copland16's Journey with Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

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

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 7 years ago, Female, Age: 45, Stage II, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    I found a lump

    Oh No

    I found a lump on October 5, 2010. I was in bed and was cold. I felt a lump on my right breast there was no way it had been there before. It was fairly hard and close enough to the surface that I would have noticed it in the shower! I called my primary at 8am in the morning, they had just opened. I got an appointment that afternoon.

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  2. 2
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Mammogram scheduled.

    Oh No

    So in order to do a mammogram you shouldn't be pregnant. Doctor says could you be pregnant? I reply I'm due in a couple of days. I pee into a cup, they ask if I want to wait for results, I reply no.

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  3. 3
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    I am pregnant!!!

    Celebration

    This was my first pregnancy. I am delighted 1. because I am pregnant and 2. because I am praying that this lump is a blocked milk duct. This is fairly common at least that's what I had heard.

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  4. 4
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Ultrasound

    Procedure or Surgery

    The technician who is doing my ultrasound doesn't say much. She finishes the imaging and that gets he doctor to check the results. Everything seems like it's going according to plan. My husband, Jim, waits in the waiting room. It is October 19, our 8th wedding anniversary, we are on a staycation because we don't want to go away; our lives are in limbo right now. The doctor comes in, reads the images, and says "I'm not convinced it's (a fancy name for) blocked milk duct. I would like to have a biopsy taken." I cry. They offer to get Jim, who is petrified of needles, I say no, then reconsider. He comes in, we talk, it's serious now, up till now I was only a little nervous, now I'm not sure what to expect.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  5. 5
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I recieve a phone call from my primary on October 20th. You have cancer cells in your breast can you come in and see me tomorrow. Sure. I get the time. I sit on the sofa during the phone call, with tears running down my face, sounding calm, Jim beside me but I won't look at him. He keeps saying I'm here, I'm right here. I know he is but I can't look at him I'm afraid I'll start crying and I won't stop. We hold hands, still not looking, I tell him what's next.

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  6. 6
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Decision Point

    Finding the Right Medical Team So now I'm 8 weeks pregnant and Jim and I begin our rounds of doctors appointments. My primary gives me the name of 2 breast surgeons, I review them both online, they seem competent. I decide to meet with Kathy Calvillo, she is the assistant director of South Shore Hospital's Cancer Care Center. I am thinking the assistant director will have more time than the director. I love her! Kathy explains everything to us, gives us a folder, photocopied information on breast cancer and tells me I need a mastectomy. Jim and I look at each other...what? She says she needs to schedule an ultrasound and she will be right back. She orders an ultrasound of my lymph nodes and then returns. She realized that no one had told us that I would need a mastectomy. Basically, if I wasn't pregnant I would need a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation but it's so early in my pregnancy that we can't do that. Chemotherapy and radiation need to come one after the other to be most effective and it's too early in my pregnancy (you cannot have radiation when you are pregnant). She refers me to a plastic surgeon she works with at Brigham and Women's Hospital and we schedule a follow up appointment.

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  7. 7
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    November 16th

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  8. 8
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Procedure or Surgery

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

    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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  9. 9
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Adriomycin and Cytoxin

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  10. 10
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Oh No

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

    0 Comments
  11. 11
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

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

    0 Comments
  12. 12
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

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

    0 Comments
  13. 13
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

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

    0 Comments
  14. 14
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Decision Point

    Taxol or no taxol.

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  15. 15
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Hair is back

    Celebration

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

    0 Comments
  16. 16
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Baby Shower

    Celebration

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

    0 Comments
  17. 17
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Matthew born May 26th

    Celebration

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

    0 Comments
  18. 18
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Starting chemotherapy again

    Oh No

    May 27th my medical oncologist visits me at the hospital to tell me that chemotherapy for taxol will start in 2 weeks. Really, I just had an emergency c-section? Here we go again! Only 4 treatments over 8 weeks...I know I can do it!

    1 Comment
  19. 19
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Side Effects

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

    0 Comments
  20. 20
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    So I started taxol on June 8th - Matthew was just 2 weeks old. I only had 4 treatments, once every 2 weeks over the course of 8 weeks. 24 hours after treatment I had to give myself a Neulasta shot. I was given oxycodone to take for the pain. Basically your body aches in places you didn't know you could ache (the tops of your feet). My mother in law had taken taxol and this shot a few months before as part of her treatment for lung cancer. I knew if she could do so could I! It wasn't easy but I managed through it. I sent email out to friends and family who kept asking what they could do to help. I received so many responses! I asked for someone to watch Matthew each Wednesday of treatment while I was at Dana Farber, I asked for someone to watch him on Fridays (my peak pain day requiring the most oxycodone) and someone to cook food so I didn't have to worry about it. I had multiple people step up, family and friends, we never wanted for food and Matthew enjoyed his aunt's and uncle's company!!! I was able to take my meds and sleep off the pain.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  21. 21
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    When the tingling started I was nervous. I had a 2 week old son to care for and I was so afraid I wouldn't be able to care for him. The tingling lasted several days. I still had a little numbness on a couple of fingers at my next treatment (2 weeks later). We proceeded as normal but the doctor told me if after this treatment if the neruropathy was the same she would lower my taxol dosage of chemotherapy. Same issue persisted so she lowered my taxol dosage which seemed to help quite a bit both with the neuropathy and with the pain I had experienced after each treatment. It was funny because I thought it was the shot that was causing the pain but it was really the chemotherapy.

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  22. 22
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 6 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    Yeah! July 20th I finished treatment and Matthew is 8 weeks old. We went to his 2 month appointment and he is 12 lbs. 7 oz. This is wonderful he was only 6 lbs 6 oz when he was born. We are both healthy!!!

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  23. 23
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Decision Point

    Radiation or not? I met with the radiation oncologist and she said it really was up to me. Basically, with a mastectomy radiation is not necessary; however, new research shows that it can be effective in reducing the recurrence of breast cancer. Choosing radiation reduces my recurrence to 5-7%. Not really a choice for me I have an infant son and I am only 40 years old.

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  24. 24
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    August 23rd I started radiation - 28 sessions. I also just started back to work full time as my maternity leave has ended. Matthew is 3 months old. My mother in law has hospice and is dying of lung cancer. She probably won't make it through the week.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  25. 25
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Lost loved one

    Loss

    My mother in law died after my first week of radiation. I think of her every day. She had radiation to her brain but it was not successful (her tumor in her lung that had shrunk 48% during chemotherapy grew back). She was home with hospice and died as peacefully as one can in these situations. I stay focused on Matthew, work and radiation Monday-Friday.

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  26. 26
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    October 3rd was my last radiation treatment. My husband, Jim and Matthew come to celebrate with me. The radation technicians and recpetionists throw confetti, cheer and present me with a certificate of completion. How cool is that? I've spent 28 days with these women and I will miss them. It's so strange what will I do everyday at 3:30pm???

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  27. 27
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Financial Issues Resolved

    Celebration

    October 5th our bankruptcy is final. Thank God! It took some time for us decide to do this but my income was crucial for us to pay our bills. I was out of work for 2 months unpaid and then returned to work part time (an average of 15 hours per week) and that did not pay our bills. The upside is this: We have a new budget and no credit cards. We have to talk to each other to resolve any unexpected expenses. It is making us better communicators and strengthening our relationship. We are in this together!!!

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  28. 28
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Mammogram

    Other Care

    October 26 have my first mammogram since my unilateral mastectomy. Happy to say that everything went well. Thank goodness. My medical oncologist is going to submit my name to Dana-Farber media department. I told her anything we can do to pay it forward and encourage others, sign me up for!!!

    0 Comments
  29. 29
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Radiation follow up

    Other Care

    Another appointment checks out as I approach my anniversary of my mastectomy. The doctor asked me two funny questions. "you look good but do you feel as good as you look?" to which i answered yes AND it looks like you never had radiation your skin looks great, what did you do? i used the lotion you gave me and she said and? And nothing! That's it. She's shocked because I am so pale. But even when it got dry or itchy I never scratched it. Maybe that helped??

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  30. 30
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    over 5 years ago
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    Other

    Oh No

    So Monday I feel slightly off. I'm a little cranky, then I realize I also have cramps. I haven't had my period since August 2010, when I found out I was pregnant then was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had hoped I was in menopause so I haven't thought about it at all. Guess not! On Tuesday my period began and imagine how intense it was after all those months! I actually have been whining about it. I guess that's as normal as it gets...whining over a period when it's not really a big deal and I don't feel that bad. I never whined during chemo or radiation but this period thing sends me right back to pre-cancer me. Makes me smile to think that even though I have evolved and don't get upset about the small stuff, THIS can get me going :)))

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  31. 31
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Breast Reconstruction (Implant)

    Procedure or Surgery

    I have waited a long time for this reconstruction. I had it scheduled and June and there were complications prior to surgery so we didn't start it. It's been almost 3 years since my mastectomy. I had an implant replace the tissue expander and a lift and reduction in my other breast. The soreness is tolerable. I miss picking up my 2 year old and hugging him (he's not gentle so no chance of that happening soon). My follow up appointment found an infection on my implant side so plastic surgeon had to cut and resuture while I was in his office. This was done under Novicane. I then had a blister on the underside of my other breast. I am still on antibiotics and use Bacitracin and switch out dressing twice a day. Tolerable surgery. I return to work next week. Excited that the process is almost complete! Nipple reconstruction would be the next step, but I'm going to wait and see how I heal first.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  32. 32
    • copland16
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in ...
    about 4 years ago
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    Birthday

    Celebration

    Today is my 42nd birthday. I'm excited to be celebrating another one! My cancer was only stage 2 but I am still grateful for every day that I am here with my family!!!

    3 Comments