Hello from a HER2 Stage 3 patient

Hello everyone

I have HER2 (hormone negative) Stage 3, Grade 3 breast cancer. 

Chemo started in July and I had EC Chemo for 4 cycles. I then started Paclitaxel but got anaphylaxis so switched to Abraxane. I have had 2 cycles of Abraxane. I started Phesgo when I started Paclitaxel; that is 3-weekly for a year. 

My peripheral neuropathy is very distressing, so I am thinking about stopping chemo. My heart also suffered in EC chemo (10% drop in LVEF) and my heart rate is consistently 20-30 beats faster than pre-chemo. I had a blood pressure crisis about 3 weeks ago and was put on the max dose of two BP medications. 

However, chemo is working against the cancer. This makes it such a dilemma. I’ve had the equivalent of 8/12 infusions of Paclitaxel. 

Next up will be surgery and then radiotherapy. Finally, there will either be a further year of Kadcyla, or continuation of Phesgo. 

Looking forward to ‘meeting’ you. 

Hi from another Her2 + Hormone - patient.

My experience is that there aren’t that many of us. My lump was 2.2 cm Grade 3 and I had no node involvement. I am a bit further along from my diagnosis in 2019 than you having completed my treatment. 

I was scheduled to have 4 EC and 4 THP but due to some bad side effects from docitaxol ( two hospilisations) I ended up only having  2 THP instead of the scheduled 4. However Her2+ H- often react well to chemo and my lump had virtually disappeared with EC and I had good news when I had my lumpectomy that I had a PCR - no trace of cancer. 

I read another of your posts about potentially stopping chemo which is why I included my experience about not completing my full chemo. I was so upset when my oncologist suggested stopping after the 2 THP but also relieved as I had been so ill and it had escalated with the second treatment and I was so worried that some of the side effects I had might be permanent.

The one thing I’ve learnt is everyone’s cancer journey is so different and that we all just do our best to get through it. If my oncologist had said she thought I should try another dose I would have tried a third but she didn’t but I would have been very worried and apprehensive. In the end we have to weigh it all up and decide what’s best for us. It’s a very lonely decision like many are in this cancer experience.       Hoping that things will become a bit easier for you.