Newly diagnosed

Kylie SKylie S Member Posts: 9
edited September 2016 in Newly diagnosed

hi there,

I am 30 years old and have just been diagnosed with BC which doctors think is IBC grade 3 (not sure of stage) I have had a swollen breast for nearly 6 weeks which doc initially thought was an infection. 3 biopsies later and I have a semi diagnosis. I have no family history of BC. 

I am also HER2+. I have noticed people talking about hormone receptors and triple negative. Can anyone explain this to me? I am to take a drug for 1 year because I am HER2+?

Treatment plan is chemo - 6 rounds (every 3 weeks), then surgery and radiation. I have my consultation with the oncologist on Tuesday so will know when I will begin chemo then.

I am still processing and slowly learning about everything. I have so many questions.

Any advice as far as treatment would be ever so helpful right now. Did anything really help you through chemo?



  • rowdyrowdy Member Posts: 1,165
    edited November 2015

    Hi Kylie welcome to the site. When you are first told it is like  hitting a brick wall. The feeling of this cant be happening to me I didn't hear that right. It will take time to sink in, this site is good for support ask away someone generally has something to say even if it is sending you a hug and someone to listen.

    Chemo is a hard one and everyone is so different,  take it one day at a time, Try and take someone with you when you go to doctors as another set of ears helps. If you haven't already done order your my journey.

    You are not alone we are all here for you, sending you a hugxx.

  • Kylie SKylie S Member Posts: 9
    edited November 2015


  • lrb_03lrb_03 Member Posts: 815
    edited November 2015

    Hi Kylie, & welcome to a great place to get support & information. Hopefully, as you've found this site, you've also ordered your "My Journey" package. It's also well worth having, as it has lots of useful information, & you can dip in & out of it at your own pace. 

    Ther is information on the BCNA website about HER2 & hormone receptor status. My understanding is with HER2 positive, you'll be treated with herceptin, I think it's 12 months. If you are hormone receptor positive then your cancer feeds off oestrogen & progesterone, so you get hormone suppression medication for 5-10 years after active treatment is over. (I'm hormone receptor positive, so know mere about that)

    I, too, started my treatment with chemo, 6 cycles, each one 3 weeks apart. Everyone reacts differently. Talk to the oncologist about whether to think about an implanted device (portacath) for your chemo. They will assess & advise. I have one, but I knew from the start that I had very difficult veins to access, so it made chemo much less traumatic for me.

    Heartburn is one side effect from some chemo. I have heard of someone using fruit tingles to help that. I tried it recently, & they do work. They also work quite well to disguise the taste in your mouth that you can get with chemo.

    Take everything one day, one appointment at a time, and don't think too far ahead in your treatment. Keep coming back here with questions. It is overwhelming in the early days.

    Take care, Lyn

  • Kylie SKylie S Member Posts: 9
    edited November 2015

    Thank you! I have begun a list of medications, foods and other helpful things to purchase at my next shop!

    how long is a chemo treatment? What do most people do during this time? 

  • Jane221Jane221 Central Coast, NSWMember Posts: 993
    edited November 2015

    Hi Kylie, welcome to the site. So sorry you have had to join us but I hope you find lots of support here.

    My tumours were HER2+ as well as hormone positive. What this means is that the growth of the cancers on the two hormone positive tumours I had were driven by female hormones (oestrogen & progesterone), whereas the HER2+ tumour had a higher than normal level of a protein called HER2. So in both instances the breast cancer cells were over-expressing particular things; either hormones or the HER2 protein. 

    I had a mastectomy in April 2012 followed by 6 rounds of chemo every 3 weeks, Herceptin (to treat the HER2+ tumour) every 3 weeks for 12 months and radiotherapy for 5 weeks. I finished active treatment in July 2013 and am now having Tamoxifen (daily tablet) to suppress my hormones for the next few years. All of these treatments have their own challenges but you can get through them, especially if you tell your oncologist and team about any issues you might have as they can usually come up with something to help.

    Like Lyn said, the My Journey Kit is really useful just to give you an idea of what to expect and helped me to work out my questions before I saw any of the specialists along the way. I also had a portacath put in rather than trying to find a vein every 3 week for 12 months - my veins would not have coped with that!- definitely worth talking to your oncologist about.

    Best wishes, this is a difficult time for you but like Rowdy says, we are here for you. Jane xx 


  • Kim RKim R Narrabri / Salamander BayMember Posts: 146
    edited November 2015

    Hi Kylie, chemo should take only 3 hours but be prepared for 5. I had TC chemo treatment. I wore cold mitts for the first 1 1/2 hours to preserve my nails and fingers, so all I could do was watch TV, I meditated, I talked you could take an audiobook to listen to. You just have to take what happens be flexible and ask for help. Have you made contact with a McGrath Nurse, they are priceless. I know everyone's experience of chemo is different but from myself and others it gets a bit worst each time and any side effect can happen at anytime. All the best. Kim

  • lrb_03lrb_03 Member Posts: 815
    edited November 2015

    Hi Kylie. As Kim said, a lot depends on what chemo combination you have. I had FEC-D(a combination of 5FU, Epirubicn, Cyclophosphamide & Docetaxel), so I had 3 cycles of FEC followed by 3 of Docetaxel. The FEC took,about  3hrs, the 1st D took about 5hrs but he next 2 only about 2hrs. I always had someone with me, so we'd sit & chat, or check emails & Facebook, stuff like that. Do something that will distract you, & that you enjoy. 

    Ice gloves are one strategy to help prevent nail damage. The staff where I am felt that they weren't much benefit, so they weren't routinely used. I wonder now if they just didn't want the extra time, as you have to wear them for at least 30 minutes before & after chemo. The other thing that is supposed to help prevent nail damage is wearing dark nail polish on finger & toe nails, as it protects from the light.

    While I think of it, there is another website that has factsheets on all the different chemo combinations, and also on radiotherapy. It's called Eviq. You have to create a log in etc for it, but I have found it quite helpful, particularly as my hospital use a lot of their protocols.

    Hope you're doing ok, Lyn

  • Wenj2015Wenj2015 Member Posts: 7
    edited December 2015

    Hi Kylie,

    Welcome to the group but sorry to hear the news. I was diagnosed in july with inflammatory breast cancer grade 3 stage 3 triple negative. I am 5 or so weeks out of completing chemo and have a left mastectomy on thursday.  I had TAC chemo, aggressive but its done the job. What i have learnt from chemo is

    its gonna make you better. Remember that cos it keeps you going.

    Whatever food you choose to take on chemo day you will not want to look at it again or for a long while. I learnt this the hard way i tried to be healthy each round but after round 3 i had limited options. Round 6 i took a diet coke and sweet potato chips! No loss if i never eat them again.

    I lost my taste and spent hours in the supermarket buying food i wanted to eat but tasted blah. Your taste comes back and its like Christmas. 

    Hair falls out and its not the end of the grows back eventually

    My finger nails are still good. I had SNS manicures every 3 weeks and the coating adds nutrients to the nails, toe nails are not so great. 

    All in all the diagnosis is horrid, the treatment is horrid but the outcome is worth it.

    Take care and take each day as it comes 

    Wendy x


  • ReenieBabeReenieBabe Member Posts: 29
    edited February 2016

    Hi Everyone

    I have not been on this group for quite a while.  I was diagnosed with IBC in December 2008.  After rigorous treatment (chemo, mastectomy, radiation, drug therapy with a trial drug, Herceptin) I came out the other side.  Still very regular doctors/specialist appointments but no sign of further cancer.

    Keep positive everyone.  Happy to answer questions etc.

    ReenieBabe (Community Liaison)

  • sharon26sharon26 Member Posts: 2
    edited March 2016

    Hi All, 

    I have been diagnosed with IBC last week, everything has happened so quickly. I have so many question but am finding it hard to find up to date information on IBC. Can anyone help me.   

    Thanks Sharon 


  • lrb_03lrb_03 Member Posts: 815
    edited March 2016

    Hi Sharon, you've posted your question in response to another post, so you might be better off reposting on the main page. There is a trio up called getting started, to help with navigating this site. 

    Have you ordered a "My Journey" kit yet. It has lots of useful information in it, that you can dip in & out of. Don't try and read it all at once. You will find lots of help & support on this site. I didn't have IBC, so can't help much on that, but happy to answer questions any time. 

    Take care, Lyn

  • CosetteCosette Member Posts: 652
    edited March 2016

    Hi Kylie. If you would like to order a My Journey Kit, you can order it online here or give us a call at 1800 500 258.

    1800 500 258.
  • sharon26sharon26 Member Posts: 2
    edited April 2016

    Thanks Lyn, Sorry about that I will have a read and try and navigate around the site a bit better

  • lrb_03lrb_03 Member Posts: 815
    edited April 2016

    Don't be sorry, at least you found the site, and posted your first question. 

    Take care, 


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