hharter63's Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 7 years ago, Female, Age: 54, Stage 0, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Instead of doing my annual mammagram my doctor wrote me a script for a breast MRI instead because of my family history of breast cancer. Two of my three sisters had recently been diagnosed, one older, one younger, along with a family history of breast cancer on my dad's side of the family. My diagnosis was a pretty big shock.

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  2. 2
    over 4 years ago
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    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    My tumor was 1mm (approximately half the size of a piece of rice) when found on the breast MRI, and 6 weeks later at surgery it had grown to 8mm. I had reconstruction with expanders placed, along with drain tubes. One of the drain tubes on my left side had a "hot spot" on my skin, weeks after my drain tubes were removed I found out this had been a staph infection. The infection took 6 months of two different antibiotics and I eventually had to have my left expander removed, and the surgeon cleaned up the infection. I had reconstruction 3 months later again on the left side. Now two years later I am really happy with the results!

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

    Side Effects

    I had 14 lymph nodes removed because I had a very active lymph system prior to surgery. One of my sisters was going through treatment prior to my surgery so I joined her at a lymphatic therapist. Because of my active lymph nodes, the blue dye that they inject into your lymph nodes just prior to surgery spread and even though they didn't find any cancer in the lymph nodes it was hospital policy to remove them. My right arm, my armpit, and down my side to my bra is very prone to swelling due to this. I now do frequent body brushing to encourage the lymph system not to pool in those areas.

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  4. 4
    over 4 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    The best part of reconstruction was getting my nipples tattooed in Dec 2011. I almost went through nipple reconstruction surgery but my plastic surgeon's nurse pulled me aside and warned me not to do this because of the increased chance of going through infection again. I am so glad she told me this and recommended the tattoos instead. After surgery and during reconstruction I always saw myself as a blank slate in the mirror because of the missing nipples. See all the amazing work done on Rachelle Hall's website: www.breasthetics.com

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