Introduce Yourself

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scootersmom
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, January 23, 2015 11:52 PM
It is really hard to grasp.  Think of it this way--Breasts don't make a woman anymore so than testicles make a man.  To simplify:  Men have breasts as well as women.  They do not serve the same function but they are there. There are men who are missing testicles for one reason or another.  Does that make them less than a man? We are so much more than body parts and image.  

Having breast cancer does not automatically mean removing the breast.  There are many women on this site who have opted for lumpectomies instead of mastectomies.  Please do some research before making a decision.  

Keep the faith.  You have found women who will help you along your new journey.  While it may not be an easy journey, it is doable.


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.
 
 




JK1083
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, January 24, 2015 10:46 AM
I started with a positive attitude but after a few weeks, I had a very hard time staying positive. The mental aspect of dealing with cancer is very hard. I learned to say the word without flinching but it takes a while.
Dx April 2014: Stage II; grade 3; Chemotherapy,radiation, tamoxifen

Strawberrimuffin
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, January 25, 2015 3:27 PM
I do understand. It is very hard to say that word. I am trying to stay positive and you guys here is helping. 

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, January 25, 2015 4:21 PM
Gwen please do some research as a lumpectomy with radiation may also suit you, it has the same over all survival stats although the risk of recurrance is slightly higher, I felt okay with that and still doing well ten years on but everyone is different. I wish you well choosing what is right for you and agree with Tina, breasts don't define a woman, I felt able to face a recurrance but if you feel you're not then the mast be the best option, what I chose has been right for me.
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
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Strawberrimuffin
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, January 28, 2015 4:44 PM
I have read a number of article on a lumpectomy and partial and full mastectomy. I am just trying to make sure I am here in 10 years for my son. My son is only 7 and although my husband tries to be there for him, I just can't and refuse to leave him in this world alone. If it was all gravy at home, my husband and I wouldn't be separated. Another thing that has made me choose a double mastectomy is actually being able to get new "boobies". Don't get me wrong its definitely not about that. I wish I wasn't sitting in the hot seat right now. Not really sure when it all took place, but my right boob which is where the cancer is has significantly gotten smaller. Like there was a slightly different shape in them but now it is really noticeable. I had not noticed that until the day I had my mammogram. Now I keep wondering if the BC (eventually I will get comfortable saying those two words) has done that. I still have a couple of days before I return to the doctor so I am reading as much as possible and of course using our conversation to help me. I am hoping that one day I will go without crying. I know it gets easier and I am positive as to the outcome of this whole ordeal but hearing those two words are like...having your life flash before your eyes. Sometimes its indescribable how I am feeling.

scootersmom
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, January 28, 2015 10:45 PM
Gwen--

It is so hard to say the words when first diagnosed.  It does get easier.  The decision to have a bilateral or a lumpectomy resides with you and your doctors.  Make a list of the pros and cons to both and then decide what will put your mind and heart at ease.

The "game plan" will make you feel more empowered as you will have everything laid out.  When you have to much waiting time, it drives you crazy.  If you pm me, I can tell you why I chose the path that I did.  

It is so hard to talk about with others as they don't understand.  It is hard to put into words that you are feeling and the emotions are just overflowing.  In two days I will face my 4 year cancer anniversary. I still remember that day like it was yesterday.  The big difference now is that I am not in tears.


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.
 
 




jumbledbamboo
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, January 31, 2015 12:24 AM
r esults were not good today. So here they are . I found my lump on 01/21/15.My My compressed mammogram shows a mass 1.8 by 1.1 by 1.2 cm It is spiculated and irregular. Mass is solid, pleomorphic and suspicious appearing with microcalcifications Composition cat b BIRAD 4. Ultrasound shows increased blood flow and posterior shadowing.Surgical biopsy is Wednesday. I survived a VAD stroke 4 years ago. My husband is awesome and I have a 9 yr old son:)

jumbledbamboo
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, January 31, 2015 12:53 AM
I forgot to mention it was a diagnostic mammography with CAD😊

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, January 31, 2015 1:21 PM
Hi,

I'm glad you have some good family support and that you're having a biopsy done as its the only way to know for sure. If it is bad news do remember that most breastcancers these days are treated successfully and there are many long term survivors. Sending my best wishes to you and I hope you'll keep us posted on your results.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
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jumbledbamboo
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, January 31, 2015 6:26 PM
thank you Tricia. I know my post was not the most friendly or well put. My radiologist was great. The doc who did the reading was in another office and had to tell me her opinion on teh phone. She said it is her policy to never say cancer but that I should run not walk for my biopsy. I am scared and this and a stroke is sure a lot to deal with

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, February 01, 2015 2:05 PM
Of course it is and we all understand that, I think we find a hidden strength to get through these things, I know I did and can't believe it was ten years ago, I was almost two years in treatment but it paid off thankfully and if you have to go through this we're here for you. ((((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

jumbledbamboo
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, February 01, 2015 2:35 PM
Thank you so much. I appreciate it.!

Zeusnake
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, February 04, 2015 11:47 PM
Hi.  I'm Melody. Got my Ca diagnosis six months ago.  I'm her2-, e+, P+. Had two foci removed on 8/22. One was 2.1cm and the other was 1.5cm. Margins and Nodes were clear. I did six weeks of radiotherapy. Had severe burns and missed three weeks of work. Finished that phase on 12/31 and started tamoxifen on 1/1. It has been rough going!  Breast cancer ain't for the faint of heart or spirit. I still cannot get my head wrapped around the words spoken to me on August 6th by the radiologist doing the initial biopsy: "these cancer cells can double in size very quickly". 

At that instant, my entire life changed. There's no going back to the blissful days of pre-cancer. I remember that phase; and I miss it. And i now know that the time before August 6 was just a phase. I remember feeling good always. I remember wondering which of my three sisters got the gene from our dear mama. I remember a sense of security that it would be one of them and not me. I remember being carefree and cavalier. I remember learning in pharmacy school that the difference between a drug and a poison is typically and very simply nothing more than the dose... Ive tried to impart that tiny bit of wisdom to anyone that would hear me out over the past 25 years in my profession. That was all during the pre-August 6, 2014 phase. 

Now I'm in a new phase, and it's all about trying to get my mind and body to agree on taking tamoxifen every day for the next five to ten years. Right now, this phase is called tamoxifen:part one. I think my take home lesson from part one of the tamoxifen phase is this:  even the right dose of a medicine can seem like a poison. And a right dose of a medicine can become a wrong dose very quickly... Or slowly... And too little can be just as deadly as too much. And knowledge is like a medicine in that regard.... Too little can be just as deadly as too much. 

I'm sorry for the rambling. Apparently insomnia is prevalent during the tamoxifen phase! 

Julcliff
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, February 07, 2015 1:06 PM
Hello, my name is Julie.   I live in Kansas City.  I was in Women's Health Care Sales for 20 yrs.  In Nov (2014) my annual mammo showed microcalcifications, and the radiologist decided a biopsy was indicated.  It revealed a high-risk, precancerous lesion (Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia).  A lumpectomy was scheduled with a Breast Surgeon at Univ of KS Med Ctr (great rep in the Midwest for Cancer Care).  I wasn't worried...it was PRE-cancerous and we were going to cut most of it out (it was a 2.5 inch area of micro-calcs).
  Thennnn..... my Breast Surg decided to get breast MRI before my lumpectomy since I have a mom and 2 sis's that are survivors and I have very dense tissue.   Lo and behold, the MRI shows yet another small tumor, 1.2 cm, about 2 inches away from the pre-cancer.  One had nothing to do with the other!  So my Jan 20 lumpectomy was changed to a double mastectomy (I chose to take both off due to my dense tissue, family history and the constant surveillance my other breast would've taken).
If I hadnt had the MRI the cancer wouldve just cont'd to grow until my next mammo/US. 
 During surgery, frozen sections were done on 4 sentinel lymph  nodes, all reported as neg and my family in the waiting room was so relieved.  However, unfortunately the Final Path Report showed micro-mets (1.1mm, so very small) to the first sentinel lymph node.  None to the other 3 nodes taken.

Now my Breast Surgeon wants to take my case to Tumor conference and discuss amongst 10-15 multi-disciplinary MDs that all treat breast cancer.  A total axillary dissection is one of the options that they might be recommending.  Well, I am thinking to reject that option.  I am 57, not 87, I have an active life to live and grand babies to lift and play with.  I have heard the horror stories of lymphedema (it happens to 35-40% of women who get an axillary node dissection).  Even my breast surgeon said once it starts it usually progresses and is a life long problem.  What do you all think??

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, February 07, 2015 1:56 PM
Hi Julcliff,

Is the Onc suggesting any other treatment like chemo or hormone therapy?  There's no doubt there's always a risk of lymphedema and I had a wide local excision with three of nine nodes positive, however despite many scratches from my cats and lifting heavy things I've been lucky so far and can't help feeling there's a reason some people get it and others don'e.

However I'd still be concerned about the tiny amount of cancer found in the sentinel node which is a bigger problem of course than lymphedema if it spreads, maybe another opinion may help??
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

Leanna
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, February 16, 2015 10:51 PM
Hi, I'm new to the forum, but certainly not new to breast cancer. I've lost family members to it as well as being diagnosed twice myself. Things have changed a lot from the first time in 2000 and the second time in 2014 (this last October.) I look forward to sharing information and experiences with other forum members.
Leanna 2000 - 1st BC Diagnosis Lumpectomy Radiation (33 treatments) Developed Lymphedema 2014 - 2nd BC Diagnosis Lumpectomy Radiation (10 treatments through catheters) PALB2 gene mutation

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Tuesday, February 17, 2015 9:21 AM
Hi Leanna and welcome, I'm sorry you had a recurrance after so long but its good to know you're feeling well and over the treatments now.
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

tstwilight
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, March 02, 2015 9:58 PM
Hello, I am new to this forum. I hope this post doesn't come across as whinny or like I'm being ungrateful for good results.  Let me start by saying I'm 33.  I have a grandmother and two aunts that have been diagnosed with breast cancer.  All of them were on my mother's side   



When I was 23 or so I found a lumpy area in my left breast.  It's located on the outer part of my breast at about the height of my breast plate.  After an ultrasound from a general surgeon, it was determined to be a fatty cyst/tissue (I don't remember the scientific term).  Last month, I noticed the area seemed larger and one of the parts to it or additions had an irregular shape, pointy you might say.  I had my first mammograms with follow-up ultrasounds last week.  The radiologist told me that my mammogram was normal.  He did state that there were two areas that he identified as swollen lymph nodes, but of no concern.  (Strange right?)  This was not in my area of concern though.  I tried my best to get the technician to image the area three times and to her defense I believe she did, but there was nothing discussed/observed on the ultrasound in that area.  The radiologist said that they could be fatty cysts.  I count my blessings that I have normal results from the mammogram, however, it's concerning me that there was nothing seen on the ultrasound when it has been seen in a previous ultrasound years ago and that I was told it COULD be a fatty cyst last week.  Overall, I can feel them EASILY.  They are in my body.  


I talked to my ob/gyn on the same day of the imaging.  She didn't have my results because she wasn't the one who referred me, so she based her comments on my understanding of the findings.  She conducted a routine breast exam and said that she thought it was my tendons that were stretched because my breasts are so heavy.  My right breast has one small nodule, but nothing in comparison to my left one.  


So, now I have two contrasting opinions and neither are definitive.  I realize the only way to get an actual answer is to see a surgeon.  Am I right to be concerned?  Is COULD a good of enough answer when it's gotten larger and doesn't seem to shrink in size?  I am trying to determine if I'm overreacting or if I should speak to someone else.  I'm just trying to be comfortable with my answer because I've already been told that my next mammogram will be when I'm 40.  Right now I'm worrying about it and can't think of anything but it. Please offer suggestions.  I'm sorry to ramble.  


Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Tuesday, March 03, 2015 4:06 AM
Hi,

We know our own bodies best and if you feel uncomfortable with these findings I really would urge you to see a breast surgeon who will arrange a biopsy which is the only way to know for certain. I think it better to be safe than sorry in this regard, chances are its nothing serious but I would want to know for certain too.
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

KRam
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Tuesday, March 03, 2015 10:34 PM
Thank you Rena.  I just made the decision to have 10 radiation treatments.  I am hoping that I will get some relief to the mets on my tailbone.  Just becoming a part of these message boards as well.  Looking forward to meeting fellow survivors.
-Kim
Dx 11/12/12, ER/PR +, HER2 -, Stage 2.
Now metastatic breast cancer (lung and bone) Stage 4
Survivor since day one!

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