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

Patient: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 6 years ago, Male, Age: 52, Stage II, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Was diagnosed with breast cancer the day before Thanksgiving 2011 after a needle biopsy and a large excisional biopsy.

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  2. 2
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    During this second lumpectomy the sentinel lymph nodes were tested as well and the first node was cancerous. An axillary dissection was done during the same procedure: January 12, 2011. The pathology report showed that the margins were still too small and that is when I decided to have mastectomy.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Mastectomy was not painful and the recovery was as expected - it's a big surgery. January 26, 2011.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  4. 4
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Breast Reconstruction (Implant)

    Procedure or Surgery

    Reconstruction was started during the mastectomy. When the expander is initially inserted under the breast muscle, it is very painful. It takes some time for the muscle to stretch out.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  5. 5
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Infection

    Side Effects

    5 weeks after the mastectomy/reconstruction surgery, I had 3 serious staph infections over the course of 2 months, which delayed the start of chemo treatments.

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  6. 6
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Lymph drainage massages

    Other Care

    To help reduce the collection of lymph fluid I received lymph drainage massages and also learned to do the massages myself.

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  7. 7
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    4 chemo treatments with Taxotere and Cytoxan three weeks apart.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  8. 8
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Chemo brain

    Side Effects

    After the first chemo session the chemo brain was most severe. It was as if my brain hit a wall. I could no longer spell or write down customer order that I tried to take in over the telephone. My memory was completely depleted and I had difficulty driving and analyzing the traffic/road situations. The oncologist adjusted the dose of steroids that I took down to only be taken on the day of the chemo treatment. That helped with the severity of the chemo brain after the next three session. It was still bad enough and even now almost 5 months after having finished the chemo treatments I am not as able to multitask, need detailed lists to not get lost throughout the day, still have difficulty concentrating and reading an article or technical information from start to finish and remember things.

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  9. 9
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Depression/Anxiety

    Side Effects

    It was not too bad. I did everything I could to not slip into the crater of depression. I hovered around it for weeks during chemo, but was able to fend it off for the most part. Helpful was: writing a daily blog, having responsibilities, not letting myself feel sorry or as a victim of the situation and spending time with friends. My kids were a huge motivating factor and wanting to be there for them as much as possible forced me to not let myself slip.

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  10. 10
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    Extremely tired

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  11. 11
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    Lost most of my hair and looked like a badly plucked chicken for a while. Then decided to shave everything off. At the beginning I wore scarves, but after I shaved my head, I went bald for about 8 weeks until my hair started to grow back.

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  12. 12
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Mouth sores

    Side Effects

    Very little, used teatree oil to treat sores and rinse gums. Children's toothpaste was mild enough to not burn and I got an extra soft toothbrush from my dentist.

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  13. 13
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    The last two toes on both feet. It is slowly getting better 5 months after last chemo treatment.

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  14. 14
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Taste change/loss

    Side Effects

    Especially after the first chemo treatment: no taste

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  15. 15
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Thinking problems

    Side Effects

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

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  16. 16
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Memory changes

    Side Effects

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

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  17. 17
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Weight gain

    Side Effects

    Gained about 15 lbs during chemo. I felt very little nausea and ate all I liked. I felt since my body was going through this hard time, I did not want to deprive it of anything.

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  18. 18
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Menstrual Cycles

    Side Effects

    My menstrual cycles stopped during chemo treatments and have not returned since.

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  19. 19
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Nutritional IVs

    Other Care

    After chemo treatments I had 5 nutritional IVs filled with vitamins, minerals, trace elements and other good stuff. It helped to clean out some toxins, bring my organs back to life and also decrease some of the fatigue. After the third IV I started to feel a complete difference. It also helped me to move away from the edge of depression.

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  20. 20
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    July 13, 2011 I had my last chemo treatment.

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  21. 21
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Cancer Free

    Celebration

    On August 14, 2011 I had a MRI and follow-up mammogram of my healthy breast and a check-up from the oncologist and everything was o.k.: Since then I have been officially cancer free.

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  22. 22
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Breast Reconstruction (Implant)

    Procedure or Surgery

    On November 14, 2011 I had my last expander fill for the breast reconstruction. A follow-up with the plastic surgeon is scheduled for January 10, 2012 to determine when the surgery will be to replace the expander with the implant.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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  23. 23
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Colon Cleanse

    Other Care

    I did a colon cleanse to dispose of as many toxins as possible. It felt physically and mentally very good to get rid of this old poison. This cleansing process also had a spiritual or psychological aspect to it: I felt I was cleaning out old garbage that I had collected for a long, long time.

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  24. 24
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I am on Tamoxifen now until I will go into menopause, then I will switch to an aromatase inhibitor to reduce the chance of recurrence.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  25. 25
    • PetraW
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 5 years ago
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    Tamoxifen

    Side Effects

    I take tamoxifen in the evening and have very few side effects: in the meantime mild hot flashes, they were more at the beginning; acne also getting better; no major side effects, I was very worried about possible side effects, especially the confusion or mental effects that some women have.

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