 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Getting ready to have port placed and begin 1st of 8 chemo sessions. Trying to keep a positive attitude. My kids are mostly concerned about me losing my hair. Which to be honest is just the icing on the cake of crappiness since my doctor first felt the lump in February.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    4 Comments
  3. 3
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    about 7 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    Procedure went as expected. Level of pain was not expected. Take the pain pills. Not sure how I could have gone to work the day after. The thought of no more IV sticks is very appealing so guessing I will feel it was worth it in the end. Kudos however to my IV nurse. I am usually a terrible IV stick and she did great. Lidocaine is my friend.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  4. 4
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    about 7 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Made it through the first of 8 chemotherapy treatments. AC every other week x4, the Taxol every other week x4. The anticipation was by far the worst. I slept quite a bit the 3 days after treatment. Forced myself to walk a couple of miles a day. Helps me sleep at night. They gave me decadron, zofran and emend prior to chemo to help with nausea and I think it worked. They also sent me home with multiple options if I had any nausea. I took Compazine at the first sign of queasiness and never got sick. Neulasta made my back hurt the next 2 days but was tolerable with Tylenol. Actually think my back hurt more just from sleeping so much. Back to work this week and feels good to do my "normal" life.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    2 Comments
  5. 5
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    about 7 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    Mugascan

    Procedure or Surgery

    Heart study prior to chemotherapy to establish baseline cardiac function. Tech was very friendly. Worst part of procedure was the IV stick. (apparently can't use the port because of plastic components incompatible with nuclear medicine). Actually fell asleep during the scan. Needed the nap :)

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    0 Comments
  6. 6
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    about 7 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    Noticed my hair falling out in the shower when I was covered with hair after shampooing. I knew it was coming but it was harder than I thought it would be. So by Saturday night, after realizing the hair left on my head was dry and wouldn't do what I wanted it to anyway, my awesome husband shaved it off while we both cried. It will be the only time (hopefully) that my husband and I have the same haircut. In the grand scheme of things, I am receiving great medical care and this is just part of the process.

    2 Comments
  7. 7
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    about 7 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Chemo #2 done. Biggest side effect has been dizziness. I think it makes me nauseated but I'm not really sure. I slept alot after the 1st treatment and didn't so much this time and I think I felt the dizziness more acutely this time. A lovely friend from church shared some Gin-Gin ginger lozenges which she uses for vertigo. I felt better almost right away. I am finding it difficult to drink as much as I should but after reading others' experiences, I will try harder. My hair is nearly gone and I find that I will be relieved when it is. We shaved as far down as the doctor told us. What's left is uncomfortable. Chemo 25% done :)

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  8. 8
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    almost 7 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    Rough week

    Oh No

    So had my first rough post-chemo week. 2 ER visits. First, on Tuesday, I almost passed out and they discovered my BP was really low. Scared myself (and my coworker who had to call for help) pretty badly. At least we were visiting someone who was at St. Mary's hospital so help was there in about 2 seconds. Then I knew something was wrong when I was sleeping 12-15 hours a day (when sleep has been eluding me). Started running a fever on Friday and doctor sent me to the ER. WBC 3.0. Antibiotics again. Cough is pretty bad but it wasn't pneumonia. Still coughing but feel so much better today. Hoping WBCs have rebounded so I don't have to put off chemo again. Delays are discouraging. Thankful that I feel more like myself again.

    0 Comments
  9. 9
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    almost 7 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Just had my last Taxol treatment. I had more lasting S/E after treatment (fatigue and muscle/joint pain). Took me about 5 days to feel good but then I felt close to normal which I really didn't after A/C treatments. I had diarrhea about 4 hours after each Taxol treatment which lasted the whole night but then cleared up. So happy to be done. Of course, the anxiety that it was enough to keep the cancer from coming back is still there. Month off and then radiation starts.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    1 Comment
  10. 10
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    over 6 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    1 month after last chemo treatment and feeling much better. Still have tingling in fingers and toes, especially after walking any distance. Start radiation this week but not so worried about that. Just anticipating the fatigue from traveling every day to treatments.

    0 Comments
  11. 11
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    over 6 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    4 of 35 treatments done and I'm already tired of traveling 40 minutes each way for treatments but so far so good on any side effects.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  12. 12
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    over 6 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    On the downward slide - only 9 of 35 treatments left. Skin is pretty red and itchy, but doctor is pleased with skin condition. Apparently it's best if you haven't overexposed your skin to the sun. Go figure. Keep waiting to feel tired but actually feel like I have more energy being 10 weeks out from last chemo.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  13. 13
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    over 6 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    Finished 35th and final radiation treatment yesterday. Got my certificate and rang the chimes and then started crying. It's not fathomable that I can be done with active treatment. In some ways it went really fast and others very slow. Radiation was so much easier than chemo for which I am grateful. I am going to enjoy my free time now that my daily 80 mile trips are done. Slowly getting back my stamina and strength. Everyday is better.

    0 Comments
  14. 14
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    over 6 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    1st Rechecks with Oncology

    Milestones

    Glad to report that my rechecks with radiation and medical oncology were good. I would love a magic test that would tell me that every single cancer cell is gone but I think I can handle the uncertainty. Getting ready to start Tamoxifen and hoping for minimal side effects.

    2 Comments
  15. 15
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    about 6 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    Anniversary

    Celebration

    February 5, 2015 was the day we knew there may be a problem. Had my 1 year recheck after a year of surgeries, chemo, radiation and worry. Everything looks good so far. Had my 2nd post-chemo haircut this week too.

    5 Comments
  16. 16
    • triciab
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    almost 6 years ago
    triciab's Avatar

    New doctor - new recommendations

    Decision Point

    We were so happy with our oncology team - then the medical oncologist left (because he was awesome). The replacement doctor seems to be very aggressive about testing, even though it's more than protocol. We were comfortable with the choices we made and nothing has changed medically for me. New doctor is recommending BRCA testing (former med onc and surgeon really felt I did not meet criteria for this) and bone scan (although I think I will feel better after this test). What it really did was make me doubt everything we had done so far. And then he talks about having a double mastectomy and hysterectomy after I'm done having children (chemo took care of that option for me anyway-not that I would even consider having a baby at 48). WHAT?? Probably going to ask to see a different medical oncologist within the same practice but the damage is already done. I was feeling good about how treatment went and now I'm in a panick-y state.

    0 Comments