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 I am an 8 year survivor of Inflammatory Breast Cancer
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mary l

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I am an 8 year survivor of Inflammatory Breast Cancer - Wednesday, October 27, 2010 4:41 PM
Hi  My name is Mary and I am a new member.  I am an 8 year survivor of Inflammatory Breast Cancer stage IIIB.  I had the inverted nipple, orange peel discoloration on the lower side of my breast and a terrible burning sensation that just wouldn't go away. I was misdiagnosed like many other women, but when it would't go away my family Dr. sent me to a breast surgeon and without running any tests she told me she thought I had the most aggresive, deadly cancer, Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  She was right!  I went through all the regular chemos and then had a mastectomy followed by radiation.  I was given a 28% chance of surviving 2 years. It came back with revenge nine months later apparent by the red rash that was spreding across my chest.  My oncolocgist and my surgeon talked about very aggresive surgery that they weren't sure would work.  Then my oncologist said, Mary you have the true HER2 cell and there is a new cancer medicine, Herceptin, that we think would be a better option and that I should at least try it.  I took it with a reound of Carboplatin.  After a few weeks the redness started to fade and after 3 months it was gone.  I stayed on Herceptin for 5 years taking breaks when my heart function studies showed that it was damaging my heart.  I would stay off for awhile until the cancer came back and then i would start herceptin again.  The cancer came back 3 times while I was on Herceptin.  My heart is perfect and my cancer is gone.  I have been off Herceptin for 3 years and cancer free 3 years this month.  I love Herceptin andf I know if my cancer returns, Herceptin will be there for me. I would love to talk to other survivors or newly diagnosed patients.  This disease can be conquered.  This month my picture and an article about my battle  with cancer was hung on the HALL OF HOPE in my cancer center.
Diag. Oct 2003 with 6mm mass, IDC grade III ductal carcinoma in-situ, Inflammatory Breast Cancer stage IIIB, Her2+++.   I had A/C followed by Taxotere (only had 2tx as I had heart problems from it); Left Mastectomy followed by 35 rads.  Recurence in 9 months as skin mets to mast. site. tx Carboplatin/Herceptin,  stayed on Herceptin every other week for almost 4 years only stopping when my ejection fraction would get too low. off herceptin & ned 3 years in 2010

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