patriciab's Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 6 years ago, Female

  1. 1
    about 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    In 2006, I had stage zero, and the little "beginnings" removed from my right breast. I had gone for all my mammograms ... 2x per year for a couple years then yearly. I was shocked to find a tumor while on vacation in June 2011. I thought it was a fat tumor... got to the doctor in July, and found out via MRI and Pet scan, and biopsies that there were 5 tumors in my breasts, and I needed a double mastectomy.

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  2. 2
    about 5 years ago
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    Surgeons

    Other Care

    The surgeon who performed my diagnosis and mastectomy and the plastic surgeon were very supportive and helpful. I believe they saved my life.

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  3. 3
    about 5 years ago
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    Money

    Oh No

    I was laid off in 2009, and have been working as a contractor... I had purchased high deductible insurance, that did not pay for the tests or doctor visits, but they were suppose to pay for treatment... Doctor visits were very expensive, and the tests upwards of $3,000 to $5,000 each (MRI and PetScan). I found out from other contractors I new, that some doctors and Labs will provide a discount if the appointment was paid in cash at the time... Plus I had to pay my high deductible for treatment... I was a scared about where I would even get the money...

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  4. 4
    about 5 years ago
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    Fear of work impact

    Oh No

    When I was first diagnosed, I was very afraid I would be let go from my contract job. I let my manager know at the company I was doing work for, and she was very supportive... This was very helpful for my recovery.

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  5. 5
    about 5 years ago
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    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Recovery was several weeks...I went back to work after 2 weeks, as I wanted to think about something else, other than illness.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  6. 6
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    First round of Chemo made me throw-up a lot... however, I was able to schedule it so I would be sick on the weekends, and be able to go to work during the week... I think working kept me from worrying about my illness.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  7. 7
    about 5 years ago
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    Multiple Side Effects

    Side Effects

    For the first round of Chemo, I had vomiting, weight loss, lack of appetite, and diarrhea. For the second round of Chemo (maintenance), Doctor tried a drug that was weekly, but after one treatment I started to loose the use of my hands... So the doctor switched me to a drug that was every 3 weeks, and caused vomiting, diarrhea and weight gain (due to steroid treatment with it)... this worked better for me.

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  8. 8
    about 5 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    I was able to schedule at the end of the day, so it did not impact my ability to work.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  9. 9
    about 5 years ago
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    Lymphedema

    Side Effects

    I had slight lymphedema after Chemo, but the radiation caused my left arm (which had lost 10 lymph nodes in the mastectomy surgery) to swell. Lymphodema physical theraphy did not help.. but the doctor recommended a exercise class for cancer patients, which has helped significantly.

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  10. 10
    about 5 years ago
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    Breast Reconstruction (Implant)

    Procedure or Surgery

    Surgery and recovery went very well.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  11. 11
    about 5 years ago
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    Oncology Group

    Other Care

    Onclology Dr, Staff, Nutrition Counselor, and Radiology Team were wonderful and supportive!

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  12. 12
    about 5 years ago
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    Family

    Other Care

    My family, in particular my husband and sister and children , were very supportive and took care of me during this challenging part of my life.

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  13. 13
    about 5 years ago
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    Cancer Community Center, Walnut Creek

    Other Care

    Cancer Community Center had group therapy, nutrition classes, etc to help in dealing with Cancer diagnosis and nutrician ideas.. this was very helpful also.

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