How it was Found
I was taking a shower, I lifted my arms up and began a self examination. I noticed a tiny marble like lump in the lower/middle section of my left breast. It was soft, pliable and seemed to move when I touched it. There were no other noticeable signs at the time.
After an ultrasound, several mammograms and two needle biopsies (one of the lump, one of a nearby lymph node) I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
What was Found
My pathology came back as Stage 2A, Grade 3 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. The tumor was 2.7cm (which is what placed me in Stage 2). The grade 3 meant it was rapidly growing and was the highest of the scores available. The lymph node came back as negative. I was hormone (ER/PR) and HER2 positive.
The treatment Plan
I underwent fertility treatments for 2 weeks followed by egg retrieval. I have ten eggs currently frozen and stored. I then went through 6 rounds of Taxol, Carboplatin, Herceptin and Perjeta treaments. Afterwards, I continued Perjeta and Herceptin for an additional 5 treatments and then simply Herceptin for a total of 18 treatments. I completed Herceptin in December 2017.
I am on hormonal blockers which began with Lupron and Letrozole. After severe joint pain I was switched to Arimidex and Lupron and the joint pain subsided. However, given the harsh side effects of forced menopause, my oncologist has switched to Tamoxifen which I will start soon (and no longer take the other medicines).
I had a bilateral nipple sparing mastectomy in May 2017, followed by implant reconstruction in Sept 2017. I have 560cc Natrelle high profile, round, silicone implants.
I had a pathologic complete response to treatment and was declared No Evidence of Disease in May 2017. My surgeon doesn't use the "cancer free" words until her patients hit the 5 year mark.