Paprika's Journey:

Patient: Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: almost 6 years ago, Female, Age: 64, Stage IIIC, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: Yes

  1. 1
    • Paprika
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years ago
    Paprika's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    just diagnosed with lobular carcinoma of breast. DANG! However, I am a Klingon Warrior Woman at heart and I'm not going to let this beat me! Scary all the same!

    1 Comment
  2. 2
    • Paprika
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years ago
    Paprika's Avatar

    MRI

    Procedure or Surgery

    Wow, MRI's are really VERY loud! It's hard to be still (so your photos aren't blurry) when a fire alarm is going off right next to your head! I made it though by visualizing the ocean surf going in and out on a favorite beach in Hawaii. Calming. Also to flush out the radioactive dye they injected, I drank about 4 times the normal amount of water following the procedure and went for nice exercise afterwards.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    1 Comment
  3. 3
    • Paprika
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    Paprika's Avatar

    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    just found out 2nd suspicious area was cancer too. Only MRI vacuum biopsy found this, it was negative by ultrasound. Probably means masectomy. This is very scary now. Surgery scheduled for thursday. Any tips out there for recovering from masectomy?

    1 Comment
  4. 4
    • Paprika
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    Paprika's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    had a single mastecomy and ALN positives. Drinking lots of water. drains out (whew). impt tips: protein drink to restore protein and help build new muscles as appetite is not back yet. Go and get a daily walk outside, even if it is just to your front sidewalk and back. Makes a WORLD of difference! Little neck roll pillow helps keep arm supported and lymph fluids draining. Very tired, but ibuprofen seems to be enuf for pain control for now. Having limit of 1 friend visit for 2-3 hours per day is a good idea too. That's enough. Get tired, but also receive restorative loving. And they feel better seeing you too! Will email later when mouse muscles recover! Big New Year's HUGS out to my friends out there!

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    3 Comments
  5. 5
    • Paprika
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    Paprika's Avatar

    Pain

    Side Effects

    after mastectomy and lymph node removal, I am having sharp tearing pain in the underarm area. Feels like I am pulling out muscles, but I am not. It's not lymphedema according to my surgeon, but she did not recommend (or acknowledge) anything I can do except take ibuproten. I did find massaging gently towards my armpit helps, along with slow stretching/tei-chi?? motions. Ok, ok, more serious things are on the horizon like chemo and radiation and hormone inhibitors, but for right now this is what's bugging me. My Klingon caregiver is just staring at me and telling me to suck it up! (no no just kidding, he is offering to give me a massage, but KLINGON style!!--do I dare??) Any body have suggestions for healing muscle pain??

    2 Comments
  6. 6
    • Paprika
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 5 years ago
    Paprika's Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Jan 27th First chemotherapy-takes4 hours from check in to in the car. Whew! First, go to onchologist to check blood work-everything looks remarkably normal. Then she checked my installed port “Borg Implant Part 5A-433”. Great! Then off to onchology infusion unit. While waiting for a bed to open up, checked out their wig bank closet with hand-knitted hats and scarves, wigs of all colors and shapes, but no blue Mohawks (disappointing)..all free! Then 3 million nurses and techs come and tell you all sorts of side effects and appt schedules and what foods to eat and which meds to take to limit nausea etc etc. While your brain is trying to recover from this onslaught of information, an infusion tech comes at you with 3 large (and I do mean LARGE) syringes with red evil-looking liquid (Doxorubicin) in it, one saline infusion bag and another infusion bag with Cyclophosphadmide in it. They do an excellent job of cross-checking each syringe and bag (2 pharmacists, 2 nurses and you the patient) to confirm it’s the correct drug and patient and dose (although how the XXX I would know what the correct dose is at this point is a mystery!!). OK, first a little connector is jabbed through the skin covering my Borg port and taped into place (easy! Not painful!). Then the 3 syringes of ERS (“Evil Red Stuff”) is injected (takes about 10 minutes each) while you chat with the tech and get to know all about her kids and what she did during the snow storm. Then after that, she checks that your eyes aren’t blowing up or your head isn’t exploding, then she moves onto the Cytoxan drip (takes about 45 minutes). No immediate response to this, a little tingling but that’s it. Off to pharmacy to collect 3 anti-nausea drugs and some Bactrim to prevent PCP pneumonia. Marc drove me home, we had a pleasant dinner and waiting for my cells to start to die. Meanwhile, I watched a funny movie. Slept well. Up the next morning, felt ok. My hubby and I walked NEARLY the whole way around Green Lake (made it about 7/8ths) with only one bench stop, when I felt a little dizzy. Took anti-nausea meds and am feeling great! So far (day 2 of Cycle 1) this is a breeze! (ok, could be a little early). Next? Monday-Friday next week, stop by injection room to get a shot of Neurogen (stimulates white blood cell production). Next chemo (Cycle 2) scheduled for Feb 9th! In total, I will be getting 8 cycles of chemo, then radiation, then 5 years of hormone inhibitor. Personally, I am looking forward to learning how to tie hair scarves in clever and entertaining ways!!! “Always look on the bright side of life…..!” Hang in there! Lynne! Klingon/Borg Warrior Woman!!!!

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    1 Comment
  7. 7
    • Paprika
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    about 5 years ago
    Paprika's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    ok Finished 5 1/2 months of chemo! YIPPEE!! I get a whole month off before 6 weeks of radiation, so I'm taking a quickie vacation to Victoria BC and forget about the WHOLE THING!!! Taking good thoughts of you all with me! Will buy new hat to celebrate bald noggin growing back (now, it's just peach fuzz, but very very easy to care for!!!) Whew! This is hard. Hugs from Seattle

    1 Comment
  8. 8
    • Paprika
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    almost 5 years ago
    Paprika's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    Just completed radiation treatment and about 1 month post-radiation, the skin burn area is starting to fade. I must admit the 4X/day aloe vera and aquafore ointments were wonderful for keeping the skin hydrated and not too many cracks developed. Also, continued swimming in salt-water pool, which helps reduce stress, stretch out scar tissue and cool the cooked core. Healthcare team and husband were fabulously supportive. Now am just trying to get my life back. Future are surgeries to reconstruct, but now I'm not too sure I want to go through all of that. Maybe I'll just keep my battle scars and continue living.... But now I have time to think about it. Hope everyone is doing well too! WHEW.... kisses from Seattle

    Painless Experience: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  9. 9
    • Paprika
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 4 years ago
    Paprika's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    OK, as a preventive measure, I've said adieu to my other non-cancerous breast. 2nd mastectomy was MUCH easier-no lymph nodes out, I knew what to expect. I am actually LOVING being flat chested and worry free (well, 98% free)!!! Now to just grow hair out and keep healthy. ......It's been a long year fighting cancer, but now I'm ready to resume my life. Stay healthy out there and remember, you can get through this!!! Hugs from Seattle!!1

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  10. 10
    • Paprika
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    over 3 years ago
    Paprika's Avatar

    Weight gain

    Side Effects

    I'm on letrozole and fighting to maintain a swelt figure, but the weight gain around my abdomen is discouraging. Oncologist just says "Well, this is typical side effect" but has no suggestions except to do 5000 crunches a day. HUMMMMMMMM. Otherwise, I'm embracing every day I am here! love to all of you!

    1 Comment