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Mar 12, 2021 12:12AM
This is my very first post not only on this website, but the first of any social media website in several years so I have no idea how to write a post. Social media scares me and I wanted to avoid it at all costs, especially after receiving my cancer diagnosis. I can't find a therapist that specializes in cancer survivorship that is affordable (I already have a psychiatrist) so here I am! I need help.
I'm 38. I had a breast exam in May of 2019 but the cancer was on the chest wall and couldn't be felt. It was only when it spread to my supraclavicular lymph node that I felt a lump. They told me it was stage three when the lymph node was biopsied. Ironically, the lump in my breast could only be seen by mammography but I was too young to receive a yearly mammogram. I'm BRCA negative.
I got the call 9/4/2019. I underwent TCHP therapy (Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin, and Perjeta). I had a very, very bad reaction to the chemo (especially to Taxotere) and had almost every imaginable symptom. I had breast surgery in March 2020 a week before lockdown, then 6 weeks of radiation.
Then they found a benign mass in my other breast so I had to have surgery for that last December.
My PET scan was clear and I had a complete response but the symptoms are not done with me.
According to my psychiatrist I developed something similar to PTSD from the chemo. I don’t remember what he called it. I still throw up once a month and feel nauseous every day. I should also mention that I have been diagnosed with OCD, depression, and general anxiety when I was 17. Before lockdown I used to have panic attacks and couldn't drive a car. I feel like I never was able to process all the trauma of cancer, my mental health, and COVID all at once. Luckily, I have a very strong support system except for some who completely either abandoned me or acted very passive/aggressive to me since my diagnosis. I read that that's a thing with cancer. Wtf.
I feel very numb and also very angry. I just don't know how to act or feel. I just needed to share. Thank you for this wonderful community.
IDC, Right, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary
Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Breast, Lymph nodes
Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)