Connie312's Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 7 years ago, Female, Age: 57, Stage II, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Don't Know, PR Positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    about 5 years ago
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    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    My first mastectomy was followed by a Tram Flap reconstruction, which did not go well, so my perspective on the surgery is a little hard to determine. Had it just been the mastectomy, probably would have gone fine.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  2. 2
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    My first experience with Chemotherapy was a nightmare!!! It was in 1997 and things have changed very much since then. I had every side effect you can imagine, to the most severe degree. But I did survive it.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  3. 3
    about 5 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    I celebrated being done with treatment, my hair grew back, and I finally began to feel better after many many months of recovery from the mastectomy, and two reconstructive surgeries. I would be cancer free for 13 years...

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  4. 4
    about 5 years ago
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    New Occurance, in other breast

    Oh No

    After 13 years of being cancer free, I heard those dreaded words, you have cancer, again!!

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  5. 5
    about 5 years ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had a lumpectomy this time, thought that was all it would take.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  6. 6
    about 5 years ago
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    Baloon Radiation

    Radiation

    Unfortunately I got a very severe infection in my breast where they inserted the baloon to do radiation. I ended up having to see a Infectious Disease doctor, and it took 3 months to finally get rid of the infection.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  7. 7
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Not as hard as the first time, so seemed easier. I ended up having to start and stop chemo because of the infection I had gotten after the Radiation baloon has been placed. The infection seemed to have gone away, but as soon as I began chemo it came back even worse. So after 3 months, we finall got rid of the infection and I had to start chemo again. It went surprisingly well, compared to the first time.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  8. 8
    about 5 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    Finished my second go around with chemo. My hair grew back, a second time and I felt that I was home free...

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  9. 9
    about 5 years ago
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    New Cancer Occurrance

    Oh No

    In less than one year after the lumpectomy, I felt a lump in the same place the other lump had been removed. Because of the infection I had had, the radiation, and so forth, they thought at first it was just scar tissue, but I knew it was not, because it was growing. When the finally did a Sonogram, they decided they needed to do my 3rd core biopsy and found it was cancer again. Because I had a new occurrance so quickly, and no history on my Mother's side of the family, my Oncologist decided to have me do Genetics testing, where I found that carry the BRACAII gene. This gene makes you prone to Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer. At least now I understood why I had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer 3 times.

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  10. 10
    about 5 years ago
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    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had the second mastectomy, the procedure went well.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  11. 11
    about 5 years ago
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    Breast Reconstruction (Implant)

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had reconstructive surgery, everything went well, no problems with this one.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  12. 12
    about 5 years ago
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    Ovarian Cancer was found - by accident

    Oh No

    My Oncologist was concerned about my tumor marker numbers, and how quickly the cancer had occurred after the 2nd time, so she decided to do a CATScan and during that process, found that I had a 15 cm tumor on my Ovary. You can only imagine how I took that news. I was devastated. But as I had learned to do, I took it one day at a time, one step at a time.

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  13. 13
    about 5 years ago
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    Misdiagnosed

    Oh No

    When I went through genetics testing and found out that I carry the BRACAII gene, I went to see a Gynological Oncologist to discuss going ahead and having my ovaries removed, for precautionary reasons. They did a CATScan, and wanted to schedule surgery to remove my ovaries, without sharing the results of the CATScan. Because it was only precautionary, I decided to put it off for a few months because we could not get it in for that year's insurance anyway, and because when I asked them if there was any reason I needed to go ahead, they told me there was no hurry to do it. So we didn't do it. After the 3rd breast cancer, I found out quite by accident that I had a 12 cm tumor when they did the CATScan originally and they did not tell me. My reconstruction doctor asked me why I decided not to have the tumor removed, and I thought he was mistaken, but he got the new CATScan results and saw that the tumor had grown from 12 cm to 15 cm and had begun to spread. You can imagine my shock!! All I ever got from the Doctor about it was a message on my voice mail saying he was sorry. So obviously I went to a different doctor, who turned out to be a miricle worker.

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  14. 14
    about 5 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had to see a Gynocoligy Oncologist for this one. I was very concerned that they would not be able to remove this one with surgery, even so, I still tried to be positive. I was very blessed to hear that my doctor felt that he would be able to take care of this with surgery. So within a week I was in the hospital having a fill historectomy, appendectomy, and some other spots removed where they felt there might be cancer. All went well, they got it all!!

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  15. 15
    about 5 years ago
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    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had the 2nd of 2 chest ports placed. My original port, from the 2nd breast cancer occurrance, was removed, because we thought we were done. But unfortunately we were not, so had the chest port placed and during the Ovarian Cancer surgery, they placed a port in my abdomin to do chemo there too.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  16. 16
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Ok, so now time for round three of chemo!!! I really didn't know what to expect. Because they were treating both Ovarian and Breast cancer together, it was different than I expected. I basically had to have 3 treatments in one week, every month for 6 months, 18 treatments in all. Keep in mind that I had just completed chemo about 1 1/2 years ago, so my mind, body and sole were not ready for this again. I had lots of issues during these treatments, but I did finally get through it, after 7 months.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  17. 17
    about 5 years ago
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    Anemia, chemo brain, miner depression/ansiety, fatigue, hot flashes, flue like symptoms, low blood cell counts, nausea

    Side Effects

    I had many side effects from the last chemo. I am still battling anemia, hoping it is possible to correct it with B-12 or iron, but there is a possibility that they may want to do a bone marrow biopsy to see if the 3 chemo procedures I have gone through has destroyed my bone marrow's ability to regenerate blood cells. Hoping for the best on this one.

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  18. 18
    about 5 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    I celebrate every day that I am alive. I finished the horrible chemo, I came really close to quiting half way through, I really didn't think I could take any more. I had just finished chemo a year and a half ago, and it was rough. But again I made it through it and I am doing very well now, just battling the anemia, but no cancer so far, it has been a year since the last breast cancer was removed and 8 months since the ovarian cancer was removed. My CATScans are stable, with no changes, so I Celebrate every day to be alive!!

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