Introduce Yourself

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Anna Rae
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 8:19 AM
Still waiting...
I had a mastectomy on May 14th, Right breast, DCIS, 5 INCH long tumor removed. Reconstruction was initiated immediately; breast surgeon walked out, plastic surgeon walked in...

During follow up visit with breast surgeon I was told that my margins weren't clear. She said that she could refer me to a radiation oncologist if I wanted her to. I ask if it was necessary, she said that she didn't think so. I respected her opinion and just wanted to move past all of this as quickly as I could, so I didn't request a referral.

Mid december; during an unrelated office visit, my primary care doc insisted that I see and oncologist (margins and an enlarged axilla lymph node). I followed his advice. And now... back tracking, crossing t's and dotting i's...

I have now seen and oncologist, a different surgeon and a radiation oncologist. Lymph node axilla excision on Feb. 4th to confirm that all is well. Will then determine if radiation is necessary... Nipple reconstruction on hold... More waiting.

Bottom line... If you haven't already; get an oncologist on your team now... while you're waiting. Wish that I had been so advised or had known to do this even with DCIS.

I hope that this helps someone....






ElaineQW
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, January 26, 2011 8:46 AM
Anna - 

It's so good that your doc suggested oncologist!  Radiation aims at the surgery site an surround areas if there were positive lymph nodes, to destroy any cancer cells that may have escaped the surgery.  We need to use every weapon available to kick it's ass - 

Hug,
Elaine
 A person's greatness is the power to stand alone;to be able to make her own choice; in action,to write anew her own law; to choose her own sacrifices; run her own dangers; win her own freedom; venture her own destruction; to choose her own happiness 
 






heathers66
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, January 27, 2011 10:04 AM
Hi!
 
diagnosed in July of last year , and just now starting chemo  again after a few mishaps with doctors and side effects from chemo. I am here for the support. While my kids and friends have been awesome, my new husband has completely turned his back on me since the diagnosis. This has me feeling blue and very alone.
     As well as traditional treatment, I have started seeing a mental health professional. It helps,  but nothing compares to the help and support i might find with other women fighting the same advisary. BC!
     I was thrilled to find this site, while doing some online browsing,  and I look forward to meeting some new friends. Thanks for listening!
                                        From, newbie (Heather, in sedona, AZ)
Heather Moscardini (Halstead)
dx 7/10 multicentric invasive   lobular and ductal carcinoma
er/pr+ her2- Pt3 gradeII stage III 
3/9 pos. nodes
 lump. 9/7/10 pos. margs.
right brst w/ tumor yet elected to have dbl. masc.
11/15/10
chemo- 1 sess. TAC (discontinued after colitis emerg.)
12/26/11 agressive altern. therapy
2nd opinion w/ diff onclgst. begin AC-3,TAXOL-3, following w/ TMXFN, RADS, & brst. rcnstr.
beginning 1/29/11 

mary l
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, January 27, 2011 11:22 AM
Hi Heather, welcome to our site.  I know you will hear from  many wonderful women and a few men who are survivors and also alot who are in treatment.  I am so sorry you are going through this and I know it isn't easy.  I am sorry that your husband isn't being supportive to you.  Maybe he just is worried and can't fce it.  I'm glad that you have family and friends who are there for you.  My family lives in Phoenix and I have been to Sedona several times.  Very beautiful place.  What chemos are you going to receive?  I will remember you in my prayers and I send my best wishes as you start your chemo.  Please keep us posted.  You will hear from many more caring people.    Mary L
Diag. Oct 2003 with 6mm mass, IDC grade III ductal carcinoma in-situ, Inflammatory Breast Cancer stage IIIB, Her2+++.   I had A/C followed by Taxotere (only had 2tx as I had heart problems from it); Left Mastectomy followed by 35 rads.  Recurence in 9 months as skin mets to mast. site. tx Carboplatin/Herceptin,  stayed on Herceptin every other week for almost 4 years only stopping when my ejection fraction would get too low. off herceptin & ned 3 years in 2010

TashaGlover
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, February 02, 2011 7:58 PM
Hi Tiara. My name is Tasha. I am what Komen calls a co-survivor. So while I cant understand the exact feelings you are having I can certaintly understand your daughter. When my mom was diagnosed I went to every appointment, every treatment, picked up every piece of paper that I could. And the one thing that I can remember clearly is her doctor saying dont react until you have all the information. And when she said that I can remember thinking what the heck. My mothers diagnosis was in the right breast. We did all the scans to ensure that it hadnt spread and it didnt. We had a right masectomy followed by chemotheraphy. If your daughter would like to talk and just wants to vent or scream with a fellow daughter that has been through it please have her call me. 305-788-3113. I will talk and let her vent, talk, cry whatever.
I am a 2 year co-survivor!

My Mother was diagnosed in June of 2008 and underwent a masectomy and opted out of radiation. Sept of 2010 we were rediagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer.

Radiation therapy to the brain and left lung and chest!!


Pamaloni
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, February 06, 2011 1:52 PM
Hi 
My name is Pam, I had been repeatedly told that as my breasts have always been fibrocystic the new lump I found in August and the even bigger one at xmas were the same and I could leave them.  As I'm the pushy nurse type I didnt like this option and organized my own surgical consult which happened Monday this week.  I was told that as the mammo and ultrasound looked good I could choose to leave them and wait or have them excised - he agreed to operate the next day!  I was called two days later and told by phone that I had cancer in both lumps.  As i'm sure you are all aware I'm telling you nothing new but the lights went out, what had been a beautiful Colorado day became a cold winters day with no future.  I have a new job as a hospice care manager, a great family and two great kids.  This is not supposed to be happening.  
I went to see the Dr the next day who sketched out a far from informative or ideal plan.  He told me I have lobular cancer, I will need chemo and bilateral mastectomy- hows that for a life changer in just three days.  I am still coming to terms with all of this I go from up to down like a roller-coaster with no warning to let go of the bar before you take the drop.  
At the same time as I am hearing this my nurse colleague was also on the operating table for a calcified thyroid - hers turned into cancer of the thyroid with mets to her facial nerves.  We were always good nursing partners but really this is ridiculous!  We have gone from discussing patients to charting our own courses for the future.  We are learning to laugh and cry together to get through this.  I an very fortunate to have great resources and now this forum to help me with questions and rules for the road ahead.  Hospice was my speciality not oncology so I have everything to learn - even about myself.  I am thankful you are all there and we do not have to do this alone.


Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, February 06, 2011 3:27 PM
Hi Pam,

I'm sorry you have this diagnosis and I'm sure it all must seem very surreal to you right now, but it will get easier.:)

I'm surprised you were told you'll need chemo at this point as this is usually only determined after the full surgical pathology report is done.  This will tell them exactly what you're dealing with (hormone/her2 status etc and how fast growing it is and whether lymph nodes are affected)..

In your situation I think you should reseach all your options, for example a lumpectomy with radiation gives the same overall survival rate as a mast although the risk of local recurrance is higher.   Is your surgeon a breast specialist or general surgeon??    The former is far better for us of course.

I'm sorry about your friend too, no two cancers are alike and many of us do go on without a recurrance and there are many long term survivors here so I hope that gives you confidence in the future.

My best wishes to you in whatever treatment/surgery you decide on and if you scroll through the various forums you'll get lots of tips and advice:)
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

CKoehnen
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 3:59 PM
Hi, my name is Cheryl and I just found out last Friday 2/25 that I have breast cancer.  It's stage 1 , 1-1/2cm IDC in my left breast.  They are going to do a lumpectomy this Thursday 3/3 to remove the lump and also take a lymph node from under my arm.  They also told me that I would be doing chemotherapy and radiation after my surgery because of my young age (I'm 41).  On the one hand I feel like I am living a nightmare because of what I am going through because of finding this cancer.  On the other hand it is a blessing that they found it so soon and I am lucky to have caught it so early.  I know that I am still in shock and I feel okay one minute and I am crying the next. 
 
The best thing I have going for me is my husband who is an unbelieveable man and the best support anyone could ask for.  He hasn't left my side this entire time and he refuses to let me go through any of this alone.  He is a wonderful man and I don't know what I would do without him.  He is even coming with me to my MRI tomorrow even though I said I would be okay going alone.  
 
I have been reading through these message boards and they are very helpful.  Its better to know what to expect than to be left in the dark not knowing what is coming.  The Breast Center also gave me a ton of information to read and that has been helpful.  Thanks to everyone to sharing their stories, it really helps the rest of us.   

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 5:44 PM
Hi CKoehnen,

I'm so glad to know your hubby is so supportive, but sorry of course for your dx!! 

Sending my good wishes to you for Thursday that all goes well, it sounds like you've found this early which is wonderful:)

Please keep us posted and let us know how you're doing:)


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

Her Dotness
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Tuesday, March 01, 2011 6:59 PM
How weird, Cheryl! Your tumor is exactly the size mine was, same stage, same type of cancer, same breast, same general treatment plan.

And we have equally supportive husbands. You're right in thinking yourself fortunate that yours is so devoted. Mine won't consider letting me go to chemo appointments alone; he insists we schedule them on Mondays, his Sunday, or will take time off to transport me. 

You and I must be sort-of twins, huh?

Welcome to a friendly, supportive site where no one wants to be, but it's the absolute best when we need the help and encouragement so generously given here.

Hoping that your overall progress along the recovery pathway goes as smoothly as mine has thus far,
Dot
dx 11/29/10 DCIS/IDC
1/5/11 lumpectomy, SLND 2+, ALND - 
T1c, clean margins!
er +/pr + (My little nasty was an estrogen drunk, said my med onc.) HER2 -
Chemo: TC Done 4/30/11 
Rads:  Done 6/30/11 
Arimidex 7/11-? 

CKoehnen
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, March 05, 2011 10:18 AM
Dot,
 
You arent kidding we're like twins! I found out that my cancer was est+ pro+ her2-, just like yours.  My surgery went well, the lymph nodes came back clean.  I am realizing just how lucky I am the farther down this road I go. 
 
So are you doing the hormone therapy too?  If so, how is that, are there any side effects?  And what about the type of chemo that you are doing, what type of side effects are you having from that? 
 
Cheryl
 

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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, March 05, 2011 11:32 AM
CKoehnen


Dot,

You arent kidding we're like twins! I found out that my cancer was est+ pro+ her2-, just like yours.  My surgery went well, the lymph nodes came back clean.  I am realizing just how lucky I am the farther down this road I go.

 
Almost but not quite twins since two of my sentinel nodes were positive, so my cancer was designated Stage 1c, which I think is the uppermost category of Stage 1.  


So are you doing the hormone therapy too?  If so, how is that, are there any side effects?  And what about the type of chemo that you are doing, what type of side effects are you having from that? 

Cheryl

 
My med onc said the cancer I had was very high in estrogen receptors (what I refer to as an estrogen drunk...< sassy grin >), so I will definitely be doing hormone therapy. All I know as yet is that she recommends an aromatase inhibitor.
 
I'm halfway through chemo now, only two of four cycles remaining, and will go through 6.5 weeks of whole breast rads after that, doing the AI whatever it/they turn out to be for five years after rads.
 
I'm post-menopausal so get what my med onc says is one of the mildest chemo combos, Taxotere and Cytoxan, TC as it's abbreviated in my signature. So far, I really haven't had a terrible time with it. Some acid indigestion, appetite disruptions and chemo-brain...my formerly acute memory has become a sieve which is distressing and annoying. But hey, I'm learning to deal with all that. Coping and forging on as best I can has become my new mode of living.
 
Are you to have chemo, too? I know that with no nodes involved you might be able to go directly to hormone therapy. I'd hoped not to have to do chemo and rads both, but two nodes positive put the clincher on it for me. Better chemo and rads than spend the rest of my life worrying that the bc nasty had traveled further than one would think with just two sentinel nodes involved.
Will be talkin' atcha, near twin,
Dot

dx 11/29/10 DCIS/IDC
1/5/11 lumpectomy, SLND 2+, ALND - 
T1c, clean margins!
er +/pr + (My little nasty was an estrogen drunk, said my med onc.) HER2 -
Chemo: TC Done 4/30/11 
Rads:  Done 6/30/11 
Arimidex 7/11-? 

CKoehnen
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, March 07, 2011 12:53 PM
Dot,

I just scheduled my two week follow up appointment and I'll find out more then.  As it stands right now they are recommending chemo, rads, and hormone therapy.  They're telling me the reason for the combination of chemo and rads is because I am so young that they want to be sure there is no chance of it coming back at a later time.  I can't argue with that logic, I definately don't want that happening.  When I go in to see the surgeon in two weeks she will schedule me to see the oncologist who will make the final decision on the chemo and rads, but I have a feeling I will be getting both.  I was originally really afraid of them both, but if that is what it takes to survive this, then that is what I will do.  I am still just getting used to the idea that I have cancer so getting hit with all of this so soon is still such a shock to me.  At least I have two weeks to wrap my head around all of this before my next appointment.  I just hope that it doesn't take me down into depression when it all finally sinks in. 

Cheryl

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Re:Introduce Yourself - Tuesday, March 08, 2011 11:51 AM
CKoehnen


Dot,

As it stands right now they are recommending chemo, rads, and hormone therapy.  They're telling me the reason for the combination of chemo and rads is because I am so young that they want to be sure there is no chance of it coming back at a later time.  I can't argue with that logic, I definately don't want that happening....I was originally really afraid of them both, but if that is what it takes to survive this, then that is what I will do.  I am still just getting used to the idea that I have cancer so getting hit with all of this so soon is still such a shock to me.  At least I have two weeks to wrap my head around all of this before my next appointment.  I just hope that it doesn't take me down into depression when it all finally sinks in. 

Cheryl

I can certainly understand your wanting to do whatever is felt necessary to prevent a recurrence. Same here, that's for sure!
 
Even though I wasn't the least bit happy about both chemo and whole-breast rads, I'm still planning on a whoop-it-up party for my 100th birthday, so if they help me last that long, you betcha I'm doin' both.
 
I hear you bigtime about wrapping your head around the idea that you've got cancer. The absolute worst time for me was all that waiting to find out how big and bad it was...and fearing for all that while that it was so bad there really wasn't much hope. That fear, I'm sure, arose out of the fact that my very best friend of 25 years found a lump several years ago that doubled in size rapidly and proved to be Stage IV that had already formed tumors so near her heart that they couldn't be removed. I guess it was a blessing that when she did die a year and a half after the dx she went only a few days after the onset of a massive staph infection. So the words "abnormality detected" on my screening mammogram turned me into an instant basketcase.
 
As for depression, I expect you'll find yourself very like most of us...bouncing back and forth from feeling optimistic that you're giving it your best shot toward a full recovery and other times, "OMG! I have CANCER, and people die of that all the time!" It's a yo-yo life for us bc patients, that's for sure.
 
You'll get through it all and come out smellin' like the proverbial rose, I bet. Your postings positively ooze strength and determination.
 
Hang in there,
Dot 
 
dx 11/29/10 DCIS/IDC
1/5/11 lumpectomy, SLND 2+, ALND - 
T1c, clean margins!
er +/pr + (My little nasty was an estrogen drunk, said my med onc.) HER2 -
Chemo: TC Done 4/30/11 
Rads:  Done 6/30/11 
Arimidex 7/11-? 

mellasher007
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 10, 2011 8:49 AM
I lost my Mom on Sunday, she had stage IV breast cancer with liver / lung mets, and @ the point of hospital admission other places unknown, just knew tumor markers had gone up. She was admitted with Diverticulitus complications from a chemo infusion she had the day previous which had to be stopped due to throat swelling @ minute 12 (had that chemo many times before with no reactions), long story short, she went in full of life and energy, had emergency open colostomy surgery after 10 days in, and 8 days later after surgery, my Mom is gone. Her diagnosis date was February 8, 2010, took care of her everyday, doctors, home, treatments, meals etc. she was my very best friend in life,there was only one day I didn't see her since diagnosis (she made me stay home I was feeling ill) and I made it my goal to help her survive, and not to suffer. This was just to big for her and me to beat, she had not had any hospital admissions previous except for her radical masectomy in June, and I feel her amazing team of doctors and I kept her out, we were pretty lucky and tried to live evryday to the fullest as a team. I am perplexed @ how quickly she declined with her whole body just not able to fight, every day was a little worse, and finally bleed out through a GI bleed that I had no opitions left for her. I don't want the actual cause of death at this point for I am not ready to see it on paper cause I witnessed it, i know life expectency for her was 1-2 years max afetr diagnosis date (which I only asked after she passed, we didn't want to live everyday on a time clock, we just lived it to the max), I am so sad I can barely breath, does this get any easier? I have no regrets, I made the right choice for her, I am just left with the image that I can't seem to get out of my head, but I know it was right for her.

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 10, 2011 5:38 PM
Mella- I replied on your other thread but wanted to tell you I'm so sorry and can feel you hurt:)
(((((hugs))))))
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

itsjanagain
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 10, 2011 6:10 PM
Hi. My name is Jan, I am 59 years old and on 2/28 I was diagnosed with infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the left breast, nuclear grade 2, 1.5 cm, no definite lymphovascular invasion identified.  I have had one consultation with my breast surgeon and one with a plastic surgeon. They do not feel any hardness in my lymph nodes, but of course will only know if it's there once pathology has been done during surgery. I will see my breast surgeon again this coming Tuesday, March 15, and surgery will be scheduled then.
Mentally & emotionally, I am well and have a positive outlook. I am trying to make a decision between lumpectomy with radiation or mastectomy with immediate or delayed reconstruction. This is really a tough decision. I know a mastectomy will automatically be done if cancer is found in 4 or more lymph nodes. I have spoken with several survivors who had a mastectomy but none that have had a lumpectomy. I am hoping to hear from both here and would like to hear feelings on the pros and cons of each.
It's so wonderful to find this board that allows us all to share. Thanks to all who respond!

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 10, 2011 6:29 PM
Hi and welcome,

I had a lumpectomy with three nodes affected and dont regret that decision.  If I suffer a recurrance I'll consider a mast but would'nt choose that unless necesary.
Do your research but remember lumpoectomy with rads gives the same survival time as a mast although the risk of local recurrance is  higher.
Good luck in making this descion and its not an easy one for any of us!:)
<message edited by Tricia Keegan on Thursday, March 10, 2011 6:31 PM>
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

itsjanagain
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 10, 2011 6:54 PM
Tricia, thanks for replying. What was your experience with the radiation?


Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 10, 2011 7:17 PM
Rads were a brreze after chemo!!!

Check the rads forum for lots of info and hope you'll be fine !!
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

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