Introduce Yourself

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Valley of Vapors
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, June 16, 2014 7:49 PM
Are you taking any hormonal therapy?  I was suggested taking Tamoxifen, but very torn.  I had my lumpectomy and lymph node negative, NO breast cancer in my family.  Not sure where the DCIS came from in the first place.  Thanks

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Tuesday, June 17, 2014 3:09 AM
Many of us have no family history either, I've been taking hormone therapy for eight years now and thankful to have it to help avoid a recurrance, in your case I would take it for sure, at least give it a go and if it doesn't suit you can always switch to Arimidex or Femara as I assume you're post menopausal.
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

Kate85
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 9:18 PM
Hello Komen family,

I am 29 years old and I found out today that my mom (age 60) has breast cancer. I am scared, worried, and I think probably in shock. I feel like someone just told me I'm dying. I wish it were me going through this instead of her. 

My mom has been my protector, caregiver, friend, cheerleader, and is literally the most selfless, generous and kind person I have ever known. I don't understand why this has to happen.

I honestly don't know what to do right now, but as a 3-Day walker I know how strong the Komen community is and I am turning to you for hope, comfort, and prayers.

To all the survivors and co-survivors out there, I am amazed and humbled by your strength, courage and grace. Please know you are the reason I will continue to be an active 3-day walker, Komen supporter and raise as much money as I can to do my part in taking one step closer to finding a forever cure for breast cancer.

Sending love and positive energy to all,
Kate

Rena
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, June 18, 2014 10:58 PM
Hi Kate. I'm so sorry about your mom's diagnosis. From the way you describe her, she sounds like a very positive, strong person, and with your love and support, she will get through this. It sounds as though she doesn't know all the details of her diagnosis yet, and those will determine the kind of treatment she'll need. You don't mention whether your father is in the picture and, if so, whether he will take her to her appointments and be involved. Any support you can offer--such as going with her to talk to her doctor--will be very helpful. It helps a lot to have someone who can be a second set of ears or take notes. There is a lot of hope with a breast cancer diagnosis. Many of us here are long-term survivors--8, 10, 12 years and more. I was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer 27 years ago, and I'm doing great. Please let your mom know that we are all here for her (and for you, too, Kate, of course).
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!

Kate85
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:16 AM
Thank you, Rena!

I appreciate your support and your suggestions. It is comforting to know you have come out on the other side of this and as I mentioned before, you will continue to inspire me to be an active participant within the Komen org. 27 year survivor! YOU are amazing!!!!!!

Mom is going to get a second opinion at Dana Farber in Boston soon. The first doctors, surgeons, oncologist she saw here in Worcester, MA said she has a large mass in her right breast. It was not there last year when she went for her mammogram but the doctor said tumor growth can be like an "on/off" switch, and hers switched "on" since her mammogram last year. Due to the size of the tumor, she will need 5 months of chemo to shrink the tumor, and from that point they will evaluate if they will remove the tumor or do a mastectomy. After surgery they project 6 weeks of radiation. 

My dad has been with mom at her appts and I know he will be strong for all of us. I just found out all of this yesterday (I have been in and out of hospitals for last 5 days due to a hole in my eardrum) so I haven't been to her appts but I am planning to go with mom to as much as I can. 

My mom and I (and my dad and brother too) are so fortunate to have a loving and supportive family and network of friends who I know will be with us every step of this journey--and for that I am so thankful.

Rena, when mom starts chemo, what can I expect? Do you have any suggestions on how I can be the best caregiver, cheerleader, positive influence for her?

Thank you for taking the time to connect with me, it is comforting in so many ways.

Kate 


Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, June 19, 2014 11:51 AM
Hi Kate and welcome and thank you for walking for all of us, I'm sorry your Mom was dx with this too. I'm so glad Rena reached out to you and she continue's to inspire and give all of us hope at her amazing survivorship. I just heard yesterday that my Mammo was clear which makes me nine years out now, I had a very aggressive BC and was fortunate to have Herceptin which saved my life as before that my prognosis would have been very poor indeed. I also positive nodes and the reason I tell you this is to give you some assurance that chances are your Mom will be fine. We have a chemo forum where you can get a lot of advice and tips from people who have gone through it all, off the top of my head I'd suggest making up a comfort basket for your Mom, this include tissue's, warm throw/blanket, books or puzzles, water, in fact whatever you think she may need or want with her during the infusions as chemo can take some hours in many cases. In my case my daughter bought me an Ipod and put all my favourite music on it which I loved and I still have it with me these days when I go out for a daily walk. My best wishes to you both and your Mom is lucky to have a supportive family with her!
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

ElaineQW
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, June 19, 2014 12:50 PM
Hi Kate -

Rena and Tricia have shared the best advice.  I just wanted to jump in to let you know that my tumor was 9.5cm…very large…and not seen on a mammogram ever!  It took ultrasound and MRI to finally nail it.  I had two out of four positive lymph nodes and I was hormone positive.  I had left breast mastectomy (shrinking it first was not an option), chemo and radiation.  Bottom line:  Here I am six 1/2 yrs later doing fine.  So take heart -- there are many positive stories.

I'm particularly happy to know that you have a loving and supportive family…that, in itself, is great medicine :)  Take care and good luck.

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 
 






Kate85
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, June 19, 2014 1:05 PM
Thank you thank you thank you Tricia and Elaine, you are amazing women and I am going to share your stories with my mom. We will draw strength from both of you! I knew that turning to this community would be a great support. I am thankful for each and every one of you!!

I love the idea of a comfort basket, Tricia, and the iPod as well. My mom is a singer so music has always been an important part of her life. I'm sure it will continue to play an integral role in this stage of mom's journey. I will check out the chemo forum as well for advice and suggestions.

Thank you for the well wishes :)

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, June 19, 2014 3:28 PM
Kate these days I'm left to put my own music on my Ipod lol, but Sarah started me off, she also signed me up with an e mail address (I was searching for info on my phone which was costing a fortune) so that was how I came across Komen and made so many friends across the ocean. I loved they were all there for me at the touch of a button day or night and have been here ever since to hopefully pay a little of that help forward. I'm sure your Mom would love that and maybe she can chat to us all here ? with your help it could give her the support she needs, I didn't like the idea of a walk in support group so this suited me perfectly, no wig and in jammies, no one could see or would care and I'm grateful to have made some life long friends here and even met a few when they visited Ireland. 

Best wishes and I'm glad some of this helped, please be sure to update us and ask any questions you need to if it helps!Pals
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

scootersmom
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, June 19, 2014 8:26 PM
Kate:  Good wishes to your mom.  A strong support group is a wonderful help and glad she has one. Thank you for walking and raising money to help try to find a cure for this dreaded disease.

The comfort basket sounds like a wonderful idea.  If your mom feels up to it, you might want to begin shopping for some comfortable clothes that she can wear during treatments.  Try to do some fun things before treatment begins if you can.

Good luck. 
Tina    
dx 2/1/11 DCIS
Lumpectomy 2/27 results DCIS/LCIS Stage 0 ER+ PR+
Bi-lateral Mastectomy 4/26 with expanders 
6/3 Surgery to remove contaminated expander due to infection.
7/22/11 Surgery to reinsert the expander. 
10/11/2011 Surgery to replace tissue expanders with implants.
 
 




brittanyoneill06
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, July 07, 2014 3:15 AM
Hi all my name is Brittany...I go by Brit.  I just found out on the 2nd of July I indeed carry the BRACA1 gene.  My mother died at 33 from breast cancer thought due to this mutation. My oldest sister carries the gene as well. My mothers sister survived this type of breast cancer. I am going the radical route.  I am 29 single mother with five children from a past realtionship.  I am so angry at God right now.  I survived addiction. It is almost like I am being punished.  I am getting rid of my breasts and uterus.  I feel like I am not a woman anymore.  I dont want to sound crazy but I hate this I am so mad.  I am too young,my children(how do I tell them). Both surgeries are going to be done at the same time. My poor father is reliving my mothers cancer again.  I know its not my fault but I am scared for the nodes.  I hate this but I cannot give cancer the option of starting. I have five souls to be here for.  I feel so alone.
Brit from sd

ElaineQW
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, July 07, 2014 12:14 PM
Brit - I'm very sorry that you have the BRCA gene and then to have to make a decision as to how to deal with it.  You are very young and like you said, you have five souls to be here for.  You've made your decision and I'm sure you will persevere.  If you survived addiction, you can do almost anything - I sense you are a strong person.  That being said, please ask for help when you need it or when it is offered to you during this time.  Don't be TOO strong - know what I mean? 

Come here any time to vent, share or ask questions.  We are here 24/7.  
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 
 






Kjawoody
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, July 20, 2014 6:40 PM
Hi my name is Jackie and my 26 year old daughter was just diagnosed with stage 2A Breast Cancer. I was completely blown away and a mess! I am now doing better with her very positive attitude and ready 
to get down to business, so to speak. Her cancer is estrogen and progesterone positive and we are hoping for the positive her2 this week. She had a breast scan Friday and a bone and chest scan Monday. Nervous waiting for those results as well as the gene test. She begins chemo in two weeks. We will survive this though! Each of you ladies are brave warriors. Hang in there! My thoughts and prayers are with each of you as I read your stories.

Rena
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, July 20, 2014 7:20 PM
Hi Jackie. I'm sorry about your young daughter's diagnosis, but glad to hear that her attitude is so positive. I hope that all her scans come back clear. Please let her know that we are all here to offer support and information. There is another organization--the Young Survival Coalition http://www.youngsurvival.org/--where she can connect with women closer to her age. She might find that helpful. Another site--facingourrisk.org--has a lot of information and support for people who have genetic mutations. If her genetic test comes back positive, she may want to look for information there and/or connect with others. I found the site very useful when I found out that I have the BRCA2 mutation. I wish her well--and you too. Don't forget to reach out for support for yourself, as well. All my best, Rena
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!

myownadvocateagain
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, August 04, 2014 1:56 PM
The feeling of confusion~ Sorry so long!
 
Hello everyone I am 52 yrs old and the last 10 yrs have felt like a rollacoster. Here is a little history so when I tell you why once again I feel like my own advocate for my health.
History: "1984" Hysterectomy due to endometriosis after 4 miscarriages, no hormones since 1986.

"2004" Lung Biopsy for what all pre-test showed as Lung Cancer, after lung nodule and lympe nodes removed it turn out to be saracodosis.  I have multi-organ sarcodosis which started in my lungs back in 2004, with that said I do have scattered nodules in my lungs and certain areas of my body. (bones, spleen,pelvic,etc).
June 2007 my thyroid was removed due to papillary thyroid cancer, then in August 2007 a spot on my back was removed and turned out to be basal cell skin cancer.
2014- After pain in left flank and blood in urine I have bosniak complete complex cyst on left kidney under 2cm.
 
Currently: On July 8th, I started having left breast pain, I mean to the point I could not left arm over head, could not lay on stomach to sleep, pain waking me up from my sleep. So, I called scheduled a mammogram, in 2010 mammogram showed what the said was fatty tumor followed up my ultrasound . 2011 nothing mentioned to me about the fatty tumor. then I guess with everything else going on I missed a few years. July 2014 mammogram showed nothing, the nurse said your breast is very tender and larger than your right your doctor might want to order ultrasound if pain still there. So, one week later had ultasound that is when a lump was present. shocked me actually I had been so consumed with the pain. So, the radiologist came in said I think it is just a Lipoma (fatty tumor) but lets do a left side only mammogram so I did she called me the next day to say see compared the two reports with the mammogram from the following week and that she was sure it is was Lipoma (fatty tumor) nothing to worry about nothing they can do. I said why still the pain why is my breast getting larger. She said women have pain all the time with no answer. I said really...well you know what I cannot take that as an answer, before I was told of my thyroid cancer the dr told me to stop worring and live my life. I am glad I was my own advocate because I found a new dr. and surgery two months later said it was cancer. She said do what you  have too, but there is no dr or radiologist out there that is going to do a biopsy on a fatty tumor and I would be surprise if they proof me wrong. I got off the phone and cried, I told my husband I am not saying I have cancer I am saying something does not feel right and I want to know and have peace of mind that I did everything possible before I am left with no options. My breast is still hurting and enlarging to the point it comes out of my bra, under the armpit hurts. I am going to go for another opinion to someone that speciality is breast imaging on Monday. I am just worried. I have read on IBC and I have a fear. No one knows our body like us.....Please any insight anyone can give me of what I should and should not do I would gladly love to hear from you...Thank you , Pam

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, August 04, 2014 3:26 PM
Pam you need to see a breast surgeon/specialist, he'll do a biopsy which is the only way to know for sure if this is B9, however it does sound like a B9 condition to me as its very unusual to have pain like this with breastcancer, please keep us posted and good luck.
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

myownadvocateagain
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, August 04, 2014 4:30 PM
thank you but it is not unusal with ibc correct?

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, August 04, 2014 4:57 PM
No I wouldn't have thought  of this as IBC at all Pam but I'm not a health professional so do have it checked out fully if the problem persists.
<message edited by Tricia Keegan on Tuesday, August 05, 2014 4:35 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

nmcintosh
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, August 04, 2014 7:33 PM
Hi My name is Nicole and I am new to this site. I am a cosurvivor of my mother who was just diagnosed in february of having stage 4 metastic breast cancer. Just found out today that the tumors on her liver are bigger than they were 3 months ago. She has tumors in her hips and on her back and on her liver.

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Tuesday, August 05, 2014 4:38 AM
Hi Nicole, I'm so sorry for your Mom's diagnosis, has she had chemo or rads?  if chemo then do remember just because she didn't do well on this one there are many other drug combo's out there for her to try as well as clinical trials etc.
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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