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Old 07-17-2006, 11:16 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3
Question Can I recover strength?

Hi, I'm 55, married three months to the greatest guy in the world who has been by my side through the past three years of IBC. I have two grown sons who live about 5 hours away from me, and I have a cat. Before I had IBC, I worked full time (even though I hated my job - I still supported myself and had a 401k and insurance) and sang in the church choir. I never was athletic, but I enjoyed going for long walks.
I started having symptoms of IBC in July, 2003. I'll skip all the crap I went through from then until March, 2004, when I finally convinced the doctors to do a biopsy, and they diagnosed me with IBC in my right breast. I had Adriamycin/Cytoxin, followed by Taxotere, a mastectomy, and radiation. I was pronounced NED on February 2, 2005.

Since I was HER2 and ER positive, I started on weekly Herceptin and daily Arimidex. In November, 2005, I developed skin mets. I was on Taxol, Avastin, Herceptin (and of course Arimidex; I will be on that indefinitely) from December til March. My skin mets were gone, I had clear scans, and my tumor markers were normal, but I stayed on Avastin and Herceptin as a preventive measure. Still, it bothered me that I wasn't regaining my strength, so my doctor ordered a MUGA scan. It showed heart damage, so he discontinued my IV treatments.

I had new scans about a month ago that were normal, and my tumor markers have been normal. But I am still weak as a washrag, and I have been too hoarse to sing for about the past year, which has been made worse by recent surgery. I keep thinking I'll get better, but I can't do any of the things I used to do. I'm not able to work, and even though I applied for SS disability in January, it still has not been approved.

A few days ago I discovered a tiny lump under the skin on the right side of my left breast, just about an inch from where the one was that felt just like it and was diagnosed as a metastasis at the time that I was diagnosed with skin mets, and I'm thinking, "Here we go again." I had just had clear scans that time, too. And I'm also thinking if I'm this weak and useless after two bouts with chemo, what will one more do to me? I know a lot of people are a lot sicker than I am, but it hurts to give up the dream of ever being strong again, and that's the place my head is in right now. Has anybody else been where I am now and not just survived but got strong again?

By the way, I'm having the thing biopsied tomorrow.

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