carolchristao's Journey:

Patient: Breast Cancer > Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 4 years ago, Female, Age: 39, Stage IIIC, HER2 Positive: No, ER Positive: Yes, PR Positive: No

  1. 1
    about 4 years ago
    carolchristao's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    It has been very difficult since the beginning. I am 34 and I never thought I could pass through something like that in an early age. When I think about cancer, I think about older people. Or child. I've had a neighbor whose kid had lymphoma and he didn't survive. I feel so scared about the surgery, since it is breast cancer.

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  2. 2
    about 4 years ago
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    Fever

    Side Effects

    Since I was diagnosed I had fever. So, after the 1st chemo, the doctors started antibiotics. I took for 2 weeks. I was already with diarrhea and the antibiotics just made me feel worse. The fever disappeared after the 2nd session of chemo.

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  3. 3
    about 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    It is easy to do, it's like taking fluids on the vein. I have lots of diarrhea. That makes me feel so debilitated. The hair loss was so painful. It started in the 15th day after the 1st chemo. I cried for 2 whole days before asking my husband to cut it off. I had already changed the hair cut to a very short one, thinking that would help me. After all, I think it helped. I guess seeing long hairs all around may be even more hard. I feel ashamed of everyone, even using scarves or hats. I don't want to use a hair wig. I just want my hair back. I did 2 sessions of chemo. The tumor appears to be growing still. I will do a 2nd PET-CT by 12/20. The doctors think there is a chance that it is not responding to chemo and in that case I will need to do the surgery by the beginning of january, then radiotherapy and chemo again. I am very very scared.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    about 4 years ago
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    Diarrhea

    Side Effects

    I had some more side effects. The more debilitating one is diarrhea. I run to the bathroom lots of times day and night. I even wake up during the sleep with diarrhea. I have been diagnosed before with irritated bowel syndrome, I think that makes everything worse. For 2 or 3 days after receiving the chemo I don't go to the bathroom. Then the diarrhea starts and will stop 2 days before the other session of chemo. The sessions are 21 days apart one from another. It is so annoying because without it I would feel good to go out. But I feel scared to leave my house and need a bathroom in the street. Where I live it's not common to have public bathrooms and even the ones inside a store, for example, they are usually a mess. I miss going out, walking around, doing normal things like going to shopping or to the supermarket.

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  5. 5
    about 4 years ago
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    Breast tenderness or growth

    Side Effects

    Even though I had 2 sessions of chemo, the tumor grew. My right breast (the sick one) is very different from the left one. Bigger and strange. The skin is darker, like an haematoma. And it hurts so much. I take Tylex (paracetamol + codeine) but it doesn't relieve much. It also bleeds from the nipple. I cry so much because of that. The doctors keep telling me that I should be calm, but it is very hard to seed blood going out from my breast, from the nipple. I always cry in the shower when I see the tiny drops of blood.

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  6. 6
    about 4 years ago
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    Implant chemotherapy port

    Procedure or Surgery

    It was awful. I woke up and the procedure had not finished yet. I started crying asking for more meds so I could just sleep and not see it, but the doctor didn't give me. I hate that doctor. I just cried and I couldn't stop. The nurses were all mad at me, as if I was crying because I wanted. I felt pain for about a week or ten days. Now I just feel it if I breathe deeply. Obviously I can feel when I put my hand over it, but it doesn't hurt. I just don't like to touch it. When I went to the hospital for the 2nd chemo, the nurse put some anaesthetic ointment (Emla) so it doen't hurt when they insert the needle.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  7. 7
    about 4 years ago
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    Chemo brain

    Side Effects

    I have never heard about "chemo brain" before seeing it here yesterday. :-) And I'm feeling that! My husband keep saying that it looks like I'm living in another speed, different from the rest of the world. Besides that, my memory is awful... I forget everything. Somethimes I take notes and then I forget to read them... Here at home I'm the one responsible for paying the bills. I've put alarms on my phone so I don't forget the dates.

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  8. 8
    about 4 years ago
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    Hair loss (alopecia)

    Side Effects

    Loosing my hair is the worst part. Before cancer, I already used my hair cut short, think about a long pixie cut. I was thinking about letting it grow a bit more, maybe change to a short bob cut. The day before the chemo started, I went to the beauty salon and asked for a very very dramatic hair cut. The guy cut with a machine, very man-like, just 1 or 2 cm. In the 15th day after my 1st chemo, I woke up and my pillow was full of hairs. I started crying and I cried for 2 days. I cried without moving so much, fearing that just the movement of my head would make the hair fall quicker. My husband (who is totally bald!) was really XXX off at me. He kept saying that he is bald since he was 18 (he is 45) and saying that my hair will grow up again. We all know that. But for a woman is so hard. As I write this now, I have been 3 weeks without my hair. I can't get used to this. Every time I look in the mirror, I kind of get shocked again. This also happens when I see my shadows around the house. It is so freak. I decided not to use a wig. I want my hair back, not a fake one. Inside home I don't use anything on the head, but when I go out I use scarves or hats. I feel ashamed of everyone, even with the head covered. Because they all know inside the scarf I am bald and freak.

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  9. 9
    about 4 years ago
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    Cancer is shrinking

    Celebration

    Yesterday was my 2nd PET-CT. I was afraid cancer was growing and in that case chemo would not be working and I would need surgery right away. Doctors even had made reservations in the hospital for an emergency surgery tomorrow, 2 days before Christmas... without telling me, so I wouldn't be more afraid and anxious. After I left the clinic where I made the exam, I sent a sms to my oncologist. In a couple of minutes he called me. I looked at the cell phone with fear for a couple of seconds before I answered him. He said I could celebrate and I started crying! I am now so happy that surgery will be just next year, that chemo is working!!!

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  10. 10
    about 4 years ago
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    Half is over!

    Celebration

    This week was my 4th session of chemo (Docetaxel). I am planned to receive more 4 (anthracyclines). So I'm on half of this chemo part. Surgery, radiation and so on on the future, I know. But I also know I have to celebrate this step. Docetaxel is over. I could make.

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  11. 11
    almost 4 years ago
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    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    02/02/13: mastectomy & axillary lymph node dissection. Anesthesia and morphine made me vomit so much and also a strong diarrhea for 2 days. The worst pain in my life before morphine, after no pain at all, only the bad side effects. Left hospital with 2 drains. Breast drain left 2 days after leaving hospital and axillary drain left 4 days after. I was so lucky.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  12. 12
    about 4 years ago
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    Surgery will be in a couple of days

    Oh No

    Since the beginning, I have always feared so much the surgery. I'll have a mastectomy on the right side. I'm already feeling like a monster and it will get worse. I will need radiation, so the doctors can't do the reconstruction now. Oncologist told me that I'll need to wait about a year, a year and a half for the reconstruction. I don't get along very well with my mother and she will arrive tomorrow to "help". My husband got unemployed last week. Everything around me seems to be drowning, everything that is bad is getting worse. I feel so much pain and then I get stressed and the pain also gets worse.

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  13. 13
    almost 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    02/22/13: back to chemo after surgery. Starting AC. Awful nausea for a week, vomiting twice, no willing to eat anything.

    Easy to Do: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  14. 14
    almost 4 years ago
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    Relationship issues

    Oh No

    Feb.24/2013: my husband left home. We've been married for 2 years. One week before my diagnosis we married in Catholic Church. And everything is now gone. I knew I'd face divorce, but I thought it would be after cancer was past. I have still 3 chemo sessions, radiation, reconstruction surgeries and he won't be here.

    1 Comment