BKirby's Journey with Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcin...

Survivor: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 13 years ago, Female, Age: 52, Stage II, HER2 Positive: Yes, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Order of treatments?

    Decision Point

    I had three opinions on how to go about my treatments. One was the traditional way of Mastectomy, Chemotherapy, Radiation and then Hormone therapy. The other two doctors suggested I have Chemotherapy first, in order to view thew progress of the Chemptherapy. If the Chemotherapy didnt seem to be working on my tumors they could change the mixture of it and be sure the kind I was taking was killing the cancer cells. I liked this theory and it gave me peace of mind when I saw how it was working.

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  2. 2
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Although Chemothrerapy was tough, it was tolerable. Keeping the mindset that it was temporary and a vital part of my treatment which could possibly save my life. I learned during this process to ask for help, because I definatley needed it. People do want to help you, they just dont know what to do. The love and support of my family and friends helped to give me a positive attitude as well. Some things that I like to share with anyone going through chemotherapy is to use lotion on your skin as it becomes dry and to drink lemonade and suck on lemon drops. They help with Nausea and dry mouth. I also gargled with a mixture of peroxide and baking soda which minimized the sores in my mouth and throat. I also found that roasted chicken lunchmeat and potato chips helped with my naseau, although everyone is different. I had a plan for my hair falling out. I bought a wig and cut my hair to look like it. Then when my hair fell out I went to the hair dresser and had it all shaved off, and on with the wig (only when going out). I did not like the itchy feel of a wig and never wore it at home. I had my Chemotherapy before my Mastectomy because that way I could tell if my formula (TAC - Doxorubicin, Docetoxel and Cyclophosphomide) was working on the tumors or not, thus working in the lymph nodes or anywhere else in my body it may have spread to. Bi monthly ultrasounds showed my tumors (I had two) were shrinking. By the end of my Chemotherapy they were gone and only scar tissue remained. As hard as it was to tolerate (Chemotherapy) it was amazing to see it at work.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Allergic reaction

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  4. 4
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Pain

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  5. 5
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Diarrhea

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  6. 6
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  7. 7
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Nausea/Vomiting

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  8. 8
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Constipation

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  9. 9
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Low white blood cell counts (neutropenia)

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  10. 10
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Mouth dryness

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  11. 11
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Mouth sores

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  12. 12
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Hot flashes

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  13. 13
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I chose to have both breasts removed as I am someone who would always be wondering if it may happen to the other side one day. I just wanted to be rid of both of them and start over! It was strange to be so flat chested afterwards but knowing I would be having reconstruction later it did not bother me. I had to have a second surgery as the margins were not clear the first time, and I had to have physical therapy afterwards for range of motion.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  14. 14
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    I was intrigued by how precise everything had to be. How long it took to create the cast to that you lay in, the tatooing, the permanent marker drawings that you had to be sure not to wash off! I could always tell once I laid down if I was not in the exact postion I should be, as the one doing the radiation would always rub his hands together before he moved me because he knew his hands were cold! He would rub them together to warm them up before he touched me!

    Painless Experience: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  15. 15
    • BKirby
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
    BKirby's Avatar

    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    As the treatments progressed I was really tired towards the end. I found that if I made myself walk every day in the afternopon it really helped my mood and energy level the next day.

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