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Aug 14, 2019 08:19PM
It's pretty impressive that you ran a marathon with undiagnosed breast cancer; I had a friend tell me just yesterday over lunch that she was in the best shape of her life at the time of her diagnosis. What amazes me always is that few of us have any sense of the monster that has invaded our bodies--I surely didn't!
My tumor was behaving very aggressively right after diagnosis and an MRI showed that it had invaded the nipple two weeks after the 1.5 cm biopsy measurement. So in two weeks it had more than tripled in size, at least in one of the three dimensions measured. I had chosen BMX to avoid radiation but suddenly I qualified for Perjeta AND radiation! I had the best result possible, a complete response, as you did. I was bothered by the fact that even before I had surgery, I started my 7th cycle and it was Herceptin only, so I asked why, when my MO didn't know I'd had a pCR? When I inquired, as I remember, he pointed me to the Tryphaena Trial as the reason he did not continue Perjeta.
My MO felt that given the aggressiveness of the tumor (not unusual for HER2+), he "didn't want me to quit now." I believe that oncologists are really working to not over-treat in this day and time, but if there's some factor that is of great concern, they will be more aggressive. In your case, you are young and they want you to live a long time and in my case, the fact that it got to the nipple, it changed the game. Unlike our ER+ sisters, even though they suffer with estrogen suppression, they have more options than we do if our treatments do not succeed.
I had six weeks of radiation, with five boosts. Like MinusTwo (best username ever!), I found it to be the easiest part of my year's worth of treatment. Sure, I was lobster red (even the rad techs winced daily) because I'm very fair skinned, but it was not accompanied with the pain of a sunburn. I wanted to know I'd done all I could and all that was recommended.
Today I had my last Herceptin. One year ago, it was hard to imagine where I'd be and how I'd be feeling at this point (or in my darker moments, would I be alive?). Sure, I look like Dash from the Incredibles, but I'm very much alive and not wearing a wig! I can live with that, even if my hair is growing at a snail's pace. Next up: Nerlynx.
1997: Phyllodes, R breast. 2018: IDC, L breast. TCHP, BMX, Radiation, Nerlynx.
8/20/2018, IDC, Left, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC)