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Can we have a forum for "older" people with bc?

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  • PaulaLS
    PaulaLS Member Posts: 21
    edited February 2009
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    Hey Jan,  Keep in mind my photo is a very small one so you can't see all the wrinkles and hair color is wonderful.  I admire you working in the recovery room - that's a very important job.  Guess we are both reluctantly becoming BC experts.   MRSA is frequent in the schools now.   It's definitely out there - everywhere.

    Saw the PS today.  Had my last drain removed. YEA!   I continue to have some healing problems - a little epidermolysis problably due to the fact I used to be a smoker, my age, and the skin sparing mast with immediate implant.  PS assures me it will heal - just slow.  Just gotta keep any infection away!

    I enjoy this thread and love the ladies on it.

  • klp
    klp Member Posts: 1,454
    edited February 2009
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    Hi there Motherof7..welcome aboard

    Exercise does help get you thru txs...I walked everyday after each rad tx..I think it helps prevent fatigue. Has your onco prescribed anything to help prevent bone loss? Do you take a calcium and Vit. D supplement?

  • PaulaLS
    PaulaLS Member Posts: 21
    edited February 2009
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    You are in the best hands!

  • PaulaLS
    PaulaLS Member Posts: 21
    edited February 2009
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    Mother of 7 - You are in the best hands!

  • binney4
    binney4 Member Posts: 1,466
    edited February 2009
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    Ooh, Madalyn, belly fat cells!

    I can identify! Frown Sooo depressing, and every pound I gain goes right there. In fact, even if I don't gain, every fat cell in my body seems to be doing a mass migration to the belly. It's a regular stampede!

    Anybody have any suggestion for exercises that target this problem without causing back problems?Undecided

    As for Dexa scans, my gyn orders them every two years because of the past AI treatment. Also discovered a few years ago my vitamin D levels were low. Supplements have helped, but not as much as 10 minutes a day of sun exposure. (Harder than you'd think here in Arizona where the sun shines almost every day -- we have months of triple digit temperatures when sitting for 10 minutes in the sun is torture!Tongue out)

    Sierra, it's so good to hear from you. In answer to your question, I have a wonderful husband and we have nine kids (mostly adopted), two of them at home always due to disabilities (they're the joy of my life--couldn't have made it through all this without them!) We have 11 grandkids, but our family is scattered all over -- Alaska, Tennessee, D.C., etc.

    Gosh, hanging out with you guys makes me proud to be the possessor of so much "life experience!"Kiss
    Binney

  • mzmiller99
    mzmiller99 Member Posts: 220
    edited February 2009
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    Binney -

    Ahh, that's what we have...life experience.  I don't know what this has to do with anything, but I have to share...we were making pancakes today in my kindergarten class to celebrate the 100th Day of school. 

     I donned my "teacher" apron, a brightly colored butcher-style, when one of my little kiddos pipes up, "Mrs. Miller, I like your bathing suit!"  ????

     Talk about a generation gap!!!

  • Marple
    Marple Member Posts: 10,154
    edited February 2009
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    I'm 53, I assume I qualify?  Was post meno before my dx at age 50.  And ladies, it looks like this IS the forum for us post meno gals. 

    Mzm, what a gem your Mom is.

  • klp
    klp Member Posts: 1,454
    edited February 2009
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    Sharon you fit right in!!!!

  • Marple
    Marple Member Posts: 10,154
    edited February 2009
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    Hahaha, thx klp, hot flashes, belly fat, arimidex and all.

    Hugs.

  • Snowbird
    Snowbird Member Posts: 26
    edited February 2009
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    Wow, what a great thread! Northstar, thanks for starting it! I agree that it's nice to have somewhere for us PMs (post menopausals) to congregate. I was 60 when diagnosed, and still am! I'm scheduled for my very LAST (yahoo!!!) T/C treatment next Monday, and will start watching for cranial sproutage next Tuesday. Then, I'm expecting to be put on Arimidex for "at least" 5 years. Meanwhile, I'm really glad to have found this thread. I hope it'll become it's own "place" for us.

  • mzmiller99
    mzmiller99 Member Posts: 220
    edited February 2009
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    Snowbird - Braaaa Haaaa!!  Cranial sproutage!!!  And, woo hoo for being one treatment away!!

    Hmmmm, what to call us?  Post-mens?  Sounds like something my kinders would say!

  • klp
    klp Member Posts: 1,454
    edited February 2009
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    Too funny snowbird...

    Sharon you more than fit in!!!!!WinkLaughing 

  • samedaynurseJan
    samedaynurseJan Member Posts: 162
    edited February 2009
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    *laughing* you guys are GREAT !!!! I too was going to thank NorthStar.....and where has she gone too ? Im still giggling bout cranial sproutage.....great news for the end of treatment Snowbird....are you a Snowbird from somewhere up north ???? What was your criteria for needing chemo.....the ILC or the size ? There are some things I still dont quite get.....

    I am seriously smiling all the way through *our* community thread...between weight gain and cholesterol and Arimidex do-si-dos we are one amazing and funny group.....and all of our *seasoning* seems to really help keep our outlook and attitude light.....speaking of which....Im still so new on this journey.....how do all of you handle *test and Dr visit times* I had my last test a couple of weeks ago, my bone scan which was negative, and I feel like I have huge weights lifted off for at least a time, but come March its oncologist visit and June its first mammo.....I hated that horrible fear that was a part of my every moment all of Dec and January.....I have been told time and again things should be very good for a long and healthy future but somedays I believe it better than others.....thoughts ?

    I have struggled for almost 10 years to lose 80 pounds and then the high point of my bc was the additional 18# that I lost.....now a good deal of that is creeping back with no terror to take away my appetite....but I am still down nearly 95# and I SO dont want to give any of that back thanks to Arimidex. Im a big fan of South Beach......I too control cholesterol on my own and have a very good ratio but I wonder if next year I too will have to consider statins.....I did a little research and found that the purest and best supplements are sold at GNC.....I dont know if any of you have GNC nearby, they have one great supplement that combines the perfect dose of Ca, and Mg and Vit D.....they also have the purest triple strength fish oil you can buy, and they DO have sales fairly often. I check your posts on all that carefully JO cause you have really done your homework.....

    Paula, I still think your pic rocks ! I did 26 years of Pediatrics and then when kids were hospitalized less I moved into the area of same day surgery and recovery room cause it seemed to be a growing field.....now I have to just hope I can stick with it til the Medicare comes into play...ridiculous thing to have to worry about eh ?

    My husband and I are married 39 years in June but we shared a locker together in High School so we go WAYYYYY back, we have one married son and three delightful *busy* little grandsons that are huge lights in our life ! We moved closer to them after my husbands accident and are so happy we did....Im still going back over the posts from today and thinking what wonderful women have stepped up to cheer on the *seasoned citizens group*

    Love to each of you.....

    jan

  • PaulaLS
    PaulaLS Member Posts: 21
    edited February 2009
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    Guess we are all working until Medicare kicks in.  I had hoped to retire this year at age 62.  I would be able to keep my insurance but would have to pay for it - around $500.00/month.  Really not too bad but with the economy and all - it may not come to be.

    Congratulations on your weight loss, Jan!  I haven't lost a single pound through this breast cancer thing and would love to lose 40.  My husband's grandmother used to tell me you need some extra weight when you get older in case you get sick.  She died at 103 - maybe she was on to something.

    This is a second marriage for my husband and me - 27 years.  We have 7 children between us, 16 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

    I enjoy all the posts on this thread.  Thanks Northstar!

  • mikita5
    mikita5 Member Posts: 60
    edited February 2009
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    I haven't seen anyone in this "oldie" group who's had bilat mx and DIEP flap reconstruction. Anyone??  I'm scheduled Mar 30 for this and it scarier the closer it gets!!

    I'm 56, diagnosed first of Jan 09. Married, second time around. . Two grown kids,  two stepsons and 8 grandkids. Oldest g'kid is 12, the youngest is 18 months. My hubby had heart attack and bipass in September 08. Went to doc to day, extremely tired lately and they're sending him back to the heart doctor.

    You know, just last night, I thanked God that I got hubby nursed back to health. Now, he can nurse me back  after my surgeries, but now, with the threat of a recurrence to him, I'm panicking.. My daughter has 3 kids, in another state and HAS to work, so I don't know what we'll do if we're both down at the same time......Please say a prayer that he's ok and don't have to go thru another by pass or anything.

    You ladies are fantastic! God bless everyone of you.

  • Deb-from-Ohio
    Deb-from-Ohio Member Posts: 102
    edited February 2009
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    Hello Ladies

       I'm Deb, 53 yrs old..was diagnosed last year on my daughters birthday, the day before mine...still going through treatment. I've had 4 tx of A/C every other week and today did the 8th of 12 weekly Taxols. I don't like the Taxol. After that it's a lumpectomy and I assume a lymph  node job, then radiation, then Arimidex. But, good news is the onc can't find the lumps in my breast or under my arm anymore, so that's awesome!

      I had a total hysterectomy back in 1993 due to Endo..Was on Estratest (HRT) ever since until I was diagnosed and now have the WORSE hot flashes....I wake up at night and my entire body from head down to knee's is just dripping...really hate them.

      For the women that said they were cold at night, I have a mattress heater on my bed, couldn't live without it...it gets really warm at your feet and gradually cools down as it goes up towards your head, it's super nice and nice to have if you have a cold bedroom like we do!

      Well hope to meet some new friends in this one! You all take care.

    Hugs and prayers

    Deb

  • samedaynurseJan
    samedaynurseJan Member Posts: 162
    edited February 2009
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    *smilin* at Jo.....night night.....I was afraid you would say that about the mammo heebie jeebies , all I wanted to do was do my *stuff* and be done with it, I actually used to believe that was how things went *rolling eyes* now as a part of the sisterhood that discriminates against no one, I realize its never over done with gone.......I didnt realize we ever switched back to screening mammos, I thought we stayed diagnostic, another lesson learned. 

    Mikita I will think good thoughts and keep you and DH in my prayers too....I will hope this all works out and that maybe a med to increase cardiac output or an adjustment in meds is all your hubby needs. I understand your fears though, a week after my Rads finished my husband was in a freak accident driving home that the police said  nearly always results in serious injury and the thought of getting through things with us both in issues was overwhelming

    Deb....we will all be pulling for you and will be here for you as you finish up your treatment and surgery so you too can join the Arimidex Brigade....you know, the belly fat and cholesterol issues *s* Congratulations on the disappearing lumps !!!!!!

    jan

  • Deb-from-Ohio
    Deb-from-Ohio Member Posts: 102
    edited February 2009
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    Jo I'm about 30 miles east of Cincinnati, out in the country too, small town called Loveland...OH LORD I pray I don't get the LE..........I can't live without my mattress heater...our room is so cold and that bed is just freezing, you actually get chills in it without the heater!

    Jan  LOL I already have the belly fat...I DID just have a baby 27 yrs ago today.  LOL.......and hope my cholesterol doesn't go up...so far it's been ok..

    Hugs

    Deb

  • karol61
    karol61 Member Posts: 36
    edited February 2009
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    Hello all you strong ladiesCool

    Thanks for the birthday wishes, I had the day off!!!! I felt so old last year after turning the big 60. My oncology team told me I'll probably live until I'm 90, hope I can retire before then LOL

    Hot flashes and night sweats have diminished since I started on Tamoxifen(7/07) Since starting it I've been taking Clonidine. 

    Karoline 

  • GramE
    GramE Member Posts: 2,234
    edited February 2009
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    Good Evening.  Tomorrow I am going to the recreation center to play bridge for 4 hours, with a break for lunch.   We bring a bag lunch and talk, otherwise we talk very little during the games.   We are all "seasoned" and most times one man joins our group.   He has colon cancer and is still going thru chemo.  

    I am retired.  When my husband had cancer, I quit work and never went back.  He died almost 6 years ago, so I took Widow's social security at age 60 and this is my 4th year of getting it ( I was 63 in January).   The good thing is having that money automatically appear in my checking account every month and I do not even have to go out of the apartment...!!!    

    JO, I bet I could match you with allergies.  They do not all fit on my medic alert bracelt, so it says MULTIPLE ALLERGIES, see wallet card.    I have taken (large) return address labels and printed my allergies on them and carry in my purse.   When asked..  I just peel off one and stick on the form.   

    Have a good rest of the week and keep smiling:  It makes them wonder what you are thinking !!

    HUGS,  Nancy 

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 20
    edited February 2009
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    Hello everyone.  I just found this thread by accident!  I'm 58...almost 59!  I think like I'm still a kid, but I'm old and fat.  Have the biggest jelly belly.  If I wasn't so old, I would look pregnant.  I still have hot flashes.  Started when I was 45 y/o.  The person who is opening the window in the middle of the night when its 10 degrees out?  That would be me.  Nice to meet all of you and I look forward to being part of this thread.  Going to save it to my favorites right now.

    I'm er/pr negative so I don't have any aromatase inhibitors to blame!  Just oldWink

  • Snowbird
    Snowbird Member Posts: 26
    edited February 2009
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    Hello again! Glad to see so many additions to the thread! It makes for great middle of the night, insomniac reading... another great benefit of being PM!

    Mzmiller, thanks for the good wishes. I am so ready to get this behind me and bury it so deep in the memory bank that when the dementia starts it'll be the first thing to go... I might have that backwards!?!?!

    SameDay, yes I am a snowbird from Central Wisconsin. My DH and I spend summers there. We're both retired now and after a lifetime in the upper midwest, my first request was to never again see another snowflake! I was actually diagnosed up there, but chose to get treatment down here because I just knew I'd recuperate better where I can replenish my Vitamin D by beachwalking in winter vs. watching the snow fly and the temperature drop into below zero territory. I chose to do chemo because my Oncotype score was 26 (17% chance of recurrence). To me, that meant that it might do me some good and I wanted to be as aggressive as I could possibly be. My onc, a gorgeous fresh face from Moffitt in Tampa suggested that, since I was still YOUNG (flattery, oh what a nice surprise!), it was worth treating with 4 rounds of T/C which he said is newer, "better" (?) and more easily tolerated. Four rounds didn't sound quite so scary to me and I was anxious to start so I could FINISH, which I'm just about to do. He felt that, even tho I had a mastectomy (former smoker, wanted to avoid needing radiation), my grade was "angry" and chemo, along with the AI would reduce my chance of recurrence to well below 10% and that my immune system could take over the job from there. He said "we all have cancer" and normally, our immune systems take care of it, so that made me feel better. His advice to pamper the immune system? Eat right (we do), and exercise (I haven't so much). I guess that'll have to change...  I'm a member of the belly fat club too...  Hope that's not TMI!

    Meanwhile, everyone have a great day today, whatever you do! Cheers,

    Gayle.

  • GramE
    GramE Member Posts: 2,234
    edited February 2009
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    If I "have" to describe myself, I use the words "buddah belly"...   Age, laziness, steroids, -- who knows the reason ?   Even losing 16 pounds has not taken any off that part of my body.   However, my earlobes are very tiny and just about perfect !!!!!!   

  • kmccraw423
    kmccraw423 Member Posts: 885
    edited February 2009
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    PaulaLS - if you had planned to retire at 62 and Medicare won't kick in until you are 65 and COBRA only lasts 18 months how would you be covered the other 18 months?  I'm asking because I can't find another insurance carrier for less than over $800 a month with my pre-existing conditions.  Does your employer allow you to carry it until Medicare kicks in?

  • GramE
    GramE Member Posts: 2,234
    edited February 2009
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    If you retire, some companies will carry you until Medicare kicks in.  Not all, but I have heard some will even carry you AFTER it kicks in.  Something you might want to "negotiate".   

    Kathleen, careful with the "pre existing" clause on insurance policies.  Some put an annual cap on what they will pay out and it can be deceiving.   The "salesman" will tell you one thing, but when you get the actual policy, it is very different.   And where you can get treatments or choice of doctors and specialists.   Referrals from a primary doctor may be needed and you need a very good working relationship with the primary to avoid having to go in for an appointment with him/her each time you need a referral, such as for a MUGA or mammo.   Just MY experience and input on it.   

  • PaulaLS
    PaulaLS Member Posts: 21
    edited February 2009
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    Hi Kathleen,  Your math is right.  Cobra would only last for only 18 months but my employer does permit us to keep our medical insurance, if we retire, until age 65 if we pay the premiums.  So, that is a real blessing and a choice I will look into.

    Actually, I wasn't considering retiring until my BC Dx.  Now, it seems like it may be time.  Priorities have changed.  Retirement (with much less income) can't be as scary as a BC diagnosis.

  • Unknown
    edited February 2009
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    Add me to the list here.   A young senior?  54..... Guess I'm on Aarp so that says I'm one of the gang....lol   

    Stage 4 mets to liver and bone and hanging right in there.   And I too am still working teaching middle school students.  Fortunately I haven't missed too many days except for treatment days.  Not that I sure haven't wanted to stay home in bed in the mornings.  When that alarm goes off I just lay there wondering what kind of a morning it will be.  But you just push and make yourself go!  Figure I can feel crappy at work as well as if I were home. 

    Glad this thread was started.  I should be shifting to Arimidex once I finally get my liver counts down to the magic number they are searching for.  I was on it 5 years ago and the only side affect I had was serious joint issues in my knees.  Had to stop so I could bend!  Anyhow, hoping this time will be better now that I know what to expect and will try to stay ahead of the game with more exercise and walking.  

    All you have a great day!

    Debbie

  • swimangel72
    swimangel72 Member Posts: 142
    edited February 2009
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    mikita5 - last year, at the age of 53, I underwent a unilaterial skin-sparing mx followed by an immediate muscle-sparing free tram (on my right breast). It was very scary - up until the morning of surgery when I was very calm. Unfortunately, I presented with a 100.6 fever and should have been sent home but the anesthesiologist said my lungs were clear and so I had a seven hour surgery. Everything seemed fine until Day 7 - when I had to return to the hospital with fever and shortness of breath. Turns out I ended up getting infected with MRSA - which caused all sorts of problems with my abdominal incision. I ended up having to stay an additional 2 weeks in the hospital (a total of 3 weeks counting the first week of my surgery) - I was on very strong IV antibiotics - then I was sent home and had to continue for another week on Zyvox (very strong oral antibiotics). I had so many doctors' appointments after that - I've lost track. So yes - you are right to be scared - I'm not trying to make you MORE scared - but to prepare you that anything can go wrong with this surgery, even with the best surgeons and hospitals. I hope your husband will be better and able to care for you.........if not, think about having a visiting nurse come to your house afterwards possibly to help you with the drains. I'll be praying for you - that you come through your surgery with no complications and for your husband too. May God watch over both of you!
  • reba1717
    reba1717 Member Posts: 4
    edited February 2009
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    Hi there,

    I don't exactly qualify for this thread, but My mom is 71, recently dx (Jan 09) with ILC. I am very curious to know how much age plays a factor when choosing therapies like chemo.

    Initially, We thought it was 2 tumors, 2cm each, but the lumpectomy found 1 tumor and 1 lymphnode. When pathology came back, The sentinal node was also positive- and the tumor was 6 cm not 2!

    So, last week she had a modified radical mast. on her left breast. She goes to the dr in an hour to get her drain out and get the pathology from the mast. I am a nervous wreck! I guess because each time she goes, we find out that it is "more" than what we had expected..

    Anyway, I would love to hear from others as to whether age played a role in either your decision making of treatment or that of your oncologist. Any help would be greately appreciated!

     Thank you!!!

    Rebecca Johnson in CA

  • kmccraw423
    kmccraw423 Member Posts: 885
    edited February 2009
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    Age was not a consideration for me.  I think on another thread I outlined my reasoning.  Bear in mind that I did not need chemo or rads - but it would not have made a difference.  I would have made the same choice.  My reasoning was:

    Breast with Cancer - bloody nipple discharge, DCIS, no specific "lump."  A lumpectomy would be very iffy since there was no lump and getting clear edges would be chancey.  They would have to take my nipple whether it was mastectomy or lumpectomy.  With a lumpectomy I would have to have radiation treatment.  Getting a mastectomy made so much more sense.  Extremely little chance of it coming back and by the time they did what I think would have been a radical lumpectomy and removed my nipple I would have had to have PS there anyway.

    Other Breast - Because I was 61 when diagnosed and my breasts had been heading south for a while, I knew that following a mastectomy they would have to do some surgery (a lift at least) on the other side and there was still the opportunity of it spreading.  I opted for a bilateral mastectomy.  As it turned out, the final path report showed very early DCIS on the other side.

    Except for the complications trying to reconstruct, I have no regrets about my decision.  I don't know how many years I have left on this Earth but I sure don't want to waste them worrying about breast cancer.

    Good luck to you and your Mom.  Gentle hugs.