ToriC's Journey with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, Ductal

Survivor: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma > Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 8 years ago, Female, Age: 58, Stage IV, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Don't Know, PR Positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    • ToriC
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    This could not be happening to me, I was dealing with helping my sister get through breast cancer and my mom died only 4 months earlier from cancer.

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  2. 2
    • ToriC
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast C...
    over 4 years ago
    ToriC's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    The doctors started me on chemo first because of the type of cancer I had, they wanted to try and shrink the 2 tumors because they were growing at a rapid rate. I was given a cocktail that really beat me up and the first treatment put me in the hospital for 6 days with high fevers and no white blood cells (my immune system was gone) and I was in a lot of pain. I made it through and the doctors found a shot that I could take to help boost my white blood cells and that helped me throught the rest of the treatments.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    • ToriC
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    Chemo takes a lot out of you in terms of energy. I was tired and doing simple things, like laundry, would drain me quickly and I would have to stop and rest about every 30 minutes. Dehydration was a constant fear so Gatorade became my friend.

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  4. 4
    • ToriC
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Surgery or No Surgery

    Decision Point

    Chemo finally ended and now the big decision came as to whether or not to have a mastectomy. If I didn't, I had about a 45% chance of the cancer returning. If I choose to remove the infected breast my percentage went down to about 15 and if I opted to remove both, my percentage would drop to about 1%. It seems that that decision would be a no brainer but it was hard to imagine myself being flat for the rest of my life. I opted to the double mastectomy and have not regretted it for a moment. It did take me time to get used to it and to look at myself, but now it seems very normal to me. I could have had reconstruction but I didn't want to go through another surgery.

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  5. 5
    • ToriC
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast C...
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    The doctors and I decided that I would do radiation after I recovered from my surgery to make sure that this rare cancer was gone. Doing the actual procedure was very easy, I just laid on the table for 10 minutes and listened to the machine go click click click. I didn't feel a thing. The radiation made me more tired everyday and I have a permanent square tan in the area where the tumors were. But after 36 treatments I was finally finished with all this.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  6. 6
    • ToriC
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast C...
    over 4 years ago
    ToriC's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgery day came and I was scared to death but I just kept reminding myself that in the end my chances of going through this nightmare were minimal. Surgery went real well and my recovery was much quicker than they expected. I am a bit hard headed and I was not going to let this put me down. I am standing tall today with no breasts (you can't count the fake ones I wear in public) and it is just a normal part of me.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  7. 7
    • ToriC
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast C...
    over 4 years ago
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    Remission

    Celebration

    I am 2 years in remission now and life couldn't be any better. I had heard stories from many people in my life and many I met along this journey that said that their lives were changed and I didn't understand what that meant. But this entire experience really did change me. I view things in a different way now and realize that anything could happen. I also found that I am a very strong person and that any negative challange can be overcome and positive things come to you.

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