Max's Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 6 years ago, Female, Age: 74, Stage IIIB, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Don't Know, PR Positive: Don't Know

  1. 1
    • Max
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Max's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I had a mammogram in Nov., 2010 and was told there were no changes. In Apr., 2011, I did a self exam and discovered a lump and went to my Dr. She sent me to a cancer center and they did biopsies and told me that I had cancer in my left breast and in one lymph node. It was stage 3.

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  2. 2
    • Max
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Max's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a double mastectomy in May, 2011. I left the hospital with 3 drains. They were hard to deal with and one was in for 3 weeks. Right after it was removed, I had staph infection and it burst the incision and blood and pus poured out. My husband had to pack it for me for 3 weeks.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  3. 3
    • Max
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Max's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I had chemo every 3 weeks for 6 sessions. I lost my hair 3 weeks after the first session and didn't get it back till about 7 months later. I didn't get a wig, just wore hats and caps. If I had it to do over, I'd get a wig. The chemo made food taste different. Most of the food that I had liked before, tasted awful. Water tasted terrible. I learned to drink ice water with a straw. That made it tolerable. I also was weak and had no energy. Unfortunately, it got worse as it went along. After I had my last treatment, all of my eyelashes and eyebrows lost their hair.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Max
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Max's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    I had to go every weekday for 35 treatments. The treatment center was 40 miles from our home. It didn't hurt when I was getting the treatment, but I got a bad burn from it.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  5. 5
    • Max
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Max's Avatar

    Lymphedema

    Side Effects

    About one month after surgery, I found that I had Lymphedema in my left arm. I went to a Dr. and she wrapped it. It was so painful that I couldn't stand it. After that she gave me a compression sleeve to wear. I wore it for about a year and it didn't seem to make a difference. I quit wearing it and my arm has been the same. I measure it everyday. Sometimes I have a lot of pain in my arm. I would like to hear from someone who has been through the same thing.

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