Hi DeLois. It's a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for telling us so much about you
--not just your cancer. I just love those Hungarian "mop" dogs! My parents were born in Hungary, and I look like a mop when I get up in the morning, so your dog and I have something in common!
I was diagnosed in 1986, before HER2 was discovered. But my tumor was ER/PR-negative, I was 37 years old, and about 18 years later, I tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation. Knowing all of that, my oncologist feels certain that my tumor was triple negative. I had 22 positive lymph nodes, and here I am 23 years later, alive and well. We hear so much about triple negative being so bad, but I think that one reason for that is that we don't have a drug to take after chemo. Those with hormone-positive cancers have Tamoxifen and other drugs to suppress estrogen production, but once our treatments are over, that's all there is. However, research has shown that triple negative cancers respond especially well to chemo. The first 5 years are the most critical. After that, our risk for recurrence falls much more dramatically than that of women with hormone-positive cancer. So, it's not all bad news for us.
It sounds as though you have a wonderful family (your husband is indeed a gem!) and a strong support system. You'll run into other "triple negatives" here, and you'll find that all the women here, no matter what their diagnosis, are caring and helpful.
Wishing you all the best,
Rena age 66 California Central Coast
Dx 1986 IDC ER/PR negative 22 positive lymph nodes
CMFVP chemo weekly for one year, 7 weeks radiation
October 2007: New chassis and spark plugs!