anniebharts' Journey with Breast Cancer

Patient: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 10 years ago, Female, Age: 56, Stage IV, HER2 Positive: Yes, ER Positive: No, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Fall 2006 - after a mammogram and subsequent wire-guided excisional biopsy, I was diagnosed with Stage 0 ductal carcinoma in situ in right breast. Due to pervasive nature (in small breast), however, mastectomy was recommended and presumed to be all that would be needed to ensure no recurrence. Second opinion obtained at UC Medical Center in Denver - same diagnosis and recommendation.

    0 Comments
  2. 2
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

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

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  3. 3
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    Misdiagnosed

    Oh No

    Pathology results from mastectomy revealed tumor and lymph node involvement. Before recovering from mastectomy, returned for lymph node dissection surgery.

    0 Comments
  4. 4
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    Axillary Lymph Node Dissection

    Procedure or Surgery

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

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  5. 5
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Pathology results indicated 3 lymph nodes were involved. New diagnosis: Stage II (rather than 0). Chemotherapy was recommended to prevent recurrence. Scheduled 4th surgery (in one month) for port placement.

    0 Comments
  6. 6
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

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

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  7. 7
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

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

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  8. 8
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    Early 2007: After a painful and frustrating six-month journey through surgeries, painful recoveries, numerous scans, chemotherapy, and loads of unanticipated side-effects, I was finally done! Because my cancer was (initially) ER+, I moved on to adjuvant hormonal treatment and infrequent rechecks with my oncologist. All was well.

    0 Comments
  9. 9
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    Late summer 2010: after 3-1/2 years of numerous adjuvant therapies and no sign of cancer, I began having severe nerve pain in my right arm. Scans revealed a tumor in a lymph node smack in the middle of my brachial plexus. A subsequent (very painful) biopsy confirmed that it was a regional recurrence of my breast cancer. Focused radiation was recommended.

    0 Comments
  10. 10
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

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

    Painless Experience: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  11. 11
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    November 2007: Finished radiation. An MRI showed that the tumor was gone - obliterated by the radiation. Woohoo!! A follow-up PET scan in February (once I'd healed sufficiently from radiation) showed I was "cancer free" (i.e. no sign of cancer anywhere). Great news! On with life.

    0 Comments
  12. 12
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    August 2011: A six-month-post-radiation (i.e. routine) PET scan revealed numerous lesions in my liver. An MRI followed, then a liver biopsy. My cancer had metastasized to my liver. I was devastated. I felt fine. How could this happen? Tests revealed that my cancer had changed from HER2 negative to HER2 positive, and from ER+ to ER-. This may partially explain why the adjuvant therapy had failed. I decided to go ahead with recommended chemotherapy, but made clear to my oncologist that quality of life is far more important than length of life.

    0 Comments
  13. 13
    over 4 years ago
    anniebharts' Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Since the Stage 4 diagnosis in Sept 2011, I've been on numerous forms of chemotherapy, essentially non-stop. I was initially put on Xeloda, an oral chemo. As well as monthly infusions of Hercpetin. After many months on the Xeloda, my tumor marker climbed rather dramatically. So I was taken off that and put on weekly infusions of Taxol, supplemented with the kinase-inhibitor Lapatinib (Tykerb), which I took orally every day. The side effects from the Lapatinib were too much for me - seriously messing with my quality of life. So we dropped that. My current protocol, which seems to have succeeded in reducing the lesions in my liver, includes just the weekly infusions of taxol (3 weeks on, one off), and bi-weekly infusions of Herceptin. So far, so good. It's been a year since I learned my cancer had spread to my liver. My liver functions are fine. And my tumor marker seems reasonably steady at present.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments