Introduce Yourself

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dawn31337
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, September 27, 2010 1:57 PM
Hi, I'm Dawn.  I'll be 49 Thursday.  Single (and was looking until 2 weeks ago), 2 kids 19 and 23.

I was diagnosed 9/13, I am stage 1, triple negative, and am scheduled for double mastectomy with reconstruction on Oct 15.  My mother died of BC and my cousin had it as well.  Yolanda, looks like i'm right behind you.  

What kind of reconstruction did you get?  How was your recovery?

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, September 27, 2010 2:20 PM
Hi Dawn,

Feel free to post a new thread so others will see your message more easily:)

I'm so sorry for your diagnosis but it sounds like it's been found early which is good news. 

If you check out the recon/surgery forum you'll find lots of info and tips on all types of recon and also what to expect from surery. :)  xx
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

ballard2girl
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, September 27, 2010 7:08 PM
Hi Everyone, my name is Dale Ballard-Hill and I am seeking support to help me help my sister.  She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast (right side) this July.  She had surgery in August and nodes were removed.  She is now undergoing kemo and she is in a lot of distress (pain).  We live about 300 miles apart and I work full time.  The best that I do is call her everyday and we talk about her day, my day, husbands and our grown kids and grandkids.  She then begins to tell me of her pain.  The only thing I can do is listen.  Does anyone have any receipes, supplements/nourishment, meditations, prayers, anything that I can research and share with her.
 
I am grateful.  Thank you.
 
Dale Ballard-Hill 
Dale Ballard-Hill

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Tuesday, September 28, 2010 7:23 AM
Hi Dale,

You may get more suggestions if you post this on the family and friends forum jjust below this one. :)

I'd also suggest you check out the chemo forum where you'll get many tips and advice.   In general if your sis is in pain she should tell the chemo nurse or onc as they usually do all they can to minimize side effects:)

Tell her not to take any supplements during chemo without asking her onc as many can prevent the chemo being absorbed correctly, this also applies to grape fruit!
<message edited by Tricia Keegan on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 7:24 AM>
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

Gina3013
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, September 30, 2010 12:21 AM
Hi everyone,

My name is Gina. I am 25 years old and newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully I started going for routine MRI's last year when I found out I am BRAC1+ so we were able to catch it very early on. I am going to have a unilateral mastectomy...probably in the next month. I'm still torn on what kind of reconstruction to have done though. I already met with the plastic surgeon and I am a good candidate for the implants as well as the TRAM. I can see the pros and cons in both procedures. I just didn't think I would have to make such a life altering decision at such a young age.

sharonma
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, September 30, 2010 7:49 AM
Dear Gina,
I'm so sorry you had to join us at the young age of 25,  it's horrifying enough to hear those words when you are 50.
Since your questions are mostly about reconstruction I'll tell you what I know 
I see that you are in PA.  If you are anywhere near, and I mean within a 2hr drive to Philadelphia, I would head straight to Fox Chase Cancer Center to Dr Neal Topham.  He did my reconstruction and I would see him again in a heartbeat ,if I ever had too again.
The reconstruction issue is going to be a big decision, soyou'll want to learn everything you can before proceeding.  For me, implant was not the right choice for various reasons. 
Then it was on the the autologous flap or tissue flap.  Tram (pedicled)... or free tram (diep) or a variation of the diep called siea.  I had the DIEP and am very satisfied with the final result, minus the tatoo, which kind of fell off.  I chose the diep because 1. I trusted the surgeon 2. I did not want to compromise my abdominal muscle and Possible core weakness or hernia.
The one disadvantage of the diep or tram is that you are left with a hip to hip incision(scar) on an otherwise healthy body part,  as well as the repositioning of your belly button(another incision)
The one thing that I would strongly recommend is to get at least two opinions from board certified plastic surgeons, that specialize in breast reconstruction.  You may find that   a ps that does not perform the diep or siea will not recommend them.  It is a specialized micro surgery that takes an experiened team to be successful .
I saw three ps, one recommending an implant, second recommending a tram, and then Dr Right, offering me what I knew was the right reconstruction option for me.

The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook by Kathy Steligo is a great comprehensive guide.  I would recommend reading it cover to cover before you make a decision.  I think I got it on Amazon.
Feel free to pm me if you want to talk about it or want to hear more about my experience.
Best of luck to you Gina, and a big Welcome hug to you
Sharon
dx ILC/dcis excisional biopsy 5/30/08
r segmental mast (partial) snb 6/4
node neg stage1 gr ll
er+/pr- Her2 - Oncotype Dx 11
R mast 9/22/08 w DIEP
tamox,now AI 
BRCA 1 & 2 NEG
davinci hyst/bso,  

cmorris1015
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, September 30, 2010 9:06 AM
Hi,
 
My name is Cindy, I am 44 and I was just diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma 2 days ago.  The mass is located in my left breast, 8mm in size, DCIS is present and I am ER/PR+.  I have no idea what all this means.  Ever since the word, "cancer" came out of the Radioligist's mouth, haven't heard anything but "wah, wah, wah".  I am just so numb.  I am trying to stay positive, which is very difficult for me to do as I am such a pessimist.  I just have no idea what to do or where to turn.  I have made my appt. with an Oncologist Breast Surgeon for Tuesday.  I am hoping to understand a lot more after that appt. 

Gina3013
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, September 30, 2010 2:44 PM
Sharon,

Thank you for all the information. Philadelphia is a little far for me to drive. Right now I go to Penn State Hershey. The doctor that will be doing the surgery actually did my aunt and grandma this past year. (Yes all 3 of us were diagnosed within about a year of each other). My aunt also had the same PS that I have. I really like him and feel comfortable with him. My grandma opted not to do reconstruction since she's in her 70's.
I just never thought I would have to make such a decision at such a young age. I see the pro's and con's in both procedures so I just need to take some time and really think everything through before making a decision.

Thank you for your help!
Gina

serenity
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, September 30, 2010 5:48 PM
Dale,
  sorry to hear of your sisters diagnosis. i am sure it is hard for family to be so far apart during this time. mine is miles away.
  did your sister describe her pain to you? has she shared her symptoms with the chemo staff? they have been receptive to me.
  i just finished 15 of 16 chemo treatments. if you have more specifics and we have similar issues i would be willing to share my remedies.
  send me a 'private message' if that would be good for you.

hugs to you and your sister,
serenity
     


serenity
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, September 30, 2010 6:07 PM
cindy,
  you have come to a very supportive and friendly forum. i ask you not to not to be a pessimist any longer. as you gain knowledge in your journey, everything will fall into place. remember to take an advocate with you to appointments so you can listen and they can write. ask, ask and ask any question you have. this is all about you now. a must that you feel comfortable and are informed as much as possible.
  take one day at a time. if you have a belief system... use it.
  this is your journey. it will have its ups and downs.
  i have been on my journey since 4-28-10. i can honestly say the downs have been few. God has never given me anything i could not handle and He has always stayed at my side.

hugs + peace,
serenity
 
 


Greyhoundluv47
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, October 01, 2010 11:34 AM
Hi - This is all very new and very confusing.  I found a lump on my left breast 2 weeks ago, saw my docotor who found two more lumps.  He sent me for bilateral films and an ultra sound.  Today I'm seing a surgeon.  I don't have cysts I have lumps.  Where do I go from here?
 
Thanks for listening :)
<message edited by Greyhoundluv47 on Friday, October 01, 2010 11:36 AM>

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, October 01, 2010 6:37 PM
Hi Greyhound,

Firstly, over 80% of lumps are benign, so this may be nothing.

I hope you're seeing a breast surgeon who will probably do a mammo, the only way to give you peace of mind is a biopsy of these lumps which is not painful, but uncomfortable.

I really hope it's nothing serious, but please keep us posted and let us know:)

Tricia xx
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

Carroll
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, October 01, 2010 11:32 PM
My name is Laurie.  6 months ago I had a mammogram that revealed calcifications.  First had needle biopsy then surgical biopsy that showed atypical hyperplasia.  Returned for follow up mammogram last month and three more calcifications clusters were found.  Had another biopsy and then 6 hours after discharged from hospital went back for repeat surgery to stop the bleeding.  Biopsy showed- lobular carcinoma in stu.  Been a week and a half since I was discharged from hospital and I have numerous bruising and swelling in left breast.

The surgeon wants me to see an oncologist to research drugs or surgery to deal with diagnosis.  One very good friend of mine passed away from breast cancer.  She was in her late 20' s with two young kids.  My father just passed away from colon cancer 4 months ago.  This breast cancer scares me.  I had always thought of what I would do if confronted with a threat- and the answer was fight with everything I had. 

Every time I get a mammogram and wait for the results, every time I wait for my surgical biopsy, every time time I wait for the biopsy results... I have extreme anxiety.  I can't eat, I can't sleep, my mind is often in the clouds and I do not pay attention to my work, I try to hide from my family so as not to upset their busy lives.  Always the way I have lived my life was to take on any problem and solve it.  Always a problem can be solved, right?  So, I am thinking I need to take care of this and put it behind me.  Therefore, I am very seriously thinking of a mastectomy with reconstruction - hopefully from my own tissue.   I need to deal with this, take care of it and get on with my life.   Appointment with first oncologist is in four days.

Thank you for listening,

Laurie

 


Carroll
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, October 01, 2010 11:59 PM
My name is Laurie.  6 months ago I had a mammogram that revealed calcifications.  First had needle biopsy then surgical biopsy that showed atypical hyperplasia.  Returned for follow up mammogram last month and three more calcifications clusters were found.  Had another biopsy and then 6 hours after discharged from hospital went back for repeat surgery to stop the bleeding.  Biopsy showed- lobular carcinoma in stu.  Been a week and a half since I was discharged from hospital and I have numerous bruising and swelling in left breast.

The surgeon wants me to see an oncologist to research drugs or surgery to deal with diagnosis.  One very good friend of mine passed away from breast cancer.  She was in her late 20' s with two young kids.  My father just passed away from colon cancer 4 months ago.  This breast cancer scares me.  I had always thought of what I would do if confronted with a threat- and the answer was fight with everything I had. 

Every time I get a mammogram and wait for the results, every time I wait for my surgical biopsy, every time time I wait for the biopsy results... I have extreme anxiety.  I can't eat, I can't sleep, my mind is often in the clouds and I do not pay attention to my work, I try to hide from my family so as not to upset their busy lives.  Always the way I have lived my life was to take on any problem and solve it.  Always a problem can be solved, right?  So, I am thinking I need to take care of this and put it behind me.  Therefore, I am very seriously thinking of a mastectomy with reconstruction - hopefully from my own tissue.   I need to deal with this, take care of it and get on with my life.   Appointment with first oncologist is in four days.

Thank you for listening,

Laurie

AngelaE
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, October 02, 2010 6:09 PM
Hi everyone, my name is Angela and I found out last night that my mom has breast cancer and they removed her breast yesterday.  They didn't tell any of us kids (we are all over 30 so not really kids) because they didn't want to worry us until they knew for sure.  Mom is doing good, going home today and seems in good spirits when I talked to her.  As her only daughter, we have always had a special bond.  The bottom of my world dropped out when she told me last night.  It's not real yet but at the same time it's too real.  Obviously everyone dies, but it was a slap in the face when all of a sudden reality jumped up and said, guess what, your mom won't live forever.  We won't know until later this week the diagnosis which is also hard, waiting is not my strong suit.

I will be fine for a couple of hours and then all of a sudden I am sobbing.  It's hard not being able to make it better or even knowing what to say to someone who has loved you every day for 35 years.  I know in my head that just because she has breast cancer doesn't mean she is going to die, but I can't help but have that thought.  It breaks my heart to think of what my dad is going through, they have been best friends for over 40 years.  They are both trying to make it better for all of us because that's how they are and what great parents do.  I wish I could return the favor.  They know I love them both and will do anything for them and my brothers feel the same way, they raised some great kids!  I feel bad that I haven't talked to my brothers yet because I just can't do it yet. I feel selfish but I know they have wonderful families who are being supportive.  It's the same with my friends, I want them to know but I don't want to talk to them because I'm tired of crying today.  I know I am truly blessed to have a great family and wonderful friends and I know my mom will have the greatest support system throughout this whole process.  We will deal with it, we always do.

I have been reading through some of the posts and you are all amazing. Thanks for the words of support and encouragement, it means so much. 




Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, October 02, 2010 7:05 PM
Hi Caroll and Angela,

I'm sorry you both had to join us here but welocme,

Firstly Carroll,/Laurie, I think often your diagnosis is worse in a lot of ways than some.  It's not bad or serious enough to need chemo etc but there nonetheless and has to be dealt with.  Please don't make any rash decisions until you research, check out the surgery/recon forums here and get an idea whats ahead if you go this route.  See what your Dr's recommend and if possible get another opinion too, this cannot be reversed so be sure before you do it. 
We're all here for you if you need us. ((((hugs)))))

Angela, if you've checked out the forums you'll know there are many of us here years out from bc doing well, some members are twenty odd years and doing fine which gives us all hope:)
I'm sorry about your Mom, but as someone who had an aggressive type with positive lymph nodes, I can tell you the stats and treatments are soo much better than they were and growing daily:)

Take heart, research and post your questions here should you need to, but there's every chance your Mom will be fine and live many years yet as I plan to with my own daughter's:)  xx
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

carliss
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, October 04, 2010 10:40 AM
My name is Carliss, I am 57; I was diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma of left breast in September 2010.  I wasn't surprised with the diagnosis as my mother had it 13 years ago.  Things have changed so much in the treatment of cancer.  I had a Mammocyte inserted September 16 and had 10 radiation treatments beginning September 22 and finishing on September 28. I see my oncologist this week and chemotherapy will be determined at that time.  I've had an Oncotype DX test done by Genomic.  I suppose I will know the results of this test this week. 

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, October 04, 2010 11:55 AM
Hi Carliss,

I'm so sorry you've had to join us but will be keeping everything crossed for a good pathology report and no chemo!!! 

Please keep us posted!:)
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

Pat Patterson
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, October 04, 2010 4:11 PM
Laurie, Angela and Carliss - I cannot add to what Tricia has already said.  I just wanted you to know I am thinking of you, your mom, and sending positive thoughts and prayers your way! 
DX 5/13/08 Clearwater, FL HER2 +
IDC Stage IIIA changed 12/2/08 to IIB Grade 3
Taxotere, Carbo & Herceptin  6/11/08
Part Mas 11/5/08 SNB neg & addl node neg - CLEAN MARGINS!
Arimidex 11/25/08  35 Rads 12/15/08

SherylKMM
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, October 06, 2010 9:05 PM
Well!  Am I ever glad to have found all of you!  In August I went for my annual mammo and low and behold I got called back.  You all know the routine.  After a zillion more images, a nauseating biopsy, an infection from the needle tracks (the doctor took the scenic route in my rather large breasts), an MRI, and a partial mast to remove the tumor and then 5 lymph nodes, I am now looking ahead to the journey before me.  I see the oncologist tomorrow and am deciding whether or not to do chemo with an onco score of 17. I found the onco-score discussion on here and that led me to join.  Thank God for all of you!  I also found all sorts of good information concerning radiation and helpful tips.  I will start that in a couple of weeks I think.
 
I have a 10-year old son and am a single mother working full-time.  I assume I'm not the only one to have almost died of fear during those 2 first weeks.  I am up for the process now though and am so happy to have found this forum.  Thanks for posting.  You have no idea how helpful it is to us new ones.
 
And, in fact, just now I found a post about the awful pain in the back of my arm that goes all the way down to my elbow. I thought I was crazy because I knew the surgeon didn't do any work there.  I was relieved to read about others' experiences with that nerve pain.  I certainly didn't expect to have that complication--and I obviously missed the pre-surgery memo that discussed that possibility!  lol
Diagnosed:  August 2010 through routine mammo 
1 cm, 5 lymph nodes removed
E+, P+, Her2-
Onco-type score 17
48 years old, single mother of a 10-year old
No family history; no risk factors
Yes, I'm shocked

Bigger shock: this tiny tumor metastasized in Fall 2015 while on aramidex to advanced stage IV in liver, pleural linings of both lungs, spleen, and ascites in abdomen.  

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