Today I was diagnosed with brest cancer. I have a 3cm infiltrating ductal carcinoma tumor, rt breast. So far I have 1 lymph node under the same arm that tested positive for cancerous cells. I meet with my surgeon on monday followed by an MRI on tuesday and the oncologist later in the week. This is soooooooo overwhelming that my head is spinning!! I am only 40 years old. Please, if anyone has had a breast cancer diagnosis please send me some words of encouragement and also any advice you may have!! I thank you in advance.
You have reached the right place for a lot of encouragement and advice, and I know you will get it.
From me, a non-medical person, who has recently dealt with a situation somewhat similar to yours, it is natural for your head to spin at first, Then I found, and you will find I'm sure, that your surgeon and oncologist will be suggesting the best possible course for you. Take someone with you to these appts if you can,and have questions ready if you can. I read Dr. Susan Love's Breast Cancer book. It has a lot of information in it.
Best of luck and as a breast cancer survivor recently said to me, before you know it, you'll be feeling really good and this time of your life will just be a memory.
Just remember to listen carefully to whatever your doctors tell you. And like kumara stated take someone with you, you will need their support and ears, because you probably are so worried you might not hear everything said. God Bless you and take care of you during this time. good luck.
I was diagnosed in 2005 with Stage III, 1 node positive. You are young, chemo will knock you down a bit (if you are absolutely lucky you won't even notice it with the exception of hair loss). Ask for Zofran (anti-nausea) if they don't offer. I took it twice on days 1-3 and then once a day after, as needed. Usually you'll feel ill for a couple of days and go into a "recovery" mode where you'll feel just about normal before being hit again with another infusion.
Drink lots of water, walk a bit every day, and ask your doc about a good multi-vitamin and I also took B-50 to help keep my energy up.
Radiation will follow since you have a positive node. That's not so bad except it is EVERY day. That is the tiring part.
Are they offering lumpectomy or mastectomy? Personally, I would have a mastectomy and just be rid of the offending breast. Are you going to do reconstruction? Lots of folks are going to what is called DIEP which is a TRAM without taking the muscle. TRAM is stomach muscle removed to form a breast pocket with the fat from the abdomen and the skin. DIEP does basically the same without the muscle, is more complicated and delicate because of that. There are also surgeries where they use material from the back of the arm, and also from the buttocks. All are serious surgeries, but as I said, you are young, you can get through this.
Try to keep a positive outlook. Remember, all that you go through, each stage, won't last that long, hair loss is temporary, feeling icky is temporary. You can and will get through this. Many people on here have been there and some are still there.
Listen to your docs, make sure you understand what you are about to face...go back with questions. Keep a notebook to write stuff down when you think of it.
Thank you so very much for your kind words. I need all the advice and guidence that I can get. I will definately be taking notes down from the info you have given me. I meet with the surgeon for the first time on Monday, so as of now I am not sure what type of surgery I will have. I would just assume having a mastectomy so I can just be done with it. I have been told by the radiologist Dr that the doc I am seeing may advise chemo BEFORE surgery. So I really dont know what to expect but as you suggested I will ask lots of questions!!
Right now I am at the place where I am freakin out over every little strange feeeling in my body. If I cough I think it has spread to my lungs, if my throat feels funny, I think it's in my throat, if my tummy feels ill, I thinks it's there to!! I am so stressed and I am hoping I get passed the "OH MY GOODNESS HAS IT SPREAD" syndrome! I get an MRI on tuesday and a PET some time later. I hope I can keep my sanity while awaiting the results. Did you get any of these feelings??
Thanks so MUCH for your words and any other comments you or anyone else would like to post, please bring it!!
I just wanted to let you know your not alone. My mother was diagnoised in October, I have been with her for each and every appointment. She went through chemo first, she got a little sick, and weak, but with the great drugs it will help greatly. Then she had surgery, both breasts were removed a radical on the right side. I know what you mean about worrying about it spreading, the scans will tell you lots. Having doctors you feel comfortable with in asking questions and fully trust is key. The one thing we were told when we first found out that I am glad for is to consult a breast surgeon. We found a wonderful surgeon. Now she is on to radiation in a few weeks. Good luck and if you have ANY questions just ask or anyone to talk to we are all here for you!
I too was just recently diagnosed with bc (March 17). This coming week will be a flurry of tests and you will feel overwhelmed at first. But as you see the various doctors and gather the needed information, that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach will decrease. You will probably even be making up jokes about it by the end of the week (okay, it might take two weeks). Don't be afraid to do your own research and question everything. It is in the knowledge that you gain that will finally make you feel in control of the bc instead of being controlled by it. I go in tomorrow for a mastectomy and I will have chemotherapy to follow. I was very frightened of the chemo. If I am honest, I still am but much less than I was because I know what to expect. I am only 43. We will go through this together. And, on the bright side, after being told for several years by my kids that I am old, I have been told continually since my diagnosis that I am very young. So, if you want everyone to think that you are young, just get bc in your 40s. However, I would recommed Botox injections as the preferable alternative! Good luck!
Just a few more suggestions to help you through this difficult time. Ask for copies of your biopsy results, MRI, etc. tests and keep a binder for this information. Get the doctors business cards and keep them there too so you have phone numbers fast. I was flooded with material to read and having it all organized really helped. As others have said, take someone with you to these appointments to be extra ears. Have questions for the doctors written down, give this person a copy of them too. A friend took great notes for me! I just finished 4 cycles of chemo following my mastectomies in October. You probably will have chemo to reduce the size of the tumor before the surgery. You will get through all this. Yes, the head spinning ... oh I remember well. IT ALL WILL PASS, my dear. Best to you.
You've gotten such good advice from people, but I wanted to respond also...I had an MRI last week and I had no idea what it would be like.Ask a lot of questions about it because it can be a very upsetting experience. It's louder than you could believe, so when they give you headphones for music, don't even expect to be able to hear much but have the volume up. And realize (as I didn't) that the dye is only injected right before the end, during the last few minutes, It doesn't hurt, nothing hurts, but I had a real hard time with it emotionally, and I wish I had taken a strong sedative. A lot of people do, but I didn't think I would need it. If you are a nervous kind of person, or real sensitive, or claustrophobic, have someone drive for you and get a very strong sedative from your doctor beforehand.Also, remember that the MRIs are fantastic tools that show 3D pix's.
As you can see Tracey many women have been in your shoes, and guess what, they are all here to tell the tale and giving positive advise. You too will join this club in time. I was diagnoised 19th March 2007 aged 39. I too was too young for breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation and now on Tamoxifen. You will get through it, what is the alternative! You will have some good days and bad days. The ladies have given you loads of excellent advise. An extra bit of advise I would give is to try to continue doing one or two activities you currently enjoy doing. That way you feel you are still alive and have some control over your life. I tried to be "business as usual" as much as I could when I felt well enough, it helped the time pass quicker and I did not feel as much that I had lost a 8 months of my life.
I had a mammo 7 weeks ago and got the all clear, but if I am honest, I do get paranoid that the cancer has come back if I get a twitch or a twinge somewhere. I try not to dwell on it too much, but I guess it is always at the back of my mind. I hope as time goes on and I remain cancer free that I will not worry as much.
Thanks so much for the kind words. It really helps to know that I am not alone. Today I got an MRI, a GAMMA, chest x ray, ekg, and lab work. 2moro I will have out patient surgery so they can put the port in for chemo. That way I dont have to get stuck every time. I will start chemo on friday or at the beg of next week!!
I am really not looking foward to it but I am ready to rid myself of cancer!! The docs are suggesting I do chemo first to shrink the tumor. Were you sick to the stomach alot during chemo?? Did you feel great some days?? I am a work out queen, and I am hoping I will still be able to get to the gym.
As you know this is ALL so overwhelming! Its amazing how in the twinkle of an eye your life can change. I have to remember that this is only temporary.
Thanks for listening ladies and I will continue to post my journey along with questions. Thanks for being here you guys ROCK!!!!!
When you start chemo, you may or may not get sick. I was only "puny" for about 2-3 days, then I called it the upswing back to normal just before they hit you again with another round. I was able to walk 30 minutes a day even on "puny" days right up until the last chemo treatment, then I was able to walk, just not as vigorously (I was also totting a toddler in a little red wagon up a hill).
Drink your water, try to stay active as much as your body will let you. You will know what your limits are pretty quick. Just try to do some everyday, if you can. There may be a day or two where you won't feel like it, just let your body rest on those days. When you are over the worst, then get back into routine as much as you can.
If you don't get any meds for nausea, ask for Zofran, that worked for me. That doesn't work for everyone, but it helped me. It doesn't make you sleepy like Phenergan.
Well i have done a chest xray, blood work, MRI of breast with contrast, and a radioactive picture of breast called GAMMA. Everything has come back normal. Yesterday I got the port for chemo put in and I will begin the treatments next week. I am going in for a PET scan on Thursday. I am trying to stay positive, but this whole thing is so scary. The PET will show if the cancer is anywhere else! YIKES!!
Has anyone else had this scan and if so did it make you nervous??
Also while you ladies were on chemo was your life pretty normal outside of chemo??
Thanks sooooo much for responding to me, it helps to know that I am not alone.
Today I saw the radiation doctor. He told me that all my doctors, radiologist, surgeon, and the oncologist had a meeting and discussed my treatment. Chemo is going to start on Wed morning. He told me that they have come up with a BIG answer to fight the breast cancer. He also told me that I will most likely have to have a mastectomy because the area within my breast is probably going to be too big for a lumpectomy to have a good cosmetic result.
Today I dont know, I am just feeling down. I have been trying to keep my spirits up but I guess you have good days and not so good days. I just wanna get this behind me and be positive and happy. I hope my feelings are normal. Thanks for listening.
Take out the breast, get rid of the thing that is bad.... life isn't so bad without it. Man-made breasts, while they aren't the one's God gave ya, are pretty good for a match to the other. Besides, possible tummy tuck, if you go for the tram reconstruction! Life's not all bad on the other side.
And, just think...while bald, you won't have to expend money to cut, color or style your hair. You never have a bad hair day. You get to sleep the extra 20 minutes instead of dealing with your hair. And best of all... you'll look fabulous, whatever you do. Take care of yourself during this time. Take time to get your nails done, maybe the toes, too. Wear cute clothes that accentuate the head... cute little hats for summertime... do you want a wig? They, to me, are hot, but some women prefer them. There's lots to do with scarves. Oh, you'll do fine. Keep your spirits up. All of this is just TEMPORARY. When it's all said and done, you'll wonder if it was all a bad dream. The only rememberance will be some scars.
Maybe I've oversimplified...maybe I'm still "happy camper" on this. It was tough somedays, but you will get through it. Keep a positive outlook. Always remember that each phase is just that...a phase. Each step gets you one closer to the end, which is seeing your docs only once a year and telling them "I'm fine".
It'll get to be old hat before you know it. But, until then, rant, rave, cry...then get on with life. Don't forget to life it while you are going through this. It ain't always beautiful, but it's a beautiful ride!
Thanks so much for respondind to my post. You have given me just what I need to hold my head up and get on with it. I notice that you post alot and I think that is awesome!
You are right, get rid of the offensive breast and get on with it. I will keep in my mind through this process that this is temporary. I also plan on taking your advice to take care of myself and look good! And yes the brighter side of this journey is that for a while bad hair days are a thing of the past!!
I gotta tell you Lisa, you are a web angel :) and for that I thank you!!
Just want to let you know there are a lot of organizations out there that can help you during this time, even take you for chemo treatments if you need transportation (American Cancer Society) Another great organization to call is Y- Me 800-221-2141.There is always someone there to talk to. Plus they can get you wigs, have support groups and more. Good luck!
Hi there. From your description, I think the cancer is still in a stage early enough to be treated thoroughly. Just be sure that you ask your doctors all the treatment options to help you make a good informed decision. Keep us posted on your developments.
Good luck with the treatment. Like Lisa I only felt a bit nauseous for the first 3 or so days. Some days I felt like my old self and other days I did not. I went to the gym 2 to 3 times a week to give me a focus and somewhere to go each day if I was not up to work. My workout was light, treadmill and machine work, but I felt ok doing it. I felt I was killing the cancer with chemo and rebuilding my body with the exercise. If you feel a bit nauseous sitting at home watching the TV does not help. I found a gentle walk for 30 minutes really helped and it took my my mind off it. However, everyone on this website has had different experiences. What I can say is to listen to your own body and decide for yourself what you are fit for.
Thanks so much for the advice I am sucking it all in. I just get so sad sometimes because it is all so overwhelming!! Iris I loved your comment that you felt like you were killing the cancer with chemo and rebuilding your body with exercise, what an awesome way to look at the process. I start chemo on Wed and my goal is to get to the gym a few days a week. I am a flight attendant so I have to take leave because my doctors dont think it would be good for me to fly during this process. They said the recycled cabin air with ill passengers on board would not be good for me. Plus they want me to be well rested through this treatment.
I feel so blessed to have found this forum, you all are amazing and I thank you so much for your concern and direction. I will keep you posted on my progress as I take my first step towards recovery on Wed.
I had a lumpectomy and always have the fear of not being able to find hidden lumps. I sometimes wish I would have had a mastectomy. Ask your doctor about Zofran and Emend. I never got nausea even once. Wonderful meds. You will also get Benedryl when they do the infusion. This is to help you from any unwanted adverse reactions.
You will sleep through most of your session. It's nice. Happy Land :)
Good Luck. It does get better. Cry and get it out. and then move on. And you never quit worrying about whether or not it is spreading. Your doctor will keep up on it. You will have regular appointments.
There is life after chemo and radiation. In looking back, I hate having cancer but I am so very gratefull for the experience. It has taught me alot and my family too. I have gained so much from it. I believe that God does not want us to be miserable but I believe that he allows certain things to happen to us so that we can grow and become more perfect. You will see.
Take care and on behalf of all breast cancer patients, WE LOVE YOU!!!Git er done,,,,,,
And just think, when you get down to only three hairs, you can still braid it. When you get down to only two hairs, you can part it in the middle. when you have only one hair left, you can put it in a ponytail. when you have no hair left, you won't have to fuss. So you see, there is always an up side to alll things.
I will be thinking of you. enjoy your first day, you will sleep alot. A much needed rest.
Oh my God your porst was sooooo funny!! It was just what I needed to make me lighten up and luagh out loud. I start chemo tomorrow I will let cha know what happens. Thanks for everything. And I love you all right back!!!!!
We are still thinking about you and wondering how your first treatment went. Stay tough. If I can do it, anyone can. I was already sick before chemo. I hope you have lots of support. My family and friends all abandoned me during my treatment because they couldn't handle it. My husband would take me home from my treatment and then leave to go to work for 14 hours. I did it all on my own. So gal, I know you can do this.
Hope you feel better soon.
As usual your post was uplifting to me. You are indeed a tough cookie and I wanna be just like you when I grow up because YOU ROCK!!
Okay here is my 1st treatment story. Chemo was the easy part. They started with the 'red devil' right off followed by some other chemo stuff. Anyway my head felt weird before I got done but no problem. But hours later my stomach felt and STILL feels like there is a RGAGGING LION inside. I mean when I say it hurts it hurts!! The gave me this stuff call emend and some other texa somethin or another but nothing but alka seltzer eases the pain. I went in today for the white blood cell booster and told the nurse that my stomach was hurting. She advised me to take tums and prilesec. Please tell me you have a better ideas. What can I do to feel better? I dont want to sound like a baby but there has to be something I could be doing to feel better.
It's amazing that you did this on your own Sammie. I cant even imagine what it would be like. I will look at your post throughout this journey to realize that if you did it alone I can do it to. You are amazing and I thank you and anyone else that can tell me how to feel better in advance. You All are amazing!!!
Thx for the love and support and God bless you ALL
Sounds like things are going according as planned. About the stomach. Wht happens with chemo is that , normally every three days, we shedd our stomach lining. So when the chemo hits it, it is pretty much raw. You will have nausea and even some raw pain. My first chemo was rotton tht way. Although I never had any nausea, had the painful stuff. Ask the doctor about Carafate and Zofran. The carafate will help coat the stomach and esophagus from any erosions or sores, etc.. The Zofran will help with the nausea. You may not always get the relief you need and just have to ride it out. Today is probably going to be a tough day. Aboout day 6 or 7, you will start to feel like your going to live after all.. Enjoy the few days. If you get the sore throat, use lots of warm, salt water. That was my most miserable part. The five days days were painful for me. Not everyone will get the sore throat or blisters in their mouth. Everyone is so different. I was also on decadron. wow! I felt like I had a raging fever for about 3 or 4 days. My cheeks were so hot and then it would be so dry. I couldn't keep enough lotion on it. then the pimples appeared. Massive little white pimple like bumps. Renew from Melaluca was my saving lotion. I think that is what may have caused the pimples. I do use it now without any problems. but very good stuff.. If you need it and can't find it, let me know. I will send you some.
Anyways, This is a tough time for you. but just remember, you were born to climb. So just keep climbing that mountain. You will reach the top sooner that you think. Not soon enough but you will reach it. :0) So hang in there.
God bless you too and we love you!!!!
Hey just a little reminder, becareful with the alka-selzer. It is an nsaid. It may cause your stomach to bleed. So will Pepto Bismal, advil, asperin, etc. . So may want to be very careful with them unless your doctor gives permission. If you use them, watch for black, tarry stools, or blood in the toilet.
Can anyone who has gone through chemo please help!!! I have only had 1 round of chemo and my stomach hurts soooooooooooooooooo bad!!!!!!!! Its been 5 days and i am miserable! My stomach just plain ole hurts and I keep spitting up sour stuff. Everytime I eat I spit it back up. I was given a 3 day pill pack of emend which is supposedly better than the zofran. I will try just about anything. Thanks for any help you can offer.
Your on good meds but keep in mind they may not take care of the problem and it is something you just have to sit out. I know it's hard. My stomach and throat were my two worst enemies during chemo. My stomach felt like it was on fire and hurt sooooooooo bad too. I think you really ought to ask your doctor about carafate. It is a stomach coater and will help protect the stomach lining. It will not solve your problem totally but will help. What your describing is totally expected under your circumstances. Doing chemo is not for sissey's is it. We boldly go where everyone else is to scared to go. Hang in there. Around day 7, you might start feeling good. I lost 50 pounds when I went through chemo. Don't worry, it comes back. YOu are doing all the right things. Might want to call your doctor in the morning. Yogurt and puddings really help. Take care Hope you get to feeling better soon.
Did they not give you Decadron as a pre-med?? That may help with some of the side-effects. Going in it feels like ants in your pants. Very weird, but temporary, and it should keep down some of the nastier side effects, too.
Also, I drank a lot of ginger tea (nestea's version). It helped tremendously as did ginger altoids (if you can find them..check at CVS or RiteAid).
So sorry your stomach is sour. Are you drinking enough water to flush it out? I was told to drink more than 16 oz after the infusion. Preferably more like 32. It might help ease the stomach issue. I took Zofran and never had a moment's trouble.
Good luck on the rest of your adventure, I hope it gets better!
Sammie I jus luv you!!!!!! I go to my doc tomorrow and I will most definately be asking about carafate. You are indeed correct chemo is NOT for sissies!!! Thanks so much for the support and advice you have given. It is indeed priceless! I will surely keep you posted. Thx Again!! YOU ROCK!!
Thanks for the advice. They gave me 10 mg of dexamethasone in the iv. I was told that may have affected me in a bad way. I will definately ask about the decadron also. And the ginger tea also sounds helpful. Thanks sooooooo much for responding, i will kep you posted!! Also I think the ginger altoids will be VERY helpful, plus they are yummy!!
I agree with ihughes. Decadron and emend are a perfect combination for nausea. Decadron will give you a ferverish or like hot flash feeling though in the face area for about 3 to five days. Just keep a little fan by and you will be fine. Your face will feel dry to where you will need lotion. Chemo and decadron will really dry out your skin. Bless your heart. All I can tell you is that there will be an end to the treatment and you can get on with your life. The first year is the hardest. AFter chemo, your body still recovers. Not all of your treatments will effect you the same way. My first, fourth, and sixth were my hardest. My fifth one was like I never even had it. They say it gets a little better as you go and yes in some ways they did. So just hang in there and call the doctor tomorrow and see if there is something else they can do for you.
Did you end up having a mastectomy? I have exactly what you have, IDC which is the same size 3.1 cm by about 2.5cm. My surgeon told me I can have a lumpectomy but it seems like it will leave a huge hole in my breast because they are small to begin with. Please let me know how you are doing now. I'm supposed to have surgery tomorrow followed by radiation and chemo.
I jus wanna say thanks again to all of you wonderful people who have posted to direct and encourage me, especially Sammie and Huges! This whole thing REALLY sucks but you guys truly make this whole ordeal a little more bearable. I will post again later today after I see my oncologist and I hope they can give me some of the suggestions that have been made for my RAGING tummy problem!! Thanks again and God Bless
Hi, I am 48 years old and have had a needle biopsy about 2 weeks ago. They found microcalcifications in my left breast with areas of atypia. I am do to have an open biopsy May 1. I met with the surgeon who will be performing the biopsy and he is leaning towards dcis. Needles to say I am scared also. I don't even have a true diagnosis yet. I keep coming back to this web site (everyday) looking for answers and scaring myself silly. How did you find out that you had cancer? Mine was through a routine Mammo? Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you.
I had found a hard lump in my breast. I went to my gyno and she scheduled a mammo for me a few days later because she told me that she did not like the way the lump felt. All in the same day I had a mammo and an ultrasound. I was then advised that I needed to come back the next day for a biospy. So I did. They told me that based on what they could see it would surley come back positive for breast cancer. Two days later when the biopsy results came back my dx was confirmed.
This is all new to me and I am trying to stay positive. I am sure you are gonna be just fine!! This is a great forum for info and support. These wonderful people on this site ROCK!! If I can help in any way although I am just learning as I go and trust me I dont know much, please let me know I will be happy to help! Take care and above all be well.
I went to my doc today for my RAGING tummy issues and I was given protonix for the acidic balance in my tummy and I asked for carafate (thx hughes). So I got both perscriptions filled and I must say ladies I am feelin better. I can atleast tell the medicine is workin. I went and got the ginger tea and ginger altoids at the advice of my new best friends. Thanks soooooooo much!! I am almost afraid to say I feel better cause I dont want to jinx myself. But at this moment I am feelin ok.
Also I got examined and was told that my tumor is soft and not hard like it was before my 1st round of chemo. The doc said that is a good thing because the chemo seems to be off to a good start.
I cant thank you all enough for your attention. I just cant say it enough YOU ALL ROCK!!
I am so glad you are doing better. Always makes you feel a little more positive. Im glad you got the carafate and protonix. The stomach problems clear up a little the more you get into the treatment. Or at least it's not so bad.
I went in to my oncologist today too for my 3 month follow up. He gave me a B+. he would have given me an A but I decided to go go-carting at the race track and got T-Boned at a high speed. A word of caution, not good doing this after radiation. Your ribs become brittle and suseptible to breaking. Could puncture a lung. Anyways, I ended up with very bruised ribs and torn breast tissure. Not to self.... Don't be so stupid!!!!!!!
Anyway, I don't need another Mammo for 1 year. I just hit my two year anniversary. Soon you will be saying that too.
Keep up the good work and hang in there. another day or two and you will feel like your going to live.
Okay I agree go carting is FUN!!!! But getting T boned at high speed does NOT sound fun. I think you are tryin to give Danika a run for her money.
Anyway WHOOOOOOOO YIPPEEEEEE and YOU GO GIRL on your clean check up and I know there are trillions more commin your way!!! I want to be like you when I grow up!!
Tomorrow I am going to shop for a wig because it will be 7 days since chemo round 1 and I want to be prepaired. So far I have cut my shoulder length hair short and next week I plan on shaving my head. Wish me luck!
Today my belly hurts a little but Im no SISSY!! Thanks for being my new best friend :)Take care and I will keep posting.
Just a note on the wig thing... I didn't go that route because I could hardly stand a hat on my head I was so hot. However I was pregnant and that may have added to the heat flowing from my head. I wore a hat a lot at the beginning and after most people got used to the idea, I quit wearing one unless I was cold. Mind you this was winter time the first time and summer time the second time around.
Wigs, hats, etc get hot. Be prepared. Might try some of the cute things they do with scarves. I've seen some women do some really cool looking wraps and they are beautiful.
I didn't shave until the hair got to the point of looking really bad, around day 21, right before my second round of A/C. But, I did cut my hair to within a couple of inches of my head so that when it did come out, there wasn't much in length to get everywhere. It'll clump out, which is so weird.
Good luck. Oh, and I had to shave my head about once a week. The hair didn't really grow well, just enough to annoy...and it was "bad" hair, not very strong or pretty.
Take care glad to see you are up and about with better tummy and livelier spirits!
Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I was posting a question about tests and diagnostics today when I came upon your post. I just wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers and even though I don't know you personally I feel for you and your situation. Please take good care of yourself and hopefully you will find some comfort in knowing so many people care about you and your challenging situation.
I am 44 years old with 2 daughters ages 8 & 10. I was diagnosed with Stage 3a breast cancer on my right side last September. I had a modified rad.mastectomy with 8 rounds of chemo ending on Feb.28th. I finished 22 of 33 rounds of radiation before the burns became severe. I hope to be finished before too long.
One of the things I did to take the fear out of this for my girls is that I promised my youngest that when my hair fell out she could draw on my head. I did that and we have the best pictures! My daughter even tokk the pictures and made a book called "Chemo Monster". It is so cute and it lets them see that you are not afraid - much.
There isn't much that is fun about Breast Cancer, so go ahead - have some fun with this!
I wished I would have thought of that with my bald head. Actually, I could still do it. My hair never came back in. Its been two years since I was diagnosed. If it's not in by now, it aint gonna. So I keep my head shaved and wear lots of scarves and bright colored hats. I agree with you wigs are hot and miserable. But bald hair in the middle of winter is just as bad. I don't see how bald men do it all the time. I definitely believe we should have fun with our cancer. We have earned it.
Have fun wig shopping. Shaving your head will be a little emotional. Just letting ya know. I still look in the mirror and can't believe I am bald. My hair never grew back in. It was pretty tough. But I love my scarves and bright colored baseball caps. And just think, I don't have to fuss with my hair.
Anyways, thanks for being my new best friend too. It has been alot of fun and you have picked my spirits up also. So Lady, YOU ROCK TOO!!!!!!
I had no idea that sometimes a person's hair doesn't grow back after chemo? I was really freaked about the hair thing being just temporary, although when I realized that we have a wig shop right in town and they actually have beautiful wigs that are a thousand times nice than my own hair, I felt better....
Thanks for the response. You are very brave. I will admit that reading other womens plights with bc makes me feel like such a coward. But that the same time I feel it is preparing me no matter what the outcome. I have a great boyfriend that will support me in whatever the diagnosis is. I feel lucky about that and that I found this sight. Thanks for sharing.
You all are SO FUNNY!! Its nice to not forget to laugh through all of this! I LOVE the amusing posts!!!
And Sammie and Hughes my stomach is STILL tolerable I just cant believe it. Hey does anyone know what neo adjuvant therapy is?? Someone mentioned it on a post i was reading somewhere.
When you all were diagnosed how did you overcome the feeling of thinking the cancer had spread. So far they know I have only 1 node involved (it was the only swollen node)and I cant fight the feeling of thinking its in other places. I have very large breast so back pain comes and goes. Now since this diagnosis I am freaking out thinking that its some where else.
So far I have had TONS of blood work, ultrasound of breast and nodes, MRI with contrast of both breast, full chest xray, and something called a GAMMA scan of breast. All normal result except for the cancer. At my moms request the doctor ordered a PET scan I am so afraid to take it. I was suppose to take it last week the day after chemo but I was soooo sick from chemo I rescheduled. Now Its for tomorrow and I am stiff with fear!!!!!!! I just have this bad feeling hanging in the back of my mind. The scheduler almost did not schedule it since I had already started chemo. Someone mentioned doing it after chemo, another survivor (7 years out) said if the doc wasnt gonna do it until your mom mentioned it then dont do it, she didnt.
A part of me is like it will put my mind at rest. But on the other hand it may be devastating results!! I know I am being a sissy but I just dont know what to do.
Again thanks for listening and let me know what cha think. Take care and above all be well.
Hello there. I hope you are doing well. If not I know that soon you will be!! Either way your gonna be fine, I just know it, I feel it.
I thank you for the compliment of bravery, but I dont think so. I have up days and down days. And after God this forum has been a great, the greatest source of strength and support. I dont know where I would be without these awesome people like yourself that take precious time out of the day to respond to lil ole me! I have been embraced and shown that I am not alone and what ever the outcome niether are you.
I happened to come across something on the net, might be of some help to you, they are called preggie pops, apparently they are used for nausea while pregnant and in labour and also for chemo. I think they come in ginger flavours. I have never used them, but thought you may want to look into them, the feedback I read was quite postive.
Your fears of the cancer spreading or perhaps missing something is to very normal. That fear never goes away but I promise in time, you won't worry so much about it. It may take you a year or two. But it will come. Listen, I was the biggest chicken of all. And at first, I was a sissy. I was so devastated that it was non stop crying for three months. I spent the whole three months begging God for my life. I was willing to make deals and the whole works. Then after three months of crying twenty-four seven, I very reluctantly got down on my knees and gave my life back to my Father in Heaven. A miracle happened. From that moment on, a feeling of peace came over me and for the first time in three months I was able to stop crying and had a good nights sleep. Sometimes, I think the hardest part about cancer is trusting God that he has us in the palm of his hand and and if we turn to him, he will take ahold of our lives and do what's best for us. I have been told by many cancer patients that in order for them to come to peace with all this was to was to be willing to give our life back to God if that is what he asks. AS soon as they do, they do much better. Remember when I said that God allows certain things to happen to us so that we can become more perfect. This is one of those times. When it is all over, you will look back and know in your heart what I am talking about.
Don't expect to be positive all the time. And don't let people pressure you into feeling something your not. If you feel sad or scared, then feel sad or scared. I personnally had a problem with people telling me that "OH, you are going to be positive. Your going to beat this" IF you are not positive you will die." That is such garbage. although I believe being positive is very helpful, It still may not save your life. There are a lot of positive people six feet under. To me, giving my life back to God was being very positive. I just choose to view it differently. That's just me. I was told by my sister that, I wasn't trying hard enough. Oh,my gosh. I'd like to see her go through chemo. Have you read my profile. until she walks in my shoes she better shut up!!! :) So I guess what i am trying to say is we are all scared of the what if's. It never leaves. I am with your mom though. A pet scan or bone scan will tell all if the cancer has spread. For your own piece of mind, you may want to consider it. However, You are on absollute best regimen treatment. I have the same cancer as you do..Same side and everything. My tumor was 1.5cm but I had 4 positive lymph nodes. I know ladies tht had all 39 lymph nodes removed and doing very well. Trust in your Doctor. If he doesn't feel it is necassary then I wouldn't worry to much about it. But at the end of your treatment, I would insist for your own piece of mind. It is unlikely for it to have spread to other parts of your body at this point. You caught it early. YOu seem to be responding well to the treatment. ONe lymph not is not bad and if they got the margins, you should be sitting pretty good. Only time will tell, but your prognosis appears to be good.
You will have times when you doubt and times when you feel like, I'm going to live after all. This is the hardest stage for you. When we go through chemo, we tend to get more down and depressed and have to much time to think about it. when your all done with your treatment, you will start to feel better and become more positive. and don't feel guilty if you feel like being a sissy. And we deserve to have sympathy. Remember, we are walking where everyone else is to scared to walk. so just have moments and know this will all pass. Your doing great so far. You have alot of support on this website and you will be there for others when they need it. I am very proud of you and hang in there.
As I respond to your beautiful words of wisdom I am in tears. Sammie God is using you. I want you to know that and feel blessed about it. Isnt it amazing how God will give us just what we need at the perfect time. I cant even express how your words have helped me.
You are a beautiful person full of wisdom. I really feel like you are my sister in this. No, I take that back I KNOW IT. You have reached out your hands to me and for that I am truly greatful. I to have given my life back to God and the more I trust him the better I feel.
Although sometimes I am scared I KNOW that I am not alone.
I dont think I could ever repay you for how much you have helped me, but I know God will.
I could say the same things about you. You have made me feel valuable and worthwhile. I think God is the whole key to our daily existence and without him, we are powerless. I have enjoyed your friendship more than you know. I check this post several times a day. Like I have nothing else to do..:) Anyways, this is an awesome website because of what it does for people and because of people like you. I told my husband this morning how wonderful you are. You have such a pleasant attitude about you. And I know you wil be there for me and others as they go through what you are going through now. Lets don't stop sharing. Anyhows, hope you are feeling stronger today. You should start picking up now. How far apart are your treatments? Mine were every three weeks. I would feel good for about a week and then they would hit again. Just think, you already have one behind you. Yiiiiiipppeeeeee.....
Hey, listen, starting Saturday morning, I will be going off the air so to speak for a few days. We are remodeling and painting. I hope to be back up soon. Maybe two or three days. I will miss you. Until then, take care and stay tough as I know you will.
No say it isn't so. Three days, what if i need you, what am I to do? Okay I am just gonna have to "man up" and I am sure I will be fine :)
Thanks fo rthe really sweet compliments. I guess that is what life is all about being there for eachother, and God knows you have been there for me. You are so right about this site it has been instrumental in this healing process for me.
As for chemo, I am on a dense dose regimen. I go every 2 wks. So I go again on Wed. I can hardly wait! NOT!!!!! I am just starting to feel normal. Aside from the stomach problems (i will spare you the details) in the morning, I actually feel fairly normal for now. And they will hit me again and mess me all up, but atleast it killin cancer!
By the way I picked up this awesome book you may have heard of it but I got it from a christian book store and it's called Dear God, They Say Its Cancer. Its a book for women on the breast cancer journey. I cant put it down. It has prayers and women telling their stories. It's AWESOME!!
Im sure I will post to you before Saturday. I am actually thinkin of how bummed Im gonna be for the few days but as you instructed I will be TOUGH!! I will remember what you said "chemo is not for sissies" I just LOVE that, cus it's soooo true.
Well my new best friend and sister in faith be well, and know that you are TRULY a blessing to me. Happy remodeling!!
Well, actually, I will still be on the air for a few more days. We did not get the computer room cleaned out and prep so we will be able to chat for another week or so before we have to unhook everything. I hate remodeling but it will be so nice when we get done. Well OH AWESOME ONE, I must retire. It has been a long day and painters will be here at 6:00 in the morning. I think I'll crash for the night. until then tah tah. I'm sure I'll chat with ya tomorrow.
hi, i hope to give you words of encouragement also. i just joined this site. i also had breast cancer in 2001. it can be a rough ride at times. i had a lumptectomy instead of mastectomy. i sometimes wish i had a mastectomy as i unfortunately keep having biopsies due to calcifications. my cancer was a lump though. so calcifications, although i have plenty have proven so far to be benign. i had cmf chemo, radiation and tamoxifen. now on femara. i try to keep positive and im learning through all of this that its best to take one day at a time. i have spent too many days, weeks and years worrying and it hasnt changed the outcome. so now as i face another possible biopsy due to another cluster of calcs, i try to tell myself it will be fine as all the others. so we are all facing stuff. you are not alone. be well
That is kind of a strange side effect. I know you can get blisters in your mouth and throat. A sore mouth is suppose to be one of the biggest problems with chemo, although not everyone gets it. My throat feel like someone took a rake in there and raked the heck out of it. I hated that part more than anything else. But for what it is worth, I got purple spots under my toenails. The doctor didn't know what to think. But eventually they all went away. So If you are still concerned, don't be afraid to talk to your doctor. It is always best to make a simple phone call. But I think they will go away. I think it is just a side effect of the chemo.
When I go to the dentist, he always feels around my mouth for lumps. He says quite often cancer will show up in the mouth before it is evident elsewhere. So if you feel any lumps be sure to tell your doctor. After chemo, you will need to see your dentist because, it can cause problems with your teeth and gums. My gums are now very tender and I have to use a medicinal mouthwash and tooth paste. Prescription strenth. But make sure your blood count is back up to normal before you do it. I know it is all frightening but best to be aware of what could be there.
You are going to find out that chemo will leave you with alot of strange aches and pains, and sensations long after it's done and over. Your legs and joints will hurt. A strange thing happened to me. My sinuses more than doubled in size. the doctor couldn't figure out what what wrong. I was so sick and thought it was going to kill me. It was horrible. Then I went to an ENT specialist and he ordered a CT Scan. That's how we found out what was wrong. He put me on steroid Prednisone and it took care of the problem. However, I no longer have the smell and taste senses. You will also find that you will need a eye exam. Your vision may worsen. But you have to wait at least six months after chemo to do that.
So anyways, life will never quit be the same but what is our alternative. :)
sorry I took so long to get back to you. I was so exausted yesterday. remodeling isn't what it's crapped up to be. My husband isn't happy with me now. I spent a $1000.00 on paint and now I don't like the colors. Nothing like remodeling to put a hitch in relationship. It's just so hard when you think you have it figured out and then get home and get the paint on the wall and realize you have just made a bigggg mistake. Oh well. So it goes.
Well, you hang in there and I will check back again today. Try not to be two concerned about your mouth. Just call your doctor.
take care sammie aka tami
Also wanted to mention to you that it would be wise to purchase a binder and some page protectors and keep records of all your medical stuff. I have a friend who went through treatment 35 years ago with ovarian cancer and then a year ago, was diagnosed with breast cancer. There is only so much treatment you can have in a life time. she was in a panic because she hadn't seen her oncologist for 30 years or so. Wasn't sure if he was even alive and even if he was alive, did he have her records. Amazingly enough, he actually remembered her because she used a cutting edge treatment. He remembered how much and everything. But that would be rare. so make sure you ask for a copy of all reports and lab work. everything. Just file them in your binder so if you ever have to do this again, God Forgid. check in with ya later. sammie/tami
The mouth thing is a very common side effect of chemo. The cells inside your mouth are very fast to develop, so they are affected by the chemo just like your hair cells. What you have in your mouth is like the "thrush" some of your children may have gotten when they were babies. My oncologist prescribed something called "miracle mouthwash" which was a concoction he had come up with that combined a number of things. Unfortunately, I can't remember what they were. The "miracle mouthwash" only did a fair job. What really worked for me was a teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of baking soda in a glass of warm water. I would swish that around my mouth for about 30 seconds at least twice a day, or more often if my mouth was really hurting. I got that recipe from an on-line site that deals with chemo and the side-effects. I don't remember the site address (over 4 years now), but I'm sure if you google chemotherapy side-effects you will get to the site. I will try to find the site and give you the address.
I was so happy when I logged on and got your messages. Okay about the tongue today in church I showed my tongue to a 10 year survivor and she said it was definately a side affect of chemo because she had areas in her mouth turn purple as well.
So that was a relief, but now I am concerned about something you mentioned. You said your dentist always checks your mouth for lumps. Well it just so happens that a few years ago I noticed a lump on the lower side of gums. Not very big and it has never grown. So I went to my dentist and inquired I told him that my bottom teeth seemed slightly shifted and I told him about the lump. Well he examined my mouth and assured me that the lump was definately not a tumor. He said it was something called tori. Bony growth normally found on the gums and under the tongue. He said I had tori under the tongue as well. When I looked tori up on the internet its sounds like what I have but now Im wondering if its not something more. The reason I am concerned is because sometimes when I swallow I feel a pop in my throat. I went to my ears nose and throat doc for that. They went down my throat 3 times with a scope and said there were no obstructions and everything looked normal. I have also had a ct scan of the area and even a endoscopy and everything came back normal. I guess since this breast cancer drama EVERYTHING seems to concern me. Plus before the breast cancer dx I was a hypocondriac!! Not good i know. Well anyway my ENT said he thought it was my ligaments but since all scans and xrays were good he did not know what to make of it. I am praying that Im fine.
I have a binder but I am sooo disorganized I have yet to put anything in it but since you made the suggestion I will be better at staying on top of it and getting organized. I will be praying for your friend Im sure she will be fine. And what luck to have found those records after 30 years!! Had to be God!
Sorry to hear about the paint. That REALLY STINKS!! Can you work with it for a years or so or is it that bad?? Im sure things will work out. Maybe you will get use to it or not, either way it will work out eventually.
Well I should let you rest your eyes. Thanks for listening and keep the direction and advice commin my way. Thank you for everything.
I didn't mean to scare you. The last thing I want you to do is worry more than you have too. Well, I went to the dentist after he told me about lumps in the mouth. I was freaked out because I found a lump in the roof of my mouth. So of course, I just knew it was cancer. Come to find out, it was natural bone growth. He said that sometimes when we age our bones will sometimes develop boney knobs and such. It has not grown since so I'm not too worried. I think you are fine. If the CT Scan was normal, I wouldn't worry to much. Just tell your doctor about it the next time you go in so he can look at it. It sounds like tori is most likely the source. Sometimes our teeth don't mature and move as they should also. I tend to agree with the dentist. I don't think there is any thing to worry about. If it grows or changes, then yes, by all means, check into it. the fact that it is not growing is a very good sign. Don't loose to much sleep over this one.
As far as the throat is concerned, a ligament makes total sense. I sometimes have something shift in my throat too. I think it's probably the same thing you are discribing. Again, I wouldn't worry too much. I know its hard when we are in this situation. Those darn "what if's" will drive us insane. Your cancer is early stage and most likely has not spread. YOu only had one lymph node that was positive. The most likely places the breast cancer will spread to is liver, lungs, bones, and brain. Always check for lumps in your neck. Well, I m not your oncologist, but I think you are in pretty good shape for now. All you need to worry about now is getting through chemo. After that, it gets much easier to cope with. Right now, ev erything is so fresh and overwhelming. The first year, you don't even have time to think cuz everything moves so fast.
Maybe this will help you. I don't mean to turn this into a sermon, but Christ was the biggest example for us to live by. One of the principles he taught was line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little. In otherwords, one step at a time. Little baby steps are best. So just get ready for you next chemo. Just think, it will be round two. One more step closer to being done. Worrying will not change anything. When I finally came to that realization, I don't stress about it so much. It is what it is. I was so freaked out about death. Now, I have come to realize that death is our friend. It brings us relief from pain and suffering.
Tracey, you have a very good attitude about all this. I know you are scared and concerned but your coming along great. One day, you will be so grateful for all you have learned and gained from this. You will be such a blessing to someone else who is just diagnosed and scared like you. There is a song out there for breast cancer patients called, "My Shepard Will Supply My Need." If you have a chance to get it, it is a very comforting song. I listen to it all the time when I am scared. Then I am not so scared. If you can't find it, I will get it for you.
Well, I love ya girl. I love chatting with ya. Maybe someday, our paths will cross. Wouldn't that be wonderful. Stranger things have happened. Take care, sammie
All I can say is that if I can one day give an ounce of what you have given to me to someone else, then that person will be in good shape! Thanks so much for always coming to my rescue. I REALLY mean it when I say that you have been the best sister a girl could ask for.
Yes the crazy thoughts come and go. I just got off a brain cancer web site (what did I do that for). I have to STOP lookin for trouble. As the saying goes if your lookin for trouble your gonna find it. Any way I struggle every day to not allow the enemy to manipulate my thoughts but it can be hard. My morning time in prayer and reading has been GREAT comfort for me. I KNOW he is with me carrying me through this process. Now if I could get my mind to know that everything would be much better.
And yes you are correct. Round 2 is on Wed. YIPPEEE I can hardly wait! NOT!! But I guess you are right it is indeed one step closer. I will be half way done for now. In June I have the surgery. I wont know the details until I finish chemo. I am wonering if I should have a double mastectomy. My surgeon says I should not but I know it's my choice. I, just like everyone else dont want to be at this place again.
I really am tryin to have a good atitude it's so hard sometimes. I find myself being irritated at the smallest things. Then I have to bring myself back in and remember not to sweat the small stuff and as someone said before it's all small stuff. I know there is purpose in all I am going through. I must remember I am on a path to wellness.
Thanks for the scripture and also I am gonna go to the christain book store and look for that song. I need ALL the help I can get!! YOU ROCK MY SISTER!!
By the way about our paths crossing. Im a flight attendant so thats a done deal!!
I am so tired tonight. If you don't mind, it will post tomorrow. It is 7:30 p.m. and we have been going since 6;30 this morning. I achey, tired, and grouchy. Please forgive me.
You Rock My Sister, too!!!!
Love ya like my favorite chocolate bar! ;0)
Thank you for saying such kind and cherished things to me. You are such a wonderful person yourself. I am glad you are claiming me for a sister. I could use one.
I am glad you have made reading and prayer part of your treatment plan. It's the best there is.
I understand how you want to check things out on the Internet. However, I learned really quick that it wasn't a good idea to look up to much stuff about cancer. It overwhelmed very quickly. But I think it is good to be informed on what you are going through and what to expect in the future. Good or bad...
Mastectomy. wow. I had two lumpectomies. I wish that I would have had both breasts taken off. I have such sore and painful tissue. It is even hard for me to wear a bra. After you go through radiation, your breast becomes very firm and is tender. It's been over a year since I finished radiation and my breast is still so sore. Some ladies complain about it as much as five years later. But again, compared to the alternative you do what you have to. Personally, if I were you and you have to have one breast removed, I would do both and reconstruct both for more perfect and uniform breasts. It is covered by insurance. Besides, I constantly worry about monthly breast exams and fear of missingf a lump. Mine are so dense. And I have several cysts. I am in constant pain. Breast exams are even painful. I dread them. That's how painful mine are. So something to consider. I think I would be much happier if I would have had them removed and reconstructed. Maybe less worry.
And don't worry, we all get irritated. It will get worse before it is over. I was bedridden so much. I thought I would go crazy. Then one day whlile going through chemo, I lost it when I asked my 11 year old daughter if she could go get me some yogurt or something out of the fridge. She said,"well, why can't you go get it yourself." I was mortified that my child was so selfish. Needless to say, i said something I shouldn't have. I know she must have felt overwhelmed herself but I couldn't believe she was so insensitive. I was so sick. So we all have those irritated days. You will just see more of them right now. It is so hard I know. But you are right, there is a reason why you are going through this. God has great plans for you.
I am going to take you up on making our paths cross. I think it is meant. We will have to contact Medhelp to find out how to make closer contact without violating privacy terms. :) There must be a way.
Well Miss Wonderful, good luck 2moro. You will be on my mind and in my prayers. I hope it is not so rough on you this time. Big No. 2 How many treatments do you have to take. Mine were ever three weeks for six treatments.
Well, Tracey, I have been a bit exausted lately so I'm going to hang out in my recliner for the afternoon and rest up. I'm dragging these days. take care and lots of love coming your way. Tami
Well I will say that I have learned my lesson about looking up too much info. Im done with that, going lookin for trouble is not a good idea. :(
Thanks so much for your input on the mastectomy. Your advise really means alot to me. It's funny that you talked of wishing you had had a double because I am really leaning in that direction. Just about every women who has had a mastectomy has told me that they wish that they had had a double. I am just thinking that for me it is something to really consider. I just assume have a lil less worry in my life plus boobs that look the same. All my friends think Im crazy but they dont understand becuase they are not where I am. I will be on hormone drugs plus herceptin and for that reson alone no boobs sounds better than 1 boob. I would have reconstruction later down the road. Do you know if implants are possible after radiation, or will the skin be too tight??
As for chemo, I am doing dose dense. Four rounds. So tomorrow I will be half way done. With 2 more to go. In june I will have the surgery followed by more treatment and radiation. Wow just typing it sounds overwhelming!! But if its gonna get the boogie man out of my body than Im all for it!! You were so right about just when you start to feel like a human again, it's back off to the "good poison factory" again. My stomach and bowels (sorry 4 the details) are just starting to be normal. Oh well as once said by a very wise women "chemo is not for sissies"! :)
The last few days Ive been better with my irritation. I make a choice to relax a little before I respond. But I do have my human moments.
Well, my sister in many ways. If ya have more advice or info please send them my way, I get so happy when I log on and I have a post from you. Thanks for thinkin of me and taken me under your wing you have been an AMAZING source of comfort for me. I so look foward to meeting you one day. I will let cha know how chemo goes. I am hoping that the carafate and protonix will help me, please pray with me that it does. Thank you for all the praying you have already done for me (it's better than medicine) and I will continue to do the same for you!
Hi there! I am just catching up on posts since i was gone on vacation..i am 40 also...i JUST got done with my chemo last month. I ended up having a mastectomy on my left side with immediate start of reconstruction (chest expander)...its a whirlwind of a few months but it sounds like you have gotten great advice already...here are some of the things i did.....
regarding your sore mouth..i used Bioten (you can get it at a drug store) its a medicated mouthwash sold otc...use it at least twice a day. the stuff really worked for me, although the thicker consistancy was kind of gagging...
water...i drank Penta because every single other water tasted like pond scum...you can get that at a health food store and some grocery stores.....and also if it still tastes bad, i used a lot of crystal light...(although i never want to drink lemonaide again :)..)...it got me to drink...
i recommend NOT eating your favorite foods because once your chemo is over, you may never like them again....the thought of ketchup makes me shutter now.....
stay positive...my motto was "suck it up"....get thru one day at a time...
i found that the neulasta shot actually made me feel worse. I stopped taking it and felt better BUT played russian roulet with getting sick (i never did)....
I personally LOVE my wigs....i ended up with 4....why not?????? anyway, theyre fun and convienent...but yes they do get hot...BUT then you can have fun whipping it off and freaking people out.....oh and one last wig advice...dont fall into the ocean with one on, the synthetic ones dont really feel good afterward.....hehe...
You will do fine. You are strong and you WILL beat this.
You are right, your friends are not in your shoes. you have to do what is best for you. In fact, if I wasn't so sick from other stuff, I would still have it done and may in the future. But right now, the doctor doesn't want me doing an surgery unless it is life saving or an emergency.
Personally, I like the idea of fresh new boobs. As far as I know, you can do the reconstruction about 6 months after treatment. Definitely after chemo because of the blood count problem. The skin should still stretch. Maybe not as much but women reconstruct after treatment all the time. Each individual is a little different but I think you will be okay.
The "good ole poison factory" that's exactly wht it is. Amazing huh??? But funny what we will do to live.
Girl, you are no sissy!!!
I hope your tummy will do better. It took me a couple of treatments before mine got to be not so bad. You will still have some discomfort even on the carafate and protonics but you will still be better off, so hang with it. Protect that stomach lining.
Well, again, good luck tomorrow and I will be anxious to hear from you when you feel well enough to post. Hands to Heaven!!!
Thank you for all of your support too. Im still in this fight myself.
You are way to funny. I agree with everything you said. Great advice!!! You hit the nail on the head. I know someone too, who kept shaving her head after treatment because she was having to much fun with wigs.
good luck with your journey.
It does get easier now.
Hey, I have been reading some posts about lymphedema. I am understanding that if you have had even one lymph node removed, you can develop lymphedema. I guess this can be a problem if you fly on an airplane. I don't know why. But they are saying that you need to wear a sleeve when you fly to prevent lymphedema. Once you develop it, you have it for life. It can effect your arm, armpit, hand, chest, and I think maybe neck. Please ask your doctor about this. I knew nothing about flying and lymphedema until today. I wonder why flying brings this on. Anyways, you may have already known this but just in case I am letting you know. I care about you. May the force be with you today.
GIT ER DONE!!!
I just love you Tami! You are always lookin out for me I feel so special. I have heard that flying does increase lymphedema, and I will get that sleeve just in case. I have a friend who is also a flight attendant and she is 7 yrs out. She didnt have a problem but I will proceed with caution. Thanks for the heads up!
Well here it goes I will be off to the good poison factory in just a few hours so pray for me please. You have made me smile today, and as you say I am gonna GIT ER DONE!!!!
I will post later to let cha know how it goes! Love ya REALLY mean it!!!
Thanks so much for your post! I am getting ready for round 2 of 4 today. I would love to chat with you about your journey. I hope you dont mind I will post later with some questions.
I will definately try the crysal light cus water make me want to (i will spare you the dateails). Anyway that is great advice.
So they put the expanders in at the time of the mastectomy?? Does it make you look like you have a lil boob action goin on?? I know its a strange question but I dont want to bother with prostetics until I get the implants.
Okay I will post later and thanks soooooooo much for you input. I am trying to take it all in and knowing that I have sisters out there who care makes it a lil easier I know you can relate. God bless you.
yup, they put the expander in at the time of the surgery. filled it with about 60 cc's of saline. every week i went back and they injected another 60 cc's...all in all its up to 600 ccs...(about a can and 1/2 of soda)...it looks odd as it is quite high and not centered but they have to make the cavity as large as they can to get a natural look once the final implant goes in...it depends on how large chested you were to begin with...i was a small B at 112 lbs, so the tram flap wasnt even an option. I met with one surgeon who wanted to wait 6 months AFTER the mastectomy and there was NO way i was waiting that long...so i found another surgeon who did it following my mastectomy! i have never been happier....i love all of my doctors....(my boob surgery is may 6th...just a few days away)..
truely, for me, it did not hurt. my chest feels very tight and i do get some muscle cramping on my side, but i look 'somewhat' normal...i have every confidence that after next weeks surgery that i will be on my way to being symetrical again....
I just got back from 2 weeks in hawaii and before i left i had posted regarding flying and lymphodema....and got a wide variety of responses....i went to my doctor and he said that i should be fine...i was...i was told to move my arm a bit and stretch. I had no problems..i also only had about 10 removed...(one sentinal was positive)...my arm is fine. i guess the best answer is to ask YOUR doctor anything and everything and trust him/her...
how are you doing with the port? mine hurt so bad that i wanted to rip it out of my chest...i didnt (but the thought made me feel better)...i also named it ''The Goider"..
You have a way with words you are so funny, "The Goider"! I love it. How funny is that. I never thought about naming my port. I need some time to come up with something clever.
Okay back to the boobs I am a D cup but I dont want big boobs. I am leaning towards a double masyectomy and a small C after its all said and done. I definately want implants. Are you getting saline or silacone? Unfortunately I have to get radiation therapy so it throws a lil more into the course of action for me. Did the expander give you any appearence of a breast? I REALLY dont want to do the prostetic thing for 6 mos
Wow you are getting ready to get your implant, AWESOME!! Just days away I cant wait to hear how much you love the new boob!!
I will definately get the lympedema sleeve. We will see what happens with that.
So you were not in alot of pain after the masectomy??
Wow hawaii AWESOME im sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo jealous!!!
Hope to hear from ya soon thanks so much for the info.
Well round 2 is done. I Got er done! :) My tummy is feelin a little strange so im gonna lay down. But I am praying I wont be sick this time or atleast not as sick! My blood count was good and the tumor is responding so thats good.
I will try to get back on tonight or surely by tomorrow. Thanks Tami, our friendship has become very special to me and you have blessed me more that you know.
i am doing the new silicone gels..i didnt need radiation since i had a mastectomy...why do you? i was told that if all the tissue is removed then radiation isnt necessary...i was really sore after the mastectomy...BUT i had my doctor put in a subQ pack which gave me continuous numbing mediicine (kinda like novicain) for 5 days...that was a blessing after i went home and had no more morphine...you will be uncomfortable and yes you will hurt, but you will not die from the pain...its not that bad....dont forget to do your arm exercises!! seriously!!
oh i forgot....you know what did hurt me??? underneath my shoulder blade...i think more from the position of my arm during surgery...have a heating pad ready...that helped..
yes, the expander gives the impression of a very off kilter boob.if you are doing both then you at least will be even. since i only had one done, i am waaay unsymectrical..lets put it this way...in hawaii, floating in the water with my bald head and my uneven chest, i felt like a jacked up bouy..bobbin' away at a goofy angle..sigh.. i SO miss my ponytail..
regarding the surgery.. .i am ready for it to be over with...its been an odd but yet uplifting journey. Im not sure that i would change anything (okay maybe the bald thing and the pukey feeling and the horrid taste in my mouth and the mouth sores and the diarreah and and and.........) i feel better for it, strange as that may sound. my life is my life and it just needs to be lived to the fullest....
Its a hard journey and places like this that give helpful tips and insight are priceless. It surely is a journey that makes you mentally stronger...you HAVE to be strong, 'cause the alternative truely sucks.
Hey, I just had icecream. Is that funky or what. I love my icecream so if you love me that much, I must be pretty special!!! :)
Your friendship means alot to me also. More than you will ever know. I think our paths crossed for a reason. Without saying a whole lot, you have been a life saver to me. I am saying this with tears in my eyes. I have been through alot in just the last 8 months. Totally unrelated to cancer. I have been mouning the loss of my extended family. Long story but I really needed someone in my life to help fill the gap and you my sister, had filled that void quite a bit. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I really hope your tummy gets to feeling better soon. And I am very glad the tumor is responding well. Anyone with cancer will be so happy for you. Keep hanging in there. You are doing great so far. I am going to be jealous of your new boobs. When I get to feeling stronger, maybe I will persue that too. But for now, I'm still trying to get on my feet. It has been an extra long recovery for me. Well, YOu get some sleep tonight. Sweet dreams and we will talk to ya in the morning.
Love ya like I'd love new boobs :) lol Tami
How is day 2 of round two? You were the first person I thought of this morning. Actually, you are always on my mind. Just wondering how ya feeling. Post me when ya feel up to it. Remember, you are not a sissy. Doesnt mean ya still can't feel crumby.
Take it easy. Tami
Well I cant even begin to tell you how tired I am. But I thank God that I am not sick like I was the last time. My belly was just a little upset but I am NOT complaining I just thank God that he answers prayers!! I thank I am so tired because I only slept a few hours last night and I was running around all morning when I should have been resting!
I feel so blessed to have a friend like you!!!!!!! Everything happens for a reason doesn't it Tami. You have helped me more than you can imagine. I saw that you left me a message when I finish my nap I will read it and quickly respond.
Love ya more than pizza!!!! And thats the truth girlfriend :)
I forgot to tell you that the reason that I have to have radiation is because my tumor was 3 cm and also the calcium in breast was positive as well. But the thank for all the info on the expander becuase implants is DEFINATELY the way im goin.
Let me know how your surgery goes Im sure everything will be fine.
I am glad you are doing better this time. I am not surprized you didn't get much sleep. I never slept the night before chemo. I understand your tireness. Do whatever you have to do to get your rest. The posts can wait. Just take care of yourself. I have been running myself ragged lately too. It really catches up with you and knocks you down. you have even a bigger reason to be more tired.
Take it easy and don't push yourself too much.
Love ya more than ya know :) And that's the truth girlfriend:)
I was 45 when I was diagnosed in October '06. My tumor ended up being 2cm, invasive ductal carcinoma *and* ductal carcinoma in situ. It was 2 on the aggressive scale (moderate) and estrogen positive. I had 0 lymph nodes involved - the sentinel node biopsy was negative in all pathology. This all said - I was shocked... there isn't any recent history of breast cancer in my family (recent as in the last 3 generations... no one knows if the great-great-great generation had any instances of bc). I felt as if my life suddenly were taking place in some other time and being lived out by some other person. My medical team - surgeon, reconstructive surgeon and oncologist - all urged me to enter treatment within 4 weeks of diagnosis. I chose to have a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, thus I did not have radiation as part of my treatment plan. If any of my nodes had been positive, the plan would have chanaged and I would not have had immediate reconstruction.
I want to encourage you on so many different levels. One thing that is very important for you to know about is a new surgical procedure known as Skin Sparing Mastectomy. This is what I was able to have and let me tell you - my reconstructed breast is very, very attractive. The surgeon removes the nipple and then removes all the breast tissue. the reconstructive plastic surgeon then places a silicon implant under your pectoral muscle and sews up the area where your nipple was using what looks like a beggar's purse closure. It is smooth, evenly balanced with your other breast, has a very small scar, and depending on the size of your areola, you can see a hint of a nipple. It is as natural looking as we who have had mastectomies can get. Please ask your surgeon about it before making any decisions about reconstruction.
I also want to encourage you on a spiritual and emotional level. Every cancer journey is different. My doctor's each told me this, and I would still compare mine to others trying to find something that I could apply and then understand. But the reality is this: your cancer journey will be your cancer journey. The good news is you have sisters in survivorship to cheer you on along the way and to share our stories to help you cope. You're going to have some really confusing and crummy days... and you're going to have some truly heroic and celebratory days. Listen to your medical team. Ask questions. Join a support group. And be certain to find women within your age group who you can talk with - because one thing I did learn is that at 45, my cancer expectations were very different from women in their late 60's or eary '70's. I needed to talk with women who still had active careers and children to be raised. At the same time, the older women had great life wisdom to share in general.
You and I share the same name... we now share breast cancer. I've made it - you will too.
Thank you so much for the kind words. Every positive word gives me hope and strength and it makes me feel stronger.
I will most definately ask my surgeon about a skin sparing mastectomey. I am really leaning towards a double mastectomy. My tumor was 3 cm. My doc says the tumor has gotten soft sense starting chemo so we are not exactly sure how much smaller it's gotten. I still have 2 more rounds of chemo before the surgery.
Thanks for the wise words. I am in a young support group called beyond boobs and it has really helped to talk with women within our age group. This site has also been a HUGE help in this journey. My prayer is that this journey will carry me to wellness along with the best person I can be. I want to hold my hand out to the next sister who comes along.
Again thank you so much for caring enough to respond. I am posting every step of he way and I hope to hear from you again.
I am sooooooooo sleepy I never took a nap because my sister who talks so loud I think she may be tone death stopped by with my niece and 7 mos old nephew. It was so nice to see them but I really wasnt up for the visit.
Now I really am gonna lay down before I pass out. I am so lookin foward to reading your message something tells me it's gonna tug at my heart and make me cry in a sweet way. Our friendship is a special sisterhood. How cool is that!
How ya doing this morning? Just thought I would drop ya a line before I get going on this remodeling project. As of tomorrow @ 6:00 a.m southeastern Idaho standard time. :)
It is so sunny and beautiful today for a change. Im getting sick of this 70 degree weather one day and snowing and blowing the next. aaarrrrggghhhhh. Okay, I admit it. I am a sissy when it comes to snow. I hate it. But you and I would agree, there are worse things in this world huh????
Well, I will check in from time to time today. Until then, love ya like my Dr. Pepper. I know. shame on me. I am trying to get off it.
take care and big hugs,
I have been on the couch ALL day in a sleepy daze. I wake up to eat small amounts then Im sleep again. My mom just left so im off to sleep again. I will post again later and Tami thanks for caring about me I love you for it. I hope ya know I consider you a true sister. When I awake from this lazy spell im gonna read your message and respond.
Love ya like I love diet dr pepper :) I 2 am tryin to quit
We are shutting down the computer so will be off for a couple of days. May possibly be back on tomorrow night (Saturday), but who knows for sure. Hang in there and I will still be thinking about you.
Until then,Lots of prayers, hugs and special thoughts coming your way.
I was wondering if anyone can tell me the answer to this question. I will be receiving radiation after surgery. Does this mean that I will not be able to have an expander put in for a future implant or is a tram my only option?
Aslo is there a great lotion I can use for my dry dry cuticles and heels?? Chemo is sucking ALL the moisture out of my skin!! My cuticles and heels are sooooooo dry and cracked.
I only have 1 more round of the adriamyocin cytoxan left then I will have 4 rounds of taxatere along with herceptin. Please say a prayer for me because these first rounds of the adrimyicon cytoxen have made me feel REALLY ICKY. I am hoping that the taxatere wont be as bad. The doc says she may use taxol instead of taxatere does anyone know the difference??
Well you are all in my prayers take care and thanks for any advice.
Tracey, for the nails, my oncologist recommended Tea Tree Oil by Jason Natural Products. You can find it in the drug store or Walmart. It is a Melaleuca product. Also, for the skin and heels, again a Melaleuca product called Renew. It was a life saver for me. If you can't find it let me know and I will send you some. When you put it on your feet, wear a pair of socks for a few days, even at night. It will help trap the moisture in. Renew was the only thing that worked for me. It's awesome.
I don't know anything about the expanders. I think you will be okay though because I have another friend who had tons of radiation and she had expanders. so I think you will be okay.
Love ya sis,
yes the back pain with the neulasta is normal....i had shooting pain go up my spine and also down thru my hips...it was excruciating...i was lucky to have super high white cell counts, so the last 4 rounds, i didnt have to have the shot...i felt waaaay better.
i am 10 days post reconstruction...(thats why ive been gone) and im doing great...it is extremely sore under the new boob where the new incision site is...there is a lot of stretching to do....exercise wise...
it is still super high, but hopefully it will fall soon enough so i can get the good boob done and i can be level again.....it is REALLY hard to find sundresses that work with lopsided breasts!!!
i also did the lotion with socks....it worked wonders...moisterize every time you think about it...and do your best to stay hydrated, that will help too....
Thanks for the hydration comment I really need to be better in that area!
Also about your new boob. Do tell!! Im curious because I will be there eventually. Did you do an implant or tram flap? How long did the whole process in months take? Did the surgery leave you in alot of pain? What about the nipple?
Okay enough questions for now.
Thanks for being proud of me. Im doing it cus I wanna be like you when I grow up!! :)
hahaha....if you wanna be like me, you better put a helmet on and hang on for dear life...i am THE most accident prone person on the face of this earth...BUT i have fun doing it...lol...
i had the implant done...it is a LOT softer than the expander. my doctor did not use the original mastectomy site, he did another incision where the breast crease will be...and inserted it under the muscle. the boob itself does not hurt...1. from being stretched out and 2 because a lot of nerve endings were severed....where it really really hurts is at that new incision site on the outside edges...mostly the outside edge..
when i move my arm toward the center of my body and bend down, it hurts super bad...but you can see the muscle tightening...so all it really is, is doing a lot of stretches (again)...my doctor had told me to start manipulating it that way (work thru the pain) and so far it seems to be working....it is hurting less and less....
i finally got the okay to start working out (whooo hoo)...so tomorrow is my first day back at the gym...i should be one sore little girl...however, those sore legs and bum will take my mind off the sore boob!!! ever the optomist that i am...lol....
i go back to see the plastic surgeon on the 2nd...ill let you know so far what he thinks...
all in all its not bad....its definately a cake walk compared to chemo!!!!!
ps...panda says thank you....she is the most super cool old english sheepdog in the world!!!!
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