Do metastatic patients never fully get rid of the cancer?
I am a metastatic breast cancer patient, after 12 years remission from ER+, PR+, HER2+ my cancer came back as ER-, PR-, HER2+. It is a mass in my chest, in the lymph nodes of my right armpit and a tumour on my pancreas. However both my breasts are clear.
I've been receiving Paclitaxel, Pertuzumab and Trastuzumab on the first week of each cycle, Paclitaxel on the second week and then a third week off. My recent CT showed things have shrunk a lot and after one more cycle of chemotherapy I'll start maintenance with just Pertuzumab and Trastuzumab every 3 weeks.
I'm confused because when I first had breast cancer I was treated until it was gone, then put on Arimidex tablet maintenance. This time around I'm starting maintenance even though there is still some cancer left. My oncologist said it will never go away fully and this is what we do, but I just wanted to check if this is common? It feels a bit horrible still having it in me...
All the best,