Connie

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"I never thought I'd want two painful shots for another 30 years, but the alternative is bad."

 

When I had my 2015 mammogram, I had additional images taken and nothing was found, but I was told to do another in six months. At my 6 month mammogram, a small calcification was detected, so a biopsy was performed, which was determined to be cancerous. Since not all the cancer was removed I was sent for a breast MRI. The breast MRI found a second spot, unseen on the mammogram! Now I was told I needed a left mastectomy, but I opted for bilateral. Both spots on the left were about 2 cm. No lump was ever felt, not even by the surgeon or her assistant. After the mastectomy was biopsied, a third spot of DCIS was found in my right breast. Even at that point none of my doctors thought it had spread. My oncologist told me if it were in my bones, my ALP blood work would show it. But, because he wanted to be thorough, he ordered x-rays and CT scans because I mentioned my sacrum was sore. X-rays came back great, no issues. But, the CT scan showed it – diffuse lytic lesions throughout my spine, sacrum, pelvis. Wouldn’t you know it, my very next blood test showed my ALP was skyrocketing!

Later, another PET scan found breast cancer throughout my spine, sacrum, pelvis, femoral heads, ribs, scapula, sternum, and tibia. Three months of Abraxas and I was feeling good, tumor markers down, then suddenly sharp back pain – three fractured vertebrae. My bones are so delicate. I had kyphoplasty, but my back hasn’t been the same since. I frequently take pain pills if I want to do anything, but I hate taking them. I’m on hormonal treatment now, two shots of Fulvestrant to my hips every month of my life until it stops working.

I never thought I’d want two painful shots for another 30 years, but the alternative is bad. At least right now it is, unless there’s more research that produces a cure or less toxic treatments. Also, the reality is, that most hormonal treatments stop working after a couple of years, so my hope of 30 years is wildly unrealistic, I know.