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Success Stories!

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  • Molly57
    Molly57 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2004
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    A friend at work was diagnosed 7 years ago. Don't know how big the lump was, but 19 of 20 nodes were affected! She had mastectomy, chemo and stem cell transplant then rads. She is active and disease-free now, living each day to the fullest.

    Molly
  • CorinneO
    CorinneO Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2004
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    I was diagnosed with BC when I was 25 years old, it was grade 3 and had 1 lymph node involved. I had lumpectomy radio and chemo. A year later I found another un-related BC in the other breast. This one was much bigger, was also grade 3 and I had 5 lymph nodes involved. I had a much harsher chemo and another lumpectomy, and my doctor said I had a 50% chance of living another 5 years (kind of him ). I then had a good long think and at the ripe old age of 26 I came to my senses and decided to have a double mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. This is the good part... It has been nearly 9 and a half years since my first diagnosis, and I am still going STRONG! I really believe that a good portion of my success has to do with POSITIVE THINKING and a lot of positive support from my family, especially my husband. I also had a little mantra I used to say to myself every night before I went to sleep: I am going to live a long, happy and healthy life until I am an old lady in my 80's! I aint going nowhere! I used to say it so often that I made myself believe I would be ok, and I have been. Even today when I have a worried thought I say it to myself, and it helps me. After 5 years I was officially discharged from the hospital (no more check-ups) much to the surprise of the doctors and nurses. Keeping positive was hard at times, but I just kept saying my little mantra before I went to bed every night.. and I am still here, healthy and strong and Im not going anywhere till Im a little old lady in my 80's!

    Corinne
  • jlcmomofthree
    jlcmomofthree Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2004
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    I went to a family reunion this summer and an older lady (80's, friend of our family, but I didn't know her)told me she had a mastectomy over 40 years ago! She had no chemo and no radiation. She never had the other breast taken off either. I asked her if she had ever worried about a reoccurance during all these years. Can you believe she said nobody had ever mentioned that it might come back. She didn't even think about it!
    Now, I was feeling guilty that I had opened my big mouth and had mentioned "reoccurance" to her and maybe I would make her feel bad. She said I had not. (I hope I didn't, I was so interested in her story and she was such a source of strength for me!)
    Jennifer
  • Sachi
    Sachi Member Posts: 63
    edited October 2004
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    What great stories... keep 'em coming!! There are so many success stories out there and I love to read this thread and be reminded of them.

    Jennifer, That's so neat that the woman you spoke with never even thought about recurrence. I wish noone had ever mentioned it to any of us!

    Barb
  • londonlady108
    londonlady108 Member Posts: 2
    edited October 2004
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    HI
    When I was diagnosed last year being only 39 I was somewhat shocked and terrified. However so many ladies I knew, many of Mum's friends came over and said "Don't worry dear that was me 10/20/30 years ago!!" All these ladies are now well into their 70s and all look great. All are active and beautiful. I thought "WOW" it certainly gave me the lift I needed.

    Cari
    PS first year post treatment and I am dancing with NED, infact I see him as being a life long partner.
  • Sachi
    Sachi Member Posts: 63
    edited November 2004
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    Back to the top for our newbies!!

    B
  • carmelle
    carmelle Member Posts: 133
    edited December 2004
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    Corrine-o,
    All this time I've had bc i have never thought of saying a mantra.i am going to start the same one every night and every morning.
    thanks.
    Michelle
  • cher
    cher Member Posts: 2
    edited December 2004
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    disthat women have any lymph node involvement.If so how many

  • Fitztwins
    Fitztwins Member Posts: 144
    edited December 2004
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    My mother was dx 14 years ago. Her tumor was 4 cm. Very agressive. Here she is today..14 year survivor. She never lost her hair during chemo.

    Live Strong!!
  • Sachi
    Sachi Member Posts: 63
    edited January 2005
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    Fitztwins - What a great inspiration (your Mom) for all of us. Thanks for telling us about her.

    Barb
  • sgoat13
    sgoat13 Member Posts: 5
    edited January 2005
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    Great thread!!!

    My mom had breast cancer 19 years ago (at age 42). Modified radical mastectomy and a year of chemo. She went on to go to support groups for others, see her 3 children get married and have 9 grandchildren. She just turned 61 and even though recently has a recurrence in the bones, hopes to live a productive fulfilling "life". She's pretty stubborn so she's got that going for her.
  • Ben66
    Ben66 Member Posts: 3
    edited January 2005
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    Shelly,
    Gives me hope to hear about your mom. I'm sure she'll beat it again. Just curious though, did she have any lymph node involvement at her initial diagnosis and if so how many??
    Diane
  • sgoat13
    sgoat13 Member Posts: 5
    edited January 2005
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    Diane,

    Yes, she had 10 out of 18 lymph nodes and her tumor was 3 cm. Her "prognosis" was not good. I was 21 and was so afraid she wouldn't be there to see me get married or see her grandchildren. We just never expected to have a recurrence after 18 years. We were under the impression that after 5 years your chances of recurrence were so small. But, from these boards there are many women having it happen to them after 15 years or so. But, if you think about it, this is probably something new since people are living so long with bc. So, that's a very good thing.

    The thing that puzzles me about my mom is that her bc was initially er+ and now it is er-. This hasn't been explained to me yet, so that is my questions for the doc. I'm not sure he can give me an answer though.

    Good luck to you and on the days you lose hope.....come here. It is a wonderful place and we all have our down days. I get in such a panick sometimes about my mom and these ladies are great.
    Shelly
  • Ben66
    Ben66 Member Posts: 3
    edited January 2005
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    Thanks for your response Shelly. I mostly hear of success stories for ladies without node involvement and I get all depressed. I had 5 positive nodes with vascular invasion. This is what really scares me.... anyways I try to stay postive and be thankful that all other organs were clear. If I do ever have a recurrence, I pray that better and new drugs and treatment will be available. My dad has colon cancer and has been battling it for 4 years now. He was diagnosed with metasesis to his liver and his outlook did not look great. He is stable and doing well, he is not in remission but is on and off treatment. The doctors are all amazed at his progress, they use him as a successful example for other patients. He is 72 years old and his secret is to not think of the C word and stay positive. Whenever he goes to the hospital for his chemo, he is always joking with the nurses and they love it, he is famous for telling jokes. They love when he comes in because he livens up the place!!His advise to me as soon as I was diagnosed was, just try not to constantly worry and think of that awful word............
    Good health to all for 2005!!!
  • sgoat13
    sgoat13 Member Posts: 5
    edited January 2005
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    You know if my mom would have had bone mets many years ago, I doubt she wouldn't be here now. She was able to put the "C" thing out of her mind for a long time.

    I really don't understand the statistics. They all sound so bad. My mom only had a 50/50 chance of living 5 years. That sounds so bad. Here she is 19 years later.

    I do wish I would have gotten her on anti-depressents sooner though. I think it would have helped with her stress level. So, if you are the type that gets all worked up over everything like her, I think it's better sooner rather than later.

    I wish you the best. I'm sure you will beat it. Attitude is everything. Your dad is right.
    Shelly
  • raven81
    raven81 Member Posts: 4
    edited January 2005
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    Shelly, thanks for sharing your Mom's story. It has helped me so much. My pathology was very similar to hers, and if I can get another 20 years or more with my girls, I'll gladly take it.

    Hope your Mom's doing well, and that the bone mets stay under control.

    Eileen
  • sgoat13
    sgoat13 Member Posts: 5
    edited January 2005
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    I'm so glad I can be of help to you ladies. You go through so much and even though I don't have bc (yet), being so close to my mom, I feel like it is happening to me.

    So many of you have helped me. It's amazing how one minute you can feel like you are in control of this disease and the next panic set in and you feel like the end is near.

    Good luck to all!!
    Shelly
  • eva2004
    eva2004 Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2005
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    Ok,
    Here is my mom,/not mine/ story.
    She was diagnosed 28 years ago with todays equivalent to
    stage IIIc.
    Huge tumor that had her skin pulled in , 7/9 positive lymph nodes.The surgeon didn't want to scare her so instead he told me that the cancer will for sure show up somewhere within 6-9 months.
    She got only radiation to the scar plus as an only prevention - additional rads to the supraclavical nodes .
    Chemo wasn't available there and then.
    A year after the tretment she started losing weight and lost a total of over 50 lb,got nauseated with anything she ate and was constantly tired.
    We thought that the cancer came back just like doctor said it would and prepared for the end.
    After numerous tests it turned out she had severe anemia - possibly caused by intense radiation .
    Well , she will turn 86 in a couple of months.
    Her only complains is that she can't walk as fast as she used to and she has brittle bones that caused her to break her arm a couple of times after a fall.
    Now I got bc cancer and my only wish is to have ALL her genes,not only the bad ones ...
    Eva
  • sgoat13
    sgoat13 Member Posts: 5
    edited January 2005
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    Eva,
    What a great story. I'm sure she will help you through your journey! Best wishes to you both.
    Shelly
  • nevedale
    nevedale Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2005
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    I was diagnosed with DCIS and had my right breast removed in January of 1997. All nodes were clear and my doctor said I needed no other treatment. So far, everything has been wonderful. I thank God every day for my blessings. There is really hope after that word Breast Cancer enters your life, it is not a death sentence. Camille, I think you idea is fantastic.
  • raven81
    raven81 Member Posts: 4
    edited January 2005
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    Eva--thank you so much for sharing your Mom's story. It is very inspiring, and I'm sure it gives you strength as you go through your own battle. Good luck with your treatments.

    Eileen
  • Sachi
    Sachi Member Posts: 63
    edited February 2005
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    I just wanted to bring this to the top again. I love to go back and read all these success stories!

    Barb
  • pattycupcake
    pattycupcake Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2005
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    Hi, I just read your post and almost fainted. I am newly dx right in situ, left side invasive carcinoma, and am awaiting dx for an MRI due to an abnormal bone scan. Having double surgery Feb 28 , including nymph node test. I hope everything is ok for your Mom

  • Gabrielle
    Gabrielle Member Posts: 12
    edited February 2005
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    I was 44 when diagnosed 5.5 years ago. Stage IIIa, 9/21 nodes, 5.2 cm tumor, Her-2/Neu, estrogen negative. I haven't recurred - still going strong.
  • Sachi
    Sachi Member Posts: 63
    edited February 2005
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    Thanks so much for posting Gabrielle! That's just what I want to hear. Today is my 2 year anniversary from my first chemo. I had chemo first to shrink the tumors. There were 3 tumors in my left breast - one of them 3 cm. and one of them in a lymph node. (Who knew there were lymph nodes in the breast?!?) Anyways, chemo first and then mastectomy and then radiation. I'm feeling great and, usually, confident that I've kicked this thing in the butt! It sure is nice to read these success stories to remind myself!

    Barb
  • L_in_PA
    L_in_PA Member Posts: 1
    edited March 2005
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    I just read all your postings. How wonderful for Stage III gals to read and know hope is always alive. I was diagnosed Jan 2004, and have had chemo and rads. I am currently on Tamoxifin and undecided on the hysterectomy. Onco say don't need, but amd not sure how I feel about it since I am only 44. I had 23 of 26 nodes positive 4 cm tumor er/pr+ and a rather large amount of family with history of cancer.
    Thanks for the inspirations.
  • Gabrielle
    Gabrielle Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2005
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    Hi Barb,

    Happy 2nd anniversary to you! Many, many more.

    Here is the treatment I went thru:

    I was 44 when diagnosed in December 1999. Stage IIIa, Her-2/Nue, 5.2 cm tumor, estrogen negative, 9/21 nodes.

    I've been NED since then. I had a mastectomy on the cancerous breast, 4 rounds of adriamycin/cytoxan, 4 rounds of taxotere, and 25 hits of radiation. I then had a prophylactic mastectomy on the other breast (about a year later) and a prophylactic hysterectomy. I searched until I found a doctor who would give me Herceptin. I had 52 treatments after the radiation.

    I took 5 months off during chemo and have been back to work since then (Federal auditor and part-time College teacher). I have 2 children who are now 17 and 14. My husband had heart failure last year and now I'm the only one working.

    Prayer, aggressive treatment and a positive attitude that I will survive is what's getting me through.
  • pattyjane
    pattyjane Member Posts: 1
    edited March 2005
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    I may be cheering too soon, but I realized today that I have been cancer free for 2 1/2 years! I was stage 3b, with 19 positive lymph nodes. Did A/C, taxotere, radiation and am now on tamoxifen. Had mastectomy on "bad boob", did treatment, then prophylactic mastectomy on "good boob". My Dr does tumor marker test every three months, and, so far results have been incredibly good! I feel great. Except for being very flat chested(no reconstruction-didn't want the hassle), and that little white pill I take twice a day, it's almost like it never happened. I keep my fingers crossed, and say prayer, every day(cause you never know), but I'm starting to feel like it's time to let my breath out, and celebrate a little.
    Best to all who are going through surgery, treatment, etc. You can make it through the tunnel and there is a light at the end, and it's not a train!
  • Gabrielle
    Gabrielle Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2005
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    PattyJane and L in PA:

    That's great you're both doing so well. Don't get freaked by the number of positive nodes you had. There's a book out there called "I'm Alive and the Doctor is Dead" by Sue Buchanan. She had something like 14 positive nodes and it's been more than 20 years since her diagnosis (I"m pretty sure she's still alive).

    The book is hard to find in bookstores - it's easier to order it online. A cousin gave it to me and I passed it on to a friend.
  • Sachi
    Sachi Member Posts: 63
    edited March 2005
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    Post deleted by Sachi