Ranee's Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 7 years ago, Female, Age: 61, Stage IIA, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: No, PR Positive: No

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

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I work in the healthcare industry. In a perfect world we don't get diagnosed - we help others. Then I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Another identity problem here: ususally affects young black women. I am not black and I am not young. There must be a mistake!!

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

    Sentinel lymph node biopsy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a lumpectomy, sentinal lymph node biopsy which was positive for 2 nodes. The surgeon removed 21 more. Ouch. The worst I think was the nerve pain I felt in my upper arm after surgery. Pretty bad for a while. Still have little zaps occaisionally.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    • Ranee
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Ranee's Avatar

    Targeted therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I had chemo every two weeks instead of the standard three for hormone positive ca. Along with the chemo were anti-nausea meds, anti-depressents, pain meds, self injectables for low white cells, steroids, What I remember most is that it was expensive and hard to manage on disability. There were three types of chemo. The first two were pretty tolerable. The third - taxol was difficult to infuse and the side effects were long bone pain. It burned to infuse and took between 6 - 8 hours at a time to do it. I had three sessions. Long time to sit in a lounger!

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Ranee
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    I hated the radiation. With chemo I had a week between treatments. I did radiation 5 days a week for 8 weeks. The side effects were accumulative. Very tiring. Developed skin breakdown that was not painful but pretty yucky. Went back to work AND had to move during my treatment. My spirits weren't the greatest at this time but I did it.

    Painless Experience: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  5. 5
    • Ranee
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Ranee's Avatar

    None

    Clinical Trial

    Unfortunately no clinical trials were available for me. I would have been happy to participate.

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  6. 6
    • Ranee
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Ranee's Avatar

    Side Effects

    Thanks to the anti-nausea meds they have now my nausea was kept to a minimum. I always felt like I had the flu or something with nausea but did not experience too much vomitting. I have these indents in the arm used for chemo. They are weird-my doctor hasn't seen them before but I think the chemo (Taxol) just fried the veins. With radiation just tiredness and management of skin breakdown. Once again, kind of gross but doable.

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  7. 7
    • Ranee
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Ranee's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    I finished treatment in October of 2010. So an anniversary is coming. I didn't mind being bald. And not shaving my legs was definitely a plus but it was nice to get back to some normalcy. During my treatment it was summer and temps were pretty much always over 100 degrees and that sucked. And as I mentioned before during radiation I had to move. The support system I had created among my friends broke down. It's true, you learn who your true friends are. That part was devastating to me. Sometimes still think back and wonder why. They say things happen for a reason. I guess....

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  8. 8
    • Ranee
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Ranee's Avatar

    Other

    Loss

    I think you have to know when you are going through this that you have little control in your life. Between doctors, treatment, side effects, etc you pretty much feel like you are hanging on to the knot at the end of the rope. But.... after it's over you look back and think WOW. I did it. And it's always in the back of your mind it might come back. And it might. You have to stay in the 'One Day At A Time' place. Hard sometimes but it lets you feel like you are in control somewhat. It's easy to creep into solitude and seclusion during this time but try to fight it. Reach out, cry, be sad, what ever it takes to survive.

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  9. 9
    • Ranee
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Ranee's Avatar

    Decision Point

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

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