Introduce Yourself

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Carolann
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, June 01, 2015 6:59 AM
Hello everyone!

I have joined this forum because I am having a difficult time deciding whether to do chemotherapy or not.  I will be 70 years old this year. All my children are grown, and one is already in heaven with my husband.

I had a modified radical left breast mastectomy on May 14. I still have one drain attached and am seeing a wound specialist because my incision was not healing properly.

During my surgery, they removed 12 lymph nodes, three of which were positive for cancer. I will soon need to have port placement, and still cannot come to a peaceful decision about chemo.  I am not afraid to die from the cancer, as long as the pain can be controlled.  The oncologist has no way of knowing if any cancer cells got loose into my system while traveling through the lymph nodes.  I don't know whether to just take my 50/50 chance, or go through chemo and HER2 treatment FOR A WHOLE YEAR to reduce my chances down to 10%.

Any older widows on this site with some input would be greatly appreciated.

You younger ones - fight!!



Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, June 01, 2015 1:13 PM
Carolann hi, your post made me feel sad for you and wanted to send you a big ((((((hug)))))).....more and more people are surviving well now from early stage breastcancer which is what yours is, why not fight this, you still have a lot of living to do I'm sure, and if not maybe do it for your children and Grand children is not for yourself.  Seventy is not seen now as old as it once was, with modern medicine and healthy living you could live years yet, and happily. One of our older members here is seventy and still works, goes to the gym and enjoys a lot of traveling time to be with her family.

I had the year of herceptin ten years ago and it saved my life, as did the chemo I had with it.  I won't pretend it was easy or that I was happy every day, but I can tell you I'm so very pleased now that I did it and think you would be too. Some people get few side effects, if you do get any there's usually a med to help counteract it and day by day, step by step, you suddenly find you've come to the end of treatment and you're very proud of yourself for being so very brave. I think when I decided to save my life it was the bravest moment of mine.  

I just lost a friend to cancer, she was forty and had everything to live for, when I think back to her and all the ladies who undertook clinical trials that may not be here now, but did this so I and others  could benefit from these drugs I think we need to be as strong as they were.  I hope you decide to fight, no one knows how any of us will end our days, but allowing this treatable disease to kill us prematurely can never be seen as the right thing to do in my humble opinion.  

There are many people like myself on this support board who would be happy to offer their advice and support to help you get through these treatments, you won't be alone and I hope you'll 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

Rena
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, June 10, 2015 6:13 PM
Hello Carolann. I'm not a widow, but I'm 65 years old. I had breast cancer when I was 37. Looking back over the years, I realize how precious our time on earth is. When I was 37, I thought that 70 was old. I don't feel that way anymore. I know that you've lost both your husband and a child, and it's hard to imagine how difficult that must be. Only you can decide how much risk you're willing to take. Like Tricia, I hope you fight this, but if you decide to take your chances without chemo, I would respect your decision, too. I just hope that you'll think long and hard about what (and who) you have to live for and all the good times that you can still have. Wishing you the best.
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!

Herb
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, June 11, 2015 10:58 AM
in my research I ran across some studies you could read to help you. here is the text from it and the link http://www.uptodate.com/contents/diagnosis-staging-and-the-role-of-sentinel-lymph-node-biopsy-in-the-nodal-evaluation-of-breast-cancer However, an SLNB can be omitted if the nodal information will not affect adjuvant treatment decisions. As an example, women ≥70 years of age who have a small (<2 cm) estrogen receptor-positive tumor and a clinically uninvolved axilla may be treated without an SLNB. The management of early breast cancer in older women is discussed in detail elsewhere. (See "General principles on the treatment of early stage and locally advanced breast cancer in older women", section on 'Management of the axilla'.) Hope you can find something that helps you decide.
Lumpectomy 5/6/2015 -1.8cm Stage 1 IDC Grade 3, -ER/PR Poss, HER2 Neg- -sentinel Node (1)6/5/2015 Neg, -OncotypeDX 25 and 16% - Chemo - STARTS 7/2 2015- Rads x 34 AFTER CHEMO- Hormone drugs to follow treatments

Herb
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, June 11, 2015 11:24 AM
also found this I would look at some of this research Older women — A positive SLNB followed by a completion axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) did not improve all-cause or breast-cancer-specific survival in women over 65 years of age. In a retrospective review of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, the five-year all-cause survival for patients with a positive sentinel node who underwent a completion ALND (n = 4586) did not statistically differ from similar women who did not undergo an ALND (n = 629), (84 verus 83 percent) [85]. In addition, there was no significant difference in five-year breast-cancer-specific survival (94.6 versus 91.6 percent). An analysis of prospective data is needed to confirm these retrospective findings. (See "General principles on the treatment of early stage and locally advanced breast cancer in older women", section on 'Management of the axilla'.)
Lumpectomy 5/6/2015 -1.8cm Stage 1 IDC Grade 3, -ER/PR Poss, HER2 Neg- -sentinel Node (1)6/5/2015 Neg, -OncotypeDX 25 and 16% - Chemo - STARTS 7/2 2015- Rads x 34 AFTER CHEMO- Hormone drugs to follow treatments

Greatmom70
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, June 20, 2015 6:33 AM
Hello everyone. I'm a 44yo , almost 45 and I have put off my mammogram for years. I finally went and I'm being told I have a 7x5x6 cm mass in my left Brest after being called back and having more pics and an ultrasound. 

My dr wants me to see a breast surgeon ASAP. But as of today, we have no insurance as all of this comes during a move and a job change... I'm scared, nervous and quite frankly, don't my next move.

I am here for stories, help and support. Thanks,
Stephanie

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, June 20, 2015 2:07 PM
Stephanie this may be nothing but you won't know until you get a biopsy, try calling your local Komen office to see if there's any help available to you and also the American cancer society.
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

Sue Plowden
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, June 25, 2015 8:55 PM
Good evening All!  I was diagnosed Monday with IDC.  Not sure the stage or any other information.  I have a PET and CAT scan tomorrow morning.  MRI and chest XRay Monday and Genetic testing Wednesday.  I go back to the doctor on 7/7 for treatment plan.  I am trying to stay positive.  My Dr believes we caught this early and I will be fine.  Just nervous at all the newness of this.  I am amazed at all the survivors of this horrible disease!

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, June 26, 2015 6:49 AM
Hi and welcome,

I'm so sorry you've had to join us but you will get lots of advice and support here to help you through this, its a time to accept all the help you can, hard as it may be but you'll find people will be glad to help.  I didn't have a mast but if you check the recon/surgery forum you'll get lots of tips and advice to help you through the surgery and 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

Sloan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, July 04, 2015 11:59 AM
Hello.  I'm newly diagnosed with IDC, and my surgery is coming up.  I posted in the signature area what I know, but I'll obviously know more after the surgery.  I have so many questions, and I'll try to look at past threads for some guidance.  This is all so overwhelming.
IDC, Grade 1, 1.3 CM, ER+/Pr+ (both 90%), Her2 initially 1+ and further testing indicated negative

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, July 04, 2015 3:08 PM
Hi,

Sorry you had to join us, the early weeks are very confusing but it will get easier once you get a treatment plan in place, good luck and 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

amanda.oneill
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, July 08, 2015 2:08 AM
Hi... my name is Amanda O'Neill, and my mom was just diagnosed with stage 3 her2 negative. To be honest, I don't know anything about cancer... it doesn't run in my family and until just recently, I didn't actually know anyone suffering from cancer. I am 22 years old, and I am pursuing my Master's degree in forensic anthropology. My mother was my only financial support throughout my undergraduate career, and she was also my rock. Nonetheless, I never imagined my mom, my rock, to become victim to cancer. The cancer is spreading rapidly and aggressively, and it has spread to the lymph nodes in her underarm. I don't know how to process any of this. I don't know what to expect over the years, and I don't know the worst case scenario of her current diagnosis. I don't want to read about my mom's death sentence from websites on the internet... and that is why I am here. You ladies are living proof that cancer doesn't always win. I have a lot to learn, but first I need to learn to be strong for my mom. I would love to be apart of this support group, and I would love to become involved in any ways possible to fight for all of the women affected by breast cancer. I look forward to connecting with all of you.

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, July 08, 2015 3:40 AM
Hi Amanda and welcome,

I'm sorry about your Mom's diagnosis, most of us here had no family history either but things are not as bleak as you may think. Many of us too including myself had spread to the lymph nodes and are still fine years later thanks to chemo and radiation, it's only when the cancer may spread to the bones or major organ that it becomes a real problem.  Even then as stage iv it can often be treated well for many years with a good response to treatment so just take things one day at a time for now.

There are many new drugs now even since my own dx ten years ago and more and more people are surviving and living well after this disease.  I know one of the former members here was stage three with twenty two lymph nodes positive and ten years later she's still cancer free and healthy.  Of course we all react differently and of course it's still a concern but I just wanted you to know it's not all doom and gloom at the outset. I researching online stick to reputable sites like Komen and www.breastcancer.org and Dr Susan Loves book is very helpful too and explains a lot. My best wishes to you and your Mom and I hope you'll 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

hipsterkake
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, July 12, 2015 6:11 PM
As I described in a post, I am 23 coming off of a miscarriage and was told I had cancer in my right breast. Months later I still feel the heartbreak of being told this news. As I am fine now health wise, and cancer free talking about this topic to regular people does not feel the same. Once I mention it, then feels as if I have sympathy which isn't what I want. Maybe talking to other's who have experienced this same process can help me move past certain emotions.

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, July 13, 2015 2:25 PM
I'm very sorry you had to suffer this disease at such a young age, it's very normal to feel quite lost and sad months after our diagnosis and many people feel counselling or a local support group can help.  Of course we all understand how you feel and time will help and make it easier, just accept you've been through a lot and a major life change and take one day at a time and allow yourself to grieve and feel sad for the old you pre cancer.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

bburkman1
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 12:07 AM
Just finally figured out how to get to this point on all these posts! My signature sums up the last month. One week since surgery. Resting rather comfortably. Love my lazy boy, pain meds and ice packs. I've been married for almost 24 years and we have 3 beautiful children: boy-19, girls 18 & 16. So I have lots of helpers and a great close-nit circle of friends.
Peg B, 47 I had a mammogram on June 11, 2015. Had a biopsy of 3 spots in right breast on June 15, then followed by an MRI, and CT scan. Originally from the mammogram we thought the tumors were all 1cm and smaller. The MRI showed them to be a bit larger with the largest one about 3.5 cm, and they found a 4th spot. And 2 suspicious spots on my left. July 7, 2015: bilateral mastectomy with sentinel node dissection and ancillary node dissection. Had follow up with breast surgeon on July 13,2015

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 4:03 AM
Hi Peg,

Glad you're done with the surgery and resting up well, it always helps to have a strong family support too and I hope you'll keep us posted when you have your follow up appt.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

rebbie1974
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, July 15, 2015 11:46 PM
Hi! My name is Reb. I am 41 years old. I had my first mammogram at 36 - due to my family history. I was so happy that day - it was like another milestone in adulthood...that was on a Friday. On Monday - I got the call that stopped my life. They had found a mass in my right breast. I went Wednesday for another mammogram and ultrasound. Went into the spooky room with the radiologist - a nice dark room with computers everywhere. She showed me the mass. The next day I went to a specialist - and on Friday - I had a biopsy. 

Within 7 days I had had 3 mammograms - 2 ultrasounds and a biopsy. It was benign - thankfully. But for those 7 days - my life stopped. I know have a nice little marker in me for the rest of my life.

It terrified me that everything happened so fast. I had heard stories how it had taken women so long from mammogram to biopsy - so I was terrified that it was happening so fast - and yet blessed at the same time. 

When time came for me to have my next - now yearly mammogram - I was terrified they were going to find something - they didn't and since 2010 - they haven't found anything.

However, I received a notice 8 months after my last mammogram - that said my doctor had requested a risk factor for me. Because of my family history - I have a 20% or more chance of getting breast cancer.

My family history - My grandmother - Dad's Mom - died of breast cancer in 1951 - at age 42. Both of my Aunts - Dad's sisters - were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 - at ages 68 and 63. The older one only had 1 breast removed - and before the year was out - a tumor was found in her other breast. She ended up dying in 2005 of a heart attack. The younger sister decided to have both breasts removed and lymph nodes and she is still alive 11 years later - Thank you God! She does have a pacemaker due to the chemo. The older Aunt's daughter - my cousin - was diagnosed at 55 and had both breast removed and lymph nodes - she ended up dying in 2013 of a blood clot. The younger Aunt's daughters haven't been diagnosed yet. 

See - I thought because it was on my Dad's side - that my chances were slim. But I have learned that in the last 10 years TPTB have determined that it doesn't matter. 

On Monday - I am going to a Breast MRI - again not because they found anything - but because of my family history. And I have to admit - I am terrified! I have a plan - I have had the plan since the first biopsy - have both breasts removed and lymph nodes - get chemo and once cancer free - get a tattoo - my mom and brother have also said that they would get tattoos with me. But even with my plan - I am terrified!

Sorry for the long introduction. Hugs and Love!

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, July 16, 2015 3:57 AM
Hi Reb,

I'm so sorry your family have suffered from  this disease so much and now you have the stress of getting it too, I had no family history at all but still ended up with it but I'm thankful to be here and well ten years on.  This link may help you with some info and there's other ladies there you can talk to about this who are also affected. http://www.facingourrisk.org/index.php
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

rebbie1974
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, July 16, 2015 2:40 PM
Thank you Tricia - I appreciate it. Actually coming here has helped a lot and I will check out that website. Hope everything is going well for you now. 

Hugs and Love!


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