In early May 2011 when I was 41 years old I had my second mammogram (my first was a baseline in my late 30s). I was called back after calcifications were found. I wasn't too concerned at first but after a stereotactic biopsy I was diagnosed with DCIS in May 2011. At that time I was in total shock and couldn't believe this was happening to me.
I had a lumpectomy and 2 re-excisions in order to get clear margins. After the surgery I had 24 radiation treatments (19 full breast and five boosts). I was finished with treatment by October 2011. It was a long 5 months!
In May 2013 a suspicious mass was found on an ultrasound (after a normal Mammogram in February 2013) and the biopsy revealed that it was IDC 0.7 cm as well as some DCIS (all on the same side as in 2011).
In June 2013 I had a bilateral mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction at St. Charles Surgical Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana (Center for Restorative Breast Surgery). I am so grateful to my boyfriend who took the trip with me and helped me through the surgery and recovery (my parents weren't physically up to the trip). The hospital and staff were wonderful! I still think of the nurses during my days at the hospital and smile because they were so amazing.
As I was recovering from reconstruction I had to make decisions about having ALND (lymph node dissection because 0.3mm micromet was found in the sentinel node) and if I should have chemo. My oncologist ordered the Oncotype DX test and my Oncotype score was 13 so she said chemo would not benefit me in my particular case and I started taking Tamoxifen on September 1st.
During October 2013 I found two very small lumps on the affected side. I had an MRI which came back normal so I didn't worry about it for a while. In January 2014 the lumps got a little larger and I had a biopsy on the larger lump. It was positive for cancer so I had both of them removed during late January 2014 with good margins.
The pathology report showed that they were both small (0.4 and 0.6 cm) ER+PR+HER2- tumors. My oncologist decided that due to this being a second recurrence and that these tumors looked a little more aggressive I should consider chemo and radiation. I also consulted with the radiation oncologist and I will start radiation after I finish chemotherapy. It is not very common to have radiation a second time but we believe it will benefit me in my case.
I went off the Tamoxifen and started TC (Taxotere and Cytoxan chemotherapy on February 28, 2014. So far the treatment is very doable although I need a lot of extra rest.
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