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Old 12-28-2013, 04:36 AM   #1
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Smile Newly diagnosed BC -needs encouraging words

hello everyone!i'm a newly diagnosed Invasive Ductal Ca/Ductal Ca in Situ stage 2B, ErP negative,Her2/neu positive,3 out of 24 Lymph nodes postiv. It's barely a month since my modified radical mastectomy right breast was done. I got back to work,since my chemo will start on jan 8,2014. I am just wondering,how long will my armpit pain,tightness& with limited range of motion can be felt?i have my daily exercises as instructed by my surgeon.Can anyone please advise?i will have more querries as soon as I start my treatment protocol.I am so happy i found this support group!looking forward for your uplifting&inspiring messages.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:08 AM   #2
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Re: Newly diagnosed BC -needs encouraging words

Welcome, G. Angel,

I am sorry you are joining us in the battle against Her2 positive breast cancer, however the bright side of the unfortunate diagnosis is this online support group. May I suggest spending some time using the "Search" feature to find threads that will serve to be informative and reassuring.

As for the tightness from the lymph node dissection and the mastectomy, having only had 5 nodes removed I cannot speak to your question from experience. I am sure others will chime in with their experiences so hang tight. For me the mastectomy was not particularly limiting and healed well. That arm is still a bit 'tighter" than the other, and I continue to do stretching exercises which have become a habit that I do not even think about any longer.

Good luck with your chemo. It isn't fun, but goes by quickly. Hang with us. We will see you through it!

Smile On!

Dx'd w/multifocal DCIS/IDS 3/08
7mm invasive component
Partial mast. 5/08
Stage 1b, ER 80%, PR 90%, HER-2 6.9 on FISH
0/5 nodes
4 AC, 4 TH finished 9/08
Herceptin every 3 weeks. Finished 7/09
Tamoxifen 10/08. Switched to Femara 8/09
Bilat SPM w/reconstruction 10/08
Clinical Trial w/Clondronate 12/08
Stopped Clondronate--too hard on my gizzard!
Switched back to Tamoxifen due to tendon pain from Femara

15 Years NED
I think I just might hang around awhile....

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Old 12-30-2013, 02:55 AM   #3
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Re: Newly diagnosed BC -needs encouraging words


I am six years out of my stage 2B diagnosis. I had 2 lymph nodes with cancer and altogether had 11 nodes out.

Don't remember doing anything particular about the arms. But I did walk 30 minutes everyday. Walking is really the best exercise - especially after (breast) surgery.

Been doing great as far as breast cancer is concerned. I have another history of a rare type of brain tumor and it's been well under control. Doing extremely well lately since I've figured out how to use gravity (while sleeping) to keep the b.t. away from my Thalamus.

There are quite a few others who have similar situation (2B) like yours on the board and are doing well. I'm sending you good vibes.

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Last edited by Jackie07; 01-02-2014 at 10:52 PM..
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:59 AM   #4
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Re: Newly diagnosed BC -needs encouraging words

Dear G. Angel

Sorry you had to join us on the journey, but welcome to the forum. The tightness and pain from the surgery lasts a variable amount of time, but should progressively improve. The arm exercises are important. If you don't keep the arm mobile, the shoulder can get stiff and lymphedema is more likely. If you have access to a physiotherapist (aka physical therapist), I would strongly recommend this because you have had a full axillary dissection. It is good that the surgeon gave you exercises, but the physio can really help the arm get moving and teach you how to massage the arm. There are internet sites (youtube) also that demonstrate how to get your arm and shoulder moving.

Once the scar is sealed over, you can use a bio-oil to massage the area and help the skin and tissue to be more pliable.

I had left mastectomy and 5 nodes out and I had good mobility by 5 weeks post-op, but I gather this was unusual. However, I had a puffy axilla (arm OK) and a large bruise in the front fold of the armpit which took months to slowly resolve. Also each time I had chemo, I would get pain in the scar. This makes sense as tissue damage of this type does take 6 months or so to heal and the chemo will disrupt that process a bit. The nerves start grow back in the numb areas and the is also disrupted by the chemo.

This sounds bad, but it does become more comfortably after 6 to 12 weeks. It's just that it stays a bit tender. I haven't had reconstruction, and the breast prosthesis is still a bit uncomfortable. Talk to your surgeon at your visits, particularly the 3 month one, about your level of pain and mobility.

I strongly recommend you use the search function in the top bar to find threads relevant to you, then post a new thread with any other questions you have. (Please put the topic in the thread title to attract attention and to make it easier for others to find.)

Good luck. Hope your first chemo goes OK.

Aussie Girl
31mm Infiltrating duct carcinoma
Grade 3, ER/PR-, HER2+, Neg Sentinel nodes x 5
49mm field of DCIS
17 June '13: Screen detected impalpable mass, Mammogram neg, US.
25 June '13: Diagnosed after multiple biopsies and MRIs
28 June '13: Left lumpectomey
4 July '13: Left Mastectomy
12 August '13: Commenced TCH chemo
Mid December '13 : TCH finished. Herceptin continuing three weekly.
4 August 2014- Herceptin infusions finished.
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Old 01-03-2014, 07:09 PM   #5
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Re: Newly diagnosed BC -needs encouraging words

I had quite a bit of trouble at first but just stay the course with the exercises. (7 of 14 lymph nodes were positive) water exercises and Tai Chi really helped me.
Paula T. (saygoon means dog, yes I am Native)
DX March 2012
Stage IV w/ 5 bone mets to spine 2 on ribs
Herceptin, Zometa, Taxotere and Anasterole and of course radiation
2/14/2014 2 mets on pelvic bone
Stop Anasterole continue on Herceptin and Zometa start radiation (again)
2/24/2014 start T-DM1 continue Herceptin and Zometa
4/28 more radiation that brings total to 5 (10 days ea) - I think I will soon glow in the dark....
6/01/2014 Great news! Rib mets gone, 4 of 5 spine mets showing new bone growth and pelvic mets shrinking.
8/28/2014 T11 on spine is being stubborn started Perjeta, Herceptin, Zometa and Taxol - goodbye hair!
9/04/2014 Tomo therapy - pain finally gone
1/3/2015 - starting New Year out as still stable. Feeling positive
2/23/2015 - problems with left leg, bone met flaring up - MORE radiation Whew!
2/24/2015 Stress fracture in right side of pelvic - (great just great) back to wheelchair then walker then.....
2/26/2015 Off Taxol!! Still on Perjeta, Herceptin and Hormone Blocker starting to feel a little more human.
4/10/2015 Cancer has spread to spinal fluid - not sure where I go from here
6/29/2015 Omaya Port placed,begin IT Herceptin on 7/7/2015
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:55 AM   #6
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Re: Newly diagnosed BC -needs encouraging words

I only had four nodes removed (one positive with micro-metastasis)so I don't know how long the tightness will last. I know that the more stretching I did, the more I could do. Keep the stretching up as best you can.
Tracy Arcari
11/12 BSE ignored the lump for SIX months.
5/1/13 IDC ER/PR- HER2/neu+++
5/14/13 Mastectomy and SN biopsy
5/20/13 IDC Stage IIb Grade 3 Nodes 1/4 also IDC and DCIS multi focal in remaining dissected tissue.
5/30/13 MUGA and CT thorax, abdomen & pelvis, establish baseline.
6/4/13 Installed my little purple power port.
6/14/13 Chemo started TCH
6/14/13 Informed of suspicious ares on scans scheduled PET.
7/1/13 PET Scan NED!
9/27/13 FINAL CHEMO taken! ----well, maybe not.
10/15/13 Three little tattoos.
10/24/13 Radiation begins and fourth tattoo placed.
11/27/13 Perfectly radiant! Radiation completed the day before Thanksgiving and so, so much to be thankful for this year and every day hereafter.
1/2/14 Happy New Year, you have a Goiter? Muga down to 59%.
1/17/14 Hashimoto's Dz Dx'd. Now maybe I'll feel BETTER!
5/2/14 Herceptin completed! New kitten!
8/19/14 Prophylactic mastectomy (right) and PORT OUT! I'm DONE and now I really am a SURVIVOR.
2/15 Started not feeling so swell. Memory lapses and GI issues with nausea and blurry vision.
4/30/15 U/S cystic gallbladder, cyst on right ovary and mass in my uterus. GYN consult scheduled---and cancelled. I'm not ready.
5/4/15 Brain MRI clear (big sigh of relief)
7/30/15 Back Pain
8/31/15 Radiograph: compression fracture L2
9/10/15 Bone Scan positive
9/21/15 CT scan conclusive for tumor
10/1/15 CT guided biopsy & Brain to Pelvis MRI reveal additional lesions on spine C6, T10, T11 and L2 is collapsing.
10/8/15 Abbreviated pathology: new tumor(s) poorly differentiated carcinoma consistent with known breast primary.
ER-/PR+ (40%)
HER2/neu+++ Ki-67 4% Pancytokeratin AE1/3 Strong Positivity in all malignant cells.
10/13/15 Abnormal Dexa: moderate risk of fracture to both femoral head/neck R&L. Significant risk to lumbar spine.
10/14/15 Radiation consult back to the cooker.
10/20/15 MUGA 50% down from 54% after a year off Herceptin (???)
10/21/15 Kyphoplasty L2
10/22/15 Re-start Chemo: Perjeta, Herceptin & Taxotere
10/26/15 PET Scan confirms C6, T10-11, L2, new lesion noted at L4 but no visceral involvement---Happy dance!!!
10//29/15 Xgeva
10/29/15 Radiation Simulation--three new tattoos to add to my collection. Just call me Dotty.
10/30/15 CA27-29 63 U/mol (<38 U/mol)
11/3/15 First Trip to see Dr. E. Mayer at DFCI
11/4/15 Surgical consult to re-install my little purple power port.
11/9/15 Radiation treatment one of five.
11/10/15 Installed my little purple power port and not a moment too soon, took them four tries to get an IV started today.
Yes, we really are going down this road again.
12/5/15 CT for suspected pulmonary embolism demonstrates increase in T10-11 mets.
12/8/15 Bone Scan uptake at T10-11 (not seen 9/17/15) & Right 8th Rib (not evident on PET 10/26/15)
12/10/15 Consult Re: PROGRESSION. Halt THP due today. Schedule PET and order TDM1 for next week. PLAN B.
12/14/15 PET scan: NO PROGRESSION! THP is working, metabolic activity minimal. Merry Christmas to me! Sticking with PLAN A, it's working.
1/7/16 Start Taxol weekly instead of Taxotere (has been too taxing and not rebounding between txs.) Zometa instead of Xgeva.
3/28/16 CT shows new sclerotic lesions on T12, L3, L5, L6, right ilium and head of right femur. No uptake on Bone Scan (progression????)
3/31/16 Discontinue Taxol start Arimidex, still getting H&P.
6/2/16 Discontinue Arimidex and start Exemestane.
6/18/16 PET is NEAD!!
7/1/16 Discontinue Exemestane and restart Armidex (SEs)
8/29/16 CT/Bone Scan Stable (still uptake at T10-11)
10/3/16 BSO pathology negative
10/10/16 MRI: Brain clear!
10/14/16 Switched care to Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care
11/24/16 Xgeva, New MO preference to Zometa
12/12/16 CT/Bone scan Mostly stable significant uptake at L2 plan to PET
1/12/17 PET shows NEAD celebrate with a new puppy!
3/29/17 CT & BS = NEAD
7/31/17 Aetna denies access to H&P <gearing up for a fight>
8/4/17 CT& BS= STABLE
8/9/17 No treatment, Aetna still denying H&P
8/14/17 Aetna appeal approved H&P through February 2018!
2/5/18 CT & BS = STABLE

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Old 01-08-2014, 06:36 PM   #7
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Re: Newly diagnosed BC -needs encouraging words

Hello everyone!thank you very much with all your kind & very inspiring replies to my query.I just finished my first chemo cycle with adriamycin&cyclophosphamide.Im so happy &thankful because there were no side effects.I tolerated the procedure very well.I hope&pray all will go well&smooth.Thank you again for all your advise!God Bless Us all!
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Old 05-15-2016, 07:49 AM   #8
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Re: Newly diagnosed BC -needs encouraging words

DEAR Angel
Do not worry .Accept and feel blessed because for HER poitive v have Herceptin which is a promising drug.This community had developed positive approach in me. lot of 13 year survivor stories developed hope in me. Daily u log in to this group read long time survivors report and sure u ll develope courage to fight the disease .all the best
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