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elimar Member Posts: 5,882


This thread was created for "middle-aged" women. At the time, we didn't have our own category on the pull-down Forum menu. The ages 40-60 in the header are unofficial--we don't "card" anyone, (wink, wink) --- so if you are close in age it's meant for you as well. We aren't young with small children. Many of us have just gotten to the stage where we were all set to enjoy the freedom of our kids being grown when, Bam!, we got breast cancer instead. We aren't retired yet, so we get to juggle cancer and a job. We might have to care for an elderly parent on days when we feel like we could use a caregiver ourselves!

(BTW, those are general statements, NOT a checklist for belonging to this group. It's fine if you have some variation!!!)

Our disease unites us with ALL the strong sisters on this site, but here we can bring up some topics to share with others in the "middle."

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"Home of the Hot Flash"






  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,882

    I'm going to begin my 33 radiation tx next week.  How soon til the tiredness hits?  Besides rest, what are some things I might try to keep the fatigue from wiping me out?  

  • Pleasebeokay
    Pleasebeokay Member Posts: 1

    I'm not middle aged, and I don't have breast cancer, but it must be hard. My mom is 46 and she was diagnosed last year. She had to take a leave from her job and drive an hour and a half to get to treatments every week, and take care of other matters.

    I just admire how strong you are. God bless you.

  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,882
    Pleasebeokay, B/C can be a lot to handle, even for strong moms.  How's she doing now?
  • Mazy1959
    Mazy1959 Member Posts: 254


    I think your idea for middle age is nice. I am 50 although  my body thinks it's 70 and my mind thinks it's 27. LOL. You make some very valid points. Just got the kids raised, finally feeling like we could just take off whenever we wanted etc..and bam @#%$^*& cancer. It really messed up our plans but as my husband says..plans are made to be broken. I am not bitter tho. I am happy to be alive and to be a grandparent. I am so grateful that I am here for my family and friends. Even on bad days, I can still be a friend and can still help people thru their troubles. I do try to see the cup half full most of the time. I hope treatment goes well for you. I was so wiped out from chemo that when I started rads..I thought it was heaven LOL. I did'nt burn went well for me. I hope it goes as well for you.Hugs, Mazy

  • Bermuda77
    Bermuda77 Member Posts: 3

    Yesterday, the doctor shared the Pathologist report that I have BC I was shocked.  The Dr. was actually very surprised too with the result.  I was given a lot of information but most of them flew over my head.  All I heard was invasive.  I didn't feel fear.  I was calm and believe it or not I have peace in my heart because I have a Big God who hold my life on the palm of His hand.  Having had several accidents where I miraculously survived have changed my outlook and attitude in life.  The question is not whether we live or die.  We all get there and it is just a matter of when and how.  What matters is how we live.  Each day is a miracle.  Each day is a brand new day with a clean slate.  Each day is an opportunity for adventure.  I've surrendered myself to God and like a good warrior I will fight a good fight!

  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,882

    Welcome, Mazy1959 & Bermuda77!

    Bermuda77,  can't believe your first post was on this thread I just started!  You might want to check out the "Just Diagnosed" forum and go from there.  Reading thru' the topics will give you a good idea of things to discuss with your doctors. 

    After the nurse told me, "there were some cancer cells found," I know her lips were moving, but I blanked on the next couple of sentences too.

  • Bermuda77
    Bermuda77 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for your e-mail.  Since I had an open breast biopsy last Friday, I started doing research.  I saw your thread says 40-60.  I'm 47 years old.  I'm setting up another appointment with my doctor and listed all my questions.  I can't help but smile reading your last sentence because you have very well articulated how I felt yesterday.  Thanks againSmile
  • helena67
    helena67 Member Posts: 16

    Mmm..As usual I don't fit in anywhere. Am 42 (too old for the young women's forum) but have small kids (under age 5). Maybe we should have yet another forum for 'Those Who Were Silly Enough to Have Kids Late and Who Got Punished with Breastcancer'.


    Take care,


  • ktym
    ktym Member Posts: 673

    Elimar, your post starting this thread is so me.  Thank you

    Helena, You were kidding to find humor in this right?  Please tell me you don't really think you're being punished for having kids late.  I hate the fact that we get reminded about when we had kids, how long we breast fed etc are "risk factors."  Remember this.  No one ever took a group of at risk women and had 1/2 of them delay childbirth and had 1/2 of them have kids early to see what happened.  No one has ever proven that someone with your exact genetics and exposure could prevent cancer by giving birth a few years earlier. Correlation is NOT causation. 

    So, for others in this boat.  I'm curious as to how many others do what I am doing.  I swing from loving being back at work to wondering what the heck I'm doing being back at work because if I do recur in a few years I know I'll kick myself for going back and not spending all that time with DH and DS and any future grandkids.  I love my job, but it is very emotionally draining and time consuming.  I was in danger of wallowing in the breast cancer and feeling sorry for myself.  Being back at work and having tasks to do and needing to think of others has stopped that and has helped my chemobrain.  But, how long do we keep on doing this?  

  • helena67
    helena67 Member Posts: 16

    Hi kmmd,

    No, it was a joke....although with a serious undertone: if I had known that I would develop BC at this age, I would have had my kids sooner. I feel bad that they are so small and totally, utterly dependent on me. Believe me, I worry a lot! Every day. But a little humor helps....

    Regarding work - I feel the same you do. Why spend energy on working rather than on your family? But then, most of us need to work for financial reasons. I also think it felt good to be back at work and have a more normal life.


  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,882

    Welcome, to you both! 

    Helena67, Any thread with ..."ish" in the title is not going to be too exacting!   Even I don't fit my opening statement entirely, so stick around.  I know it takes a lot of energy to keep up with kids that age, so what did you do to beat treatment fatigue?

  • victoriasecret
    victoriasecret Member Posts: 37

    Hey add me on this forum...I am a stage 3 gal..50 today !!

    Yes my baby leaves for college in about a month and I thought WOOO HOO me time...but fate had other plans and soo while i was wondering what I would do this year plans have been made for me ..Chemo starts in 1 week...When I GET TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS LOOK OUT...I have plans !!!

  • barbe1958
    barbe1958 Member Posts: 7,605

    Happy Birthday Victoria!

    I am 51 and had two kids get married this year (not to each other!) and have been an empty nester for about 6 years now. I have to work as my DH has 3 brain tumours and we have to pay the mortgage some how.

    If I see the glass half empty, I just start looking for a better glass! Laughing

  • ktym
    ktym Member Posts: 673

    Barbe, you always have something to say to make me smile. Bills, insurance coverage etc. Never really ends does it. Still wonder sometimes, though, what am I doing

  • REKoz
    REKoz Member Posts: 164

    I think the thread for "older women" applies to this age group. But what the hey, at 53, I'll join! It will be a year at the end of Sept. that I went for my completely unconcerned annual mammo and got hit with the news that this beast was inside me. Double mx with immediate tissue expanders. Surgery Nov. 10th followed by a God awful post op infection on both sides. Chemo from Jan- May and Herceptin continues till Jan. I just (3 weeks ago) had my left expander replaced due to capsular contracture and am soooooooooooo hoping to have my first fill Monday! I am so sick of taking off those heavy foobs at night and can't wait until I have something attached to my body!

    My oldest daughter just got married (at 27), my younger daughter at 24 lives with me in my newly renovated basement. LOVE having her here= she just got her Masters and is in the working world so we are truly at the "great friends" stage. Makes those hellish teenage years worth it! Divorced but live with my DSO who works A LOT! My job....boring as hell but I LOVE my co-workers and have had the luxury of the brass being extremely flexible while I go thru this. My issue now is what am I going to do with the rest of my life? Even before bc, I felt compelled to do something job wise that had meaning to me. It feels like such a waste of precious days to be at a ho hum job. However, that job gives me the excellent benefits that paid for my surgeries and who knows what is down the road for me and my health? I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. Now that I've gone thru this, I feel even stronger that I want to make everyday count! Ugh, how does one come to terms with that? I'd love to hear how others do it.


  • stef58
    stef58 Member Posts: 32

    Hey everybody, I fit this forum. I am 51 and going through chemo right now. I feel this thing has cheated me also. I have 3 girls whom I worry about now. Becausse on my husbands side there is breast cancer on both sides of his family and now I have it. Do have grandkids that I try and see. This thing just keeps me tired and some days I am lucky if I can get off the coach. I have learned that everything in life is a crap shot so we all need to take every moment and enjoy it as much as we can. Dianne

  • rreynolds1
    rreynolds1 Member Posts: 62

    I just finished my radiation and found that 30 mins. of walking helped keep my energy up.  On days when I did not exercise, I felt more exhaustion.  Be sure to use good moisturizers several times a day.  Itchy, sore breasts will interrupt your sleep and contribute to feelling exhausted.  I used 98% Aloe After Tanning Gel CVS brand with no alcohol.  I also used My Girls Cream which I ordered from the internet.  It is designed to protect the breast from radiation.  Good luck.  It will be over before you know it.


  • rreynolds1
    rreynolds1 Member Posts: 62


    When I was first diagnosed, I picked up a book called "Just Get Me Through This".  It is for early stage breast cancer.  It answered many of my questions and with some humor.  I found it on


  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,882

    Welcome ALL!

    REKoz, I don't feel "Older" and I bet you don't either because you found us "Middlers" by looking under the "Young Women" forum, so Ha! you're busted! 

    On this thread, we probably all have some middle-age aches and pains, maybe even getting a few limitations due to age BUT most of us have enjoyed fairly good health up to now SO for a lot of us (not all, I realize) THIS is the first major health crisis.  I don't know...Just felt like we needed our own category in the middle so here it is.
  • Nebraskagrandma
    Nebraskagrandma Member Posts: 137


    does that say "NE" ?

           I am barely hanging in the upper age side of this thread, 59 but my mind thinks I'm 30 and most of the time my body thinks it's 35-40 ? My parents are still alive 87 & 85 and pretty darn active. I have 3 children and 9 Grandchildren. My youngest daughter now 31 is handicapped and I had her myself 24/7 until she was 27. She now lives in my home with a care provider (that thank god is like one of my kids also) and I live with my fiance. We'll be married next July 3rd the second Anniversary of my DX. Talk about being a sandwich !! I was everything for everybody, and then the world stopped and I had to learn to let others care for me.

            I have learned alot at at first it can be overwhelming just navagating around. I guess that's why I spent a year just reading and not posting.

           Aug 10th I had what I think will be my last surgery, a lift and nipple recon. It seems like it's been a long journey, but when I read some of my sister's post I realize how fornunate I am. I often find myself directing my thoughts and prayers to those that are struggling on these post.

           I think one of the best things I did through all of this was to keep a journal. It helps me sometimes answer other sister's questions on the forum. You really do forget some of the dreaded details, and time frames.

    Blessings to all,


  • rgiuff
    rgiuff Member Posts: 339

    Eliminar, I never got tired from the radiation at all and I worked full time right through it on the night shift!  I was diagnosed at age 47, have 3 girls 21, 20, and 13.  2 of my girls are away at college during the year, but that's been a couple of years like that now, so I'm used to it.  The house definitely does get lonely when they are both away though.

    I work out and eat healthy, and I enjoy my job (labor & delivery nurse), so I think that's why I'm feeling great physically.  And 2 months ago, I switched from the night shift to working 7am to 3pm, because I figured it would be better for my health.

  • Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Member Posts: 2,883

     What a great thread!!! Thank you for starting it. I am almost 5 years out from bi-lateral BC and I am 56 years old. Every day is a gift from God and I learning to get used to the side effects from aromasin. Some days I think the chemo was easier, but with exercise and drinking lots of water, most days are getting easier.  God bless you all, oh, one more thing, anyone have trouble with having UTI's with the hormonal therapy. Thanks, Kathy

  • Nebraskagrandma
    Nebraskagrandma Member Posts: 137


          I work OB/GYN telephone triage used to be in the halls with the Doc's. I couldn't work the hospital hours because of my handicapped daughter had to stay with clinic hours.


         I don't know about REKoz, but I found this thread at the top of the forum page when I first logged on today. I think it was under a list of new threads ? Not under the Young Women forum. :o)

    Later Ladies !!

    Enjoy the week-end if you can,

  • faithandfifty
    faithandfifty Member Posts: 4,424

    Great idea.

    As my nick announces, I was 50 @ dx, tho that is now 2 full years ago......

    Just as I was ready to declare the decade for myself & my work I began the tilt-a-whirl ride of BC.

    Very fortunate that mine was detected early..... I do indeed feel like a bumper sticker.

    "Early detection saves lives."

    Nice to see 'new' faces to me. I think the best gift from BC surviving is to meet others who are thriving. I have had much to reflect on thru these two years.

    Thanks for starting this 'tween thread.

  • KAK
    KAK Member Posts: 297

    Hi, ladies!!  Just a quick hello & I have to come back later to catch up.  I'm 55 so I guess I'm now in another statistical category, so lately have been getting more invitations to take advantage of "senior discounts"!!!   Wait, wait!  Don't rush me!  LOL

  • aug242007
    aug242007 Member Posts: 186

    Hello to All,

    Thanks for starting this thread.  I am 53 years old and was diagnosed in 2007.  I was one of the dense breasts girls so mammograms (even digital) did not catch my tumor.  I have been on Arimidex and now switching to Femara.  Good luck to all!


  • threeteens
    threeteens Member Posts: 3

    Hello ladies,

    Thank you so much for starting this group, I feel like I have a home here and that I fit in. 

    I am 47 and was looking forward to 'ompleting my nursing degree now that the 3 boys are self sufficient but bc has put this on hold.  Many plans have been changed since my dx..  I no longer have control over things like used to, even making a doctors appt seems to be driven by their schedule not mine.  I keep trying to figure out why NOW .  I pray that God will give me some insight as to what I am to do/lean from this experience.  I do know that I am much more appreciative of my health, even though I do have bc.  I couldn't imagine having other health complications along with bc.  I never thought I would feel lucky to say "just" have bc.  I always try to see the good things in life and in people, I tell my children that sometimes you just have to look harder.

    Best wishes ladies, I look forward to getting to know you better.

  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,882


    The thread has taken off like hotcakes, or it that wildfire?   The two don't go together,,,I've tried it and the hotcakes get scorched every time!

    Welcome, welcome and more welcome everyone!  To think that I have always cringed at that "middle-aged" label, yet here we all are. 

    Another label that makes me cringe is "cougar" but how many of us get/got treatments from male radiation techs.quite a bit younger than we are?  There we are, like topless Mrs. Robinsons!  

    Get used to my humor, it's how I'm gonna survive!  Tongue out

  • Nebraskagrandma
    Nebraskagrandma Member Posts: 137

    Absolutely elimar !

         Humor is what gets you through ! One of my funniest quick wit moments was right after my unilateral MX standing in the bathroom with my "middle child" 33 year old daughter that has been sooo close to me her whole life. I stood in front of the mirror for a moment then turned to her and said "Kinda looks like a wink, don't ya think ?" Her response "oh Mom " Some days it's all that gets ya through,


             I hear ya, Early Detection Saves Lives has been my cry since DX ! I had a routine digital mamo that found clusters of micro calcifications. When bx'd they found DCIS. My BC surgeon said if it had been a regular mammo they may not have seen it yet.

    gotta a run, my sister and niece are on their way to get me for lunch, I can't drive yet from last surgery Heck yes I'll go ! Can't wait to get my wheels back :o)



  • gibby
    gibby Member Posts: 25

    Yup I'm 50 also. I was doing great last year having finished everything and getting my strength back, I decided to go back to work. I am a ski instructor and I teach very young school groups. I was exhausted many days needless to say but it felt great to be active again. I have been undergoing reconstruction since May and I am having my exchange surgery Sept.4. Well, my Mom fell and broke her hip so guess where she is staying!!!! I figure I will get her going on her own again by surgery time and then look after me. Oh, I forgot to say, we had just become empty nesters when all hell broke loose. I think this year I will just put on my skiis and sit on top of the mountain and enjoy just being!