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Intramammary Node vs. Sentinel Node, course of therapy and prognosis
My mom had a mastectomy on her Right breast last week and I am a bit confused by the findings. It was a 1cm mass, grade 3 tumor and they took 16 lymph nodes for dissection. The sentinel node and all but 1 lymph node came back with no cancer cells. There was an intramammary lymph node in the general location of the tumor that came back showing some cancer cells. I am trying to figure out what this means in terms of her treatment that will be needed (ie: chemo regimen) and her overall prognosis (ie: are folks able to survive this and live for a long time afterwards? how long?). While I know that biopsies aren't supposed to spread cancer cells, her biopsy caused a very large hematoma which lasted for 10 days until the mastectormy. I am hoping that (maybe) the intramammary node was positive for cancer because it picked up cells from the hematoma as a result of the biopsy and that the mastectomy effectively got rid of all cancer. (her bone scan and CT scan came back clean). My questions are:
1.) how do you interpret the finding of the lymph node situation as described above? (ie: i know there is about 5% false negative for sentinel node and about 20% incidence of a postive intramammary node)
2.) what chemo regimen will they likely prescribe (length and type?)
3.) how hopeful can our family be at this point that mom will be around for the next 5, 10, 15 ,20 years to see the grandkids grow up?
Sorry for all the questions, but as you can see, I have been Googling like crazy for the last 2 weeks and not sleeping much. Thanks and God Bless. This is a great website.
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No, I do not work for a pharmaceutical company.  I  participated in that Tamoxifen trial because I have that KILLER family history,  and a deathly fear of dying the HORRIBLE  death I witnessed my 2 aunts, my grandmother and MY MOTHER did,  from this TERRIBLE disease.
I have 3 daughters, 18, 20 and 33. The last has been tested for BRCA mutation and thank the Lord, does not have it.
One day, when I read about the trial available in 1992 at the City of Hope near my home, I told my husband that I HAD TO GET IN THIS TRIAL.  
I felt for sure, that someday  I was going to be a victim of this awful disease like the rest of my family and maybe I could be part of finding a cure or a preventative  measure or ANYTHING in fighting this disease.
Would you like the details on the horrific suffering etc. that those women endured from this disease?


I quote you here, "I have a daughter who I worry about, etc. You were way out of line to tell anyone of us to stop whining. When you walk a mile in someone's shoes then speak. I am sorry for your losses. Ovarian cancer is not detected very easily. I will as I have on this complete horrific journey take all the information talk it over with my husband and then make an educated decision. I am fighting for my life - do you think I would have a breast cut off if I didn't want to live? Wow, your rantings make no sense. I have a 4 year old of course I am going to do everything to see him go to college, married etc. I am not however going to swallow a pill because someone tells me to."
Lady, I walked more than that mile in your shoes.

NOW, you read this.  I did this for them and FOR YOU and for every woman out there.  I had those side effects of hot flashes, LOST LIBIDO  and you know what, my husband stood by me the whole way!  He stood beside me when they said I needed a mastectomy and I said, OK, take them both off!  I know cancer  will most likely come back and kill me like it did all my family members.  I told my husband that the risks involved with Tamoxifen (IF I HAD THE REAL DRUG and NOT the PLACEBO, and guess what, I had the real drug) were many...as you all fear.

"In case you didn't know", I was diagnosed with LCIS, chose bilateral mastectomies and TWO  expanders for future implants.
OK, I believed all in my world would be good.  NOT!
Unluckily, my "world class surgeon and world class hospital" sent me home with an MRSA infection and I lost those implants and almost lost my life.

As soon as I was well enough,  8 months later, I had the total hysterectomy.
I just celebrated my 4th year after the bilateral mastecomies with  "no further evidence of disease"  and am coming up on my 3rd year exam after the hysterectomy.
Take some time and read what happens to BRCA2 cancer survivors and Ovarian cancer.  Make friends with the ladies who run the stores where you get your prosthesis and ask them how long the women who have had lumpectomies vs. mastectomies vs. chemo vs. Tamoxifen vx. Reloxifene  vs. "fad diets", survive and come back for replacement prosthesis.
Bottom line, you need to know more about cancer, not just breast cancer.
Ask any person who has survived chemo and radiation, if they were offered a drug or treatment that could possibly give them a whole hell of a lot more time on this Earth, but they're gonna have some side effects, do you think they could handle some "lost libido" some weight gain, some hot flashes, some mood swings, some more hair loss?  AFTER what they've already gone through with chemo or radiation?

You can say you are "supporting each other" all you want, you can say my "rantings" make no sense, and that I have a"self righteous attitude". I apologize for saying you whine, I really don't mean to chastise you...this is cancer.

It is not a pesky rash you can rub some cream on. It is not a grey hair you can color over. Like I said before, it's not a tight/ill fitting pair of shoes you can take off...it's CANCER.
I do admire how much your support for each other makes your posts so heartwarming...don't stop that ever.  We all need to support each other for whatever ails us.
I pray you do not ever suffer a re-occurrence  or metastasis because you were not prudent enough to fight it with everything available to you.
Support each other, certainly pray for each other, but don't stop fighting this disease because you're afraid of SIDE EFFECTS from treatment whether it's Tamoxifen or cutting out sugar from your diet etc.
The doctors know more than you or  I do...at this time, that's all we have to go on. Other than that, you can just leave it in the Lords' hands...he gave ME,  the knowledge that I have to do for myself, so I seek what it  takes to live.
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The nurse on the Forum posted this on 10/22/07
Dear grandmee:  Clinical trials have demonstrated that there is a significant difference in the rate of recurrence reduction between women who used tamoxifen and those who did not (in women with estrogen receptor positive tumors).  You may benefit from a discussion with an oncologist who can discuss your risk specifically and the pros and cons of the medication as it relates to your situation.
Does she work for the pharmaceutical company?
Why don't one of you post a question to her/him on the drug trial from 1992? Might prove I'm not really the b---- you think I am.
God bless you all, he gave for all of you.  He wants you to choose LIFE.
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127512 tn?1193745816
I agree with carme. If you start taking the drug and you feel bad from it you can always stop taking it. Other cancers from the drug is very rare. I hesitated in taking it myself until someone told me just to stop the drug if it makes you fell bad. November will be one year since I started it. The first 2 weeks I had a mild headache. Then after 2 months my periods stopped (don't miss those) and I had a couple of night sweats (hotflashes). I have had some cyst on my ovaries that doctors say is not related but they also are now gone. And yeah the weight gain. After 3 months I started having mild joint aches. For me these side affects a tolerable. Cancer is not.

carme has been posting on this site for a very long time and I am sure she meant no harm. Some of us are more passionate than others and its OK. Some people chose to stick their head in the sand and not ask questions about their cancer or treatments which to me is rediculous.

ladhusky most women start tamoxifen before the radiation. Doing the 2 together does not effect you. I saw you were waiting and did not know if you knew that.

The only website I would read is the site of the company that makes the drug. All side effects will be different for each of us. Some have no side effects. I don't believe ovarian cancer is a side effect but uterine cancer is. But as I said it is rare. Some women like myself make the decision to have a hyterectomy and then we will have a few less organs that we want get cancer in. I have not yet had a hysterectomy but I am leaning that way. Maybe around this first of the year.

I wish you all well in your decision making.
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Thank you dear!
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I'm not sure where you got the idea that we would not take the drug due to side effects. I wanted to know what the side effects were. There are enough surprises with my life due to this diagnosis I don't want any due to a drug. Just so you know that my first consult will be with God. I'll pray about this. I understand your passion due to the fact you lost so many special people because of breast cancer. I won't let fear drive my decision though. Perfect love casts out fear. I will educate myself. I am sorting out all the information that comes across my desk. I have some time before a decision is made. I have one of the best doctors on the east coast. He didn't want me in the hospital because of the risk of getting infection. I see his wisdom now after what you have blogged. I understand your passion but I really think you do need some meditation. Unforgiveness and bitterness can grow like a cancer. Cancer gets its name from the astrological sign cancer and its tenticles wrap around you and squeezes the life out of you.
I am not afraid of the side effects I just am making sure I am not trading one cancer for another. I am beginning to ask questions and gathering facts on the drug - that is the step I am at in this journey. I research everything. Always looking for the best solution.
I think you are assuming that we are not taking cancer seriously. I am two months into the diagnosis and that is all I think about - so you have no right to assume that we do not take the diagnosis seriously. All I have to do is take my shirt off and realize what cancer has taken from me. There hasn't been a day in two months going on three months that I haven't cried. I take this very seriously. You need to understand that you have every right to your decision and we have every right to our decisions. Let's agree to disagree. You made your decision without having anyone beating you over the head, let us make ours. I understand your passion, you made your point, we get it. Give us time to get up to speed - we understand your point of view. You made that abundantly clear. When you see someone smoking doesn't that irritate you. Don't you want to say to them hey you could get lung cancer. Well it does me but I have no right to go up and tell them that - do you think that for one minute that they are gonna stop just because I go up to them and tell them a terrible story about how my step grandmother died a humiliating death because of cigarettes. Am I passionate about it yes, but will they quit - no. People have to make their own decisions.
I will make my own decision so will labhusky, so will ziggy.
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Well said. Thank you.
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Did anyone have an oncotypeDX test done on their tissue? My doctor ordered that so we have more answers about the treatment. it takes two weeks for results. Not sure what to expect - what the tissue will tell them. I researched it and it says about reoccurance and genes etc. Wondering if anyone else had that done. Praying for good results.
I think we got a little sidetracked and no one really posted how they were doing, outcomes etc. Please post. Labhusky just heard the fires are under control - the weather experts said to keep activity to a minimum. Guess the advice is not to work out - breathing in more soot.
Ziggy how are you?
Montana & joygirl - how are you? If any of you heard about the oncotype could you please post. You guys always seem informed. Researched their site and not all insurance co. pay The cost to my insurance co is $3600.00 but they'll cover it. Thank God.
Also struggling with depression, guess that is normal after what all I have been through. Constant pain though due to the implant, can't sleep at night. Wake up in pain. Did anyone get implants? I have pain under my arm - not sure if that is from the surgery or from the implant. I look back now and think I should have waited for the implant. Let my body heal from surgery then do the implant surgery. Thought this would have been better. Any thoughts? Thanks
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127512 tn?1193745816
I did have the onco test. Mine came back at 21 which was low intermediate range. I believe the numbers  go from 1 to 100. 1 being the lowest. 1 thru 20 is the lowest score so I was just above it. It took me about 3 months to get my results. I had to fight my insurance company tooth and nail through this whole process but finally won my appeals. Another test you may want to consider is the genetic testing (different from the onco) to see if your cancer was inherited genetically or if it was enviromental (sorry bout the spelling). You have to be very careful with this test. If you have children or you ever apply for insurance you could be denied life or medical insurance. I myself am still moving ahead with the test. It takes about 6 months to go results very detailed.
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127512 tn?1193745816
I cut my response to short. I had so much depression even though I had a wonderful support group. Everyone said I needed depression meds but that just pissed me off. I had a perfectly good reason to be depressed and did not want their meds.  I just needed to deal with the situation  which took 1 year to sort out my normal (nothing that needed meds) feelings. You will go through so many different feelings which is normal grieving. This **** hit me out of no where. I had the perfect life. Oh there is so much I could share with you but I don't want to depress you further. I am 1 year 3 months out (got 3 little girls) and still dealing with so much. It does get easier. At first every headache was cancer mets. Good info my doctor told me if it hurts more than 8 days then its time to worry. Good knowledge. Great relief. I am sorry you are having a time with your reconstruction. I did not have reconstruction at the time I just wanted the cancer out and to make sure it stayed gone for at leat 1 year. I will have my reconstruction on January29th, 08. I wish you well.
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Fellow chocolate craver.  Here's some fun scoop here.  The cocoa bean is actually a fruit.  Its what is done with it afterward that makes it unhealthy as far as the usual candy makers are concerned.  They strip the nutrients and add sugar.  When you go to the grocery store and buy a chocolate bar, sometimes you want more and thats the sugar addiction.

Heres what I look for.  The higher percent chocolate, the less sugar it contains.  This is where you find out whether you like sugar or chocolate.  I have 2 fun websites for you.  The 1st is chocosphere.com  which I use because I think their s&h is cheaper and they are based in Oregon.  Their is also another website  worldwidechocolat.com   I like the brand Slitti because they hav a 100% bar but they are sold out of that right now on both websites.  I also like the 90% slitti super novanta amazzonia bar.  For beligian chocolate, Galler 85% extra bittersweet is delicious and thats a good place to start to work your way into the real taste of chocolate.  Belgian chocolate is very creamy as it melts in your mouth, Italian chocolate is not.  But a square or two of those bars at night which arent that big at all satisfies the craving and if you like coffee with it-MMM.  Dont chew them, let them melt in the mouth.  Yes, its pricey but you really cant down alot either and it lasts awhile.

I now have another website for you re: tamoxifen that I find quite interesting.  This is the drug database for the professional talking about it and the same website also has one for the patient.  The website is    www.bccancer.bc.ca/HPI/DrugDatabase/DrugIndexPro/Tamoxifen.htm       Notice not html.  

After you are thru reading that for the professional side of it, if you look to the left tool bar there and look for "drug database-patient" click on that.  Click on the letter "T" and hit the 1st Tamoxifen there.  Very interesting since I like to get both sides.

Hope you are doing better and am also hoping and praying for WONDERFUL results from that test!!!!  We are still alive, and still feeling and considering the alternative, I will take this.  

Tomorrow I get to see the surgeon and "beg" her to release me next Thursday or even next Friday as I want to stress as less as possible when the radiation hits (bad wording I know).  See, the longer it takes me to get back to the dr, the more time I have to think but I guess thats good.  Im trying to transfer to a different department that I use to work for.  If I was there, there wouldnt be all this stress and I could kick myself for leaving.  I wasnt thinking straight but I figure too that I had something to learn by going and now Im ready to go back.

I finally went for a walk today.  I did 2 miles and that felt good.  Yesterday, woohoo I cleaned the fridge.  Not fun but it sure is pretty!!
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P.S.  I just noticed on that one chocolate website I forgot the "e"   worldwidechocolate.com   Also I mean belgian chocolate.  I usually proofread these before I hit post tho sometimes that doesnt work.  Also, with that slitti 100% one you can cook with it too, but dont go out and buy the bakers chocolate in the store thinking thats the same thing.  I havent eaten that, and it seems that those are super big hunks if I remember.  It would taste different than the ones Im suggesting to you.
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Thank you for the info on the chocolate and also tamoxifen. I will look them up tomorrow. Just cleaned the bathroom. (against dr's orders) but it has been 18 days since surgery and a girl can only take so much grime. (husband cleaned bath once since I was home) He came home grumpy today and I think all the pressure of it all coming down to him is wearing on him. I am a little pooped from doing the bath. Thanks for prayers. My prayers go with you also. Pray you get your release date and God to work a miracle and get you into the dept. you want. Boy, you are really moving 2 miles and clean a fridge. Wow! I hope my energy soon comes back like that.
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Sorry, I can't help with the onconotype and tamoxifen questions. I try to just answer biopsy questions since that's where I've done my research. I am definately a dark chocolate lover, so I'm intrigued by your info, labhusky. I will check it out. The darkest I've tried is 85%, and that took a little getting used to. Isn't 100% terribly bitter?

maa - Sorry to hear how things are wearing on you. After all you've been through it's natural to be depressed. Hopefully, the pain will resolve soon.

boninclyde - I wrote down the date for your reconstruction. Keep in touch.



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Hi Montana girl hope everything is going great for you.  I think when I first tried it, it had a little punch to it but I liked it!!  Probably because I had the 90% bar before though, I must have built a taste for it.  I cant drink so I think chocolate and red wine have the same flavinoids or whatever.  Plus now, they say women really shouldnt drink because it ups our chances of getting breast cancer.  Heard that maybe about a month ago.  I hope they dont take our chocolate!!!!

maa/ How are you doing?  Went to the surgeon today and I have tll Nov 13th off.  YES!!!!!!!  I had some questions written down with me to and she saw my piece of paper and and she said "talk to me."  First, I brought up the tamoxifen and since she doesnt figure the odds she cant really direct me but feels its important that I know all that.  She asked me about the visit to the Oncologist last week.  I told her that I saw another that he was filling in.  She said Dr Smith?  I said yes (like she really knows her stuff and whats going on).  She asked me how he told me if I got numbers or just came out with it.  I just said that he came out with it.  It happens that MY oncologist is going to see her this afternoon.  I mentioned to her that I have strokes in my family and she is definitely going to talk to him about me.  She said that she has 2 patients who dont take it for that reason.  She also said that while it is my decision, that I should know EVERYTHING about it including or especially the odds (its like she is a team player and advocate).  She said that if I dont hear anything from my oncologist before I go to work to call her office.  She really wants him to explain things to me-which the other guy really didnt.  She said that what she took out of me was really tiny and that it was a wake up call which I agree with her.  I mean, not having a mammogram for probably 15 years then finding this?  Yep and I am blessed.

I asked if my hormone was positive or negative and she looked on the report, didnt see it and told her assistant to notify the lab cause its not on my report-so thats not coming up.

I asked about returning to work later and she went for it.  I originally said Nov 9th, but since that was a Friday, she suggested the 12th but I said thats a holiday, and she said, ok the 13th.  I thought-COOL!!!!  You see, my boss called me yesterday because I wasnt there and my previous dr note said I would be.  The only thing about that was, I had to see the Dr the day before to make sure (I verified that with my dr today and she said yes).  Then, the Drs office called twice moving my appts.  The first time it was for the 30th and then they called last week saying the 31st.  My boss wanted the dr to change the wording to something like, "Changed from 10/30 to 11/13" cause as it stood, I wouldnt get paid for that day including disability (its such a hassle to work for local government).  I really didnt think I had to call her because when I talked to the payroll clerk, she said that payroll keeps in contact with the Dr anyway so I thought, no big deal-then the boss calls-UGHHHHH.  How was I suppose to know?  I havent gone thru this before.

Today though after I got home, I couldnt wait to call her with the news (trick-or-treat).  She asked are you doing ok?  I said, yes that I have to see the radiation dr, and had a little bit of eczema too (it is going away but it was on my L breast there last week- the onc called it a mild case).  She said, from that?  I go yes.  I dont really know but I didnt want to sound as happy as I felt if you know what I mean.  She then wanted me to make sure the office faxes the new note over.  I told her that they already have the fax number and will be doing so.  That office is meticulous!!!  Its a great reflection of the Dr.  We said goodbye, I had some cheese-its, a banana, and went for iced coffee.  Thats lunch.  Crazy huh?

The steri-strips, she took them off.  She looked  suprised and said its already healed.  I guess she means that its pretty well closed up cause you cant see anything but the skin growing on both sides.  I mean, I wouldnt say its healed but Im not the surgeon and they probably have a different meaning.

Are your kids going trick or treating tonight?  Hope youve taken it easy today.  I havent done hardly much of anything since cleaning that fridge out.  I never hand candy out Halloween.  I feel its too dangerous.  When I was very little I remember some older big boy probably early to mid teens forcing his way into the house and my grandman took a broom, yelled for him to get out and kept hitting him with the broom till he did.  That kind of stays with me.  Plus our block doesnt give candy out either.  I use to be the only one, but I think they learned.  We can have some meannies around here.  Not that Im in the worst neighborhood but their are gang bangers, paroles, and druggies around here.

Just had to drop the good news to you, I really hope youre doing better.  Every day, we are getting better.  Do something fun, force yourself!!!!
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So glad that you are off until the 13th!. Yeah God! Well as much as I hated to I took a sleeping pill - ambien Cr and well I slept really well I woke up feeling great - no numbness in my arm and I feel really good. I am getting a little pooped. I talked to my friends on the phone to update them - haven't been talking much because I was really down last week. I am going to look up those websites though. I don't know why but I didn't know strokes was an issue. My mom had a stroke. I will keep that in mind. I can just tell your whole view has changed. GReat! I am having a good week lost track of days though. I just can't get over how tired I am. Seriously, I am not bouncing back. Yesterday I rode along with my mother-in-law to take my little guy to preschool, came home took a nap, then friends came over and prayed and talked with me, then I drove (first time) to a close local diner, then rode along for trick or treat, didn't walk or anything, but I am so stinking exhausted. Is there something wrong with me - should I talk to the doctor. I just can't get over being so tired. It's been three weeks since surgery. I was borderline anemic before - should they test my blood? Or is this normal? Being this tired? Last week was my bathroom buddy also. Am I expecting too much? I didn't have chemo or radiation either. I feel like such a wimp. Or should I just forge ahead and do something anyway, just go out do things even if I am tired?
I know my situation is different, I had mastectomy, lymph node and reconstruction, but is anyone else this tired? Just wondering. I think I am getting depressed because I was always so active, full 100 miles ahead. People used to say Don't you ever stop? I think yep, now I hit a big stop sign. Boninclyde if you could blog I would appreciate it, and labhusky you seem to be bouncing back. Any advice?
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I would definitely talk to the Dr about it and since you are border line anemic that cant help either BUT your body took a hit too.  It took me a little longer than I wanted to bounce back too.  With my tiny little DCIS procedure, it took me 2 weeks to finally feel like I was alive again.  The factors of invasive surgery, the anesthisia and the stress are to be considered.  You certainly had more invasive surgery than I.  We are both Type A 's I think.  Here, I was thinking I could drive that hour and half to Julian a week or two afterward?  I dont think so!!!  I was, am, and will always be impatient about getting back into the swing of things-thats my nature.  I think too you are like that.  Start being more patient with yourself first (hard for me to do too), discuss it too with your dr.  Maybe you will find its not as bad as you think and a minor tweak could make a major difference.
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labhusky - I'm glad your doctor is on top of things and that you got your leave extended. Enjoy every day you get!

maa - I agree with labhusky that your body has been through a lot, but checking with your doctor would be a good idea just to make sure everything is ok. I wouldn't deal well with the tiredness, either.
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287578 tn?1198553444
I am sorry you are having a hard time recuperating. I would talk to your doctor and have your blood levels checked again. Are you on any meds or vitamins? You have been through alot. The effects of the anathesia should have worn off by now. Maybe your just pushing yourself to hard. Hard to keep a good women down. Rent you some movies, curl up and rest but most of all I would share how you feel with your doctor. Please let us know. Hope your feel some better today. I wish for brighter days for you. Oh I changed my log-in name. I change from bonnie to this. I still keep logging is sometimes as bonnie though. It is hard to get used to a new name when I have been posting here for well over a year.
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I have been searching for info on intramammary nodes and stumbled on to all of you.  What a blessing!   I had a lumpectomy w/sentinal node biopsy on 9/19/07.  1.2 cm tumor Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, lymph node neg, intramammary node pos in tumor site.  Triple neg (ER, PR, Her2).
I start chemo 10/13.  Thanks, Tammie.  Sounds like the same regimen my Onc is doing.  I can deal with the hair loss, just don't like the thought of throwing up.  BJSaws, if you have any info on Triple neg, I would appreciate.  Not only is that rare, there really isn't much info about intramammary node positives either ( my Rad. Onc. & surgeon both say that is really rare as well).
This is my first time posting to anything like this but I will be back often. You all sound so positive and strong.  I will be praying for all of you.  After all, He is the great Physician and who better to go to for advice? Nancy
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oops! I start chemo on 11/13/07. ( Leftover effects from anesthesia) or just practicing chemo brain?)
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Hi Nancy, just want to welcome you here.  Love your nick name!!!  You sound like a very positive upbeat lady and you must be able to keep that way most of the time?  I know its hard for anyone to really keep upbeat all the time but I have a feeling you really do well.  Maybe you can can give a few pointers.

Let me give an example about me.  I have DCIS and am getting treated for that.  But do you know that I am already "looking in the future" shall we say worrying about the what if I get it again in a worse scenario syndrome?  I was diagnosed early September, Lumpectomy in Oct, and will be going to get zapped by rads sometime this month.  Sometimes, I just cant take one thing at a time and my mind thinks too much.  Great for planning ahead to a point though and their is a point I need to cut that off of.

Glad you found us!!!
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Wow!!!  My radiology place just called reminding me of my appt for Wed.  They said too that if I agree to it that they will also do the set up in readying me for rads also.  Wow that blows me away!!!  That means I will have a tatoo.  Everything is going so fast.
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I have my moments of looking too far ahead as well, usually when I am researching!  But for the most part, I try to stay positive.  As far as pointers, I just trust the Lord.  It is amazing how He actually prepared me for this. That's a whole other story. And, so far, I have been very pleased with all of my Dr.'s.  There have been some setbacks such as we thought it would just be a lumpectomy followed by brachytherapy (internal rad twice a day for 5 days).  That positive intra mamm node changed that. Now it is chemo for 16 weeks followed by 6 weeks external radiation.
Anyway, I am glad to hear that  they are moving right along with your treatment.  I think we will always have that in our heads wondering if it will come back or worse.  I know I have started wondering if I have ovarian too!!!!  And although I bounce back pretty good from things, I have always been a procrastinator. It was 5 yrs since my last mammo.  There's a lesson to be learned!  
I will keep you in prayer.
I'm glad I found you too.
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Hi maa,
I am sorry but I do not know anything about the oncotype. Sounds like you got some good responses and I hope you find the information you need.

All:  I started a yoga class and the instructor is a little Japanese man and instead of "hold your breathe", he says, "hold your breast." It reminds me of the 'funny' stories we have shared about our "girls" and the wonderful openness amond the friends in this forum. Anyway, the goal of the yoga class is to get everything out of your mind and just get in touch with your body and your energy. Sometimes I think of you and the others and start praying for you. Then, never fail when I get back into the meditation and quietness in my body, he says, "hold your breast" again, and I find myself with a warm fuzzy smile that I just can't erase. I don't mean that in a weird way. I just feel such a bond with you and the others going back to the "suspicious abnormality" group. I know I haven't gotten on line very often but I do think of you all often and continue to check in and pray for you all.
Hope you were able to enjoy Halloween with the kids.

Labhusky: Glad you have another week or so off. It will give you the time you need to get ready for all the craziness. It is great that you are walking!

Have Tam or Misty been around? Haven't seen any posts from them lately. I will need to take the time to go back and read through some of the posts to see what I have missed.

Hi MontanaGirl. Glad you are doing well and continue to share your knowledge and support with everyone.
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Just read some of your posts on how you are feeling down and not having much energy. Here is a great technique that I do. It works great for everything. It is also great for kids. Check out:
www.emofree.com
Let me know if you have any questions about it.
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Its a joy to hear from you.  Ive taken Yoga before but I find myself always feeling out of place or not knowing as much as alot of the others in class though I know we have to start somewhere and that doesnt really matter except I keep it in my mind which is a big no-no.  Also, the downward dog position.  I think the teacher said its a comfortable position.  HUH?  I can remember doing that and thinking, "no, its not comfortable to me oh ok hold my breathe and see if that makes it comfortable-nope, oh yeah, stop the mind chatter, yeah right."  I do like the something child position (forget exact name) if I remember correctly.  Have you ever done pilates?  I want to investigate a YmCA this week because they have pilates, and they have personal trainers and thats what I really need!!!  

One thing I enjoyed after the workout of yoga, the teach would have you lay down.  She would put an eyepillow on you.  The eye pillows smelled good.  Some nice music was playing in the background and sometimes she would say things too.  Kind of like a guided meditation.  She would always dim the lights and there were candles burning.  After that, I felt so relaxed and like a million dollars when I got home.  It was euphoric!!!  Now you make me want to go back to that.

All these things that I want to do youd be suprised.  I was such a home girl but I feel like I want out of that now.  Dont laugh all, I want to get married.  Never married in my life!!!  Not that I didnt want to, it was just that me, my mom and my brother were all together.  All I can remember is just going to work and come home cook dinner cause my mom was and is not a cook, and do other stuff and things just became routine.  Kind of like life passes you by before you know it.  Now, its just me in the house.  My mom lives in "Sr housing".  She said, Well you kids arent going to leave so I will.  Then this year my silly brother has a flakey girlfriend, believe me I know.  Now its me and Juneau (my labhusky), he is going to be 15 in December as far as I know since he was a stray.  I figure he was 1 yr old when I got him because he wasnt a puppy but seemed young.  
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I haven't posted for a while, but have been trying to read every other day or so.  I feel like we are all on this journey together.  I have been through 3 chemos now, wish I could say that it gets easier.  It is not so much the nausea/vomiting, (we definitely have that under control) it is the tiredness and the after effects.  Takes me longer each time to emerge from my "chemo-cave", but eventually I do.  My husbands and I's bedroom is in the basement of our home, it is paneled in oak, it is a beautiful room, but in the winter, it truly reminds me of a cave.... and after chemo, I spend a lot of time there.
My hair is mostly gone, just stubble.  I picked out 3 different wigs, one long, one chin-length bob and one very short spiky.  Then, my niece gave me a Cruella D'ville wig for Halloween.  The wigs are all the same color, medium brown, which is my normal hair color.  
The kids are doing well, they seem to just roll with the punches, don't ask too many questions.  They say.... it doesn't matter if you wear your wig or not mom, we don't care.  Me.... I don't like to be bald at all.  I think it is pretty unattractive.  We went to out to lunch and to see the Bee Movie today.  It was very good, so funny, really lifted my spirits.  My husband is on call today, he is already gone, probably won't be back until tomorrow morning.  Looks like a hard day of traumas.  He is still being my rock, though he has his moments.... one time I found him crying and he has taken to staying up late watching movies by himself, esp. action adventures.  I don't really know what that means.
My mom comes in the evenings on the chemo week, helps me with the kid's homework, then stays until they go to bed, we watch "Biggest Loser" and "Survivor" after the kids go to bed.  My mom in law is coming for a short visit in a couple of days, we will have major retail therapy together.
Let's see.... what else.  I am now wearing size 6 pants, though not sure the cancer diet is the way to go.  Have no pubic hair... no nose hair, but my eyebrows and lashes are holding strong.  Thank God for that.
Have been trying to run when I can, walk when not running, determined to keep what muscle I have, not end up looking like a flab bag, skinny thing.
All in all, not that bad, it could be worse.  I can definitely do this.  I have not decided about the Tamoxifen yet, I figure one step at a time.  I appreciated the comments of Carne (sp), but we all have profited from those who come before us, and all need to make our own decisions.  
Sometimes, when the kids are in school and I am wandering aimlessly through the house, I wonder how I came to this place.  I feel stir crazy and antsy at times.  Am used to being very busy, helping at school, working etc.  But then I feel lucky that I'm not a single mom, no health insurance, etc... etc.  I try to count my blessings.  That's all for now.  You all take care.  Love from the potato state, where it is finally getting to be winter.
Tammie
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labhusky, tamknit, maa, njoylife, - You ladies have all gone through so much, yet you continue to find something to be thankful for. You continue to amaze me.

ibelieveinfairies - I love your new name, but will always still think of you as boninclyde, because that's how I got to know you.

JoyGirl - It's good to have you back with your positive outlook and support.
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Your update is so touching!!!  I feel for you, so much to go through and yet so brave about it.  Still finding time to run or walk is amazing!!!  I love Survivor too, and and the Amazing Race starts tomorrow.  I follow that too.  Do you know the date of your very last Chemotherapy treatment?  Maybe if you do, you could post it and we all could have a countdown and be in party mode in whatever thread we'll be in that particular day.
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I wish I could give you lots of information on triple negative breast cancer, but I can't.  There has not been that much research since it is less common than the hormone positive breast cancers.  This is what I do know:

*Tamoxifen will not be offered as an option because it only works on estrogen positive breast cancers.
*As I understand it, you do not have to worry about having your ovaries removed or enduring drug-induced menopause, as estrogen (produced by ovaries) does not affect your type of breast cancer.
*Triple negative breast cancer is automatically classified as intermediate risk for recurrence since there are no preventative drugs available for us (i.e., Tamoxifen).
*In one study, a low-fat diet was shown to prevent recurrence more often among triple negatives than in estrogen-driven breast cancers.
*Chemotherapy seems to be more effective with triple negs.

That's about all I know.  My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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I thought I could share my experience with chemo-induced baldness with you.  I lost all of my hair on my head, all of my pubic hair, most of my eyelashes and eyebrows, but still had to shave my legs...go figure!
I completed my chemo on April 15 (tax day) and by late September I was able to go without a wig.  My hair was very short and very curly, but it looked good enough that people might think I had chosen the hair style.  My pubic hair, eyelashes and eyebrows all came back about the same as they had been.  My hair came back a little thinner than it had been, but not enough to cause concern.  The curliness lasted about a year and then I was back to the same straight hair I had always had.
I hated wearing a wig and would take it off as soon as I got home from work.  It always felt like I had a cat laying on my head.  
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Thank you for your update. I think your husband when watching adventure movies is taking a break from reality. My friend sent me a novel and it was great. While I was immersed in the book I took a break from cancer, my treatments, my worries, my future, etc. Your husband has such a demanding job and now his worst fear has come true. Men want to fix things and he can't fix this for you and as a doctor it must be even more frustrating. This is just a suggestion but maybe you want to pick up a devotion book that the two of you can read together. Tam I am so weak, I am so used to being in control and this cancer is truly in God's hands. As much as I hate it and as much as I like to be in control- I just give it over to God. don't want to sound preachy, but I am so much like you. Right before the surgery the athletic director saw me putting together the soccer program and said Don't you ever stop? And I thought you have no idea, buddy, I am coming to a screeching halt soon. Your strength is amazing but don't be afraid to lean on God. He doesn't expect for you to do this alone.
Take care and I will continue to pray for you. You are doing so great!

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287578 tn?1198553444
More than likely we will loss this post soon. Everyone needs to remember how to get back to med help under the doctors forum. For me, it is saved to my favorites. Or should we go ahead and hijack a different post. I think some ladies got lost last time and never found their way back here.

BJSAWS - please go to breastcancer.org. Then community support. Join the discussion board there. Scroll down until you see the forum "triple negative girls". There are so many their that can help guide your way and share your journey.

Maa hope your feeling better. I hope all is well with everyone.
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Talked to my counselor about my depression. He asked me if it was grief or depression. Then we sorted it all out. He told me I have to grieve, I lost a breast (which he told me the emotions can be as strong as losing a family member), lost energy, lost a painfree life, and then we talked about all the losses. He said it is so much to grieve for and that it does take time. I thought of you right away and told him about you taking a year. He said it is not unusual. Thank goodness you were in touch with your emotions and didn't take something to mask the pain. I told him I cry all the time and don't want to get out of bed. He said that is not unusual. But then he told me something hard - I have to take a conscious step toward living. To the best of my ability and energy - I have to go forward. What I have been thinking about is the statement "when you find yourself in a hole - stop digging" So today I am cutting coupons, making a store order. My goal is to go to the grocery store this week. I am also going to talk to my doctor about a blood test to make sure my iron is where it is supposed to be.  Yesterday I had to take my usual nap. But anyway - thank you for sharing your struggle. It helped me get an understanding of mine. It is so hard for me to give up control - I am always the go-to girl. Jack of all trades master of none. I just do, I just don't sit. At least well. I just really appreciate your honesty. I feel as if everyone is so strong on this website, I thought something was surely wrong with me, so when you opened up and shared your story, well it was a lifesaver. Thank you.
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How do you save to favorites? yes my computer knowledge is limited. And yes I don't want to lose this post. Hijacking one now is okay by me.
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I think your counselor gave you great advice, and I'm so glad you're doing what he suggested. You go, girl!

First, make sure you're at this website. (It's probably best if you are in the medhelp Breast Cancer Forum where all the threads are listed rather than in one specific thread. That way if this thread closes, you'll be able to see the other threads available and find names you recognize.) At the top of your screen, above the toolbar, you'll see the word, "Favorites." Click on it, then click on "Add to favorites." Then click ok.

That is all you need to do to put something in Favorites. When you want to come to this site, just click on Favorites, then click on the name of this site, and Voila, you'll be back.

I'm no computer whiz, but my hubby is, and fortunately he is very patient in teaching me these things.
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287578 tn?1198553444
Maa. I am so glad you spoke to someone. You wrote exactly how I feel back to me. Even tough it is hard for me to express sometimes. I did go through a grieving process. It has been 1 year, 3 months for me to get this point. I still look in the mirrow every day and see myself but I have come to except it for now. Just like meds we each are different feelings in dealing with our emotions and God knows (so does ziggy and Montana girl who helped me though) it is a ton of weight on our shoulders. I cried every single day (almost all day)(and no one knew) for over a year and now cry 2/3 times a week. I cried in the dark, I cried in the shower, I cried in the car and I cried alone. The hardest part for me  after surgey when I fortunately recovered quickly wa that no one mentioned my diagnosis. At my 1 year no one remembered but me and I cried all day. The girls could just look at me and I would fall apart. I am not so scared of dying as am I of leaving the girls alone in this old world. To much I need to teach them. Alot of my problem was that I have no one to help me. I was raised in an orphange. Put there when I was 5 and I recent not having a mother. I did not and do not want my children to be angry with me for not bing there. I also don't give up controll easly, But one thing is for sure you wil master this trade. We have to. We have to keep living. It is OK to be depressed. Doesn't mean your abnormal.  

I don't know about your software but up at the top of my computer there is something that says favorites. When you come to a site you want to keep just click there and it will ask do you want to save as a favorite and click yes. What software do you work off of? If we loose each other just remember medhelp.org. Hoping your on a healing path.

Lisa
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287578 tn?1198553444
Ok. Where did everyone go? This forum is not shut down yet. Did I say something (LOL)? Hope you all are doing well.
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I went today to the rad oncologist.  I signed the consent form for the rads, then the fun began.  Had a nice talk with the Dr there. I had to ask him about the surgical margins.  He said 10 was good and she got 14, so I feel better there.

I brought a little tube of "jeans cream" that I am planning on using and he said thats fine.  Her website is jeanscream.com   Its got aloe vera and vit E.  I told him I wanted to join the Y on Friday and he said thats fine but to not go more than 3 days a week because of the possible fatigue.  We talked about walking and Ive been doing it since the 1st and he said that will actually help with the fatigue.  Nothing too strenous (sp.).  He said dont take Vitamins A, C and E but that a mulit vitamin is fine.  Once we get started, he will see me every Tuesday to examine my skin and see about the side effects

I then went in a room where a master mind tech measured, took pictures, and tattooed me.  I have 4 small blue dots but havent looked yet exactly.  That took an all of 20 minutes.  In case some of you dont know, you hold on to what I call handle bars behind you while you are laying on your back and have to keep VERY still.  My left arm was hurting bad.  Have a hurt muscle there.  He finally "unglued" me then the tech massaged my shoulders for a little bit.  That felt good.  

Tomorrow, I am going to Julian in the morning, and in the afternoon at 2:00 I have to go for a cat-scan so the onc. can see where my heart and organs are in relation to my left breast.  Next Friday the 16th, I go back to the tech for the long pre-lim set up that lasts an hour and the hands will go on the handle bars again.  

After that,  on the 19th I have a "dry run" to see how everything is and if they need to tweak anything.  Then, on the 26th, I get my first ZAP.  Im scheduled for 33 and looking at my schedule here cause they are nice enough to give you one, it looks like 1/11/08 is my last one.  The last 5 Zaps are boosts which means they will concentrate on the incision part only.  Since they are open only from 7-3:30 (because they dont have too many patients right now), I have all mine scheduled for 7:30 (UGH).  

I am sure glad I had this time off to get set up.  It would have been a hassle for me to be at work and then be out half the day for the appt I had today, and the cat scan I have tomorrow.  Looking at this schedule it seems to confirm it for me.  True, I dont like to go to work anyway BUT there is alot involved here.

I hope everybody is well because it looks like everyone skipped a day.  

How are you holding up maa?

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God speed!  You can do it...don't forget to breathe.
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doing fine. Still waiting on results. Surprise surprise. It does seem like we wait a lot. Hurry up then wait. I was busy on Monday, then drove and took my little guy to preschool, ran errands, went to see my son get his varsity letter at an evening program. Wed. got up around 9:00 then fell asleep again and didn't wake up til 1 in the afternoon. I never do that Wow. I was pooped. I guess I did to much mon and tues. How many weeks do they give you off for a mastectomy? I am into my 4th week of healing. Tuesday was the first day i drove - i have manual transmission. Still have pain with my implant. My sister-in-law talk to someone who just got implants and they too had pain under the arm. So I'm am glad it is the implant and not the mastectomy. She is just fine now no pain.
Labhusky - couldn't imagine lifting my arm over my head. Due to the fact that I have an implant he didn't want me doing any exercises and I couldn't now even if I wanted to. So good for you. How many weeks out are you from surgery. I thought about walking also I think that would be good for me and I told my husband when this mess is over I am going to join a gym too. Shame we are not in the same neighborhood we could go together and motivate each other. Also does anyone know when the numbness in the breast wears off? Gradually I am getting feeling but was wondering is it a year for the whole thing or months or what.
Go to plastic surgeon tonight. Not sure what he is doing tonight - hopefully not more saline. But after a few days you get used to the stretch.
Take care all.
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Thank you carme, I really forget to do that sometimes thats why I read the kind of books I do to remind me.  I am making a committment to relaxing more and it isnt easy but if I keep it at the fore front of my head (and thats crammed already too with other stuff), I may have a chance of controlling it better.

maa I am 5 weeks post op today.  I think with a masectomy its 6-8 weeks recovery time before going back to work.  I am just being a wimp with my lumpectomy.  Somebody at work said dont come back till you are ready because you know how they are.  Good advice!!!  I had like 138 or so hours of sick leave and close to that vacation since I hardly ever took one.  Maybe that was one of my problems too.  Im going to hate to look at my totals when I get back but if I need time off, I will take it anyway.  Especially if I start feeling tired from the radiation treatments which can happen mid span.  I will just have the Dr write a note to keep me out for 2-3 days as needed.  Where I use to work they were more understanding when my friend went through it.  She'd call and say that she just couldnt make it in because she felt so tired and needed to rest, and they worked with her.  I dont feel I have that where I am.

I drove to Julian finally yesterday.  I could see where the fires were and in some places before getting their, I could smell the soot and singey after effects.  Not nearly as bad of course as when they were blazing.  I took you all with me in my heart.  Where I had breakfast, in the restroom they had a lpretty teacup painted with flowers and under it was scripture.  I memorized it yesterday:  Trust in the Lord and do good .  It was a Psalms verse I believe.  I bought a pair of earrings and something called a cell phone lanyard that has pretty beads on it.  Took me about an hour to figure out how to put it on the phone last night but I found a website-FINALLY!!!  That had directions.  Bought some honey from up there, elderberry jelly, and apple butter.  ALl are homemade from up there.  Stopped off at an egg ranch and bought a dozen of fresh eggs then came home.

It takes about an hour and 20 minutes each way to there.  Got there at 9:20, and got back at 12:40 because I had my cat scan to go to.  Didnt walk yesterday, was pooped!!  

The scan itself wasnt all that bad but I had to put my hands on the handle bars again.  The tech noticed I reacted a little to the tattoos.  They were just a little red and raised a little around the dye.  He said to use neosporin for a couple of days and that should take care of it.  Already looks like the redness is gone but one more day cant hurt.

When you feel you are ready to walk, go for it cause your body is telling you something.  Im going to inspect the Y today after seeing a friend at my own work.  That would be so nice to buddy up and go to the gym, I agree.  

Better get ready.  Im actually going to put on makeup.  That will take FOREVER.
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I thought I would post about some of the questions I saw here.
For maa and the numbness, my surgeon told me it will never go away and my husband agrees.  In a mastectomy, the nerves to the skin of the breast are severed and they don't usually rejuvenate.  It's an odd feeling to get used to, but probably far better than it being painful.  Plus, with the node dissection, the underside of my left arm is numb down about midway, then feeling picks up again.  She (surgeon) said this feeling might come back, but everyone is different.  I have no sign of any lymphedema, which is great, but I have been religious about doing my wall-climbing up above the head exercises.  I do have full range of motion in both arms.
As far as activity, I was very active before surgery, and have tried to stay that way.  If I can't run on a day, I try to walk at least 5 miles, and if that is not possible, I try to spend 45 minutes on the elliptical at the Y.  I am determined not to lose muscle as I lose weight.  I can't stand flat butt syndrome, though it would go along with my flat chest syndrome.  Before surgery, I used to just shower in the group showers at the Y.  Have not been brave enough to do that after the surgery, but I wish I was.  Just think, there might be someone else who is getting ready to have a mastectomy and they could ask me what it was like etc.... Have never seen anyone post-mastectomy in the group shower.  We are all a bunch of wimps.... I guess.  Give me some courage guys.
I am hoping to be back running half marathons next fall.   That is what I love, running in the spring and fall, when the seasons change.... pushing myself.  Cute little sports bras with my new B breasts pointed straight forward.... hah.
Lets see, what else.  I can't really comment about the energy level.  I comes and goes, but then I have the chemo too.  I did not really have any time, maybe a 10 days between surgery and the chemo starting, so hard to really judge my recovery from the mastectomi.  Once the drains were out, it seemed  not so bad.  The drains were the yucky part.  I am lucky to have my husband, who totally took care of the drains, all the emptying and stripping and he even pulled 2 of them for me.  So I'm not the best model for that.  I'm lucky to have a doc for a husband period.... he is my sounding board for everything.
As far as the depression, I have considered an antidepressant, but I don't think I need one.  I am a psychiatric nurse for 20 years, and I think at times I have a situational depression, but once I'm through with the treatment, I think I will be fine.  I talk with my psychiatrist friends, who are only too happy to jump in with some lexapro when I need some, but I'm trying not to do that.  I've never been a depressed type person, and I think my reactions and feelings are probably pretty normal.  I do take ativan (benzodiazipine family) during the day, it helps me to eat.  And I take 5 mg of ambien to sleep at night.  On chemo weeks, I take a bit more ativan and compazine, just because I have this overwhelming nausea, and I know I need to eat.  I also have a bad case of pre-chemo (anticipatory) nausea, so on the day before chemo and in the morning of chemo, I take a lot of anti-anxiety stuff,  (including 10 mg of valium) just to be able to show up at the infusion room.  But, that's just me and my strange brain.  I've always been like that.  Still can't eat jello or anything jiggly, just because when I was 10 years old, my mom gave me a big serving of jello when I was sick, I vomitted green jello for hours on end and still can't even look at the stuff.  
Thats all for now. Hope this helps those to come.  
Be well friends,
Tammie
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I thought I would post about some of the questions I saw here.
For maa and the numbness, my surgeon told me it will never go away and my husband agrees.  In a mastectomy, the nerves to the skin of the breast are severed and they don't usually rejuvenate.  It's an odd feeling to get used to, but probably far better than it being painful.  Plus, with the node dissection, the underside of my left arm is numb down about midway, then feeling picks up again.  She (surgeon) said this feeling might come back, but everyone is different.  I have no sign of any lymphedema, which is great, but I have been religious about doing my wall-climbing up above the head exercises.  I do have full range of motion in both arms.
As far as activity, I was very active before surgery, and have tried to stay that way.  If I can't run on a day, I try to walk at least 5 miles, and if that is not possible, I try to spend 45 minutes on the elliptical at the Y.  I am determined not to lose muscle as I lose weight.  I can't stand flat butt syndrome, though it would go along with my flat chest syndrome.  Before surgery, I used to just shower in the group showers at the Y.  Have not been brave enough to do that after the surgery, but I wish I was.  Just think, there might be someone else who is getting ready to have a mastectomy and they could ask me what it was like etc.... Have never seen anyone post-mastectomy in the group shower.  We are all a bunch of wimps.... I guess.  Give me some courage guys.
I am hoping to be back running half marathons next fall.   That is what I love, running in the spring and fall, when the seasons change.... pushing myself.  Cute little sports bras with my new B breasts pointed straight forward.... hah.
Lets see, what else.  I can't really comment about the energy level.  I comes and goes, but then I have the chemo too.  I did not really have any time, maybe a 10 days between surgery and the chemo starting, so hard to really judge my recovery from the mastectomi.  Once the drains were out, it seemed  not so bad.  The drains were the yucky part.  I am lucky to have my husband, who totally took care of the drains, all the emptying and stripping and he even pulled 2 of them for me.  So I'm not the best model for that.  I'm lucky to have a doc for a husband period.... he is my sounding board for everything.
As far as the depression, I have considered an antidepressant, but I don't think I need one.  I am a psychiatric nurse for 20 years, and I think at times I have a situational depression, but once I'm through with the treatment, I think I will be fine.  I talk with my psychiatrist friends, who are only too happy to jump in with some lexapro when I need some, but I'm trying not to do that.  I've never been a depressed type person, and I think my reactions and feelings are probably pretty normal.  I do take ativan (benzodiazipine family) during the day, it helps me to eat.  And I take 5 mg of ambien to sleep at night.  On chemo weeks, I take a bit more ativan and compazine, just because I have this overwhelming nausea, and I know I need to eat.  I also have a bad case of pre-chemo (anticipatory) nausea, so on the day before chemo and in the morning of chemo, I take a lot of anti-anxiety stuff,  (including 10 mg of valium) just to be able to show up at the infusion room.  But, that's just me and my strange brain.  I've always been like that.  Still can't eat jello or anything jiggly, just because when I was 10 years old, my mom gave me a big serving of jello when I was sick, I vomitted green jello for hours on end and still can't even look at the stuff.  
Thats all for now. Hope this helps those to come.  
Be well friends,
Tammie
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I thought I would post about some of the questions I saw here.
For maa and the numbness, my surgeon told me it will never go away and my husband agrees.  In a mastectomy, the nerves to the skin of the breast are severed and they don't usually rejuvenate.  It's an odd feeling to get used to, but probably far better than it being painful.  Plus, with the node dissection, the underside of my left arm is numb down about midway, then feeling picks up again.  She (surgeon) said this feeling might come back, but everyone is different.  I have no sign of any lymphedema, which is great, but I have been religious about doing my wall-climbing up above the head exercises.  I do have full range of motion in both arms.
As far as activity, I was very active before surgery, and have tried to stay that way.  If I can't run on a day, I try to walk at least 5 miles, and if that is not possible, I try to spend 45 minutes on the elliptical at the Y.  I am determined not to lose muscle as I lose weight.  I can't stand flat butt syndrome, though it would go along with my flat chest syndrome.  Before surgery, I used to just shower in the group showers at the Y.  Have not been brave enough to do that after the surgery, but I wish I was.  Just think, there might be someone else who is getting ready to have a mastectomy and they could ask me what it was like etc.... Have never seen anyone post-mastectomy in the group shower.  We are all a bunch of wimps.... I guess.  Give me some courage guys.
I am hoping to be back running half marathons next fall.   That is what I love, running in the spring and fall, when the seasons change.... pushing myself.  Cute little sports bras with my new B breasts pointed straight forward.... hah.
Lets see, what else.  I can't really comment about the energy level.  I comes and goes, but then I have the chemo too.  I did not really have any time, maybe a 10 days between surgery and the chemo starting, so hard to really judge my recovery from the mastectomi.  Once the drains were out, it seemed  not so bad.  The drains were the yucky part.  I am lucky to have my husband, who totally took care of the drains, all the emptying and stripping and he even pulled 2 of them for me.  So I'm not the best model for that.  I'm lucky to have a doc for a husband period.... he is my sounding board for everything.
As far as the depression, I have considered an antidepressant, but I don't think I need one.  I am a psychiatric nurse for 20 years, and I think at times I have a situational depression, but once I'm through with the treatment, I think I will be fine.  I talk with my psychiatrist friends, who are only too happy to jump in with some lexapro when I need some, but I'm trying not to do that.  I've never been a depressed type person, and I think my reactions and feelings are probably pretty normal.  I do take ativan (benzodiazipine family) during the day, it helps me to eat.  And I take 5 mg of ambien to sleep at night.  On chemo weeks, I take a bit more ativan and compazine, just because I have this overwhelming nausea, and I know I need to eat.  I also have a bad case of pre-chemo (anticipatory) nausea, so on the day before chemo and in the morning of chemo, I take a lot of anti-anxiety stuff,  (including 10 mg of valium) just to be able to show up at the infusion room.  But, that's just me and my strange brain.  I've always been like that.  Still can't eat jello or anything jiggly, just because when I was 10 years old, my mom gave me a big serving of jello when I was sick, I vomitted green jello for hours on end and still can't even look at the stuff.  
Thats all for now. Hope this helps those to come.  
Be well friends,
Tammie
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sorry my post showed up twice.... it is not double important!
Tam
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Just a footnote here.  I didnt join the Y yet because in Dec 11th and I think he said again on the 16th their is a special.  Ordnarily, their is a $100 joining fee.  On those 2 dates there wont be.  He said I COULD sign you up today but you might want to wait.  In the meantime I took all the booklets they had to read.  Wow, just $37 a month instead of paying the one time $100 fee.  What a deal!!!  And thats smart in that it gives people a going chance BEFORE the January resolutioners come in.

You sure sound strong Tammie.  I think stronger than before.  Must be doing better, I certainly hope so.  There you go again with shall we say, upping stuff; green jello this time.  Before that it was blue gatorade, LOL!!!  I like the way you are focusing on stuff you are looking forward o, and thinking ahead afterward .  That has to help alot.  I try to be that way too.  

Well, let me post this and see if we have reached the end of the thread yet.  
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A gal's gotta love a bargain. As soon as I get enough energy I am planning on going to the gym. Right now just trying to walk actually I jogged to the mailbox today, just to see if it hurt my implant. No bouncing! Ha actually it still feels like a rock. My doctor told me it will soften and for anyone who gets an implant - massage the little bugger down to its rightful place. Didn't know that.

Also Tammie - I am on ambien also for sleep - do you worry about being dependent on the pill for sleep. I take 10 mg. It does zonk me but I didn't use it last night and I was up all night.
don't know if I am going to take one tonight or not. I should be tired but actually I feel more energized at night. It's weird but I know I need my sleep, but as soon as I am almost asleep something always jerks me awake and then the next day I have a headache from so many wake ups.
Anyone else have this problem?
Take care all
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Its been a very trying week to say the least.  Back to work.  I felt like a prisoner whose used up all the stays.  Kind of dramatic but its tough to get back into it.  Nobody has posted for awhile.  We all must be getting ready for Thanksgiving.  I know Ive got to go to the store tomorrow and get all the yummies.  Its nice to know that as far as this next week, I only have to work 3 days.  

I have been to the radiologist onc this past week for the last pre measurements.  They had the cat scan from when I was there before so they could measure where my heart was.  This Monday I go for the "dress rehersal" then the following Monday after Thanksgiving, I start getting "fried".  Im ready with my cream.  I saw a friend today too that told me lavender oil is good for burns too but dont get the cheapest, try to buy at least middle of the road.  I will apply some of that first right afterward then my aloe vera, vitamin e cream.

Hope everything is going smoothly.  Id say we have alot to be thankful for this year!!!
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Yes we have been busy, but I will be praying for you that all will be well with radiation. Didn't you say something earlier about switching to another department? How is that going? Is everything back to normal after the fires? Take care and update me when you get the chance.
God bless
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