debco148's Journey:

Patient: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Female, Age: 62, Stage II, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    • debco148
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    debco148's Avatar

    Health insurance issue

    Oh No

    Had been laid off from a company after 24 years of good employment in 2011, then went for routine mamogram in Jan 2012 to find out I had breast cancer. I was still on COBRA, but very expensive and running out. My nurse navigator told me about a special program for Breast and Cervical cancer patients.. Thank God!

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  2. 2
    • debco148
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    debco148's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Also started reconstruction by having a membrane expander inserted after mastectomy. The skin was not healing well and had to reverse it two months later so that I could start chemo.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  3. 3
    • debco148
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    debco148's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Had 4 round of A/C, went ok, many side effects: fatique, fog, taste gone, hair loss. Then did 1 of the 4 rounds of Taxol prescribed and Dr. discontinued. Got severe leg pain and neuropathy almost immediately. Also, extremely effected blood pressure.. so low that I passed out. Dr did not think it necessary to continue since this is precautionary treatment, I'd had enough, and risks outweighed any reward. Could cause permanent neuropathy. (tingling, numb hands, fingers, feet, toes, tongue)

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  4. 4
    • debco148
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    Completed 28 rounds on 10/9. Had no side effects until 3 days before my last treatment. Then, all of a sudden blistering skin, fatique set in. Being treated now for 2nd and 3rd degree burns under arm, breast area, and collar bone. I thought I was sailing through until now. This is tougher than the surgery!

    Painless Experience: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  5. 5
    • debco148
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    debco148's Avatar

    CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine)

    Other Care

    The Reiki treatments helped me get through the chemo fog, stay focused, and feel lighter. It also empowered me to understand how healing works, it clarified some questions I had for myself. The chiropractory helped me with some of the neuropathy and leg pain I had after Taxol. The adjustments relieved some of the tight muscles in my legs and back. I also was given the gift of 12 accupunture treatments from a local non profit group that helps all area women in their first year of dx and treatment. It was so so helpful. I had a terrible reaction to Taxol and was finally taken off of it. Not only that but the benedryl that is given with it caused its own reaction. We learned I have the opposite effect, I get hyper active instead of drowsy. I almost lost it with this cocktail. My blood pressure dropped severely, feet broke out in blisters all over the bottom, and slightly nauseous, then I fainted! Then left with severe neuropathy...after just one treatment. Accupunture helped reverse all of the lingering effects of this terrible reaction.

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  6. 6
    • debco148
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    debco148's Avatar

    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    After just one dose of Taxol! Got help from vitamin B6 200 mg/daily as per my doctor. Also, was prescribed another drug which I decided not to take since it only helps with symptoms and does not fix the problem.

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  7. 7
    • debco148
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    debco148's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    Chemo and radiation done! Saw oncologist on 10/23 and moving on to Tomoxifen. Hair is growing back and starting to feel myself again. Next follow up in Jan, mamo of the right side and then see the onc again. In the meantime, focusing on the reconstruction of the left side. Found out my plastic surgeon is an expert in DIEP! So, looking forward to feeling whole again and the added tummy tuck!

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  8. 8
    • debco148
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    debco148's Avatar

    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Started Tamoxifen over 2 1/2 months ago. Minimal side effects! I was so worried about taking it for fear of it effecting me with hot flashes, etc. Nothing to report so far!

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    1 Comment
  9. 9
    • debco148
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 4 years ago
    debco148's Avatar

    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    After about 6months of Tamoxifen, I was switched to Exesestame (Arimidex) Aromotose Inhibitor. I've taken it since Summer of 2013. Very few side effects for me. Some joint aches, and my ankle muscles and joint hurt or are stiff every day, but I exercise right through it and it helps. Also take D3, magnesium, and make sure I eat tons of greens for calcium as well. I don't think this drug has really interfered with my day to day lifestyle, I have lots of energy, and do high intensity Zumba classes on a regular basis. I'm almost 60! But in better shape now then at 25! So, I think these drugs are so effective they are preventing future bouts of bc, and they also kill any stray cells in there. I'm sure they will increase the usage from 5 to 10 years as with Tamoxifen.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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