Introduce Yourself

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jojomomcat
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Tuesday, November 24, 2009 12:59 AM
Not really sure where the treatment will go. Did my first go-round 2 weeks ago of just the taxol and gemzar and for some reason it really zapped me. CBC was terrible, so did the red/white shots last week and have been eating an anti-biotic used to treat ANTHRAX! Really bizarre is the hair loss has started already. Darn! Was shoulder length and I dyed it a cool color of red the day I was re-diagnosed, thought I'd get to be a wild red head for a bit longer...
Anyway, hopefully this Wednesday I will start Abraxane (easier form of Taxol), Gemzar, and Avastin, followed by daily Filgrastim shots for a week. Didn't make trial as the tumor mass has already been radiated, but my doc, the Sainted Dr. Soori, is replicating it. Can't have Nancy (the neck tumor) removed - she's clinging around some important stuff, and besides, doc says I'm already a few lymph nodes shy of a full load!
Won't know how long this run is - depends on Nancy shrinking (Nancy is named after our weather gal in the newsroom, we joke it's karma for me throwing coconut at her during a photo shoot - as coconut looks like snow on film).
But I am grateful the growth in the pituatry turned up benign. Lost my mother to brain cancer - not a easy one.
What will be worse will surviving the upcoming wedding of my only boyo (also the baby) to the ultimate Bridezilla and family. I'm sure I will sound off several times about that! Hey... maybe I can tell everyone the wedding made me so crazy I pulled my hair out. Did that to my editor last time and scared him half to death!
You can get anywhere in life you choose, as long as you wear red high top shoes.

return trip, triple neg (by med terms only - triple positive in attitude), 17 nodes and gaining, clinical trial pro, and too darn mean to let it win (hence the nickname Mean Jolene)!

jfktoo
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, November 27, 2009 4:15 PM
Hello Everyone ---
I am among the lucky ones, so far I have had one scare but no diagnosis.  Both my husband and I have worked at "WALKS" and donated what we could for many, many, many years.  That is now past tense....The increadable insult to Israel at the Egypt conference has put an end to our participation.  We will continue to work for a CURE, but NOT with the Susan B Koman foundation ...we are so very disapointed !
J.F. Kramer
<message edited by jfktoo on Friday, November 27, 2009 4:16 PM>

Kathy Foster
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, November 28, 2009 12:21 AM
I am the strong one, been amazingly healthy and pain-free all of my life!  I was diagnosed on 11/23 and treatment will begin in Jan after staging.  I have just gotten out of an abusive 25 year marriage and while I am on some scale less alone, I have no contacts close in town to really lean on.  My mother died in 2003 of pancreatic cancer, bc is a comparative picnic from all I've heard.  My brother died the same year of melanoma.  My sister is great, supportive and amazing but living in Texas (I am in Oregon).  I have a job I love, part time (good i can probably continue working but may get depressed if I can't meet my own high expectations) but no benefits, if I don't (can't) work i don't get paid and I barely make ends meet as it is.  I have a very large, obvious lump which shows signs of ductal and lobular cancer.  I have two choices as i am young and healthy, chemo first to maybe shrink the tumor then a possibly lesser surgery. Or surgery first then chemo.  A best guest of options before staging is finished.  What are the pros and cons?  Being that I have no money can I get a second opinion?  Komen foundation or BBC has paid for the initial dx.  I have 3 children a 17 year old daughter and two sons 15 and 10.  How do I tell them.  My husband and i currently get along really well (he still scares me but as is common, I am not in his control so he is particularly charming,  i have to focus on that or I will go back, not advisable) so do we tell them together?  I was fine until I read these posts (a basic case of denial) now I am more keyed into what I am up against and I am appropriately terrified.  i hate drugs and I dislike being sick or sickly.  Today I feel great but treatment has not started and I dread all the drugs.  So now i need words of encouragement so I can go back to being positive while being less ignorant.  On a search for some level of reality
Kathy Foster

Rena
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, November 28, 2009 12:57 AM
Hi Kathy. Welcome--although I'm sorry you need to be here.  I read your message and I'll tell you what struck me: If you had the courage to leave your abuser after 25 years, then you have more than enough courage to face cancer.  It must be extremely frustrating (not to mention infuriating) that he is so charming now that you're not under this control. Stay strong, and when he turns on the charm, remind yourself that he was charming before you married him! 

I'm sorry I can't answer your question about chemo or surgery first. As for  help with your medical expenses, you've found Komen, which is great. I don't know if you'd qualify for aid through the state of Oregon. Have you seen this website: http://www.oregonhelps.org/programs/detail/61/
There are women on the boards who know more than I do about resources for medical care, etc. It would be a good idea to pose that question on the Sound Off board, where more people will see it.

I don't have much to offer in the way of practical advice. I was diagnosed 23 years ago, and I'm not up to date on today's treatments. But I can offer you hope. I was diagnosed at age 37 with 22 positive lymph nodes and was told that I was in a "poor prognostic group." Here I am, alive and well 23 years later.  This disease is beatable. I know it's hard to be away from close friends and family, especially at a time like this. You might consider joining a breast cancer support group so that you can connect with other women who know what you're going through. Most medical centers offer them free of charge. Also, many of the women on this site have met up with others in their area, and it's such a great source of support and friendship. We have some wonderful women on this site who live in the Pacific Northwest, but I don't know how close they are to you. You can put out a call on the Sound Off board for others in your area. You never know--you could end up making some great friends.

For now, I just want to send my support and my best wishes and big hug.

Love,
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!

jojomomcat
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Monday, November 30, 2009 1:14 AM
Kathy,
Rena's correct in the number of options that the hospitals and medical centers offer. I also met several great new friends through the Race and just by being bald - woman would come up to me, start talking and before I knew it I had a my own support group. Now I find myself doing the same. We all share a compassion and love that our individual journey has given us.
As far as being strong with leaving the abusive situation - YOU ARE. I, too, was once in an abusive marriage, with two small children. I had been diagnosed with cervical cancer at the time. My parents had recently moved out of state and I was pretty much alone. I hurt, I cried, but I kept pushing. And before I knew it, I was a strong and vibrant person. You can and will do just fine, I know you will. Please, feel free to contact me. Send a message through the board and I will reply with my email and phone number.
We are all in this together, we are never truly alone.
Jolene
<message edited by jojomomcat on Monday, November 30, 2009 1:17 AM>
You can get anywhere in life you choose, as long as you wear red high top shoes.

return trip, triple neg (by med terms only - triple positive in attitude), 17 nodes and gaining, clinical trial pro, and too darn mean to let it win (hence the nickname Mean Jolene)!

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, December 11, 2009 5:44 PM
Bump!
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

sher96
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, December 12, 2009 2:03 PM
35 year old female recently diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in left breast.  Triple negative, aggressive tumor.  Mother of two kids almost 8 and 5.  Starting chemo this week...

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, December 12, 2009 3:06 PM
Welcome Sher, we have a triple neg forum where you may like to say hi to the ladies too:)

I'm sorry for your dx but so glad you joined us, check out the chemo forum as many of the ladies there have great tips and help each other through on a daily basis.
There may be other's starting the same time as you.

If you have questions please feel free post them on sound off which gets a lot more traffic and is far busier.
We have survivor's here up to 23 years so there's always someone on hand to answer and help out:)

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

everydaysagift
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, December 12, 2009 8:13 PM
Hi Sher,
 
So very sorry you had reason to visit, but glad you did.  The many courageous and wise women who post here have so much to share.  I learn something new each time I check in.
 
You're in the thoughts and prayers of many.  Every person here is in your corner. 
Sending good karma your way and I wish you well.
Take care, Diane 
09/08 Excis biop R breast - Dx LCIS
12/08 Hyster & Oopherectomy (endometrial hyperplasia)
06/09 Clear bilat. mammo & ultrasound
08/09 Bilat. breast MRI - "suspicious" area on L
10/09 L breast lumpectomy - Dx hi grade DCIS  
DVT hist R/O hormone therapy
Bilat. mast. w/expanders on Dec 18, 2009 
 Reconstruct date & type 2B determined

sher96
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, December 13, 2009 11:10 AM
Hi Tricia,
Thanks for the welcome and advice!  I will check out the sound off forum.  Where can I find the triple neg forum?  Everything is quite overwhelming right now... 
 
Sheryl

sher96
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, December 13, 2009 11:11 AM
Diane,
Thank you for the well wishes and good Karma!!
 
Sheryl

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, December 13, 2009 11:14 AM
Sher, you'll find the triple neg ongoing thread here-

http://apps.komen.org/forums/tt.aspx?forumid=72
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

psavast
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, December 31, 2009 7:38 PM
Hi...I am new here.  I am 5 weeks post op bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction / expanders.  I started my chemo treatment this past Monday. Today is the first day of not feeling so great....physically and emotionally.
I will write more in time..I just wanted to check in on this website and connect.
I have wonderful friends who are very supportive however there is an element of needing more understanding...which would only come from those who have either gone through this or are going through it.
I am sad, scared, lonely at times....worried about returning to work.....and coping with more physical loss.
I am open to any help......and hopefully one day I can offer help to others.
 

girl24
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, January 02, 2010 9:02 AM
Hello!
I am glad that you are reaching out!  I had a Bilat Mast on 10/13 with expander.  I have had two expansions and they have not been bad at all.  I just finished my 2nd round of chemo T/C regimen (12/3 and 12/30).  The first round was not bad,  day 5 - 8 I was feeling tired.  I would do some things in the morning and rest in the afternoon.  The s/e effects for me were dry mouth, metallic taste, queasy and fatigue.  It seems that my 2nd round is following that pattern.  I took all the prescribed meds, I took the Tylenol and Claritin for extra 2 days to combat any bone pain.  I have drank a ton of water.  Lemon Propel is great!  I was worried about the physical toll the treatment would take.  I have three children but it is not to bad.  They have taken on some responsibility and have done well.  What is your treatment (chemo meds)?  What was your DX?
Again, I am glad that you have reached out.  It is so helpful to talk with someone who had gone thru this.

KarenV
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, January 02, 2010 4:16 PM
Happy New Year All!!  So glad to see 2010 come! 
 
I am new here as well, though it has been one year since I started this battle.   I was diagnosed Novermber 2008 with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, stage 3B in left breast, age 48.   I began chemo on 12/31, mastectomy in May 2009 with reconstruction at that time with expander, a couple more surgeries to get missed cancer, tumour was 11 cm and 8 positive nodes of 12 removed, radiation for 7 weeks - July - September.   
 
Now living with no evidence of disease, but with the 'sword of Damocles" ever dangling.   I am healthy now, exercising and eating better.    But worry more than I did before about it's return. 
 
Am on Tamoxifen, and experiencing night sweats and bone pain.  does anyone know about bisphosphanates?
 
And I am really wondering, Rena, what have you done? 
 
In this last year, my youngest daughter at 22 got married, I've had 2 grandchildren that are lovely, and my elder daughter (27) and I started a Fair Trade Store.     thanks for listening....
 
Karen
Karen

Diagnosed November 2008, Age 48
IBC
4 AC (dose dense)/4 T treatments-done 4/2/09
mastectomy on 5/8/09   11.2 cm tumour  12 lymph nodes removed, 8 positive    reconstruction at same time
2nd surgery to get missed cancer   
33 rads...done on 9/4/09
HER2-, PR-, ER+ currently on Tamoxifen

Rena
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, January 02, 2010 5:18 PM
Welcome to all our new friends. Karen (love your name--my one and only child is named Karen), I am asked that question a lot, and my answer is always the same: The best thing I've done for myself is to work on my mental health and my spirit (I don't mean religion, but I know that religion is very helpful to some people) over the years. I can't claim any special diet or exercise regimen or any special supplements. I'm not saying that those things can't help, just that I haven't gone that route. Believe me, I'm no paragon of mental health, but I've tried to learn to be kind to myself; to laugh more; to surround myself with people (and cats) who give me joy and to stay away from people who are "toxic" (I've yet to meet any toxic cats!); to know myself and accept myself for who I am; to say no more often to things that will stress me. I wish there were a "magic formula," but there's not. I think we all just have to choose what seems right to us. Just remember that I beat this disease after being told that my prognosis was poor, and I know I'm not the only one. I'm sending good wishes and a hug your way. Love, 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!

wisdomtooth2020
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, January 02, 2010 6:00 PM
Hi. I am new to the Komen site. I decided to visit here after my sister was given a terminal diagnosis for breast cancer just a couple of weeks ago. I am 49 - 50 this month. Both my mother and my sister are breast cancer survivors to date. My mother was diagnosed at age 69 and is cancer free after nearly 9 years. My sister was diagnosed about 4 years ago and has just learned the cancer has moved to her bones. I am hoping to connect with other family members here who have had this type of bad news. I am having a terrible time accepting this prognosis. Thanks.

Rena
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, January 02, 2010 6:46 PM
Hi Wisdom. I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. One thing you should know is that many women live a long time with cancer that has spread to the bones. If your sister has faith and trust in her medical team, that's good, but she should never hesitate to seek a second opinion about treatment because the way her cancer is approached early on in this new diagnosis is very important.  This is a wonderful site for support and information. Another good one is breastcancer.org. They have a message board specifically for family members and support people. You may find others there going through this. Another thing to consider is a support group for family members. Many medical centers offer such groups. It could help you, and by helping yourself deal with this, it could make it easier for you to help your sister. I wish you, your sister and the whole family the 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!

paris
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, January 02, 2010 8:24 PM
Why thank you, I feel right at home now.  I had a freind pass away several years ago and it has been on my heart to raise awareness for early detection as well as more funding in this area.  I have a book that comes out on May 15th, which supports breast cancer awareness as well as bears the BSE in the back of the book.  I am ready to do my part in helping raise awareness, Thank You.   Please visit my site http://parisdrakeinc.com/

mmworley1
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, January 08, 2010 10:12 AM
Hey everybody,

My name is Megan. I am 21 years old. I was diagnosed with breast cancer about 2 months ago in my left breast. I have been determined to beat it on my own, but am quickly learning that I cannot. I am in my senior year of college and am currently in student teaching. I will graduate in May if I can stay in school this semester. I am scared. The whole discussion board thing is new to me and I don't know anyone here. I typically am slow to open up to others. I love student teaching. I am working with students in severe and profound special education. There have been complications thus far with the treatments in that my body is not taking well to them.

Diagnosis: Stage IIb, DCIS and IDC (08/10/2009)
First in family with breast cancer.





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