Sep 16, 2010 - 12:21 am
I'm new to this forum but not new to bc - I was diagnosed in early May w/invasive ductal carcinoma. I guess you'd call it triple positive; it's ER, PR & HER2 positive. No lymph nodes seemed to be involved except a couple of suspects toward the center of my chest that they don't want to remove.
My tumor was over 5 cm, however,and my oncology team recommended I do chemotherapy with Herceptin first to try & shrink the tumor before surgery. Has anyone else done this same regimen? I'm an A cup on a good day, so didn't have much to work with, and the tumor was actually visible by the time I started treatment w/Taxotere, Carboplatin & Herceptin (T&C every 3 weeks, Herceptin weekly).
I have to say, I was amazed at the effect the meds have had on the tumor. I just finished up chemo# 5 of 6 last Wednesday, and we can't find that tumor by touch at all now. I actually started noticing it shrinking after the first treatment; that sure made any/all chemo side effects seem a lot easier to bear. It was so odd; that tumor grew so big, so fast, then the meds just absolutely knocked it for a loop. I won't know for sure, obviously, just how far gone it is till after treatment #6 & a PET scan, but I'm pretty optimistic.
I've searched through various topics & didn't see anyone else who'd done the surgery after chemo & what their experience was like. I'll start radiation after the surgery; I think 7 weeks' worth.
My side effects have been the usual; my hair thinned out so much by about 10 days after the first treatment i got disgusted & shaved it. I do have baby bird fuzz now, so at least some of it's growing. No nausea, but varying degrees of rash, constipation, diahrrea, numbness, mouth sores, and interestingly, a lot of aching in that breast. Plus fatigue & what i'd describe as a 'tired' heart - probably from anemia & the Herceptin. Oh, and don't get me started on the hot flashes :)
Anyway, I'm really excited to be almost through the chemo & would love to hear from anyone who did surgery after chemo, also more on what i can expect from the radiation. I'm a little nervous about that. Thanks very much for any advice/commiseration/stories you can share!