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 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
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