My journey with cancer began in 1996 at the age of 31.
(mastectomies, adriamycin, Cytoxan, FU-5, reconstruction)
In 2001, I was put on antibiotics for 6 months. My doctor didn’t believe the large lump above my left collarbone was cancer, because it began in my right breast. Finally a biopsy was performed in 2002. The surgeon sewed me up and told my family it had metastasized and there was nothing he could do. My oncologist luckily thought differently.
Herceptin was new on the market and I was HER2+ and hormone -.
(Taxotere, Zometa, Herceptin, 30 days of radiation)
I stopped Taxotere after a year and continued Zometa for a few years, and Herceptin until 2013. I consulted three oncologists, including one from Moffitt Cancer in Tampa. All suggested I stop and was deemed cancer free. There are no studies to support information on stopping Herceptin so they merely guessed. Within 6 months my right breast swelled almost twice the size almost overnight. I went to the ER. They did nothing and told me to consult my oncologist. I had a PET scan but didn’t have a follow up appointment. I called the office for results and was told by the nurse my scan was fine. I went for my check up months later and found out my scan was actually not clear. I immediately called Moffitt.
(needle biopsy, set up for surgery to drain excess fluid, replace 20 year old implants)
I was told after surgery they drained over a liter of “chunky” blood out of my right breast. There was cancer throughout the blood and inside the capsule my body made around the implant, and behind my breastbone. My Moffitt surgeons said they have never seen anything like this.
(Taxotere for 6 months, Herceptin, Perjeta for life)
So now, 22 years after my first diagnosis, 15 years of Herceptin, and 6 years on Perjeta,
I read my latest PET scan which shows no active metastatic disease. In 2002 I was on Zometa because of cancer spots in my spine and hip bones, but stopped after a few years because it caused many health issues. New “pitting” shows in my bones where cancer grew then went dormant.
I’m a fighter, but having Hashimoto’s on top of all this … I’m tired… really tired.
Survivor, warrior and worn down