In April of 2009, I found a lump in my right breast and I knew it was not going to be good, but still could not imagine hearing the word cancer. Within two days of contacting my primary care doctor, I had a mammogram, ultrasound and was scheduled for a needle biopsy. The first step was to try and shrink the tumor before surgery. Hopefully that would make the surgery less invasive. My tumor was 2.89 cm and I was given a stage 2, grade 2 and HER2+ status. The reaction from my first treatment forced an emergency right breast mastectomy. It was the correct decision because the cancer was very active and had spread to one of my lymph nodes. A total of 15 lymph nodes were taken.
After healing from surgery and the drains were removed, I started a 13 week regimen of weekly doses of Herceptin and Taxol. After many issues with the port, all treatments then had to be given through IV in my left arm because of the removal of the lymph nodes on my right side. I then started the four treatments of Neulasta injection a few days following those treatments. My final treatment was a year of Herceptin every three weeks. Once that was completed I was put on a five year therapy drug of Tamoxifen of which I am currently on.
In 2012 I decided to have a mastectomy on my left breast because of some atypical cells. This is when I decided I was ready for breast reconstructive surgery on both breasts. I met with my Doctors and it was decided that Dr. Lieber would do the mastectomy with Dr. Branch doing an immediate insertion of breast expanders. I also chose nipple tattooing and I couldn’t be happier. I am feeling the strongest I have in a long time!