Ria's Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 16 years ago, Female, Age: 65, Stage I, HER2 Positive: Yes, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    • Ria
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    Ria's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I had been expecting to be diagnosed for 10 yrs before I actually was.....every single mammogram came back suspicious, then would turn out to be nothing. The year before I was actually diagnosed; had a suspicious spot, went thru a core biopsy and they said it was just a fibroid mass. A year later, the same spot had grown and architecturally changed and showed signs of calcification and it turned out to be cancerous. My doc felt they missed it when I had the core biopsy. So yea, it was a big Oh No, even though I had been expecting it for years.

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  2. 2
    • Ria
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    Ria's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

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

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  3. 3
    • Ria
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    Ria's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    Radiation was horrible for me--chemo was a picnic in the park by comparison. After my 3rd radiation treatment; my breast was already bright red and burnt. By the time my 33 rounds were over; my poor breast was one red, raw, open piece of meat....I would cry every morning knowing I had to go in and would beg to do chemo over instead of radiation. Because I'm allergic to so many drugs, couldn't even use neosporin or any kind of antibiotic ointments, etc....it took me 3 yrs after treatment ended to even put on a bra again. At 7 yrs into survivorship; the same breast developed a huge necrotic mass the size of a large peach and had to undergo surgery again. And the necrotic mass (basically dead tissue) is directly caused by radiation and no one told me that could happen. That surgery was more painful than the original lumpectomy too....just wish someone had warned me of the long term affects of treatment.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Ria
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    Ria's Avatar

    a peach size necrotic mass that was caused by radiation was removed from the same breast that had the cancer.

    Procedure or Surgery

    At 7 yrs into recovery; discovered a very fast growing necrotic mass (basically dead tissue) in the same breast that had the cancer. Was told it was caused by the radiation treatment; something no one told me could happen. The mass was very, very painful along with the outpatient surgery; it was more painful that the initial surgical biopsies, lumpectomy and lymph node dissection and the surgeon was not at all compassionate, caring, etc. I had no use of my right arm for months and months and then developed a mild case of lymphedema. And it left me a full 2 1/2 inches smaller on that side; with no referrals, consults or conversations at all regarding any kind of reconstruction surgery. I've had so many surgeries over the years, it wasn't the surgery itself; it was the lack of information...that I was never informed that this was a possible side effect of treatment; I think that's the part that gets me the most. Has anyone else had this reaction to radiation? I've not heard of one other woman or man having this so just wondering.....????

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    1 Comment
  5. 5
    • Ria
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    Ria's Avatar

    Axillary Lymph Node Dissection

    Procedure or Surgery

    In fall of 2007; I started having very severe lower back pain. Never had any injuries, falls, car accidents, etc....just out of nowhere. After xrays and MRI's, came back as degenerative disc disease. But....they did not use contrast with the MRI's at first, rather surprising considering my cancer dx. So...new doctor, who does order another MRI, this time with contrast. And it came back highly suspicious for Blastic Metastasis--told me I was looking at Stage 4. Was absolutely floored. Had a biopsy done with came back negative. MY oncologist even sent a sample down to Fred Hutchinson/University of WA (I live north of Seattle in a very rural, small town area)...again it came back negative. He's reassured me it's NOT cancer/metastasis; but they don't know what it is. So now I live in constant, chronic pain with that. And then another scare--.my breast cancer was in my right breast; they removed 10 lymph nodes which were all clear. But in 2010; I developed 2 enlarged, swollen lymph nodes under my LEFT arm and being a cancer survivor....the decision was made have them removed ASAP and biopsied. Came back negative thank god; But after all these scares and putting my friends and family thru the horrible waiting, etc....I decided NO MORE...no more mammo's, tests, etc. If it comes back or metastasizes; they can't do much anyway, so what's the point? I can't live as fully as I want for whatever time I do have left on this planet cuz I'm always at some doctors...getting poked, smashed, stabbed, etc. I just told my oncologist and primary care to leave me alone. Anyone else ever feel like this?

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
    1 Comment