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-   -   My story (http://her2support.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=20822)

Betsy 08-16-2005 06:29 PM

I have just discovered this website and wanted to share my story. I was diagnosed with stage III ER/PR+, Her-2+ breast cancer at 26. I had a mastectomy followed by 6 months of chemo (Adriamycin, cytoxan and taxol) followed by radiation and then Tamoxifen. About two and a half years later, I started limping and was eventually found to have a metastasis to my spinal cord (not in the bones, but rather the cord itself, so it's comparable to a brain met). I had surgery to remove it then radiation but it grew back about a year later so I had stereotactic radiation to the spinal met. It shrunk to a few millimeters and it is not known if there is any active cancer left (the only way to know is if it grows). About 1 1/2 years after the spinal cord surgery I had metastases to the lungs. I had had shortness of breath and coughing along with rising markers. There never were any nodules in my lungs but rather it was described as a diffuse, interstitial spread. I had Carboplatin, Taxotere and Herceptin (6 times). I now continue to get Herceptin every three weeks and will continue on it indefinitely. The lung mets immediately cleared up and my markers have been normal for most of a year now. My cancer seems to be very responsive to Herceptin which is great but what troubles me is that the Herceptin doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier to reach the spinal cord spot. I am very healthy for my stage IV diagnosis. I work full time as a research nurse on two studies for women with breast cancer (quality of life studies). I swim on a swimteam about 4 days a week and I'm soon to start my PhD in nursing. Also, I just got engaged. Now to fix the spine met...


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