My Cancer Time Line

August, 2008

I found a lump in my right breast.

September, 2008

After many tests, it was determined to be Stage 1, triple negative breast cancer

October 6, 2008 - November 17, 2008
I received 4 chemo treatments - one every other Monday.

Adriamycin doxorubicin and Cytoxan cyclophosphamide make up the chemotherapy regimen known as AC
Adriamycin is administered first, followed by Cytoxan.
Cytoxan is a clear fluid once mixed, and Adriamycin is noted for being bright red. Adriamycin and Cytoxan are both given intravenously
Medications designed to prevent side effects are given before treatment. Administration of the chemotherapy is typically done in about an hour. 
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December 2008 - January 8, 2009
Started second chemo
How Taxol Is Given:
  • Taxol is given as an injection or infusion into the vein (intravenous, IV). 
  • Taxol is an irritant.  An irritant is a chemical that can cause inflammation of the vein through which it is given.  If the medication escapes from the vein it can cause tissue damage.  The nurse or doctor who gives Taxol must be carefully trained.  If you experience pain or notice redness or swelling at the IV site while you are receiving Taxol, alert your health care professional immediately. 
  • Because severe allergic reactions have occurred in some people taking Taxol, you will be asked to take medications to help prevent a reaction.  Your doctor will prescribe the exact regimen.
  • Taxol is given over various amounts of times and in various schedules. 
  • There is no pill form of Taxol.
February, 2009
Lumpectomy - all margins were clear
Port a cath removed

March 9, 2009 - May 1, 2009
37 radiation treatments

I was deemed CANCER FREE!!

March, 2011

March 8th
I received a call from my oncologist with my yearly CT scan results...not good.
Learned I had some spots on my lungs that needed further tests.

March 18th
Learned it is Stave 4 Metastatic Breast cancer that had moved to my lungs, bones and lymph nodes

April, 2011
April 8th - started new chemo


Abraxane, the brand name for the paclitaxel protein-bound suspension, is a drug used to treat metastatic breast cancer. It has been shown to be more effective than Taxol in treating metastatic breast cancer, with fewer side effects, states This drug is administered intravenously over half an hour, every three weeks, according to the American Cancer Society; the exact dosage depends on how much you weigh and how tall you are, your blood counts and your response to the drug. Side effects of Abraxane can include lowered white and red blood cell counts, which can lead to increased risk of infection and anemia; nausea or vomiting; hair loss; fatigue; and lip or mouth sores. This medication can also cause neuropathy in the hands and feet, which is nerve damage and feels like pins and needles, with tingling or burning in the extremities, or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.

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I also get/continue to receive Zometa once every 6-8 weeks.
This is to help strengthen my bones to keep the cancer out.

May, 2011

I continued on with abraxion every other week.
May 26 - my PET scan showed GREAT improved.
We decided to stay on the abraxion until my next scan.

July, 2011
The spot that we thought had shrunk had actually grown - back to the drawing board with chemo choices.

Started carboplatin and gemcitabine

Gemzar is the brand name of the chemotherapy drug known as gemcitabine, which is commonly used to treat pancreatic cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, bladder cancer, ovarian cancer and metastatic breast cancer. It is often used in combination with other chemotherapy medications as, according to Cancer Research and Treatment, it is tolerated well by patients and produces few long-term side effects

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Carboplatin is a chemotherapy medication given to cancer patients typically through intravenous infusion. According to the carboplatin treats several types of cancer including bladder, breast, lung, testicular, brain, skin, ovarian and endometrial. Chemotherapy is designed to kill cancer cells but unfortunately kills the body's normal cells also which causes side effects.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting occurs due to effected receptors in the brain and damage of the stomach lining. The Chemotherapy Source Book states that nausea and vomiting are common side effects of carboplatin. Nausea typically occurs 24 hours after infusion but also less commonly occurs several days after chemotherapy.

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I was also accepted on a trial drug - BSI 201

The purpose of the study is to assess the safety and establish the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of the combination of BSI-201 with chemotherapeutic regimens in adult subjects with histologically or cytologically documented advanced solid tumors.
Based on data generated by BiPar/Sanofi, it is concluded that iniparib does not possess characteristics typical of the PARP inhibitor class. The exact mechanism has not yet been fully elucidated, however based on experiments on tumor cells performed in the laboratory, iniparib is a novel investigational anti-cancer agent that induces gamma-H2AX (a marker of DNA damage) in tumor cell lines, induces cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase in tumor cell lines, and potentiates the cell cycle effects of DNA damaging modalities in tumor cell lines. Investigations into potential targets of iniparib and its metabolites are ongoing.
During this time, I had to get 2 blood transfusions because my white blood cell counts got so low.
December, 2011
I was able to start just the BSI trial drug because my counts were so low and not bouncing back AND I was NED - No Evidence of Disease - means no cancer was showing up on scans!!!!

I continued on BSI 2 times a weeks and life was clicking along.

August, 2012

My right leg went numb and for me to move my right side took so much thought...I knew something was wrong.
After going to the ER and an MRI, we found out I had a mass in my brain.

September, 2012

Had brain surgery to remove mass
It was the same breast cancer that had moved to my brain

October, 2012

Had brain radiation
Went crazy from steroids - had to be put in the hospital for monitoring
Had several more MRI because I just felt something was not right

November, 2012
Found out the tumor was back...same spot

November 28th
2nd brain surgery
This one was a little more invasion to ensure he had it all.
I woke up not being able to feel my right side and couldn't walk without a walker.

December, 2012
Christmas Eve God told me to walk with just my cane - I did it and kept doing it!

January, 2013
I started physical therapy to help with my walking.
I started practicing driving in a parking lot - I had to teach myself how to drive with 2 feet...I still drive this way!

February, 2013
We were on our own - my mom had left and Eric's parents left - it was time to figure out our new normal.
Another MRI - showed my brain was healing from radiation and surgeries

March, 2013
I walked around the block by myself - no cane!!
PET scan showed a spot on pancreas - after MANY test and a scope later, we found out it was an ulcer...I will take an ulcer any day!

May, 2013

My right leg went numb again and I knew - something was wrong.

13th: I turned 35...and was a treatment!

Got an MRI and it showed the tumor was back in the same spot.

16th: Had 3 brain surgery

17th: was able to go home - I guess I am getting good at recovering from brain surgery!?!?

Yes, I was able to walk.  My leg felt (and still feels) heavy and asleep, but I now know and trust it will do what it needs to do in order for me to walk on it.

Met with brain radiation Dr to talk about brain radiation to clean up area

Got kicked off my trail drug - had very mixed emotion about this

29th: I got my radiation mask made (link to pictures/video here)

30th: another MRI to "map the area" for radiation

June, 2013
Brain oncologist - he is sending in every last piece of sample tissue they have taken for over 250 other possible markers.

I have a feeling that this has something to due with hormones even though I am classified Triple Negative...this research will give us more insight to this

5th -7th: Brain 3 brain radiation treatments

15th: I am still recovering from surgery and radiation - I am tried but not exhausted which is nice.

Sept. 30, 2013
Had small seizure but it was determined NON cancerous

December, 2013
Had narcosis swelling - symptoms mimic those of tumor

April, 2014
Had narcosis swelling again.  We were scheduled to go on cruise but had to cancel.

January, 2015
3 years of being cancer free in my body!!
18 months of being cancer free in my brain!

March, 2016
My white counts started dropping drastically. Dr. H took me off Xeloda to see if they would come back up...they didn't. She ordered a bone marrow biopsy to what was going on.
It came back positive as MDS or pre-leukemia.

Here was the problem with that, I HAD to get treatment for this or I had 18 ish  months. Then, everyone was afraid the original breast cancer would come back. 

It took Dr. H a few reach outs for her to find a bone marrow transplant doctor to do this...being Stage 4, have had 3 brain surgeries most of them did't want to touch me with a 10 foot pole. BUT she found Dr. Barryman in Dallas. We met, he said yes and we were off. 

Next we had to find a donor match. This happened in record time...they found 4 PERFECT matches, and before I knew it I had the transplant date: October 30. 

Today is January 1, 2017, I am home from the hospital and all my blood test are coming back great!

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