It’s been four months

flowers

Tomorrow it will be four months since my last oncology doctors appointment. I am always very nervous before my appointment. I worry about every ache and pain I have, wondering if my cancer has come back, wondering if I will have the privilege of living a cancer free life.

Because my cancer was an early stage IIA, I do not get scans and blood tests, which I guess is a good thing. It is hard though to sit and wait and wonder if or when it will come back. I had triple negative breast cancer.

It is now commonly understood that breast cancer is not one form of cancer, but many different “subtypes” of cancer

These subtypes of breast cancer are generally diagnosed based upon the presence, or lack of, three “receptors” known to fuel most breast cancers: estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). The most successful treatments for breast cancer target these receptors.

Unfortunately, none of these receptors are found in women with triple negative breast cancer. In other words, a triple negative breast cancer diagnosis means that the offending tumor is estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative and HER2-negative, thus giving rise to the name “triple negative breast cancer.” On a positive note, this type of breast cancer is typically responsive to chemotherapy. Because of its triple negative status, however, triple negative tumors generally do not respond to receptor targeted treatments. Depending on the stage of its diagnosis, triple negative breast cancer can be particularly aggressive, and more likely to recur than other subtypes of breast cancer.

 

You can find out more information about triple negative breast cancer HERE on the triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation site.

Cross posted on Spruce Hill

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4 Responses to It’s been four months

  1. I know what you mean. People don’t quite understand how hard it is to live with the constant fear that every ache could be a recurrence. Some of the others have assured me that it does fade over time, the further out you get from the end of treatment. Still waiting for that myself; hope you find that peace soon, too.

    The pictures are gorgeous 🙂

  2. hsaxton says:

    I came across this blog today, and immediately added it to the Extraordinary Moms Network blogroll (http://extraordinarymomsnetwork.wordpress.com). It made me think of my (adopted) children’s older sister, whose (adoptive) mother R. is battling cancer. The little girl (C.) has gone through so much, losing first one mother … and now likely losing a second one.

    If you’re so inclined, please pray for C and R, that they would have a long and happy life together.

    Thanks!

  3. Liane says:

    I share your thoughts. My triple negative stage 2A brings me back to this site 2 1/2 years since last treatment. Right now they have me coming back every six months to have my mammies grammed because of a suspicious lymph node. You hold your breath until the radiologist tells you you can go now. Even then, it’s never a full release… Hope you worry less and less as time goes by. I Love the flowers – spring is in the air!

  4. Many women share your feelings and wonder if they will ever truly be “cancer-free.” We just posted a blog entry on triple negative breast cancer–it’s a more in depth look at the type of breast cancer. Hope you’ll check it out! Great entry!

    http://livingbeyondbc.wordpress.com/

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