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Old 04-19-2016, 12:20 PM   #1
Mtngrl
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Five Years Stage IV

I just "happened" to log on today. When I read my signature I noticed this is the fifth anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis.

It took over a month to complete the staging, but on May 24, 2011 I found out my cancer had spread to my liver and lungs.

I'm glad I'm still here. I'm doing well. I'm one of the lucky ones. Although I haven't spent much time in NED territory, my cancer has been pretty stable and hasn't caused a whole lot of trouble, other than the psychological burden(s) of living with an incurable disease that will most likely get the upper hand someday.

To "celebrate" half a decade (and counting) of being qualified for this club, I have a few things to pass on to anyone who's just starting out:
---Don't worry about anything until you have to.
---You are entitled to have a lot of control over the management of this condition. Your health care team does, indeed, know more than you about oncology, and you should hear them out, but since they don't actually know how to cure you, you get a vote too. You even have veto power.
---The people who write scan reports tend to use pretty gloomy language. They (usually) get the facts right, but their conclusions tend to skew negative. They are much more likely to say "evidence of progression" than "stable."
---Remember that HER-2+ cancer is normally very aggressive. In the absence of treatment it would almost certainly progress rapidly, so consider thinking of any scan that doesn't show new lesions as a "stable" scan. And if it's "stable," then you can stay on your current treatment a little longer if you can hack the side effects.
---Any drug that will clear up a little bit of cancer will clear up a lot, so, again, don't be too quick to switch treatments.
---As much as possible, live in the now, and be grateful.
---Live your life. You're going to die (a certainty for everyone, everywhere), you're not dead yet, now what?
__________________
Amy
_____________________________
4/19/11 Diagnosed invasive ductal carcinoma in left breast; 2.3 cm tumor, 1 axillary lymph node, weakly ER+, HER2+++
4/29/11 CT scan shows suspicious lesions on liver and lungs
5/17/11 liver biopsy
5/24/11 liver met confirmed--Stage IV at diagnosis
5/27/11 Begin weekly Taxol & Herceptin for 3 months (standard of care at the time of my DX)
7/18/11 Switch to weekly Abraxane & Herceptin due to Taxol allergy
8/29/11 CT scan shows no new lesions & old lesions shrinking
9/27/11 Finish Abraxane. Start Herceptin every 3 weeks. Begin taking Arimidex
10/17/11--Brain MRI--No Brain mets
12/5/11 PET scan--Almost NED
5/15/12 PET scan shows progression-breast/chest/spine (one vertebra)
5/22/12 Stop taking Arimidex; stay on Herceptin
6/11/12 Started Tykerb and Herceptin on clinical trial (w/no chemo)
9/24/12 CT scan--No new mets. Everything stable.
3/11/13 CT Scan--two small new possible mets and odd looking area in left lung getting larger.
4/2/13--Biopsy of suspicious area in lower left lung. Mets to lung confirmed.
4/30/13 Begin Kadcyla/TDM-1
8/16/13 PET scan "mixed," with some areas of increased uptake, but also some definite improvement, so I'll stay on TDM-1/Kadcyla.
11/11/13 Finally get hormone receptor results from lung biopsy of 4/2/13. My cancer is no longer ER positive.
11/13/13 PET scan mixed results again. We're calling it "stable." Problems breathing on exertion.
2/18/14 PET scan shows a new lesion and newly active lymph node in chest, other progression. Bye bye TDM-1.
2/28/14 Begin Herceptin/Perjeta every 3 weeks.
6/8/14 PET "mixed," with no new lesions, and everything but lower lungs improving. My breathing is better.
8/18/14 PET "mixed" again. Upper lungs & one spine met stable, lower lungs less FDG avid, original tumor more avid, one lymph node in mediastinum more avid.
9/1/14 Begin taking Xeloda one week on, one week off. Will also stay on Herceptin and Perjeta every three weeks.
12/11/14 PET Scan--no new lesions, and everything looks better than it did.
3/20/15 PET Scan--no new lesions, but lower lung lesions larger and a bit more avid.
4/13/15 Increasing Xeloda dose to 10 days on, one week off.
7/1/15 Scan "mixed" again, but suggests continuing progression. Stop Xeloda. Substitute Abraxane every 3 weeks starting 7/13.
10/28/15 PET scan shows dramatic improvement everywhere. All lesions except lower lungs have resolved; lower lungs noticeably improved.
12/18/15 Last Abraxane. Continue on Herceptin and Perjeta alone beginning 1/8/16.
1/27/16 PET scan shows cancer is stable.
5/11/16 PET scan shows uptake in some areas that were resolved on the last two scans.
6/3/16 Begin Kadcyla and Tykerb combination
6/5 - 6/23 Horrible diarrhea from K&T together. Got pneumonia.
7/15/16 Begin Kadcyla only every 3 weeks.
9/6/16 Begin radiation therapy on right lung lesion that caused the pneumonia.
10/3/16 Last of 12 radiation treatments to right lung.
11/4/16 Huffing and puffing, low O2, high heart rate, on tiniest bit of exertion. Diagnosed as radiation pneumonitis. Treated with Prednisone.
11/11/16 PET scan shows significant improvement to radiated part of right lung BUT a bunch of new lung lesions, and the bone met is getting worse.
11/22/16 Begin Eribulin and Herceptin. H every 3 weeks. E two weeks on, one week off.
3/6/17 Scan shows progression in lungs. Bone met a little better.
3/23/17 Lung biopsy. Tumor sampled is ER-, PR+ (5%), HER2+++. Getting Herceptin and Perjeta as a maintenance treatment.
5/31/17 Port placement
6/1/17 Start Navelbine & Tykerb
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Old 04-19-2016, 12:38 PM   #2
Lisalou
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Re: Five Years Stage IV

Happy Canniversary
Take care
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[SIGPIC]Lisa
Routine mammogram 12/20/2013
Call back with repeat films on12/31/2013 Ultrasound with core needle biopsy same day
Dx 1/2/2014 IDC ER/PR+
1/10/14 HER2 +
2/14/14 BRCA results negative
2/17/2014 skin & nipple sparing BMX with reconstruction Tissue expanders placed
IDC Stage 2A left breast. 9mm tumor no other CA 1/4 nodes positive
ER + PR + Her2 +(by FISH)
Right breast no cancer, sclerosing adenosis
3/13/14 Round 1 AC minimal side effects
3/27/14 Round 2 AC
4/10/14 Round 3 a little more nausea
4/24/14 round 4 hurray! Done with phase 1!
5/8/14 THP ( taxol weekly x12, Herceptin & perjeta every 3 weeks x 4)
7/24/14 done with chemo
Continue of Herceptin every 3 wks x 1 yr
5/14 start Tamoxifen x 5 years
8/18/14 removal of TEs silicone implants placed
9/14/14 Cellulitis Right Breast, suspect infected implant. Managed with Oral antibiotics, avoided surgery to remove implant. Whew!
12/17/14 nip & tuck revision of Left breast

We gain strength, courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face. The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, not in daring to come to grips with it. We must do that which we think we cannot do. -Eleanor Roosevelt
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Old 04-19-2016, 04:56 PM   #3
MaineRottweilers
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Re: Five Years Stage IV

Amy, I am celebrating with you. Here's to the next half decade (and as many more as you would like). I am grateful for your sage advice. It has been taken to heart.
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Tracy Arcari
___________________________________________
11/12 BSE ignored the lump for SIX months.
5/1/13 IDC ER/PR- HER2/neu+++
5/14/13 Mastectomy and SN biopsy
5/20/13 IDC Stage IIb Grade 3 Nodes 1/4 also IDC and DCIS multi focal in remaining dissected tissue.
5/30/13 MUGA and CT thorax, abdomen & pelvis, establish baseline.
6/4/13 Installed my little purple power port.
6/14/13 Chemo started TCH
6/14/13 Informed of suspicious ares on scans scheduled PET.
7/1/13 PET Scan NED!
9/27/13 FINAL CHEMO taken! ----well, maybe not.
10/15/13 Three little tattoos.
10/24/13 Radiation begins and fourth tattoo placed.
11/27/13 Perfectly radiant! Radiation completed the day before Thanksgiving and so, so much to be thankful for this year and every day hereafter.
1/2/14 Happy New Year, you have a Goiter? Muga down to 59%.
1/17/14 Hashimoto's Dz Dx'd. Now maybe I'll feel BETTER!
5/2/14 Herceptin completed! New kitten!
8/19/14 Prophylactic mastectomy (right) and PORT OUT! I'm DONE and now I really am a SURVIVOR.
2/15 Started not feeling so swell. Memory lapses and GI issues with nausea and blurry vision.
4/30/15 U/S cystic gallbladder, cyst on right ovary and mass in my uterus. GYN consult scheduled---and cancelled. I'm not ready.
5/4/15 Brain MRI clear (big sigh of relief)
7/30/15 Back Pain
8/31/15 Radiograph: compression fracture L2
9/10/15 Bone Scan positive
9/21/15 CT scan conclusive for tumor
10/1/15 CT guided biopsy & Brain to Pelvis MRI reveal additional lesions on spine C6, T10, T11 and L2 is collapsing.
10/8/15 Abbreviated pathology: new tumor(s) poorly differentiated carcinoma consistent with known breast primary.
ER-/PR+ (40%)
HER2/neu+++ Ki-67 4% Pancytokeratin AE1/3 Strong Positivity in all malignant cells.
10/13/15 Abnormal Dexa: moderate risk of fracture to both femoral head/neck R&L. Significant risk to lumbar spine.
10/14/15 Radiation consult back to the cooker.
10/20/15 MUGA 50% down from 54% after a year off Herceptin (???)
10/21/15 Kyphoplasty L2
10/22/15 Re-start Chemo: Perjeta, Herceptin & Taxotere
10/26/15 PET Scan confirms C6, T10-11, L2, new lesion noted at L4 but no visceral involvement---Happy dance!!!
10//29/15 Xgeva
10/29/15 Radiation Simulation--three new tattoos to add to my collection. Just call me Dotty.
10/30/15 CA27-29 63 U/mol (<38 U/mol)
11/3/15 First Trip to see Dr. E. Mayer at DFCI
11/4/15 Surgical consult to re-install my little purple power port.
11/9/15 Radiation treatment one of five.
11/10/15 Installed my little purple power port and not a moment too soon, took them four tries to get an IV started today.
Yes, we really are going down this road again.
12/5/15 CT for suspected pulmonary embolism demonstrates increase in T10-11 mets.
12/8/15 Bone Scan uptake at T10-11 (not seen 9/17/15) & Right 8th Rib (not evident on PET 10/26/15)
12/10/15 Consult Re: PROGRESSION. Halt THP due today. Schedule PET and order TDM1 for next week. PLAN B.
12/14/15 PET scan: NO PROGRESSION! THP is working, metabolic activity minimal. Merry Christmas to me! Sticking with PLAN A, it's working.
1/7/16 Start Taxol weekly instead of Taxotere (has been too taxing and not rebounding between txs.) Zometa instead of Xgeva.
3/28/16 CT shows new sclerotic lesions on T12, L3, L5, L6, right ilium and head of right femur. No uptake on Bone Scan (progression????)
3/31/16 Discontinue Taxol start Arimidex, still getting H&P.
6/2/16 Discontinue Arimidex and start Exemestane.
6/18/16 PET is NEAD!!
7/1/16 Discontinue Exemestane and restart Armidex (SEs)
8/29/16 CT/Bone Scan Stable (still uptake at T10-11)
10/3/16 BSO pathology negative
10/10/16 MRI: Brain clear!
10/14/16 Switched care to Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care
11/24/16 Xgeva, New MO preference to Zometa
12/12/16 CT/Bone scan Mostly stable significant uptake at L2 plan to PET
1/12/17 PET shows NEAD celebrate with a new puppy!
3/29/17 CT & BS = NEAD
7/31/17 Aetna denies access to H&P <gearing up for a fight>
8/4/17 CT& BS= STABLE
8/9/17 No treatment, Aetna still denying H&P
8/14/17 Aetna appeal approved H&P through February 2018!
2/5/18 CT & BS = STABLE

//
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Old 04-19-2016, 05:58 PM   #4
ariana
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Re: Five Years Stage IV

I have taken your advice as well. Congratulations !!!! And many more years
to come.
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Old 04-19-2016, 07:11 PM   #5
gramen
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Re: Five Years Stage IV

Congratulations on the aniversary and thank you for the advice!!!
Also, read your message at the perfect moment, it's taken me almost two months to start treatment and I'm sooo scared of this rapidly growing her2 stage iv liver metastasis. You are living proof there's hope :-)
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:40 PM   #6
Mtngrl
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Re: Five Years Stage IV

Thanks, everybody! I'm so glad I found this group.

Amy
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Old 04-19-2016, 11:35 PM   #7
Jedrik
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Re: Five Years Stage IV

Love it. Pray continue. :-)
And thanks for the advice, I keep forgetting about some of those things.
__________________
Dx 9/17/2015, IDC/Paget's, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ at age 57
Surgery 10/6/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel
Chemotherapy
start 10/19/2015 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
Targeted Therapy start 10/19/2015 Herceptin (trastuzumab), Perjeta (pertuzumab)
Surgery 02/23/2016 MX Left, PMX Right
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Old 04-20-2016, 07:50 AM   #8
Carol Ann
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Re: Five Years Stage IV

Thanks Amy! You are a treasure for all of us, xoxo and so glad you posted your wise words for all of us to have.

Carol Ann
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July 24, 2013: "Infected" Right Nipple and benign cyst removed, pathology report revealed Paget's, DCIS, and ILC 1.25 cm, ER+/Pro+/HER2 equivocal, Grade 2 under benign cyst, previous diagnostic mammo/ultrasound said I was perfectly healthy in both breasts.

Aug 18, 2013: MRI report says Left breast is perfectly healthy "consistent with previous studies".

Sept 2013: I insist on a bilateral mastectomy anyway. Too nervewracking to let left breast remain with higher risk after 3 cancers in right, nipple in right is already gone anyhow.

Sept 18, 2013: Bilateral mastectomy, 11 right nodes removed, ALL negative BUT -- ER+/PRO+/HER2+ tumor, 1.0 cm, Grade 2 found in a piece of "grossly unremarkable" breast tissue from prophylactic mastectomy of left breast, no nodes removed.

Oct 25, 2013: 13 left side nodes removed, ALL negative, Stage 1 across the board, NO RADS needed, YAAAAY! Port also installed.

Nov 25, 2013 Begin 6 rounds TCH.

March 10, 2014 Just finished 6th and LAST Chemo today, YAAAAAY!

March 24, 2014 Echocardiogram to make sure I'm still good for Herceptin every 3 weeks.

March 31, 2014 Echo results NORMAL, first Herceptin all by itself. Now if only my eyes would stop streaming from the Taxotere ... :)

April 21, 2014 Started Arimidex and therapy for "mild" lymphedema in left hand and arm

May 2014 Therapy completed, I have sleeves and gloves for both arms, a Flexi touch lymph pump to hook up to for an hour every day, and I've become an arm bandaging expert. :)

June 2014 Begin Fosamax to prevent osteoporosis; bone scan revealed osteopenia

Nov 17, 2014 FINAL Herceptin!

Dec 4, 2014 My right thigh muscle has been extra achy for days ... I discover a blister rash cluster on the side of my right thigh while taking a shower. Port appointment cancelled until Dec 17, my doc is working me in tomorrow afternoon to see me and the rash. My muscle at least feels less achy.

Dec 5, 2014 Yep, I have shingles. Boo! I start acyclovir and also have a prescription for a painkiller just in case for over the weekend.

Dec 17, 2014 Port is OUT!

January 2016 Shingles again and this time it started where my left breast (where the hidden HER2+++ tumor was!) used to be. My onc nurse got me a same day appointment to see my doc when I called and told her I had a rash on the site. The antiviral meds are working once again, though, so that is good news. :)
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:30 AM   #9
waterdreamer
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Re: Five Years Stage IV

Congratulations!! Great words of wisdom, and so good to hear you continue to thrive.
__________________
Breastfeeding when diagnosed with Her2+ May 2008
Oct 2008 Double mastectomy 22/28 lymph nodes positive
Decline chemotherapy (decision I regret)
Nov 2009 Mets to lungs and bones.
Dec 2009 Start Taxotere and Herceptin, T1, T3 heal completely and lungs are clear, T2 and first rib have lytic lesions. First rib becomes sclerotic. Considered stable.
May 2011, Onc calls progression and I cross over from comparison arm of clinical trial to TDM-1
Brain scan in Sept 2011 showed small tumor in right cerebellum, did Novalis radiation.


Feb 2013 < 1cm tumor in left frontal lobe. Did Novalis in March and latest scan shows no sign of brain metastasis.
Aug 2013 did 36th round of TDM-1 Due to TDM-1 side effects, shortness of breath, and difficulty getting my balance when getting out of bed, agreed with my oncologist to stop TDM-1.
Took a six week break, bone scan showed small uptake on left first rib. CT showed hypodensities in liver (too small to biopsy) and small nodule in lungs (mediastinal).
Started Navelbine weekly. Did one round with Herceptin.
Skipped next 2 rounds, due to neutropenia. Next chemo 7th Nov - have had 3 Neupogen shots, so WBC should look better... Did not tolerate Navelbine well.
December 2013 scans show no sign of active cancer.
March 2014 - currently only on Herceptin - brain MRI clear, PET/CT two nodules in right lung show uptake
May 2014 - stop Herceptin.
Sept 22, 2014 Brain MRI clear :) PET/CT Progression in lungs.
Sept 2014, Xeloda, Tykerb and Herceptin.
Nov 2014 - Decide to take a break from all treatment.
May 2015 - Brain met radiated with Novalis
July 2015 - Have progression in right lung.
Sept 2015 - Perjeta and Herceptin alone after a 9 month break from all treatment.
Nov 2015 - Thoracentesis 1500ml removed from right lung.
Dec 2015 - Two tiny 1mm brain mets radiated in right cerebellum.
Feb 2016 - Thoracentesis 2200ml drained from right lung
Feb 2016 - Stopped Perjeta and Herceptin and started back on Kadcyla as I had no previous progression on it. After 1 cycle of Kadcyla markers begin to drop. On second cycle add Keytruda.
March 2016 - Thoracentesis 1650ml drained from right lung.
April 2016 – Thoracentesis 1500 ml drained from right lung.
June 2016 – CT scan shows progression in right lung, as well as moderate pleural effusion requiring Thoracentesis.
June 2016 – Decide to stop Keytruda, and will do chemosensitivity test through Rational Therapeutics. Plan to continue on Kadcyla for next two cycles.
July 2016 - Start weekly Abraxane with Herceptin. WBRT with hippocampal sparing, Taking Namenda. 15 sessions over 3 weeks.
Aug - Dec 2016 - 2 infusions of Navelbine, very hard on my body and still dealing with anasarca (generalized edema) 1 infusion of Havalen
My doctor wants to put me on hospice.
Dec 23rd 2016 - I am granted compassionate use of Neratanib.
May 31st 2017 - still on Neratinib, feeling good.
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:30 AM   #10
thinkpositive
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Re: Five Years Stage IV

Congratulations Amy! Thanks so much for sharing your words of wisdom. I'm glad you continue to do well and are truly living.

Take Care,
Brenda
__________________
8/2013 Diagnosed IDC Left Breast ER-/PR-/HER2+ Stage 3C, DCIS ER+/PR+/HER2- Right Breast (54 yr)
8/2013 PET/CT scan shows mass in uterues and suprclavicular nodes
8/20/13 Begin 6 rounds TCH chemo, Perjeta added for rounds 4-6
9/2013 After 1st round of chemo, mass in neck and breast no longer able to feel
11/2013 Hysterectomy, mass from PET/CT scan not cancer (adenomylosis)
12/2013 Finished chemo
1/2014 Double mastectomy with chest expanders
1/2014 Pathology report from surgery and SNB show complete pathological response!
3/2014 Finish IMRT radiation
8/2014 Fat transfer to radiated breast
8/2014 Completed 1 yr of Herceptin
10/2014 exchange surgery expanders removed implants placed
6/2015 3D nipple and areola tattoos
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:55 AM   #11
SoCalGal
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Re: Five Years Stage IV

Great post, Amy!!!! I'm a few years ahead of you, love your words of advice!
__________________
1996 cancer WTF?! 1.3 cm lumpectomy Er/Pr neg. Her2+ (20nodes NEGATIVE) did CMF + rads. NED.
2002 recurrence. Bilateral mastectomy w/TFL autologous recon. Then ACx2. Skin lymphatic rash. Taxotere w/Herceptin x4. Herceptin/Xeloda. Finally stops spreading.
2003 - Back to surgery, to remove skin mets. Not able to get clear margins. So schedule another surgery one week later when pathology can confirm margins.
‘03 latisimus dorsi flap to remove skin mets. CLEAN MARGINS. Continue single agent Herceptin thru 4/04. NED.
‘04 '05 & 06 tiny recurrences - scar line – cut out, cut out, cut out. NED each time.
1/2006 Rads again, to scar line. NED.
3/07 Heartbreaking news - mets! lungs.sternum. Try Tykerb/Xeloda. Tykerb/Carbo/Gemzar. Switch Oncs.
12/07 Herceptin.Tykerb. Markers go stable.
2/8/08 gamma knife 13mm stupid brain met.
3/08 Herceptin/tykerb/avastin/zometa.
3/09 brain NED. Lungs STABLE.
4/09 attack sternum (10 daysPHOTONS.5 days ELECTRONS)
9/09 MARKERS normal!
3/10 PET/CT=manubrium intensely metabolically active but stable. NEDhead.
Wash out 5/10 for tdm1 trial but then 6/10 CT STABLE, PET improving. Markers normal. Brain NED. Resume just Herceptin plus ZOMETA
Dec 2010 Brain NED, lungs/sternum stable. markers normal.
MAR 2011 stop Herceptin/allergy! Go back on Tykerb and switch to Xgeva.
May-Aug 2011 Tykerb Herceptin Xgeva. (premeds for Herceptin now)
Sept 2011 Tykerb, Herceptin, Zometa, Avastin. (switched back to Zometa, pet/ct bone mets seemed worse on Xgeva)
April 2012 sketchy drug trial in NYC. 6 weeks later I’m NED!
OCT 2012 PET/CT shows a bunch of freakin’ progression. Back to LA and Herceptin.avastin.zometa.
12/20/12 add in PERJETA!
March 2013 – 5 YEARS POST GAMMA ZAPPA continue HAPZ
APRIL 2013 - cancerversary 17 years from original diagnosis. 6 yrs stage 4.
"FAILED" PETscan on 4/2/13 (WTF)
May 2013: rePetted - improvement in lungs, left adrenal stable, right 6th rib inactive, (must be PERJETA avastin) sternum and L1 fruckin'worsen. Drop zometa. ADD Xgeva. Doc says get rads consultant for L1 and possible biopsy of L1. I say, no thanks, doc. Lets see what xgeva brings to the table first. It's summer.
June-August 2013HAPX Herceptin Avastin Perjeta xgeva.
Sept - now - on chemo hold for calming tummy we hope. Markers stable for 2 months.
Nov 2013 - Herceptin-Perjeta-Avastin-Xgeva (collageneous colitis, which explains tummy probs, added Entocort)
December '13 BRAIN MRI ned in da head.
Jan 2014: CONTINUING on HAPX…
FEB 2014 PetCT clinical “impression”: 1. newbie nodule - SUV 1.5 right apical nodule, mildly hypermetabolic “suggestive” of worsening neoplastic lesion. 2. moderate worsening of the sternum – SUV 5.6 from 3.8
3. increasing sclerosis & decreasing activity of L1 met “suggests” mild healing. (SUV 9.4 v 12.1 in May ‘13)
4. scattered lung nodules, up to 5mm in size = stable, no increased activity
5. other small scattered sclerotic lesions, one in right iliac and one in thoracic vertebral body similar in appearance to L1 without PET activity and not clearly pathologic
APRIL 2014 - NEWSFLASH:
6 YEARS POST GAMMA ZAPPA, 7 YEARS STAGE 4 and 18 YEARS FROM ORIGINAL DX! (CUCK FANCER)
October 2014: hold avastin, continue HPX
Feb 2015 Cancer you lost. NEDHEAD 7 years post gamma zap miracle, 8 years ST4, +19 yrs original diagnosis.
Continue Herceptin, PERJETA, xgeva. Adding back Avastin to see if lungs will go quiet
Nov 2015 pet/ct is mixed result. L1 SUV is worse. Continue Herceptin/avastin/xgeva. Might revisit Perjeta for L1. Meantime going for rads consult for L1 and due for MRI brain check (check please!).
December 2015 - brain stable. Continue Herceptin, Perjeta, Avastin and xgeva.
Jan 2016: 5 days, 20 grays, Rads to L1 and continue on HAPX. I’m trying to "save" TDM1 for next line. Hope the rads work to quiet L1. Sciatic pain extraordinaire :((
Markers drop post rads.
2/24/16 HAP plus X - markers are down: CA15‐3=46.9 CEA=12.3 CA 27.2=79 SCIATIC PAIN DEAL BREAKER.
3/23/16 Laminectomy w/coflex implant L4/5. NO MORE SCIATIC PAIN!!! Healing.
APRIL 2016 - 9 YEARS STAGE FOUR!
July 2016 - continue HAP plus Xgeva. Not NED not DEaD.
DEC 2016 - PETCT: mets to sternum, lungs, L1 still about the same in size and PET activity. Markers not bad. Not making changes if I don't need to. Herceptin/Perjeta/Avastin/Xgeva
APRIL 2017 10 YEARS MBC
December 2017 - Progression - gonna switch it up
FEB 2018 - Kadcyla 3 cycles ---->progression :(
MAY30th - bronchoscopy, w/foundation1 - her2 enriched
Aug 27, 2018 - start clinical trial ZW25
JAN 2019 - ZW25 seems to be keeping me stable
APRIL 2019 - ONE DOZEN YEARS LIVING METASTATIC
MAY 2019 - progression back on herceptin add xeloda
JUNE 2019 - "6 most average survival" LMD & CNS new single brain met - one zap during 5 days true beam SBRT to cord met
10/30/19 - stable brain and cord. progression lungs and bones. washing out. applying for ds8201a plus nivolumab. hope they take me.
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:31 PM   #12
Donna H
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Posts: 243
Re: Five Years Stage IV

Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom. It is always welcome to hear from strong survivors like yourself. I can always use the encouragement and advise. Congrats on the milestone - may there be many, many more!
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Old 04-20-2016, 07:19 PM   #13
Crn
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Posts: 46
Re: Five Years Stage IV

How wonderful. Thanks for your willingness to share your experiences with us.
Cindy
__________________
Jan 2014 -mammogram, targeted mammogram, and ultrasound.
Feb 2014 -stereotactic biopsy (IDC, lobular growth pattern, grade 3, ER+ 30%, PR+ 1%, HER2+ 3+, ki67 10%), MRI - tumor up to 7cm, Lymph node biopsy - malignant.
Mar 2014 -port placement, chemo begins (TCHP)x6 every 3 weeks, Neulasta shots.
June 2014 complete chemo series, Herceptin only until Mar 15
Aug 2014 -Bilateral mastectomy with left axillary dissection (PCR in left breast, cancer cell found in lymph node).
Sept 2014 -radiation 28x
Oct 2014 complete radiation
Nov 2014 - begin Arimidex
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Old 04-21-2016, 02:03 AM   #14
Pamelamary
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Five Years Stage IV

Thanks Amy! and congratulations on reaching this cancerversary. May there be many more.
Best wishes.... Pam
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Diagnosed 2004: Lumpectomy - 2 tumours, both grade 1 infiltrating duct carcinoma, about 12mm. ER+,
C-erbB-2 status 3+.
Clear margins, no nodal involvement.
Radiotherapy, i year Tamoxifen, 4 years Arimidex.
Rediagnosed 2012: Multiple bone metastases.
3/12: began on Marianne trial - T-DM1 + Pertuzamab/Placebo.
5/12:Unexpected development of numerous bilateral liver mets. Came off trial.
Started Docetaxol/ Herceptin + Zometa.
8/12:Bones stable +major regression in liver (!)
9/12:Can't take any more Docetaxol! Start on Herceptin and Tamoxifen. Cross fingers!
Changed to Denosumab.
11/12: Scan shows stable - yay!
11/13: Still stable :-) !!!
1/16: All stable, but lowered calcium, so switched to Zometa 3 monthly.
2/19: Happily still stable on Herceptin, Letrozole and 3 monthly Zometa.
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:10 AM   #15
dawny
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Posts: 249
Re: Five Years Stage IV

Thanks for sharing Amy! I look for your posts

Xxxx
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Dx May 27 2011, age 43
Stage 1V 3.6cm breast lump, spot on lung nodes chest + neck
HER2+ ER/PR-
Abraxane weekly - 16 weeks
Herceptin every third week
September 26 2011 N.E.D!
Herceptin ongoing
8th Dec 2011 Brain MRI - clear
20th Dec 2011 bone/cat scan clear still NED
April 2012 scans show axillary node lump - ? what to do...
June 2012 Axillary node dissection 1/11 nodes affected, a wide local excision shows DCIS. Now what to do again? Watch and scan 3 monthly
April 2013, two spots in nodes to chest wall, start TDM1 as part of clinical trial
July 2013 stable
Oct 2013 progression off TDM-1
Nov 2013 radiation to lymph nodes in sternum
Dec 2013. Mastectomy right side, pathology shows tumour was HER-2 negative, no wonder TDM-1 didn't work!
April 2014 NED. On Herceptin only
August 2014 NED. On Herceptin only
March 2015. NED. On Herceptin only
September 2015 NED on Herceptin only
March 2016. Pulmonary embolism, Clexane injections daily forever. Still NED On Herceptin only
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:43 AM   #16
jaykay
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Posts: 625
Re: Five Years Stage IV

Wise words for anyone, Amy - thank you for sharing!

Congrats
Janis
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March, 2000: 48, Post menopausal (5 yrs HRT) Left breast, IDC 3mm/DCIS 1.6cm, ER+/PR-/Her2+++, mod differentiated, MIB low, lumpectomy, node neg via SNB, rads=33 Stage 1a
June, 2000: Tamox 4.5 years,Femara for 5 years (end in Jan. 2010)
Sept, 2012: 61, Via mamm, ultrasound, biopsy, right breast, 2.3cm tumor, ER+/PR-/Her2+++, poorly diff, KI67 60-70%
BRCA 1 and 2 negative
October, 2012: Bi Mast with tissue expanders, port placement
Final Path: IDC 2.8cm, DCIS, 1/4 sentinal nodes positive (@#$%). Stage IIB
Nov 29, 2012: Begin TCH/6x/every 3 wks, H for 1 year/every 3 weeks.
March 14, 2013: Finished chemo
April 9, 2013: Begin radiation 28x
May 22, 2013: Finished rads
June 1st, 2013: Started Aromasin for 5 yrs.
July 15, 2013: Switched to Letrozole (Femara). Probably for the rest of my life
October 16, 2013: Exchange surgery
October 31, 2013: Finished Herceptin
December 5, 2013: Port removed
Glad this year is over!
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:04 AM   #17
Kim in CA
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Posts: 402
Re: Five Years Stage IV

Thanks for sharing this Amy. Very wise words indeed. Something even us old timers need to remember sometimes!

Congratulations, and here's to many more years of living life!

Kim
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Diag. Feb 1997 4.5cm IDC <10%ER+, PR-. 5 out of 36 nodes +. Mastectomy followed by 3 rounds Adriamycin/Cytoxin.


5/1997 Hi Dose Chemo w/ Stem cell rescue. Spent 4 weeks in isolation ward. Then 6 weeks radiation.

9/2001 widespread mets to liver. 8 mos Taxotere/Herceptin brought me almost to NED. Stop Taxotere & add Femara .

11/2002 liver resection to remove spot that turned out to be necrosis. Officially NED!

7/2003 Tumor markers rising add Xeloda Disastrous reaction, 8 days hospital, but tumor markers came back to normal!

June -Dec 2004 UW Vaccine Trial.

7/2005 MRI single 11mm brain met
8/2005 Gamma Knife.

Brain MRI @3 months NED!

2006-2011 brain/body still NED

8/04/11 Taking Herceptin break, will monitor with tumor markers.

6/20/12 Tumor markers begin to rise. CA15-3 is 31.3 and Her2 Serum is at 17.1 Decide to repeat in one month.

7/23/12 CA15-3 now 49.3
Her2 Serum 26.8

8/6/12 Back on Herceptin
CA15-3 now 76
Her2 Serum now 49

11/7/12 Add weekly Taxotere for 4 cycles

2/2013 Stopped Taxotere added Perjeta. MRI shows approx. 50% reduction liver mets. CA15-3 still elevated @ 55. Will continue on just Herceptin & Perjeta.

November 2014 Continuing on Herceptin, Perjeta, and
Femara indefinitely. Guess I'm NED again, but watching those tumor markers carefully!

Dec. 2015 PET scan reveals mass in perirectal area of abdomen.biopsy confirms. Still Her2+, but no longer ER+. Bye bye Femara

Jan 2016 Begin Kadcyla

March 2016 PET scan shows tumor now barely visible, still NED everywhere else.
2016/2017 continue Kadcyla

November 2017 brain MRI reveals small focus of T2 hyperintensity with possible 4mm enhancing nodule. Short term follow up MRI suggested. Stay tuned...
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:56 PM   #18
caya
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Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Posts: 2,307
Re: Five Years Stage IV

Congrats Amy on 5 years! I hope you get to NED status soon!

all the best
caya
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ER90%+/PR 50%+/HER 2+
1.7 cm and 1.0 cm.
Stage 1, grade 2, Node Negative (16 nodes tested)
MRM Dec.18/06
3 x FEC, 3 x Taxotere
Herceptin - every 3 weeks for a year, finished May 8/08

Tamoxifen - 2 1/2 years
Femara - Jan. 1, 2010 - July 18, 2012
BRCA1/BRCA2 Negative
Dignosed 10/16/06, age 48 , premenopausal
Mild lymphedema diagnosed June 2009 - breast surgeon and lymph. therapist think it's completely reversible - hope so.
Reclast infusion January 2012
Oopherectomy October 2013
13 Years NED!!
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:55 AM   #19
Jackie07
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Location: "Love never fails."
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Re: Five Years Stage IV

Congratulations!

Thanks for sharing those tips. They can be applied to just about anything in life.
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Jackie07
http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/06/doctors-letter-patient-newly-diagnosed-cancer.html
http://www.asco.org/ASCOv2/MultiMedi...=114&trackID=2

NICU 4.4 LB
Erythema Nodosum 85
Life-long Central Neurocytoma 4x5x6.5 cm 23 hrs 62090 semi-coma 10 d PT OT ST 30 d
3 Infertility tmts 99 > 3 u. fibroids > Pills
CN 3 GKRS 52301
IDC 1.2 cm Her2 +++ ER 5% R. Lmptmy SLNB+1 71703 6 FEC 33 R Tamoxifen
Recc IIB 2.5 cm Bi-L Mast 61407 2/9 nds PET
6 TCH Cellulitis - Lymphedema - compression sleeve & glove
H w x 4 MUGA 51 D, J 49 M
Diastasis recti
Tamoxifen B. scan
Irrtbl bowel 1'09
Colonoscopy 313
BRCA1 V1247I
hptc hemangioma
Vertigo
GI - > yogurt
hysterectomy/oophorectomy 011410
Exemestane 25 mg tab 102912 ~ 101016 stopped due to r. hip/l.thigh pain after long walk
DEXA 1/13
1-2016 lesions in liver largest 9mm & 1.3 cm onco. says not cancer.
3-11 Appendectomy - visually O.K., a lot of puss. Final path result - not cancer.
Start Vitamin D3 and Calcium supplement (600mg x2)
10-10 Stopped Exemestane due to r. hip/l.thigh pain OKed by Onco 11-08-2016
7-23-2018 9 mm groundless(granules?) nodule within the right lower lobe with indolent behavior. Due to possible adenocarcinoma, Recommend annual surveilence.
7-10-2019 CT to check lung nodule.

"I WANT TO BE AN OUTRAGEOUS OLD WOMAN WHO NEVER GETS CALLED AN OLD LADY. I WANT TO GET SHARP EDGED & EARTH COLORED, TILL I FADE AWAY FROM PURE JOY." Irene from Tampa

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Old 05-01-2016, 05:50 AM   #20
KatherineM
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Posts: 94
Re: Five Years Stage IV

Thanks, Amy! Such smart advice. My scan in March showed mixed results, with some lung nodules growing and some shrinking, and my onc switched me from THP to Kadcyla. I didn't question it; she said THP wasn't working. Wish I'd questioned a little harder.

April 28 was the first anniversary of my stage IV diagnosis. I was diagnosed with cancer only the year before.. I hope that I can hang around for many more. Thanks for your post, Amy. You give me hope!

Best to you,

Katherine
__________________
_______________________
Diagnosed 3/26/14 BC Stage 3a ER neg PR neg HER-2+
5 cm tumor in left breast, needle node biopsy positive
Started TCHP 4/25/14 - 6 rounds
Oncologist can no longer feel tumor, after 4th round
Chemo shrunk tumor to less than a mm
Lumpectomy and axillary node dissection 9/3/14
Radiation for 5 weeks, with boost
Herceptin until 4/3/15
CT Scan on 4/27 shows lung mets (lots of little ones on both sides, largest 1.6 cm) STAGE IV
Lung biopsy shows still HER2+++/ER-/PR-
Taxol with Herceptin and Perjeta May, June, July 2015
Lung mets reduced by 50%
Just H&P through Fall 2015
11/15 Progression
Back on Taxol with H&P January 2016
THP no longer working March 2016
Start Kadcyla 3/16 After first treatment, experienced low platelets, tongue turned black, had to have transfusion. Dry cough and shortness of breath for first week, improves over second and third.
4/16 Platelet transfusion after second treatment, blood blisters in mouth. Allergic reaction to platelets.
6/16 Kadcyla not working. Progression to liver, though lung mets smaller.
7/16 Start Xeloda and Tykerb.
11/16 Port infected. Taken out. Have to go off chemo.
1/17 Back on Xeloda and Tykerb
5/17 Tykerb and Herceptin
11/17 Navelbine and Herceptin
12/17 Progression in lungs, liver reevaluated, no progression
1/18 Haloven and Herceptin
2/18 Sloan Kettering consultation
3/18 Brain mets, 16 lesions, largest 16mm
3/18 Cyberknife to 16mm lesion
3/18 Haloven and Tykerb added
4/18 Scan shows all lesions significantly smaller! Some almost gone. Radiation oncologist says she's never seen anything like it
7/18 Brain scan shows progression, w/ with one new lesion. Don't want to do WBR. Will try for tucatinib.
8.15.18 Start Keytruda
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