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    User: GregP_WN

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    Celebration (Remission): It has now been a year since my initial diagnosis. Yes, I still worry that every little cough or headache means that the cancer has metastasized. But I work every day to find the normal...and more important I focus on the little joys to be found in each day.

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    Radiation (External radiation ): Because of my diagnosis, I had a very aggressive radiation protocol. I went to treatments twice a day for 22 days, or 44 treatments. The treatments had to be at least 6 hours apart, so I was driving at least two and half to three hours a day just to get to and from treatments.

    My best advice for radiation treatments? Drink lots of water and use your ointments liberally and frequently.

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    Procedure or Surgery (Double Mastectomy): The surgery and initial recovery period went as expected. Although I was told about the possibility of lymphedema, I was not prepared for the reality of it. I also was not prepared for the adhesions in my left axilla. Both lymphedema and the adhesions impact my range of motion.

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    Decision Point: Inflammatory breast cancer is such a nasty aggressive form of breast cancer, and I'm triple negative also. That makes my cancer about as aggressive and nasty as it gets. In every case where I had a decision, I chose the more aggressive route. I wanted to be nasty and aggressive right back.

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    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): I completed 6 rounds of TAC (taxotere, adriamyacin, cytoxan) at three week intervals. My last infusion was on Dec. 9, 2010.

    My oncologist was very proactive in treating side effects. I had more prescriptions for nausea than I used, but I was very happy to have them (and several OTC helpers) on hand. I dealt with bone pain, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, and what I call the chemo fog. I also lost my hair, suffer from peripheral neuropathy, and the effects of chemo brain.

    The best advice I have for chemo? Drink lots of water, and ask your docs about all side effects. They have ways to help you manage anything that might come up.