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Old 11-03-2015, 10:02 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 3
So here we are

For many years I've referred to my wife as the best thing about me. The best thing about me has breast cancer. Seven days ago she had a bilateral mastectomy.

Five or six months ago she started complaining about shortness of breath and back pain. When I attempted to rub her back where she said the pain was it scared the bejeezuz out of me. I suspected it was in her lungs and the shortness of breath was tied to the back pain.

Late July we were out doing our evening walk and she wanted to know what we would do if there was something bad wrong with her. I suggested we empty the bank accounts and take care of the bucket list.

Late August we were in the mountains of Arizona dry camping. Dry camping is when you are off grid with no utilities like running water, cable, telephone, or electricity. It is something we really enjoy doing. We have a fifth wheel travel trailer and know Heaven has to be a place like the mountains of Northern Arizona, 7,000' elevation with evenings in the high forties and days in the low eighties during August.

She mentioned one morning that there was a pain in her right breast and when she felt for it she felt a lump. I felt of it and immediately thought of a Mary Jane candy, those peanut butter candies that are white with the black stripes, miniature domino in size and shape. That was around the 25th of August.

September 10th she had a doctor's appointment and he scheduled a mammogram. That confirmed a problem and they went further with a sonogram etc. The next day they did a biopsy. It was a Wednesday. The following Monday we got the call, cancer. The pathology report on the biopsy gave it an eight out of nine grade, progesterone positive, Her2 positive, 3cm Ductal invasive carcinoma.

A month later the oncologist said it was 6.5cm 11B because of the size and there was no evidence of lymph node involvement. The next day she had the bilateral mastectomy and the first thing the surgeon said after saying it all went well was the two sentinel lymph nodes tested positive so she pulled a couple of more with an incision under her armpit. We haven't got the pathology report yet.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:23 PM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 3
Re: So here we are

A couple of days after the call from the radiologist she did a electrocardiogram stress test. The PA told us when she escorted her out to the waiting room that she had kicked its butt. She had an awesome heart.

The next morning the cardiologist called and asked us to come in that afternoon. He informed us that he had concerns about the test because he saw a 70% blockage and wanted to do a cath to see if it was something they could fix with a stint. The following week they did the cath and he came out and informed me that everything was fine but that was why they did the test.

The oncologist ordered a bone scan because of the back pain. He also set us up with pulamonologist (sp). There we learned she had 64% lung capacity and the MRI showed a mosaic pattern in the lungs.

This has been a real roller coaster and we're only into it for a couple of months. Everything I read screams bad and yet when I look at my wife, she's 71 but has the appearance of a woman ten years younger and she has the joy of life of someone much younger.

We meet with the plastic surgeon who is doing the reconstruction Thursday morning, the oncologist middle of next week, hopefully he will give us some information of the pathology report on the mastectomy and lymph nodes removed.

You have to take the humor where you find it. My wife thought the price of the custom gown/blouse for the drains was too much and informed them that her husband would come up with something. She's wearing a Home Depot nail apron, looks cute and works great, cost me $.75 out the door with my VA card discount.
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Old 11-04-2015, 04:28 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 563
Re: So here we are

Just wanted to say - Welcome!
This site is a great source of info, support & often a bit of humour flung in!
Your apron part sounds like something my DIY mad husband would do!

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Old 11-04-2015, 10:12 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2014
Location: San Diego
Posts: 411
Re: So here we are


You will find that in the cancer journey the ups and downs are the norm. The good news is that there are lots of treatments available for those of us with HER2 breast cancer. These treatments have changed the prognosis for this type of cancer. You will find lots of women on this site who are living full active lives many, many years after their original diagnosis. Be careful what you read on the internet. A lot of the stats posted are prior to Herceptin. Herceptin is a game changer for HER2.

I'll be sending positive healing energy to you and your wife as you proceed through this journey.

Take care,
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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