Apr 21, 2020 08:22PM Beesy_The_Other_One wrote:
Debra, I am so sorry you find yourself in this spot again--truly. You and I are part of a very small group here, being ER-/PR-/HER2+. We are a clear minority! Being HER2+ seems overwhelming at first because the tumors can be quite aggressive, but thanks to Dr. Dennis Slamon, we have a great prognosis and many treatment options!
I did not try to cold cap to save my hair because my tumor was growing like a monster at diagnosis and just needed to get on with it, but if it's something you feel like you have the energy to do, there are threads about cold capping that are quite inspiring. I did ice my hands and feet to avoid neuropathy, and it was worth it to me, as I had none (I can send you more info on this if you're interested). My doctor told me that the effects of TCHP would be cumulative, but that was not the case for me--it was as if my body finally said, "Okay, you're going to poison me--I'm just going to deal with it." What no one warned me about though, and maybe I can warn you: they often give what's called a "loading dose" the first time and it's just like what it sounds like: they blast you with chemo. I was knocked on my you-know-what and both my husband and I thought that if this is going to get worse, would I be standing? Turns out I did better and better with each chemo. I was 56 at diagnosis, and like you, felt vibrant and energetic, but after that first dose, I wasn't sure how this was going to look in three months! I was treated at a major cancer center and they prepared me well and while there were parts that were hard, my post-surgical pathology report showed not one live cancer cell anywhere. High grade cancers like ours do respond well to chemo. I chose a bilateral mastectomy, but this was my second "run-in"---I had a one-off very rare tumor in 1996/1997 and lost half of the right breast then. I knew that both would go this time--I was over it.
I found that reading the Triple Positive thread very helpful, because they discussed issues dealing with being HER2+ since at any one time there aren't enough ER-/PR-/HER2+ ladies to really make up a group. I am sure I have not answered everything you were asking, but try me again--I'm happy to help. You can do this! I really want you to hear hope in my voice! ~ Beesy