Lmorales' Journey with Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcin...

Survivor: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 1 year ago, Female, Age: 61, Stage IIB, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    • Lmorales
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    5 months ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  2. 2
    • Lmorales
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    5 months ago
    Lmorales' Avatar

    Just Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Diagnosed at my annual mammogram. No family history. Was shocked. Initial diagnosis was Stage 1 at about 1 cm. My surgeon told me after my lumpectomy I would not need chemo, just radiation. After surgery, it was changed to Stage 2 because the tumor was larger (it was 2.5 cm) and they found 2/7 lymph nodes were positive for cancer. Because I had lymph node involvement I needed chemo. Also, had oncogene typing and it came back at 19. That’s on a scale of 1-100. 1-17 means your cancer is slow growing. 18 - 30 (can’t remember the exact #), the cancer is intermediate grade and above that, your cancer is more aggressive. A new study came out in June 2018 which showed if you were in the 1-17 oncotype group there was no difference in survival if you had chemo or not. So essentially, you may not have to have chemo if you are in that group. Above that - in the intermediate group - it’s a gray area. In the faster growing, aggressive group, definite chemo. Mine was in the lower range of intermediate at 19. My oncologist felt I could skip the chemo - or rather I could go either way - he was okay with either chemo or no chemo. However, I had lymph node involvement which were not the patient’s in the study (they did not have lymph node involvement). Standard of care for my Stage 2 breast cancer with lymph node involvement is surgery, chemo, radiation. I lost faith in my oncologist and found another one. She absolutely said I should have chemo (and my breast surgeon agreed). So I did. So my advice, is to be your own advocate. Know what the standard of care is - check out the (NCCN) national comprehensive cancer network guidelines and read the patient’s version for your cancer. These are the guidelines physicians use to determine what treatment a patient should have. For invasive BC here is the link: https://www.nccn.org/patients/guidelines/breast-invasive/index.html. Be knowledgeable and your own advocate. If you aren’t comfortable with your physician, change to a new one or get a second opinion. You are the consumer. I realized after going through this that cancer is big business and you can demand the best care. Be blessed!!

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  3. 3
    • Lmorales
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    5 months ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Lmorales
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    5 months ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  5. 5
    • Lmorales
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    about 1 month ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    It’s surreal when you finish active treatment. I had to reframe my perspective that I was no longer a patient and I have permission to begin thinking about myself as a wife, mother, grandma, entrepreneur and business owner. It took me awhile. I began therapy after I stopped treatment to help process not only my BC journey, but also the recent loss of both my parents in the last 3-years. My therapist is a breast cancer survivor and she was key. I was exhausted from work and BC treatment. She reminded me that I had just been through a great battle and I needed to take care of myself. I finally listened and took some time off to just recharge and relax a bit. She was right. Once I gave myself the permission it became much easier to relax and not stress about what I should be doing. I am now 4-months out from my last radiation treatment and I have to say, my energy has returned and I don’t think of myself as a “patient” anymore. I am a survivor. I don’t even define myself as a “survivor” really. Many people embrace that term. And I will eventually I guess. More than anything - I am ME again. I don’t need special treatment, my husband to “fawn” all over me and do everything, my sister to come visit for treatments or my kids to call everyday to check on me. I am Linda - wife, mother, grandma, entrepreneur and business owner and I am finally BACK. What a journey. It was a battle and very challenging. But I am fortunate that I am a woman of faith and it wasn’t my battle to fight. I was never alone as Jesus walked beside me and more than anything, throughout this journey He provided me the peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:5-6). I am blessed and loved and I am ME again!!

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  6. 6
    • Lmorales
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltratin...
    about 1 month ago
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    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I am on anastrozole for estrogen + BC. I anticipate I will be on this for 5 - 10 years. Since estrogen fuels my cancer type (kind of like putting the foot on the accelerator of a car), hormone therapy blocks estrogen and helps take the foot off the gas and minimizes the chances that if any cancer is left it will start growing again. Nothing is 100%, but hormone therapy has shown how effective it is and saves lives. Initially I think I had more aches and pains in my joints with hormone therapy, but I have been taking it for 4-months now and overall don’t feel allot of adverse events. I must say, I am back to walking and working out and I think getting up and out and active makes a big difference on my aches and pains. When you sit around you get stiff. If you can get up and moving at any time during your treatment or after you will be better off!! Even if it’s to get your own glass of water from the kitchen, DO IT!!

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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