Amanda Cullinan #ACSTRONGER

First post: Jul 21, 2020 Latest post: May 12, 2022
Thank you for stopping by to follow my journey. In 2018 I was diagnosed with HER2+ Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Breast Cancer. After 6 rounds of chemo, a double mastectomy, removal of 3 lymph nodes, 33 radiation treatment and continued targeted therapy for a year, I was finally finished and back to cancer free me in October of 2019.

In early April, I went for a trail ride with friends and injured my elbow. Hard to believe, but I wasn’t paying attention and turned at the last second to see myself heading for a tree limb. I threw my arm up to protect myself and hit my elbow. It hurt, but didn’t think much of it until it continued to increase in pain and decrease in mobility. I finally went to the orthopedic and long story short, they discovered a tumor in my elbow in late June.

That discovery lead to a full body PET scan, a brain MRI. Fortunately the brain MRI was clear, but the PET scan showed 4 nodules total in both lungs and lesions in my ribs, spine, pelvis and sacrum. A lung biopsy confirmed what we were all thinking...the breast cancer had metastasized to my lungs and bones. Fortunately, my clumsiness on my horse lead to discovering the cancer before I actually had symptoms and before it progressed any further.

While there is no cure for triple negative, Stage 4 breast cancer, there have been significant advancements since my mom battled this horrible disease which took her life in 2012. There are several new treatments and many clinical trials that have allowed many triple negative, stage 4 breast cancer patients to live long lives. Until a cure is found, it just means I will be on some form of chemo or immune therapy forever.

In order to alleviate the pain in my elbow, I did 10 rounds of radiation and had immediate relief! I will be starting some form of chemo the second or third week of August, depending on when my genomic profiling returns. The genomic profiling allows doctors to determine what treatment my cancer cells will best respond to and whether I am a candidate for immunotherapy.

As always, we remain optimistic and appreciate all your love and support!