Breast cancer-free anniversaries
There are many Mayo Connect members who continue to survive breast cancer and have remained remission free for years. I thought a thread celebrating those deserves its own topic as reading about them encourages all of us.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Breast Cancer Support Group.
I had my first annual post lumpectomy mammogram, ultrasound and physical exam by oncologist and all seems fine. (I do have a small seroma which is self-resolving we think.) I didn't think I was at all worried but the good news was a relief so was likely suppressing some fear?
For those interested, my backstory was a Bad News Biopsy a year ago last week. Followed by the surreal world of surgery, cancer treatment info overload, falling into online cancer research rabbit holes and trying to make wise decisions. [Which I feel, a year later, I did do so consider that my brain was working though those first months are a blur in the rear view mirror of time now.] I had a Stage 1A tumor, ER+, P+, HER2- 9mm tumor (including clean margins of 1+mm) and a clean sentinel node biopsy. I am very grateful that an OncotypeDX test was appropriate and yielded a very low risk of recurrence so ruled out chemo. [I did not have radiation or adjuvant anti-hormone therapy either for personally-specific reasons.]
I hope that others passing cancer milestones along the way check in and share their good news.
I am 8 1/2 years out. I had grade 3, high ki67%, borderline HER2 (eventually negative but close) and lymphovascular invasion- but Oncotype of 8. I had two mastectomies, no radiation or chemo and 5 years of Femara.
I don't know the actual date but it was February 2015.
I don't really like the term "survivor" or the term "cancer-free" since none of us really knows. I was grateful for Femara. Grateful now to be doing well and I think about it less and less but cancer will always be on the back burner of my mind.
I am so happy for both of you.
You had very tiny tumor. Glad that you discovered it early.
Yes, it was discovered early. I missed a 'routine' mammogram because of lockdown and will always wonder if this might have been identified when it was still a stage 0 though instead of invasive but will never know. I was lucky in that Cleveland Clinic found it and the time from routine mammogram, through biopsy and lumpectomy was just a little over two weeks. So we wasted no time once it was identified at least.
@callalloo : All I can say is “ditto”! Same thing, because of COVID I let 18 months go by before routine mammogram. You guessed it: suspicious finding, ultrasound, biopsy, lumpectomy, 4 (negative) lymph nodes removed. I would have to look up all the abbreviations, but in a nutshell 12mm, mostly contained, hormone positive, Onco type 9. So with discussion with oncologist and radiologist’s input I decided against chemo (no question), and radiation (some hesitation, but benefit would be minute, supposedly), but did decide to go on Letrozole. All of this started in May of 2021, so now I’m post 18 months. Saw my oncologist for routine visit yesterday, everything fine. Mammogram and ultrasound at 12 months was fine as well. Seroma 90% gone. And the mental stress and worry has eased up a lot, although the cancer will always be somewhere on my mind. Not obsessing, but more aware of my body in general.
Can you tell me about the seroma being 90% gone? Is that from your subjective perspective (or was there some medical measurement?) Just curious because I am trying to stay on top of the seroma and lymphedema situation myself.
@InLowe70: Seroma: both, subjective and objective. Subjective: it has consistently felt smaller – to me -, and less dense, but still an area I really kept my eye, and my fingers on, to see what’s happening. But quarterly exams by oncologist’s PA confirmed that the seroma has shrunk to almost nothing, just a tiny, soft, mushy area where it used to be. Same as I can feel. But, it was a slow progress over 18 months, and really just something to observe, there’s nothing you can do (maybe? I did not know, nor did I do anything) than be patient, and aware of it. Not sure this helps. Last professional palpitation was at oncologist’s office on schedule yesterday.
@InLowe70: I think initial seroma was about quarter coin size+.
I have a seroma from last year's lumpectomy but neither oncologist nor breast cancer surgeon seem concerned about it. It is small and I can't feel it and I have no discomfort from it.