SHarder's Journey with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, Ductal

Survivor: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma > Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 7 years ago, Female, Age: 62, Stage IIIB, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: No, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    • SHarder
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast...
    about 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I was about to write my final exams after returning to College to change the direction of my career from being an executive assistant to a Health Unit Coordinator. Went in for my mammogram the day before and right after I got home from writing the exam there was a message for me from the Dr. that I had breast cancer.

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  2. 2
    • SHarder
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast...
    about 5 years ago
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    Had my ovaries and tubes removed

    Procedure or Surgery

    After running every imaginable test and looking everywhere inside my body a cyst on my of my ovaries concerned my cancer Dr. so it was decided to start my journey by removing my ovaries and tubes.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  3. 3
    • SHarder
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast...
    about 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    After my recovery from that I was started on Chemo so the Dr. could watch and see how my tumor responded to Chemo. My Cancer Dr. each time I was checked was absolutely delighted to see my tumor shrink until almost non- existance!!! It worked!!!

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  4. 4
    • SHarder
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast...
    about 5 years ago
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    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Now it was time to remove my breasts and some lymph nodes as well. I had to fight to have both breasts off which was very stressful for me. My mother had gotten cancer in both breasts and passed and I knew if I ever got cancer I would just have both removed but my surgeon only wanted to remove one. I did manage to have both taken.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  5. 5
    • SHarder
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast...
    about 5 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    After healing up from the surgery I had my rounds of radiation. Each time you go in it is more and more taxing to you physically and mentally. I was very burned by this procedure but knew if I wanted to beat cancer it was a must. I am back now in PT because of severe scar tissue and mobility issues. Chornic pain in the radiated area is also a problem. I am not able to sleep well due to this situation.

    Painless Experience: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  6. 6
    • SHarder
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast...
    about 5 years ago
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    Body part/function

    Loss

    It really wasn't until I was done with radiation that I began to feel the loss of my breasts. My hair came back and I realized when it did how much it hurt my self image that it was gone. I had cute wigs but I was gaining weight (due largely to being on steroids during my journey) and they are hot etc. etc. I decided to go and apply for jobs in my new career of choice. I was trying to get my life back to some sort of normal whatever that was.

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  7. 7
    • SHarder
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast...
    about 5 years ago
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    reconstructive surgery

    Decision Point

    It has been proposed that I now have reconstruction surgery which is the deip flap type. I have recently gone to see a plastic surgeon and I need to now loss 20 lbs. and then I can have this surgery that takes 20 hours, then ICU for 3 days with a total hospital stay of 7 days. And then recover from that. I do finally feel up to taking this all on. But .....man!!!!!

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  8. 8
    • SHarder
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast...
    about 5 years ago
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    Relationship

    Loss

    As soon as I was diagnosed with breast cancer my husband has stopped having sexual relations with me. He says it is not due to the fact I had breast cancer, lost my hair, breasts are gone, significant scaring, weight gain etc. But, he also cannot tell me why it has stopped. Even if I begin to arouse him he loses his erection before we have completed. This makes him unwilling to try anymore. He is very pro my having the reconstructive surgery which makes me feel like he is a very superficial person who does not love ME for me. He was not a very good caregiver during my ordeal and I am very hurt and disappointed by him right now. We are currently selling the house I love and downsizing. I almost feel like I would like to downsize the marriage. I feel Like I am the only one going through this with their spouse and everyone else has a spouse who provides the love and support they need.

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  9. 9
    • SHarder
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast...
    about 5 years ago
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    Remission

    Celebration

    I know I should be very happy as since my surgery Oct 2010 my cancer has not returned. I had to have a CT scan of the chest just to verify that I had had a broken rib prior to my diagnosis and the good news is there is nothing brewing!!!!!

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