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

Survivor: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 7 years ago, Female, Age: 56, Stage II, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    • Sabine
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    When I was diagnosed, I really thought initially it was caught really early, and it was, just not as early as I would have liked. Initially my tumor was 1.5cm, however, I did not clear my margins, which put me into 2.1cm, or stage 2. Then they took out 5 nodes, the sentinal had 1.1mm of micromets. This clearly pushed me into stage 2 and without a doubt would mean chemo. I have never been so scared in my life. My sister was getting married that same weekend, so I could not tell anyone in my family about the dx until two weeks later, just before my surgery. Telling my family was the hardest thing ever!

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  2. 2
    • Sabine
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgery, really was a breeze. Had my lumpectomy on Friday, returned to work on Monday. My surgeon, Dr. Bongers at Beaumont in Royal Oak Michigan, does only breasts, she was so wonderful, informative and thorough. She took my husband and I through the entire process and actually made it a little less scary. Initially we thought it was stage one, but after going in, it was just 0.1mm into stage 2. She recommended chemo and radiation. I trusted her, so I really know whatever she suggested I would do. I did not need a second opinion, I knew what had to be done. My initial surgery was followed @ 3 weeks later with another procedure to clear my margins. She had already told me the cancer was very slow moving, so she felt confident in waiting for my initial swelling to go down. the second procedure was done in 5 minutes and the margins were cleared.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  3. 3
    • Sabine
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I had six rounds of chemo, Taxol and Cyclosporine (sp?) The first treatment was the worst. It was the buildup, thinking about, planning for everything that might go wrong. I did my treatments on Fridays, and returned to work after my Nulesta shot on Mondays. My husband works out of the house and I took one Monday off, that was enough for me!! Off to work I went. I was usually tired on Mon, Tues and Wed after the treatment, but by Thursday I was feeling myself again.I just went to bed early on those days. I experienced no other side effects. Without a doubt the worst part of chemo was the psychological issue of hair loss. It was devastating when it happened. But I was determined not to let this get the better of me. I got a great wig, shared my information only with my friends and just plowed through what needed to be done.I bought myself a bright pink lipstick, which I wore everyday, and on went my wig ( it was really lovely) during that time I had one shining bright day, I was at the pharmacy to get my meds for chemo, when a woman came up to me and told me that I looked like a movie star, she loved my lipstick and said she really never does this, but felt she needed to tell me how beautiful I looked. I will never forget that moment. I just also wanted to mention my Oncologist, Dr. Zakalik. I chose her because she is also a survivor and I had heard a lot of good things about her. She was just THE perfect Dr. for me. As soon as I met her, I knew she was the right Dr. for me. I am so grateful God put her in my path.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  4. 4
    • Sabine
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    Besides the fact that you had to be at the hospital every day for 6 weeks, This was really the easiest part of the treatment. For some reason, I was most apprehensive about the radiation, so I went to see a therapist at the integrative medicine department at Beaumont and she made me a CD to listen to prior to my radiation treatments. I was just wonderful, just the best thing I could have done. It helped me stop my anxiety and just get through the treatment. Again I experienced very little in side effects, I started to get red the last week of my treatments and they gave me healing cream to deal with that. One month later, there was no evidence of any radiation.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  5. 5
    • Sabine
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    I have had a celebration for finishing treatment, for my hair growing back, and the anniversary of my surgery. After I finished treatment, I bought concert tickets for me and my best friend and we celebrated!! Since then I like to remember why I need to be grateful everyday. I have not let my cancer get the better of me. I volunteer for The Pink Fund, we provide financial help for women in treatment for Breast Cancer who have lost their stream of income because of treatment. I thank God everyday, because I know how lucky I am. Do not let breast cancer defeat you, let it define the rest of your life by living harder, loving more and helping others.

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