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-   -   Diagnosed high-risk in 1993 and no recurrence (https://her2support.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=30591)

Christine MH-UK 10-16-2007 04:56 AM

Diagnosed high-risk in 1993 and no recurrence
Hi everybody,

I just wanted to say that four years ago today I was diagnosed with a high-risk breast cancer: er-, pr-, her2+, eight out of 19 nodes after pre-surgery chemo. Oh, and I had been diagnosed six months after having had a baby, which is also a very bad thing in terms of survival. The member of the surgical team tasked with giving me my results was optimistic until he realised that I had already had chemo (FEC which is good, but failed for me). When my husband asked my prognosis, the surgeon evaded the question and I didn't want to know anyway, since I knew the odds were dire. The only optimistic thing one nurse could think to say to me was that breast cancers as aggressive as mine always came back fast, so I would know sooner rather than later whether the treatment had worked! She mentioned that I might live to see my one-year old start school if I got on the herceptin trial, only to announce soon after that that trial was closed. Children start school at 4 in Britain, so I was devastated. Trying to keep optimistic, I once pointed out to my oncologist that at least I had a grade two cancer, only to have him respond back that my cancer was a grade two but it acted like a grade 3.

Fortunately after I had surgery my oncologist gave me taxotere, which was unusual in Britain at the time. I also started saving my money to go anywhere where there was an approved anti-her2 vaccine (which I optimistically thought would come out very soon), but it meant at least when the Hera results came out I had the funds to start late herceptin.

Four years on, I am still around despite the odds, with no sign that the cancer has come back. Because I had to go back into treatment late and became very tired on herceptin, I am just now getting everything back into order, but am doing well.

Of course, when I started my treatment back in October 2003 so much less was known about how to treat this type of cancer. I am amazed by the progress that has happened in the last four years. I hope that you have found this story encouraging.

rinaina 11-03-2007 05:24 PM

Your story will definitely be inspirational to many and you keep on going girl!

Chelee 11-05-2007 09:15 PM

Christine, Thanks so much for taking the time to share your very encouraging and inspirational story. I think its so important for the newly DX and even us that are down the road a little further to read stories like yours. You have done absolutely wonderful & gives us so much hope. Thanks again for sharing...its really appreciated.


chrislmelb 11-06-2007 03:02 AM

Great news Michelle. i am about the same boat and remember you from back then. i still keep my fingers crossed.

mcgle 11-13-2007 11:50 PM


Your story will give great hope to those newly embarking upon this horrible journey.

I am so pleased you will be able to watch your little one start school.

Mcgle (UK)

Joanne S 11-18-2007 02:35 AM

Christine, I too, take my hat off to you for sharing your story. I wish you continued wellness. Your baby is probably going to school now?

Congratulations!!! :) :) :)

harrie 11-25-2007 12:22 AM

Christine, VERY inspirational story. Thank you so much for sharing. I know you must be very busy with your little ones, but thanks so much for putting your story out there. It gives much hope and inspiration.

tricia keegan 12-03-2007 01:59 PM

Thanks for posting this Christine which is very encouraging for all of us..congratulations and may you continue to prove your surgeon wrong in the future!!

Mary Anne in TX 02-14-2008 11:04 AM

Christine, thank you for taking time to share your amazing story with us! What great news! Have a great day!

Jackie07 07-16-2008 03:11 PM

I know this thread is a bit old and I wasn't the one started it. Just thought I will post so more people can see it - especially the newly diagnosed.

lmangino44 08-12-2008 06:57 AM

Thank you
I am in a very similar situation. Waiting for by scans to come back today. Hope I am as lucky as you. Thank you for your story.
dx 7-11-08
Mas 7-18-08
E/P- Her++
8/14 nodes pos
5cm tumor

Ursula 08-29-2008 05:40 AM

Thank you, Christine

for telling your story, it encourages me a lot! With two little kids I also want to see them grow, so I wish you well and hope for the best in the future!

Jinete789 09-23-2008 02:02 AM

Christine just followed you here from UK!

Christine I have just found this post after your kind reply to me on breastcancercare website.

Your story is truly inspirational to the newly diagnosed such as myself. It is a shame that in the UK our BC forums don't contain such inspirational categories.

Pointing me to this website is also useful, as I know a couple of other people who have BC, but none are HER2+, and when I mentioned it have given me an "oh dear, you're even worse off than me" expression. Which scares me even more.

I was only diagnosed July this year, so haven't even started my Herceptin yet (pre-op chemo currently - yuk).

Thanks again Christine for posting your story, it holds out so much help for those of us earlier on the journey.

Christine MH-UK 11-22-2008 01:55 PM

Hi folks,

Just wanted to say that it is now five years and I am still fine. I couldn't figure out how to edit the message line. Oh well.

Glad to hear that so many people have found it useful, both here and through private messages. It is always nice to know that my story has given someone hope.

I can't believe how far treatment has come in that time. My oncologist was great but I had to leap through so many hoops to get a half way decent treatment because so little was known about the proper way to treat this. I am so glad that things are much more straightforward and effective now for patients with primary her2-positive breast cancer.

schoolteacher 11-24-2008 05:58 AM


Congratulations on your five year mark. You give me hope.


PORTER1 12-03-2008 02:23 PM

Thanks you Christine for your words of encouragement. i was diagnosed in April 08. Congads on 5yr. that is such a blessing

Leslie304 09-07-2009 04:00 PM

Re: Diagnosed high-risk four years ago and no recurrence
Thanks Christine for your encouraging post. I was diagnosed in April 09 and just weaving my way through all this! Did you ever get the HER2 vaccine? I'm very curious how many have, my onc has not mentioned it but maybe it is premature for me to be thinking about it. I'm still undergoing chemo and anxiously awaiting surgery! Get this stuff out of me! Did you do a bilateral mastectomy?
Thanks for the renewed hope and CONGRATULATIONS!

ElaineM 09-07-2009 09:18 PM

Re: Diagnosed high-risk four years ago and no recurrence
Good for you. Keep up the good work. I am clapping and cheering for you !!!!!!!!

Christine MH-UK 09-08-2009 03:03 AM

Re: Diagnosed high-risk four years ago and no recurrence
Hello everyone,

Well, it is almost six years now. If I had known how long this thread was going to run, I would have put diagnosed October 2003 in the title.

I never did get the her2 vaccine nor did I get a bilateral mastectomy. They are still working on her2 vaccines, so these are only available experimentally even now. As for a bilateral mastectomy, it seemed to me that for my type contralateral recurrences were relatively infrequent and I can't imagine having two arms at risk of lymphedema.

schoolteacher 09-09-2009 12:19 PM

Re: Diagnosed high-risk four years ago and no recurrence

Thanks for the post. I hope one day I will be able to say this too.


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