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

Patient: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 5 years ago, Female, Age: 64, Stage I, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    • Ajfunstuff
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrat...
    almost 5 years ago
    Ajfunstuff's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    DCIS throughout breast shown after two biopsies and mastectomy was my only choice in terms of surgery of the left breast. Reconstruction offered as well as double mastectomy and I asked for assurances that the right side was good. I went for a second opinion and was told the other side was fine so I opted for the left to be a mastectomy with tissue expander and then, to have a second surgery to reduce the right breast to match, allowing me to keep one natural breast but I hated the tissue expander and only had small fills to keep it little and was planning on the reduction to go well but when I had that surgery on the right, there was a second primary cancer there and now I have radiation...two breasts and two different cancers (TNM was different).

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  2. 2
    • Ajfunstuff
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrat...
    almost 5 years ago
    Ajfunstuff's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Popped Vicadin like m&ms since the pain was horrible, JP drains were gross to deal with, wound care time-consuming, but lucky I had no infection.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  3. 3
    • Ajfunstuff
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrat...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Hormone therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    It was recommended I have hormone therapy, Anastrozole for the ER Positive breast cancer but the hand-out which detailed the side effects listed "vision problems" which was so vague and I did some research before taking any of this medicine. Since I have posterior vitreous detachment and lattice degeneration of the retina in both eyes and found this medicine can cause tracture of the eye, there would be a chance Anastrozole would make me go blind. I would rather fight cancer as a sighted person and declined to take the meds. The medical oncologist didn't know about that vision issue and my opthalmologist did not know about the hormone therapy drug's effects.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Ajfunstuff
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrat...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Reconstruction was pending on the other "good" side but I kept asking if it was okay and the surgeon said it was and I even had a second opinion that said it was "good" but because I pressed and pressed, I got more diagnostics done on the good side and they found a "hypoechoic" area and did ultrasound-guided biopsy which came back fine but the breast surgeon believed in me enough to do a lumpectomy in the same operation as the reduction by the plastic surgeon. The lump of tissue taken out was considered highly unlikely to be anything to worry about but it was a second primary breast invasive cancer stage Ib. Now I face radiation. I am angry I didn't go for the double mastectomy. Fact is, when the mastectomy on the other side was all said and done, they found an invasive .5cm cancer that they had also missed on my left side. My anguish is more than I can express.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  5. 5
    • Ajfunstuff
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrat...
    almost 5 years ago
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    External radiation

    Radiation

    IMRT is daily zapping of the beam. I hate going daily for 33 sessions (I just had 11 so far as I write this) and I am already red and feel like a branding iron is poking me and the burned skin starting showing up on the second day (I am a redhead caucasian with very fair skin). Radiation takes away your energy, your ability to enjoy because you have to be in the machine every single weekday and I have to work extra hours past quitting time to make up for time lost. Iif I had only been given better diagnostic information, I would not need radiation and would have had the double mastectomy to begin with. This is a system of inadequate diagnostic tools and radiologists.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  6. 6
    • Ajfunstuff
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrat...
    almost 5 years ago
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    Psychosocial

    Other Care

    I had two sessions with a counselor to help me sort through the mental anguish of the initial diagnosis. After that, I felt I could cope enough through free support groups. Co-pays are a necessary part of seeing the professionals but she was not a survivor herself and I got more out of talking with others who are going through it or who are survivors themselves.

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  7. 7
    • Ajfunstuff
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrat...
    almost 4 years ago
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    Another lump

    Symptoms

    After lumpectomy and IMRT Radiation ended in December 2012, I thought that would be the end of it since I had Stage 1 and clear nodes but in March a new lump appeared and first mammogram took place. Now, 6 months out on 9/27/13 a new mammogram and then ultrasound and the radiologist told me I need a stereotactic biopsy which I will have 10/02/13. Her eyes were tearing up when she told me I need a biopsy. How does one stay positive when the radiologist has trouble holding it together?

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  8. 8
    • Ajfunstuff
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrat...
    over 3 years ago
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    Fifth time draining hematoma that formed along mastectomy scar, and blood now totals 538cc removed. Facing Sclerotherapy and possible plastic surgery to fix protrusion left by hematoma

    Procedure or Surgery

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

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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