Illinois ladies facing bc

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  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited March 2007
    Nancy, Glad that you're getting that lump checked out, but don't worry too much about it. I bet it's just scar tissue.

    Hi Kater....welcome to our Illinois thread. We have lots of good Illinois ladies here who will help you get through this journey, and there are quite a few from your immediate area. Post often and ask whatever you need to know. Chances are that one of us has had a similar experience to what you're questioning.

    Wendy..I hope you are continuing to feel well. My third day after the chemo has been my worst, which doesn't really make sense to me. After I get through that, I do pretty well. Are you getting your treatments right there in Champaign?

    We're still getting snow flurries here. Guess I was pushing spring! lol

    Hang in there gals...as Laura says, "We Illinois gals are tough."

    Rita
  • JanClare
    JanClare Member Posts: 267
    edited March 2007
    Hi all! I'm glad to have found this thread. I live in the Lake Zurich/Barrington area and I am being treated at Good Shepherd hospital.

    I was diagnosed last October with Grade 4 metastatic adenocarinoma which was found in the lymph nodes of my right armpit. The problem is that no one can find my primary tumor, so they can not say for sure that I have breast cancer. It's consistent with breast cancer- probably 95% positive that it is breast, but it could be another cancer, including ovarian- since my CA-125 level was elevated. However, all of my scans, including PET, CAT, bone, and ultrasounds, don't show anything else in my body other then the right armpit- which was the lymph nodes. This means I have what is called an occult or hidden primary. 1% of women with breast cancer have occult primaries. Oh joy, not only did I apparently hit the BC lottery jackpot, but I hit the really rare occurrence jackpot as well.

    I've already finished 8 courses of dose dense chemo- 4 of AC and 4 of Taxol. It was the pits, as I ended up with consistently low bloodcounts in spite of the booster shots I got- so I had several severe infections while doing the AC. The Taxol was better in the infection department, but my hands and feet are so numb, plus burning hot, from the Taxol, even though I have been through with chemo for a month now. My feet feel almost dead- I just shuffle around most days- and I don't dare go barefoot, as I can step on stuff and not know it.

    I'm scheduled for double mast, lymph nodes, and ovaries removal this Thursday, March 8. I'm sorry I didn't find this thread earlier- I would have liked to talk with you all while I was under going the chemo. But I'll check back in after surgery.
  • EllenFitz
    EllenFitz Member Posts: 7
    edited March 2007
    Rita,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. It's a difficult thing even when ou think you're "prepared." Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Member Posts: 282
    edited March 2007
    JanClare: Good luck with your surgery on Thursday. I will be thinking of you. Please let us know how you do.

    Joanne
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited March 2007
    Ola - senoritas...

    ritajean -
    Saw your post...thanks - you're so sweet! Don't have time to read thru all the latest posts here...but am hoping you are all getting thru treatment as best as can be expected. And...hoping you're having a great weekend...

    adios for now neighbors!
  • mnance
    mnance Member Posts: 18
    edited March 2007
    JanClare,
    Best wishes on your surgery!! I grew up in Barrington, but haven't lived there since graduation from college (1970).
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited March 2007
    JanClare...welcome to the Illinois thread. My thoughts and prayers will be with you on Thursday and during your days of healing. Come back and visit us often. We have some awesome ladies on this site.

    Rita
  • wendypetru
    wendypetru Member Posts: 34
    edited March 2007
    Rita - Yes, I am getting treatments here in Champaign.

    I hope everyone is starting off the week feeling good. We have sunshine here today so that helps!

    JanClare - Good Luck on Thursday!!
  • Catherine8718
    Catherine8718 Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2007
    Rita - I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. I'm sure you take great comfort in knowing you were always there for her.

    JanClare - I'll have you in my prayers for Thursday. I'm sure you'll be glad to be moving ahead and removing the "beast". Best of luck with everything.
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited March 2007
    Hi there ladies,

    I just wanted to tell all of you who are currently going through chemo or rads to check out the American Cancer Society Look Good, Feel Better program. I went to that class tonight and it was wonderful. They gave us a BAG of makeup products worth about $200 and instructed us how to apply the makeup. And it was free. I felt so good when I left that I treated myself to a peppermint latte on the way home. If you haven't done it, I strongly encourage it.

    Rita
  • JanClare
    JanClare Member Posts: 267
    edited March 2007
    Thanks for the welcome, everyone. LauraGTO- we live right next to each other! Someday maybe we can get together for coffee or something?

    Rita, wanted to say I was sorry to read about your mother's passing. Handling that kind of loss and chemo at the same time, I can't imagine. I lost my mother to ovarian cancer about 7 years ago, and it is still hard. I often wished I could have talked to her about is happening to me, and that we had talked more about what she went through. (she lived out of state.)

    My surgery is creeping up. I think I'm all prepared, just want to get it over with!
  • jodigirl
    jodigirl Member Posts: 8
    edited March 2007
    Hi everyone.

    Good luck on your upcoming surgery jan.

    My home sits and waits for me in Illinois. I have been away in NC getting tx (so that I could be near family).

    Cheryl
  • kater
    kater Member Posts: 447
    edited March 2007
    Nicki,
    is it you that kats told something about delnor oncologoist? i'm looking to choose a place for chemo and rads, my surgery just got switched to march 19 for lumpectomy so i have some time yet...? i live west of Elgin.
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited March 2007
    Hi Ladies...

    THE SUN IS OUT!!!!!! YEAH!!!!

    6kitties...are you done with radiation now? How's it going? If you're not done, you should be getting closer to the end of the tunnel.

    Wendy. I've been wondering how you fared after your first AC chemo. Keep in touch. Isn't your next one coming up on the 14th?

    Nancy...any news on the lump yet? You've been in my thoughts.

    JanClare...I've been thinking about you and hoping that all went well with your surgery yesterday. Let us know ASAP how it went.

    My third chemo is tomorrow. Sorta hate to have to go back as I've felt pretty good this past week but that will be my half-way mark, so I just need to go get it over with. Perhaps the sun will stay around for a few weeks and I'll be able to get out some next week and start cleaning the winter debris out of my yard.

    Cheryl...when will your treatments be over so you can return to Illinois?


    Hang in there gals!

    Rita
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited March 2007
    Joanne...just noticed that you appear as anonymous and unregistered in the identification section of the posts. Have you changed your status or have I just never noticed this before????? (That's a scary thought!!!!!!)

    Hope all is well with you.

    Rita
  • mnance
    mnance Member Posts: 18
    edited March 2007
    I had treatment number 25 today, just 11 to finish!!! So far, so good. Just a bit tired and a bit tanned on one side. Hope everyone else is doing as well.

    mn
  • jodigirl
    jodigirl Member Posts: 8
    edited March 2007
    Rita:

    I just finished RT. I am waiting to be seen by my oncologist for final appt and clearance. Based on my sx, need to rule out mets.

    But, BCBS (IL) has erroneously denied some claims in Jan and Feb 2007. Although BCBS *promises* my docs and hospital they are reprocessing and paying the claims, my onc is holding off treating me until they get $$ from BCBS. Uggh.

    I wanna come home!!!!

    Cheryl
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited March 2007
    Ritajean -
    Best wishes to you with chemo today. How many down now?...3?

    JanClare -
    I PM'd you.

    Everyone -
    Have a great weekend!
  • Catherine8718
    Catherine8718 Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2007
    Hi Ladies-
    Rita Jean - you're one step closer to being done. Keep hanging in there and know your working towards the finish line.

    JanClare - hope you're recooperating well and being taken care of. I'm sure you'll be pretty low key for the next couple of days. Please let us know how you're doing.

    Laura - HOW Was your trip - or are you still on it and checking emails while sipping something tropical and/or cold?!?
  • wendypetru
    wendypetru Member Posts: 34
    edited March 2007
    Rita,

    Hi, I hope you are doing well today! Knowing that you are half way through will be a good feeling!

    My first chemo went well and, yes, the next one is on the 14th. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks!

    Wendy
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited March 2007
    Hi ladies,

    I just got home from chemo #3 and it went pretty well but my white blood counts were down to 2.9 and I have to go in tomorrow morning for a neulasta shot. I have heard such horror stories about the bone pain side affects of this shot and for the first time in my treatment regiment, I am really down about this breast cancer journey. I was told that the treatments being spaced three weeks apart would help maintain an acceptable white blood count. I guess I should be thankful that the first two only involved headaches and nausea. Can you tell that I'm having a pity part? :-) I think it's just the unknown hitting me again.

    Glad to hear that the rest of you are doing pretty well. Hang in there.

    Rita
  • Nancy101
    Nancy101 Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2007
    Hi ladies. Just checking in with all of you and hoping that your treatments are going well. I read the boards when I can and all of you are always in my thoughts and prayers. I'm going for a 3-month checkup with my onc on Wednesday 3/14. I'm going to be positive and hope that it goes well.

    It's a beautiful morning here in northeastern Illinois, near the Wisconsin boarder. It's nice to have a touch of spring this weekend. The sunshine is good for all of us. I remember when I was going through chemo that my onc nurses would tell me to go outside and sit in the sun for just a few minutes, as the vitamins (vitamin D?) in the sunshine were very good for anyone going through chemo. So ladies, if you have the sunshine, please go out and enjoy it.

    Take care ladies. Feel better and enjoy the weekend. Hugs...
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 2,728
    edited March 2007
    Rita: I got very discouraged at my 3rd round of chemo. Actually wanted to quit it. Chemo is accumulative so its seems to get harder as you go along. I had Neulasta, got severe bone pain the first time, after that, I knew when it was gonna kick in and I would start taking pain meds the day before. And guess what? No more bone pain.

    image

    Good luck
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited March 2007
    Catherine -
    Yes, I am back home...no more tropical drinks for a while! We had a fantastic time.

    Rita -
    Gee...I really feel bad that you're going through this. It's going to get worse before it gets better, but remember...IT WILL GET BETTER. Try to remain positive. The Neulasta shots gave me fairly severe bone aches, but like Chemosabi...I also took pain meds, and it really helped (Vicadin). I was lucky, my insurance delivered the injections to my house so my dh was able to inject me so I didn't have to make a trip back to the Dr's office.

    JanClare -
    Hope you're doing okay - let us know as soon as you can.

    EVERYONE -
    Hi there...hope you all have a nice weekend.
  • nandy
    nandy Member Posts: 4
    edited March 2007

    Good Morning Everyone--Rita--I have taken the Neulasta shots after both of my AC- tx. as my onc. gives the shots to everyone, and it really was not bad. My white counts still dropped the second week but came right back up.I would take the bone aches anyday over the chemo fog, headaches and nausea.I am anxious to hear how the long term affects of # 3 are for you. I go for # 3 on Monday, and am dreading it because I am not over # 2 yet. Thankfully I only have to take 4 and I am counting the days.--Nandy

  • scarednancy
    scarednancy Member Posts: 10
    edited March 2007
    Hi IL Ladies,
    I am enjoying the nice sunshine today too. I only live about 65 miles south of the WI border. I still have a lump under my arm since my surger in November. I will see the doctor on Tuesday. Other than that, I'm feeling OK except for the naseaus from Tamoxifen. I sure hope it gets better. I can't imagine 7 years of feeling like I have morning sickness all day. Hope you all have a wonderful day.
    Take Care,
    Nancy
  • mnance
    mnance Member Posts: 18
    edited March 2007
    Rita,
    I had four neulasta shots and never really had any bone pain from them. Gave them to myself, which was not a very big deal. Actually had some bone/muscle pain from the abraxane(taxol) for which I took some Vicodan.

    Yesterday, had rad #26, 10 to go!! Very tired right now. DH and I went for a walk in the glorious sunshine and beautiful (what can I say, I live in Chicago) weather. I think tomorrow we will go to Lincoln Park Zoo.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited March 2007
    rita -
    Hope you're not feeling real bad! Hang in there - remember us Illinois gals are tough!
  • ritajean
    ritajean Member Posts: 4,042
    edited March 2007
    Thanks gals for your encouragement. I really needed it because I was REALLY down. I had the neulasta shot and didn't feel any affects at all for about 10 hours. Then I got a general achy feeling. I took the pain meds immediately and again this morning. I ache....especially in my lower back and hip area but it doesn't have me "down" yet so I'm hoping it doesn't get any worse. If it stays at this level, I am going to try to take a short walk this afternoon and enjoy this weather. I am SO glad to see the sun out for the second day in a row.

    Laura...hope you had a wonderful Mexican holiday! Thanks so much for your continuous encouragement! You inspire all of us to keep going!

    Mandy...good luck tomorrow. So far, Mandy, I have not had the usual nausea with #3. Maybe because I was so worried about the neulasta shot and its affects. :-)
    So hang in there, Mandy.

    I know alot of you others sent encouraging words, too and I appreciated them all. In my chemo fog, I can't remember them all without going back to reread and when I do that, I lose what I have already tried to post, so thanks to all you Illinois gals. We have a great group of ladies in The Land of Lincoln.

    Enjoy the warmer temps!

    Rita
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 4,011
    edited March 2007
    Speaking of Land of Lincoln...thought I'd share my new vanity plate with you - my hope and my dream for us gals is loud and clear!

    image

    Rita -
    Hang in there!