Diagnosis & Treatment Timeline

Although everyone’s diagnosis and treatment will be different, I thought it might be useful to let you know my timings for being diagnosed and the timings for my treatment.

As I mentioned in My Story, I found the lump in the lower part of my right breast one day in the shower but I initially dismissed it as being hormonal changes from being pregnant.  I came across the lump again the next day and thought that this was a sizeable lump that hadn’t been there before so I proceeded to make an appointment with my family doctor just to make sure everything was ok.

Diagnosed

  • March 14, 2017 – Appointment with family doctor after finding lump
  • March 22, 2017 – Diagnostic ultrasound
  • March 23, 2017 – Biopsy
  • March 30, 2017 – Diagnosed with breast cancer

Full diagnosis: Invasive ductal carcinoma, MBR grade 3 of 3, 1.5cm diameter, ER positive, PR positive, HER2 positive.

Treatment

  • April 4, 2017 – Met with Consultant to discuss surgery options
  • April 5, 2017 – Gene test
  • April 11, 2017 – Met with chemotherapy oncologist to discuss treatment options
  • April 12, 2017 – Mammogram and ultrasound to ensure there were no other baddies lurking before I had my surgery
  • April 20, 2017 – Further biopsy (a potential baddie was found…it turned out to be ok though)
  • April 24, 2017 – Met with plastic surgeon as I was considering a double mastectomy and wanted to understand my reconstruction options before I committed to this
  • April 29, 2017 – Sophia was born (following induction)
  • May 10, 2017 – Lymph node mapping test
  • May 11, 2017 – Lumpectomy surgery.  My surgery was originally set for May 4 but was delayed 1 week as my gene test results were not available in time.  This turned out to be a blessing though as I had longer to enjoy being with Sophia as a newborn and I also needed the week to get the swelling in my breasts under control as I had developed mastitis from breast feeding…..argghhhh.  I had 2 lymph nodes and 1 sentinel lymph node removed and all were clear, although the baddie was making its way to my lymph nodes so I caught it just in time.
  • May 29, 2017 – Surgery follow-up.  My surgery had gone well and I was healing very nicely
  • June 21, 2017 – Oncologist consultation before starting chemotherapy
  • June 28, 2017 – First Cardiac MRI.  I had these every 3 months whilst receiving Herceptin treatment as it can affect your heart function.  My heart was splendid throughout treatment though so no concerns there
  • June 30, 2017 – Started Chemo and Herceptin.  I had Chemo every 3 weeks for 4 cycles and Herceptin every 3 weeks for 17 cycles
  • July 20, 2017 – Port-A-Cath surgery (this was the day before my 2nd Chemo)
  • September 15, 2017 – Last Chemo (yippee!!!!!!!)
  • September 28, 2017 – Radiation consultation
  • October 4, 2017 – Started Tamoxifen
  • October 2, 2017 – CT Scan in preparation for radiation treatment.  This was to map out what spots to target with the radiation and to ensure that my lung was avoided as much as possible.  4 small dots were tattooed on my body to mark out the right positioning for the radiation
  • October 17, 2017 – Additional CT Scan for radiation, with one additional tattoo
  • October 19, 2017 – Started radiation.  This was every day for 4 weeks, excluding weekends.  15 sessions were of my right breast and lymph nodes.  5 additional sessions were just of my right breast
  • November 16, 2017 – Last radiation session (yippee!!!!!)
  • January 5, 2018 – Final follow-up with radiation oncologist.  Everything was great – no skin blistering and no issues with my lungs
  • January 23, 2018 – Started physiotherapy at the lymphedema clinic as I had developed a pain in my right arm and no longer had full range of motion of my arm.  This was likely due to a trapped nerve as a result of the radiation treatment.  Nothing a bit of physio couldn’t sort out though!
  • May 18, 2018 – Final physiotherapy session (after 4 sessions); arm back in action again
  • May 23, 2018 – 6 month mammogram (post-radiation)….all clear 😊
  • June 25, 2018 – Final Herceptin treatment.  I can’t believe that has been an entire year of IV treatment.  All done though….yippee!!!!!
  • July 17, 2018 – Surgery to remove Port-A-Cath.  I’m so glad to say goodbye to the lump on my chest (affectionately called my “third nipple”) and all in time for my birthday

The treatment and care I received at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre was outstanding; thank you to all of the doctors and nurses that helped me through my cancer journey.

Xo