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Topic: Starting Chemo in November 2017

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Oct 24, 2017 05:41PM

Aymerz33 wrote:

Hey all! I love these threads I have seen, and since I will be starting in November (just around the corner) I thought I would get one started. It took me a long time to come to the decision to do chemo (stage 1a, Node negative) but because I had an Oncotype of 25 and a High risk Mammaprint I decided that I needed to just go for it. I start 4 rounds of TC on November 6th, and decided not to go with a port. I am going to be using Polar Ice Caps too, to try and preserve my hair. I am 33 and have a lot of life left to live. I can't wait for all this to be over, and I am so grateful that I do not have to do it alone. I'm sure that most of my fear will go away once I have gone through the first infusion, but right now I am pretty much terrified about how it is going to effect me. I am an education coach and I work in classrooms daily, so I will not be able to work while I am going through treatment. It makes me sad! I love the work I get to do!

Anyone else starting in November? Let's support each other!


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Jun 10, 2018 11:06AM klvans wrote:

Magari Glad you are through your port surgery but sorry it left such bruising. I hope you continue to heal. How wonderful to be getting out with friends and it sounds like you are coping with work.

Blair I hope your hormone blockers get sorted out. Mild vertigo doesn't sound fun. There must be a choice that works better!

Nonahope so sorry you are still having a hard time. It must be challenging. Thank goodness you have family near by.

Proud it sounds like the occupational and physical therapy has been helpful. I'm all for anything that helps mobility.

Hope99 I've hear that the more strongly ER+ you are the more effective the hormone blockers work. Would be a good question for your Dr.

May we all continue to meet the challenges of this disease with as much strength and courage as we can. My best to everyone..

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Jun 11, 2018 03:57PM rljes wrote:

Hi Everyone - It seems like I'm so far behind everyone, and we all started together.  I've finished chemo,  on Herceptin, yet no mention of Radiation nor Anti-Hormone pills from my MO.  Having a huge flair up with my auto-immune disease, so every bone in my body hurts.  My Port is killing me - mostly the surrounding area - feels like pin pricks up around my neck,  but the RN says its fine. 
  Good news is that I love (well, not LOVE) but I do like having just a little bit of hair (Looks like a burr cut - about 1/4" long)  Throw on a beanie and go forth.  And I went from 3-5 Migraines a week pre-chemo to maybe 1 migraine a month now. 
  Bad news is I'm just exhausted. I used to walk Truman 30 minutes twice a day no matter what, now I'm lucky to take him a walk around the yard for 5 minutes.  
  Had my 2nd Heart Eco last week.  My first was borderline - if it is too low and no improvement this time, I'll have to stop Herceptin for a while. 

  Hope99 - I was thinking the same thing this morning when I read your question about "Am I Cancer Free Now?"  So, when someone asks if we still have cancer - what do we say? 

  Blair - I'm glad they finally found out what was wrong with  your back.  My Mom broke her back last year. She's 89, so no surgery for her.  SHe was complaining her lower back was hurting & after a week they finally took her to the Hospital for an MRI because they thought it was her Kydneys or something - but never thought it was a broken back. 

Magari - we are just about the same treatments - I am glad you have some energy to go to a concert and have some fun. I'm hoping my Port stays working - worth the pain. 

Take care Everybody!  


Finished Chemo Mar 13, 2018 *Started Chemo 11/28/17 / No recontruction - going flat /Neulasta Injection Pod Dx 6/26/2017, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Dx 8/22/2017, 1/7 nodes, HER2+ Surgery 8/22/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 12, 2018 02:54PM - edited Jun 12, 2018 02:55PM by rljes

PS - I have to stop my Herceptin for a while. Got my heart Eco results back and I'm at 45-50%.  No wonder I'm so tired I can't get out of bed.  

Finished Chemo Mar 13, 2018 *Started Chemo 11/28/17 / No recontruction - going flat /Neulasta Injection Pod Dx 6/26/2017, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Dx 8/22/2017, 1/7 nodes, HER2+ Surgery 8/22/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 12, 2018 03:43PM star2017 wrote:

sorry to hear that, rljes. I hope you feel better soon

Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Jun 12, 2018 03:49PM nonahope wrote:

Good afternoon everyone..

I'm so far behind in posts. It sounds like everyone is doing fairly well with just a few glitches in the making.

I saw my oncologist on Friday. My Gabapentin was increased for my night time dose. Plus, he put in a referral to have acupuncture and also physical therapy. My insurance doesn't cover acupuncture. So, I'm going to set up an appointment for an evaluation with PT and see how that goes. I don't know how I can do PT when I can't walk without holding on to something. I do have a quad cane which helps. But, I can't go far because my feet hurt and there are still places that are numb. Iris...maybe, you can clue me in on what to expect for the PT. My referral is for 90 days and I was going to put it off until after I see the doc again on July 6, but he would not be a happy camper. I'll call in a few days when I know I have a ride and help getting in the facility etc. Any input would be appreciated. If I could walk, I would feel great. I did set up a consultation with the acupuncture doc on July 13. I'm hoping I will be able to cancel if the PT helps.

Hope

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Jun 12, 2018 05:52PM proudtospin wrote:

hope, you know i am a believer in pt, it has helped me a lot. My gals give me cute little sheets of pics showing the sort of exercise or stretches to do. I did seasons once a week, practiced at home in between. They were wonderful but honestly the thing that helped me the most was the funky rollator!, it got me up and moving around my house and that helped to strengthen my legs. I have done pt dif places, they each are a pit dif but honestly, i believe they are the reason i can know move around better.......without wall walking.

iris Dx 6/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+ Dx 2/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Jun 12, 2018 05:53PM proudtospin wrote:

hope....let me know how you are doing, best luck and sure you will benefit

iris Dx 6/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+ Dx 2/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Jun 12, 2018 07:11PM nonahope wrote:

Iris...It sounds like your neuropathy is as bad as mine, with the wall walking. Are you able to drive? I think the doc thinks PT will really help with my balance. My feet haven't hurt as much yesterday or today, but I still can't walk alone. I am hoping this "less pain" continues for a few days. I will probably call on Monday if so. When my feet are burning/freezing there is no way I could do PT -- I don't think. Is a rollator similar to a walker? Thanks for you input!

Hope

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Jun 12, 2018 11:04PM PhoenixCruiser wrote:

Sorry to hear that rljies, hope your energy level increases quickly.

Hope, wow when you first started this round you had absolutely no SE, you deserve a break! Good luck with the PT

Dx 8/2017, Right, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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Jun 13, 2018 10:48AM nonahope wrote:

Phoenix...You are correct. I had very mild tingling with my 12th infusion. I had a total of 15. It hit me hard after I was finished.

Hope

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Jun 13, 2018 12:40PM klvans wrote:

Nonahope, yes, seems unfair that it hit so suddenly. I hope you can do the physical therapy as strengthening muscles may help. I've always wanted to try acupuncture but could never afford it.

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Jun 13, 2018 07:00PM proudtospin wrote:

hope, my nueropathy started even before the taxol. They adjusted the taxol when i told them, I can drive but do not do long drives or trips anymore. I missed out on my uncles 90 birthday party as i was worried about driving.

What has helped me hugely is the pt at the hospital and using the rollator to get around the house. The rollator is different from a walker but if your doc oks it, medicare will cover cost. I did see them in my walgreens for about 60 0r 70 dollars. My walking has improved immensely when i got the rollator. It helps me to walk around the house without fear of falling, and i had fallen 3 times! The rollator allows me to carry my coffee in the morning or to fold my wash and help me get the stuff upstairs. There is a little sort of table to it, so I can move my stuff. When are you starting pt?

According to my pt gal i have weak ankles so she gave me stuff to help me strengthen them. Like i stand on my toes while holding on to the kitchen counter or when brushing my teeth! I actually knew my ankles were weak and used to twist my ankles often.. keep me posted on your progress. Oh yeah, i did pt once a week so i could practice in between. They initially wanted me to do it 3 times a week.

iris Dx 6/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+ Dx 2/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Jun 13, 2018 10:31PM Blair2 wrote:

Rljes - It was great to hear from you again. You have good reason to be exhausted after a long treatment. Sorry to hear you have auto immune disease on top of everything else. If you go through radiation, it isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I was tired the first week, but it didn’t effect me much after that. I itched and turned more brown than red, but now my skin looks really normal in color. I just kept my skin moist with Aquaphor and alternated it with aloe gel which felt good on it.

Nanohope - Best of luck with PT. They can work with your body sitting or in a lying down position I bet. I hope the increase with the Gabapentin helps you out and hope they can give you a good plan with PT.

So many of you have suffered so much. I feel pretty good now that my back has improved some. Today was my first day without the back brace. I shopped at Big Lots for a while and felt it start to nag at me, but I can tell it’s not as bad as it used to be. Once I sit down a while, all pain goes away, but this will probably act like this for a while. The spinal doctor told me I could have pain up to a year.

My OM told me last Friday to stop taking the Tamoxifen over the weekend. Sure enough, the vertigo went away. So she switched me to Letrozole- the drug she originally wanted me to use. Since Monday, no vertigo yet, so I hope this one will work. I didn’t really want to take tamoxifen anyway because of it possibly causing vein clots. My heart arteries were replaced with leg veins! With heart disease, that makes me nervous. Tamoxifen issuppose to be less harmful to ones bones, but since I’m now on Foximax, it shouldn’t matter. I started Foximax Sunday, so not sure how well I’ll react to it. It’s getting to be so challenging taking all these medications!

Oncotype DX score 27 Dx 9/6/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/11/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 11/29/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/25/2018 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 14, 2018 08:57AM proudtospin wrote:

Blair, i agree, keeping track of all the meds is a challenge at times. I confess to missing some. Well my chemo pill is 7 day on then 7 days off. I screw that up ! Today starts my 7 days on again. Yuke, i can feel the difference but if it meens my scans are better, so be it!

iris Dx 6/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+ Dx 2/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Jun 14, 2018 12:48PM Meowmmy65 wrote:

Rljes - I also have decreased heart function from herceptin. Mine dropped significantly after just 5 treatments, so I had to take 6 weeks off from that drug. The good news is that just stopping the medication makes a huge difference, and your heart function will improve. I got winded just walking from the bedroom to the bathroom, but it didn't take long for that to get better. My next echo is at the end of July, and I expect to need another break by then.

Just started radiation this week. My radiation oncologist says research shows a shorter course (4 weeks) is as effective longterm as the longer course (6 weeks) which has been the standard, so I am only doing 4 weeks. So far, so good, but I understand the effects of radiation is cumulative and I should expect fatigue. (That will just piggyback on my fatigue from the herceptin!)

My hair is growing very slowly - just a bit of fuzz right now - but it is nice to see it coming in.

Elizabeth

Dx 8/31/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/2/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 11/10/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 12/7/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 12/7/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 3/1/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Radiation Therapy 6/12/2018 Breast
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Jun 17, 2018 12:28PM nonahope wrote:

Iris...Did you have an evaluation the first time you went to PT? I haven't made an appointment yet. I will probably call tomorrow. There is no way I could do 3x a week, since I can't drive. My daughter and sister are my chauffeurs these days and my daughter and family will be gone for the next 3 weeks. I can't expect my sister to give up 3 days a week of her time. My calves just kill me when I get up in the morning or when I've been sitting for awhile and get up. I guess from the way I try to walk - like a Clydesdale !!

Blair...I take Letrozole in combination with Ibrance for my metastatic breast cancer.. I haven't had, or noticed any side effects. The pharmacist said it can cause drowsiness, but I've not noticed.

Enjoy your day!

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Jun 17, 2018 01:12PM - edited Jun 17, 2018 01:14PM by proudtospin

yes hope, i met with manager, since it was on site at my cancer center, she had my entire file and history, i got a phone call fron one of the therapists who said she had seen my file and wanted to handle my treatment herself, think sometimes they switch foks around.

They initially seemed to suggest up to 3 days a week but i said i wanted to do 1 day each week so i could practice in between. They had no problem with that. Dont be afraid, i sent a message to management telling them how great the team was ,is your therapy being done at your hospital or a private center..,.? Ive done both. They will not expect you to do more than you are able or safe. Good luck and let me know how it goes

Just tell the therapists how you feel and that uou just want to walk better! You are not training for the Olympics!

iris Dx 6/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+ Dx 2/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Jun 17, 2018 05:36PM - edited Jun 17, 2018 05:39PM by Magari

Hi, all; Happy Sunday! Just touching base, and thinking good thoughts for all of you.

It's been about 2 and a half weeks since my port re-insertion surgery and the bruising is finally just about gone. Putting Aquaphor on the incisions to hopefully lessen scarring.

It's been about 2 weeks since I started taking Arimidex/Anastrozole. Perhaps a few more hot flashes than before, and achiness in my hips and ankles that may or may not be a bit increased. I've been faithfully doing my PT exercises at home since I started back at work and I think they help quite a bit. (Nonahope - I hope that PT will be of some help to you. I paid for mine out of pocket and thought it a worthwhile investment - 1 or 2x/week.) No other side effects to speak of.

I'm now nearly 14 weeks PFC and hair growth has noticeably increased over the last 3 weeks. I had very few brows or lashes as recently as 2 weeks ago; but they are now coming in quickly, dark and fairly thick. (The downside is that I'm also having to shave my legs about every other day.) The parts of my head hair that I'd lost are now about an inch long, which looks a bit crazy sticking straight up on top, but I will take whatever I can get. I have an appointment with my stylist this week to cut the hair I retained through cold capping, which is currently at my shoulders but very thin to some approximation of a short, layered bob. She doesn't think I should color it yet and with the crazy fluff going on, I will be sticking with my wig for a while yet.

I had some tingling at the very tips of my fingers that is gradually diminishing. Discoloration on my fingernails is growing out; I just keep them cut very short and use vitamin E oil at night.

DTI reconstruction; Cold capped during chemo to save my hair Dx 9/1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Both breasts, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 10/16/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Targeted Therapy 11/27/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 11/27/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/27/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 6/3/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 17, 2018 06:40PM - edited Jun 18, 2018 10:03PM by star2017

hi all! Hope everyone is doing well!


I'm 12.5 weeks PFC. since last week I've been going out more with my hair uncovered. Some people seem to really like the look. I've felt comfortable even being uncovered at some social events, but not all.


I'm feeling ok overall. Radiation makes me tired and I think the tamoxifen is causing daily hives. Very annoying

Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Jun 19, 2018 02:14PM - edited Jun 19, 2018 02:19PM by Hope99

Hi sisters, hope you are ok. please shere your knowledge with me.

after I finished my chemo last May, and I was starting my radiotherapy, 7 out of 25 cycles, I'm looking and reading too much about recurrence, which may becomes local or distance, I read researches about statistics and how much time to stay on this life. it's very hard time to me. also I but my own information in special calculator to estimate me age and so on..

my question is, my ki-67 is 70% in pathology report (after mastectomy), it's high according to the articles that I read about this story ( if it's more than 20%). when I did biopsy, it's more than 80% ( >80% ) . I read if it's high, the chance of recurrence will be high. I'm er,pr+ and her2 negative.before I take chemo I think the ki-67 and grade will reduced after treatment, but actually it's almost same. I'm afraid when I know there is correlation between ki67 and recurrence 💔.

moreover, if I need to stage my cancer right now, should I stage it before or after chemo? because I did chemo to down-stage my cancer. what do you think?

someone told me it's great if your PR hormones are high in your cancer, is that true and why?

thanks for help.





Dx 9/14/2017,IDC, Right, 2.5 - 3 cm, stage 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- chemo: 12/11/2017 ( FEC-T protocol ) crying solve a lot of problems in this life.
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Jun 19, 2018 05:20PM - edited Jun 21, 2018 09:51AM by nonahope

Hope99...I know nothing about staging your cancer for reoccurrence. I am er-pr + and her-, like you. My initial diagnosis/surgery etc. was in 2010. My breast cancer metastasized to my bones last year.

Hope

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Jun 19, 2018 05:32PM moth wrote:

hope, the staging that was done after surgery is the final staging.

This is for people who have surgery, then chemo.

It's trickier for people who do chemo before surgery but for you, your staging will stay the same. Chemo after surgery doesn't change staging, though it can statistically reduce the risk of recurrence. The purpose of staging is the assist the health care provider in designing an appropriate treatment plan, and for researchers to be able to compare similar populations.

Dx at 50; Left, IDC, 1.7 cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, very weakly ER+, being treated as TNBC Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Jun 19, 2018 06:21PM Hope99 wrote:

nonhope

I remember you did not do chemo in 2010 because your initial case was early and no need chemo. is that true? hope your metastasized are limited and under control.

moth

I did chemo first, 6 cycles, then surgery. is that make big diffrent in my stage? what about your ki-67 ? can I asked oncotype after mastectomy? I had lymph node.

Dx 9/14/2017,IDC, Right, 2.5 - 3 cm, stage 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- chemo: 12/11/2017 ( FEC-T protocol ) crying solve a lot of problems in this life.
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Jun 19, 2018 08:30PM star2017 wrote:

hope, I think tumor size and # of nodes involved help determine staging. Since chemo will shrink tumors, i imagine it makes staging tricky. I did surgery first and tho I had only 4 nodes involved, the size of my tumor put me at IIIa. That said my doctors really resisted staging as they found it wasn’t a useful tool for them

Dx in 2017@37, pregnant, BRCA2+
IDC&DCIS rt breast, IIIA, gr 3, ER/PR+, Her2-
Surgery1: Single mx w/ TE, 8cm tumor, 4/8 +nodes
Chemo: Dose-dense AC+Taxol
Surgery2: Rt implant, left prophylactic mx with TE
6 wks Radiation
Tamoxifen
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Jun 20, 2018 09:12AM klvans wrote:

Nonahope, hope you are doing ok and that you are finding a way forward with your neuropathy. ER- PR+ HR- is a pretty rare sub type. Is it treated differently than triple + or triple - ?

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Jun 20, 2018 11:36AM proudtospin wrote:

back from my onco visit, yahoo, 3 times my tumor markers have gone down!,, yaho but my onco is concerned with the side effects of tne dumb drug so we are reducing the dose from 8 pills to 7 pills and lets see is feetget better. With the tumor markers continuing to fall......cross fingers!

iris Dx 6/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+ Dx 2/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Jun 21, 2018 09:57AM nonahope wrote:

Kivens...I was both ER and PR positive and HER negative. I guess the dash I put between the ER.PR was confusing. I'm still dealing with the neuropathy.

Iris...Great news!! I pray it continues.

Hope

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Jun 21, 2018 10:13AM Hope99 wrote:

star2017, someone told me the real stage is before chemo, others say after chemo when the treatments start work on you! I did chemo first then surgery, that's why I'm confusing.

nonahope

your type er,pe+ and her2- not usually metastasized like other type of cancers according to my knowledge, and if its metastasized, it will be totally under control. what did you doctor said?

Dx 9/14/2017,IDC, Right, 2.5 - 3 cm, stage 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- chemo: 12/11/2017 ( FEC-T protocol ) crying solve a lot of problems in this life.
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Jun 21, 2018 11:04AM proudtospin wrote:

so trying dif cream on my dumb dry peeling feet and hands

Got a dermo appt tonight for some scally spots in my scap, onco did not know what it was, thought it might be psoriacis but gonna get it checked, also gonna ask them if they suggest creams for my ugly feet

iris Dx 6/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, ER+ Dx 2/2017, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+, HER2+
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Jun 21, 2018 11:37AM nonahope wrote:

Hope99...There is no cure for me. Only treatments. I was on an oral chemo drug in the beginning, but it didn't help. Then I was on IV chemo - Taxol for 15 rounds. I am now on oral chemo of Ibrance/Letrozole combination.

Iris...I have found that Gold Bond for feet is really good.

Hope

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