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Old 12-22-2005, 09:45 AM   #1
juanita
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I am 42 years old, married with four kids 22, 21, 20 and 16. I was diagnosed with breast cancer September 2004. Reading some of your stories I am very blessed to be where I am at now. I found my lump myself because I'd never had a mammogram done. It was a large lump and really freaked me out. I saw my doctor, then was sent immediately for mammogram and ultrasound. Then a day later had core biopsy. Two days later I got the news and the next day was seeing a surgeon. That was the Friday before Labor Day and my surgery was scheduled for the following Tuesday. My tumor was actually only 1 cm, the rest was scar tissue my body had built up around it. I'm stage 1, grade 3, er-, pr-, her2+ and no lymph node involvement. Only 1/2 of my 1 cm was invasive. I did 2 rounds of tac with my first onc, and was very violently ill. I decided enough was enough and I hated that doctor anyway, but didn't know I had a choice becuase that was who my family doctor wanted me to see because of the same network, so I stopped chemo and went to radiation. After 33 treatments I went back for checkups with my radiation onc and surgeon. My surgeon recommended another onc, who I went to see in February 2005. He convinced me that I really did need the chemo and I started cmf that visit. They are very great at this onc's office and I am very glad that I switched. I finished my cmf in June and started herceptin. So far I've done really good on it. My muga scan #'s from before the tac treatments to when I started herceptin actually got better. We'll see how they are with herceptin. I have my next muga next week. The hardest part of all of this is the fatigue. If they tell you to rest you should do it. I didn't because I didn't want to be "sick" and the fatigue caught up with me to where i was completely exhausted. I work at our local high school though and christmas vacation came just in time. Lots of rest this week.
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:03 PM   #2
cdbrown428
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Hi Juanita,

Our situations are very similiar. I am 42 yrs old, married and have a 17 yr old daughter. I was diagnosed 11/04, had a lumpectomy. I'm coming up to one year in treatment on the 10th. I had 4 rounds of AC and 12 weeks of Taxol. I will be on herceptin for a total of 1 year come June. I did have to take a break for 6 weeks while on Taxol and herceptin since my muga % was too low. But it's been fine since. My tumor was 1 cm when found and 1.7 when removed less than 1 month later. I'm 3+, er-/pr-, her2+, no lymph node involvement. I've been very fortunate throughout this whole thing, kept working the whole time. Only problems now is I'm very very achey with flu-like symptoms, some days worse than usual and it just won't go away. My onc doesn't give me an answer as to the cause and doesn't think it's the herceptin. At least on chemo and radiation, I knew what was causing me to feel the way I did. Now I worry something else is going on. Can't sleep at night between the hot flashes since I was put into chemopause and the achiness is bad at night. I still also get very very cold. I have my treatments every week since I'm still in a trial. My onc told me I am cancer free but I just don't feel like I am and feel like I still have and always will, have a big dark cloud over my head with a reoccurence. Your thoughts and anyone else's would be appreciated.
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Old 01-16-2006, 07:14 AM   #3
Sheryl
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Herceptin

Hi! We have similar stats on tumor size.etc but I was diagnosed in Sept.'03 & finished chemo of AC & Taxotere in Apr.'04 & radiation finished July '04. Now my oncologists wants me to start Herceptin for a year. I am still concerned about side effects & the fact that I have been out from chemo 20 months. I am not sure the Herceptin will even work on its own & have had oncologists express doubts as well. I am now 64 & supposedly will take a wait & see approach till more research on Herceptin's long range results are reviewed.
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:56 AM   #4
juanita
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I haven't had any short term side effects from the herceptin. Long term effects that they don't know yet, to me are kinda worth the benefits I am possibly getting from the risk of reccurence reduction. So far the muga scans I've had have been good and my doctor keeps a close watch on blood counts as well. Since it's been over a year when you had the chemo maybe the risk of problems will be even lower.
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Old 01-16-2006, 04:11 PM   #5
cdbrown428
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I've been on the herceptin for six months and six more to go. I had been taken off for six weeks after I had been on for a month or so since my MUGA went down to 48% but since that time, I've been fine. I had been on A/C prior so it wasn't long after I had the A/C that I started with the herceptin (along with taxol). You have been off for quite some time. So I would think you would not have the problem that the adriamycin causes with the herceptin. I was told here that if you had been off treatment for some time that you would not be given the herceptin. I also read that just 9 weeks of herceptin proved beneficial. I myself am glad I'm on the herceptin to cut the reoccurence down.
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