Introduce Yourself

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everydaysagift
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 18, 2010 1:09 AM
Hi Jessica,
 
I'm so sorry you had reason to visit, but very glad you did.  I wish you could be spared the emotional roller coaster that comes with the diagnosis.  You must feel blindsided, especially at such a young age.  I can only imagine the added worry of a possibile pregnancy.
 
Your visits here, connect you with extraordinary people offering hope, support, encouragement and much needed humor.  From the newly diagnosed to the many survivors, they're available to help you along the way. 
 
Consider seeking out a local breast cancer support group.  (Ck w/local hospital or breast cancer ctr & there may be social worker for breast cancer pts.)  It's one more resource for local doctors & treatment options and the sense of comraderie can be helpful.  The Komen 800# can connect you w/an area group.  Reach to Recovery (part of the American Cancer Society) is an organization comprised of trained, volunteer breast cancer survivors.  You can be partnered w/a volunteer to help you navigate the coming months.  The opportunity to talk with other women your age, 
perhaps also pregnant, could be enormously helpful.
 
Whenever possible, bring someone to the Dr. visits.  You need the 2nd set of ears.  Write questions down in advance & have your "ears" take notes during visits.  Is there a Cancer (or Breast Cancer) Center in your area?  Perhaps one attached to a University?  Consider a 2nd or even 3rd opinion, whether it's the surgeon, oncologist or plastic surgeon.  The next Dr. may have different approach &/or training, or may simply be a better fit.  Ask lots of questions.  If you don't understand, ask them to explain.  So much information comes at once.  Ask the Dr., the best way to reach them after the visit, if you have additional questions.  Request a copy of all test and pathology results.  Keep all related notes & information in one place, so it's readily available.  Don't hesitate to ask for, or accept help from others, be it babysitting, providing dinner, running errands or taking you to lunch.  The important people in your life share a sense of helplessness, but want to rally for and with you.
 
Please stay in touch.  When you're ready, we'd like to hear more about the pathology findings and treatment plan, as it unfolds.   You'll feel more like both feet are back on the ground, when the evaluation is complete and a treatment plan's in place.
 
Sending much good karma your way.  Take care, Diane
<message edited by everydaysagift on Thursday, March 18, 2010 1:13 AM>
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

bella
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, March 19, 2010 3:51 PM
Hi everyone,
I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer with bone mets in February of 2009. Since that time I have had a left hip replacement, port placement, ovaries removed and right breast mastectomy.
I have been getting Herceptin and Zometa infusions since March of last year and continue to get them every 3 weeks. I also had 15 radiation treatments to my left hip area and vertebrae in February of last year.
I am so glad that I have found this wonderful support group to be a part of. No one really knows how this feels until you go through it yourself.
I am not really sure how to navigate this message board yet but will figure it out and am sure I will have many questions for you and hopefully some answers for some of you too.
Thank you so much for sharing from your experiences and from your hearts.
God bless each of you!

everydaysagift
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, March 19, 2010 11:22 PM
Hi Bella,
 
I'm so sorry you had reason to visit, but glad you're here.  You've been through so much already.  Here's hoping the greatest challenges are behind you, and the days ahead offer an abundance of good health and happiness.
 
As you've already discovered, the message boards connect you with amazing and extraordinary sharing spirits.  We're glad you joined us and hope you return often.  Thinking of you and sending much good karma your way.
 
Take care and have a happy.......Diane
<message edited by everydaysagift on Friday, March 19, 2010 11:25 PM>
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

thedenver
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, March 20, 2010 4:22 AM
hi, i am new here.
i am in 30 and have 34cc.     

bella
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, March 20, 2010 8:57 AM
Thanks Diane for your reply.
It can be very scary at times. I am so thankful that I have found this great group of ladies that can understand the ups and downs of all that we go through.
I try to stay up and positive but there are those days when it is really hard.
I think I worry more about what it is doing to my 3 grandchildren than myself.
It is good to finally have some friends in all of this.
Take care and have a blessed day.
Bella

bella
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, March 20, 2010 9:00 AM
Welcome to thedenver!
I am new on here too. I am excited to know that we can have a support group such as this.
Please tell us more about yourself.
Blessings to you,
Bella

Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Saturday, March 20, 2010 11:41 AM
Welcome Bella, sorry about your stage iv diagnosis but glad to know herceptin is keeping it stable.
I also had herceptin, and suggest you check out www.her2support.org for more info and lots of people living well as stage iv too.
You'll also find a forum here for advanced cancer where most of the ladies with mets post daily so hope you'll check it out.
If you have any questions just ask and there's always someone on here to help. I also wanted to mention you would get a lot more replies/welcomes by starting a new thread as many may not notice your message here:)

Hi The denver and welcome too:)

What type of breastcancer have you been diagnosed with???    If you share more info there will be other's who can help with a similar diagnosis:)

Love
Tricia xx
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

threetimesnotacharm
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 25, 2010 9:13 AM
My name is Meme and this is my first post.  Until this point, I have relied on my family, friends, and local support group for encouragement.  As my cancer journey gets more complicated and distressing, however, I find myself isolated from people because they do not understand what I am experiencing and want concrete answers about my ambiguous situation.  Although I am a very private person, I am taking a chance that involvement on this site will provide comfort and guidance.
 
I was first diagnosed with breast cancer at 37 years old in 2003 with an 8 1/2 cm mass in my right breast.  It was triple negative, but also noninvasive.  I had a mastectomy, but no further treatment.  My children were 18 months and 3 at the time; I was frightened but was able to put it behind me for awhile.  Four years later, they found cancer again during a routine follow-up mammogram.  It was diffuse, with the largest mass being only 1.3 cm, but it was also in three of my lymph nodes.  This time the cancer was ER/PR+, HER2neu-.  I had a mastectomy of my left breast, 6 months of ACT treatment, and my ovaries removed (to slow estrogen production).  I then took Arimidex.  After each of these surgeries, I had multiple reconstructive surgeries - due to complications and rejection of the expanders - to build new breasts.
 
During my PET scan in 2007, the radiologist found a 1 cm spot in the hilar area of my lung that was "hot" (i.e., rated a 7 in metabolic activity when 4 is the threshold for suspicion for cancer).  It was inaccessible for biopsy due to its location.  The spot disappeared during chemo and then a year later, returned.  We watched it for a few months while it remained small and low in metabolic activity and then it accelerated in activity to a 9.  It was sitting on my pulmonary artery, so the only way to get to it safely was to remove the largest lobe of my lung.
 
That surgery took place in February.  The results of the biopsy were suprising and gravely disappointing.  It was metastatic breast cancer and this time was ER/PR-, HER2neu+.  I am now back in chemotherapy with taxotere, carboplatin, and herceptin.  I have five more treatments of this combination and then will remain on herceptin for the rest of my life.  The oncologist will also put me on Aromosin or Faslodex to control the estrogen-based cancer also.  My prognosis is uncertain. 
 
My first treatment with this protocol was downright hard.  I had headaches, chest pain, diarrhea, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and rashes.  My WBC count dropped, making it necessary for me to get neupogen shots (I can't take neulasta because I have an allergic reaction) which cause bone pain.  After all of this, I am exhausted.  I have always been an active, productive person.  I have tried to remain optimistic, but it is getting harder and harder - especially now that I know I will be in treatment forever (whatever that means).
 
My children (now 8 and 10) are wonderful, and my family and most of my friends are willing to do anything they can to help out.  I have rewarding work that allows me the flexibility to regulate my productivity around my health.  Regardless, I have a tendency to get angry.  I focus that anger at the people who say really dumb, self-centered things or avoid me.  I don't want to be an resentful person.  I want to enjoy my good days and appreciate all that I have.
 
Please share your insights and I will hopefully gain a more positive outlook from what others have posted.
 
Meme

fight4myboys
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 25, 2010 10:22 AM
Meme,
 
Welcome to a place that none of want to be..This is a great site and so many caring and supportive ladies that will welcome you with open arms.  What is happening to you is awful and scary, but there is hope and treatments are getting better and better all the time.  I have a very good friend that I met while I was  treatment.  She is stage 4 and has been living a very full life for the 2 years we have been friends.  She battles this disease one day at a time and does not allow it to dictate to her.  I hope that you will find srength and comfort here, we bitch, moan, laugh, and sometimes cry.  Anything you feel is welcome and understood. 
 
I also have two boys 8 and 11 and boy did they kept me going during treatment.  I thank God for them and I will fight and win so I can be here to see them grow into wonderful young men.
 
There is an advance  on this site and the ladies there are very helpful and will welcome you with open arms.
 
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. 
 
Hugs,
 
Susie
43@ DX 7/18/08
No primary breast tumor
only found by biopsy of axilla lymph nodes
er/pr+ her-
Chemo 8/08 4 a/c 4 taxol finished 11/24/08
Bilat mast 12/08. w/ tissue expanders
5+/23 nodes
No signs of tumor in breast after pathology
pet, ct, and mri all negative for primary tumor 
 28 Rads started 2/2/09 finished 3/13/09  YEA!!!!!!!!!
hysterectomy April 24, 2009
 expander exchange for silicone 11/19/09
Aromosin May09- 5 YRS


Tricia Keegan
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, March 25, 2010 10:30 AM
Hi Meme and welcome,

I'm so sorry about your diagnosis and would urge you to look in on www.her2support.org    where you'll find lots of the most up to date options on her2+ cancer. 
I hope you'll also find it encouraging to see so many ladies there living well with stage iv mets for many years.   Most stay on herceptin as "maintanence" but as this is not a chemo but a targeted therapy the side effects are minimal if any.   www.herceptin.com
While chemo is necessary every now and then, once the cancer is in check you can usually stop it for a while and just remain on herceptin.  Many do very well on this drug and we're very fortunate to have it.
We also have a chemo forum here on komen which you may find helpful where you can chat to other's going through similar side effects as you and gain tips on preventing them.   There's also a stage iv forum where I post daily but it's very quiet right now as most of the ladies that post there are in treatment right now. 
I really hope you have a good response to this treatment, if you like feel free to start a new thread and you'll get many more replies as not many people think of checking this thread:)
Please keep us posted on how you get on!
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

william_wjh_hiatt
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 10:32 AM
As a husband of a Breast Cancer Survivor I have made it my goal to raise money for a cure by donating a portion of the sales of my book to two organizations.  $1.00 from each book will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and $1.00 will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in support of my nephew.  Both these individuals I draw my strength from and feel in my heart very strongly about seaching for a cure and assisting those who are dealing with such stresses.  I have been through a lot with both my wife and my nephew, but they are the reason I am the man I am today.  That is why I have chosen to raise money for both organizations throughout the month of April, 2010.  I hope all are able to show their support and pass this message on to their friends.  You can find me at Facebook to stay informed of the progress.  Thank you all and have a great day!  I look forward to seeing how much we can raise together.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/imageviewer.asp?ean=9781449946654

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1079152997
 

Lynnette
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 3:35 PM
Hello-
 
I have never posted anything before so here it goes...My name is Lynnette, I'm 31 years old, a wife, a mother of a 8 month old boy, and I've been going through chemo treatment for the past 3 months (it seems so much longer!)  I found out I have breast cancer 2 weeks after my 31st birthday.  I have stage 3 invasive ductal cancer-I have no family history and tested negative for the gene.
To say the least I have felt lost for the past 3 months.  I have been responding very well to my chemo treatment (a total of 8 rounds-4A/C and 4 Taxol) infact my mass in my right breast that was the size of a large egg is now undetectable.  This made me want to do backflips!!!
I'm trying to prepare for surgery.  Before chemo my surgeon was ready to do a complete masectomy of the right side but now that the tumor is gone I hope I have more options.  I'm just scared.  My mother will be with me after surgery to help with my son when my husband cannot be.  What should I expect?  I'm so afraid I will never be the same again and that I will be always limmited in taking care of my son.  I know I won't be able to lift him for awhile but will it ever be normal again?
I do plan on having reconstruction done-just still trying to figure out what kind.  Any advice?  I'm also a very active person, before chemo I worked out 5 times a week-now it's maybe 5 times in 2 weeks and its definitely changed-I do enoy walking alot more now since my energy is zapped from chemo.
Trying to prepare for surgery.  I have purchased button up shirts to wear.  Can I wear my normal bras?  Is there some other kind I should purchase?
My thoughts are everywhere.  Any advice would be appreciated greatly.

Rena
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Wednesday, April 07, 2010 5:26 PM
Hi Lynnette and welcome. That's great news about the chemo working so well on the tumor! I was diagnosed when I was 37 and had a 2-year-old daughter. I had 22 positive lymph nodes and was told that my cancer was aggressive. I'm now 60, and my daughter is 25. Believe me, you'll be surprised by how fast you bounce back from surgery. You're young and, although the chemo does take it out of you, you'll recover from that too. It's true that you won't be able to lift your baby for a while, but you can hold him on your lap and cuddle him. I had a frustrated toddler for a little while because she wanted me to pick her up, but it didn't last long--and I think infants are far more forgiving than toddlers! What you wear after surgery will depend on what kind of surgery you end up having. You'll probably have some drains for a while, and you'll want to be comfortable and not restricted, so the best thing to wear under your shirt is a soft camisole or undershirt. When you've healed a bit, you can try a lightweight stretch bra. Barely There makes a soft, nylon stretch bra that goes over the head, so no uncomfortable hooks, etc. If you're large-breasted, they won't give you enough support, but if you're smaller like me, they're great. And Jjill sells wide-strap camis with a built-in shelf bra that I wear all the time. They are very comfortable. I wish you the best, Lynnette. Please keep us posted. 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!

Bellavol
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, April 08, 2010 3:14 PM
Hi everyone! I am new at this so bear with me!  I have been diagnosed with ADH stage 1, but also have severe health problems. I have a type of lupas which is blood related, which causes my blood to clot and I have strokes.
So next Tuesday I am having a total radical mastectomy, and scared to death! Today I have went off my blood thinners and started Lovenox shots twice a day. Plus have had to start blood pressure meds due to all the stress. 
I am not a candicate for reconstruction. I would like to know how friends can tell you that you "Dont" need them, when they have no idea what it really means to go through all this?

nmb
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Thursday, April 08, 2010 7:23 PM
Lynette - that is GREAT news!!!   I'd count on 6 weeks for recovery, but getting better every week.  My reconstruct is expanders eventually silicone implants; not many other options since I'm too thin for moving DIEP and live in rural Maine (too much to travel to Boston)  IMO, surgery is MUCH easier than what you went through for chemo. Understand it is hard with a child though.  Have a simliar but not as serious issue coming with my 2nd mastectomy and my grandson.... know I cannot pick him up for a while after surgery.

Bellavol, sorry you need to join us.  And, sorry to be ignorant, please let me know what ADH is so I can google it properly.  Totally emphasize with the no reconstruct option.  But, later I can share my experience going sans breast - it did get better once I got a grasp and looked at it (though I am getting reconstruct soon) Try to hang in there!
Nancy
DX 7/15/09, IDC at age 47
Tumor 3.5 x 2.5 x 3 cm
ER/PR +, HER-2 neg, Stage II, T2, N1 (3 of 9 positive)
Right Modified Radical Mastectomy w/expander 8/27/09 
BRCA1/2 Negative w/strong family history
4 Dose Dense A/C DONE 11/10/09!!! 
4 DD Taxol DONE 1/12/10!!!
28 Rads DONE 3/18/10!!! 
Ooph Feb, 2011
Prophylactic left mastectomy & reconstruct hoping 2011
Tamoxifin (a few months) and AI (5 yrs)

Jean Southward
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Friday, April 09, 2010 1:22 PM
Bellavol,

You can PM me if you care to.  I can give some perspective on "going without breasts" as I had a bilateral with no reconstruction.  Friends have a tendency to make light of breasts in hopes that if they do we won't consider it such a loss.  It is but it is doable.  I would bet money that no one would know about me if they had to go by how I look.  I also understand your fear of the surgery etc.  Each of us has different stories to tell.  Some have little pain others have much more.  I will tell you I had more and most was caused by the drainage tubes.  You will get through this.  Just don't try to be a tough cookie.  If they give you something for the discomfort, remember it is always easier to maintain keeping the pain under control than it is to get it back under control.  You have found a forum of friends here.  Many with much wisdom and knowledge that you can't even fathom!!  Please come here as often as you need to.  It is very beneficial.  Good luck and I wish you well.
Jean S

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops...at all.

Emily Dickinson

IDC Stage IIB Grade 3 BC DX on 2-10-09
HER2+++
ER/PR+ 90% 
2 of 6 Node Positive
Double Mastectomy 2-23-09
Completed Chemo TC 7-10
Herceptin until 3-20-10
Arimidex for 5 years Started 8-09 

lilstitch
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Just found out on Wednesday 4/7/10 - Saturday, April 10, 2010 7:44 PM
I was just diagnosed on 4/7 and have not met with the drs yet. We have an appointment on 4/12. I only know that I have breast cancer. This was found on a mammo and I do not have a lump. I am 51 years old and have both Type 2 Diabetes - pill and diet controlled and Lupus. I live in central NJ.

farla
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Re:Just found out on Wednesday 4/7/10 - Saturday, April 10, 2010 9:55 PM
Lilstitch, You don't give much information - is this all you know?  Mine was found on ultrasound, also no lump. Have you had a biopsy? Remember that 80% of all biopsies are negative.  If you really have cancer, remember that there have been great strides made in the last ten years.  Also - we have a "popular" cancer - it generates lots of publicity, funding and research.  Most people survive this. Really.  It is scary, horrible, nerve racking, and I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. Hang in there, you will survive.
Farla
dx 8/09, R double lumpectomy, invasive mixed DCIS/LCIS
ER + PR + Her -
1/3 Sentinel pos. 1/15 nodes pos
 Stage 2A  Grade 2, Nottingham 6
chemo A/C x4, Taxol x 4 started 9/21/09 DONE!!!
femara  started 2/5/10
rads  2/8/10 DONE!!!
Now - osteoporosis?  Vit D, calcium, and a baby aspirin to boot!

lilstitch
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Re:Just found out on Wednesday 4/7/10 - Saturday, April 10, 2010 11:45 PM
Farla,
They did the biopsy on Monday 4/5 and told me on 4/7 that it was positive. That is as much as I know.

Rosepetal0416
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Re:Introduce Yourself - Sunday, April 11, 2010 9:27 PM
I am a newcomer to this website, I was diagonised with breast cancer a week ago. I am scared. I am 37 year old with a family two kids a 2 year old and 13 year old and a great husband. This just really blew my world away, you never think anything like this can happen to you and you get a wild card thrown in. I spoke with a surgeon already and he is sending me for tests and then I have to talk to oncologist - hopefully I spelled that write. He says its between Stage 1 and Stage 2 cancer and that I have time to think about my options on what I want to do about surgery. I guess that I want advice on how to handle all this, ofcourse he gave me so much information and still trying to take it in. I want to talk to people like me. Can you or anyone give me advice how to deal with this?

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