scorpio74's Journey:

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 6 years ago, Female, Age: 42, Stage IIIC, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    over 4 years ago
    scorpio74's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I am a previous cancer survivor as I had melanoma in 1999 so I had a big "Oh No" moment when the realization that cancer was back in my life hit me. I had no idea how to break the news to family and friends.

    1 Comment
  2. 2
    over 4 years ago
    scorpio74's Avatar

    Type of surgery/procedure

    Decision Point

    I was faced with the decsion of having a unilateral or bilateral mastectomy. Ultimately, after many discussions with family, friends, and doctors I decided that a bilateral mastectomy was the right option for me.

    0 Comments
  3. 3
    over 4 years ago
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    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had always been a large breasted woman so the experience of having a bilateral mastectomy and not only not having any breasts but having the area where my breast had been be concave was a major adjustment.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  4. 4
    over 4 years ago
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    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a port placed for upcoming chemotherapy.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  5. 5
    over 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    The most appropriate path for me considering that my tumor size was 5.1 cm and 7 of 9 lymph nodes were positive was dose dense chemotherapy. The first four treatments were Adriamycin/Cytoxan and the last four treatments were Taxotere. Side effects were loss of hair, achiness, nausea, anorexia. The severity of the side effects fades over time.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  6. 6
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    I had a 3 week break between chemotherapy and radiation. I completed 30 radiation treatments during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's holidays. All in all the majority of the time I had radiation treatments was relatively painless. My doctors were accurate and detailed when describing side effects and when they would occur. I ended up with severe radiation burns (I realize they're not technically burns but I don't know how else to describe them) that were very, very painful. However, they healed within a few weeks.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  7. 7
    over 4 years ago
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    port removal

    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
  8. 8
    over 4 years ago
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    PET scan

    Procedure or Surgery

    My follow-up PET scan revealed a questionable area on my left lung. This was thought to be damage to my lung from radiation but no one was quite sure. Follow-up testing was required up to and including a lung biopsy. However, the day of the lung biopsy after much review and re-review of all my images, it was determined that the lung biopsy didn't need to be done. Whew, what a relief!

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  9. 9
    over 4 years ago
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    Breast Reconstruction (Implant)

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had bilateral tissue expanders placed June 2012. It has been a more difficult experience than I anticipated. The left side (radiation side) is very reluctant to expand and remains painful. However, I would not change my decision to proceed with reconstruction even knowing this.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  10. 10
    over 4 years ago
    scorpio74's Avatar

    Hair is back

    Celebration

    As my hair was growing back and I started to begin to heal and gain a small amount of energy it was a small victory!

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