Posted on: Feb 7, 2009 06:29 PM
I am an "older" woman with breast cancer (I was diagnosed at 65 and am now 66). I notice that most of the posts seem to be from people younger than I am (often by quite a bit...). I'd love to "talk" with others my age, exchange info about their diagnoses, effects on their lives, etc. I see that there is a forum for young women.
Someone suggested that maybe it's that older people aren't so computer-savvy or aren't used to being in online discussion groups. However, for those who are, it would be great.
Posts 1831 - 1860 (16,375 total)
Jul 19, 2009 10:54 AM IllinoisLady wrote:
Peg You have quite a story to tell and you are extremely eloquent. I think your story goes like all of our stories go --- in whatever direction God takes it. Having said that I hope you will not think me too glib. It is easy to **take it out of our hands** by placing it in God's. Yet....each of us has the SPARK of our Creator inside themselves, so it is still in our domain. I have read a lot of books....Deepak Chopra, Eckart Tolle, Brian Weiss, and I believe that we choose what our life will be like --- the ups and downs, the disasters, the miracles --- and that their is a unique purpose to all of it.
No one can really tell you the WHY of your life, just as most of us can't tell the why of our own. All we can do is think the best/highest/healthiest ( yes even in the midst of disease processes ) thoughts we are able ( these are declarations to ourselves ) of peace and harmony and wellness inside of ourselves.
At whatever point we are in life is where we are meant to be. I learned to have faith in that because frankly nothing else came close to answering so many of the " questions " my life was so fond of presenting. When I took things apart to find the common denominator that was the final answer --- the one factor that was always a part of everything else. People are where they are because they will learn and grow from what they are experiencing. Sometimes we need these events to help us grow in some way, but we also are able in fact at times, to help many others in their growth too. Of course, this did come after much studying and reading and thinking and praying. My belief is that we are not randomly tossed into the universe.
There is a neatness, an order, to all of this. I do not believe in fate, co-incidence, happenstance, randomness,chance,luck though from time to time for want of a descriptive word I may have to insert one of those words. I do believe we are all deeply spiritual beings no matter where we are....meaning all the way from complete non-believers to the deepest of believers but belief or lack of is not really the point. Faith is the point. It is the only thing that ever resonated inside of me loud and clear and I am humble that I was given this answer.
The words of an old song: Just what makes that little ole' ant, think he can move a rubber tree plant, High hopes he has high hopes --- high apple pie in the sky hopes
Next time your found, with your chin on the ground
There a lot to be learned, so look around
Just what makes that little old ant
Think hell move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, cant
Move a rubber tree plant
But hes got high hopes, hes got high hopes
Hes got high apple pie, in the sky hopes
So any time your gettin low
stead of lettin go
Just remember that ant
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant
When troubles call, and your backs to the wall
There a lot to be learned, that wall could fall
Once there was a silly old ram
Thought hed punch a hole in a dam
No one could make that ram, scram
He kept buttin that dam
cause he had high hopes, he had high hopes
He had high apple pie, in the sky hopes
So any time your feelin bad
stead of feelin sad
Just remember that ram
Oops there goes a billion kilowatt dam
All problems just a toy balloon
Theyll be bursted soon
Theyre just bound to go pop
Oops there goes another problem kerplop
We have to keep going and do the best we can with what we have and keep the most positive attitude that we can....in the faith that we are meant to be where we are.....even if we are not sure why. I do know miracles happen and I do know as well that when it is time to learn the whys of our life.....we will.
As far as this illness goes....my case is not anywhere close to yours and hopefully someone who has more practical information for that will chime in soon. I just want to let you know someone here has heard you and cares what you have to say. God Bless.
Jul 19, 2009 12:19 PM amE2 wrote:
Thank You, I couldn't have said it better if I tired.
Pegat13. I have Stage IV cancer and people that are angry at me because I am refuse to be a suffering sad sack. Go figure. BUT I am not in a lot of pain. I can tell you it would be a lot different if I was because I am not one to suffer pain or inconvenience well. One of the things I don't suffer well is headaches and my Zometa infusion once a month gives me a two week headache and flu symptoms. I do get medicine for the headaches. So, I am learning to cope.
I will say a prayer or two for you. I was told many years ago, life is not fair, get over thinking it is now while you are young as it will just get worse.
I am going to try to remember that as my next years go forward.
Lot's of good wishes and good luck to you.
Jul 19, 2009 12:20 PM, edited Jul 19, 2009 12:33 PM by wwjdPamW. Thanks for the info. How long have you been on the Arimidex? HER2 is a 1+. I've been on the Arim. for 6 weeks and I think there is a difference. SE Hot Flashes (never had them before) The year I was 50 (almost 30 years ago doesn't seem possible.) I had my last period. My worst SE is headache on the left side of my head comes and goes, but seems to be less than more now. You sound wonderful and in charge of your life. good luck with everything. wwjd
Jul 19, 2009 01:03 PM dkhancock1948 wrote:
Peg: To find a lump the day of your son's wedding and I am sure (by the way that you have written) you didn't tell anyone until after the wedding was way over, if then. I am sure you thought, why didn't I feel this before? I am considerably new to all this "cancer" compared to others. I just found out last November. So, I don't have anything to offer you in wisdom and knowledge. My husband didn't have cancer, but he had diabetes that ravaged his body. He had diabetic nuropathy and he couldn't stand up without putting his arms out to balance himself. I wished I had known more about neuropathy then, but I didn't research it like I did when I got it from Taxol. Bud and I had no idea that the balance issue was from his nueropathy.
You will definitely be in my prayers. I am glad you found this thread. You can say anything here - whether you are up or down. There is a lot of love and concern on these threads. Debbie
Jul 19, 2009 03:47 PM lassie11 wrote:Barbara - your Mom is lucky to have you! I found when I was first diagnosed that reading what is here sorted out a whole bunch of questions for me. Now I know more than I ever wanted to - and enough to have some sense of order about what is happening. This site has been a magnificent help.
Jul 19, 2009 04:58 PM carolehalston wrote:
pegat13, there is nothing fair about getting cancer. I understand your anger because I am very ticked off to realize that all my years of being pro-actively healthy didn't prevent me from flunking my annual mammogram in June. I went last year and was tested for the BRCA 1 mutated gene and tested negative. So here I am the unlucky one woman in eight who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
On the positive side, my tumor was detected early. It's small. It's estrogen positive, which means I get to take 5 yrs. of Arimidex. I've been reading the Arimidex thread on this web site and learning about all the unpleasant side effects that may be in store for me.
I wish you the best of treatment possible. Feel free to vent.
Jul 19, 2009 05:04 PM SoCalLisa wrote:
I have neuropathy also..eight years now..and do I ever have balance "issues"...don't you just hate that word, issues...at any rate I had PT and it did help and I take Lyrica which , for me, has been a godsend...hard to believe I play doubles tennis...my partners are very forgiving ..
It is good that this website and this forum are now available..when I got the news it was 2000 and not alot of support was available on the web...
Jul 19, 2009 05:33 PM 02929 wrote:
Hello all. I'm so glad I was fortunate enough to find this site several days ago. Thanks for it!! I am 79 and was diagnosed last Tue. with papillary carcinoma. I haven't yet been able to find any reference to that. Have an appt. with surgeon on Wednesday and will learn more then but have been trying to get a heads-up. I also had seen mentioned a thread explaining all the abbreviations used here but cannot seem to find it again. I love using the computer but don't know enough about it to do all that I'd like. Also, wonder if there is a way to fast forward to where I left off in a certain thread. There's just no way to read everything in one sitting and it's so time consuming to start all over again. Thanks for any help anyone can send my way.
Jul 19, 2009 05:58 PM IllinoisLady wrote:
02929 --- Papillary cancer....a very slow, lazy cancer for the most part....this could be a real bonus for you. Having said that....I had a Papillary cancer and most of it came out in the biopsy tube. I would have needed very little treatment if that had been all I had. Turns out I had a second much bigger tumor in the same breast.....which shouldn't be the case for you.
At the top of this page is a forum index.....that should direct you to all the info and where to find it here.
As to fast forwarding.....here's what I have done --- hope I can explain it . On the top bar of my computer is a place that says favorites --- on some computers it may say bookmark ---- anything I want to get to quickly....I put in favorites or bookmarks. Just tap the word favorites or bookmarks and it will give you a little box.....I think it may have the word add in the box. I'm hoping at this point it will get self explanatory as I can't leave what I'm typing and get back....I'll lose the whole post. Anyway.....when you want to go to the page where you were reading last...look down at the bottom of the page ( I think it may be on top as well ) and it will give you numbers.....hit any of the numbers and you will go to that page.
You will be learning a lot.....about cancer...and maybe computers too. I still consider myself a novice after using one for years. The only difference between myself and others is that I know that you can always hit the back button generally found at the top of the past with a circle and an arrow and reverse what you did..
I hope you will come often and see us. Also, as you become more familiar with names and people.....you will find roaming the site and others is not difficult and you will not lose your place and have to start over.
Hopefully, a couple of others will share their tips and we will get you where you are comfortable with all of this.
Jul 19, 2009 06:27 PM IllinoisLady wrote:
Hmmm, yes....good ole' cancer. It's most definitely equal opportunity based on nothing. I have known people that did everything wrong ( at least what many of us were always told was wrong ) and often they are the ones who seem to do fair in all situations. Yet....and as Carole mentioned...you can do everything right and still seemingly it did not help where cancer is concerned for her. I still adhere to the principle that this is not some random act that happens to us --- because all of the above is a dichotomy and makes little sense ---- you know there just isn't some entity going ---oh ya...you in the green blouse, you'll get heart attack tomorrow...and the one in yellow -- you get some cancer. I don't always feel better about what takes place in my life though because somethings....like canser are just hard to take......for any reason. But it does make sense to me....in fact, I do feel there is a reason for it --- even if I am not let in on that reason. All I can do.....now that I have this is visualize healthy cells in my body doing their work to keep me well....( now that chemo and rads have been over for a fair spell ) and to resist any thought of ever having to do this again. I say to myself....every time I remotely think of this disease....once was enough....I learned all I need to know and I will not have this again. I will move into the light and energy of good health and stay there. There is a mind, body and spirit connection to everything you go through and I intend to honor that --- I have seen and known people who honored that fact....though often they did not even realize what they were doing and I saw it work over and over.
Lisa....yes...sometimes I can stagger from a standing still position due to little more than a slight tilt of my head to GET READY to take off walking. Embarrasing now and then but not as bad as falling down under the same conditions which I have also done. At first I found it a huge irritation but now I'm more amused than anything. It has gottem better over time.
Jul 19, 2009 08:44 PM Gramof3 wrote:
Peg Glad you found the wonderful women on this thread. We'll help however we can.
Chooks, Hope you are having a quiet weekend. I go for Taxol #10 tomorrow, then to dentist for check up for the Zometa trial. Please send some positive thoughts, prayers my way--my oncologist nurse called late Friday afternoon to tell me my MRI indicated there is a lesion on my brain--total surprise to me--and that the onc is sending me to a neurosurgeon. Hope to get info when I go for my infusion in the morning. I understand now that MRIs frequently result in false positives, so that's what I'm hoping for. Take care. Helen
Jul 19, 2009 09:55 PM lassie11 wrote:
Helen - wow - sounds as if you have more than enough on your plate! Taxol, the dentist and MRI results in one day? I sure hope that you are right that it is a false positive or some other thing that doesn't really matter. Best wishes.
Jul 19, 2009 11:29 PM wwjd wrote:
hi 0929 I am 79 too, I have idc with lymph involvement and I'm on Arimidex. I felt a lump last April. You and I are the only ones who qualify as" older". Everyone else is in their 60's. I really enjoy this forum, just started last week. Wonderful group of women, all survivors. Alberta
Jul 20, 2009 12:16 AM Alyson wrote:
I just hope that I have the same attitude as wwjd when I am 79. Do wish I had as much energy now, maybe thats because I have the flu and all my get up and go has got up and gone. Have to feel better tomorrow.
Jul 20, 2009 09:37 AM JO-5 wrote:
I just read your post this morning ---- and as I reply ---- chances are that you are already out the door for your treatment and the dentist appointment.
I'm sure you know that almost any thing can light up on an MRI - but I want you to know I will be praying for you and watching to see what the outcome is.
God be with you, dear, and give you peace as you wait again for results.
In His Love!
Jul 20, 2009 09:44 AM JO-5 wrote:
Perhaps some of you will remember my friend Vera at church that still hoes her peas and mows her lawn at age 93! (She is the one that told me I could do it if I wanted to and to "just do it!") - LOL
Well, she fell in her living room and conked herself on the head, refused to go to the hospital or dr. and was in church Sunday (in her house slippers - because they are comfortable) fussing because her kids won't let her hoe her peas! She also has shingles and is pretty put out and mad because of it -- and just is bored sitting around doing nothing! Bless her heart! -- Now that lady is awesome, too!
Jul 20, 2009 09:47 AM Lizzy90 wrote:
I hope everyone is well and had a great weekend. The east coast had a splendid weekend and no humidity.
Been away doing research on radiation and its side effects.I have an appointment tommorow with the medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC about treatment following my lumpectomy and having clear margins and node negative disease I wonder if i should avoid radiation.I will also consult some other oncologist and would like an integrative oncologist as my oncotype test result are also due tuesday.
Did any of you at age 65 avoided radiation with 3mm idc and total of 8 mm dcis??? node negative ,er+ 90% pr+90% her2- Negative
does anyone taking a chance with hormonal treatment and nutrition alone??
Best wishes and as always thanks very much for your insights.
Jul 20, 2009 09:57 AM JO-5 wrote:
I was 63 at dx. / 1.4cm tumor / clear margins/ no node involvement. I did have the radiation - because they told me it would decrease my chances of recurrence because there is a chance of some tiny seeds of cancer remaining and the radiation will take care of that. I had 36 rads with boosts and got along just fine. I had what looked like a bad sunburn and it peeled a dab --- but no raw spots. I also took the Arimidex for 5 years...... had some se's - but I made it and if I can - anyone can - because I am the allergy queen around here, I think.
Good nutrition is good for the whole body -- but it won't keep you from getting cancer or recurrence. (MY OPINION)
We can only tell you our experiences ---- but if I were you and trusted my care-team - I would do what they suggest.
Good luck and God bless!
Jul 20, 2009 11:34 AM IllinoisLady wrote:
Beauty of a morning here in Southern Illinois. Will remain relatively cool which is a good thing for me.
Alyson: What a terrible time to have the flu but I think of our weather here ( quite nice ) and have no idea what it is like in New Zealand. Hope you get over it soon. Not pleasant at all.
02929/Maggie: So glad things went well on the little computer lesson I attempted to give. I learned some things on my own and those things stick with me better than any formal training could I think......but I'm always timid about trying to explain how to do things. I use to think I would ( many of my "seasoned" friends did too ) blow the whole computer up some way --- though I do think the older ones were trickier, or at least make such a mess that a professional would have to un-tangle everything but that has not happened and probably won't. Whew !!!
Peg: Hope all is going well for you. Your in my thoughts.
Helen: Still hoping, praying and sending healing energy your way for your medical visits today.
wwjd/Alberta: No one is really old here.....age is a number that gets assigned to everyone who happens to get through a 365 day period repeatedly --- and we all sure want to do that. Jo stories about her friend really do prove that. It is I think pretty much a matter of body, mind, and spirit....working and existing in harmony. You can accomplish what you think/know you can because you have the will and fortitude to do so. The less we give in with negative thoughts or actions --- the better we will do. In that regard....age really is only a number.
Lizzy: Jo gave good advice. There is a thread on here with people who use alternative/holistic resources for their treatment. I don't have a problem with it as such....but feel finding a top-notch practitioner might be quite difficult. Also, I feel like...would you wear a silicone vest to stop the harm from bullets...I feel like certain disease processes often might call for going a step beyond so to speak. It's true that radiation and chemo are hard on a body --- but each year it seems they are perfected more. The radiation is really targeted to only hit small areas. Having said that...and having said earlier two or three times that the mind, spirit, and body need to be in harmony to effect good outcomes...they do. I got such a shock just hearing what was wrong with me -- that alternative therapies did not even register. I wanted to go straight for whatever proved therapy was available. I felt comfortable with the choice --- 6 mos. chemo - 7 wks. radiation.
Once you have consulted with your Dr.'s again and gotten your test results and factored those in...you may feel that you can get by with just diet alone and hormones. It really depends on what resonates with you as the right thing to do. I second Jo's opinion. People that did ( Carole H. ) everything right still got cancer and conversely I have met and known people who went very strongly the other way and saw few if any problems including cancer. No one truly knows but as Jo said....eating good nutritional food is a great resource for the body in general. There is no test to take that will tell anyone who will or will not have a recurrence. We are all different, our reactions to the same things are all different, and there are just too many variables to come close to predicting much of anything for anyone.
Hope you all have a fantastic day. See you later.
Jul 20, 2009 02:12 PM Lizzy90 wrote:
Jo and Illinois Lady - thank you for the gentle advice and teaching me how to process it all..thank you for your time and dedication to this web site it is truly amazing.
I have to think about all of it figure out risk and benefits factors..but I think you are both correct in using everything in my power -radiation in this case to keep the cancer away as long as possible.
I have also heard that some women stay on Arimidex longer now like 7 years and there is research going on about taking it daily forever until we are alive.
your kindness and honest opinion is very much appreciated.
best wishes and God bless.
Jul 20, 2009 02:34 PM LRM216 wrote:
Just dropping in to say a quick hello to everyone - and to especially wish Helen nothing but a positive outcome to her MRI.
Jul 20, 2009 03:06 PM carolehalston wrote:
If I had chosen lumpectomy instead of bilateral, I would have had to take radiation treatment. It seems like that's the standard treatment plan. I wanted to avoid the radiation and thought that getting rid of the breast tissue would eliminate chemo, too, if the lymph nodes weren't involved. Now I'm learning that the oncotype dx number could come back high, and I might be in for chemo with a tiny tumor and clear nodes. My cancer grade is high, 3. I've learned so much in a month that I never wanted to know!
Jul 20, 2009 03:16 PM dreaming wrote:
I was a considered 'young" when I was diagnosed over 15 years ago, now there are more younger people diagnosed, I benefited from my support group that had all ages ladies and one man.
Age is in the mind of a person, my mother is 89 and is younger than me!
Jul 20, 2009 03:53 PM, edited Jul 20, 2009 03:54 PM by JO-5
I took the Arimidex for 5 years. With my dx. most of my drs. said it had done all it was going to do in 5 years.
You can read almost anything on these boards.... so I called Ast. Zen (maker of Arimidex) and asked if there is any research past, or on going, or planned into whether it would be beneficial to take Arimidex longer than 5 years. They told me no.
I was surprised because I read on here all the time that there is such a research. I asked about women that are taking it longer and they said it is the drs. call and the patient........ so I asked if there was any research about the results to the body for taking it longer. She said there was none. Basically I think WE ARE THE RESEARCH!
There is some research with Femara - and taking it after Tamox - but what I read didn't say anything about Arimidex.
You don't have to make that decision now --- I'm just warning you that you can't always believe everything you read on these boards. I really believe that MOST of what you read on THIS thread is pretty much right.
My dr. has women that had a very large tumor or node involvement take Arimidex longer than five years - but leaves it up to the women who have a similar dx to mine. (You can see mine at the bottom) In this office almost 100% of women our age and with a similar dx go off in 5 years.
Just to share what my dr told me -- that a lumpectomy and radiation is about the same for recurrence. A mastectomy is no guarantee that you will not get a recurrence. So much figures into the treatment you will have......... and I always say .......... if you trust your care-team and are comfortable with them ---- listen to them. They are the experts.
I also am a great believer in prayer and could not have gotten through all this without the Lord.
I also talked to some women that went to the same breast cancer center that I went to and was so relieved to hear that all the nurses and female drs. go to my dr. That is a pretty good reference, I think.
You sound like a sensible person -- so please know --- this is all doable. All of us have been where you are now..... some going through more than others ---- but still going!