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.
- 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.
- 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.