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Topic: Merry Christmas to me!

Forum: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) — Just diagnosed, in treatment, or finished treatment for IDC.

Posted on: Jan 6, 2019 04:57PM

peppermintpattie65 wrote:

I was diagnosed with "IDC" on Christmas Eve. I am HER2+ and I am scared. Nothing new to all of you I am sure. I have seen the Oncologist already and he painted a good prognosis but that was before the HER2+ results. I thought I could manage the surgery and radiation and Tamoxifen for 5 years now I hear chemo is in my future? Now I feel like I am a "sick " person. I have an appointment with the surgeon on Wednesday any advice and questions I may miss? My husband is falling apart also.......

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Jan 6, 2019 05:09PM Salamandra wrote:

peppermintpattie65, sending so many good thoughts!!

HER2+ does often mean adding chemo. But it also generally means an *improved* prognosis. Don't look at the older material - there have been major game changer new medications in the last decade that are NOT reflected in older survival rates. Under the new staging guidelines, being HER2+ will often move you to a *lower* stage. If you had a good prognosis before, you probably have an even better prognosis now. The bad news is that you will need more chemical/medical treatment. The good news is that the treatment they have works really really well.

It is weird to be diagnosed with breast cancer when you are feeling perfectly healthy - that's how it was for me - and now I feel incapacitated from the radiation treatment. It's a whole mental and emotional thing to wrap your head around, and try to give yourself as much of a break as you can. It doesn't have to be made sense of right away.

The one thing I wish I had done differently would be to have been more assertive with my doctors and take off of work earlier than I did. Forcing myself to keep going to work when my head and heart were so consumed by the cancer was very bad for my mental health, and it's making it harder for me to go back to work now. It's ok not to be emotionally strong all the time. Listen to your body and take care of yourself as much as your resources allow you to.

Especially since your husband is struggling, now is a great time to reach out to friends. You will be surprised how many people you know either have experienced cancer themselves or close at hand. There are also lots of organizations with social workers you can speak with, and I found that very helpful.

You *can* manage treatment and you *will* manage treatment. In the end, it will be just one day at a time, the same as anything else. It might be hellish or it might be a lot better than you imagine (look through some postings here, some women do much better on chemo than they expected), but it will still be one day at a time.

Hang in there. This is a very difficult thing emotionally. These boards are great and I hope you will find lots of support. Look for threads that match diagnosis - I'm not sure if you are triple positive or ER+/PR-/Her+, but either way there are threads for that. Some partners find help and support here too, so encourage your husband to join if you think that might be useful for him.

You will manage this Heart

Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9. Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/17/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/3/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 7, 2019 01:28AM Meow13 wrote:

There is alot of promise with her2 positive cancer treatment. Even vaccines are being tested. Also fast growing cancers are often the ones that respond the best to treatment. You will probably be offered herceptin. If you are er+ pr- you may want to ask about AI drugs even if you are currently premenopausal.

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Jan 7, 2019 07:25AM Ingerp wrote:

As Salamandra said, I was told HER2+ tumors are faster growing but also have a better outcome, specifically because of Herceptin. It's actually a good thing because we have a really good drug in our arsenal. For some reason I thought I'd escape chemo this time too, but you'll find lots of support/hand-holding here. Poke around a few of the threads that pop up every month for women starting chemo, plus a month or two ahead of yours. Bottom line is this is just a blip that you'll get past. FWIW, I only took half days off of work when I actually had treatment. I think not working would have been tougher on me--it's a great distraction.

Dx 3/11/2016, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/23/2016 Lumpectomy Surgery 4/20/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/18/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/13/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 5/18/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/18/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/20/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Jan 10, 2019 01:34PM Newman2018 wrote:

Dear PeppermintPattie65;

I was also diagnosed right before Christmas :( . Sending so many positive thoughts your way. Currently I am waiting for test results and it's hard!!! I haven't met with any oncologists yet just the surgeons. I'll post separately asking for advice on that!  Thinking of you and your family.

Dx 12/14/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Jan 11, 2019 01:04AM jo6359 wrote:

peppermint patty and newman- I also was diagnosed with breast cancer mid December 2017. I am hormone negative and her2-positive. I had surgery first then chemo, then rads and throughout it I had herceptin and perjeta every 3 weeks. I will finish my last treatment in two weeks. Each of us are different. I worked throughout chemo. I exercised almost every day. I ran 5 K's on the weekend. I traveled. There are many things you can do. people do react to chemo differently. I never thought about not working because I needed to work both financially and emotionally. Exercise kept me sane during the process. I was never sick prior to dx. I feel terrific now. I'm scheduled to climb 32 flights of stairs Saturday morning. I have a 10K scheduled for next Saturday. Chemo isn't fun but it is doable. The support on these threads are wonderful. Hang in there.

Dx 1/29/2018, DCIS, Right, Stage 0 Dx 1/29/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/18 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Targeted Therapy 2/16/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 2/16/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/16/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)

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