"In July of 2012, at the age of 38, I was diagnosed with breast cancer which was originally thought to be stage I based on the breast alone. There is a family history; my grandmother was 65 when diagnosed, and my mom was 55. So, at the advice of two opinions, I had a bilateral mastectomy, and because of the report, it was believed that chemo was in order. My cancer was ER+/PR+/HR2- . Thankfully, I had an oncologist who had the philosophy of doing a PT scan for everyone before beginning chemo. That scan showed that I was actually already at stage IV as there were 7-10 lesions in my liver with the largest being 5.6 cm. I say thankfully, because I am glad that I know so that we could address it and while I don't like living with the cloud over my head, I do like that I know to live life to the fullest now and appreciate everything in the moment.
"I was given the option by my oncologist of scaling back treatment or continuing with the more aggressive, and I chose to go ahead and do the more aggressive treatment of chemo; so, I began in October of 2012 6 rounds of Adriamycin and Cytoxan about 3 weeks apart. (There were some problems with neutropenia and infections so it didn't always work out exactly as planned). Since I was heavily ER+, I decided to go ahead with my doctor's recommendation and do a full hysterectomy in February 2013 and then begin Arimidex after that. By the end of April 2013, I was found to be NED, and have been to this point, but we all know that is a month by month or day by day status; so, I hope that will continue.
"I continue to work as an online professor, and this fall I have become full-time at a private college which has led to teaching more on campus. I also have been trying to quickly work through my 'living list' of trips as I want to live life to the fullest now while my side effects are on the milder side as I never know when that may change."
-- nbnotes, 3 1/2 years metastatic
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