LMcConnell's Journey with Breast Cancer

Patient: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: almost 5 years ago, Female, Age: 52, Stage I, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    over 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I sensed that I may have breast cancer before I actually received the phone call that confirmed my own suspicions. After receiving an initial mammogram report that there was something "highly suspicious" found, I began to prepare myself for the actual diagnosis.The following mammogram and ultrasound biopsy confirmed that I had breast cancer. The biopsy was not pleasant for me because I have a thing about needles and the fear of the unknown.

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  2. 2
    over 4 years ago
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    Breakthrough

    Celebration

    Primary doctor refferred me to Breastlink where a team of surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists and nurses discuss patient's best interest and prescribe best treatment. April 8, 2012 My Wedding anniversary to the most compassionate and loving husband.

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  3. 3
    over 4 years ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a lumpectomy of left breast with a reduction in the right breast. Both General surgeon and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon worked as a team on oncoplasty techniques. I had lymphnode dissection and removal with 0 nodes of 3. All margins clear:) IDC with high grade of tumor 3 and family history recommends chemo, radiation and hormonal therapy.

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

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Chemo was not easy; yet not nearly as bad as I had thought it could be. I had Cytoxan and Taxotere for first round but after a major skin rash I was switched to Abraxane for following rounds which is less harsh on bone marrow. Third round was really tough because I had the flu and fever. I never threw up and did not need to take naseau or pain meds. By third round my periods stopped although my blood work showed that I was not in menopause yet. Hot flashes are a new experience and I keep a cool cloth and water by my bedside. I also turn on the ceiling fan since I seem to have those hot flashes at night. I was prescribed antideprresants to help with hot flashes because I am ER/PR + but I chose not to take those after research I did myself. In between each round, my husband would take me on a short trip somewhere. The first week after each round I took it easy and rested and then went back to life weeks two and three before next round. I loved Juice it UP or Jamba Juice smoothies. My mom even made me smoothies at home. I used plastic utensils due to metallic taste and I simply listened to my body when it wanted to rest. I did make it a point to get up and walk around daily.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  5. 5
    over 4 years ago
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    Other

    Celebration

    All four of my kids are off to college now this Fall. We are official "empty nesters!" I also celebrated my birthday in August!

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  6. 6
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    I start daily radiation on Sept. 10, 2012 for 33 treatments. Got tatooed after CT scan and dry run and first treatment will take place this Monday. Kinda nervous jsut as I have been with any new thing that comes my way with treatment.

    Painless Experience: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  7. 7
    over 4 years ago
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    Psychosocial

    Other Care

    Michelle's Place in Temecula, Ca is a breast cancer resource center that I have been able to visit often. I have attended support group meetings, ACS Look Good Feel Good workshop, attended breaking medical treatment workshops and have checked out many resource materials and items to read. They also provided me and others wigs, scarves and hats. I also went to a session with a psychologist who is a breast cancer survivor herself who helped me with some relationship challenges I was having with those few who seemed to have dropped off the planet after my diagnosis. She offered her services for free through Breastlink as I am a patient of Dr. Link, a top oncologist in the world in Orange County, CA His fifth edition of The Breast Cancer Survival Handbook was very helpful since I like to be informed before I go into any kind of treatment. This book really helped me with the unkown I was repeatedly faced with throughout this long journey.

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  8. 8
    over 4 years ago
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    Hormonal Therapy

    Decision Point

    Can not benefit from Tamoxifen due to my recent diagnosis of a FActor 5 clood clotting disorder. I have to be in permanent menopause if another type of adjuvant therapy is to be recommended. I am not in menopause so Doctor may throw me into it with an injection? Not sure what to do or where to read more about this.

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