eawiss' Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 19 years ago, Female, Age: 54, Stage I, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    • eawiss
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

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

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  2. 2
    • eawiss
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    sentinal node procedure, chemo

    Clinical Trial

    I qualified for sentinal node procedure with Mayo Clinic Rochester for use to determine if lymph nodes affected by following the path of sentinal node. Did not alter the protocol of my follow up treatment, but would aid in the improvement and use of this procedure in future patients I also qualified for a chemo trial. I agreed to use the chemo treatment selected at random between Adrimiacin and Cytoxin or another ( a more experimental drug combo) , not knowing which one I would get. i was randomly selected to receive the Adrimiacin/Cytoxin combo.

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  3. 3
    • eawiss
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

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

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  4. 4
    • eawiss
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I was premenopausal when diagnosed. Going into immediate menopause as a result of chemo was overwhelmingly shocking. Losing hair after 1st treatment (even though expected) was heartbreaking. Finding out after chemo that menopausal state may be permanent was devastating - made me feel like I was giving up years of my youth, even though I was grateful for the success of the drugs, it was a monumentally depressing realization. The chemo side effects are very unpleasant during treatment period as well. If told I was terminal with no hope for survival, I think I would opt out of chemo for better quality of life in the end.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  5. 5
    • eawiss
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    eawiss' Avatar

    too many of the listed to identify them separately

    Side Effects

    Surgery (double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction) gave me a positive focus for the future rather than the focus on the immediate physical state and discomfort, therefore helping me look forward and put energy toward getting better. It would have been harder to stay positive and strong when I felt so bad and ugly (from no hair, lack of exercise due to fatigue/nausea, hormonal deficiency, etc), however, I would have faked it still because of my young daughter. She needed me to be a strong role model, a picture of health - so that's what she got no matter what. But, it was easier to act when those feelings were true. No matter how much I was expecting it, losing my hair after the 1st treatment was very difficult. I was 35 at diagnosis, so going into overnight menopause with my chemo treatment was shockingly difficult. Being told that the menopausal state may be permanent following my chemo treatment was devastating. I thought I had conquered the worst when chemo was over, until I was given that news. I was depressed. If I were told that I had a diagnosis that was terminal with no hope for survival, I don't think I would opt for chemo in order to have the best quality of life in the end. But, today, I feel very fortunate that I'm 14 years out and that my life, except for a few months, has never been about cancer. I would hope that on everyone afflicted with the disease, as a patient or loved one. We can be aware and we can make a difference in the statistics by funding research, supporting the cause, but we can live our lives on our terms, in spite of the "C" word all around us.

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  6. 6
    • eawiss
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Loss

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

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  7. 7
    • eawiss
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Loss

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

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  8. 8
    • eawiss
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Loss

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

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  9. 9
    • eawiss
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    eawiss' Avatar

    Lost loved one

    Loss

    I lost my father to colon cancer two years ago. I had him visit me in FL two years prior to his death to get a full physical from Mayo Clinic, where he was diagnosed. He came through surgery, chemo, complications from both, and lived a full life for those last two years. I'm thankful for that extra time and forever changed by his courage to overcome physical adversity each step of the way and to flash that infectious smile to his last day. Sadly, he always expected to die from some sort of cancer because his father had, his brothers had, etc The saddest part is that his cancer is one that is almost 100% preventable with colonoscopy screening, which he was eligible for due to his family history, but he did not go to the doctor for regular checkups. He would still be with us today had he done so. I hope this helps someone like my father or with a loved one who has the influence to encourage another to take preventative care. The momentary discomfort is worth the life you'll miss.

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  10. 10
    • eawiss
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Decision Point

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

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  11. 11
    • eawiss
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
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    Loss

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

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  12. 12
    • eawiss
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    eawiss' Avatar

    Lost loved one

    Loss

    I lost my father two years ago to colon cancer. I encouraged him to visit me and agree to a full physical from Mayo Clinic just two years prior to his death. He was diagnosed during that visit with Stage IV colon cancer, received surgery and chemo, and lived a full life for two more years. I will forever be changed by his courage to overcome each physical battle he faced as a result of surgery, treatment, complications to his last day, his determination to live life to the fullest each day to the end, and the infectious smile he flashed to the last day. I miss him so much. My father always thought he would die from cancer, because his father did, his brothers did, etc. The sad thing is that his type of cancer was almost 100% preventable. With a family history of cancer, he was eligible for regular screenings, which would include colonoscopies, but he would not have regular checkups. Even annually. If he had, he would still be with us today. I hope this resonates with others like him or those loved ones who have influence over their stubborn relatives. The momentary discomfort is worth preserving the life that will be missed otherwise. In the same year, I lost my Mom, too. She had suffered from Alzheimer's for several years and was in the end stage when my father died. We brought her home and with the help of Hospice and in-home help, she lived out the remaining months of her life more serene, comfortably, and with the dignity she deserved. She left this world on Independence Day, 5 months after my father. It was appropriate, for the disease that would strip her of every other independent attribute could not take this away from her, the time and manner of death - on her terms. I am forever thankful for her example of strength, faith, and independence.

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