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HER2 Pos Mom in mid 80s

ktsparkman
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2020

Looking for anyone who has had experience personally or with relative/friend with breast cancer HER2 pos. Mom is 84. Recently had removal of tumor and left breast. Told it was stage 2B, HER2 Pos. She's healthy otherwise and lives on her own. But she is hesitant to go the chemo route. Various options presented including the more agressive Herceptin combined with other chemo meds and radiation, less agressive Herceptin alone, radiation alone or nothing at all. PET scan did not reveal presence of cancer elsewhere. Dr. says it is, however, an agressive form of cancer. Wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and choices that were made. Thank you.

BlownAway60's picture
BlownAway60
Posts: 851
Joined: Nov 2009

I was diagnosed in 2009 with ER+, PR+ and Her2+. I had a 1.5cm lump in my left breast. I had a lumpectomy and my sentinnal lymph node removed. They found a microscopic amount of cancer cells in the one lymph node. Classification was 2A. I had six rounds of chemo. Suffered with terrible diarrhea. Chemo was changed 3 times. (3 rounds of THC, 2 rounds FEC100 and I cannot recall what the last one was) After the 3rd round I was hospitalized with severe dehydration, because of the failure of my doctor and his team to take care of me. I changed Oncologists between my 3rd and 4th chemo rounds. After I finished chemo I had 33 rounds of radiation which included the nodes under my left arm. No problems with radiation. I did not even get a single blister, just a little pink. I used Aloe Vera Gel the entire time. My first 3 rounds included Herceptin in the chemo cocktail the last 3 did not. I also had to have a Neulasta shot with the first 3 rounds, because of the strength of the chemo. I took Herceptin for a total of a year. Herceptin is the drug commonly used to fight Her2+ cancer. Her2 is an agressive form of cancer. I also took Femara for 5 years. Femara blocks your hormones and is given to treat ER+ and PR+ cancer. I have been cancer free since 2010. 

Talk with your doctor about your concerns and if you don't like what you hear don't be afraid to seek a second opinion. You have to consider quality and quantity of life and what is more important to you. I was 59 when I was first diagnosed and I am 70 now. Not sure I would do the chemo again if I had a reoccurance. It was not a very pleasent experience for me. We are all different and how we deal with this disease and how we are treated for this disease is a completely personal experience.

Almost forgot. My Oncotype score is what determined whether or not I would have to take chemo. You might want to check into that as well. The higher the score the more likely the cancer is to return.

 

Hoping for the best for your mom.

Donna

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