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Greetings everyone! I have a question...

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RyB1984 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jul 22 2016 at 9:08am
Hello everyone!

I am new to this forum and have been visiting this discussion forum for a few months now since my mom was diagnosed in March.

My mom, age 64, was diagnosed with Stage 2A, 2.4 cm, Grade 3, apparently no nodes involved and has not spread anywhere in the body w/ TNBC.
All doctors say that it's treatable and curable. they kept saying over and over when we met the oncologist, surgeon, radiation people etc.
They did explain that on the pet scan or MRI, the tumor was deep and at first was concerned that it was touching a muscle. Luckily enough, we got results back right away and the cancer was not touching anything. I couldn't sleep for days and I was worried all the time. My mom on the other hand.....WOW....it's amazing the strength she has and she has had not 1 DAY where she let this cancer get to her mentality. She, RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING, said that she will beat this. Her mother (my grandmother, passed away on Christmas day in 1983 from breast cancer, 3 months before I was born), and her niece is a TNBC survivor (diagnosed in 2006, 10 year survivor now this year so she's good), she has 4 other sisters and none have been diagnosed.

They started her off with neoadjuvant chemo first w/ AC (the red devil) and it did take a toll on her to some degree. She beasted that chemo. Minor vomiting, obviously hair loss, fatigued but at times, she did continue her tennis(forgot to mention she is a tennis player)

She completed her 4 AC chemotherapy and she is now on Taxol. she has about 5 more treatments before her surgery in Sept. She goes for a BRCA testing in early August, doctor's believe she strongly believe she is negative and they are going to do a lumpectomu, but will re-assess if she positive and consider a mastectomy w/ reconstruction. The surgeon did an exam this past Monday on the breast and they can't even feel the tumor. She said that, we need to do an MRI in September to see if there is anything left, IF ANYTHING, as there may not be anything left.....YESSS!!!

Here's where things just kinda slowed down a little bit...
Just just just last week, she developed a cough and she had chemo last week and did well. However, last Friday, when she went for hydration, the nurses were concerned due to the cough and the nurse practioner right away wanted to do an x-ray on her chest.

They checked it out and had a dr review, they said that it's not tumor related and hasn't spread but now this week, they didn't administer her chemo this past wednesday and want to do tests on her heart and lungs. they believe there is some inflammation in the lungs due to the chemo. I'm starting to worry again....

My question is any other fighters/survivors experience a cough during chemo treatments or any inflammation in the lungs? Doctors have all been very satisfied w/ how she has been handling the chemo but god knows, we don't wanna see issues when she is ALMOST DONE w/ chemo. It's quite frustrating. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much. I'm willing to lift heaven and earth to make sure my mom stays on this earth because she wants to get back to her life and continue living a normal, happy healthy life.
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Hi RyB1984,

I'm happy to hear that your mom has been faring relatively well during her chemo treatments. She sounds like a real fighter! AC can indeed affect the heart and so that is why your mom's nurses and doctors might want to check it out. It's very good that she's monitored closely. I myself also had a cough mid-May, about 3 months after finishing radio, and about mid-way through the oral chemo treatment I was getting as prophylaxis (Xeloda). My oncologist freaked me out when he asked for an x-ray and when he then said there was some inflammation in my lungs! However, he said it was probably due to the radiotherapy and ordered some antibiotics.The cough went away and I'm ok now. I don't think it's abnormal to have weird side effects such as inflammation here and there but I think it's great when we can get doctors that are vigilant enough to have these things checked out (even though it is scary for us!). Hang in there!
Dx at 31 yrs-old 06/03/15; left IDC 1.6 cm; Chemo 28/04/15: 12 weekly Taxol then 4 AC; Lx with SNB 24/11/15; no PCR: 3 mm residual; 20 Rads 20/01-17/02/16. 8 cycles of Capecitabine started 04/01/16.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RyB1984 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 22 2016 at 8:32pm
Thank you very much for the reply.

Mom came home today w/ good news. Nothing is growing in the lungs and no evidence of anything actually. She met w/ a pulmonary specialist and there is no embolism in the lungs or anything like that. They believe it's actually the chemo itself. Seems as though it may be too toxic for her and they may need to switch the chemo altogether. She will be talking w/ the oncologist on Monday and there is a meeting on wednesday which I will be present at as well to discuss another chemo to be used as she has 5-6 treatments left before 09/27/16 of a surgery date.

It means a lot from your reply and I just want you to know, you have been added to my prayer list. I will continue to pray for you as well as my mom and all the survivors and fighters.

I thank you so very much!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gordon15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 24 2016 at 4:55pm
Ry: it's great you are taking so good care of you Mom. My wife has had lots of chemo, but she didn't have lung probs, but I know it can cause that. It kinda ruined her digestive tract, but that's another topic.

In her last radiation, they said it exposes the top outer portion of the lung, while irradiating the lymph nodes in the clavicle area, this was after a single mastectomy and Taxol treatments, so she had 2 weeks where she had mild shortness of breath, but it disappeared, like they said it would, fyi in the future perhaps...

Wishing your Mom the best, and you too........


wife: IDC/Lobular Stage2B 2008 lumpectomy/TAC+rads
TNBC Stage 3A/w/metaplastic/squamous Nov2015 Carboplatin-Gemzar chemo/masectomy Taxolchemo+rads 4-16
PET scan stable 9-2016/ 1-2017
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jacklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 25 2016 at 9:30am
Hi Ry, welcome to the forum. Glad you found us but sorry you had to find us. Very glad that your Mom is doing better and that there was nothing else within her lungs. I also had issues with my lungs during A/C treatment - turns out I had pneumonia and an embolism. Apparently the embolism was a result of the chemo as my blood was 'stickier'.  I am significantly better now but still have a lagging cough which could also be from the radiation treatment I just finished. Sounds like you have good and thorough doctors for your Mom. Glad you're there to support her as well. It is a rough journey and I wish you all the best. Know that if you have any questions, please feel free to ask here. Take care, of both of you.
Dx: Nov. 27/15, TNBC, left breast & lymph, BRCA -; Chemo: Dec 4/15 - Mar 4/16; 4 DD A/C, 3 DD Taxol; BMX/ALND: April 26/16; Stage 3C; Radiation: June 10-July 15/16; 1 cycle Xeloda: Aug 15 - 28/16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RyB1984 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 25 2016 at 6:31pm
Hello everyone!

Thank you to the responses and help/advice. It is sincerely appreciated.

We just got an update today.
The oncologist called our house today while I was outside doing some landscaping and my mother advised me that they are going to stop the Taxol altogether now. I believe she has completed 5-6 treatments and had 5-6 more to go. But now.....she will no longer continue chemo. It looks as though whatever the chemo caused whatever in the lungs......it is reversible! Which is excellent.....

The oncologist stated that they are cutting chemo short and she's going to do research to see if there is any other chemos for her specific tumor.
As of right now.....surgery....seems to be coming now....and FAST. It looks as though from what she told my mother, they would like to do surgery and as soon as possible. August 1st is the BRCA gene test and we will find out sthe urgery date this week.

Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions. She's reacted just fine while I'm traveling this rollercoaster of feelings. I am a bit concerned that they are stopping chemo altogether. I asked her is there something that they are concerned about to where they are now moving the surgery up so fast and want to do it ASAP? don't get me wrong..... i am actually excited that they going to go in and grab this mutha you know what....but I can't help but be a little nervous that something may be wrong. This coming Friday, they are doing an MRI on the breast to see what's left. The team of Doctors do not seem concerned at all....except on the most important thing....how she's feeling and they told her they loved her.

I asked my mother if this was something that the oncologist has seen before and apparently, she had another patient go thru the exact same thing, where they had to stop the taxol halfway to do surgery and she was fine. Apparently, the taxol has a 5% benefit to her. She got half, so i'm thinking at least she got half of it than nothing for the 2nd chemo.

I won't lie.... i worry....a bit too much and i'm too young to be worrying lol. but with good reason though.

I am wondering if anyone else has been thru something like this where the 2nd chemo was cut short and surgery was completed shortly afterwards.

Thank you ALL again!!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gordon15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 26 2016 at 3:02pm
Ry: it sounds like you have a good team of doctors. Since I have been coming on this forum I have read many adverse reactions to Taxol, and other chemo. 5% benefit is within all the research I have done.
 
Don't know how old your mother is...

My wife is over 60, fyi, I've talked to 5 oncologists since 2008, and they do not place a high priority on gene results over 60 y/o, they want to deal with the immediate- removing the bulk of the cancer, after chemo before surgery if/is tried. They did test for (7) genetic mutations and also androgen receptors/ all came out negative)


Hoping you get more answers after MRI, let us know ok?


Edited by gordon15 - Jul 27 2016 at 7:59am
wife: IDC/Lobular Stage2B 2008 lumpectomy/TAC+rads
TNBC Stage 3A/w/metaplastic/squamous Nov2015 Carboplatin-Gemzar chemo/masectomy Taxolchemo+rads 4-16
PET scan stable 9-2016/ 1-2017
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jacklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 26 2016 at 7:29pm
RyB1984, seems the similarities continue... I also had to stop taxol treatment before completing the full course and then went on to have surgery 7 weeks later. Ideally, surgery 4 weeks post-chemo would have been better, but we couldn't get an operating room and my surgeon had a 2 week holiday scheduled. My surgeon was able to get clean margins despite the delay and I then went on to 25 radiation treatments. 

I appreciate your honesty in sharing how you feel. Your Mom, even though she looks like she isn't, is also riding the roller coaster of emotions. For me, as a mother, I didn't share those deep feelings with my children, only my husband knew/knows exactly where I was at. I wanted to continue being a mom to my (grown) children and that meant providing a shoulder for them to cry on, an ear to listen as they shared their thoughts and fears about my diagnosis or a hug whenever they needed, just be their mom. 

Oncologists are studied doctors, they have knowledge to help your Mom in the best way possible and will look after her. We all struggle with the sense that something's wrong so what you're feeling is normal. Perhaps you could accompany your Mom to the next appointment with the oncologist so that you could ask your questions and settle your mind? Has the cancer centre offered for your family to see a social worker? They can help you process all you are feeling, which is a lot. Learning that someone we love has cancer is scary and frightening, but it's important to acknowledge that and get the support so that you won't live in fear. Living in fear causes us to miss the opportunity to live the moment we have right now.  

Hopefully what I've written here helps. Keep asking questions, share your concerns or vent. We're here to support you as best we can. Keep us posted on how things are going, ok? 
Dx: Nov. 27/15, TNBC, left breast & lymph, BRCA -; Chemo: Dec 4/15 - Mar 4/16; 4 DD A/C, 3 DD Taxol; BMX/ALND: April 26/16; Stage 3C; Radiation: June 10-July 15/16; 1 cycle Xeloda: Aug 15 - 28/16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RyB1984 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 27 2016 at 12:09pm
Hello Everyone!

Thank you both for responding to my reply a day or two ago.
I am attending the meeting w/ the oncologist today w/ my mom and aunt.
I appreciate all of your kind words and I will keep you updated after this week is completed as Friday is the day she goes for the MRI to see what is left in regards to the Tumor (or if there is anything left)

i'm hoping we get a surgery date soon as today marks 2 weeks since she has had any chemo. I'm going to bring up that question in regards to not going anymore than 30 days since chemo to start surgery this afternoon!

Prayers up!

Be back soon!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RyB1984 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 01 2016 at 1:47pm
Hi Guys!

So last week, we had the meeting and the oncologist strongly believed that no more chemo is needed at this time. She states that even though that chemo has stopped, it does take the chemo time to get out of her system, meaning that the chemo is still fighting the tumor. The overseeing Dr and Oncologist also did an exam on her and still....nothing. They can't feel the tumor and nothing has showed warning signs or anything they are worried about. They truly believed that the MRI will really show how much of the tumor is left OR if there is anything left. It's really all about surgery time now! this coming Wednesday is 3 weeks since she had chemo and they stated that it's typically about 4-5 weeks before the surgery will happen.....so that means its gonna happen VERY soon. But...of course...the surgeon has a 2 week vacation coming... of course that has to happen at this time. I'm hopeful they can get her in ASAP first before she leaves.
She did go for the MRI this past Friday and I'm just hoping we can get the result of that ASAP. Prayers up that its either VERY MINIMAL or nothing left!!!

My mom was a little concerned as this is a period where she's not having any chemo and the oncologist stated that she will seek a second opinion as my mom was bringing it up several times during the meeting. I have really come to enjoy this oncologist and they really are keeping an eye on her.

Today....she is (as we speak) getting tested for the BRCA gene and hopefully by the end of this week, we will have the result of the MRI.


Prayers, prayers prayers up! I am remaining hopeful as this month is the month of surgery (also that I will be there for surgery w/ her as there is now a possibility I will be on the west coast for vacation) and the beginning of hopefully being cancer-free!


I will be back later this week with hopefully good news. Thank you everyone!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gordon15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 01 2016 at 5:24pm
Ry: Great to hear from you. My wife had chemo before surgery ("neoadjuvant") sorry if bad spelling... and after, she had to wait almost 8 weeks (2 months) for single masectomy and lymph nodes excision, because one of the team from her surgeon was on vacation. We don't dwell on what 2-3 weeks might mean, in hindsight.

Some bumps- in -the- road need to be accepted.

Yes, the chemo continues to work. (it has a duration, but I'm not an expert on how long)

Having a good oncologist is soooo great. One that you trust and is straight-forward and not wishie-washie.




Edited by gordon15 - Aug 01 2016 at 10:03pm
wife: IDC/Lobular Stage2B 2008 lumpectomy/TAC+rads
TNBC Stage 3A/w/metaplastic/squamous Nov2015 Carboplatin-Gemzar chemo/masectomy Taxolchemo+rads 4-16
PET scan stable 9-2016/ 1-2017
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RyB1984 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 03 2016 at 4:37pm
So...... I have a major update.

We got the results from the MRI today. I accidentally called during the appt and my mom put me on speakerphone.

The DR. said "hiii how are you" and i said, "hi dr. im good and yourself" and she said "im going good. So we examined the MRI and the Mass is.....COMPLETELY ALL GONE."

I let out the biggest LOUDEST YESSSSSSSSSSS in my entire office and jumped out of my seat. Everyone looked at me and i said, "ummm let me get off this phone cuz i look like a fool." they laughed and i hung up and i announced in my office, THE CANCER IS ALLLLL GONE!!!!!!

I couldn't wait to get home to my mother and hug her. She's getting a glass of champagne tonight!!!

Surgery date is 08/30/16 & BRCA gene test was done today!!!


thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you ALLLLLL for your prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jacklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 03 2016 at 4:52pm
Awesome news, congratulations!!!!HugThumbs UpClap
Dx: Nov. 27/15, TNBC, left breast & lymph, BRCA -; Chemo: Dec 4/15 - Mar 4/16; 4 DD A/C, 3 DD Taxol; BMX/ALND: April 26/16; Stage 3C; Radiation: June 10-July 15/16; 1 cycle Xeloda: Aug 15 - 28/16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gordon15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 04 2016 at 5:55pm
Great news.
Perhaps she can get by without radiation, ? Surgery end of month is certainly a schedule that is "soon" by most standards, so that gives her time to heal after chemo and get her bloodcell count up also, keep us informed, ok?






Edited by gordon15 - Aug 05 2016 at 1:45am
wife: IDC/Lobular Stage2B 2008 lumpectomy/TAC+rads
TNBC Stage 3A/w/metaplastic/squamous Nov2015 Carboplatin-Gemzar chemo/masectomy Taxolchemo+rads 4-16
PET scan stable 9-2016/ 1-2017
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cavitybug101 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 06 2016 at 11:03am
I just had my MRI done after chemo treatment. My cancer mass is gone but the lymph nodes in my arm pit are still there. The surgeon stated I can a nucular device place in my breast to see if the lymph nodes in my arm pit all need to come out and witch ones. Has anyone else had this done? And was it helpful.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gordon15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 06 2016 at 6:50pm
It's called a Sentinel Node Biopsy (SNB)(unless you mean something else?) My wife's had 2 of those.

My wife got lymphedema in 2008 after they took I think 7 nodes out, recent studies show it's often unnecessary to remove them all and risks getting lymphedema, you should ask about this, but it is an amazing medicine, nuclear medicine since they can target a smaller incision and know right where the lymph nodes in question are.


Edited by gordon15 - Aug 06 2016 at 8:41pm
wife: IDC/Lobular Stage2B 2008 lumpectomy/TAC+rads
TNBC Stage 3A/w/metaplastic/squamous Nov2015 Carboplatin-Gemzar chemo/masectomy Taxolchemo+rads 4-16
PET scan stable 9-2016/ 1-2017
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cavitybug101 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 07 2016 at 11:50am
Thanks so much for the info. Thinking I will do the nuclear substance to see what lymph nodes need to be removed in my armpit vs removing everything in armpit (lymph nodes)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gordon15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 07 2016 at 1:43pm
I find it a little disturbing you are indicating the surgeon is giving you a CHOICE as to have sentinel node biopsy vs node resection(I think it's called) I thought that was old-school.
Maybe I misunderstood you.
The SNB is not painful, they numb for the shot, of course it wasn't my breast so that's easy to say, but I was with my wife. The radioactive dye, after you sit for an hour, shows them on a special imaging machine where the lymph flows first (sentinel node) allowing the surgeon to pinpoint the location, plus when they remove it(them) they are blue-dyed. The half-life of the radioactive is only about an hour, I think they said only about 30 min after procedure in your body, don't quote me on this, it's pretty amazing modern medicine.
My wife's surgeon showed me in pre-op the copy of the imaging, showed (2) not just one lighting-up. The oncologist had told me "she will remove all of the nodes that look abnormal" We already knew from a PET/CT scan at least 4 were abnormal, one was over 1cm large, most lymph nodes at .5cm or less, plus the MRI showed the fatty hypia around the nodes (3-4) was gone, which is a dead-giveaway they look for for cancer, the cancer takes over it. Plus her onco, surgeon, and radio-oncologist all did physical exams, confirming they could feel enlarged nodes in the armpit, the radio-oncologist (he's the radiologist but also higher-up) felt 4, not 3, and he turned out to be right.

She ended up removing 5 nodes, I assume all of the first line of nodes, and the pathology report showed "evidence of necrosis due to neoadjuvant chemotherapy" in 3-4, but they don't come right out and say the chemo killed cancer that was there. They say pathological complete response. pCR



Edited by gordon15 - Aug 07 2016 at 1:56pm
wife: IDC/Lobular Stage2B 2008 lumpectomy/TAC+rads
TNBC Stage 3A/w/metaplastic/squamous Nov2015 Carboplatin-Gemzar chemo/masectomy Taxolchemo+rads 4-16
PET scan stable 9-2016/ 1-2017
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RyB1984 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 07 2016 at 5:27pm
Thank you all for the prayers. I will keep you updated as things go. She just saw the pulmonary specialist a few days ago and her oxygen level went up so they are changing her dosage on the steroids so that they can ween her off.

she has pre-op on august 24th, then take some kind of nuclear test the morning of august 30th which is the same day as the surgery.
No one is ever ready for surgery but im hoping all goes well. Unfortunately, I will be out of town for the surgery ....

keeping you all prayers!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gordon15 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 07 2016 at 6:45pm
Thanks for the update , these modern day surgeons are amazing, any complications worry you please ask.....ok?


Edited by gordon15 - Aug 07 2016 at 6:47pm
wife: IDC/Lobular Stage2B 2008 lumpectomy/TAC+rads
TNBC Stage 3A/w/metaplastic/squamous Nov2015 Carboplatin-Gemzar chemo/masectomy Taxolchemo+rads 4-16
PET scan stable 9-2016/ 1-2017
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