I’m thankful that people take the time to ask questions and want to hear about my experience, but it can feel a bit exhausting answering the same questions during stream. So I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions! I’m pretty much an open book, within reason, so if you still have a question not on here, feel free to ask.
How are you feeling?
Right now, during the period between diagnosis and awaiting chemotherapy, I’m doing okay.
Physically, I’m not in any pain other than the occasional soreness where my tumor is located – if it wasn’t for that, I would’ve thought I was perfectly healthy! But I know this will change as I start and progress through treatment.
Emotionally, it can vary. Some days its easy to just crack on with my day and not even think about it. Other days I find myself endless scrolling through forums, watching videos from other breast cancer survivors to prepare myself for what life will be like going forward. Its hard to focus on “one step at a time”, thinking about all the “what if” scenarios, and making tough decisions about my health based on probabilities. The worst is knowing that even after chemo, surgery, radiation and everything is perfect, there is always the possibility of re-occurrence – all I can really do is try to lower my risk by long term treatments that have various side effects. It’s a shit situation but I have a wonderful supportive community and loving husband, I’ll get through it!
So yeah, I’m doing okay ❤️
How did you find the lump?
I woke up in the middle of the night to a sore spot in my left breast and felt a hard circular lump. It’s much more palpable to me laying down than standing up. A quick Google search said breast cancer isn’t typically associated with pain and would more likely be a cyst or fibroadenoma. Dan suggested I still get it checked out and after recently experiencing the loss of a friend to Stage IV lung cancer, I scheduled an appointment with my local GP for peace of mind and thankful I did.
What kind of cancer do you have?
The current diagnosis is 2cm x 2cm Grade 2/3 Ductal Carcinoma, Oestrogen Positive (8/8), Progesterone Positive (8/8), HER2 Positive – Triple Positive Breast Cancer, which is highly reactive to hormones. It has spread to at least one lymph node, so we think its probably at least Stage 2 but won’t know for certain until we receive a pathology report after surgery in early 2024.
What is your current treatment plan?
1. Chemotherapy to target and kill cancer cells:
I’ll be doing EC THP Chemotherapy for a total of 7 sessions, 1 every 3 weeks.
3 sessions of Epirubicin & Cyclophosphamide
4 sessions of Docetaxel and Pertuzumab & Trastuzumab (Phesgo) as a shot
2. Surgery to remove the cancer cells in the breast & lymph node:
My doctor is currently suggesting a lumpectomy but I’m leaning towards a double mastectomy as a preventative measure and for the sake of my mental health.
3. Radiotherapy to clean up any stray cancer cells:
Not everyone needs this, but will be necessary for me since I had lymph node involvement. The amount of sessions will be determined after the surgery.
4. Hormone Therapy to reduce the risk of re-occurence:
I’ll continue receiving the Phesgo shot for up to a year and taking Tamoxifen pill for 10 years to block tumor cells from receiving estrogen.
Have you had genetic testing done?
After receiving my diagnosis, I agreed to have blood samples tested for the BRCA and PALB2 gene mutations. These increase the risk for cancers such as breast, ovarian, and pancreatic so a positive result would mean additional surgeries would need to be considered. It takes 6 weeks for results so I’ll hopefully know by mid October 2023.
Do you have a family history of breast cancer?
My grandmother and great grandmother have had breast cancer and my aunt passed from pancreatic cancer. So I probably have a higher risk of cancer due to genes 🙃
How can I help?
Being in the stream, being part of the community – it helps me keep my mind off the whole situation ❤️
If you want to help support by giving money towards care costs like fuel for appointments, groceries, cute accessories when I’m a bald egg you can donate to my Paypal or StreamElements.
Last updated: September 22, 2023