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Illinois ladies facing bc

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  • bookworm759
    bookworm759 Member Posts: 3
    edited February 2007
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    Hi Rita and all the Illinois ladies, This is a great thread. I live in Palos Hills (a southwest suburb of Chicago). I was diagnosed last April -- two tumors (1.2 and 1.0), ER/PR+, HER2-, Onctotype 14, 15. Had a mastectomy, no chemo or radiation, and have been on Tamoxifen for almost 8 months now with no side effects really. Like other, I try to be positive, but find the anxiety of any other symptom or ache or pain to be continuous - hard to really relax anymore. I enjoy these boards tremendously since anything I'm feeling is already here - so feel less alone.

  • Made
    Made Member Posts: 9
    edited February 2007
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    Sorry - Had to come and say WOOHOO. I promise to cheer for the Bears next year!! Last time my team won the SuperBowl was in 1985 and the SuperBowl Shuffle
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited February 2007
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    Hi there bookworm! Welcome to the Illinois ladies thread. Please come back and post often. We're so glad you found us and there are lots of ladies on here from your same general area.

    I'm so glad that you didn't have to do the chemo and rads and that things are going well for you. As for the panic that arises when new symptoms of any type appear......I think we're doomed!!! It appears that it's pretty natural, and after what we've been through, I think it's the normal reaction. I guess what we need to remember is that we had aches and pains before cancer that were NOT related to our cancer and we will continue to have aches and pains after cancer that are NOT related to cancer. Our minds just automatically go there first, don't they?

    Besides reading (which I also love) what do you like to do? Tell us a little more about yourself. Kids? Married or significant other? Career? The floor is yours!!!

    Keep in touch, bookworm.

    Rita
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited February 2007
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    O.K. Kelly.........BOOHOO!!!!

    Those darn BEARS! They sure started with a BANG! That's O.K., being a good, dedicated Cubs fan, I know the meaning of "THERE'S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR!" :-)

    Hope everyone has a good week. Anybody scheduled for chemo this week? Let us know so we can send out good vibes for you! I'm off this week and will go again a week from Friday.

    Stay warm ladies and post often!
    Rita
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited February 2007
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    Just wanted to pop in and say that I hope all my fellow Illinois ladies are keeping warm and safe through this monstrous winter weather! Cheers - to a toasty evening!

    rita -
    Enjoy the chemo reprieve. Make the most of each day. I remember towards the latter part of my chemo treatment...as soon as I was starting to feel better...it was time to be zapped again!

    bookworm -
    Almost a year since your dx. - Sounds like you're doing really well. That's great.

    Laura
  • peejay
    peejay Member Posts: 7
    edited February 2007
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    Hi all, I'm not sure how I missed this thread so completely... lol I live in Wheaton, a western suburb of Chicago.

    I was dx with IDC stage 2, 1.8mm lump. had a biopsy on February 1 2006. Then I had a re-excision to increase margins, and a sentinel node biopsy on Feb 6. Wound up with the 1 node + , but they rest they took out were negative. I went thru 6 rounds of TAC every 3 weeks. Except I had the flu during it, so it got postponed by a week once. Then I went thru almost 8 weeks of radiation that finished on Sept. 13 2006. Oh I was 38 at the time of dx.

    So I counted my 1 year survivorship on the 1st of Feb, since it's easy to remember. Not that you can forget much about this, eh? I still have not gotten a period since chemo, and I don't know if I will or not! I'm taking Tamoxifen for the next 2-3 years and see if it comes back or not. Last month was my first month without a doctors appt. of any kind. LOL!
    I feel like i'm just starting to get some energy back, but with this cold weather it makes it very hard. Does anyone else's scars hurt?

    Oh yes! I had my first mammogram since in the beginning of January and everything was CLEAR!

    Hopefully this year I will be strong enough to actually make it to the walk in September. hehehe

    Hope you are all staying warm and doing well. I really loved the snow we had today, it made me happy, was so pretty!

    Paula
  • bookworm759
    bookworm759 Member Posts: 3
    edited February 2007
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    hi again, Some personal info on me -- I'm 48 (47 at diagnosis), single with VERY few family members (both parents deceased). So like some others on this board, I had / have many fears about dealing with illness alone, but rely a lot on friends. Really it was amazing how friends came though during the surgery time. But all the ladies who do have family -- you guys are sooo lucky because there's really nothing like family.

    I work full-time as a web designer. Interests:
    - losing weight. I lost 30 (sometimes 35) pounds in the past year, and am bound and determined to lose 20 more.
    - I do love to read (per my board name), since diagnosis, have focused my reading a lot on health-related or cancer-related ones. Am looking to get lost in a good novel soon.
    - environmental issues - boyohboy the Gore movie and all the recent news is really turning me into an environmental activist. My personal goal for 2007: 1/2 my consumption of oil, electricity, etc., and also produce 1/2 the garbage. It should be interesting.
    - Chicagophile and neighborghoods - I just love our beautiful Chicago and hope to spend lots of fun time touring the Chicago neighborhoods.

    Dawn

    (Reason for current anxiety: I'm waiting for some tests results (brain MRI and cervical MRI) based on some symptoms I'm having, so right at this moment am feeling all the stress of THAT, as we all well know.)
  • rooni
    rooni Member Posts: 9
    edited February 2007
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    Ritajean-I just read that you are from the sterling rockfalls area.I am too!!!I live in the very tiny town of Lyndon.I am two years out from dx and so far so good.
    I am 29 yrs old,married and have three boys.
    This is a very neat thread to meet others in illinois.I will be back!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Member Posts: 282
    edited February 2007
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    Hello Illinois Girlfriends!

    Paula: I'm in Wheaton. Howdy neighbor!

    Dawn: The Al Gore movie had a profound effect on me, too. I gave it to everyone for Christmas. Every time I went to Costco, I bought about 10 copies. I made all my family members go to the theatre to see the movie. I really believe that each one of us can make a difference. We can't wait for our government to catch up with us. Even small changes can make a difference.

    Joanne
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited February 2007
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    Rooni....I was born in Sterling and raised in Lyndon. Small world, eh? I was in the last class to graduate from Lyndon High School before it consolidated with Prophetstown. I lived about a block from the Methodist
    Church and worked at the local restaurant in town before I went to college. I still have two cousins and an aunt that live in Lyndon, but my mother is now living in Rock Falls.

    So glad that you found us. Keep posting here, Rooni!
    Rita
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited February 2007
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    Dawn, I'm so glad you posted some neat info about yourself. I understand the "not much family" issue. I, too am single. (divorced) My mother is ailing and has dementia so she's always confused and my only son lives in northern Minnesota. He came for my surgeries and for the first chemo treatment, but he's a plant manager up there and can't just pick up and run continuously. I have found that I (the once strong, independent woman) rely heavily on my friends and they have helped me through the rough times. This thread and the chemo thread have also helped me. You are like me and seem to have alot of hobbies and interests, so you will make it just fine!

    So when it comes to fictional novels, who are your favorite authors? I have become a huge Jodi Pioult fan and when I want a "no-brainer" I grab a Nora Roberts book.

    Come back often.
    Rita
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited February 2007
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    Welcome Paula and congrats on your first year!!!!! How much snow did you get in Chicago today? We got about 4 inches in Bloomington and it has finally stopped.

    I hope you're up to the Sept. walk. I even hope to come up and join you gals!

    Rita
  • Catherine8718
    Catherine8718 Member Posts: 12
    edited February 2007
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    WOW! How great this was reading about everyone! I didn't want to put together my post until I went through everyone else's. First of all, Rita, I'm so glad that your first round of chemo went well. You've got a great attitude and sound like a great lady! For me, as I adjusted my meds, my chemo's got a little easier every time. 4 DD AC then 4 DD Taxol. I was super pro-active with my compazine the first round and the 2nd, but my onc told me I could cut back on 1 dose (could take every 4-6 hours, so I did them every 4, then changed it to 6 hours per his instructions). When I was taking too many compazine's I was mentally all funked up and hyper. Really only experienced nausea once with one round and that was because I got cocky and thought that on day 3 following my chemo I could stop my anti-nausea's and ended up taking a Zofran and felt much better.

    I'm 41, diagnosed almost a year ago 2/20/06 @ the age of 40, IDC 2.1 cm, ER/PR +, Her2-, Grade 2, Lumpectomy 3/16, micro metasteses in 2 of 6 nodes, re-excision on 4/6, oopherectomy on 4/7, chemo 5/15 - 8/28, 33 rads in October and November. Stopped wearing wig on 10/25 and have about 1 1/2 inches of hair today. Found lump by accident - only seen by ultrasound. Had 1st post-treatment mammo in Dec - all clear, had bi-lat breast MRI in Sept - all clear and had chest CT (because of some mildly suspicious lung nodes from pre-surgery chest x-ray and f.u. ct) done in October - all clear.

    Core needle biopsy done by a Delnor Doc, went to Loyola for surgery and chemo treatments and had rads @ Edward in Naperville. Started Arimidex in September and so far really no side effects - some sinus issues and sinus headaches which I think are weather/hormonal. I've got 2 boys, 5 1/2 and 8 1/2 (K & 3rd grade).

    Husband's from Buffalo - we're more of a Bill's household here (how sad......) and obviously from the name, we're Cub's fans (how sad too.......) We just love the Losers!

    So glad about this thread and looking forward to learning more about all of you!

    Take Care,
    Catherine
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited February 2007
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    peejay -
    OMG - I am so glad you posted! I have thought of you often...I hope you're doing well...you are so welcome to join our team this summer!

    EVERYONE -
    I will post the info concerning our team's 3 mile walk (Sept.) in a couple of months. Everyone is invited - they even have a 1 mile walk for those of us that can't do the 3 miles but want to be included. My Mom is 68 yrs. old and last year she did the 1 mile walk and me and my team did the 3 mile walk, and it worked out really well!

    Laura
    Laura
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Member Posts: 282
    edited February 2007
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    Hi Catherine: Did you see Dr. Lingareddy at Edward Hosp? She's a peach!

    Joanne
  • Catherine8718
    Catherine8718 Member Posts: 12
    edited February 2007
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    Hi Joanne,
    No, I saw Dr. McCall - equally as peachy! I felt like I was visiting with my Aunt when I went to see her - always so upbeat and complimentary. Loved their entire staff - all the rad gals were fabulous. Did you have your rads there?
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited February 2007
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    Welcome Catherine! So glad you found us and posted. We will have something to celebrate in a few weeks here......your one year mark!! How exciting!

    And even if the Cubs tend to be "losers," there's still not a prettier park than Wrigley!!!

    Be sure to come back often.
    Rita
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Member Posts: 282
    edited February 2007
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    Hi Catherine: I had chemo at Edward Hospital in the old cancer center on the 4th floor. And I had radiation at Edward but in the previous location on Ogden Avenue. They only had one machine and it needed service several times during my treatments. One time it actually broke down when I was all set up and ready to go. :-( I had my surgeries at Central DuPage Hospital. Dr. McCall is new since I had treatment. I celebrated my three year end of chemo anniversary last week.

    Joanne
  • jt0703
    jt0703 Member Posts: 4
    edited February 2007
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    Hey we are neighbors - I too am between Spfld & St. Louis, right off 55. This will be an interesting thread! Who are you seeing for treatment?

  • peejay
    peejay Member Posts: 7
    edited February 2007
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    Hey, I had all my surgeries at Central DuPage also. Chemo was done at my oncologists office, they had a room upstairs with the chairs and TV, drinks, and snacks. Rads I had just across the street from the hospital. The machine only broke once on us during that time, and it was fixed by noon, so I didn't miss anything.

    Laura - I thought about all you guys on here for the past months! I just had to get away from all of this for a while. Went down to my mom's and sister's for Christmas and we had a great time! Looking forward to that walk this year for sure.

    Rita- I think we had 4 inches also here. My daughter and her friend shoveled the driveway for me She is 13, was 12 during the whole thing last year. It was soo hard on her. I'm glad your first chemo went well, keep up the good spirits, even though it's hard.

    Gotta go walk her to the bus stop for school.

    Paula
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited February 2007
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    Did anybody have chemo this week and if so, how are you doing?

    Rita
  • momdeeco
    momdeeco Member Posts: 3
    edited February 2007
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    Ritajean, I didn't have chemo this week, but had my 6th Herceptin. Side effects not near as bad as with chemo. Glad you made it through your 1st chemo. I found that the last 2 treatments were the most difficult, physically, and emotionally. But as you know, everyone is different.
    A note from your post on 1/27. My kids went to Monroe school in Bartonville. Loved all the teachers! And our favorite town restraunt is Tyroni's. Best pizza one can buy!
    Hope everyone's weekend is time spent with family and friends, resting up for a wondeful week!
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited February 2007
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    Karla....so glad to hear from you and that the Herceptin is going well for you. If the weather holds, I am coming over into your "neck of the woods" on Sunday to the Paradice. Think it's about time I donate a little money there. I wouldn't want them to close down from lack of funds! :-) Actually I'm a pretty frugal gambler. I love the slots but only take "x" number of dollars (what I think I would spend on a nice night out) and come home or go to their buffet when it's gone. Some times I get lucky and other times, it's very short-lived.

    Right now I'm feeling well. My next chemo is one week from today. Isn't it funny how you start to worry about it well in advance when you should be enjoying the good "in-between" days?

    Everbody have a good weekend and try to stay warm. Heard that we might have a warming trend today and that it might get up to 14 degrees. WHEEEEEEE!!!!

    Rita
  • nancy101
    nancy101 Member Posts: 12
    edited February 2007
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    Hello fellow Illinois ladies! I just now found this thread. I do a lot of reading on this board when I can, and try to respond when I think I can help. This board is wonderful for support.

    I will be celebrating my 1 year anniversary this coming
    Tuesday, Feb 13th. I had a lumpectomy last year and was diagnosed with Stage IIA. Two lumps 1.4 cm and .5cm (1.9) and two positive tiny nodes; had 10 axillary nodes removed.
    I had 4 rounds of AC and then 38 radiation treatments. I am now on tamoxifen twice a day (10mg in the am and 10mg in the pm), so far, no major side effects. My hair is now back (about 3.5 inches) and I am so happy to have bad hair days again.

    I am a single parent (age 48) with two teenage sons (19 and 16). My mother died from bc in 1981. I knew I was high risk, but I thought that since I took care of myself (maintained good weight, excercised, non-smoker, non-drinker, etc.), I didn't need to worry about getting bc. Boy was I wrong. It just goes to show you that this disease does not discriminate--it gets anyone.

    I'll be checking in here more often now that I found this thread. I offer my support to everyone on this board--those going through treatment and those who completed treatment--and hope I can offer advice when needed. It's not an easy journey, but it helps to have people to share it with.

    I would like to participate in any bc walks/runs, but I hesitate since I really don't have anyone to participate with (my family and some friends don't want to talk about bc; others are busy with their families). But maybe through this board I might be able to connect with someone to to do...I want to give back when I can.

    Everyone have a good weekend and stay warm. God Bless.
  • mkayk
    mkayk Member Posts: 3
    edited February 2007
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    Count me into the group. I currently live in a suburb by O'Hare but grew up near Wrigley. I just had my last taxol on Wednesday. They wanted to postpone treatment due to low white count; but I begged them to do it and give me a nuelasta shot. I have been down and out since. It should start to get better by Monday or Tuesday. Radiation consult was cancelled for Monday. I will be doing 6 weeks of rad. I would love to do the September walk please let me know when you get more info.

  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited February 2007
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    Welcome Nancy and Mary to our Illinois thread!

    Nancy...in just a few days we will have a one year celebration to recognize! YEAH! Wow! Congrats on getting through all the treatments! I wish I was there instead of basically just starting! :-) What part of northern Illinois are you in? The Chicago area?

    Mary, Hang in there. Yeah on finishing the Taxol! From what everybody tells me, you have the worst behind you. I have a friend who just finished radiation a couple of weeks ago. She had no side affects other than fatigue as it was ending. Her skin didn't even burn much. She swears by that cream they give you to put on it. Keep us informed on how you do. I sincerely hope these current side effects pass quickly so you can move onward!My radiologist told me that I had to wait 3 weeks after my last chemo before he'd start radiation so you might have a little reprieve and time to regroup!

    So glad you both joined us. Come back and post often. It's amazing how much we can help each other!

    Rita
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited February 2007
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    Hi Karla,

    I'm sure glad to hear that the Herceptin is going better for you! I'm lucky I guess because I was Her2 negative so I don't have to do that. My next chemo is this coming Friday. I'm already beginning to dread it...well actually I'm dreading the few days that follow the treatment more than the actual treatment.

    Have a good weekend!

    Rita
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited February 2007
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    How's everyone doing out there? It's the start of a new week and looks like good ol' Illinois is in for some more snow! Keep in touch everyone. We don't want to lose this thread!

    Rita
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Member Posts: 282
    edited February 2007
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    Hi Rita: Thanks for bringing this up. I am having a hysteroscopy and d&c on Thursday. I have thickening of the endometrium and a polyp. My gynecologist doesn't know if it's related to 2.5 years on tamoxifen, but I have learned from many of the women here that it's a pretty common consequence of taking tamoxifen. I'm not worried that it will be malignant, I'll deal with that if and when. Also, my doc says she'll be very surprised if it's anything but benign. What bothers me is that I don't tolerate anesthesia well and I won't know until surgery day if I'll have general, epidural, etc. Crossing my fingers for anything BUT general.

    Good luck to you and all the Illinois gals having chemo this week.

    Joanne
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited February 2007
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    Thanks, Joanne.

    Good luck on Thursday. I will be thinking about you and sending good vibes your way. I understand your anxiety about the anesthesia. I also have trouble with it so am hoping that you don't have to have the general type. I'm not familiar with that procedure, but keep in mind that this procedure will be a piece of cake compared to what you've gone through in the past. :-) Just keeping that fact in your mind might help with the anxiety and it sounds like it is a scope type procedure and most of them are done without general anesthesia. Please hop back on as soon as you're able to let us know how it went and what results you got!

    We'll be thinking about you and hoping for the best!!!

    Rita