Introduce Yourself

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JulieS
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, March 11, 2011 1:24 AM
Hi Jan,
I, like Tricia, had a lumpectomy and then Rads. No one even mentioned a mastectomy for me.   I had clean nodes and and got clean margins (only because I told the surgeon to get it all!) so she checked the margins  and had to take a little more.  I found healing from what for me was a day surgery wasn't bad and I just rested for several days. 
I found Rads to be easy, maybe a little tiresome going every day but I sunburn very easily but did not burn at all from the rads...just got a little pink. 
Good luck with your decision making....a tough one for sure.  Maybe seeing a rads onco before making your decision may help?
Hope and strength,
Julie S
Bothell, WA
dx 5/07 IDC
lumpectomy 6/14/07 1.5cm
er/pr + Nodes negative
finished rads 9/13
Tamoxfen 9/07- 8/09
Arimidex 8/09-

Her Dotness
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, March 11, 2011 5:50 AM
Hi Jan,

Your IDC sounds quite similar to mine. I had no palpable nodes and none that appeared to be involved on any of the imaging. Two sentinel nodes were involved, however, which was only discovered during the surgery, just enough invasion to declare each positive.

My surgeon emphasized beforehand that mastectomy would give me the advantage of little or no followup treatment as well as a somewhat reduced risk of recurrence, but that, as Tricia mentioned, lumpectomy with chemo/rads has been found just as effective on early stage cancers such as mine.

I had a horror of losing my breast entirely if a mastectomy wasn't truly necessary, and it wasn't at all in my case, my surgeon assured me. So, I chose a lumpectomy due to the biopsy indications that my IDC was not very aggressive and was quite small, 7mm, even though one strand measured in the post-surgery path results at 1.5cm.

The lumpectomy was by far the better choice for me. The mass and excised area was small, centrally located and deep enough that I can't even tell any difference in the size or shape of my breast. The only indications I've had a lumpectomy are two incision lines which about 10 weeks out from surgery look like someone drew on me with a fineline reddish marker. I expect that ultimately I'll have only two faint thin white scar lines. 

I know that a recurrence or new cancer in that breast will mean a mastectomy since whole breast rads can only be done once, but I'll deal with that if it should happen and then would obviously go for a mastectomy to try to survive longer.

I'm immensely pleased with the option I chose despite having to do chemo and rads. I do hope you can find a choice that you think reasonable and livable for you, Jan.

Good luck deciding!
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-? 

itsjanagain
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, March 11, 2011 8:30 AM
Thanks for the info, Dot. Wow, 7mm is very small. One question I have is are you small or large busted? I'm a 34b & look totally flat chested when I lay on my back. I've read that the lumpectomy on small breasts can result in "poor cosmetic results", but that's a pretty vague description to me.
Also, are you still going through rads? It seems that some people burn very badly and some just barely.

Her Dotness
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, March 11, 2011 12:18 PM
itsjanagain


Thanks for the info, Dot. Wow, 7mm is very small. One question I have is are you small or large busted? I'm a 34b & look totally flat chested when I lay on my back. I've read that the lumpectomy on small breasts can result in "poor cosmetic results", but that's a pretty vague description to me.

 
Ahhh...you're about my younger sister's size, and she has that "Casper the Ghost" phenomenon when lying on her back, too. Her "girls" simply vanish in that position. At age 55, she can go braless with no problem. I'm to the point in life where I often wear a leisure bra around the house for some support. Having 34D's on a 5'3" small frame will do that to ya.
 
Difficult to say what the results of a lumpectomy might be for you. As I mentioned, much would depend upon how close to the skin surface of your breast the mass is. One closer to the chest wall might leave you dented but with the possibility of a partial prosthesis to fill out the remaining tissue so you can still wear a regular bra. If you're interested as I was in keeping your breast if at all possible, how much of an alteration in its appearance a lumpectomy is likely to produce would be something definitely to ask your surgeon before you decide. You might ask if your surgeon has any post-lumpectomy photos of women with breasts about your size, or possibly there may be some somewhere online that might help you decide what the results may be for you.
 

Also, are you still going through rads? It seems that some people burn very badly and some just barely.

My last chemo cycle won't end until almost May 1, and I don't yet know how soon after that I'll start rads. I'm hoping I don't burn much, but I have some excellent health food store ointments and lotions that I'm going to ask my rad onc if they're usable so as to keep my skin as moist and soothed as possible. I very much prefer natural skincare anyway. Sure hope my Yes To Carrots Body Butter will be okay. That stuff is fantastic! A small amount moisturizes like mad and isn't at all greasy.
 
Tough decision time for ya, huh? I wish you the best possible outcome, to be sure.
Dot
P.S. Meant to add to the above that 1.5cm is a wee bit over half an inch. That's not very big, either, but might leave a noticeable dent in breasts the size of yours depending upon the location. Obviously, when the surgeon excises surrounding tissue in order to better assure clear margins, the area removed will be a bit larger. Something else to ask your surgeon--about how much of the surrounding tissue does s/he anticipate removing and what might be the cosmetic result of a lumpectomy for you.  
 
<message edited by Her Dotness on Friday, March 11, 2011 12:34 PM>
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-? 

Her Dotness
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, March 11, 2011 1:41 PM
Heya Jan,

You may want to take a look at this interview I just happened across.

Sounds like good cosmetic results can be possible even for women with small breasts. Of course, asking your surgeon's opinion is still wisest.

Lumpectomy generally gives good results for any size breasts
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-? 

padarnell
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, March 11, 2011 10:43 PM
Hi My name is Phyllis Darnell. I went on a journey I was hoping that I wouldn't have to take either, but I knew that my number might come up  and always lived in fear of it because most all of the woman in our family end up with breast or colon cancer and alot of them have died and alot have survived. I was diagnosed 1 yr ago 
and had a Mastectomy done and removal of my lymphnodes under my arms due to the cancer had gotten into my lymphnodes as well and I have finished with everything except I have to take Femara for 5yrs, but I feel like I am blessed because I am still here.I am strong. I will survive.(But the main reason I cam on here is not for me, it is to get help for my youngest daughter)You see she got layed off her job and in between all of this
she kept complaining of her breast hurting and showed the same symptoms as me and a few others in our family and she just kept getting worse and worse.Everywhere we have went.No one will help us to get her
any medical treatment.We went to the emergency room at our local hospital and all they did was to give her pain medicine and refer her to this high priced specialist she couldn't even afford. So of course we get there
to the specialist office and they would not help my daughter because she has no insurance, no income and
no Medicaid.She has tried to get Medicaid 3 times and got denied.Why I don't know.The bottom line is this has been going on for almost 3yrs now and she has gotten worse.He pain is alot worse and her breast look really
bad.I don't want her to die and leave her 3 beautiful young children and I don't want her to die because she is my daughter and I love her.Please,Please help us to get help for her before it is too late. Her name is Christy Black and she is 31yrs. old.Reply back to us at my email at:padarnell@gmail.com or call anytime at:864-201-2947 or post to the message board. Just please do so as soon as possible.As all of you know,time is of the essence....Thank you...

JulieS
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, March 12, 2011 2:07 AM
Hi,
I am so sorry your daughter is having trouble getting the help she needs.  Here is the phone # for Komen.Call 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) Hopefully they will be able to guide you to a place  close by where your daughter can get a low cost mammogram and some help. 
Good luck and do let us know how your daughter is doing.
Hope and strength,
Julie S
PS I would remove your phone # from your message...it is not really safe to have it posted publicly.
Bothell, WA
dx 5/07 IDC
lumpectomy 6/14/07 1.5cm
er/pr + Nodes negative
finished rads 9/13
Tamoxfen 9/07- 8/09
Arimidex 8/09-

Her Dotness
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, March 12, 2011 5:40 AM
I agree completely with Julie and urge you to remove your phone number right away. Anyone can read these boards, and the last thing you or your family need in this situation is someone who claims they can get you help but only wants to scam or harm you.

It's never wise to publish your address or phone number on message boards nor to give your real name and location. Do remove your zip code from your sidebar immediately, too. You'd be amazed if you've never tried doing it how easily someone who has your full real name and city can google and get your address. This is why my location is only "St. Louis MO burb."

I do hope that Komen can help you and your daughter find some place that will give her needed care.

Very concerned for you both,
Dot
 
P.S. Here's how easy finding someone is with the information you gave us--I just looked for a P A Darnell in your city and came up with a woman who has a "possible relation" named Christy, a woman who would easily be old enough to have a daughter of the age you gave. I'd have had to pay a small amount to get your address and other details (assuming that the listing was yours), but someone who's planning to scam you would regard that as a minor business expense.
<message edited by Her Dotness on Saturday, March 12, 2011 5:47 AM>
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-? 

shelleym
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:01 AM
my sister just found out she has cancer 1/19/11. this made me do a breast exam and found a lump. on 2/7/11 i found out i have a low grade phyllodes breast tumor. i'm waiting for a surgery date for clean margins. i had 3 lumps removed 3.4cm, 2.9cm, 1.3cm. its hard to find info on this type. the surgeon doesn't think it will be a problem to get clean margins. 

sharonma
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 17, 2011 3:20 PM
Hi Shelley,
Sorry that both you and your Sister have been dx'd.  I don't know too much about phyllodes tumor.  Is yours b9 or malignant?  I know they can be both.  The only one I can remember from Komen that had a phyllodes tumor was a 17 yr old young woman.  Hers was b9, although she did have to have a mastectomy due to its size. 
I hope you can find some reliable info to help guide you.
Come back and let us know how you are doing.
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,  

melliel
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 17, 2011 4:18 PM
I'm not sure I am posting this correctly since I have not been able to find a "new message" option so am just using reply to message.  I accidently found a lump in my left breast on Jan 4. It didn't show up on my annual mammogram in 2010. I went to my primary care doctor and he sent me to the local Breast Care Center.  After mammograms, ultrasound and a biopsy the diagnosis was invasive carcinoma.  The surgical oncologist performed a lumpectomy on Feb 7 and removed 2 lumph nodes.  The diagnosis was that the nodes were negative and the margins of the tumor were negative. It was listed as stage 1A but had a high proliferation rate.  I have just gotten the results of the Oncotye DX test & it is 34, which is high.  I will meet again with the medical onc next week to discuss chemo treatments to be followed by radiation and anti-hormone meds for 5 years.  This has really knocked me for a loop as I imagine it does most everybody.  I have been told that I would have the option of having a port for the chemo or using veins.  At first I though a port would be best but now am thinking about going the vein route.  Can anyone give me their experience and recommendation?  I have been reading up like crazy on all of this and my head is spinning.
Diagnosed: 1/27/2011:  Invasive Carcinoma of left breast er/pr +, her2 - 
Surgery 2/7/2011:  Lumpectomy. Margins negative, 2 Lymph nodes negative.
1.8 cm  stage 1A
Oncotype Dx  34 
Chemo:Taxotere & Cytoxan - done
Rads - 30 treatments - done!
Arimidex for 5 years
Metformin/placebo trial - 5 years

God never closes one door without opening another but sometimes it is hell in the hallway!

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:00 PM
Hi and welcome,

I chose the vein route too but lived to regret it so hope my experience will help you avoid that mistake.  If you do a search here for ports you'll find many posts saying the same thing!

The problem is that these drugs are toxic and damage the veins so many people have a lot of undue stress and delays having chemo when the nurses can't access a vein (in my case by the 2-3rd treatment) when I requested a port as could'nt take the needle pokes, long delays and stress any longer!!!  I can't say I liked the port but it came to be my best friend, chemo was no longer such a huge issue or time delay, insertion of the port was fine too as I was sedated and it worked well for me. 
I'd really urge you to look into this option more.

As your oncotype result was so high I'm wondering if you're her2 positive???

Glad you found us here and hope we can help make this easier, if you want to start a new thread go to the main page of any forum and you'll see a "Post new thread" option to the top left side of the page.
If you also go to the welcome forum (above this one) you'll see lots of F&Q to help you navigate the site:)
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

melliel
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:18 PM
Tricia:  I forgot to include the addl info that the other results were her2 neg and the others positive.  All that was sounding good until the path report on the histolic grade and the Oncotye came back to high.  The "invasive" part was the only clue I had that things might not be so good.  I was trying to avoid a surgery & the upkeep for the port.  The only good veins on my right arm are in the hand and I have read that you shouldn't use the arm on the side where the tumor was (left) if possible for bp or blood draws.   Where do they usually put the ports? Chest? I am large breasted and that was a worry to me.  I appreciate your input and will rethink my options. Thanks so much. 
Diagnosed: 1/27/2011:  Invasive Carcinoma of left breast er/pr +, her2 - 
Surgery 2/7/2011:  Lumpectomy. Margins negative, 2 Lymph nodes negative.
1.8 cm  stage 1A
Oncotype Dx  34 
Chemo:Taxotere & Cytoxan - done
Rads - 30 treatments - done!
Arimidex for 5 years
Metformin/placebo trial - 5 years

God never closes one door without opening another but sometimes it is hell in the hallway!

melliel
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:23 PM
By the way, Tricia - Happy St Patricks day!!
Diagnosed: 1/27/2011:  Invasive Carcinoma of left breast er/pr +, her2 - 
Surgery 2/7/2011:  Lumpectomy. Margins negative, 2 Lymph nodes negative.
1.8 cm  stage 1A
Oncotype Dx  34 
Chemo:Taxotere & Cytoxan - done
Rads - 30 treatments - done!
Arimidex for 5 years
Metformin/placebo trial - 5 years

God never closes one door without opening another but sometimes it is hell in the hallway!

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 17, 2011 6:09 PM
Thank you Melliel, it's been a good day of celebrations here in Ireland today:)

I had a Bard chest port which is the easiest to care for, it requires no special care (as a PICC line would in your arm) and I could swim shower etc with it.
I think it may be better if you're larger chested, I was a very small A cup and skinny at that time so the port would show a little depending what I wore so I stuck to high neck jumpers and as it was winter that was fine.  Other ladies who were a larger size were fortunate that the port did'nt show at all.   They can give you Emla cream to put on before chemo which numbs the area so you feel nothing when the nurse tries to access it, it really was a Godsend.
I'm only sorry I did'nt have it from the start as my veins were damaged and to this day I still find it difficult to have blood draws etc....and it lasts for life, so do think twice!
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

lisaorock
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 17, 2011 6:15 PM
Hi Melliel,
 I'm sorry for your diagnosis.  I too had a high proliferation rate.  I just finished my chemo on March 7. I had 4 rounds of dose dense AC, and 4 rounds of taxol every other week. I did not have a port.  I had a fairly easy time.  My veins are typically hard to find but my onc. nurse was great! I know it seems like your world is turned upside down right now but you will get through this.  This forum is the best to ask questions, or just vent about your feelings. You'll have good days and bad days.  It's nice to just read through the pages of this forum and realize you are not alone in your journey.
Take Care,
Lisa
IDC 10/5/10,lumpectomy 10/19, age 44
stage 1 grade2 ,tumor 1.2cm
triple negative,BRACCA 2 postive
4 ac/4 taxol
rightbreast removed 11/4/breast reconstruction
chemo done! leftbreastmx/ovaries/uterus removed 4/21

Rena
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 17, 2011 6:40 PM
Hi Melliel. I'm sorry you're having to deal with all of this, but glad that you're in an early stage. When I was treated, ports didn't exist, so I had no choice. I was treated once a week for a year, and they could use only my right arm because of all the lymph nodes removed on my left side. So, in my case, a port would have been wonderful. However, I know that some people dislike them. It may depend, to some extent, on the kind of chemo drugs you receive (as Tricia said, some can damage the veins) and how often you are treated. I would ask your doctor these questions and also ask for his opinion on how hard the drugs might be on your veins. Even though the veins in my right arm were used so much, they are OK now and having blood drawn or an IV started has not been a problem for me. However, I did not have the "modern" drugs that are used today, and that might have some bearing. Good luck. I hope that whatever you decide, it all goes smoothly for you. 
Rena age 66 California Central Coast
29-year survivor
BRCA2-positive
Dx 1986 IDC ER/PR negative 22 positive lymph nodes
CMFVP chemo weekly for one year, 7 weeks radiation
October 2007: New chassis and spark plugs!

maggs56
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, March 20, 2011 12:15 PM
Hi,
 
My name is Cathy and I am from Central New Jersey.
 
I was diagnosed on 10/27/10, small tumor in the left breast.  I had a lumpectomy in December, tumor was invasive breast cancer, a "soft" tumor in the ducts.   An MRI of  the breast followed, results were good.  Cancer did not spread anywhere in the breasts.
 
Had lymphnode surgery in February - clean results.
 
I started chemo on March 19, 2011.  I may have put the wrong date elsewhere in he forum.  I did not introduce myself before jumping right in..I will have 4 chemo treatments, one every three weeks.  I had the shot for the White Blood Count and have felt like I have the flu ever since - aches, pains and diarrhea.
 
I am not handling all this very well, have some weepy moments.  If I feel this bad with one treatment, I can't imagine what the next three are going to be like.  I was told that I will lose my hair so I ordered a wig and some hats.  I like the scarf look and may get some of those.  I know "me" and losing my hair will be a traumatic experience.  I am 62 years old, wear my hair short.  People say to me that it won't be too bad for me 'cause I wear my hair short anyway, well, it may be short, but it is my hair and I have eyebrows and eyelashes - bald is bald and though I am prepared for it, it is going to be hard for me. 
 
I am not a strong person emotionally.  I don't know how I am going to get through all of this, the radiation to follow.
 
My oncologist sent me for scans and learned that I have a small aneurysm on my adrenal gland and a small nodule on my thyroid.  Radiologists has to determine if I need a FNB - Fine Needle Biopsy on the nodule.  I will see a vascular surgeon after my second chemo about he aneurysm.  The word "aneurysm" scared me as much as the word cancer did.
 
My husband was also diagnosed with cancer of the prostate and will start radiation in May.  We will both be in treatment at the same time.  It is hard to believe all this is happening, but it is and somehow we will get through this.  God has been with us every step of the way.
 
I am thinking of stopping the chemo.  My oncologist told me that the chemo I am on can cause lukemia(sp).  I just don't know what to do.  The fear is tremendous.
 
I commend people who fight this tough battle for years.  I'm not sure I could.
 
Cathy

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, March 20, 2011 3:46 PM
Hi Cathy,

I'm so sorry you're finding this all so traumatic (although most of us did at first too) and also for your husbands diagnosis.
It does get easier really and I hope you reconsider stopping chemo, if not for you, then for your family as you'll always regret not doing all you can now to avoid a local or distant recurrance.

The hair loss too is traumatic but you get used to it and remember it IS temporary, far better to live and enjoy life and give up a few months to get through this than face something worse.   Have no doubt, you are strong enough and will find a hidden strength to get through it as we all did, and we can help support you when things get tough.
((((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

JulieS
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, March 20, 2011 4:53 PM
Hi Cathy,
Sorry you have to join us here but want to welcome you.  Sorry for your dx and your husbands as well.  
I wouldn't really worry to much about the leukemia as I think it is very rare and most concerning for those women that are much younger than you or I. 
I am sure your friends are trying to make you feel better about the hair loss....but until you have been through it you just don't know how it would feel.   I did not have chemo so even though I had bc I still can't know the feeling.  Please continue with the chemo....you are 1/4 of the way done! 
Rads are easy....go in lay down....get up and go home for another day.  Some women do burn but they suggest cream to put on to promote healing.  It can make you tired but with a short nap in the early afternoon you feel refreshed and ready to go again.
Know we are here and always ready to lend a ear and give suggestions and support.  I too was terribly afraid...and knew I wouldn't live to see my grandchildren....well here I am almost 4 years later and I have 5 grandchildren that I love and adore.  It is true that the next few months may not be fun but still take time to do things you enjoy, reading, gardening, knitting.....holding hubbys hand...:-) 
Hope and strength,
Julie S

Bothell, WA
dx 5/07 IDC
lumpectomy 6/14/07 1.5cm
er/pr + Nodes negative
finished rads 9/13
Tamoxfen 9/07- 8/09
Arimidex 8/09-

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