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Aw Deb, It just isn't fair is it...after 13 years..and now back at it. So sorry that you are facing it again. The positive news is that in the time since you received treatment 13 years ago the science of treating recurrence has come a very long way....a really long way. Chemotherapy has been refined as to specificity for certain type/grade of tumor. I am thinking in particular of nab-paclitaxel. Besides chemotherapy a class of medications termed "monocloclonal antibodies" work by stopping the growth of cancer cells. Among the monoclonal antibodies is Herceptin and it's "cousin" meds. Those medications target specifically the cancer cells. Also much has been found in applications of hormone therapy.
Deb, I have known a number of women who have had a recurrence and with the strides made in identifying specific progression and then applying specific treatment to halt progression, they are back at work and in control once again. I would suggest inquiring about your qualifications for inclusion in a trial. That is always a consideration.
Recurrence is quickly being considered as a chronic disease much like diabetes, etc. With good follow-up testing and ongoing treatment that is tailored to current need the progression may be held in check or stopped. It is important to have an oncologist who treats patients with breast cancer recurrence and who is preferrably connected to a large university.
Deb please get the relief from medication side effects that you need. Check with your onc..there is help available. I know when I am sore or tired everything seems to "come down" more easily. That is only natural...hubby calls it "cranky girl time" Please post again soon and let us know how you are doing...we are rooting for better days for you.