Date of Birth: October 5, 1960
Female – age at diagnosis: 51

Diagnosis (Left Breast)

  • Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC)
  • Stage IIA (2.5 cm – 6 o’clock)
  • Node negative (0/6 nodes)
  • Grade 3, poorly differentiated
  • Morphology: triple negative (weak progesterone): HER- ER- PR+
  • BRCA negative
  • Subtype classification (BL1, BL2, IM, M, MSL, LAR) – unknown

Procedures / Tests / Reports

Scans / Imaging
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Family History

  • Mother (01/21/1929 – 09/03/2014): died at age 85 due to Lewy body dementia.
  • Brother (11/07/1958 – 06/22/2012): died at age 53 due to liver failure from hepatitis C complications.
  • Father (06/18/1920 – 01/25/2010): died at age 89 due to prostate cancer.


I had a lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy and recommended treatment plan after was chemotherapy: 4 rounds Adriamycin/Cytoxan every two weeks, followed by 4 rounds Taxol every two weeks (regimen: dose dense).  The first round of A/C resulted quickly in major depression and physical wasting, and I determined the treatment would kill me faster than the disease, so I decided to stop.  My oncologist suggested changing to a different regimen that might be tolerated better – 4 rounds Taxotere/Cytoxan – I declined.  During this time, my brother passed away unexpectedly on June 22, and I was managing care for my elderly mother who suffered from Lewy body dementia (misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s.)

After my brother’s memorial in July, I met with the radiation oncologist who recommended a 35 day plan, whole breast radiation with 3D conformal radiotherapy.  After four days of treatment, I was in intense pain and heightened anxiety – another downward spiral was beginning.  I didn’t return and decided my best chance at survival was to allow my body and mind to recover fully.

There were complications with my mother’s condition a few weeks later, and she ended up in the ER, ICU, and hospital – it was a major setback for both of us. The short version of the story is I have continued with acupuncture and psychotherapy, and began physical therapy and massage in November to treat my left shoulder that had become frozen.  I have regained overall strength and exercise 4-5 days a week.  The residual physical effects of treatment are chronic pain in both shoulders and burning mouth syndrome. I see the oncologist regularly for a checkups.