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

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

Patient Info: Prefer not to answer/not applicable/unsure, Diagnosed: over 6 years ago, Female, Age: 37, Stage II, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: No, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
    ymeg's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    My journey began on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011. I came from work and when I laid down on my bed, I felt a hard lump on my right breast. I could not understand how that lump had appeared there if I had been doing my monthly breast exams consecutively and had only missed one in January. How could have I (or my ob-gyn) missed such a big lump if we both have felt this same area in mid December? I made an appointment with my ob-gyn on Wednesday and I went into her office on Thursday. She also felt it but didn't think it was anything too serious. How could it be...? I had no family history of breast cancer or ANY other cancer. I have never smoked in my whole life. I don't drink alcohol. I hate coffee. I don't use drugs. I am extremely proactive about "preventive medicine" and at the first sign of a mild sorethroat I am at the doctor's. The only two things against me were that I was overweight and I had never been pregnant or become a mother before. Anyway, my doctor thought it was best to have it tested. I had a purchased family vacation trip for the week after so I asked for the test to be done the next day. I had my first mammogram experience along with a needle biopsy with ultrasound in the same Friday morning. On Monday, the ob-gyn's assistant called me to say the doctor wanted to shre the results in her office so she wanted me to come by on Tuesday. A few hours later, I received a call from the lab doctor who decided to break protocol and confirmed what no 30yr old woman ever expects to hear: I had cancer.

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  2. 2
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Decision Point

    Now what treatment road should I choose?

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  3. 3
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Sentinel lymph node biopsy

    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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  4. 4
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Lumpectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

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

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  5. 5
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Remission

    Celebration

    They took out the entire tumor. The margins were all cleared. The sentinel lymph nodes were clear. The biopsy of the tumor as well as other lab tests confirmed I was officially cancer free.

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  6. 6
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
  7. 7
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
    ymeg's Avatar

    Decision Point

    Genetic Testing to identify if I was positive or negative of BRCA I and/or BRCA II. The results later confirmed BRCA I positive.

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  8. 8
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Four rounds of preventative chemo. Each consisting of: Taxotere and Cytoxan.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  9. 9
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Side Effects

    All chemo side effects except for vomiting (thanks to the acupunture and other medications)

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  10. 10
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Decision Point

    What happens next? Now that I knew I was BRCA I positive and that my chances for recurrence could be as high as 85 percent, I decided to take the next and probably biggest decision so far: radical bilateral mastectomy as another preventative caution...My learned lesson here: Radical situations require radical decisions.

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  11. 11
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Double Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I put it on God's hands and He chose that my double mastectomy was scheduled by both the surgeon and the plastic surgeon on the same day I would turn 31. This is why I celebrated my rebirth until a month after my double mastectomy.

    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  12. 12
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Post- surgery infection

    Oh No

    Yep, the left side of my wound got a bacterial skin infection regardless of how much I was taking care of it. The plastic surgeon scheduled me for an emergency outpatient surgery from one day to the next to clean the wound.

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  13. 13
    • ymeg
    • Experience with Triple-Negative Breast Ca...
    almost 6 years ago
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    Revisit of the mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Due to the infection on the left side, I went into an emergency outpatient surgery to clean the wound. Fortunately, the infection was barely beginning to happen so it was just external. There was no need to open beyond the superficial level and the plastic surgeon did not have to change the expandor.

    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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