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Old 03-18-2013, 05:44 PM   #1
StephN
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Location: Misty woods of WA State
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Wink 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Hello everyone -

I just spent a good share of today at my medical center having a brain MRI and then seeing my doctor for the result. (Not to mention some waiting around as they were super busy and running late today!)

So, good news once again. No new spots or problems with the old places. I did have a year or two with some complications after my initial gamma knife (see signature), but it all levelled out and has been a dull routine since the end of 2006.

At this juncture they see me every 8 months, but I lobbied to get it pushed to 10 months before the next screening. (Hope the tumor board will agree.) Since I have quarterly blood draws and am otherwise followed, I think that is a reasonable interim.

So, for those of you going through or close to treatment for brain mets, it should get better with a little more time. That is my wish for each and every one of you.
__________________
"When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest." H.D. Thoreau
Live in the moment.

MY STORY SO FAR ~~~~
Found suspicious lump 9/2000
Lumpectomy, then node dissection and port placement
Stage IIB, 8 pos nodes of 18, Grade 3, ER & PR -
Adriamycin 12 weekly, taxotere 4 rounds
36 rads - very little burning
3 mos after rads liver full of tumors, Stage IV Jan 2002, one spot on sternum
Weekly Taxol, Navelbine, Herceptin for 27 rounds to NED!
2003 & 2004 no active disease - 3 weekly Herceptin + Zometa
Jan 2005 two mets to brain - Gamma Knife on Jan 18
All clear until treated cerebellum spot showing activity on Jan 2006 brain MRI & brain PET
Brain surgery on Feb 9, 2006 - no cancer, 100% radiation necrosis - tumor was still dying
Continue as NED while on Herceptin & quarterly Zometa
Fall-2006 - off Zometa - watching one small brain spot (scar?)
2007 - spot/scar in brain stable - finished anticoagulation therapy for clot along my port-a-catheter - 3 angioplasties to unblock vena cava
2008 - Brain and body still NED! Port removed and scans in Dec.
Dec 2008 - stop Herceptin - Vaccine Trial at U of W begun in Oct. of 2011
STILL NED everywhere in Feb 2014 - on wing & prayer
7/14 - Started twice yearly Zometa for my bones
Jan. 2015 checkup still shows NED
2015 Neuropathy in feet - otherwise all OK - still NED.
Same news for 2016 and all of 2017.
Nov of 2017 - had small skin cancer removed from my face. Will have Zometa end of Jan. 2018.

Last edited by StephN; 03-18-2013 at 09:34 PM..
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:04 PM   #2
dearjilly
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

StephN, Congratulations and thank you for posting. I needed to hear it just now (I was having a down moment), and I logged on and saw this. I'm so happy for you. I am so happy that you give us metsters so much hope.
Here's to many more years of NED!
Jill
__________________
[
Feb 2013 - NED
Mar 2013 - thought I had progression, watching brain.
April 2013 - GOT MARRIED!!!!
May 2013 - looks like no progression, but necrosis and bigger.
Oct-Dec 2013 - Avastin tx
Nov 2013 - MRI shows necrosis shrinkage!!!!
Jan 2014 - Lepto Mening. disease found
Feb 2014 - WBR
March - BLAHHHH
April 2014 - Liver mets found
April 2014 to present - Chemo again, whooohoo. Fun!
July 2014, scans look good.
Stay on Perjetand hercertin.
Nov. 2014 more lepto-mening disease more WBR.
Feb 2015 more lepto-mening disease in spine and neck. More radiation.
Start on TDM1 no more Perjeta stay on herceptin
March 2015 more radiation in my thoracic area, more lepto-meningial disease
April 2015 trying to walk again.
[/SIZE][/FONT]
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:18 PM   #3
jacqueline1102
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Hello,

How wonderful!!! I always appreciate your posts, Steph; always so filled with wisdom and hope for all of us. And how great for you to have scans every 10 months. Enjoy!

Take care,

Jackie
__________________
10/11 IBC Stage IV; 1 liver met 4.6 cm.
10/11-2/12 TCH for 6 rounds
3/12 Right MRM
5/12-7/12 33 Radiation treatments
8/1/12 Started Perjeta along with the Herceptin
10/12 Scans said NED for first time
5/15 UWSeattle Vaccine Trial 3 months
12/16 Scans still show NED. Herceptin and Perjeta continue indef.
8/17 Taken off Perjeta;staying on Herceptin. Still NEAD.
3/18 Still NEAD
8/19 Now on Subcutaneous Herceptin
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:30 PM   #4
Midwest Alice
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Wow steph, wonderful news!! Thanks for the up date
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Alice
04/08 age 50 III IBC Her2+++ ER/PR-8cm 14/14 Double M, Body and Brain CT/PET clear, ? on spine,Muga 53
06/08, 4 A/C, Neulasta
08/08, Herceptin/tax 12 every week
10/08, CT/PET clear, ? on pelvis, hips, MUGA 43, started Enalaprial for heart, Herceptin every 3 weeks
11/08 33Rads; 12/08 MUGA 48
2/09 MRI spine and bone scan, old mets to spine, Chest x-ray, blood work, IV NED,regular CPAP use,Zometa x6, first -flue like symptoms 2 days;Herceptin x3; stage 2 lymphoedema..sleeve and glove
4/09 Brain MRI - CLEAR; MUGA 54
7/09 chest ultrasound,
10/09 PET, brain and spin MRI NED Herceptin only. MUGA 59!!!
1/11 Hip replacement 7/11 Hip 2 replacement
4/12 4 years!! Herceptin
6/12 start reconstruction finish in 12/12
2/14 Herception - 6 years!!!

1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you
can stand up under it."

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Old 03-18-2013, 06:41 PM   #5
sassy
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

You GO Steph!!!

Thanks for being one of our major heroes!

Cheers!
__________________
Rhonda (Sassy)
dx age 45
DX 2/15/05 Stage IIb (at surgery)restaged IIIa
Left mast .9cm tumor 5 of 14 nodes
Triple Positive
4 DD A/C
12 Taxol/Herceptin
33Rads
Strange infect mast site one year aft surg, hosp 1 wk
Herceptin for total of 18 months
Lupron Monthly 4 yrs
Neurontin for aches, pains and hot flashes(It works!)
Ovaries removed 11/09 stop Lupron and Neurontin
Arimidex 6 yrs (tried Femara, no SE improvement)
Tried Exemestane-hips got so bad could hardly walk
Back to Arimidex for year seven
Zometa 2X Annual for 7years, Lasix
Stop Arimidex 5/13
Stop Zometa 7/13-Bi-lateral Stress Fractures in Femurs from Zometa
5/14 Start Tamoxifen
3/15 Stem cell transplant to stimulate femur bone growth/healing
5/15 Complete fracture of right femur/Titanium rods both femurs
9/16 Start Evista stopTamoxifen
3/17 Stop Evista--unwelcome side effects!
NED and no meds.......
14YEARS NED!
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:48 PM   #6
CoolBreeze
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

You are what we all dream about. Congratulations!
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http://butdoctorihatepink.com

08/17/09 Dx'd.
Multifocal/multicentric IDC, largest 3.4 cm, associated ADH, LCIS, DCIS
HER2+ ER+/PR- Grade 3, Node Negative

10/20/2009: Right mastectomy, reconstruction with TE
12/02/2009: Six rounds TCH, switched to Taxol halfway through due to neuropathy
03/31/2010: Finished chemo
05/01/2010: Began tamoxifen, the worst drug ever
11/18/2010: Reconstruction completed
12/02/2010: Finished herceptin
05/21/2011: Liver Mets. Quit Tamoxifen
06/22/2011: Navelbine/Zometa/Herceptin
10/03/2011: Liver Resection, left lobe. Microwave ablation, right lobe - going for cure!
11/26/2011: C-Diff Superbug Infection, "worst case doctor had seen in 20 years"
03/28/2012: Progression in ablated section of the liver - no more cure. Started Abraxane, continue herceptin/zometa
10/10/2012: Progression continues, started Halaven, along with herceptin and zometa.
01/15/2013: Progression continues, started Gemzar and Perjeta, an unusual combo, continuing with herceptin and zometa
03/13/2013: Quit Gemzar, body just won't handle it. Staying on herceptin, zometa and perjeta.
04/03/2013: CT shows 50% regression in tumor, so am starting back on Gemzar with dose reduction, staying with perjeta/herceptin/zometa. Can't argue with success!
05/09/2013: Discussing SBRT with Radiology due to inability of bone marrow to recover from chemo.
06/07/2013: Fiducial placement for SBRT
07/03/2013: Chemo discontinued, on Perjeta, Herceptin and Zometa alone
07/25/2013: SBRT (gamma knife) begins
08/01/2013: SBRT completed
08/15/2013: STABLE! continuing with Perjeta, Herceptin, Zometa
06/18/2014: ***** NED!!!!***** continuing with Perjeta, Herceptin, Zometa
01/29/2014: Still NED. continuing with Perjeta, Herceptin. Zometa lowered to every 3 months instead of monthly.
11/08/2015: Progression throughout abdomen and lungs. Started TDM-1, aka Kadcyla. Other meds discontinued. Remission was nice while it lasted.

5/27/18: Stable. Kadcyla put me right back in the barn. I have two teeny spots on my lungs that are metabolically inactive, and liver is clean.

Im beating this MFer. I was 51 when this started and had two kids, 22 and 12. Now Im 60. My oldest got married and trying to start s family. My youngesg graduates from Caltech this June. My stepdaughter gave me grandkids. Life is fantastic.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:29 PM   #7
KDR
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Steph,
Thanks for sharing your uplifting update. Eleven years away from liver mets and disease free. Champion!
Congratulations,
Karen
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:04 PM   #8
NanaJoni
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Congrats, Steph. And thanks for letting us share in your good news.
__________________
Joni -64 yrs old -
3/01/10: found lump in rt.breast
3/12/10: mammogram/ultrasnd/biopsy-invasive bc & DCIS; 2 tumors (2cm er-/pr-/HER2-& 1.8 cm er-/pr-/HER2+); grade 3;poorly differentiated
3/24/10:sent.node biopsy clear
3/31/10:bi-lateral mx.;atypical ductal hyperplasia-lft side
4/21/10:wound revision-infection/scarring 4/28/10:seromas both sides
5/21/10:port installed,TCH chemo (6 x 3 wks); Herc,-1yr; 33 rad tx after chemo
07/2010: port not working-2nd port didnt'work;3rd port opposite side.
07/2010: 2 weeks after 3rd port surgery, threw 3 pulm. emboli-IVC filter installed; warfarin
08/2010: hospitalizations w/3 of chemos; decision to stop after 4th-on to radiation in Oct 2010;Herc cont.
12/03/2010 - finished 33 rads Hooray!! cont. Herc. every 3 wks
4/2011 - pneumonia ??? Nope-radiation pneumonitis. No more Herc.
5/2011 - NED!!! port out.
8/2011 - clean PET & CT scans.Still NED
7/2012 - Still NED/very blessed.
2/2013 - 6 mos checkup-all clear. CA2729 down frm 13 to 11.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:19 PM   #9
JennyB
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Yay hoorah swinging from the chandelier - am very happy for you and all those around you especially us!
Jenny x
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Diagnosed Nov '10 IDC whilst pregnant with 2nd child
Her 2 ++ ER/PR + but weak and patchy 50% + 5%
Left mastectomy Dec '10, 6cm tumour 1 of 2 lymph (micro mets)
Clear margins but lymphovasculer invasion
Stage 3a Grade 3
Fec 100 x 3 Jan '11 Taxotere X 3 and Herceptin X 1yr
Staging scans - CT brain & body and bone - May '11 - NED!!
Start Femara - in chemo induced menapause
25 Rads June '11
Dec '11 Menstruation resumed - zoladex inj monthly and Tamoxifen
Feb '12 Back on Femera and Zoladex
March '12 CT brain & body & bone scan all clear
Zometa x2/yearly
April '12 - Oopherectomy

Praying the Herceptin is as good as its hype!!
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:39 PM   #10
CarolineC
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Congratulations! I look forward to your posts and also agree that you give us so much hope. Thank you so much!

Caroline
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Dx Age 47 July/09 Stage 2B/3
Left Mast. Aug 09- 1 of 3 positive nodes in axillary dissection (yes only 3)
ER+ 90%, PR+ 20%, HER2+++
4 x AC, 4 x Paclitaxol and H (Neupogen for 7 cycles), Herceptin complete Nov 10
MarApr 2010 25 Rads
Apr 10-Oct 11- Tamoxifen
Oct 11 3 cm met to sternum
Oct 11-Letrozole for 3 mths, start Clasteon-bone remodeller
Nov-Dec 11 - Happy 50th Birthday -20 rads to sternum
Jan-April 2012 Taxotere/Herceptin-6 cycles (Neupogen for 5)
Herceptin every 3 weeks-Letrozole added Nov 2012
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:51 PM   #11
Mel3
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Congratulations, Steph! I was thinking of you today and thought about checking in to see how you have been, now I know, fantastic!
__________________
Dx June 2010
ER- PR+ Her2+++, Stage 3C
A/C x 4
Mastectomy 8/18 nodes+
Taxol/Herceptin x 4
35 rads
Continue Herceptin for 1 year
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:12 PM   #12
conomyself
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

That's so wonderful! Congratulations Steph!!

Rachael
__________________
7/30/2012 Diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer
8/3/2012 CT scan mets to liver (major!!), lungs, spine, and skin
8/8/2012 Biopsy results: invasive ductal carcinoma
ER+/PR+/HER2+ amplification 4.8 (whatever that means)
8/13/2012 Brain MRI (clear); bone scan verified CT scan
8/14/12 started Taxotere/Carboplatin/Herceptin, 2 rounds (added Neulasta after 9/4 treatment)
9/4/12 CA 15-3: >3000
9/15/12 CA 15-3: 840
9/15/12 started Taxotere/Perjeta/Herceptin, 4 rounds (no Neulasta)
10/29/12 CT scan showed dramatic improvement in all areas - largest liver met 2.5 cm, largest lung met 10 cm
12/17/12 Started Perjeta/Herceptin, 2 rounds
12/17/12 CA 15-3: 17 Yay!!!
1/21/13 CT scan showed improvement - largest liver met 1.9 cm, largest lung met 2 mm
1/29/13 CA 15-3: 12 Started Herceptin only
3/12/13 CA 15-3: still 12 yay!! Back to Perjeta/Herceptin
3/29/13 CT scan more improvement - largest liver met 1.2 cm, some lung mets disappeared!
3/7/14 started Tamoxifen
6/27/13 - 1/2015 CT scan stable
Began a diet of only single ingredient foods and went nearly NED excepts for some tiny lung spots - ask me if you want to know more...
1/2015 - 1/2017 CT scan stable
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:08 PM   #13
Pamelamary
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Thanks Steph - we do need news like yours!
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:45 AM   #14
michka
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Post Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Congratulations! I will raise a glass of French wine for you Steph!
Michka
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08.2006 3 cm IDC Stage 2-3, HER2 3+ ER+90% PR 20%
FEC, Taxol+ Herceptin, Mastectomy, Radiation, Herceptin 1 year followed by Tykerb 1 year,Aromasin /Faslodex

12.2010 Mets to liver,Herceptin+Tykerb
03.2011 Liver resection ER+70% PR-
04.2011 Herceptin+Navelbine+750mg Tykerb
06.2011 Liver ned, Met to sternum. Added Zometa 09.2011 Cyberknife for sternum
11.2011 Pet clear. Stop Navelbine, continuing on Hercpetin+Tykerb+Aromasin
02.2012 Mets to lungs, nodes, liver
04.2012 TDM1, Ned in 07.2012
04.2015 Stop TDM1/Kadcyla, still Ned, liver problems
04.2016 Liver mets. Back on Kadcyla
08.2016 Kadcyla stopped working. mets to liver lungs bones
09.2016 Biopsy to liver. no more HER2, still ER+
09.2016 CMF Afinitor/Aromasin/ Xgeva.Met to eye muscle Cyberknife
01.2017 Gemzar/Carboplatin/ Ibrance/Faslodex then Taxotere
02.2017 30 micro mets to brain breathing getting worse and worse
04.2017 Liquid biopsy/CTC indicates HER2 again. Start Herceptin with Halaven
06.2017 all tumors shrunk 60% . more micro mets to brain (1mm mets) no symptoms
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:09 AM   #15
Bunty
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Steph, fan-bloody-tastic! Great news.
Cheers Marie x
__________________
dx Dec 2000 dcis 2.5cm clear sentinel node, ER/PR- Her-2+
lumpectomy, 6 cycles AC, 6 weeks rads
October 2007 three x 2.5cm lung mets. 8 months Taxol, started Herceptin and continue. Significant reduction in lung mets.
June 2011 3cm x 4cm liver tumour. Started Abraxane and continue with Herceptin.
November 2011. Finished with Abraxane, continue with just Herceptin. Liver tumour now reduced to 15mm x 12mm. Lung tumour now 10mm x 0.5mm
February 2012. Scans show everything stable, and brain scan clear.
July 2012. PET/CT scans show I'm in remission - no active cancer!
]Dec CT brain cllear, lungs stable, liver tumour has increased to 20mm. PET scans showed active liver met and active lung thinglet, and possible bone met.
Jan 2013 recommence Abraxane, continue with Herceptin.
June 2013 finish Cycle 6 Abraxane, continue with Herceptin. 30% reduction in liver tumour, everything stable.
December 2013. CA15-3 on rise.
February 2014. PET and CT scans show single liver tumour has increased to 35mm. No other activity.
March 2014. Planned for SBRT for liver met, but couldn't have treatment as tumour too close to bowel. Continue Herceptin.
April 2014. Surgeon advises that I am a good candidate for liver resection, so will have operation early May (after camping holiday). Tumour now 44mm x 29mm.
May 7, 2014. Two liver tumours surgically removed. Third of liver removed, and gall bladder. Am I NED?May 2014. Pathology of tumour shows it's now ER+ (95% staining).
June 2014. CA15-3 has decreased to 18 from a pre-surgery reading of 59!
June 2014. Started Femara, continue with Herceptin.
July 2014. Stop Femara due to severe Osteoporosis. Commence Tamoxifen, continue Herceptin. Waiting to hear if I can have Aclasta infusion.
August 2014. CA15-3 has decreased further to 12 - YAY!
October 2014. Aclasta infusion for Osteoporosis. November 2014, CA15-3 decreased to 11. Scans of liver all clear, something new showing up on lung, but just watching at the moment.
November 2015. Started SBRT on solitary lung met.
November 2015. Bone density scan showed very good improvement so back on Femara - yay!
December 2016. 6 treatments of SBRT radiation on lung. Seems to have had some effect.
June 2016. CA15-3 still stable and low at 9.
June 2016. Started subcutaneous Herceptin replacing infusion.
Jan 2017. LVEF dropped to 46%. Stopped Herceptin.
Feb 2017. Started ACE Inhibitor and BETA Blocker. Still off Herceptin.
Aug 2017. Two new mets - Portacaval lymph node and mediastinal lymph node.
Aug 2017. Blood tests show extremely elevated liver enzyme levels. Many tests to investigate.
Sept 2017. Portacaval lymph node blocking liver bile duct causing liver enzyme and Bilirubin problems.
Oct 2017. 8cm stent inserted into liver bile duct. Procedure caused pancreatitis, and hospitalised for 3 days. Liver enzymes improving rapidly.
Nov 2017. Commenced 4 weeks of radiation on Portacaval lymph node. 5 week break before chemo.
Jan 2018. CT scan. 11 new small liver mets, and new superclavical lymph node med.
Jan 2018. Start Kadcyla. CA15-3 426.
Apr 2018. First scans since starting Kadcyla. All tumours reducing. CA15-3 dropped to 30 from 426.
Dec 2019. Still on Kadcyla, but two small brain mets have been treated in the past month with SRS. CA15-3 stable for 12 months at 11.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:13 AM   #16
Ellie F
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Congratulations Steph. Lovely to hear such good news.
Ellie
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:13 AM   #17
Ellie F
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Congratulations Steph. Lovely to hear such good news.
Ellie
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:16 AM   #18
NEDenise
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

YAY!
You, my friend are a mentor, a trail-blazer, an inspiration!!
When I grow up...I want to be just like you!

Denise
__________________
1/11-needle biopsy
2/11-Lumpectomy/axillary node dissection - Stage 3c, ER/PR-14/17 nodes
3/11 - Post-op staph infection,cellulitis, lymphedema,seroma,ARRRGH!
4/12/11-A/C x 4, then T/H x 4, H only,Q3 weeks
8/26/11 finished Taxol!!!
10/7/11 mastectomy/DIEP recon
11/11 radiation x28
1/12/12 1st CANCER-VERSARY!
1/12 Low EF/Herceptin "Holiday" :(
2/12 EF up - Back on Herceptin, heart meds
4/2/1212 surgery to repair separated incision from DIEP recon
6/8/12 Return to work :)
6/17/12 Fall, shatter wrist,surgery to repair/insert plate :(
7/10/12 last Herceptin
7/23/12 Brain Mets %$&#! 3cm and 1cm
8/10/12 Gamma knife surgery, LOTS of steroids;start H/Tykerb
8/23/12 Back to work
12/20/12 Injure back-3 weeks in wheel chair
1/12/13 2nd CANCER-VERSARY!
1/14/13 herniate disk in back - surgery to repair
1/27/13 Radiation necrosis - edema in brain - back on steroids - but not back to work - off balance, poor cordination in right arm
5/3/13 Start Avastin to shrink necrosis
5/10/13 begin weaning steroids
6/18/13 Brain MRI - Avastin seems to be working!
6/20/13 quarterly CT - chest, abdomen, pelvis - All Clear!
7/5/13 finally off steroids!!
7/7/13 joined the ranks of the CHEMO NINJAS I am now Tekuto Ki Ariku cancer assassin!
7/13/13 Symptoms return - back on steroids
7/26/13 Back on Avastin - try again!
8/26/13 Not ready to return to classroom yet :( But I CAN walk without holding onto things! :)
9/9/13 Brain MRI - fingers crossed
Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds you down or polishes you up is for you, and you alone, to decide. Cavett Robert
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:38 PM   #19
caya
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Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Great news Steph, thanks for sharing.
Big congrats, you go girl!!

all the best
caya
__________________
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 03-20-2013, 03:13 PM   #20
nsebesta
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Smile Re: 8 years since brain mets ... and counting

Great news StephN! I too just had check-ups and got the all clear. So that makes me 8 yrs out from liver mets!

I was wondering how often they did scans on you now. I finally talked MDAnderson into every 6 mos. I've been on that schedule for about 1.5 years. Maybe after the next check-up I'll ask for 8 mos.

Thanks for sharing your great news!
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