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Jun 1, 2017 05:23PM
Hi Gin, sorry you had to find us, but you've found the right group of women to help you along the way.
Where in Australia are you?
I had triple positive bc in 2010 and did three rounds of FEC then two rounds of Taxotere (should have been three but my body couldn't tolerate it) and twelve months of Herceptin. The FEC was doable - not wonderful, but I got through it. Taxotere was a nightmare for me - but other women have found FEC a nightmare and Taxotere easy - we are all different. Herceptin was almost a walk in the park - apart from some fatigue and diahorrea (and more towards the end than the beginning). I worked through all that treatment, although at greatly reduced hours during chemo. While just on Herceptin, I worked full time.
You should have had full body scans before your surgery to see if the cancer had spread to any part of your body - did your breast surgeon or oncologist not order this? If not - I'd be chasing it up.
I had a mastectomy in 2010 - I had both IDC and ILC in the same breast, so didn't really have a choice, a lumpectomy was never going to work for me. I also chose not to have reconstruction.
I actually wanted to have a double mastectomy in 2010, as I didn't want to have to deal with the fear of it coming back in the other breast. My breast surgeon at the time refused to remove a "perfectly healthy breast".
In 2015 I found a lump in my other breast, this time it was triple negative. So had that breast removed, followed by six months of pretty brutal chemo. I'm 13 months out of that second lot of chemo now, and doing fairly well. I didn't work during the last lot of chemo - I couldn't have. But I'm back at work now, and enjoying life.
After the first lot of bc, I worried a lot about recurrence. Triple positive is pretty aggressive - but Herceptin is a game changer and I don't worry about that any more. Having a second diagnosis absolutely floored me though, and triple negative is also very aggressive, but there's no drug like Herceptin to add to the arsenal to fight it. There's just chemo and hope.
I've learned not to worry. I do occasionally, but 99% of the time, I refuse to worry about something that might not ever happen. If it does then I'll worry about it then. If it never happens, I'll have wasted time worrying about nothing, and life is too precious. I enjoy each day - I have a lot of health issues now after two lots of chemo in 6 years, but a lot of the time I feel happy, healthy and contented.
We are all different though - and you may need help to get to the stage where you don't worry - your GP should have set you up with a health care plan that includes visits to a psychologist to help you cope.
Please make sure you let us know how you are going - feel free to rant, cry and laugh on here with us - we are all here for you.
I have made a long journey and been to a strange land and I've seen the dark man very close ... Thomas Wolfe
9/17/2010, ILC, <1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
9/17/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
11/4/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-