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

Patient: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Newly diagnosed (has not begun treatment), Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Female, Age: 55, Stage III, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Don't Know, PR Positive: Don't Know

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

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I discovered my lump doing a self exam. Honestly, I thought it was nothing, but decided maybe I should have it checked just in case. The diagnosis was surprising/shocking but not devastating. My first thought was, "well, it is what it is.". I can't change it, but I can do every thing possible to get rid of it/fight it. And that is what I am doing. My first chemo is this coming Tuesday. I am a bit nervous but anxious to get this process started. The sooner I start, the sooner I will be done!

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  2. 2
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I had my first chemo cycle today. So far, not to bad. However I think I will reserve the right to change my mind if need be. But as it stands, I have not felt ill, and all seems good. I may feel differently in the morning. I go back in the AM for a shot. I do have a bit of a tummy ache, but that could just be nerves. Anyway, will post more tomorrow when I see how I feel

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  3. 3
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    about 5 years ago
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    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    Well, so far I feel I have been blessed... Feeling fatigued, but not much else. Might have had a little nausea, but even that was minor. I was able to finish my week at work, and that was pretty good. I do have to keep in mind that this was only my first one... They might not all go like this, but I will stay positive and pray for the best!

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  4. 4
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    about 5 years ago
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    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    My hair is now beginning to fall out...not quite sure how I feel about that! To talk about it was one thing...and honestly I thought I was okay with it...but now that it is actually happening...I just don't know...

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  5. 5
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    This cycle was not as bad! Had chemo on the 7th and shot on the 8th. It took a little less time, which was nice. For me, it sure seems to help to drink lots of water before and after.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  6. 6
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    about 5 years ago
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    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    So the Sunday after my chemo, the fatigue hit like a rock. I was done. Head pounded, nauseated a little and just plain feeling like poop. Slept for the most part, all day. Didn't think I would survive! But, when Monday rolled around, I was back to me, not sure what happened there! Since then, I've been feeling good

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  7. 7
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    about 5 years ago
    KathyW's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    My hair is gone now, with the exception of my eyebrows and lashes... Still have those. It was a little hard, emotionally to deal with. I was surprised at mysel, honestly. I didn't think it would bother me, and it did a bit. But, I just took it a day at a time, and with the help of my faith, my friends , and wonderful family...being bald is not so bad! Learning how to tie scarves, wear hats, etc. Only wish I didn't have such a Charlie Brown head...ha ha ha!

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  8. 8
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    So on Aug 28i had my third round of chemo. It's getting routine I guess now... I know what to expect for the chemo itself. The. Side effects are something else. I can expect, now, that for the next week or so after my treatment, I will have absolutely no taste whatsoever. After the last one, my granddaughters brought me some cotton candy because Gram loves cotton candy...and it was like so much nothing disolving in my mouth. Sad. Thank heavens it only lasts, at the most, 10 days. So during those 10 days I eat everything I don't like...cuz I can't taste it anyway... Brussels Sprouts, spinach, sour XXX, etc... Just kidding. But I honestly could.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  9. 9
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    about 5 years ago
    KathyW's Avatar

    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    Well, I wasn't as lucky this time...last time I had 1 day where I didn't feel good and that was it. This time it was about 7. I did manage to work during this time, but I sometimes wonder how.

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  10. 10
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    about 5 years ago
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    Cancer is shrinking

    Celebration

    Just before my third cycle, my Dr had me go in for a scan...and the news was good! They couldn't even find the lymph node and the tumor was definitely shrinking...I was responding better than anyone had anticipated. YAY! Looks like I will only need 4 treatments instead of 6. I'm in the home stretch..woo hoo!

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  11. 11
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    about 5 years ago
    KathyW's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    So I am about to have my final round of chemo...Tuesday the 18th should be it! I am really looking forward to having this be done and being able to move on to the surgery. I have done my best to remain positive through this whole thing so far... And I know that if it weren't for my faith in God and the huge support team I have here, I would not be where I am today!

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  12. 12
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Okay, so I've finished my chemo for now, and am scheduled for surgery on the 15th. I'm a little nervous... Not about the procedure itself, but about how I'm going to feel losing my breasts. I'm having reconstruction done the same time that they are doing the mastectomy... But I just don't know how I am going to feel. Up to now, I guess I haven't really thought about it... But I only have a week to go before surgery and I am now starting to think about all of this. Will I feel like less of a woman? Will my husband be repulsed by the sight of me? What is going to happen to me. All these things are running through my mind... I guess maybe I need to ponder this for a bit.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  13. 13
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgery went good, although I am in a little more pain than I had hoped for. But it's done. And Donald says my incisions look excellent.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  14. 14
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    So I need to catch up here.. I had my surgery on Oct 15. It was okay. I did take pain meds for a few days afterwards, but decided I didn't need them and stopped. Could not sleep in my bed... Was really uncomfortable so I slept in my recliner for several weeks. That was okay. Had a little inflammation on my left side which held up the expansion process. On Dec 3rd I returned to work full time. Had my final chemo treatment on Dec 18th. Now, I am working on completing the expansion process so that I can start radiation.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  15. 15
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    KathyW's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    Started my Radiation therapy yesterday. While I am sure that normally it would be painless, because of my RA, my hands and arms hurt so bad I thought I would cry...however yesterday was the longest, and all the rest will only be 15 - 20 minutes tops. The worst part honestly... Having to drive an hr and a half for a 15 minute appt and then back to go to work! Oh well, I praise God I have a job and good insurance

    Painless Experience: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  16. 16
    • KathyW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    about 4 years ago
    KathyW's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    I finished my radiation on March 25th. It's been awhile since I've been on, but all is going well - feeling great! Had to put my reconstruction on hold while having radiation, and now it's going to take a little longer to get that completed.

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