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Stage III TNBC. Looking for stories of hope

breastcancerpartner Member Posts: 26

Hi. My 30 year old wife's been diagnosed with TNBC. Unfortunately our treatment right from the start has not gone as per the standard algorithm.

In fact her 4cm lump was determined to be a fibroadenoma and excised by a general surgeon, and it turned out to be tnbc with LVI, ki-67 65-70%, necrosis present, closest margin <1mm

We rushed to a higher centre, and staging PET found a large 3.6cm axillary LN(matted).

She's now completed 4x DD AC, and after much convincing the MO has added on pembrolizumab to weekly pacli and carbo.

We're really scared given how it was handled at the start, and we're worried that the initial surgery may have increased her risk of metastasis.

The breast oncosurgeon we met at the higher centre said he will do a reexcision and ALND after chemotherapy.

Clinically the MO has staged her as 3B locally advanced.

We're very scared and looking for hope. Would love to hear from others with Stage III TNBC or with similar experiences.

Im really sorry if this comes out as a duplicate or overlapping thread

Thank you.


  • justagalwholoveslife
    justagalwholoveslife Member Posts: 46

    I am so sorry 😞

  • justagalwholoveslife
    justagalwholoveslife Member Posts: 46

    I am so sorry 😞

  • sweattl
    sweattl Member Posts: 2
    edited March 2023

    Good Evening! I'm a 9 year TNBC Stage 3 Survivor. Let me say I know how you are feeling, as it comes at you both fast and scary. However, it is definitely possible to get on the other side. I did 16 chemotherapy sessions, a lumpectomy w/ 1 lymphnode removed, followed by 30+ days of radiation. It was tiring, but with family, friends and positive thoughts (along with my faith), I got to the other side of it. I'll be thinking of you both. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance, as I want to help others get through this.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310

    I had a 5 cm lump and 3 cm axillary node. I am 5 years past pCR and completely well. I did a lot of complimentary therapies too but I had great luck with an effective chemo. Are they leaving the lymph node alone till chemo is complete? I knew chemo was working as my lump and node softened and shrank over the weeks of treatment.

    Wishing all the best to your wife! TNBC can be killed and not come back!

  • breastcancerpartner


    Post chemotherapy my wife had a Axillary Lymph node dissection and re-excision of the original tumour site. She had 18 LNs removed, and they've all come back negative, which is the best news we can possibly get. While we can't say for certain about this, I've spoken to a couple of leading breast specialist, and they said that in general lymph nodes respond less to chemo than the primary tumour, so theres a fair chance it could be a PCR. Im praying that's true.

    She had completed 25 rounds of radiotherapy, and is currently continuing Keytruda maintenance every 3 weeks.(10/17 infusions done). Capecitabine has not been recommended since there's no evidence of disease post surgery.

    We're praying it's smooth sailing with no side effects, and hoping for the best. Dear santabarbarian, sweattl and justagalwholoveslife, I hope you're doing well.

  • waitingaway
    waitingaway Member Posts: 17

    @sweattl Wow, I needed to read this - I am so sorry you had to go through all of that but your success is inspiring and encouraging. May I ask, what were the timelines for you from diagnosis of breast cancer, diagnosis of TNBC, and starting chemo? I’m concerned about delays where I live, unfortunately.