- Grayson, GA
- Member Since Sep 2012
Their Diagnoses (1)
- Survivor: Breast Cancer
- Patient Info: Living with cancer as a chronic illness (undergoing adjuvant therapy), Diagnosed: almost 23 years ago, Female, Age: 71, Stage Recurrent, HER2 Positive: Yes, ER Positive: Don't Know, PR Positive: Don't Know
- View this journey (7 Experiences)
sandyhamrick shared an experience
Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): 1994 - I had radiation treatment on the right breast. The treatment went well. I was employed at the time at Emory University, Atlanta, Ga and after my treatments, I would walk to my office and work about 7 hours.
Following the treatment, I took Tamoxifin for about a year. My legs really ached and the doctor said it was ok for me to go off. My cancer had been carcionoma in-situ, and it wasn't critical to have or not have radiation and it was not critical to take the drug. Again, this was 1994 and so many, many discoveries since that time. I do not regret having the radiation or taking the Tamoxifin. Maybe, a curiosity about that drug, would my cancer had returned 10 years later, if i had taken Tamoxific for 5 years, vs. one year.
In 2004, when the cancer returned, my whole life was turned upside down. Biopsies, Ultrasounds, MRI's, finding a Medical Oncologist and confirming with Surgical Oncologist and Plastic Surgeon about surgery options. I was treated at the Winship Cancer Center at Emory (which is where I was working); The Medical Oncologist met with me very quickly, where many more tests were performed to determine the kind of cancer, the size, estrogen related, etc. Within a couple of weeks, I began my chemotherapy. The treatment was once every three weeks for 4 treatments; and then another kind of chemo, was once every other week for 4 treatments,
I lost my hair on my head, and other parts of my body too. Side effects for me, was severe vertigo, and the dizziness, throwing up that goes along with the vertigo. I was given medicine to counteract those symptoms and also was on valium during that time to try to keep me calm. Chemotherapy lasted about 3 1/2 months and was followed by Double Mastectomies and Reconstruction Surgery.
At the end of 2005, I was placed on Aromasin (oral chemo) and was to be on it for 5 years. But 18 months later, my cancer returned on the right breast, and after surgery, I was placed on another oral chemo, called Armistead and the plan was to be on that for additional 5 years. Again, about 18 months later, cancer returned in my left lymphnodes. So I had to stop taking that drug also, I was tried on another oral chemo for 3 months to determine if it would shrink the cancer. I'm sorry I can not think of the nameof the drug.
It did not help and so therefore, a left lymphnodectomy was performed in October 2009.
During that time frame, I just did not feel good, or have good energy, or good balance, and fell several times and shattered right shoulder on one fall. That was a month after the surgery, so I was handicapped in my left arm from the lymphnodectomy and in my right shoulder from the falls. July 2004 through Summer of 2010, I really was handicapped. It has taken me two years to build back up strength, stamina, energy, mentally, emotionally and physically. I was frightened to go anywhere, afraid I would fall again.
Going back to my treatment in 2009 and 2010, I did have radiation treatment under my left arm area and breast area (25 treatments).