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.
im sorry about your diagnosis ..a way to fight this is being worked on every day http://boinc.bakerlab.org/rosetta/
Thanks for the support and advice I will continue to post through out this journey!
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.
Good luck to you!
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!!
Thanks again and above all take care.
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!
Thanks soooooo much for reaching out to me. You dont know how much your words help.
Take good care
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.
The best of luck on the road ahead of you.