Booprim's Journey with Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcin...

Patient: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 5 years ago, Female, Age: 55, Stage I, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    • Booprim
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    over 4 years ago
    Booprim's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Surreal and disbelief of diagnosis. No panic, more annoyed than anything. Who has time for this stuff?

    0 Comments
  2. 2
    • Booprim
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    over 4 years ago
    Booprim's Avatar

    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Getting numbed up with local anethetics, then getting wires put in to bracket the lump was the worst part. It was down played and not fully explained what they would do. I mean really, why do we have to be awake for that? I never dreamt I would have needles poking near my nipple - 4 pokes! The wires going in didn't hurt because I was numb. Then they have to do a mammogram to make sure they bracketed it correctly (which is probably why they want us awake, but still). The surgeon told me I could take an anxiety pill before I came in (so it wouldn't be charged by the hospital). I'm glad I did. The incision was bigger than I expected. I think if I would have put a tape measure up against my breast it would have been what the surgeon said 2-4 inches, it just looks longer next to the nipple.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  3. 3
    • Booprim
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    over 4 years ago
    Booprim's Avatar

    Sentinel lymph node biopsy

    Procedure or Surgery

    For me the lymph node removal was more tender than the lumpectomy. My sister in law made me a little pillow to put in my arm pit so my arm wouldn't brush against the incision and swelling. I used it most at night. I felt my arm swelled up from water/lymph drainage, but not that noticiably. When I went back to work I noticed I didn't like to swing my arms when I walked normally. It was more comfortable to walk with my hand in a pocket or resting on the small of my back with my elbow out so I wouldn't irritate the incision. It wasn't that big of an impact to daily life, I just had to adjust.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  4. 4
    • Booprim
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    over 4 years ago
    Booprim's Avatar

    Internal radiation (Brachytherapy)

    Radiation

    So, so, so lucky to qualify for Brachytherapy. One week of twice a day treatment. I understand many who have external radiation work during their 6 week treatment, I admire them! I just went in, came home, napped or ran errands, then went back. I worked from home in the evenings that week. I also was able to paint my stairs and door frame in the garage that week! It's not completely comfortable having a nickel size hole with 9 wires sticking out of your breast, but it's not painful either. Getting the wires in was the worst part (more needles in your breast to numb it).

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  5. 5
    • Booprim
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    over 4 years ago
    Booprim's Avatar

    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    I looked on line for side effects from Brachytherapy and all they said was it was variable. Apparently some don't really have side effects. I did, but not until a week later! For me, the fatigue is similar to when I fast for 24 or 36 hours. You feel weak and shakey, drowsy and fairly cranky because nothing you can do makes it better. However, it only lasted 4 or 5 days and tapered off quickly. I can't imagine how tired women are with 6 weeks of radiation! The word fatigue just doesn't discribe how you feel.

    0 Comments
  6. 6
    • Booprim
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    over 4 years ago
    Booprim's Avatar

    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Taking Tamoxifen supposedly reduces my chances for cancer reoccurrance (in the same area) down to 'normal'. Good deal. I was peri-menopausal, but Tamoxifen threw me right into menopause. Hot flashes are so weird! For me it's just not being able to regulate my temperature at all. Hot, cold, hot, cold. My dentist encouraged me to use a perscription strength flouride toothpaste as well as mouthwash as many women going through menopause have mouth problems (who knew spit and hormones were related?). Also, my eye doctor encouraged me to use eye drops to keep my eyes from drying out. Everything is doable, it's just adjusting to the new norm.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    0 Comments
  7. 7
    • Booprim
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    over 4 years ago
    Booprim's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    I took a vacation to a beach in Mexico to acknowledge life as soon as I could after treatments. I'm treating it as my 'end' to cancer (even though I guess 5 years is when I'm cured?). I need to get back into shape and figure out how this new body phase works. I'm extremely lucky!

    0 Comments