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Old 04-13-2017, 11:40 AM   #1
Mtngrl
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Location: Denver, CO
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Surprise from my biopsy

Hello, friends.

My oncologist recommended that I get a lung biopsy, since cancer mutates and I hadn't had a biopsy in about four years. So I got that done on March 23.

To my relief, the lung mets (or at least the one they sampled) are still strongly HER2 positive. To my surprise, it's weakly PR positive. The original tumor was 10% ER positive, PR negative.

I'm sure my oncologist will fill me in on any implications this might have for treatment. In the meantime, feel free to offer your thoughts.
__________________
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 04-14-2017, 05:34 AM   #2
thinkpositive
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Re: Surprise from my biopsy

Hi Amy,

Well, I'm thinking it is good news, right? Remaining strongly HER2 positive should be a good thing. Reading your signature, it seems that it has been a while since you were on just Herceptin & Perjeta. Hopefully switching back to this treatment will keep you stable.

It seems there is limited information regarding how to treat PR receptive cancers. I recall previous discussions on this board regarding this subject and others were also unsure about how this status was specifically targeted. Wondering how your oncologist will address this.

I think of you often and hope you find treatment that gets your cancer stable without having a lot of side effects. For me, I found Herceptin & Perjeta to have manageable side effects. Hoping the same is true for you.

Take care,
Brenda
__________________
8/2013 Diagnosed IDC Left Breast ER-/PR-/HER2+ Stage 3C, DCIS ER+/PR+/HER2- Right Breast (54 yr)
8/2013 PET/CT scan shows mass in uterues and suprclavicular nodes
8/20/13 Begin 6 rounds TCH chemo, Perjeta added for rounds 4-6
9/2013 After 1st round of chemo, mass in neck and breast no longer able to feel
11/2013 Hysterectomy, mass from PET/CT scan not cancer (adenomylosis)
12/2013 Finished chemo
1/2014 Double mastectomy with chest expanders
1/2014 Pathology report from surgery and SNB show complete pathological response!
3/2014 Finish IMRT radiation
8/2014 Fat transfer to radiated breast
8/2014 Completed 1 yr of Herceptin
10/2014 exchange surgery expanders removed implants placed
6/2015 3D nipple and areola tattoos
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:42 AM   #3
Becky
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Re: Surprise from my biopsy

Have you ever been on an aromatase inhibitor? Or maybe adding Faslodex? You never know if the synergy will do something for you.
__________________
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 17 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 04-14-2017, 05:45 AM   #4
Becky
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Re: Surprise from my biopsy

Also, have you explored trying Navelbine?
__________________
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 17 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 04-14-2017, 07:30 AM   #5
Mtngrl
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Re: Surprise from my biopsy

I was on an AI (Arimidex) with Herceptin when my one bone met developed and I had some other progression.

I haven't had any of the vinca drugs. It's my understanding that I'd have to get a port for that, since it's too risky to administer them by IV. I'm certainly open to that, and to trying some other hormone treatment.

They're studying Tucatinib at the University of Colorado Hospital, where I am treated. It is an improved tyrosine kynase inhibitor (like Tykerb, which worked fairly well for me at first but didn't last), said to overcome the "cross talk" between hormone-receptor positive cells and HER2. I didn't pay much attention to it before, but now it looks pretty interesting. https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0111091449.htm

Amy
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:40 AM   #6
Cathya
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Re: Surprise from my biopsy

Amy;

I'm so glad you have another target to treat now. I worry sometimes that we Her2+ breast cancer patients focus far more on the her2 and not on treatment to fight the hormone aspect of our disease. So glad you do!! All the best.

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 (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 04-14-2017, 11:20 AM   #7
waterdreamer
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Location: Thousand Oaks, California.
Posts: 199
Re: Surprise from my biopsy

Hi Amy,
My original tumor was also slightly PR+. Trials are showing that Kadcyla and Neratinib are a really good combination. Hopefully, Neratinib will be approved by mid 2017. I am getting it on their compassionate use program, and it is working wonderfully as a mono therapy.
All my markers are now in the normal range, except for CEA, which has gone from 978 to 63.5 over a period of 3 months.
Please keep us updated,
Fern
__________________
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 04-14-2017, 01:12 PM   #8
Mtngrl
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Posts: 1,427
Re: Surprise from my biopsy

Thanks, Fern. That's good information.

Unless my bone met is hormone receptor positive I won't be able to be on only targeted treatments. It acts like it's triple negative, or at least not HER2 positive. Every time I've been on Kadcyla or just Herceptin and Perjeta the bone met has gotten more active. On my most recent scan it was somewhat improved--one of the few bright spots. I was on Eribulin and Herceptin up until then. Another possibility is to get radiation treatment on that bone lesion. That might knock it out.

I'm hoping the Foundation One testing will give us some new ideas. I also realize I haven't run through the whole breast cancer hit parade. There are at least three classes of drugs I haven't had yet. In one sense I'm "heavily pretreated," but on closer inspection, I've repeated some things. And I've never had progression while on Abraxane, and had some really good results on it (including complete--and apparently permanent--resolution of my liver mets). It's hard on me, though.
__________________
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 04-15-2017, 02:39 PM   #9
waterdreamer
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Location: Thousand Oaks, California.
Posts: 199
Re: Surprise from my biopsy

I agree with Becky that for the hormonal aspect, Faslodex would be a good option.
__________________
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 04-18-2017, 05:01 AM   #10
TiffanyS
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 459
Re: Surprise from my biopsy

That’s great Amy. I’m glad you are still HER2 positive, and are able to take drugs like Perjeta and Herceptin. I hope these drugs keep you stable. I’ve asked for a lung biopsy a few times myself, but my oncologist keeps telling me it’s not necessary. When I mentioned that my cancer may not be HER2 positive anymore, they told me that it was, and that the meds they are giving me are working and keeping me stable. I guess I just have to trust them.

I got the results of my Foundation One results a few weeks ago, and the results didn’t change anything in regard to my treatment plan. My doctor said that the information may come in useful down the road, when/if I need to enter a trial. Until then, the information was not helpful and did not change my treatment plan. I hope your results are more helpful to you than mine were.


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, which is what’s causing my back pain.
05/17 – Full body CT scan scheduled to see if I’m still “stable”.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:04 PM   #11
Mtngrl
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Re: Surprise from my biopsy

Tiffany--

I heard somewhere that HER2 status doesn't usually change over time. But since it had been four years since I had a biopsy, my doctor wanted to be sure.

"Stable" is just as good as NED, in my opinion. Better, actually. There's less emotional turmoil for me changing from "stable" to "progression" than going from NED to progression.

I think NED is a bit of a mirage. In trials, they use "progression free survival" as a surrogate for "overall survival," but it's not really a reliable indicator. I can hack having detectable cancer in my body if it's relatively well behaved and isn't getting in my way too much. In fact, I can hack it even with some impairment and reduced quality of life. As they say, "It beats the alternative."

Amy
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:50 PM   #12
Juls
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Re: Surprise from my biopsy

Tiffany - same comment from my Oncologist when I asked for Foundation One report on Thursday. Requested it anyway!
( Drug trial Company do test but don't give results to Oncologist unless it is requested)
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:01 AM   #13
TiffanyS
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Re: Surprise from my biopsy

I’m sure my doctors are right, and that I’m still HER2 positive. I hope they are right, so that I can still take drugs like Perjeta, Herceptin and T-DM1.

I’m happy with being stable, and I hope my next CT scan shows that I haven’t progressed like my last one did. The lymph nodes in my chest were stable, but my lung mets were not. All I know is that I need a break from the Taxol, and plan on just taking Herceptin and Perjeta until I get my CT scan results in May. After that I’ll decide if I should continue with Herceptin and Perjeta, or move onto T-DM1. I just wish the Herceptin and Perjeta had worked for me for longer than this. I was hoping to get a year or two of stability on these drugs, but it’s only been seven months, and I’m already showing progression.


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, which is what’s causing my back pain.
05/17 – Full body CT scan scheduled to see if I’m still “stable”.
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:23 PM   #14
MaineRottweilers
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Re: Surprise from my biopsy

Amy, I'm interested in anything you hear about targeting PR aspect of your cancer. When I was first reDx'd, I went to Dana Farber for a second opinion. They suggested to treat as triple + as there are no targeted therapies for PR. I was on AIs many months but the SEs were pretty miserable so I went off them. I have not had any progression <touch wood> on H&P alone. I'm moderately PR+ (50%) but ER- and there isn't a lot of data out there.
__________________
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 04-25-2017, 05:33 PM   #15
Mtngrl
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Re: Surprise from my biopsy

My onc doesn't think the PR factor is anything to get excited about. It's too weak.

Also there are no drugs for it. They use the same stuff as for ER+.

Onward and upward. . . .
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