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Jun 20, 2018 09:08AM
Hi ladies, I am now 2 rounds into radiation. Following my mastectomy on 1/26, the SLN was positive, and the treatment plan we reviewed after that consisted of chemo, radiation, and ultimately hormone therapy. I had an immediate recon at the time of the surgery with an implant. The surgeon described the need to do chemo as essential, in order to seek out any isolated cells that may have migrated and to help treat the lymph nodes as I did not have any other nodes removed. Agree with all here, chemo sucks but it eventually is done and one starts to feel better.
When I met wtih the rads teams (in two places as I did not relish daily trips into the city and elected to do treatment as a satellite center), both teams agreed rads were the next step. I had a skin-sparing mastectomy minus the nipple, and the margins to the skin were very close. My RO said that rads would decrease the odds of a recurrence from 30% to 10%, and that sounded reasonable to me. I also had a swollen lymph node that showed up on the first rads CT mapping, and had to have that removed - it had a micro (0.04) but no extension. Second CT was clear.
The decisions we all have to make are so very personal, and factors like our age, menopausal status, etc., weigh in. For me the biggest choices were to have immediate recon, knowing the risk posed by radiation on an implant but still opting for one less surgery if possible, and then type of chemo - I was given options of AC + T or TC, and given a family history of heart disease and my own hypertension/heart murmur, I went with TC for a little less cardiotoxicity. Rads is also not a snap decision, but again for my particular situation the odds there helped make that choice. At my age (55) I wanted to hit this with everything possible, and so that will include the potential SEs of the 10 years of hormone therapy which will follow.
We can't know ultimately what the results will be, but in my case very candid team discussions, notebooks full of questions to be answered, and a lot of independent research, helped. The key is to make a decision that each of us is comfortable with, and that can differ.
Hoping everyone has a wonderful day.
1/2018, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
1/26/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant
3/1/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
6/18/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall