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Old 01-31-2010, 10:31 AM   #1
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Positive stories, please come out of the woods

Hi my HER2 family,

I have been a little overwhelmed reading all the stories
of recurrence and the emotional postings by those who lost their loved ones to this dreadful disease - MightyOak, Irene, Julierene, and many others.

I'm sitting here in my family room with my youngest - who's only 3 - and trying hard not to cry over the losses we've had on this board and over the fights that many of our members are so unfairly but courageously fighting.

I think I'm in desperate need for a reminder of the positive stories here to alleviate some of my fears at the moment. I can't stop wondering whether 3, 4 years from now I'll be unfortunate to have to deal with a recurrence. All that I want in life is to be here for my hubby and kids and to see them grow into adulthood. I love them so much and the fears of leaving them are too much o bear sometimes.

So please I ask those of you with several, many years out to share your stories again as I sit here in fear. How many of you are out there who were stage 3 and with many nodes out?

Thank you so much!!!

Bejuce (Marcia)
ER+ (30%)/PR-/HER-2+, stage 3

Diagnosed on 02/18/09 at 38 with a huge 12x10 cm tumor, after a 6 month delay. Told I was too young and had no risk factors. Found swollen node during breastfeeding.
March-August 09: neo-adjuvant chemo, part of a trial at Stanford (4 DD A/C, 4 Taxotere with daily Tykerb), loading dose of Herceptin
08/12/09 - bye bye boobies (bilateral mastectomy)
08/24/09 - path report shows 100 % success in breast tissue (no cancer there, yay!), 98 % success in lymphatic invasion, and even though 11/13 nodes were still positive, > 95 % of the tumor in them was killed. Hoping for the best!
September-October 09: rads with daily Xeloda
02/25/10 - Cholecystectomy
05/27/10 - Bone scan clear
06/14/10 - CT scan clear, ovarian cyst found
07/27/10 - Done with Herceptin!
02/15/11 - MVA-BN HER-2 vaccine trial
03/15/11 - First CA 15-3: 12.7 and normal, yay!
10/01/11 - Bone scan and CT scan clear, fatty liver found
now on Tamoxifen and Aspirin

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Old 01-31-2010, 10:59 AM   #2
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

Hi Marcia,
I'm happy to share my story with you so far--I was diagnosed at age 36 with Stage III breast cancer, had 11+ nodes & my prognosis was "poor" --at the time my son was 5 and my daughter was 4. I learned I was Her2+ and that was considered a bad thing, since Her2+ cancers are more aggressive and less treatments were available (like Tamoxifen, etc.). I had a mastectomy, went thru chemo, radiation and was fortunate enough to get into a clinical trial with Herceptin for a year. It was such a tough time for me, I was so pessimistic about my survival--planned my funeral and was so worried about leaving my small kids. But I also discovered this website & began to connect with others in my situation. (I also met my dear friend, Michele U on this site and we met up with our Moms and daughters--it was great--she had StageIII cancer with many positive lymph nodes, too and is also doing great over 5 years later!)
Happily, after treatment was over I kept expecting a recurrence, but none came. I did have my remaining breast removed several years ago due to DCIS, but I really can't complain--I'm feeling well and most days now I don't think the cancer is coming back. I still check in here from time to time to check up on old friends and lend my support and prayers to people who might need it. I hope my story gives you some hope--I know there are others here that have not had recurrences either (Ruth, Yorkiegirl, to think of a few). There are many reasons to stay positive, even in the face of so many losses here in recent months. Herceptin is a great drug for a lot of people. Try to stay in the moment and not get too carried away into that awful "what if" spiral. I used to look at my kids and burst into tears, but now they are 12 1/2 and 14...Keep the faith.

diagnosed July 2001, at age 36
large tumor, 11+ nodes
Stage IIIb, er/pr-, Her2+
treated with A/C, weekly Taxol
radiation, + year of Herceptin
on clinical trial. double mastectomy
followed by reconstruction
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:12 PM   #3
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

Hi Marcia ~
I was also diagnosed at age 36 and with 10 positive nodes. Many matted together. My daughter at the time was 9 months old and now sweet Emma is 7 1/2. There are non recurring stories out there but many just don't post anymore as they move on. I have a good friend who is 15+ years out from stage 3 (was 29 at diagnosis) and had no herceptin! She had everything else there was at the time (stem cell transplant; high dose chemo)and her baby is in college now. I have had a hard time too reading about Joy, Irene and Julie. I want to take a break from here for a while because it hurts so much. It's tough and no other words describe how horrible this disease is. But with all that I'll be on my 7th year soon and I feel physically just fine. I still worry sometimes but my Oncologist told me I shouldn't anymore...just enjoy life. Audrey almays makes me smile when I see her post something since she has my signature and she's ahead of me by a couple of years. We are both doing great and I think there are many of us out there.
Love & hugs ~ Ruth

Diagnosed 6/03 nursing daughter
Dose dense A/C 4x
Modified rad mast 8/03
IDC; 3 cm; 10+/16 nodes; ER/PR-; Her2+++
Weekly taxol w/Herceptin (off label) 12x's
40 weeks Herceptin
Radiation 33x
Reconstruction w/ implants 05 & 07
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:13 PM   #4
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Wink Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

I won't share all the details, but I was diagnosed in January 1999, so you can see that I am celebrating 11
years of survival so far !! A doctor told me I probably had only 6 months to live in January 2000, but as you can see that didn't happen. The day he told me that I decided it was not going to happen to me. I got busy and made sure it didn't happen.
I still have to push for the health care I think I need.
I still have to write letters. I still have to make phone calls. I still have to ask for things. I still get second and third opinions when neccessary. I still have to do alot of research. I still have to take care of myself 24/7. I still have to keep on top of things, but it is my responsibility to myself and I have no intention of stopping. I want to be a very old lady someday.
There are others on this board who have survived longer than me. I think we have a thread somewhere about that. Please check it out.
Don't give up. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going no matter what.
12 years and counting
Lucky 13 !! I hope so !!!!!!
14 Year Survivor
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." author unknown
Shared by a multiple myeloma survivor.
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:13 PM   #5
tricia keegan
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

Thanks for starting this thread Marcia, and thanks to all the wonderful survivors who have shared their stories. Congratulations to you all ladies and please know you inspire all of us.
I needed to read this this evening as will have my mri results for suspected bone mets this coming Wed. I 'm still hoping for plain old age and really want to hit that that five year mark in July
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 01-31-2010, 02:29 PM   #6
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

Hi Marcia. While I'm not Her2 positive, I am a long time bc survivor. At the time of my diagnosis (26 years ago), I thought I was stage two. Now I think maybe I was stage three. They didn't test for Her2 back then. I was treated pretty agressively---had a right modified radical mastectomy and a year of CMF chemo, on a three week cycle. Initially, I did a month of weekly chemo. My recollection isn't the greatest, but I think I had nine of sixteen lymph nodes affected...and back then the number affected the length of chemo. If more than half of those sampled were malignant the treatment was for a year, otherwise chemo was for six months.

It took me a long, long time to believe in my health.....I too had young children. They were eight and eleven at the time. I'm now grandma to five! Prior to cancer, I had lived like many young people do---believing I'd live forever. Cancer certainly makes one aware of mortality. I guess my "new normal", which isn't so new anymore, was mostly about not living in fear. It sure was a process for me. As I said, it took a loooooong time for cancer not to e the focus of my life. Now my sister has been diagnosed(Her2+) and I'm thinking about it a lot more again. I completely understand how we need to hear about women who are NED...that's why it's so important that the ones who are doing well continue to write to groups.

There has been a lot of loss on this group lately, and these men and women are among the most caring I've come across online. I wish us all comfort in the wake of this loss, and also hope for ourselves and other sisters and brothers we love.

Barb A.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:07 PM   #7
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

I'll share a very short version of my story that should give you some hope. I was diagnosed in October of 2005 at age 38 while pregnant with my daughter...she turned 4 in October. I just had my quarterly scans and all is clear (thanks to Navelbine & Herceptin for the last 2+ years).

I know how you feel. I lost a friend to breast cancer earlier this month and it shook me to the core. She was also a young mother like us. But I have been living with metastatic disease for over 4 years and have realized that I just have to embrace the moments life hands me and focus on the positive memories of the ones that we have lost.
Diagnosed 10-03-2005 (34 wks pregnant, 38 yrs old)
Lumpectomy Nov-2005. 10/18 Lymph Nodes impacted
Mets to liver, spine & femurs (thus being stage IV right from the get-go)
ER-, PR-, HER2+
Taxol/Herceptin/Zometa started Dec-2005. 11 cycles of Taxol.
Sept-2006: PET/CT scan of mets to liver, spine and femurs - Stable. Activity in R breast & mediastinum (not seen in prior scans).
Navelbine (3 wks on/1 wk off) as of Oct--2006 & continued Herceptin (every 3 wks) & Zometa (every 6 wks)
Jan-2007: PET/CT Scan - Stable. Continued Nav. through March-2007, then Herc./Zom. only after that.
June-2007: PET/CT Scan - activity in mediastinum. Back on Navelbine as of July-2007.
Scanned Quarterly since Oct-2007 - a few small scares, but otherwise stable due to continuing weekly Navelbine, Herceptin and Quarterly Zometa.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:03 PM   #8
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

hi marcia-

i don't have a long-term survivor story to tell since i just got diagnosed on august 27, BUT having just finished chemo and having had the tumor (albeit a little stage 1 tumor) taken out, i honestly feel like there's no cancer in me. in fact, if it weren't for some minor annoying chemo side effects, i feel healthy as a horse! i have my Fuck Cancer (pardon the french) hat on and that pretty much says it. i think we all will wrestle with fear of recurrence to one degree or another (or progression), but i like to think that if it happens, they will have progressed even further with treatment. i read a post by Vickie H last night that I loved, about living life versus surviving it. the last paragraph started with “Survival is all about numbly going through the motions and just getting by. Living is being aware of every emotional sting and scrape, as well as the joy and delight that happens on a daily basis.” she ended by saying she chooses to live life. i found her post very inspirational, and since then i would rather call myself a 'liver' instead of a survivor. it is extremely sad to see all the losses in this group of late and my mother just said to me over lunch "isn't that depressing?" i said to her that it is more than balanced out by all the wonderful "livers" i see here without whom i might have been a lot more frightened and lonely. i also believe that those who have lost their battle would not want us to turn away from this place and let cancer and grief win. after my husband died i let cancer and grief practically own me, but that's a really crappy way to live. when i got cancer too i could have let it happen all over again, but i REFUSE to. it is huge to lose someone - and here, multiple people - to cancer, but living, and really living life, is the best revenge and exactly what those who've died would want to see us do. a healthy respect for cancer is in order, but living in fear is not really living at all. -valerie
8/09 - IDC 1.8 cm triple positive, lumpectomy left breast
10/09 began chemo (taxotere & carboplatin) and weekly herceptin.
1/21/10 finished chemo, continued on herceptin every 3 weeks until 10/2010.
2/10 began 7 wks of radiation
6/10 mom dies of primary peritoneal ovarian cancer
8/10 got my last remaining ovary out
10/10 mammogram all clear
3/11 MRI shows 5 'spots' in right breast, largest 1 cm unidentifiable on US
needle biopsy proved the largest to be old inflamed cyst -phew!
7/10 switched to Arimidex
8/9 switched to Femara - allergic to arimidex
Femara made me lose hair quickly so switched to Aromasin
Aromasin made my hair fall out too and the bone pain was too much.
back on Tamoxifen 1/2013.
blood clot from trains and planes 5/2014 so on coumadin per onco for as long as i am on tamoxifen
tamoxifen was supposed to be up with my 5 yrs in may but my boyfriend was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer so i am staying on tamoxifen indefinitely because i want some ammo against BC, given the stress. lost my husband in only 10 wks in 2007 to stage 4 esophageal cancer.
cancer's screwing with another man i love
2/2016 - 6yrs in remission, off tamoxifen and off coumadin - yay!
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:17 PM   #9
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

Hi Marcia,
I know what you mean about being overwhelmed by all the sad news we have experienced on the site recently. We are a close family feeling others pain.

Please remember there are many positive stories now because of Herceptin. I think the sisters we lost and most recurrences were not given Herceptin when first diagnosed. They received Herceptin at the metastatic stage. If my memory serves me right Herceptin was approved by the FDA in 2006? We are so fortunate to have had our miracle drug at the beginning of our battle with cancer.

I just saw my onc Jan 11 and ask her how many recurrences she had from patients who had Herceptin since it was approved for early stage breast cancer. She said only ONE! That is amazing since she treats many at a large teaching hospital in Chicago.

One other thing to consider is when most breast cancer survivors are finished with treatment and doing fine they get on with their lives. They don't want to think or hear about cancer. I am so thankful for members here like Becky and Jean who stay on the site and continue to offer their knowledge and wisdom to all.

I am reminded every day to celebrate life because of my cancer. My children are grown and I am now into grandchildren. I want the same dreams as you, to see them grow, go to college and marry. Because of Herceptin we really do have that chance. Take a deep breath, enjoy your wonderful family and concentrate on all the blessings. Continue to remember those struggling right now and keep them in daily your prayers.

I am 3 1/2 years out.
Crystal Lake, IL
Diagnosed 8/4/06 at age 54
Lumpectomy 8/30/06
Stage llA, grade 3, ER/PR-, Her2++
1.7 cm tumor, 1+ lymph node out of 9
Completed 4 A/C, & 4 Taxol with Herceptin
36 rads completed 5/16/07
Mammograms, 7/07 clear
fractured ribs in radiated area 10/07
Finished Herceptin 12/27/07
Mammogram,CT,tumor markers 1/08 - small lung nodules in radiated area, repeated tests 3/08 stable
Mammogram,CT ,tumor markers 6/08 stable
NED 2 years!!
3 years !!!
4 years, 10 months and 8 day NED, calling it 5 years!!!
Official 5 years 8/30/2011
8/31/ 2012 - 6 years!!!!!!

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Old 01-31-2010, 06:19 PM   #10
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

I think, as has been pointed out already, that often a site like this may be tipped because, of course, people are more likely seeking help and support when they have issues going on. We don't hear as many of the success stories. I have had the same experiece in other self help situations. Old timers may not come around as often but hopefully they visit often enough to offer hope and balance.
I attend alot of functions at the cancer center but many people never want to darken the door again, once treatment is over.
Keep the faith.

Post menopause
May 2007 Core biopsy, Rt breast
ER+, Pr-, HER2 +++, Grade 3
Ki-67: 90%
"suspicious area" left breast
Bilateral mastectomy, (NED on left) May 2007
Sentinel Node Neg
Stage 1, DCIS with microinvasion, 3 mm, mostly removed during the biopsy....
Femara (discontinued 7/07) Resumed 10/07
OncoType score 36 (July 07)
Began THC 7/26/07 (d/c taxol and carboplatin 10/07)
Began Herceptin alone 10/07
Finished Herceptin July /08
D/C Femara 4/10 (joint pain/trigger thumb!)
5/10 mistakenly dx with lung cancer. Middle rt lobe removed!
Aromasin started 5/10
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:26 PM   #11
Mary Jo
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

I'd love to share my positive story too. With all the sad news we do need to encourage one another on as our hearts grieve for those we lost and love.

I was diagnosed in 2005 with stage 2B and 1 positive node. I was 45 years old. I just celebrated my 50th birthday and am fast approaching my 5 year cancerversary. I am healthier and happier than ever before. Life is good and life goes on.

How I wish I could wave a magic one and make all our sisters well.....but sadly, we can't. We can only live (each of us) one day at a time and take them as they come. I don't know what my tomorrow holds but for today I am here so I will grab ahold of each day and live it to the fullest.

God Bless you and may Peace rest in your heart...

Mary Jo
"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Dx. 6/24/05 age 45 Right Breast IDC
ER/PR. Neg., - Her2+++
RB Mast. - 7/28/05 - 4 cm. tumor
Margins clear - 1 microscopic cell 1 sent. node
No Vasucular Invasion
4 DD A/C - 4 DD Taxol & Herceptin
1 full year of Herceptin received every 3 weeks
28 rads
prophylactic Mast. 3/2/06

16 Years NED

<>< Romans 8:28
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:33 PM   #12
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods


Remember Andi BB? She's more than 10 years out after having a recurrence just a couple of years after her first diagnosis and treatment.

Check out the 'long-time survivor' thread by using the 'search' button - seems every so often, the same question is asked, so you are really not the only nor the first one to want to know the 'positive' stories.

And Christine - the founder of the Board - has also been NED for many, many years...

It's good (and smart) for you to be careful and keep on surveilance. I (and the doctors) was 'fooled' by the mammogram results for four years before finally got my recurrence figured out. It was always extremely painful having mammogram for me because the glass was pressing on the pebble-like tumor. But there are articles out there stating that 'some' women have painful mammograms without having breast cancer... And the physician who had read my mammo kept on calling the shadow on the film 'scar tissues'...

I couldn't have any children but I understand what you are talking about. My Mother raised six children while enduring WWII, fleeing communism, escaping polio epidemic, numerous typhoons and earthquakes... She always states that had it not been for us children, she would have either walked out of the marriage or had drowned herself... She's turning 87 this fall and will be a 12-year Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma survivor.

And my Father, the man to whom she's had so much mixed feelings, is going to be 95 in the fall...

I know you are probably looking for the stories of those who do not have recurrences. But I really think that it is important to know what to watch for (such as a painful mammogram in my case) and that there's life even after recurrence...

Erythema Nodosum 85
Life-long Central Neurocytoma 4x5x6.5 cm 23 hrs 62090 semi-coma 10 d PT OT ST 30 d
3 Infertility tmts 99 > 3 u. fibroids > Pills
CN 3 GKRS 52301
IDC 1.2 cm Her2 +++ ER 5% R. Lmptmy SLNB+1 71703 6 FEC 33 R Tamoxifen
Recc IIB 2.5 cm Bi-L Mast 61407 2/9 nds PET
6 TCH Cellulitis - Lymphedema - compression sleeve & glove
H w x 4 MUGA 51 D, J 49 M
Diastasis recti
Tamoxifen B. scan
Irrtbl bowel 1'09
Colonoscopy 313
BRCA1 V1247I
hptc hemangioma
GI - > yogurt
hysterectomy/oophorectomy 011410
Exemestane 25 mg tab 102912 ~ 101016 stopped due to r. hip/l.thigh pain after long walk
DEXA 1/13
1-2016 lesions in liver largest 9mm & 1.3 cm onco. says not cancer.
3-11 Appendectomy - visually O.K., a lot of puss. Final path result - not cancer.
Start Vitamin D3 and Calcium supplement (600mg x2)
10-10 Stopped Exemestane due to r. hip/l.thigh pain OKed by Onco 11-08-2016
7-23-2018 9 mm groundglass nodule within the right lower lobe with indolent behavior. Due to possible adenocarcinoma, Recommend annual surveilence.
7-10-2019 CT to check lung nodule.
1-10-2020 8mm stable nodule on R Lung, two 6mm new ones on L Lung, a possible lymph node involvement in inter fissule.

Advocacy is a passion .. not a pastime - Joe

Last edited by Jackie07; 09-21-2010 at 07:13 PM..
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:38 PM   #13
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

This was a wonderful request....

As I read the replies each one brought a huge smile to my face! I kept repeating, yes thats what we want to hear....

I too have felt so heart broken over our recent loses.
It has been way to diffiuclt to bear. I hate this disease and what it does to beautiful women who have so much to live for.

We must always remember that more are beating this disease and each day we get closer and closer, do I dare say a cure? I think what we will see in the very near future years ....is control of this disease with women NOT dying...but keeping it controlled. Especially when caught in the early stages. We must continue to not allow the doom of cancer to control our lives. We are always getting another new arrow to put in our quiver to fight this ugly nasty disease.

Greek myths are filled with tales of the Amazon women
Warriors who cut off their right breast in order to gain strength and power to shoot their arrows. They would go to any extent to achieve victory. They are mentioned in the tale of the lliad. There is a growing body of evidence that the Amazons women Warriors were as real as the civilizations who wrote of them. I know this,
they are real for they are here right on this site.

jackie....I had to chuckle like heck when I read about your Mom...she sounds wonderful.
Stage 1, Grade 1, 3/30/05
Lumpectomy 4/15/05 - 6MM IDC
Node Neg. (Sentinel node)
ER+ 90% / PR-, Her2+++ by FISH
Ki-67 40%
Arimidex 5/05
Radiation 32 trt, 5/30/05
Oncotype DX test 4/17/06, 31% high risk
TOPO 11 neg. 4/06
Stopped Arimidex 5/06
TCH 5/06, 6 treatments
Herceptin 5/06 - for 1 yr.
9/06 Completed chemo
Started Femara Sept. 2006
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:02 AM   #14
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods


Thank you for your post. It's nice to be reminded that we thrivers need to say hello every now and again.

3 1/2 years ago I received a diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer, locally advanced (12 positive lymph nodes), HER2+, estrogen +; the statistics I found at the time said that survival was 24 to 36 months.

I am now 41 months since diagnosis and 32 months since surgery.

I wish I could say that I don't worry about recurrence. I do. I guess I find strength in every day, or one day at a time. It's taken a long time to get where cancer is not the entire focus of my life. And I struggle with it every now and again - my boss was diagnosed in 2009, still undergoing treatment; my best friend has battled for 8 years and has entered hospice this month; another friend had recurrence in the same breast 6 years later (and only a year ago). And then I read of the ones our site has lost. It can be very disheartening and emotional.

Stay strong.

Live Strong
IBC dx August 9/06
ER/PR +2

HER2/neu +

chemo August 11/06 - January 8/07

herceptin - 17 treatments, every 3 wks - end Jan 2008

IMRT rads 5 weeks

surgery May 1/07 bilateral mastectomy (left modified radical, right simple)
prophylactic bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy March 2008
letrozole, 2.5 mg daily, start June 2008
lymphedema, left arm, April 2008
osteoporosis, lower spine, August 2010 - fosamax 70 mg

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Old 02-01-2010, 10:44 AM   #15
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

Thanks for the uplifting stories. I really needed to hear them today.

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Old 02-01-2010, 11:24 AM   #16
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods


Thank you so much for starting this thread. It was very uplifting and reinforced the reasons I love this board so much.

3/35/2009 - Diagnosed, age 39
5/7/09 - Mastectomy and reconstruction started. Two tumors found. Tumors were side by side. DCIS tumor was 2.8 cm, ER-, PR-, grade 2. Invasive tumor was 1.1 cm, poorly differentiated, grade 3, ER+90%, PR+95%, HER2+3. Thankfully, no node involvement.
5/29/09 - Second surgery resulting from difficulty healing from mastectomy.
6/2/09 - Began Herceptin treatments
6/23/09 - Began Taxotere and Carboplatin treatments along with Herception every 3 weeks.
10/06/09 - Completed Taxotere and Carboplatin - Yeah!!!
10/27/2009 - Herceptin maintenance and began Femara
12/10/2009 - 2nd stage reconstruction surgery
2/2010 - Body rejected saline implant
3/18/2010 - Second stage reconstruction using silicone implant
5/4/10 - Completed Herceptin - YEE-HAA!
May '10 - Body rejects silicone implant...taking a break.
11/29/10 - Hysterectomy
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:39 AM   #17
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Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

Ditto, Marcia. I have been feeling so low due to our many loses. This thread is really helping me heal and hold onto to hope tightly.

DX: 06-30-2007 - left breast -stage IIIB, Her2/Neu 3+++, ER weakly positive, PR-
Taxol+herceptin weekly for 3 months
FEC+herceptin every 3 weeks for 3 months
BRCA 1 and 2 - Negative
Jan 2008 - Bilateral mastectomy, prophylactic Rt. side.
Radiation for 5 weeks
Completed my yr of herceptin on 07-14-2008
Brain MRI - 3/2/09 Clean
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:00 PM   #18
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Haarlem, the Netherlands
Posts: 834
Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

And another positive story:

Last week, my niece turned six. She was born the day before I was diagnosed.

My aunt, not a blood relative, survived cancer for 20+ years. She's in her 80's.

I know a woman who was stage IV 13 yrs ago. She's NED

I know several women who had a recurrence, one even had 3, who returned to NED.

On the Breastcancer List (www.bclist.org) several women were diagnosed with stage III a long, long time ago. They are doing fine.

Like others have said: when you have survived for a long time, you don't post so much. There's just not that much to say. Life goes one. We are fine. We want to give back to the forum or list that saved our sanity. But if you need us for our positive stories, we are only too happy to oblige. I don't know about the statistics in your country, but here in the Netherlands 10 year survival is very high. Around 75% overall I think.

This is a list for HER2 survivors. Many of us had our first diagnosis before Herceptin was available. Consequently, there are more people with advanced disease. I think things are getting better now that we have targeted therapies.


Diagnosed age 44, January 2004, 0.7 cm IDC & DCIS. Stage 1, grade 3, ER/PR pos. HER2 pos. clear margins, no nodes. SNB. 35 rads. On Zoladex and Armidex since Dec. 2004. Stopped Zoladex/Arimidex sept 2009 Still taking mistletoe shots (CAM therapy) Doing fine.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:24 PM   #19
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wilmington, Del.
Posts: 1,126
Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

My dear friend Barbara in my support group was stage 3B in 2005. She got Herceptin and just passed the 5 year survivor mark.

IDC, Stage I, Grade 2
Oncotype DX Score 32
Her2++ E+P+, Node Neg.
Lumpectomy 11/04/05 Clear Margins
3 Dose dense AC (Couldn't tolerate 4)
4 Dose dense Taxol & Herc. (Tolerated well)
36 weeks Herceptin (Could not complete one year due to decrease in MUGA score)
2 years of Arimidex, then three years of Femara
Finished Femara May 2011
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:11 PM   #20
basset girl
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Newnan, Georgia
Posts: 80
Re: Positive stories, please come out of the woods

Hope I can help someone. I usually don't post but I too have been saddened by so many losses on this site. So many wonderful men and women. I was diagnosed Stage IIIA in March of 2006. I am coming up on 4 years and am so grateful. I still do worry about the cancer returning but I try to just give it to God. My mother who was 86 passed away last Thanksgiving. She was so worried about me and the cancer coming back. She was diagnosed with gall bladder cancer in October and died a month later. By the time they found her cancer it had spread all over. The doctors said she probably had it for several years. So we never know. I just try to take one day at a time. This site has been such a blessing to me through the years. I hope this gives encouragement to others!!

Diagnosed 4/06, age 45
IDC, 3.5 cm, 4/7 positive nodes
Stage IIB
Her2++, ER & PR++
Mastectomy, 4 AC, 4 Taxol & Herception for one year
Ovaries out 4/07
Currently taking Arimidex and Zometa every 6 months
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