Breast Cancer: Stage 3 & 4 Community
How much time left?
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How much time left?

Anyone want to hazard a guess as to how much time I have left?  Diagnosed 2004 with stage III disease (multifocal, ER+/PR+, HER2-, grade 2).  Mets to supraclavicular lymph nodes only in 2009.  Disease is now ER+/PR-.  Following 6 rounds of taxotere, I am in complete remission.

Any guesses?  Bets?  Anybody have a Magic Medical 8-Ball?  :-)

Any help is appreciated.  Thanks!  
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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739091_tn?1300669627
Hi there,

Your post kind of horrified me at first and then made me grin. Your sense of humor is fantastic! I also hear the real question behind the humor.

I hate it that you had to do a second dance with the ugly beast cancer. The truth is there is no real answer. Everything depends on how well the taxotere worked on your cancer. Did you take tamoxifen after your first diagnosis or another form of it?

My magic ball says you should go get yourself a hot new hair style, brand new makeup and a whole new wardrobe and get out there and enjoy your life! It's yours to live so why not go for the gusto? I think you're fabulous and I hope we all have lots of years and laughs ahead of us.

Best wishes from one survivor to another. :)
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi back!

Humor....you mean there's no such thing as a Magic Medical 8-Ball???  ;-)

After the first diagnosis, the medical community hit me with everything - bilateral mx, dose dense ACT, and radiation, followed up by tamoxifen.  Obviously, the tamoxifen failed (I never liked it, anyway!).  I forgot to mention that I'm taking Femara now.

I will take your 8-ball's advice (already have the new hairstyle, courtesy of taxotere!).and enjoy whatever time I have left.  Who knows, I could live another 10 years NED.  I wish that and much more for all of us.

Best wishes to you, too!

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Avatar_f_tn
Taxotere killed my distant nodes! Are they also planning radiation after chemo.
About the hair style, I hate wearing a wig, just buy a yard of matrial with your favoriate team and wrap the head.
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739091_tn?1300669627
Hi there!

It looks like you're dancing with the beast too! Have you tried the bald look with some really fantastic drawn on eyebrows and fake lashes? Add some fabulous earrings and clothes and you will look like a supermodel!!

I couldn't tolerate anything on my head so I did bald and if I say so myself, it was a great look! I pretended shock when my hair grew back in white LOL

Here's to NED for all of us forever!! (_)?
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Avatar_f_tn
If I have learned one thing through all of this is that only God knows the plan. Enjoy today for what it is "a present" (gift) Take the time to do the things that make you smile and be happy. It is easy to shut yourself off and feel sorry for yourself, but that is really not much fun. I too have my pitty parties, I just try to not stay to long at them, know when to go home. Life is what you make of it good or bad, happy or sad. I just want the world to see that I fought hard for us all and did all that I could do and loved my life for what it is.
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492898_tn?1222247198
"You have maybe 2 weeks, and just MAYBE up to six months!"

This is what my radiation oncologist's nurse told me over the phone, and what she said shocked me so much, it's hard to describe how I felt. (Especially since only a couple of weeks earlier when I told the doctor I had brain mets and that I was sure, she told me it was 'NOTHING'.

All along, I had wanted to know but then again not wanted to know; there was this huge ambiavalance.

So, a week after the nurse called I had an appointment with my regular medical oncologist and his nurse and of course I immediately told them.

The nurse was so upset about what the other had said, she told me that L, was a ***** and never to talk to her again. When I half whispered that the doctor was worse, she whispered back: "I know."

The doctor was more amused. He looked at my partner and said to him: "Does she look like she has two weeks left?" They laughed. He and linda, the nurse, then explained that nobody knows how long I have to live. What was interesting was how their words again affected me as much (positive now) as the other's had shocked me almost to death. (in a negative way)

The difference words make!! And in the second case, the words were honest as well, because had they told me: "Oh No, you will never die", that would have bothered me even more than the initial words. (about the 2 weeks to 6 months and which were a truthful statement, I mean that was their truth)

Well, this was a couple of months ago, and was feeling pretty badly and going downhill fast. but since then I have restarted chemotherapy, my tumor markers are way down, and I feel so much better...

Anyway, the whole point of my story is, that  what I was told really kind of cured me psychologically. i no longer worry, and I am no longer interested in even asking anyone about this as what would I then do with the answer? believe it? No, because I realize that I am not interested in what anyone beliefs. i figure when the time comes, i will be the first one to know?  KAT
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739091_tn?1300669627
Awwww Kat, give me their address and I'll go kick their butt for you!!!

Your story makes a point that I want to bring up. Many many years ago a TV reporter named Linda Ellerby was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is one of the first women to come forward and let America see her struggle with the beast. This was back in the "day" when it wasn't spoken about. Imagine that. Anyways, she was on a TV special two years ago on a panel of doctors who ALL either had cancer or had a spouse with cancer so they were more aware of it's devastation in a personal way. Linda told the story of how she told her oncologist right off the bat that she wanted them to be brutally honest with her about her prognosis, how long did she have to live? They never really answered her question. (In my personal experience they didn't answer that question either). Anyways, she went on to say that at her 10 year cancerversary she ran into her oncologist and was exuberant about the 10 year mark and he looked at her and said, I thought you wouldn't make it 3 years!!!!! She was shocked! She told the panel afterwards that she was glad she didn't know what her doctors thought her prognosis was because she wouldn't have lived it to the fullest as she had done, she would have been planning for "the end" and dwelling on dying.
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739091_tn?1300669627
Stop and smell the flowers:)

I've had and do have those same fears. I struggle with that question. Take a look at the photo's on my profile and look at my beautiful puppy. She came to me from Missouri in February at 12 weeks of age. I spend my days and nights taking care of her, loving on her, worrying about her instead of me. She is my survivor buddy. She helps me remember to smell the flowers, to enjoy life and not dwell on any what-ifs... They actually let me bring her to work with me every day. She's with me at every appointment in her purse/carrier. My oncologist asked me why I had no anxiety and I told her to look in the purse LOL (she told me not to let anyone else see her or they'd have a fit) but she understood. She teaches me to relax.

Sometimes we have to get away from ourselves and the worries that are associated with advanced cancers. We understand your need to know ... Deep down, do you really want to know? My crystal ball is still saying hot hairdo (spike what is there if it's to that stage), new makeup and fabulous wardrobe!! Live it up!! The alternative just isn't as much fun.
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492898_tn?1222247198
A really good friend of mine was diagnosed with brain mets and lung cancer a few months before I was diagnosed with my cancer. (stage 3B) I am really good friends with the whole family and especially also her daughter who went with her mother to every single doctor's and chemo and radiation appointment.

She had gone to the ER because of a really bad headache. the ER doctor told Jan and her daughter kris that she had six months. (these are very uneducated, simple, but wonderful people with no science knowing and a deep respect for doctors)

so kris shoots back at him:" You don't know that; you aren't God, and only God knows how long my mom will live." (She said this so forcefully that the ER doctor didn't respond)

Well, jan died two weeks ago, more than 3 years after diagnosis. I cannot imagine being told just as if this was a fact that you have 6 months max?

Both extremes are bad, being given an exact date, and/or to be not told anything, or that it's 'nothing'?

Kat
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739091_tn?1300669627
I agree wholeheartedly my friend :)
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1294015_tn?1272346440
Sorry, I posted a response on the Experts forum rather than this one.  Please read it!
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