A starting point.

JeccaJecca Member Posts: 27
edited October 2016 in Newly diagnosed

Here is a bit of an introduction, I am 39, I am a mum to 2 great kids aged 11 and 9 and a wife and busy with a job that I love and life that I love……… This is my first blog, all about my adventure on this crazy crazy rollercoaster to date!

I have just had the most amazing summer holidays.  It was by far the most relaxed I have felt for a long time.  About 3 days after arriving home I was getting ready for bed and had just taken of my bras, and was thinking "wow, that feels so much better!" and ran my hands over my breasts as you do, only to feel that the left breast felt swollen.  Bit like a bee had stung it. But not sore at all.  I thought I had best get a second opinion so I went and asked hubby to feel it as well - he agreed it didn’t feel "normal".  So we decided to keep an eye on it for a couple of days.

The swelling or maybe it wasn’t swelling more of a firmness, went away over the next day or 2, but I could feel a lump about the size of a grape.  Still it didn’t hurt at all, I felt fine.  My hubby insisted I get it checked by my GP which took a couple of days to get an appointment with, but that is very normal.  My GP had me booked in at the specialist before I even had my top back on!  He really didn't let on too much, I was still confident it was just some dense tissue or a cyst.  There is no history of any cancer in my family, I am relatively young (39), fit, healthy.  'That was on the 15/01/2015.

A week later I was in for a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy.  The specialist didn't even wait for the biopsy result to come back before he let me know that yes, you have cancer" Shock is an understatement!  That is that start of the rollercoaster for me.  The next day it was back to Adelaide for a MRI and chest x-ray and the following day for a full body scan and back to the specialist.  That was a very confronting day.  I work out side, and always thought if I was going to get any type of cancer it would be a melanoma. 

We went back to the specialist with all the images I had collected in the last 24 hrs to be told that I was having surgery on the 2/2/2015 to remove the lump and 1 node that was possibly also affected. As crazy as it is we came home and drank champagne that night because we were so relieved it was only in my breast and 1 node!  It’s crazy how your emotions go!

Surgery was a breeze.  They removed over 300g of tissue and the 1 node, clear margins all round.  The lymph node was clear, YAY!  And the lump was Stage 1, grade 3 (about 15mm circ) It isn’t hormone responsive and It is HER2 +

I am due to start chemo on the 6/3/15. And I am looking at a total of 15mth of treatment.  I think it is going to be a long year.  I will be on Doxorubicin and Cyclophosphamide for 4 cycles 21 days apart, then it changes to Paclitaxel  every week for 12 weeks plus Herceptin every 3 weeks and the Herceptin continues for another 9 months after the Paclitaxel finishes.

 It is so much to try and get your head around.  I think I am still in denial about so much of it.  I still feel completely well.  I don’t feel sick at all.  I do feel like bit of a fraud telling people I have cancer.  I am dreading the thought of putting all these poisons into my body to try and kill of something the doctors are 99% sure they have removed. The Info that is given is contradictory and confusing.  Technically I am cancer free at the moment, but just in case", we want you to do 15mths of treatment to stop it coming back, but the meds could cause another cancer 10 yrs down the track!!  What am I meant to do with that kind of info?  Feel a bit damned it I do, damned it I don’t! 

I am positive I will beat this and I will look back on it as a bit of a bump on the road of life.  I would love to have a reason as to why and what caused it, but I don’t think I will ever get that.  I have been given half a dozen reasons why I shouldn’t have it and the specialists professional opinion is just that I am bloody unlucky!!

Anyway..... I know I a bumpy road ahead, and I will have lots of questions.  It is great to find place where others are/have travelled and know the way.

 

Jecca

Comments

  • Tashie125Tashie125 Member Posts: 74
    edited March 2015
    I have the exact same cancer as you. I finished chemo in Dec 2013 and Rads in Mar 2014 and Herceptin in Oct 2014. It's seems like a never ending road of treatment which is tiring but it does get better with time. It all doable with the support of family and friends. I wish you well on as you start your journey. Another group to look at if your on Facebook is Surrounded by Pink Sisters, they have been awesome support for me. All the best xx
  • Tashie125Tashie125 Member Posts: 74
    edited March 2015
    I have the exact same cancer as you. I finished chemo in Dec 2013 and Rads in Mar 2014 and Herceptin in Oct 2014. It's seems like a never ending road of treatment which is tiring but it does get better with time. It all doable with the support of family and friends. I wish you well on as you start your journey. Another group to look at if your on Facebook is Surrounded by Pink Sisters, they have been awesome support for me. All the best xx
  • Hazel MHazel M BrisbaneMember Posts: 708
    edited March 2015

    I had a different case than you have, but my surgeon was happy that he got everything and clear margins, no node involvement. When chemo was suggested, I thought why? They said to mop up, mop up what? I thought. I do have a very strong family history, that was one of the reasons given. I guess its that one percent chance I didn't want to take.  The list of side effects for chemo is quite scary, but I decided to go with the medical advice as they are the experts. As for the why's, you're right, it's just unlucky. All the best for your treatment, keep in touch,

    Hazel xx

  • Hazel MHazel M BrisbaneMember Posts: 708
    edited March 2015

    I had a different case than you have, but my surgeon was happy that he got everything and clear margins, no node involvement. When chemo was suggested, I thought why? They said to mop up, mop up what? I thought. I do have a very strong family history, that was one of the reasons given. I guess its that one percent chance I didn't want to take.  The list of side effects for chemo is quite scary, but I decided to go with the medical advice as they are the experts. As for the why's, you're right, it's just unlucky. All the best for your treatment, keep in touch,

    Hazel xx

  • JeccaJecca Member Posts: 27
    edited March 2015

    Thanks Hazel.

    I am really struggling at the moment with that whole concept of the fact they have removed the cancer, yet we are going to pump my system full of toxins for 15 mths to make me better!!  Im not sick!!  I know that in the long run it is possibly the right option, but oh, how I would love a crystal ball right about now so I could see what would happen it i didn't go thru with the chemo!

  • Beryl C.Beryl C. Member Posts: 175
    edited March 2015

    Hi Jecca,

    this is a roller coaster ride so hold on!

    Just wanted to share  my experiences of Herceptin which I've been on since Aug. 2011 - every three weeks. Infusion is OK other than reminding me that I'm an oncology patient. It has a long list of side effects and I've found overall fatigue a bit intrusive, some strong headaches, regular outbreaks of mouth ulcers (use a warm water and bi-carb. rinse) and conjunctivis outbreaks (again use warm, salty water rinses). I have had very tender feet, the souls, for about 18mths and find Voltaren helps - I hope you don't have this one.

    My emotions go up and down but I've found the best way to deal with this is to be honest with myself and  let others know if I can't manage something, I keep fit with walks and the gym and find that on a bad day the best thing to do is to 'do' something - phone a friend or get out of the house. I've also returned to part time work and that was a wise move.

    Make sure you keep asking questions of your Dr's - the best thing is to be informed.

    best wishes,

    Beryl

  • JeccaJecca Member Posts: 27
    edited March 2015
    Wow beryl, that's a long time on herceptin. Thanks for all the advice, I am curious about wether or not I'm going to be able to juggle the work/treatment cycle. I'm hoping to. But maybe I'm being to optimistic! Do your symptoms ease at the end of each cycle?
  • JeccaJecca Member Posts: 27
    edited March 2015
    Wow beryl, that's a long time on herceptin. Thanks for all the advice, I am curious about wether or not I'm going to be able to juggle the work/treatment cycle. I'm hoping to. But maybe I'm being to optimistic! Do your symptoms ease at the end of each cycle?
  • JeccaJecca Member Posts: 27
    edited March 2015
    Wow beryl, that's a long time on herceptin. Thanks for all the advice, I am curious about wether or not I'm going to be able to juggle the work/treatment cycle. I'm hoping to. But maybe I'm being to optimistic! Do your symptoms ease at the end of each cycle?
  • macaroonmacaroon Member Posts: 6
    edited March 2015

    Hi  jecca

    I struggled , still am with the fact I was healthy after surgery. And now im not..I got diagnosed 22 dec 14. Im 45, same size as yours, I too found my tumor, I have had 1 dose of chemo TCH treatment 6 doses of chemo,18 doses herceptin, then radio..I had every side effect going and it was alot worse than I expected but I keep thinking this is killing any cells that has escaped. Only takes one cell to go somewhere else in the body to be in more trouble. I ended up in hospital with febrile neutrapenia for 3 days , this happened when I was meant to go back to work, but didn't work out that way, I have learnt to take one day at a time .I was affected for 10 days  by chemo.so next time I hope to work second half of the 3 week treatment..You may not be as affected as every one reacts differently. I am going to be more organized this time  by having bland soft meals in freezer ready to go.Lots of water , Lemon water on day 6 , no alcohol, healthy foods , immune boosting foods.

    Im still  researching everything I can find to help get through this and I to hate the fact im putting poison in my body and I feel it go to every part of my body, but my new saying is im here for a long time not just a good time! 

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