Angie2005's Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 12 years ago, Female, Age: 45, Stage I, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    4 days after my 33rd birthday I went in for a routine mammogram and was told they found something...it was invasive cancer. No lump...calcifications...I was in shock. I had just lost my mom 15 months before that to a breast cancer recurrence and now my doctor was telling me that I had breast cancer. I had been having mammograms since age 29 because of my family history. Thank God for that because my cancer was found VERY early...but I was still devastated and scared!

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  2. 2
    over 4 years ago
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    Axillary Lymph Node Dissection

    Procedure or Surgery

    The only real impact I have from this day-to-day is the fear of lymphedema developing and the restrictions on needle sticks and blood pressure being taken on my right arm. I thankfully don't have lymphedema and have good range of motion and full use of my arm.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    over 4 years ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    My surgeon was so amazing that I can barely even see the scar!! I am so thankful for that.

    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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  4. 4
    over 4 years ago
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    Genetic Testing

    Decision Point

    I was considering genetic testing before my diagnosis due to family history, however, I opted against it because I felt like if I had a gene mutation of BRCA 1 or BRCA 2, I would always be waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak...well, when I was diagnosed, the other shoe dropped, so I had to decide about the genetic tests. I chose to do them and was negative for both, thankfully.

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  5. 5
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    The biggest impact to daily life was the extreme fatigue. There were days when I was so fatigued that it was hard to get out of bed and get going, but I always did. I worked through my entire radiation treatment regime...and was so thankful that I did. It gave me a purpose, a distraction. It took about 6 months after radiation was complete to feel completely back to normal...but I got there!

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  6. 6
    over 4 years ago
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    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I took Tamoxifen for 5 years after I finished my radiation. Since my cancer was ER+, my oncologist and I decided it would benefit me. Due to my premenopausal state, Tamoxifen was my only option. I really weighed the decision to do this though due to the potential side effects. I experienced some, but none too terrible. I experienced nausea, fatigue and abnormal menstral cycles in the first few months while adjusting to the medication. The abnormal menstral cycles were a normal situation throughout the 5 years for me, but other than that, nothing too terrible.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  7. 7
    over 4 years ago
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    Other

    Side Effects

    Multiple side effects from Tamoxifen, but none that were too terribly difficult to endure.

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  8. 8
    over 4 years ago
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    Monitoring for Ovarian Cancer

    Other Care

    Due to my diagnosis, age, family history and other factors, my doctors decided to monitor me very closely for ovarian cancer. I had a transvaginal ultrasound and CA-125 blood test annually.

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  9. 9
    over 4 years ago
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    Remission

    Celebration

    When I had my 1st mammogram after treatment concluded and there were no signs of any cancer or issues, I CELEBRATED!!

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  10. 10
    over 4 years ago
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    Anniversary

    Celebration

    On my 5 year survivor anniversary, I threw myself a HUGE party! I invited all of my family and very close friends who were a support and help to me the past 5 years...that was May 2010. I am planning my 10 year survivor party now...it will be May 2015!!!! I have been a survivor for 7 years now. That is hugely important to me. These are milestones worth celebrating!

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