Treatment & Diagnosis


Primary Diagnosis

1st June 2012 – Diagnosed with Primary breast cancer: Stage 2B Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (ER+ PR+ HER2-)

Treatment

21st June 2012 – started 1st of 6 cycles of FEC chemotherapy

3oth October 2012 – Sentinel node biopsy: nodes all clear

20th November 2012 – Mastectomy with reconstruction: IGAP flap (using tissue from my own body).

Pathology report confirmed cancer as Grade 3 with clear margins.

Jan/Feb 2013 – Radiotherapy x 22

Jan 13 – start taking Tamoxifen

3rd June 2013 – symmetrising surgery (Mastopexy) to healthy breast

1st recurrence

10th October 2013 – Diagnosed with Primary breast cancer in right axillary lymph node

21st October 2013 – CT scan confirms cancer hasn’t metastasised

Stop taking Tamoxifen

31st October 2013 – Axillary lymph node clearance – (1/18 nodes affected)

November 13 – start monthly injections of Zoladex to switch off ovaries

2nd recurrence and Secondary Diagnosis

7th May 2014 – Diagnosed with Primary breast cancer in right axillary lymph node and right breast

14th May 2014 – Diagnosed with Secondary breast cancer – metastases in both lungs

23rd June 2014 – Start weekly Paclitaxel/Gemcitabine chemotherapy – only have two half cycles before changing to:

25th July 2014 – Start oral Capecitabine (Xeloda) – 2 weeks on, one wk off

29th September 2014 – surgery to remove primary recurrence in (remaining) right axillary lymph nodes and reconstructed breast

5th December – Start oral Teysuno (Tegafur)

Feb 15 – diagnosed with brain metastases and progression in lungs and liver. Stop Tegafur. Restart Zoladex injections to switch off ovaries in preparation for Exemestane (a drug for women who are post-menopausal).

March 15 – stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) to treat brain metastases. Start Exemestane (Aromatase inhibitor). Also begin Care Oncology drugs (Metformin, Atorvastatin, Doxycycline and Mebendazoole)

April 15 – start Everolimus

May 15 – CT scan shows stability and shrinkage in lung and liver metastases. Diagnosed with bone mets to spine and left hip.

June 15 – brain MRI shows brain metastases are ‘resolved’ following stereotactic RT (SRT). Oophorectomy at end of June.

Aug 15 – CT scan shows shrinkage and stability in lung and liver mets and that bone mets are healing.

Note

As mum and I had breast cancer within the same year we were sent for genetic screening. We tested negative for the BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutations.

Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Katherine,
    very pleased to find your blog and its irreverent cancer humour .
    I was diagnosed with cancer on 1st May 2012 and want to put a blog together to knock the cancer off its anniversary pedestal. Don’t think I will get to your presentation standards but I can aim high,
    Amanda

    • killerkath says:

      Hi Amanda, always great to hear my blog has reached another BC sister! I totally recommend blogging/writing as a way of dealing with the cancer bitch. I find it very cathartic. Re ‘presentation’, mine is a free WordPress theme – loads of free templates on here! Get blogging……once you start you can’t stop!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hiya, I’m really sorry to hear that your going through the works again. I met you in January at the breast cancer weekend, If you need me foranything please let me know even for a chat. keep positive and you are in the best hands.xx
    Catherine Duckworth

  3. Dear K.K., I also was diagnosed with breast cancer, Nov. 1, 2011…IDC Stage 1. I was so blessed to have arrived here 2 months earlier from the south, and visited my new doctor, whose examination didn’t quite cause concern but then demanded that I have a mammogram, especially after learning my last one was in 1999!. I was shocked and amazed with what I was told 2 days later. By December 16th, I had a Wonderful team of doctors,a pull-together family, and had “gotten something off my chest”. LOL
    I am coming up on year 3, am on Tamoxafen (recently changed to another I can’t pronounce just yet), and am in a “probably benign” status on my opposite breast, with just a 6 month watch period.
    I am happy to find your blog, am proud of our humor, and wish you well, much, much wellness, and I will be following you here to be sure you recover! My prayers to you, and All Our Sisters.
    Sunshine Ronnie

  4. mr Kenneth Spencer says:

    Hi, my mum has been living with breast cancer since 1987, she had a mastectomy and reconstruction later, secondaries in her lungs and in scar from surgery now tumours on her liver, had chemotherapy again, she has survived to see her two grandsons grow up, now 16 and 18. At 81 she has survived a long time, she is still living on her own and still drives her car.

    • killerkath says:

      Hi Kenneth, thanks for your lovely comments. Always great to hear of people who’ve outlived the statistics – I was hoping for 50 but perhaps I should aim a bit higher! Your mum sounds like a trooper – ooops excuse the military reference!

  5. njakowiw says:

    Dear Kath

    You’re absolutely right about the language. I’ve been called brave (I’m not, I’m sh*t scared), I’ve been told to fight, be positive. People tell me it’ll be OK (who died and made them a bloody doctor?).

    My only weapon – bad word – lets call it a coping tool is laughter. We laugh at things that scare us to make them less scarey and provide a little relief. But this disease is a persistent and patient little bugger that whispers to you. I still remember the moment I saw the words Palliative Care in a letter to my GP. More words!

    So, I am busy doing things I wish I’d done years ago. I am busy enjoying myself with my family and friends while I am still fit and well and I’ve stopped beating myself up when I’m having a low day. You can’t deny it’s there, but you’re allowed to distract yourself from it and the whispering.

    Oh yes..Survivor – I hate that word too!

    Keep up the good work and good luck with the Capecitabine – it turned beer into a profound laxative over here.

    Best regards

    Nick

  6. Beverley Lavallin says:

    Hi Had my bloods taken today at Bristol Oncology and the affable male nurse mentioned you, your kilts and your blog. I had Gamma Knife In March for large brain inoperable secondary and mentioned a need to find others in similar situation.Will now follow your blog and look up some of the links.

    • killerkath says:

      I know who that is! Definitely check out the Care Oncology Clinic, as I’ve been on their meds for around 6 months. I’m on holiday at the moment but feel free to message me….think my email address is on the About Page. Thanks for the follow x

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