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Old 05-04-2014, 07:28 AM   #1
Belinda
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Posts: 144
Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Hi

I haven't posted for ages - but do check in and lurk a bit. Thanks so much for all the info I have gleaned from this site when I have needed it.

This time I have a direct issue that I am looking for advice on. I have checked previous posts to the best of my capability, so sorry if I have missed relevant posts.

Over the past 6 months I have been increasingly breathless, coughing constantly, sometimes with mucous (sometimes bloody) other times a dry hacking cough that occurs together with a panting/gulping and sometimes panic about whether my breath will come back or whether I will pass out.

This has been treated both as symptoms of a nasty mediastinal tumour that I am having chemo for (which seems to have stopped the bleeding at least), and as symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis which is clearly obvious on my ct's, but which has been stable over this time.

Today I had 2 episodes that scared the life out of me - eg I showered (that got me coughing and panting) then came upstairs to get dressed. By the time I got to the top of the stairs I felt like I was breathing deep and fast but I couldn't get my breathing to actually work properly, and my heart felt out of control (I didn't think to check my pulse). I felt like a sea fish flapping on the sand unable to breath, which made things worse because I was scared and panicked. Hubby came and sat on edge of bed with me (I had been pacing) and his nearness, over several minutes, and listening to his calm breathing helped to bring me back "down".

I was wondering if anyone has experienced these symptoms? If chemo is doing its thing on the tumours, and the radiation fibrosis appears stable, then why has my breathing deteriorated so quickly?

For those of you with very low LVEFs that had to take a Herceptin holiday - did you experience any of these sorts of symptoms? Could it be Herceptin causing heart damage ?(which I know would be uncommon going by the literature available) What treatments - apart from abstinence from Vit H - were you offered?

Anyone else with radiation - induced lung damage with these sorts of symptoms? What sort of treatments were you offered?

I am due for another heart check and will ask my oncologist for a referral tomorrow.

Meantime, I am suddenly and quite uncharacteristically quite afraid of being alone, in case some minor exertion causes an episode and no-one is here in case I pass out. Our house used to be a chapel so it is stair heaven - nearly every room is tucked into a space that requires at least 3 steps up into it.

Love and courage to you all

Any thoughts, shared experiences and wisdoms very welcome.
__________________
Belinda
  • Diagnosed 3 Jan 2007, Stage IIb, Mastectomy and axillary clearance 10 Jan 07, 6 of 19 nodes affected, multi-focal cancer, HER2 positive. Second mastectomy (prophylactic). Chemo - AC 3 months, Taxol 3 months - then radiation 5 weeks.
  • Aug 2011 - Diagnosed with Stage IV mets to lung, sternum and 12 or so thoracic nodes - Rads to Sternum, then weekly abraxane and herceptin for 12 weeks.
  • May 2012- good scans - all nodes still about normal size, hole in sternum repairing, lung tumour 'obliterated'.
    Ongoing herceptin every 3 weeks. Bloods still all good! Life good!
  • March 2013 - recurrence - tumours in lungs and mediastinum (coughing up blood) - immediate radiation treatment to right lung and mediastinum, still on Herceptin, and 3 months of Vinoralbine - stable for a little while!
  • Coughing and breathlessness started again September 2013, treated as radiation-induced fibrosis (which can be seen on scans - albeit stable). ie puffers, steroids
  • January 2014 - cough becomes bloody again, scans show big mediastinal tumour wrapped around and choking the life out of my right main bronchus, radiation deemed off limits as my lungs are hypersensitive to radiation (measured by existing damage from 2013) .....................- ie I am in the 5% of people likely to suffer severe radiation damage to the lungs that they warn you about before starting treatment! (so special! :) )
  • Started chemo Feb 2014 - continuing Herceptin (continuous since Aug 2011), with Carboplatin and Gemcitabine. Discontinued Gemcitabine because of se's. Starting cycle 5 Herc/Carbo 5 May 2014.
  • Meantime.....coughing and breathlessness increased to SCARY levels with racing heartbeat that won't slow down, breath that won't come back, even just walking to the bathroom or up 3 or 4 steps.
  • ICU from May 5 2014, collapsed right lung due to tumour, small pulmonary embolism (left), tumours growing in mediastinum left and right, dvt lower right leg
  • Plan seems to be bronchoscope next week to see if tumour can be lasered and stent inserted in right bronchus to reopen air access to lower parts of right lung. If that is successful might be able to have brachytherapy to worst tumour, otherwise no more options for external radiotherapy.
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:18 PM   #2
Cat
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Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

I have no experience with this except shortness of breath from kadcyla and then switched chemo. Can't give any advice but sending support. Do you meditate? It sounds like something calming may help. Sending hugs and hopes for some answers soon.
Cathy
__________________
3/06 DX stage III er-pr-her2+++ breast, 1+node
age 49 and 364 days
3XAC 4X taxol and herceptin continue herceptin one year
bilat mastectomy w/TRAM
32 rads
9/08 recurrance 4 sternal nodes
mediastinoscopy, able to remove 3
taxotere, carboplatin, herceptin, x6
continue herceptin indefinately
5/10 recurrance in same node/area
mediastinoscopy, removed nodes
added tykerb
27 rads
10/18/10 PET shows inflammation no active disease
8/2011 recurrence one right mediastinal node, xeloda and proton radiation to node.
D/C xeloda due to toxicity
12/5 PET scan clear
2/2012 colon blockage, breast cancer
(never thought it could go there! thought I was constipated)
start abraxane, herceptin, continue tykerb
10/2012 Kidney ablation (renal CA!)
3/2013 CT and biopsy R kidney (BC met to R kidney)
4/4/2013 Begin Kadcyla
7/30/13 Craniotomy cerebellar mets, 1.7cm 3cm
Sept 4-6 post op cyberknife
Sept 23 ablation right kidney (blow up pesky breast ca met)
Oct headaches MRI Oct 10 (only surgical changes ! Yay!)
Short of breath. CT, pulmonary function, echo
New crap in right lung heart good. Pooh!
12/13 DC kadcyla. Begin halaven
2/14 MRI brain NED Yay!
4/3/14 CT mostly stable but breast mets r kidney growing
4/16/14 ablation right kidney again
Continue halaven, tykerb
dc halaven gemzar?
2nd opinion May 14
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:19 PM   #3
Belinda
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Posts: 144
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Thanks Cat for your response. I only have very basic meditation skills - which helped I think when hubby (Mike) was with me, just focussing on his calm, regular breathing helped. I have been thinking about also asking the oncologist for something like Ativan, which the nurses give some chemo patients to help calm them, seems to work within a few minutes.
I am seeing him today which is good timing.
Bx
__________________
Belinda
  • Diagnosed 3 Jan 2007, Stage IIb, Mastectomy and axillary clearance 10 Jan 07, 6 of 19 nodes affected, multi-focal cancer, HER2 positive. Second mastectomy (prophylactic). Chemo - AC 3 months, Taxol 3 months - then radiation 5 weeks.
  • Aug 2011 - Diagnosed with Stage IV mets to lung, sternum and 12 or so thoracic nodes - Rads to Sternum, then weekly abraxane and herceptin for 12 weeks.
  • May 2012- good scans - all nodes still about normal size, hole in sternum repairing, lung tumour 'obliterated'.
    Ongoing herceptin every 3 weeks. Bloods still all good! Life good!
  • March 2013 - recurrence - tumours in lungs and mediastinum (coughing up blood) - immediate radiation treatment to right lung and mediastinum, still on Herceptin, and 3 months of Vinoralbine - stable for a little while!
  • Coughing and breathlessness started again September 2013, treated as radiation-induced fibrosis (which can be seen on scans - albeit stable). ie puffers, steroids
  • January 2014 - cough becomes bloody again, scans show big mediastinal tumour wrapped around and choking the life out of my right main bronchus, radiation deemed off limits as my lungs are hypersensitive to radiation (measured by existing damage from 2013) .....................- ie I am in the 5% of people likely to suffer severe radiation damage to the lungs that they warn you about before starting treatment! (so special! :) )
  • Started chemo Feb 2014 - continuing Herceptin (continuous since Aug 2011), with Carboplatin and Gemcitabine. Discontinued Gemcitabine because of se's. Starting cycle 5 Herc/Carbo 5 May 2014.
  • Meantime.....coughing and breathlessness increased to SCARY levels with racing heartbeat that won't slow down, breath that won't come back, even just walking to the bathroom or up 3 or 4 steps.
  • ICU from May 5 2014, collapsed right lung due to tumour, small pulmonary embolism (left), tumours growing in mediastinum left and right, dvt lower right leg
  • Plan seems to be bronchoscope next week to see if tumour can be lasered and stent inserted in right bronchus to reopen air access to lower parts of right lung. If that is successful might be able to have brachytherapy to worst tumour, otherwise no more options for external radiotherapy.
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:16 AM   #4
Belinda
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Posts: 144
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Update...I had my onc appointment today, and was scheduled for Herc and Carboplatin. They took one look at me and hooked up every available measuring device...O2, pulse, bp, ecg, ...the curtains were drawn, the Critical Care team called, and hey presto! I am in the Critical Care (IC) Unit with my own personal (and wonderful) nurse, having oxygen therapy.

So many tests - bedside echo, ultrasound, ct, xrays, lots of blood tests, injections,,,,,,,

The Carbo and Herc is not working on one particular tumour which has now compressed my right bronchus to the point where all 3 lobes have collapsed, causing the increased coughing, Soaring BPs, Heart rate 140-160 bpm, leading to scared crazy breathless woman .

Visited by pulomologist this evening, stent and surgery unlikely to help, going to get another procedure to look more closely and asses possible local solutions.

Onc checking new chemo options, and checking with rads onc re whether the situation now means rads is a feasible option.

Meanwhile I have had a busy day and with what's scheduled I have to be here until lungs stabilise, at least 2 nights.

I feel so lucky to have this competent, professional and warm team of people so readily available to help me, (sigh of relief and gratitude).

Bx
__________________
Belinda
  • Diagnosed 3 Jan 2007, Stage IIb, Mastectomy and axillary clearance 10 Jan 07, 6 of 19 nodes affected, multi-focal cancer, HER2 positive. Second mastectomy (prophylactic). Chemo - AC 3 months, Taxol 3 months - then radiation 5 weeks.
  • Aug 2011 - Diagnosed with Stage IV mets to lung, sternum and 12 or so thoracic nodes - Rads to Sternum, then weekly abraxane and herceptin for 12 weeks.
  • May 2012- good scans - all nodes still about normal size, hole in sternum repairing, lung tumour 'obliterated'.
    Ongoing herceptin every 3 weeks. Bloods still all good! Life good!
  • March 2013 - recurrence - tumours in lungs and mediastinum (coughing up blood) - immediate radiation treatment to right lung and mediastinum, still on Herceptin, and 3 months of Vinoralbine - stable for a little while!
  • Coughing and breathlessness started again September 2013, treated as radiation-induced fibrosis (which can be seen on scans - albeit stable). ie puffers, steroids
  • January 2014 - cough becomes bloody again, scans show big mediastinal tumour wrapped around and choking the life out of my right main bronchus, radiation deemed off limits as my lungs are hypersensitive to radiation (measured by existing damage from 2013) .....................- ie I am in the 5% of people likely to suffer severe radiation damage to the lungs that they warn you about before starting treatment! (so special! :) )
  • Started chemo Feb 2014 - continuing Herceptin (continuous since Aug 2011), with Carboplatin and Gemcitabine. Discontinued Gemcitabine because of se's. Starting cycle 5 Herc/Carbo 5 May 2014.
  • Meantime.....coughing and breathlessness increased to SCARY levels with racing heartbeat that won't slow down, breath that won't come back, even just walking to the bathroom or up 3 or 4 steps.
  • ICU from May 5 2014, collapsed right lung due to tumour, small pulmonary embolism (left), tumours growing in mediastinum left and right, dvt lower right leg
  • Plan seems to be bronchoscope next week to see if tumour can be lasered and stent inserted in right bronchus to reopen air access to lower parts of right lung. If that is successful might be able to have brachytherapy to worst tumour, otherwise no more options for external radiotherapy.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:39 AM   #5
Cat
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Posts: 184
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

I am so glad you have found some support and you sound like you feel at least a little more comfortable. Hopefully now you can get treatment that will be more tolerated and work for you. Hugs
Cathy
__________________
3/06 DX stage III er-pr-her2+++ breast, 1+node
age 49 and 364 days
3XAC 4X taxol and herceptin continue herceptin one year
bilat mastectomy w/TRAM
32 rads
9/08 recurrance 4 sternal nodes
mediastinoscopy, able to remove 3
taxotere, carboplatin, herceptin, x6
continue herceptin indefinately
5/10 recurrance in same node/area
mediastinoscopy, removed nodes
added tykerb
27 rads
10/18/10 PET shows inflammation no active disease
8/2011 recurrence one right mediastinal node, xeloda and proton radiation to node.
D/C xeloda due to toxicity
12/5 PET scan clear
2/2012 colon blockage, breast cancer
(never thought it could go there! thought I was constipated)
start abraxane, herceptin, continue tykerb
10/2012 Kidney ablation (renal CA!)
3/2013 CT and biopsy R kidney (BC met to R kidney)
4/4/2013 Begin Kadcyla
7/30/13 Craniotomy cerebellar mets, 1.7cm 3cm
Sept 4-6 post op cyberknife
Sept 23 ablation right kidney (blow up pesky breast ca met)
Oct headaches MRI Oct 10 (only surgical changes ! Yay!)
Short of breath. CT, pulmonary function, echo
New crap in right lung heart good. Pooh!
12/13 DC kadcyla. Begin halaven
2/14 MRI brain NED Yay!
4/3/14 CT mostly stable but breast mets r kidney growing
4/16/14 ablation right kidney again
Continue halaven, tykerb
dc halaven gemzar?
2nd opinion May 14
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:53 PM   #6
Coux92
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Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

How frightening for you! I'm so happy you got such a swift and efficient response from your team. I hope they put together an awesome plan to get you back in prime shape soon! I will be praying for you Belinda...
__________________
3/11/13- normal mammo and US
4/30/13 Found pea sized lump while showering
5/10/13 core bx
5/15/13 dx IDC 1CM,
5/20/13 BRAC 1&2 neg
5/28/13 lumpectomy and SNB, ER/PR/Her-2+, Nodes neg,positive margins
6/13/13 revision of margins . Now clear
6/26/13 first TCH
Chemo Ninja~kutaki Zika Zukuchiri
10/18/13-Bx of calcification-neg whew
11/7/13 Started Radiation.
01/2014- Started Tamoxifen
06/09/14-Steriotactic BX left breast calcification-Benign
06/18/2014-completed one year of Herceptin!
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Old 05-07-2014, 05:23 PM   #7
Nurse4u2day
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Location: California
Posts: 424
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Belinda what a scary experience you have had. I am so glad that you have a great team helping you through this. The best of luck at getting you better. Prayers to you.
__________________
11/13 Dx IDC left breast
11/19/2013 Inflammatory Breast Cancer stage 3c grade 2 Er- Pr- her2+++
Node involvement suspected based on CT
12/13 port placed
12/13 neoadjuvant DD AC xs 4 rounds started
02/14 taxol/herceptin started every week xs 12 rounds
Herceptin for 1 year
Ki67=23%
BRCA1&2 negative
5/06/14 last round taxol/herceptin. Chemo done!!!
5/07/14 clear CT scan
6/11/14 Bilateral Mastectomy Done
6/15/14 8mm tumor post chemo. Removed by bmx
6/15/14 lymph nodes 0/9
6/15/14 officially Cancer Free
7/11/14 emergency surgery to left breast . Wound refused to heal and broke open. New TE placed
7/28/14 emergency medical procedure now to right breast( post op 6 weeks mastectomy ) wound opens.
8/25/14 - 10/07/14 Radiation
11/24/14 CT of Brain clear
01/23/15 One year Herceptin Complete
02/04/15 Diep done
5/01/15 1 year Ct scan- mass in thymus
6/23/15 repeat CT mass in thymus still present
6/30/15 biopsy thymus 7/03/15 mass Benign! Diagnoses Thymic hyperplasia rebound ( chemo at fault, no long term health effects)
7/08/15 phase 2 diep
11/23/15 phase 2b ( reconstructive surgery with lipo)
03/05/18 Vinnie Myer 3 D nipple tattoos complete.
11/19/2018 5 years since Dx of IBC stage 3c remain NED.
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Old 05-10-2014, 02:19 AM   #8
waterdreamer
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Location: Thousand Oaks, California.
Posts: 199
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Wow, so grateful that you are in such good hands. I was about to respond to your original post about herceptin, but then I realised you had found the answer to your question. Thanks for updating us, and praying that you find a solution to your current challenge. Sending healing thoughts and positive energy.
__________________
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 05-10-2014, 07:10 AM   #9
Carol Ann
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,044
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Count me in for my energy sending and support too, Belinda. What a scary experience. So glad you have such a knowledgeable and supportive health team. Please stay in touch and let us know how you're doing.

CA
__________________
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 05-10-2014, 07:39 PM   #10
Pamelamary
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 470
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

It sounds as if you have a good team behind you, Belinda. After such frightening sensations, it must be a relief. I hope you can get those symptoms under control and can start on a new treatment regime soon.
Sending best wishes from not so far away.....Pam
__________________
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 05-11-2014, 03:09 PM   #11
Adriana Mangus
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Location: California
Posts: 668
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Hi Belinda, You are not alone, me too have experiences shortness of breath and a nasty cough, things are a little better- not the breathing part, but the cough is almost 90% gone which is a relieve. Also, I have a tumor on the rt lung, - I was on chemo break, my choice- and probably that caused the tumor to grow to this level-- have no regrets, I want to enjoy my life and not be tied to a chair for long
periods of time. I love being outdoors, so there you go. We all going to go one day - I prefer to go on my terms, anyway when you get really sick the doctor just will give you a nice combo to put you at ease, you sleep and bye bye.

Hope you don't find this post too blunt, please read my signature then you can judge me. I'm a strong woman -- sometimes I do cry, is good for the soul- but for the most part, I have dealt with this on my own. It feels good!

Sending you hugs and positive vibes from America.

Take care and please keep us posted. Adriana
__________________
1994 - rt brst, .lump, underarm node dissection,chemo+rad 1.2 cms, Grade 3.
28 nodes neg
Er,Pr, Positive HER2 status unknown
2003- Recur to rt lung.July 16 ( B-Day!)
Her2+++ Er,Pr, Negative
2003 - Aug04--Navelbine + Herceptin
2004- 2007--
NED - Herceptin, only
2007 Feb-April Xeloda added to hereceptin
2007-May Back on Navelbine+Herceptin
2008-Feb-Mar 15 Ses Rad to Rt. Lung
2008- Oc 17 Add Tykerb to Herceptin
2009- June-- Discont Tykerb
2009 July 7--Current Taxol + Herceptin
2009 Dec--Discontinued treatment due to progression. Looking into cyberknife.
2010-Aug Accepted to TDM1, no SE, except liver count went up.
2010-2011 September got kicked out of the trial, due to a small spot found on lung.
2011- 2012 September thru early 2013 on Herceptin
2013- March Bone density shows small spot on 5th rib.
2013 - April 4th appt with onc. will post after discussing course of treatment.
2013-March-April Cyber knife to brain and radiation to rib. Chest --base line before chemo-CT-Scan stable for lung issue. CA2729 Normal.
2013 April Herceptin- TDMI
2013 Sept Herceptin + Perjeta . CA2729 within normal range. Brain and Pet scans October 31st. will post results.
2013 October Brain MRI- mixed response. Will see Onc/rad on Halloween.
2013 October/November Brain-MRI nothing new. Repeat MRI next year in May.

2013 December Continue Herceptin and Perjeta. Stable at the moment.
2014 February Brain MRI -clear!
2014 January Added Taxotere to Perjeta+Herceptin.
2014 March Stopped chemo-chest ct-scan next.

2014- March Scans shows tumor's larger, CA2729 higher. Discontinue Herceptin.
2014 April Perjeta+ Halaven
2014 April CA2729 went down 60 points after one cycle. Cough does not want to go away.
2014 June Continue on Perjeta + Halaven-- no more cough. Stable
2014 June Back on Herceptin + abraxane
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Old 05-11-2014, 10:40 PM   #12
Jackie07
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Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Belinda,

Glad the situation is now under control.

The fact that your husband's sitting next to you had calmed you down made me think that part of your symptoms could be caused by a panic attack. When I had an episode like that 24 years ago, a glass of water and the removal of the cause of anxiety instantly 'cured'/stopped it!

Sending you good vibes.
__________________
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

Advocacy is a passion .. not a pastime - Joe
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:17 AM   #13
Mtngrl
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Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,427
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Belinda,

Any update? This is all quite alarming. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Sending prayers. . . .
__________________
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 07-27-2014, 08:44 PM   #14
Adriana Mangus
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: California
Posts: 668
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Belinda,

How are you doing now.

Is everything ok. Please send us a line.

Adriana
__________________
1994 - rt brst, .lump, underarm node dissection,chemo+rad 1.2 cms, Grade 3.
28 nodes neg
Er,Pr, Positive HER2 status unknown
2003- Recur to rt lung.July 16 ( B-Day!)
Her2+++ Er,Pr, Negative
2003 - Aug04--Navelbine + Herceptin
2004- 2007--
NED - Herceptin, only
2007 Feb-April Xeloda added to hereceptin
2007-May Back on Navelbine+Herceptin
2008-Feb-Mar 15 Ses Rad to Rt. Lung
2008- Oc 17 Add Tykerb to Herceptin
2009- June-- Discont Tykerb
2009 July 7--Current Taxol + Herceptin
2009 Dec--Discontinued treatment due to progression. Looking into cyberknife.
2010-Aug Accepted to TDM1, no SE, except liver count went up.
2010-2011 September got kicked out of the trial, due to a small spot found on lung.
2011- 2012 September thru early 2013 on Herceptin
2013- March Bone density shows small spot on 5th rib.
2013 - April 4th appt with onc. will post after discussing course of treatment.
2013-March-April Cyber knife to brain and radiation to rib. Chest --base line before chemo-CT-Scan stable for lung issue. CA2729 Normal.
2013 April Herceptin- TDMI
2013 Sept Herceptin + Perjeta . CA2729 within normal range. Brain and Pet scans October 31st. will post results.
2013 October Brain MRI- mixed response. Will see Onc/rad on Halloween.
2013 October/November Brain-MRI nothing new. Repeat MRI next year in May.

2013 December Continue Herceptin and Perjeta. Stable at the moment.
2014 February Brain MRI -clear!
2014 January Added Taxotere to Perjeta+Herceptin.
2014 March Stopped chemo-chest ct-scan next.

2014- March Scans shows tumor's larger, CA2729 higher. Discontinue Herceptin.
2014 April Perjeta+ Halaven
2014 April CA2729 went down 60 points after one cycle. Cough does not want to go away.
2014 June Continue on Perjeta + Halaven-- no more cough. Stable
2014 June Back on Herceptin + abraxane
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:21 AM   #15
Belinda
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Posts: 144
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Hello wonderful women. I am so sorrynot to have logged in and posted an update. It's been a challenging few months. The collapsed lung in May had me in hospital for a week, then home with O2, followed by 2 rounds of laser bronchoscopy to remove tumours blocking my airways (the cause of all the coughing, breathlessness and lung collapse). Changed chemo to abraxane/herceptin, hoping it would work as well as it did for me jn 2011.

I july spent another week in hospital, triggerred again by severe breathlessness and at the encouragement of my pal care team. Turns out to have been a severe infection or 2, likely kidney infection as well as chest infection.

Had a couple of good weeks, then MORE coughing and breathing problems. Had a fourth laser bronchoscope yesterday. They removed "lots of tumour tissue" and have booked me for yet another in 2 weeks as there was more that they couldn't safely remove yesterday.

So my anxiety levels have escalated because all of that growth has happenned while I have been on abraxane and herceptin. I feel like I am running out of options. I have signed up anyway for the Roche TDM1 compassionate access program, which for the first 3 months will cost about 14k. But the program was due to end Aug 31 (now Oct), and there is still no sign our govt will support it getting public funding.

Just trying to keep air in my lungs and put one foot in front of the other. Bxxxxxxxxxx
__________________
Belinda
  • Diagnosed 3 Jan 2007, Stage IIb, Mastectomy and axillary clearance 10 Jan 07, 6 of 19 nodes affected, multi-focal cancer, HER2 positive. Second mastectomy (prophylactic). Chemo - AC 3 months, Taxol 3 months - then radiation 5 weeks.
  • Aug 2011 - Diagnosed with Stage IV mets to lung, sternum and 12 or so thoracic nodes - Rads to Sternum, then weekly abraxane and herceptin for 12 weeks.
  • May 2012- good scans - all nodes still about normal size, hole in sternum repairing, lung tumour 'obliterated'.
    Ongoing herceptin every 3 weeks. Bloods still all good! Life good!
  • March 2013 - recurrence - tumours in lungs and mediastinum (coughing up blood) - immediate radiation treatment to right lung and mediastinum, still on Herceptin, and 3 months of Vinoralbine - stable for a little while!
  • Coughing and breathlessness started again September 2013, treated as radiation-induced fibrosis (which can be seen on scans - albeit stable). ie puffers, steroids
  • January 2014 - cough becomes bloody again, scans show big mediastinal tumour wrapped around and choking the life out of my right main bronchus, radiation deemed off limits as my lungs are hypersensitive to radiation (measured by existing damage from 2013) .....................- ie I am in the 5% of people likely to suffer severe radiation damage to the lungs that they warn you about before starting treatment! (so special! :) )
  • Started chemo Feb 2014 - continuing Herceptin (continuous since Aug 2011), with Carboplatin and Gemcitabine. Discontinued Gemcitabine because of se's. Starting cycle 5 Herc/Carbo 5 May 2014.
  • Meantime.....coughing and breathlessness increased to SCARY levels with racing heartbeat that won't slow down, breath that won't come back, even just walking to the bathroom or up 3 or 4 steps.
  • ICU from May 5 2014, collapsed right lung due to tumour, small pulmonary embolism (left), tumours growing in mediastinum left and right, dvt lower right leg
  • Plan seems to be bronchoscope next week to see if tumour can be lasered and stent inserted in right bronchus to reopen air access to lower parts of right lung. If that is successful might be able to have brachytherapy to worst tumour, otherwise no more options for external radiotherapy.
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:10 AM   #16
Mtngrl
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,427
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Dear Belinda,

I'm so sorry to hear all of this. I also apologize for not responding sooner.

Any news? How are things now?

Prayers,
__________________
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 09-02-2014, 07:23 AM   #17
Jackie07
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: "Love never fails."
Posts: 5,802
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Any updates (on yourself and the TDM1 -Kadcyla- availability), Belinda?
__________________
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

Advocacy is a passion .. not a pastime - Joe

Last edited by Jackie07; 09-02-2014 at 07:28 AM..
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Old 10-24-2014, 04:35 AM   #18
Belinda
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Posts: 144
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Sorry to take so long to reply back. Well, having tried abraxane again with little success, we finally decided to go down the tdm1 route. My mets kept trying to close my airways, so far thi year I've had 8 laser bronchoscopies to clear tumour out. I started tdm1 8 weeks ago ( total cost for 3 doses AUD $15k ). 6 days ago I just woke up feeling great, it seemed as sudden as that. Although really i had been feeling slightly better over the previous 3 days. I had been on O2 24/7, and I haven't had to use it since last Saturday!

My last bronchoscope (4 wks ago) showed the tumour had slowed and less had to be removed than usual. 2 weeks ago I needed a nurse to help me shower, could not get my own food and drink, vomited and got tachi and dizzy if I moved too fast or far.....today I moved furniture, made a cover for my dressmaker dummy, cooked, sorted a wardrobe.....all with a few minutes break to get o2 up and pulse down.

l SO hope that tdm1 keeps working for me. It seems it works well for a few months for many, but the cancer soon becomes resistant.

Health and happiness to us all. Bxxxxxxxx

Last edited by Belinda; 10-24-2014 at 04:42 AM..
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:06 AM   #19
Carol Ann
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,044
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

That is wonderful news, Belinda! I hope so too, thanks for posting!

Carol Ann
__________________
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 10-25-2014, 05:10 AM   #20
Mtngrl
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,427
Re: Severe breathlessness - heart/herc. or lungs?

Belinda,

What a huge relief! I'm so happy to hear this.

TDM-1 has been very, very effective for some people, with lasting results. Several folks on the board have been NED for an extended period of time after TDM-1. I hope you're one of those people!

Keep us posted.
__________________
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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