Viking's Journey with Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer > Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 6 years ago, Female, Age: 60, Stage IIIC, HER2 Positive: Yes, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    • Viking
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Viking's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    My 26 year old daughter died of liver failure on October 30 and on November 9 I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer. I made up my mind that I was not going to leave my 6 year old granddaughter who was entering kindergarten without a mother.

    1 Comment
  2. 2
    • Viking
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Viking's Avatar

    Bone scan, CT scan etc. to see if it had spread to any other sites

    Procedure or Surgery

    The cancer was already 11x 15 cm so I was afraid of stage 4 diagnosis. I was thrilled to find it had not spread to brain,bones,lungs,or liver.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
    0 Comments
  3. 3
    • Viking
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Viking's Avatar

    No spread to major organs

    Celebration

    My fear of stage 4 was relieved and I gained great confidence to fight with all I had.

    1 Comment
  4. 4
    • Viking
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Viking's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    All body high dose chemo is hard. I had 4 adriamycin and cytoxin, 2 weeks apart. This happened over Thankgiving, Christmas, and New Year. My blood tests came back perfect every time. I lost my hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, and taste buds. I used plastic silverware to alleviate the metal taste in my mouth. I was tired, hyperactive, and moody . This would change minute to minute. I was experiencing grief for my daughter who died, grief for my loss of good health, and grief for the loss of my business because I could no longer work. After two months on this I graduated to 12 taxol treatments, one every week. These were better, but the cumulative effect really built up. I know why they give you 12. It's because you really, really don't want 13.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    1 Comment
  5. 5
    • Viking
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Viking's Avatar

    Cancer is shrinking

    Celebration

    The cancer shrunk from 11x 15 cm down to 1x3 cm. and I finished chemo on April 9, the day after Easter. Ready for surgery after a period of gaining some strength back.

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  6. 6
    • Viking
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Viking's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    After chemo, I thought the surgery was uneventful. Minimal pain, drains came out at first doctor visit, and scar healed very well. I was so happy to have my main part of my problem excised from my body! I was now halfway through my year of treatment and feeling positive about my results so far. At times I did slip into depression because I wasn't seeing my doctor and chemo nurses as much. I was receiving herceptin at the time of the Taxol so when the Taxol ended I still got herceptin every 3 weeks. The schedule of only being in the infusion room every 3 weeks was a hard adjustment because I became so comfortable there and really felt like I was fighting the cancer in there. I felt more alone after the surgery.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
    1 Comment
  7. 7
    • Viking
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Viking's Avatar

    Physical therapy for arm

    Procedure or Surgery

    The therapy really helped the range of motion on my arm, but I had to stop early to start radiation. Wished I could have had more sessions. It really helped.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  8. 8
    • Viking
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Viking's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    I had 33 daily radiation treatments. The daily stress of the fear of being burned was terrible for me. The daily grind was very fatiguing,especially during the hottest days of the heat wave of summer. The care of my skin took every waking hour of my time,the amount of liquids I drank, and trying to eat appropriately to combat side effects took all my time. I was very badly burned and the last ten treatments were very,very hard. In my opinion, radiation was the hardest part of everything I went through, but I was very depleted when I started from all that had gone before.

    Painless Experience: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    1 Comment
  9. 9
    • Viking
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Viking's Avatar

    Finished radiation

    Celebration

    I brought my granddaughter to several treatments and at the last one I wore my graduation cap and gown and had my picture taken by the machine. My doctor said never in 15 years did she have anyone celebrate the last day in such a way!

    0 Comments
  10. 10
    • Viking
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
  11. 11
    • Viking
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Viking's Avatar

    Targeted therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Herceptin continues every three weeks. I am exhausted from the summer of radiation. I moved to another town to take my mother to her radiation treatments which are excruciating. I missed the summer, my 29th anniversary,my husbands birthday, and my granddaughter's first day of first grade. I really want my life back at this point. I don't recognize my life anymore. My mother is having a hard time and I can't do much to relieve her suffering. Patience, at times, is non existent. I keep going around the Monopoly board and I never get to collect my $200. I need to find joy again.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    1 Comment
  12. 12
    • Viking
    • Experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Viking's Avatar

    My mom is finished with 30 radiation treatments to her neck!

    Celebration

    After my 33 radiation treatments for inflammatory breast cancer I had to move to another city to take my mother to 30 radiation treatments To her neck. This has been the longest summer of my life. I need to do something fun and start taking care of myself again. I have spent every weekday from June through today in radiation oncology. It is time for a celebration! My granddaughter will be 7 on Wednesday and I'm going to celebrate with her; bittersweet however, since it will be her first birthday without her mom, who passed away October 30 last year.

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