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Topic: November 2020 Radiation Group

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During, and After —

What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: Nov 2, 2020 09:50AM

Ladyc2020 wrote:

I may as well start for the new month!

I go in today for my first session and have 20 total, I think it’s 16 plus the boost. My last day is probably the day after Thanksgiving as they are open on the Sunday before Thanksgiving To get that day in.

I have a little stack of various chemical free lotions/oils including Aloe, Calendula, essential oils, colloidal silver, cbd salve. I know Aquafor is talked about a lot here but I’d rather not use petroleum based products.

Good luck everyone!

Dx 8/6/2020, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 8/21/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 9/18/2020 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/23/2020, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 1 Radiation Therapy 10/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall
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Nov 25, 2020 10:52AM Poppy_90 wrote:

I haven’t checked in for a bit, hope everyone is doing well. I just wanted to share something my RO told me yesterday, which helped me a lot. I find the fatigue is really getting to me. He said going through radiation is like running on a track with a parachute on. At first, it’s not too hard, but as you continue to run the parachute keeps filling with air. The more air that gets into the parachute, the harder it is to run. With each treatment, a little more air is being added to the parachute making it harder to run. I felt like that completely nailed how I’m feeling, and thought I would share.

Hope you are all are keeping well I’m at 16/35, so almost halfway there! Happy Thanksgiving to you all

Dx 5/1/2020, IDC, Right, 2cm, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/29/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/5/2020 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 11/5/2020 Breast
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Nov 25, 2020 11:11AM - edited Nov 25, 2020 11:12AM by KMom57

Rang the bell. I'm finished. Came through with “minimal to no" skin reaction, so far anyway, so not scheduled for follow up til late January. I do have some discomfort swallowing. Not sore, more like a lump in the throat like things don't pass right. That's from the rad to the supraclavicular node. I guess they can't miss the esophagus. RO says it will pass quickly. I'll let you know if it does. But I'm done. Going home for Thanksgiving.

Dx 10/2019, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 8/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/6/2019 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 2/14/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 5/17/2020 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/30/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Nov 25, 2020 11:17AM Ladyc2020 wrote:

kmom- yay! I wonder if we all have slightly different areas effected? Depending on breast size, location of tumor ect.

Kristen- I have struggled with fatigue hard this last week especially. Hoping it will all be gone very soon as I finish next week.

Dx 8/6/2020, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 8/21/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 9/18/2020 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/23/2020, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 1 Radiation Therapy 10/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall
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Nov 25, 2020 11:25AM Poppy_90 wrote:

KMom—so happy for you! I know it’s hard in the covid world, but hope you can find a way to celebrate. When in doubt, I find cake is always a good option.

LadyC, thanks for the reply. I’m so sorry you’re struggling with fatigue, too. I’m actually surprised at how hard it has hit me. I guess I went in thinking that since I had finished chemo, this would be easier than it is. You’re so close! Make sure to let us know when you ring the bell.

Does anyone else tear up when they hear somebody else ringing the bell?? It can be a total stranger and the waterworks start.


Dx 5/1/2020, IDC, Right, 2cm, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/29/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/5/2020 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 11/5/2020 Breast
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Nov 25, 2020 11:44AM KMom57 wrote:

Thanks Kristen and Lady! Kristen, yes I tear up too. Probably for the same reason everyone in the waiting room cheered loudly when I rang the bell. I suspect because every one of them knows first-hand just how much time, energy, fear, worry, struggle and strength it takes to get to that moment.

And cake is a great idea!!!! Though I FaceTimed my 13 year old daughter so she could hear the bell ring, and seeing her jumping up and down was the best celebration.

Lady, I’m sure location prob makes a difference. But in my case, they pretty much radiated everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING.

Dx 10/2019, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 8/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/6/2019 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 2/14/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 5/17/2020 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/30/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Dec 2, 2020 01:21AM Ladyc2020 wrote:

hi everyone, I had my last treatment today and feel great! Glad to be done. Am expecting a few more days of skin side effects to increase and then healing to start. I hope you ladies are all faring well 💕

Dx 8/6/2020, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 8/21/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 9/18/2020 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/23/2020, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 1 Radiation Therapy 10/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall
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Dec 7, 2020 10:03PM hnsquared wrote:

I’m curious if there is still anyone doing radiation or if you have all finished. I have 17 done and 8 left. I’m a little pink but it doesn’t hurt (I had a bilateral mastectomy so I don’t have any feeling anyway) and the skin is intact. Just wondering who is left and how everyone is fojng

Dx 2/20/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/21/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 11/11/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Dec 7, 2020 10:32PM - edited Dec 7, 2020 10:33PM by Redkitty815

I'm still going too! I am 19 down, 6 to go. The area is bright red and feels like a bad sunburn in the spots where I actually have feeling (under my arm). I have also had some weakness in that arm that my RO says is from inflammation and should resolve.

Dx 11/26/2019, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 12/18/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 7/11/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 7/11/2020 Navelbine (vinorelbine) Surgery Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Dec 8, 2020 08:30PM hnsquared wrote:

Hey Redkitty....we are in the same place...getting close to done. If I remember correctly you are like me and direct to implant. Is your radiated foob holding up okay? They warned me the skin could tighten and the radiated side could sit a little higher. I’m hoping to keep the good outcome I had before rads started.

Heather

Dx 2/20/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/21/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 11/11/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Dec 10, 2020 05:38PM KMom57 wrote:

Hi hnsquared and red kitty,, yes I’m still on the board. Finished with Rads, but checking in on y’all. I’m two weeks out from my last one. Had no real skin effects during rads, but they did build and get worse in the two weeks after. Intense itching in some areas. Like want to claw my skin, itching. Otherwise, ok. Hope y’all are ok.

Dx 10/2019, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 8/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/6/2019 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 2/14/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 5/17/2020 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/30/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Dec 10, 2020 07:20PM hnsquared wrote:

kmom57....thanks for checking in on us. I have 5 left. I’m pretty red but no discomfort or itching yet. I know they told me it could get worse for a week or two after. Did you have any blistering or breaking of the skin? I don’t so far but that’s what I’m worried about.

Dx 2/20/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/21/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 11/11/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Dec 10, 2020 10:45PM Redkitty815 wrote:

Hi Heather! I am also direct to implant and so far, so good an the foob front...the implant is staying soft and the two sides look about even. My skin is getting a little pissed though. I have tiny blisters on my side boob which the RO thinks may be friction blisters from wearing the wrong bra to work out. And I am super itchy. They gave me a zinc oxide to mix with aquaphor when the blisters start bursting to dry them out. 3 more to go!

Dx 11/26/2019, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 12/18/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 7/11/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 7/11/2020 Navelbine (vinorelbine) Surgery Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Dec 13, 2020 02:31PM - edited Dec 13, 2020 02:32PM by KMom57

Hnsquared, no, no breaking of the skin or blistering as of yet. Just pretty intense itching, rash of sorts, and a couple spots that are tender. Word of warning though....one of my areas that's very tender and angry happens to be exactly where the edge of my seat belt passes across my chest. I had not thought of that being an issue, so you might want to be aware and cautious about that. I keep my down coat on in the car now to pad it, but little too late perhaps.

Dx 10/2019, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 8/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/6/2019 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 2/14/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 5/17/2020 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/30/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Dec 13, 2020 03:29PM hnsquared wrote:

redkitty....glad your implant is staying soft and is doing okay. Mine is too so far...4 to go for me. Sorry you have angry skin...hope the zinc helps. My foob and armpit is super red but the skin is intact.

Kmom57....I also have a rash. It’s not on my foob but on the area between my boobs and above my foob where the skin is thin over my bones and there’s not much fat. They told me it’s radiation dermatitis and fairly common. I’m using hydrocortisone cream it help with the itching. I’ve been using a small pillow since my bilateral mastectomy to keep my seatbelt from rubbing but I still have a rash.

I can’t wait to get the last 4 done and then get through the couple of weeks after. Time to celebrate getting this behind us

Dx 2/20/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/21/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 11/11/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Dec 15, 2020 06:33PM Redkitty815 wrote:

I finished today!!!! They gave me a fancy certificate and I got a little teary eyed. The last couple treatments have been tough—I have babied my Celtic skin my whole life and it’s pissed! And the fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks over the weekend. Every task seems to take all my energy. So I am taking a little time to chill and ignore my to-do list and hoping to be on the upswing soon. Hnsquared-thinking of you as you finish

Dx 11/26/2019, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 12/18/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 7/11/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 7/11/2020 Navelbine (vinorelbine) Surgery Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Dec 15, 2020 07:21PM KMom57 wrote:

Redkitty!!! Yaayy!!!! Congrats!

Dx 10/2019, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 8/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/6/2019 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 2/14/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 5/17/2020 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/30/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Dec 15, 2020 10:05PM hnsquared wrote:

Redkitty....woo hoo!!!!! Congrats! So happy for you! I have two left and I’m not sure if my rads has a bell but if they do I’ll ring the bell out of it. Hopefully your skin doesn’t get too much worse before it gets better. I also hope your fatigue goes away quickly. Rest and take it easy you deserve it.

I’m pretty red and just in the last day or so I’m having a little discomfort in the crease under my breast. The nurse looked at it today and thought I might have a little break in the skin there. They called in a script for silvadene so hopefully that helps and it doesn’t get too much worse.

Dx 2/20/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/21/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 11/11/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Dec 16, 2020 05:55AM Poppy_90 wrote:

Congratulations, Red Kitty!

Dx 5/1/2020, IDC, Right, 2cm, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/29/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/5/2020 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 11/5/2020 Breast
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Dec 16, 2020 10:32AM - edited Dec 16, 2020 10:34AM by KMom57

hnsquared...one left now? Finished tomorrow?

Redkitty, how are you today?

My itching is subsiding. Still pink but I think it's starting to heal. My arm and chest is getting a bit tight though. My PT won't see me until after Xmas when the skin is totally healed. Trying to hang on to my hard won ROM


Dx 10/2019, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 8/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/6/2019 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 2/14/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 5/17/2020 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/30/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Dec 16, 2020 11:26AM Ladyc2020 wrote:

redkitty- congratulations! Feels awesome right??! I hope you start healing soon and don’t have long lasting effects 💕

I’m 2 weeks out from being done and the fatigue has gone, and I had it pretty intensely. Maybe too soon for me to say this, but I think my skin was really badly effected and will never be the same. I’m ok with that.

Dx 8/6/2020, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 8/21/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 9/18/2020 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/23/2020, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 1 Radiation Therapy 10/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall
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Dec 17, 2020 07:59PM hnsquared wrote:

I’m done with radiation!!!! Woo hoo!!! I was so bummed my center doesn’t have a bell or do a certificate. I was looking forward of ringing the bell out of that bell 😁. I am really red on my breast and armpit but the skin seems to be intact. They gave me silvadene for the crease under my breast because it looked like there may be a slot where the skin was getting ready to break. I’m a little nervous about how much worse it will get in the next week or so. I also think my breast seems swollen which I guess isn’t surprising.

I’m so glad it’s over and always thankful for your support

Dx 2/20/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/21/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 11/11/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Dec 17, 2020 08:51PM KMom57 wrote:

Woohoo!!!!!!! Congratulations!!!

Dx 10/2019, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 8/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/6/2019 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 2/14/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 5/17/2020 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/30/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Dec 23, 2020 02:32AM Nor_Cal_TKD wrote:

Hello Everyone - Better late to post here than never! I’ve read up on everyone’s status and appreciate the info and direct kindness! Tomorrow is my LAST of 32 radiation treatments (boost for the last 4)!!! I don’t think there’s a bell or anything at my RO center but that’s ok! 💯🙌🏻💯

I am not on here very often .. I’ve been POOPED: worked in my special needs classroom all the way through rads treatment until just this Monday 12/18! Also, I had to keep myself away from too much online info of any kind due to struggles with anxiety when I read too much and get overwhelmed. My support system lacks and I have to watch my own limits. To be honest, my skin has REALLY suffered from the rads too. I’ve used Miaderm lotion and aloe vera gel all through treatment ... nothing else, as per my RO. I’m very fair skinned and now my left boob is dark reddish brown, nipple way oversized, funky concentric circle burn on areola, exposed new skin, and extremely sore and open cracks in armpit and sentinel node removal scar area. I’m fearing the after-effect next week when I’m told it will all feel worse...aaarrrggghhh :((

Also, I’m pretty savvy with such things, but I’m never sure if I’m hitting the right ‘reply’ button and/or how to reply directly to someone’s post with the way the threaded conversation are displayed in these boards. 🤷🏻♀️

My hugs to each of you ~ I’ll try to be better with posting more often!
PS - what does IMF mean?
PPS - my RIGHT breast mammogram last week showed a “seroma” at the 9/23/20 excisional biopsy site. I haven’t even really googled that yet. And then there’s Christmas. Ugh. Does the new stuff we have to learn about ever end? 🙄🤪

Surgery 7/28/2020 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 8/11/2020, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Radiation Therapy Breast
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Dec 23, 2020 10:14PM hnsquared wrote:

welcome NOR CAL.... so sorry you are here with us but congrats on finishing rads!!!! I finished a week ago and like you my skin took a beating. My skin didn’t breakdown until the last 3 sessions and after. I’m reddish brown also. IMF is inter mammary fold or as I like to call it the under boob crease😂. That’s where my skin broke down and it’s just raw. It’s uncomfortable and I’m hoping it starts to turn around soon. They told me that things can get worse the week or two after rads finish but heal up fast. I’d love to know what fast is because I’m over this. I used aloe, Miaderm and aquaphor. They gave me silvadene to put on those raw areas. Fingers crossed it heals soon. I hope yours doesn’t get much worse. I’d ask if there is anything they can give you for the open areas.

A seroma is a pocket of clear fluid that sometimes forms after surgery. I think it’s pretty common. I’m not the expert but I think the body often absorbs it or it can be drained...I don’t think it’s anything scary. Dr google is definitely dangerous for me too. After I got diagnosed before chemo started I had to ban myself from google😂.

I’m glad you have winter break. My husband is a special education teacher and I’m a social worker. I also worked through all of it. I really didn’t get tired until I finished rads. I’m sure my body needs rest in order to heal this raw skin. I hope you can just rest, watch some movies or Netflix and let your body heal.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’ve gotten the best support from other women in the middle of this crap. Merry Christmas

Dx 2/20/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/1/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/21/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 11/11/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)

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