SDB's Journey with Breast Cancer

Survivor: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 10 years ago, Female, Age: 58, Stage IV, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Don't Know, PR Positive: Don't Know

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

    surgery upon diagnosis - masectomy or lumpectomy

    Decision Point

    When told I had cancer in my right breast december 26, 2006, I was told it was small calcifications and do I want a lumpectomy or masectomy? My mother had breast cancer years before and had a masectomy. But I chose a lumpectomy first, the edges did not come out clean and then asked if I wanted another lumpectomy. Each time they do lumpectomy the breast is reduced. No, went for masectomy, pulled 18 lymphnodes and 13 were infected, further tests showed this cancer that was only calcifications and caught early, had moved to my right femur and my asophagus area.

    0 Comments
  2. 2
    • SDB
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    SDB's Avatar

    Second time Lumpectomy or Masectomy

    Decision Point

    In 2008 after a masectomy, chemo, radiation and reconstruction on my right breast we discovered small calcification in the left breast and my oncologist asked what I wanted to do. This was easy, masectomy and reconstruction. This time it was non-invasive, caught early and no chemo or radiation. My decision was made before I even went back for results, get that cancer out of my body. Happy with decision.

    0 Comments
  3. 3
    • SDB
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    SDB's Avatar

    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    While chemotherapy caused my hair to fall out, I did not shave my head, I also did not choose to wear a wig. I knew my hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and all body hair would fall out, but also knew it would grow back and this did not have that negative effect on my attitude toward treatments. I loved not having to shave my legs or underarms, but as I stated I did not shave my head and my family kept asking why I didn't cut off the few hairs that held on I told them "they are my survivors and I will keep them". I did wear many hats and felt comfortable with them, wigs can get hot, but it is a choice and a mindset.

    0 Comments
  4. 4
    • SDB
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    SDB's Avatar

    Hot flashes

    Side Effects

    Well Chemo thru me into full menopause and 4 weeks of going from premenopausal to post menopausal was rough. Aches, hotflashes and many sleepless nights, but my thought was well my husband didn't need to deal with years of this and at 48 years old I wasn't planning on having children anymore. Tamoxifen has hot flash side effects that can be difficult to deal with especially if you are wanting a good nights sleep. But now on Arimedex and while I still have a hotflash or two, day and night, again I can deal with them, my oncologist says can look into getting another med to counteract the hotflashes, but really don't want another drug with another side effect so living on.

    0 Comments
  5. 5
    • SDB
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    SDB's Avatar

    Life Goes On

    Celebration

    After all my cancer treatments, surgeries, side effects and whatever, I have a calmer outlook on life then I had before. Life goes on with or without us and I choose to have life go on with me. I choose to keep a positive outlook on all and think that God gave me these challenges so that I may help someone else, whether with encouragement or support or just an ear I know that I have come thru by Gods grace, great oncology doctors and nurses, wonderful family and friend support and my Life Will Go On with me in it.

    0 Comments
  6. 6
    • SDB
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    SDB's Avatar

    Smells, Appetites, Drugs

    Side Effects

    I wanted to finish my side effects all in one. During chemo and for a time after smells are enhances beyond what you may expect, so don't feel bad to ask the people you live with and/or are around all the time to help by not wearing alot of colognes and at home my husband kept the bathroom very clean, because of this problem and it can be so overwhelming as to cause nausea. Just being near people in an elevator can be bad as I could smell body odor something fierce, public restrooms won't even go into the problems there and restaurants can be difficult. While your appetite may not be the best it is to your advantage to keep your proteins up, so I kept boiled eggs, cheese sticks, crackers and granola bars around, maybe didn't feel hungry but have to keep blood count up so had to snack several times a day. Drugs during treatment side effects are tiredness, nausea, aches and I am told they can cause depression (I kept a totally consuming positive attitude and I believe this helped to keep depression away), but tamoxifen and arimedex are the meds I have taken after, both cause hotflashes (tamoxifen more then arimedex) and both cause joint aches but I would rather bank on them then on that nasty cancer staying away without them.

    0 Comments