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 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
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