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 New Book..
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RE: New Book.. - Tuesday, August 26, 2008 10:57 AM
Haven't read that book yet, but boy do friend's love to send me books about bc........oh and bald women & how beautiful they are!   I just love when someone says, "but you look so good, you would never know you have cancer."   I think people genuinly just don't know what to say & say what they think is encouraging without knowing how it feels to hear those words. Thinking back, I've probably said the same insensitive things at some point to others dealing with a diagnosis & just plain life.  A neighbor told me she has no idea what's it like to have cancer so she's not going to say anything but hang in there, please call me when you need me any time of day or night & I love you!  She lost her son to suicide about 15 years ago, & we also talked about her loss & how I will hopefully never know how that feels. Again, I think most people just don't know what to say........
Vera 54yrs - NE Ohio
married to a great guy
dx 5/27/08
IDC Stage II
Lumpectomy clear margins 6/20/08
Tumor 2.3cm
2/9 nodes+
4 A/C &12 Taxol Done - Rads -DONE
Putting on the BIG GIRL PANTIES and Combat Boots
Kathleen Terry

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RE: New Book.. - Tuesday, August 26, 2008 4:34 PM
Well said Vera.  I have mixed feelings on this topic.  I do feel alot of peace about having learned to let go of things I have no control of, but will I ever say cancer was a gift? No.  That is taking it to the extreme the other way.  Did I learn things and meet amazing people that I am glad to have learned and met? Yes. Would I change the fact I've had cancer if I could? In a heartbeat.  The fact is, we don't have a choice, so we just cope as best we can with reality as it is.  I do appreciate that there are some very good things in my life, regardless of the cancer, sometimes in spite of it, and yes, sometimes because of it.  I can't honestly say that no good came of it, but I can't say cancer itself was good. 
I do agree with the positive attitude mantra though - that drove me nuts!!  Then I got this excerpt below in an email once.  I still keep it handy as a reminder...
"I don't know about you, but I got to where I hated hearing that "keep a positive attitude" thing. Especially from people who had never faced cancer. Not only did I get tired of hearing it - mainly because everyone was so sure I needed a positive attitude, but no one could tell me how to get one - but it also frightened me. It usually came with a knowing look and the assertion that I would never be able to beat my disease without the "PA." And so, I reasoned, since I didn't have one at the time, that meant I didn't have a snowball's chance in Miami.

What I didn't know then and would need several years to learn is that a positive attitude about something as devastating as a cancer diagnosis takes time. In some cases, lots of time. And that I needed to be very gentle and patient with myself. And that it was okay to be angry and sad and scared and that, in fact, it was healthy to fully experience and work through whatever emotions I felt because - and this is very, very important - there's no room for the good stuff until you get rid of the bad stuff.

So stop being hard on yourself if you're just not there yet. Work through the grief and the anger and the fear. It is not - repeat: NOT - going to hurt you. It can only help because it brings you that much closer to being ready to work on cultivating a positive attitude. So cry, beat the bed with a tennis racket, throw rocks in the ocean or a lake, talk it over with a therapist or spiritual advisor, sit in your car with the windows up and scream, whatever it takes. Think of it as opening up and cleaning out an infected wound. You have to do the painful work before the healing can begin. When you've done that work, you can begin to cultivate a positive attitude."
<message edited by Kathleen Terry on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 4:36 PM>
Western WA state
Care Page: kathleenfterry
IDC, 42 years old at dx 02/09/06
Stage IIIA, ER+/PR+, HER2/neu-, Grade II, 7/14 lymph nodes +
Lympedema, BRCA2+
AC-T chemo/Radiation
Two Separate Mastectomies
SIEA Reconstruction

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RE: New Book.. - Tuesday, August 26, 2008 5:02 PM
Thanks for sharing that email! It is perfect and right on target.
Karen-Age 44
IDC-Grade 3 Stage 1 (lefty)
dx 2/29/08
4/4/08-SBN (neg) & re-excision
4/28/08-3rd Re-excision-Clear margins!!!!
Chemo-5/27/08(TC X2-bad reaction) CMF-(X3)
Rads-Oct. 08' (34)
Tamoxifen-Oct. 08'
Nuzzys Nana

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RE: New Book.. - Tuesday, August 26, 2008 6:13 PM
The only "positive" thing I gained from my bc experience is the knowledge that I am still a strong woman. I would not have fully realized that without it.
As for bc being a "gift" here's my take: it's the wrong size, and wrong color and it's just not "me".
Lumpectomy 4/14/05 at age 69
Stage 1, 2cm, Node Negative
Grade 3, Triple Negative
AC/Taxol, Radiation,
BRCA2 positive (It's always something!)
No Family History

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RE: New Book.. - Tuesday, August 26, 2008 6:49 PM
As for having a positive attitude......I think it is a un needed guilt if we have a recurrance that means we didn't have a positive enough attitude?  Sucks to ever feel that guilt....we all feel enough guilt as it is,  what we eat, drink, smoke, excerise, weigh, did we breast feed our children, take hormones.....and who knows what else we think we may have done to cause this d#$# disease.  Stressing over a PA or not stinks and is unfair for someone on the outside to critize us about our attitude....let them travel our path and we will see how much they have a PA.
Sorry for the rant!
Hope and strength,
Ann B.

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RE: New Book.. - Wednesday, August 27, 2008 4:58 PM
Hi--I read this book awhile ago and have been "regifted" so I hope the gift giving does stop.  I never thought of cancer as a gift.  To me the gift was survival and I never believed in the platitude that  G d never gave us more than we could handle--think concentration camps and starving children and Darfur (I think the real religious idea is to have faith no matter what happens.  This was the experiment with Job. And if that floats your boat--oaky.)  I do think you take whoever you are in with you and, hopefully, somehow you learn something about yourself---good or bad--but something.  I, however, do have an issue with this book.  It is written by a very privileged woman who has very privileged firends.  She is a NY tv and radio producer and is used to writing and dealing with very clever, glib words.  She has no idea of the lives many of the women on this board lead--no insurance, young children, lack of emotional, educational,  financial resources--and she would not understand how they got into such a pickle.  For me cancer just is--hopefully preventable and/or curable someday--and it didn't shock me when I got cancer or a recurrence. It did upset and scare me.  To me if there is someone who takes comfort in pink ribbons or in believing that cancer is a gift or wants to give it a pet name or get angry--then I say go for it--do what you have to do to survive.
                                          Ann B.
Ann B.
12/89--Lumptectomy of left breast for 2 sites of DCIS followed by radiation and 5 years of tamoxifen. ER/PR +
12/2002--Mastectomy of Left breast for recurrence. Nodes negative. ER/PR+ Her2-. Arimidex.
Katherine Burto

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RE: New Book.. - Wednesday, August 27, 2008 5:31 PM
Hell, don't ever feel sorry about the rant, this is where I come to rant. 
I was just given the most fantastic book (from my oncologist of all people) called After Breast Cancer Answers to the Questions You're Afraid to Ask. It's by Musa Mayer and last time I looked at Amazon it was out of stock.  I want to give a copy away on my blog but I'm notletting go of mine until I'm sure I can get another (selfish I know).  But it covers all of these things that we've been talking about and has tons of quotes from other survivors. I just wish someone had given it to me a year ago but live and learn I guess.

Be strong! - Kate

Kate Burton
Dx 4/06 Stage III E+P+ Her -
4 A&C
Bilat mast & oophorectomy 7/06
6cm tumor, 9/16 nodes +
8 chemo Taxol & Taxotere
35 Radiation
Mom of 2, 4&7

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RE: New Book.. - Wednesday, August 27, 2008 6:14 PM
I have a cousin whining about his divorce at a family gathering, finally he asked me how I was. I told him the bc was a non-issue. Although I wanted to say that this past year has sucked some really big ones.
<message edited by fab4 on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 6:21 PM>
Michigan- Dx: 3/07 Multi-focal DCIS
8/30/07- LB Mastectomy with expander
9/6- LB Invasive tumor, 1.8 cm discovered
9/19- oncotype 35
10/11- 11/29 Start 4 cycles of A/C, ER+, PR+, HER2-
4/08- Tamoxifen
5/29/08- Exhange- silicone implant

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RE: New Book.. - Wednesday, August 27, 2008 6:59 PM
As far as gifts go, I'd rather have diamonds.
Julie Dx at age 55. Biopsy left breast 8/20/07.Stage II @ lymph nodes involved. Mastectomy 9/13/07 @ tram flap. TAC 6 rounds beginning 11/28/07 ending 3/18/08. Arimidex.
Ree T

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Re:New Book.. - Friday, May 22, 2015 10:37 AM
It is so helpful reading about your "true" feelings, from all of you.  I have been having a hard time being "positive" all the time. It seems that is expected and I have begun to understand that it is ludicrous to think that I can be that.  I found a saying on Facebook that just said it all for me.  "I'm exhausted from trying to be stronger than I feel." I couldn't figure out why I feel so tired. Had blood tests run and all is well.  I'm realizing that I just wasn't allowing myself to honestly feel sad and changed. I thought that since I found the cancer early that I didn't have the right to say I'm a survivor. However, I'm realizing that all the same fears and losses happened to me. I lost my breasts! I hate looking in the mirror! I'm scared the doctors are wrong! Those who say, "you will be fine" just don't have a clue and I hope they never will. They mean well and just trying to care, but it sure doesn't help. Starting Tamoxifen today and really nervous about it. I have terrible reactions to medications, but the oncologist wants me to give it a try.  DREADING IT!
Ree, Aurora, CO, Age 65
Invasive ductal carcinoma, left breast
ER+, PgR+, HER2 by IHC Negative, Stage I
Bilateral Mastectomy 3/20/15
Cancer found in right breast after surgery

Nodes clear, clear margins
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