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Old 07-11-2018, 01:06 AM   #1
Pamelamary
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Milestone?

Today I reached herceptin cycle 100 - don't know whether to open some champagne or cry. Guess the former would be more fun. However, I am feeling some grief for all that I have lost since the Stage IV diagnosis.
Best wishes to all.... Pam
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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.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:04 AM   #2
Donna H
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Re: Milestone?

I'd go with opening champagne. Celebrate each day....champagne each day might be a bit much but a nice piece of rich dark chocolate could do the trick! I admire your spirit and fight. You, and all the stage 4 ladies are so amazing to me. In my eyes you are all sooo strong and fierce. As my yoga instructor always says at the end of each practice.... "the light in me honors and bows to light in you. I wish you health. I wish you strength. I wish you peace. Namaste."
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:24 AM   #3
StephN
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Wink Re: Milestone?

Such a lovely sentiment, Donna. We all should use that each day. The "light" is our life force, and needs to shine.

As we used to say in the Sixties, "shine on" Pamelamary. Maybe you will be able to stop your Hercepin like I and some others have, or at least take a holiday for 3 months.
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"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.
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:39 PM   #4
tricia keegan
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Re: Milestone?

I can't say it better than Donna or Steph Pam, but despite what you may have lost you're surviving and living each day and I think you more than deserve those bubbles! Slainte and celebrate Warrior!
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Tricia
Dx July '05 IDC 1.9cm Triple positive 3/9 nodes positive
A/C X 4 ..Taxol/Herceptin x 12 wks then herceptin 1 yr
Rads x 36 ..oophorectomy August '06
Currently taking Arimidex..
June 2011 osteopenia/ zometa x1 yearly- stopped Zometa 2015 as Dexa show normal bone density.
Stopped Arimidex July 2014- Restarted Arimidex 2015 for a further two years on the advice of my Onc.
2014 Normal Dexa scan
2018 Mammo all clear, still NED!
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:03 PM   #5
jacqueline1102
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Posts: 171
Re: Milestone?

Hi Pam,

Your feelings are validated The hardest part of living in the Stage IV land is the simultaneous celebration of still being alive while grieving the loss of what life looked like before the diagnosis. Of what we did before, what we physically, emotionally, and spiritually felt like before, what our relationships like were before, you name it. Sometimes, I fight the grief and tell myself to appreciate all that I have. One can simultaneousy feel grateful for what one has and yet recognize one's life has forever changed. Never ending treatment is emotionally exhausting. There is no reprieve in cancerland. Please allow yourself permission to feel your feelings, let them come in, and do not judge yourself for feeling the grief.

I respect your transparency and authenticity. So, yes, go buy that nice bubbly spirit. Toast your loved ones who are alongside you and toast to yourself for your authentic spirit. You may cry and smile all at the same time. One can still feel grief and gratitude simultaneously. When I hit my 100, I guarantee I will be crying and laughing all the same time.

Cheers,

Jackie
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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 Rads
8/1/12 Started Perjeta with the Herceptin
10/12 Scans said NED for first time
Scans every 6 months
5/15 Began 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.

Last edited by jacqueline1102; 07-11-2018 at 05:08 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:27 AM   #6
jra40
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Posts: 248
Re: Milestone?

God bless you, what a warrior and inspiration you truly are! I would say the champagne and agree with the others, celebrate every day and the strength you have


Jessica
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11/17/10 - Diagnosed with 4.5cm tumor in right breast, IDC, Stage 2, Nuclear grade 2, ER+ PR+ HER2+
12/13/10 - Lymph node biopsy - negative
12/28/10 - Started neo-adjuvant treatment along with clinical trial with 4 rounds of AC chemo every 3 weeks
3/15/11 - Began weekly Taxol/Herceptin infusions along with 750mg of Tykerb taken by mouth daily
6/28/11 - Finished last cycle of Taxol
7/27/11 - Breast MRI shows tumor has dissolved, remarkable reaction to chemo
8/31/11 - Lumpectomy, Sentinel Node biopsy. Node negative, clear margins, 7mm of cancer left over from chemo.
10/05/11 - Started radiation, 5 days a week for 7 weeks.
11/8/11 - Finished radiation
3/21/12 - Last Herceptin!
3/26/12 - Port removed!
Tamoxifen for 5 years
8/4/15 - Hysterectomy & bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Due to large fibroids. No cancer!
8/8/15 - Started Arimidex
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:20 PM   #7
Bunty
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Re: Milestone?

Well done Pam, and to your medical team. I get what you mean about mourning the loss of our previous lives, but this is our reality now, and as many say here, each day is a celebration, so crack that champers open! One thing I reckon is that a positive is that rather than being 'blissfully unaware' of what could be lurking in our bodies, we at least are 'unblissfully aware', or 'blissfully aware' (depending on our frame of mind!) generally of what is happening to us on the cancer front.
Go warrior woman!
Cheers Marie
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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.
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:28 AM   #8
Pamelamary
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 448
Re: Milestone?

Thanks for all the kind thoughts. I love Donna's sentiments and like to think of the light in me honouring the light in all of this community of women. As Jackie says, we all laugh and cry at the same time - living as best we can in our uncertainty.
Hears to the next 100..... 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.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:21 AM   #9
Juls
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Posts: 517
Re: Milestone?

Hi Pam,

I'm with the other Ladies - Champagne!

Juls
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:30 AM   #10
Cathya
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Posts: 713
Re: Milestone?

Pam;

I would go with the champagne too. Interesting what optimists we all are lol. I guess though that with the losses for myself I am grateful that I am able through this to be a heads up to my children. For that alone I have to celebrate.

All my best to you,
Cathy
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Cathy

Diagnosed Oct. 2004 3 cm ductal, lumpectomy Nov. 2004
Diagnosed Jan. 2005 tumor in supraclavicular node
Stage 3c, Grade 3, ER/PR+, Her2++
4 AC, 4 Taxol, Radiation, Arimidex, Actonel
Herceptin for 9 months until Muga dropped and heart enlarged
Restarting herceptin weekly after 4 months off
Stopped herceptin after four weekly treatments....score dropped to 41
Finished 6 years Arimidex
May 2015 diagnosed with ovarian cancer
Stage 1C
started 6 treatments of carboplatin/taxol
Genetic testing show BRCA1 VUS
Nice! My hair came back really curly. Hope it lasts lol. Well it didn't but I liked it so I'm now a perm lady
29 March 2018 Lung biopsy following chest CT showing tumours in pleura of left lung, waiting for results to the question bc or ovarian
April 20, 2018 BC mets confirmed, ER/PR+ now Her2-
Questions about the possibility of ovarian spread and mets to bones so will be tested and monitored for these.
To begin new drug Palbociclib along with Letrozole.
Genetic testing of ovarian tumour and this new lung met will take 2 months.
To see geneticist to be retested for BRCA this week.

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