Lucy2's Journey:

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Female, Age: 48, Stage I, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    • Lucy2
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    1/17/12 I got a call at work from my doctor that the biopsy done on the mass found on a routine mammo was cancer. However, the good news was it was small and found early. She set me up with a consultation with an excellent surgeon the next day. I called my husband and parents to let them know the news and I kept on with my day. I took the news as it was and although I was upset, at least it was found early. I talked to a co-worker who is a 2x breast cancer survivor as well as some other women who were survivors and they all were a great support group. Leave it to me to start 2012 off with a bang!

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  2. 2
    • Lucy2
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    After meeting with my surgeon the day after my diagnosis, she suggested I was a good candidate for a lumpectomy due to the early stage. I had no family history. My surgery was scheduled for 1/26, outpatient. I had an MRI in between just to make sure I had no other areas of cancer in either breast. That came out clear. The surgery went well, clear margins, and no lymph node involvement. It was difficult to sleep since I could not really sleep on the side of the surgery(left). I was off of work for a little over a week but healed very well.I did not have any lymphedema whatsoever. The entire procedure went well.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  3. 3
    • Lucy2
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
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    After Oncotype DX test results, chemo or no chemo?

    Decision Point

    After my lumpectomy, I had CT scans of my abdomen and pelvis as well as a bone scan. I also had the Oncotype DX test. The CT and bone scans were clear. My Oncotype DX test result was 21, The chances that chemo before radiation and hormone therapy would give me any added benefit was only 3-5%. With just radiation and hormone therapy, I had an 86% chance of no distant recurrence in 10 years.Because one of the rare side effects to the chemo is leukemia and my dad has CLL,, along with the small chance that the chemo would give me any added benefit, I decided against the chemo. My head was swimming with everything being thrown at me. I asked my oncologist if it were his daughter, wife, what would he recommend. He said because I was young(43) in good health he would recommend the chemo(4 rounds). However, he said whatever I would decide would not be a wrong decision. I asked him to consult the other oncologist in the practice regarding my results. He was happy to do this and called me the next day to say the other oncologist said he could not recommend chemo based on my Oncotype DX results. I decided against it and speaking to other survivors and even my radiologist oncologist, they all agreed I made a good decision. It's hard when you're in the moment and second guessing but I know it was the right decision. God forbid I ever need chemo in the future, I'd rather get a bigger bang for my buck as a result. I pray I will never face that day.

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  4. 4
    • Lucy2
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    I went through 33 Radiation treatments-6weeks/5 days per week. The staff was wonderful and I didn't have any side effects until the end of my treatments. I continued to work and take daily walks however, towards the end I was exhausted by the weekend. For a person that never naps, I was beat on the weekends and needed to rest. My skin held up really well. Aloe Vera became my best friend. It wasn't until the last week that I had what looked like a severe burn under my left armpit. But the doctor prescribed me a prescription cream and it healed up in a matter of days. All in all, the doctor said my skin held up really well(I have an olive skin tone).

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  5. 5
    • Lucy2
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
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    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    After the radiation was complete, my oncologist put me on 20mg/day of Tamoxifen in May 2012. The only side effect I've experienced is irregular periods. No hot flashes. So far, so good.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  6. 6
    • Lucy2
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    Lucy2's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    My husband, my entire family and friends were absolutely a fabulous support group through this whole thing. I was constantly getting calls, emails, cards, care packages. They were kept in the loop on everything I was going through and they went through it with me. At the end of my radiation, my cousin had a huge party for me. They called me "the princess" because it was all about me. She got me a tiara, my aunt had a princess shirt made for me and even made little pink princess cupcakes. It was hysterical. My other aunt and cousin even came up from Florida to join in the celebration. It was a great time!

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