merr's Journey with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, Ductal

Survivor: Breast Cancer > Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma > Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 12 years ago, Female, Age: 70, Stage II, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: No, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    • merr
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    over 4 years ago
    merr's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    Religious annual mammos................................ONLY TIME I EVER, EVER SELF-TESTED, I FOUND A LUMP IN MY RIGHT BREAST. This was 4 months after a mammo.

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  2. 2
    • merr
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    over 4 years ago
    merr's Avatar

    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    So, how would you describe a double mastectomy recovery as "minimal"...when they cut your whole chest off (goodbye cancer and any chance of breast cancer) It was worth the extra recovery time as I see so many come back after a lumpectomy or it comes back in the other breast.

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

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Had six a/c treatments three weeks apart. Constipation issue, toenails trashed to this day (8 yrs later) Symptoms do reverse after chemo leaves the body. Did not have a port and ended up with carpel tunnel in both hands. Probably due to many sticks in both arms for blood tests and chemo treatment. Had to have 2 more operations for carpel tunnel but both hands/arms are fine now. Would highly recommend a port for chemo.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  4. 4
    • merr
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    over 4 years ago
    merr's Avatar

    External radiation

    Radiation

    Important stuff...................have doctor tell you EXACTLY where they will be radiating.......get yourself a broad leaf aloe vera plant (as wide as your hand) and each night during radiation, take your shower and slice a leaf from the plant and filet it...........the goo will be thick and you want to put that 100% aloe everywhere you were radiated that morning. My doctor was brilliant and I have passed that piece of advice along to many many women (and passed the plant along). We know it works because one gal did not realize they were radiating her neck too.............she put the aloe all over except for the neck and ended up with third degree burns. You won't regret this..........if you can't find a plant, get 100% aloe from health food store. He said don't buy the watered down stuff - you want 100%.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  5. 5
    • merr
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    over 4 years ago
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    CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine)

    Other Care

    Pull in a support group, therapist, try chiropractic care and accupuncture if you can. I learned how to meditate during this dark time in my life and support came out of the woodwork.

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  6. 6
    • merr
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    over 4 years ago
    merr's Avatar

    Rash

    Side Effects

    I noticed a "rash" on my left side near my waist.........................it was summertime and my treatment had just ended................I thought it was bug bites but looked it up in the Perscription for nutritional healing book by Dr. Balsch and realized it was SHINGLES. was getting shooting pains from the inside out, and book said if you are female, YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM HAS BEEN COMPROMISED, have been thru some chemo or radiation and over 50 it's probably SHINGLES. Get to your doctor IMMEDIATELY as the sooner you get on the antiviral meds the sooner it will go away. I got it a second time, back on the antiviral and haven't had another for 7 years.

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  7. 7
    • merr
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    over 4 years ago
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    Relationship

    Loss

    Engineer husband was awful towards me. Marriage counselor said if your marriage has a crack in it, cancer will probably get in and it certainly did with my marriage. We divorced a year or so after treatment - I needed time to get my health back first.

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