DonnaA's Journey:

Survivor: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 8 years ago, Female, Age: 58, Stage I, HER2 Positive: Yes, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

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

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Over the years, I have had to have many mammograms reviewed due to an area of suspicion. So this extra “look” really did not alarm me at all until they called me and said I had to come in to see the Doctor that day. My heart sank and I knew it was not good news.

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

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    The cancer had infiltrated beyond the duct but had not made it to the lymph nodes so I chose to have a lumpectomy.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    • DonnaA
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Because my cancer was aggressive and has begun to infiltrate beyond the duct I had to have chemotherapy. The actual treatment is not a big deal – time consuming – but not a big deal. And as long as you take your anti-nausea medicine you will not get sick. But what you will get sick. But there are many things that they don’t tell you. Sure you know the main points such as hair loss but chemo can also wrecks havoc on your teeth, nails, strength, appetite and memory. Chemo Brain is REAL.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  4. 4
    • DonnaA
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    The actual treatment of radiation is painless. The effects that it has on your strength is – scary. Really there is no other word to describe it. Exhaustion so bad I wasn’t sure I was going to make it home. I was looking at points along the way where I could stop & sleep if I needed to. To this day almost 3 years later I still get exhausted. My breast still is uncomfortable and on some days just painful.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  5. 5
    • DonnaA
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating)...
    over 4 years ago
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    Bone thinning (osteoporosis)

    Side Effects

    What I didn’t know then – that I now know – is that chemo wrecks havoc on your bones. I now have bone loss in my neck and lower back and am on medication, plus calcium, weight bearing exercise (which is good for me) etc.

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

    Other

    Other Care

    Since I am HER2 positive I am on Tamoxifen and will be for 5 years. After 5 years I will be put on another type of drug for another 5 years. So there will be, at a minimum, 10 years of treatment. The Tamoxifen gives you all the wonderful side effects of menopause. As if what I have been through wasn’t enough!!

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

    Positively Pink Fund Raising Party

    Celebration

    Every May I host a celebration with all my friends & family. This celebration is in the beginning stages of a fund raising event. Be thankful for what you have and appreciate what you have been though. Cancer does not define who I am but it is changing who I am becoming.

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