smarkus381's Journey with Breast Cancer

Patient: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: about 5 years ago, Female, Age: 54, Stage IIA, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    over 4 years ago
    smarkus381's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Did not show up on a mammagram because I have dense breast tissue. Gynecologist found it in breast exam at yearly check up.

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  2. 2
    over 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    The steroids they gave me before chemotherapy kept me from sleeping for a couple days after treatment. I did lose my hair, eyelashes and eyebrows. I also had chemo brain fog the third day after treatment severly and then it lessened each day. I did not get rid of it entirely until a month after my last treatment. The brain fog made it difficult to work but I did it!

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    over 4 years ago
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    Surprise no lumpectomy now its a mastectomy.

    Oh No

    After thinking for three months I would have a lumpectomy, I was shocked to find that evwen though the chemo shrunk my tumor, it did not shrink it enough. I was told I would have a mastectomy.

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  4. 4
    over 4 years ago
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    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    My mastectomy went very well. I recovered very quickly and was back to work in three weeks.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  5. 5
    over 4 years ago
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    Sentinel lymph node biopsy

    Procedure or Surgery

    They removed three sentinel lymph nodes during my mastectomy. All along I thought there was no cancer in my lymph nodes because of an original biopsy. My doctors felt the same way. However, cancer was found in two of the three. Cancer was also growing outside of one of the lymph nodes.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  6. 6
    over 4 years ago
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    Breast Reconstruction (Implant)

    Procedure or Surgery

    To minimize the number of surgeries, I had a breast tissue expander implanted for reconstruction. The expander is fine at first but then as it is expanded I had this awkward lump high up on my right chest. It was very difficult to camouflage for work every day. The prosthesis placed in my bra helped but there was no way to hide it! I had to deal with it throughout radiation and then three months afterward. Once radiation starts you have to stop expansion. Had I known I would be having radiation, I would not have started the expansion!

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  7. 7
    over 4 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    The only side effects I had were to my skin. It did burn and peel and that was painful. Otherwise it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

    Painless Experience: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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