I just received a comment on the "Friends" post from a woman who has been diagnosed with tripleneg breast cancer and is having surgery on the 28th.
My heart is breaking. I go in for surgery on August 28th. I have triple negative invasive ductal breast cancer. I have not read one good thing about the prognosis of it. I am a mother, wife, grandma and I have wonderful friends, but none that can truly understand my feelings. I am not sleeping at all. I am sitting here wishing I knew someone to call and to be my friend. I am just 51 years old. I love my family so much. I am trying to cling to hope. Please if anyone wants to give me their phone number, I really really need to talk. I don't have a blog but my daughter does. You can see my beautiful grandchildren. She posted a post about me about a week ago. My my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I pray someone sees this today (Saturday)
Cheryl, we are all with you and you are not alone.
I want to tell you a few things about tripleneg.
First, I am a SIX YEAR survivor of a highly aggressive tripleneg cancer. It is gone. It CAN be beaten.
Please don't be confused about my stories of the chemo and surgeries I am undergoing now because that is for a NEW cancer that is NOT tripleneg but, rather, and entirely different type of cancer that is lobular and ER/PR POSITIVE.
Tripleneg has a bad rap. Yes, it is more aggressive. And no, there is no "after-drug" for it like Tamoxifen or Arimidex. And it seems every time we turn on the news we hear about a brand new drug that is for everyone else BUT triplenegs.
Let not your heart be troubled. There are breakthroughs happening right now. New drug combos are being tested and used and they are working wonders on ER/PR negative cancers. And the even better news is, no matter what kind of chemo you get, CHEMO WORKS BETTER ON TRIPLENEG THAN ON ER/PR POSITIVE CANCER. What's more, if you are disease free for more than four years your chances of your cancer ever returning are almost zero.
I hate the term TRIPLENEG. Because it is misleading.
Here is what it means:
You are negative for estrogen and progesterone receptors. All that means is that your cancer was not fueled by estrogen or progesterone.
You are also negative for the Her2Nue oncogene. That means that your body doesn't over-express this gene.
So why is it considered a bad thing? That is just it! It ISN'T a bad thing!!
The first thing is that, for now, there are no drugs to take after treatment like ER/PR Positive women can take. The drugs they take block estrogen. Since an ER/PR Negative tumor is impervious to estrogen and its effects, you don't need to block it.
The second thing is that being Her2 POSITIVE is a BAD THING!
You do not want to be over-expressing a gene that makes cancer grow! Every tripleneg should be HAPPY to be NEGATIVE for Her2.
If you were Her2 positive, you would take Herceptin, the wonder drug that fights the Her2 gene. But you do not need it.
For some reason, docs have lumped all three together simply because there are no drugs for triplenegs to take. It really doesn't make much sense when you think about it.
There is HOPE for triplenegs.
There are ongoing studies for triplenegs.
There are new chemo combinations that are working wonders on triplenegs.
And you can BEAT tripleneg.
Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Avastin, Xeloda, Abraxane are just a few of the drugs being used to kill estrogen/progesterone negative cancer cells.
And in the future? There very well might be a drug to take post treatment. The newest Her2 drug, Tykerb, has been shown to kill off EGFR cells that triplenegs also have. Studies are being done right now.
So please, don't get overwhelmed by your diagnosis.
Take this one step at a time, one moment at a time. Now you must focus on your upcoming surgery. After your surgery, you will be rid of the tumor. Then you have to heal.
Your next step, depending on your pathology report, will be some sort of chemo. But you are not there yet. So don't get ahead of yourself. But if you must, remember the GOOD NEWS. Chemo will kill off any stray cells left over. And chemo works BETTER and more COMPLETELY on Tripleneg cancers than any others.
Cheryl, you make it through this. It doesn't seem like it now, but you will. I promise!
Good luck to you my friend!