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Old 05-15-2017, 03:50 PM   #1
europa
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A Blessing From Cancer

I have been missing from our wonderful board. My life has been turned upside down, but this time with an incredible miracle that started one hour after waking up from my lumpectomy.

When I was diagnosed in 2011, I was told very clearly that my life was about to change. Plans my husband and I had were going to change. My Oncologist was raw and told me the cancer I had was very aggressive, but I had a shot with chemo and Herceptin. The drawback, I had to start chemo immediately as she believed the results of my PET scan would show Stage 4. But luckily I was Stage IIB which gave me the opportunity to have a lumpectomy and that meant I would have just enough time to undergo IVF during my recovery of 10 days before starting chemo. So, I woke up from surgery and HELL began. Nothing says living nightmare like going through IVF with drains hanging out of your chest and Femara being pumped in so the spike in Estrogen doesn't feed the cancer. I was able to freeze 4 embryos and then two days later I started chemo. Fast forward 3 years when the "brace yourself for a possible recurrence" passed. My Oncologist gave me a pat on the back on my 3 year NED anniversary and said, "you made it through one of the hurdles". So I asked if I could try and carry one of the embryos to which I got a big fat NO. So my husband and I did our research and saved every dime. Two years later we found our option with an angel willing to carry our baby. But alas, when we finally went through all the legal crap, financial nightmares and medical obstacles, our 4 embryos turned to one. Only one made it to blast and was transferred with a 13% chance of sticking. But he stuck and grew and grew. And this June our cancer miracle will make his grand appearance.
So I am 5.5 years NED, still have my boo-hoo moments and my OMG has it come back. I went through 2015 in and out of emergency surgeries because of Tamoxifen ending the year with a blood clot again because of Tamoxifen. But 2016 was a glorious beginning of a journey that will explode with the arrival of this little baby. Ladies, if you are diagnosed young, ask about fertility preservation. It worked for us. And so did Gestational Surrogacy. Sending love and light to all my sisters...those here and those that have earned their wings.
__________________
DX 10/2011
PET Scan + MRI 10/2011
Lumpectomy 11/11/11
Stage 2B +++ ER+(10%), PR+(5%), HER2+++(1 positive node, 1 micromets to second node)
AC started 12/2011 ended 1/2012
Taxol + Herceptin weekly for 12 weeks ended 4/2012
30 zaps of radiation done 6/2012
Tamoxifen 6/2012
every 3 weeks of Herceptin for another year.
Metformin Trial 8/12
10/12 MRI- CLEAR
01/13 BRAIN MRI- CLEAR!
01/13 Neck MRI- CLEAR!
FINISHED HERCEPTIN 1/9/2013...Woot Woot
Starting Walter Reed Vaccine Trial 2/13
CT Scans + ultrasound of abdomen CLEAR-5/13
02/2015 through 11/2015 emergency D&Cs for Tamoxifen induced uterine polyps which caused uncontrollable hemorrhaging
12/2015 blood clot to left leg caused by Tamoxifen. No longer taking it. On Xarelto, a blood thinner
12/2015 Ablation to prevent hemorrhaging from potential issues with Tamoxifen residue in my system
1/2016 continuing journey without hormonal therapy. Reevaluating the option of a hysterectomy and oopherectomy.
4/1/2018 2mm stroke. Yes, stroke! No cause ever found but they believe it was a migraine that went bonkers and created a tiny clot. No deficits. I was back to normal with 24hrs. Now on baby aspirin for life.
7/27/2018 hysterectomy and oopherectomy
01/07/2019 Mastectomy and expanders put in
3/22/2019 Vtach, almost died. Cause unknown.
7/22/2019 New perky boobs put in
7/21/2020 Off of all drugs but a baby aspirin because of the stroke in 2018.


www.mychemobag.org
www.facebook.com/mychemobag

8 YEARS NED
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:41 PM   #2
caya
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Re: A Blessing From Cancer

Wow what an uplifting story, europa!
Congrats on the very soon arrival of your son, yes miracles do happen!
And also on being 5.5 years out, good for you.

all the best
caya
__________________
ER90%+/PR 50%+/HER 2+
1.7 cm and 1.0 cm.
Stage 1, grade 2, Node Negative (16 nodes tested)
MRM Dec.18/06
3 x FEC, 3 x Taxotere
Herceptin - every 3 weeks for a year, finished May 8/08

Tamoxifen - 2 1/2 years
Femara - Jan. 1, 2010 - July 18, 2012
BRCA1/BRCA2 Negative
Dignosed 10/16/06, age 48 , premenopausal
Mild lymphedema diagnosed June 2009 - breast surgeon and lymph. therapist think it's completely reversible - hope so.
Reclast infusion January 2012
Oopherectomy October 2013
14 Years NED!!

Last edited by caya; 05-16-2017 at 03:08 PM..
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:50 AM   #3
Becky
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Re: A Blessing From Cancer

Yes, yes, yes!! Congratulations to you. Thank you for sharing.
__________________
Kind regards

Becky

Found lump via BSE
Diagnosed 8/04 at age 45
1.9cm tumor, ER+PR-, Her2 3+(rt side)
2 micromets to sentinel node
Stage 2A
left 3mm DCIS - low grade ER+PR+Her2 neg
lumpectomies 9/7/04
4DD AC followed by 4 DD taxol
Used Leukine instead of Neulasta
35 rads on right side only
4/05 started Tamoxifen
Started Herceptin 4 months after last Taxol due to
trial results and 2005 ASCO meeting & recommendations
Oophorectomy 8/05
Started Arimidex 9/05
Finished Herceptin (16 months) 9/06
Arimidex Only
Prolia every 6 months for osteopenia

NED 16 years!

Said Christopher Robin to Pooh: "You must remember this: You're braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think"
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:48 PM   #4
DianaMK
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Re: A Blessing From Cancer

That is so wonderful! So happy for you! God Bless.
__________________
12/2006 right lumpectomy - HER2-Stage 1
A/C x 4
Radiation
Herceptin - one year
6/2010 - Stage 4 - lung and skin mets
Lung resection
TCH x 6
12/2010 - right mastectomy
On Herceptin
Scans every six months
11/2013 - stable continue to watch spot on lung
Continue on Herceptin
6/2016 - 6 years Stage 4 - stable - continue Herceptin
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Old 05-16-2017, 01:09 PM   #5
MaineRottweilers
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Re: A Blessing From Cancer

Beautiful, beautiful story. Congratulations on your little miracle.
__________________
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 05-16-2017, 03:06 PM   #6
Cathya
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Smile Re: A Blessing From Cancer

europa;

Wonderful news! I am so happy for you and your husband. June isn't very far away. Please post pictures.

Cathy
__________________
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 (Ibrance) along with Letrozole May, 2018.
Genetic testing of ovarian tumour and this new lung met will take months.
To see geneticist to be retested for BRCA this week....still BRCA VUS
CA125 has declined from 359 to 12 as of Aug.23/18


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Old 05-17-2017, 12:44 PM   #7
Melissa
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Re: A Blessing From Cancer

Europa,
Congratulations! I am so happy for you and I too want to see pictures. And congrats on your 5 1/2 years!
__________________
Melissa

04/06, (42), 2cm tumor, 7/13 nodes, one positive node under clavicle
mastectomy/reconstruction
grade 3, stage lllb, er-65+, pr-90+, her2+++(80%)
4/AC, 12wks TH then 6wks rads
40 wks herceptin, and tamoxifen.
onc test tamoxifen resistance = poor metabilizer
04/07 ooph & on arimidex
08/07 completed herceptin

04/2020 a 14 years NED
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:11 PM   #8
Mtngrl
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Re: A Blessing From Cancer

That's so fantastic! I'm really, really happy for you. So amazing that you got a baby out of the deal!

Live, love, thrive, and enjoy!

Amy
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:43 AM   #9
TiffanyS
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Posts: 459
Re: A Blessing From Cancer

Congratulations on your baby and on 5.5 years at NED. It’s great to hear some good news for a change.


12/15 – First mammogram
01/16 – Second mammogram and ultrasound.
01/16 – Meet surgeon and go for third mammogram, second ultrasound and biopsy. Surgeon confirms cancer in left breast and lymph nodes and sets surgery date.
01/16 – Chest scan and bone scan done– all looks good.
02/16 – Surgery - left breast mastectomy and 16 lymph nodes removed (8 had cancer).
02/16 – CT scan done – small nodules on lung but Doctor advises it’s post surgical. They will continue to monitor just in case.
03/16 – Meet radiation oncologist and find out results of Pathology Report. I’m told that I have locally advanced breast cancer, based on the size of my tumour (7 cm!) and the fact that they found cancer cells in eight lymph nodes. I’m also told that I’m HER 2 positive, with high levels of estrogen and progesterone and that my cancer is stage 3, grade 2.
03/16 – Meet oncologist and am told that my cancer is actually grade 3, and that I should have done chemo before surgery. Too late now!
03/16 – Start first of six doses of chemo (Carboplatin and Docetaxal) and Herceptin (for 18 months). I was unable to get a full dose of Docetaxal after my first treatment due to liver enzymes being high.
04/16 – Have port put in.
06/16 – Finished chemo! One month off and then I start radiation.
06/16 – Start Tamoxifen.
07/16 – First radiation treatment – 24 more to go!
08/16 – Went for Genetic Testing to see if I have the BRCA gene. Tested negative for BRCA I and II
08/16 – Radiation oncologist biopsies “scar tissue” on my chest wall. I am told that I have a local recurrence and need to have rush surgery.
09/16 – Meet surgeon who advises that I need to meet with a plastic surgeon, as they will need to do a skin graft to close me up after surgery. Meet plastic surgeon and all looks good. A surgery date is set for October 4.
09/16 – Go for rush ultrasound, bone scan, breast MRI and CT scan.
09/16 – Meet oncologist who advises that the ultrasound and bone scan results look good, and that MRI shows three small masses at surgery site, but lymph nodes are clear. Still awaiting the results of the CT scan, but we are positive it will look good.
09/16 – Get a call from my oncologist, who advises that CT scan shows small spots on my lungs, and a large lymph node in the middle of my chest. This means the cancer has spread! She looks into getting me funded for TDM-1 and cancels my surgery.
10/16 – Meet oncologist, who advises that I have to take Perjeta before I can take TDM1. I start Perjeta/Herceptin every three weeks for an indefinite amount of time, and Taxol, which I will take two weeks in a row with one week off and then two weeks in a row for 8-16 treatments. Stop Tamoxifen.
10/16 – Meet surgeon, who reviews my CT scan and advises that the spots on my lungs may not be cancer, and that he doesn’t see a lymph node in my chest. He thinks it’s a spot on my lung. I’m feeling very confused! He advises that my oncologist doesn’t want me to have surgery to remove the three small masses on my scar line, as she wants to use them as a way to determine if the treatment is working. He advises that if they have not shrunk in 6 months, he will revisit surgery.
10/16 – CEA blood test to determine Tumour markers. Results were normal (2.7). My doctor advises that this could mean two things: (1) that the treatment is working, and the tumours are shrinking, or (2), that I'm one of those people who never get elevated CEA levels. Given that some people never get an elevated CEA level, this test doesn’t seem very accurate to me! Asked for PET scan, but am told I don’t qualify.
10/16 – Brain MRI – NED!
11/16 - CA-15-30 blood test – Tumour markers are normal at 19.
11/16 – Second CEA blood test – Tumours markers are still normal at 1.6 Second CA-15-30 blood test – Tumour markers are still normal at 19
11/16 – Develop lymphedema and have to wear a sleeve
12/16 – CT Scan shows that the tumors on my lungs and the lymph node in the middle of my chest are shrinking, and that some have resolved. Also, the small masses along my scar line are no longer visible. This means the medication is working!
12/16 – Small “pimple” shows up where old tumour on chest wall was located. Doctor is going to monitor it for now.
01/17 – A second “pimple” shows up on chest wall, as well as a small lump under the skin. My doctor thinks it’s scar tissue and will monitor it for now.
03/17 – Third CEA blood test and CA-15-30 blood test – Both normal at 2.5 and 25
03/17 – CT Chest scan to see if there’s improvement to chest and lungs – results are mixed. The good news is, lymph nodes are stable, there is improvement of previous lung changes due to radiation, and the cancer has not spread to my bones, spine or liver, etc. The bad news is that while some lung nodules remained stable, others increased by 1-2 mm and new ones have shown up. All of them were less than 1cm.
03/17 – Received my genetic test results from Foundation One. It found 11 genomic alterations, 3 therapies associated with potential clinical benefit, and 13 clinical trials from which I might benefit.
03/17 – Second brain MRI –NED!
03/17 – Ultrasound done to determine size of “pimples” on my chest wall. They will follow up with a second Ultrasound in three months, to see if they are growing.
04/17 – Was told that I have developed Atelectasis due to shortness of breath, and a pulled diaphragm, which is what’s causing my back pain. I need to see a chiropractor physio for chest therapy.
05/17 – Hospitalized with a mild case of pneumonia.
05/17 – Full body CT scan show progression to lungs and chest – Bye bye Herceptin/Perjeta/Taxol, hello T-DM1
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:22 PM   #10
jaykay
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Posts: 639
Re: A Blessing From Cancer

What great news! Congratulations
__________________
March, 2000: 48, Post menopausal (5 yrs HRT) Left breast, IDC 3mm/DCIS 1.6cm, ER+/PR-/Her2+++, mod differentiated, MIB low, lumpectomy, node neg via SNB, rads=33 Stage 1a
June, 2000: Tamox 4.5 years,Femara for 5 years (end in Jan. 2010)
Sept, 2012: 61, Via mamm, ultrasound, biopsy, right breast, 2.3cm tumor, ER+/PR-/Her2+++, poorly diff, KI67 60-70%
BRCA 1 and 2 negative
October, 2012: Bi Mast with tissue expanders, port placement
Final Path: IDC 2.8cm, DCIS, 1/4 sentinal nodes positive (@#$%). Stage IIB
Nov 29, 2012: Begin TCH/6x/every 3 wks, H for 1 year/every 3 weeks.
March 14, 2013: Finished chemo
April 9, 2013: Begin radiation 28x
May 22, 2013: Finished rads
June 1st, 2013: Started Aromasin for 5 yrs.
July 15, 2013: Switched to Letrozole (Femara). Probably for the rest of my life
October 16, 2013: Exchange surgery
October 31, 2013: Finished Herceptin
December 5, 2013: Port removed
Glad this year is over!
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:40 AM   #11
jra40
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Re: A Blessing From Cancer

Europa CONGRATULATIONS! I too have been absent from the board for awhile now and what a wonderful feeling I got when I read your good news! So happy for you and your family, wishing you all the best when you bring your new bundle of joy home. There are happy endings to our stories and yours is one of the best
__________________
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 05-25-2017, 01:18 PM   #12
tricia keegan
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Re: A Blessing From Cancer

Wonderful, so happy for you!
__________________
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 06-01-2017, 08:03 AM   #13
europa
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Posts: 360
Re: A Blessing From Cancer

Thank you all for the lovely notes. We are due next week.
__________________
DX 10/2011
PET Scan + MRI 10/2011
Lumpectomy 11/11/11
Stage 2B +++ ER+(10%), PR+(5%), HER2+++(1 positive node, 1 micromets to second node)
AC started 12/2011 ended 1/2012
Taxol + Herceptin weekly for 12 weeks ended 4/2012
30 zaps of radiation done 6/2012
Tamoxifen 6/2012
every 3 weeks of Herceptin for another year.
Metformin Trial 8/12
10/12 MRI- CLEAR
01/13 BRAIN MRI- CLEAR!
01/13 Neck MRI- CLEAR!
FINISHED HERCEPTIN 1/9/2013...Woot Woot
Starting Walter Reed Vaccine Trial 2/13
CT Scans + ultrasound of abdomen CLEAR-5/13
02/2015 through 11/2015 emergency D&Cs for Tamoxifen induced uterine polyps which caused uncontrollable hemorrhaging
12/2015 blood clot to left leg caused by Tamoxifen. No longer taking it. On Xarelto, a blood thinner
12/2015 Ablation to prevent hemorrhaging from potential issues with Tamoxifen residue in my system
1/2016 continuing journey without hormonal therapy. Reevaluating the option of a hysterectomy and oopherectomy.
4/1/2018 2mm stroke. Yes, stroke! No cause ever found but they believe it was a migraine that went bonkers and created a tiny clot. No deficits. I was back to normal with 24hrs. Now on baby aspirin for life.
7/27/2018 hysterectomy and oopherectomy
01/07/2019 Mastectomy and expanders put in
3/22/2019 Vtach, almost died. Cause unknown.
7/22/2019 New perky boobs put in
7/21/2020 Off of all drugs but a baby aspirin because of the stroke in 2018.


www.mychemobag.org
www.facebook.com/mychemobag

8 YEARS NED
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