Mitzi's Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 8 years ago, Female, Age: 56, Stage IIB, HER2 Positive: Yes, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    • Mitzi
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Mitzi's Avatar

    Surgery

    Decision Point

    When first diagnosed, I had to make a decision on whether to have a lumpectomy or mastectomy. I had immediate repertoire with my oncologist but never felt comfortable with my surgeon, but had never had surgery or any type of medical issues so I was very naive. The surgeon's nurse told me "don't read all that stuff online, you'll just be confused. Dr. Blank will tell you everything you need to know." I knew enough to be offended by the remark. I have as much education as she does and a vested interest in my disease. I read every thing I could get my hands on to understand the disease and what was coming. My surgeon strongly suggested a lumpectormy. I had read the recurrence rate difference between lumpectomy vs. mastectomy and insisted on a mastectomy and wanted a double mastectomy, but he wouldn't. I still regret not having a double. If I had it to do again, I wouldn't have used a surgeon I didn't trust.

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  2. 2
    • Mitzi
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Mitzi's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

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

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  3. 3
    • Mitzi
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Mitzi's Avatar

    Breast Reconstruction (Flap)

    Procedure or Surgery

    The flap is a mess. Looks hideous and has ruined the muscles in my arm and back. This on top of everything was just overwhelming. I recovered from cancer but live with the horrible mess of the screwed up flap daily.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    1 Comment
  4. 4
    • Mitzi
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Mitzi's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    I cut my hair short anticipating it's loss soon. It started thinning after the first taxotere infusion and shortly after the second infusion (3 weeks later) it just fell out in hand fulls in the shower. I called and told my husband it looked like a bear blew up in the shower - hair everywhere. He came home that night and shaved my head for me. He had me shave his head first - he's my hero. We were bald together. I wore hats, wigs just sounded like a hassle. I put a scarf on and a hat over it. My sister bought me several really nice hats so I never felt self-conscious. I was truly blessed with that really tough part of chemo. How could I be disheartened in the face of the sacrifices and love shown me? My head was really tender then. I wore a caplet made of quilted cotton under the hats and scarves to protect my head. Kinda cool to see your head bald, actually. ha!

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  5. 5
    • Mitzi
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Mitzi's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

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

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  6. 6
    • Mitzi
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Mitzi's Avatar

    Medicine for low white blood cell count

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

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

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  7. 7
    • Mitzi
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Mitzi's Avatar

    Nausea medicine

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

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

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  8. 8
    • Mitzi
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Mitzi's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    Daily and it made me tired. I had used up my sick time so I had to work everyday all through it. Work at 2:00 am so I could get off at noon to go to treatment. I had to rest 1-2 hours everyday when I got home from treatment before moving on. Some of that was just trying to recover from chemo, too.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  9. 9
    • Mitzi
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Mitzi's Avatar

    Neratinib

    Clinical Trial

    Incredibly blessed to have been chosen for the trial. Someone tested herceptin for me, I hope I helped someone in the future.

    1 Comment