Jun 30, 2022 03:59AM - edited Jun 30, 2022 01:26PM by bcat34
10 years out from my official diagnosis today -- I am so grateful!
I noticed my tumor in the shower, just over 2 months after my 34th birthday. My tumor was large and very fast growing. (T2 N1 M0) at 4.1cm x 3.9cm x 2.5cm and I had one confirmed node. My Oncologist's chart noted an 8cm tumor.(?!?) It was taking over my entire small breast, and lumpectomy was not an option. I had to have chemo first (FEC-D) at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary to shrink the tumor enough for surgery. My last chemo was the last day of the Mayan Calendar. Although the world didn't end, that was my last round of chemo.
Mastectomy and ALND in February 2013. Excellent patient care by a really kind team throughout. I'm so lucky to have been NED after my neoadjuvent chemo. I'm still NED and in cautiously keeping on mode. No one in this city except for a handful of people and my medical professionals knows I'm a cancer patient. My hair/lashes/brows were not the same after, but I have really good tips to share if you've been through FEC-D too. I had reconstruction a few years after my mastectomy, and still very happy with what I did on that front.
The good side gets a mammogram only (about once a year--Ottawa has massive mammogram waits) to make sure the previously biopsied fibroadenoma hasn't gone rogue. Happy to talk more about this if anyone ever wants to. This forum is the only safe space I have to talk about cancer as my family was not and still is not into talking about cancer and they find me morbid for wanting to recognize cancer-anniversaries. I've talked to cancer-savvy psychologists about what I went through with good results.
I couldn't have radiation because of a family (genetic) connective tissue issue. 34 year old me honestly didn't think I would be here now at age 44 typing this 10 years out, especially because I could not have rads. Reading these 5+ years stories meant so much to me and still do so much. Much appreciation for everyone behind the scenes who have brought us all together.)