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Topic: < 5 mm HER2+ IDC...why NOT chemo???

Forum: HER2+ (Positive) Breast Cancer —

Testing, treatment, side effects, and more.

Posted on: Jan 27, 2012 09:57AM

dancetrancer wrote:

I've read thread after thread and all of the info, opinions are running together in my head.  I've only had since yesterday to absorb all of this (was up til 1 a.m reading).  I know this is a controversial topic, but I want to hear why you WOULDN'T recommend chemo for < 5 mm of IDC her2+ (mine is 3 mm).

I had my tests run at Emory (I was there for a 3rd opinion on radiation).  They found the IDC (3 other facilities missed it, including UAB) and tested it for Her2.  Transferred my results to UAB.  Found out I was HER2+ yesterday.

UAB told me yesterday afternoon, lets cancel your radiation, meet with onc to discuss chemo next week.  Go ahead and rip your rads stickers off.  So I did.

Today they call me and say, nope, we talked to the onc and they said chemo isn't warranted with your small cancer.  Come back in to get the marks drawn back on, b/c we want to start rads ASAP next week, you are already behind schedule.

So, I've got a call into Emory to see what their onc says.  WTF.  I'm so sick and tired of sleepless nights, changing opinions, thinking I'm going to die if I don't do chemo (OK, I know that's overreacting, but you all know how it goes) and convincing myself to do it, then I hear, nope, you don't need it.  I could do without this emotional rollercoaster, thank you very much.  Now I'm afraid to NOT have chemo and am paranoid about recurrence.

HELP talk me down off the ledge please!  (LOL, just kidding, but d*mn!) 

Cold caps work! coldcapphotos.shutterfly.com/p... TCH: 4/10 - 6/13/12; 33 rads; BMX w/fat grafting; DX: 7/29/11 @ age 43: Stage 1A on L (3 mm IDC w/ 6 cm DCIS, Gr 2 ER/PR+, HER2+) 0/3 nodes; Stage 0 on R (2 mm DCIS); see bio.
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May 22, 2012 11:59AM dancetrancer wrote:

Thanks vjm! I found out today that chemo has to be delayed one day (several reasons). So I'll kick it's ass tomorrow. LOL!

Cold caps work! coldcapphotos.shutterfly.com/p... TCH: 4/10 - 6/13/12; 33 rads; BMX w/fat grafting; DX: 7/29/11 @ age 43: Stage 1A on L (3 mm IDC w/ 6 cm DCIS, Gr 2 ER/PR+, HER2+) 0/3 nodes; Stage 0 on R (2 mm DCIS); see bio.
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May 24, 2012 10:44AM vjm wrote:

How are you? You are in my thoughts and well-wishes are coming your way. v. xo

Dx 10/28/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 11/29/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 12/28/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/12/2012 Breast Targeted Therapy 4/13/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 4/13/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy
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May 24, 2012 11:03AM dancetrancer wrote:

So far, ok.  Ear ringing is worse today. Frown  Hoping it eases back down like it did before.  Otherwise, it's still steroid day, so expecting the crash tomorrow.  I'm starting my Neupogen way earlier this time - this afternoon.  Hoping that will keep my whites bumped up before my nadir hits next week.  Just watching the reds for now.  They went up a tiny bit yesterday - now 8.9.  

So how are you doing?  How is the joint pain now?  Sending good thoughts your way!  

Cold caps work! coldcapphotos.shutterfly.com/p... TCH: 4/10 - 6/13/12; 33 rads; BMX w/fat grafting; DX: 7/29/11 @ age 43: Stage 1A on L (3 mm IDC w/ 6 cm DCIS, Gr 2 ER/PR+, HER2+) 0/3 nodes; Stage 0 on R (2 mm DCIS); see bio.
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May 25, 2012 10:08AM vjm wrote:

Hi Dancetrancer - my bldwk is good so chemo 3 of 4 a go today. The ringing in your ears must be very annoying - hope you find relief. My knee pain resolved - found a great 'horse balm' made on the island at our local health store that eased the severe ache. Got the house clean last night  on the dex high and feeling pretty strong. Not going to let it kick my butt this time. Hope it's as beautiful where you are as here in Victoria this morning. Appreciate your notes and support. v. xo

Dx 10/28/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 11/29/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 12/28/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/12/2012 Breast Targeted Therapy 4/13/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 4/13/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy
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May 25, 2012 12:49PM dancetrancer wrote:

Hey vjm - so glad to hear your knee pain is resolved - yay!  Wishing you all the best for your treatment today!!!  And minimal side effects post!  I am still doing ok - steroid crash hasn't hit me yet.  Still ear ringing (maybe a touch better today), and a bit of heartburn starting, but nothing horrible as of now.  Weather is beautiful, but kinda hot already here in the South!   I'm enjoying my air conditioning and tending to my wonderful container garden in the mornings when it is cool.  Will check in soon w/ya! 
Cold caps work! coldcapphotos.shutterfly.com/p... TCH: 4/10 - 6/13/12; 33 rads; BMX w/fat grafting; DX: 7/29/11 @ age 43: Stage 1A on L (3 mm IDC w/ 6 cm DCIS, Gr 2 ER/PR+, HER2+) 0/3 nodes; Stage 0 on R (2 mm DCIS); see bio.
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May 25, 2012 09:15PM fluffqueen01 wrote:

Hi guys....DT, RBC was always my worst one for some reason. He had me take an otc iron pill. It seemed to help and also made me feel less lethargic (could have been in my mind though, lol).

I had ear ringing too, athough I didn't notice it when I was out and about during the day Noticed it more in the quiet. To be honest, I still have some but it is pretty light.

Hope your counts stay up, and make sure that if you are tired, just take the time to rest and acknowledge it. It will past. Don't make yourself feel worse by doing too much. I read a lot of books and did a lot of napping and puttering during my three months.

BMX 2/10 w/TE Taxol 12 wkly/herceptin- 1 yr/ Tamoxifen now. TE’s fail/TE’s back in.  Implants 11/11- perky!" tatoo touchup remains. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Plato Targeted Therapy 3/12/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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May 26, 2012 06:36AM dancetrancer wrote:

Thank you so much for the advice fluffqueen!  The ear ringing is definitely worse in quiet situations.  I bought a sound pillow (little speaker system you hook up to your ipod - downloaded some white noise - put it under your pillow) and used it last night.  That, along with 2 other sound machines we already have and a fan in our room, plus a sleeping pill did the trick.  LOL  Hey, I'll use whatever strategy I have to do get some sleep!  It seems a bit better this morning - but I still can't sit quietly on the computer or anything.  Must have the t.v. or something on to distract from the ringing.

I also appreciate the encouragement to take it easy with the low RBC's.  I thought for sure that I'd be one of those gals who would walk/exercise through chemo - supposed to make it so much better, etc., etc.  And I was very fit (danced 1-2 hours straight 4 times a week) prior to bc, so I thought surely I'd do well.  LOL  Chemo had other plans for me!  It's kicking my *ss, and I'm just taking it easy.  My heart rate jumps up too much if I push too hard, and I'm babying this little old heart while my reds are low.  It's already in overdrive trying to get oxygen out to my body!  I will follow your advice and continue to putter and chill out as needed!  Thanks girl!!! 

Cold caps work! coldcapphotos.shutterfly.com/p... TCH: 4/10 - 6/13/12; 33 rads; BMX w/fat grafting; DX: 7/29/11 @ age 43: Stage 1A on L (3 mm IDC w/ 6 cm DCIS, Gr 2 ER/PR+, HER2+) 0/3 nodes; Stage 0 on R (2 mm DCIS); see bio.
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May 26, 2012 07:15AM fluffqueen01 wrote:

When I left chemo and was hopped up on steroids, I woulf immediately go work out. I usually hit the workout the next day. Then for 4 days , I didnt do much. Maybe some walking in the neighborhood, although it was so stinking hot last summer that was pretty miserable. On monday, I felt able to work out again.

I figured three days out of 7 wasnt bad, and even then, if i felt remotely crummy, i loafed. I bought house cleaning deals on living social and groupon, and had the house cleaned several times. Didnt touvh a vacuum for nearly a year, mainly because I was always on arm restrictions.

BMX 2/10 w/TE Taxol 12 wkly/herceptin- 1 yr/ Tamoxifen now. TE’s fail/TE’s back in.  Implants 11/11- perky!" tatoo touchup remains. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Plato Targeted Therapy 3/12/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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May 26, 2012 07:29AM dancetrancer wrote:

LOL fluff, I bought a house cleaning deal on social living and used it a few weeks ago.  First time I've ever had professional cleaners come in.  It was great!  Even though they don't do nearly as good a job as I do, it was a welcome relief to have the bathrooms and floors done! 

Cold caps work! coldcapphotos.shutterfly.com/p... TCH: 4/10 - 6/13/12; 33 rads; BMX w/fat grafting; DX: 7/29/11 @ age 43: Stage 1A on L (3 mm IDC w/ 6 cm DCIS, Gr 2 ER/PR+, HER2+) 0/3 nodes; Stage 0 on R (2 mm DCIS); see bio.
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May 23, 2013 02:27PM flatpikr wrote:

My oncologist recommended no chemo/Herceptin because my IDC was only 2mm and was totally removed in the initial core biopsy.  The surgical excision revealed only 3 sites of DCIS (high grade) 1mm each.  Margins were good, lymph node was negative.  I will start radiation soon and after that go on Tamoxifen.  I think she would have leaned more toward chemo/herceptin if the DCIS had been more extensive.  She did mention that since I went from a normal mammogram to DCIS with a small invasive area in 2 years, that showed the high grade of the DCIS.  I will be checking in with the onc every 3 months for the first 2 or 3 years, so if there is any recurrence we will attack it quickly.

Diagnosed at age 59. Postmenopausal. No family history of breast cancer. Dx 4/9/2013, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 4/19/2013 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 6/13/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 6/27/2013 Breast
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May 23, 2013 03:27PM - edited May 23, 2013 03:29PM by AlaskaAngel

dancetrancer, there really isn't a way you could have known the difference ahead of time. There is such a mixture of experiences from people online, including those who are just talking about their experience with doing hormonal treatment and no chemo or herceptin, and so few post their age that I think each one of us tends to see other people who post as being of the same age range or menopausal status as ourselves at time of diagnosis. I sure didn't think I would have as much physical deterioration as I have had with CAFx6, rads and short-term tamoxifen -- even though I'm probably still doing better than many others are. It is a gradual thing that increases with time and is so hard to really accept or know ahead of time.

A.A.

Dx 12/3/2001, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 1/2/2002 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Chemotherapy 3/11/2002 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil) Radiation Therapy 9/9/2002 Breast Hormonal Therapy 11/14/2002 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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