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MIDDLE-AGED WOMEN 40-60ish

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  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,885
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    HnS, You are probably already at your appt., but good luck anyway, and report back...not only about the scolding you get, but what your TMs are when you get those results back. I'm not that good about keeping to strict appt. schedules, so I won't throw any stones over that, but I hope you can get caught up with all the monitoring before too much more time goes by.

    OMG, Eph! I think you should at least finish MadMen before taking on 1053 pages of this thread. If I had all the time in the world, I would compile a "greatest hits" of all the fabulous posts on here. For posterity, to prove there are those that LAUGHED as well as cried their way through BC!

    Ish, ish, ish, a barrel of fish. Many of our charter members are in the "Ish" age category now, or pretty close to it. I can think of a few ladies that I would love to have post here past age 60, but guess what? They can't; because there is still no cure and they did not make it to age 60 even. So, if I say I am glad that we do have some "ish" members on board, I really mean it!

    Bottom line: If this thread helped you get through your BC, then you will always be welcome here.

  • eph3_12
    eph3_12 Member Posts: 2,704
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    Will be starting season 5 of MM this weekend, then need to get my hands on 6 and 7!


  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336
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    I am back for moral.support.

  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336
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    I am back for moral support.

    Official Bilateral DX on my 47th Bday successful BMX w no recon three mos ago. Survived 4DD AC and about to go 4DD Taxol radiations to follow. Spending my time stretching, MLD, self taught yoga of sorts which consists of PT routine.

    1. I am quite concerned about DD Taxol. - I have mild arthritis which became more pronounced. After #4, my long ones started making noises non stop. No mobility issues or anything taking a lot of calcium per oncos orders added osteo bio flex very recently. Considering I survived AC - loss of hair and slight to moderate nail discoloration only I may be OK this could be in my head. Been walking every day except two neulasta days of course.


    2. I know I am extremely fortunate to have supportive husband and employer. What do you do reduce the general anxiety? I am on low dose Ativan it works quite good but I still get bad day like today.


    Thanks for your encouragement

    Mimi

  • eph3_12
    eph3_12 Member Posts: 2,704
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    Rebamacfan123: sorry you are having anxiety issues, but hey, life extends lemons, we make lemonade. I have recently become a convert on the essential oils issue and sniffing the lemon and/or wild orange in a diffuser lifts my spirits quite a bit. I don't know the science behind it, but that citrus rush helps me feel better. I am not an anxious person by nature, so when my job gets me going (I am a dispatcher for Oregon State Police) I pull out my bottles and just sniff for a bit! I hope that you can find some peace in your days; sounds like you are doing the right thing with the walking especially. I walk everyday; walked everyday thru chemo too (except day 4 after each round. That day was my kryptonite)

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
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    Mimi, I had similar treatment and my main problem on Taxotere was inflammation, which manifested as body aches similar to what you get with the flu. At first I didn't tell my docs, which was stupid. Once I told them, they gave me anti-inflammatories, which helped a great deal and they extended the steroids slightly. It did take about 3 months to go away completely, but it did pass eventually.

  • Dianarose
    Dianarose Member Posts: 1,951
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    imageEph- my Kryptonite lo

  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,885
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    Rebamacfan123, If you stop and look at all you have been thru' so far, you will know that you DO have the right stuff to face the upcoming Taxol and radiation. I'm not going to tell you either are pleasant, but reading and joining in on the threads for those two things will give you some great tips to manage the SEs that come up. Don't know Taxol myself, but did have radiation. The majority of women doing radiation, and I mean 2/3 do not have a severe reaction. I was lucky enough to fall into the majority on that, so came out with what amounted to a bad sunburn to sensitive area, and I was able to "nap off" the fatigue each day. The tip I would like to give is to make sure you are eating well and consuming enough protein to build your body back up from the breakdown that chemo and rads puts you through.

    As far as the anxiety, it can come in waves and is pretty NORMAL. Sounds like with Ativan and some good support people around you that you are doing a good job managing so far. Plus, be able to vent on BCO really does wonders. You will feel better once you are through active treatment, when you know you have withstood everything they threw at you. But does the anxiety switch flip off then? Even tho' the anxiety lessens, I am sorry to say that it will be with you for a while as you go to those nail-biting follow up scans, etc. Just trust me that there will, one day, come a point where BC will longer be the topmost thought in your mind. It won't always be at the oppressive levels that it is at right now. Hang in there.

  • duchessoftea
    duchessoftea Member Posts: 6
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    Hello,

    I was diagnosed a week before my 43rd birthday last October (2016). I had to go through chemo first because the cancer had spread to my lymph and a tumor was found there as well as the left breast. I finished that and had double mastectomies at the end of Feb ( 2017). I have been "highly encouraged" by my MO to take Tamoxifen.....I just don't know if I can do it after reading all of the difficult stories of women here who have taken it and either the quality of life was horrible or the cancer spread anyway...Since I am only 43 and would come off at 48, I would be producing hormones again anyway...so what is the reason for enduring this only to come off and still have hormones? Is it just to prolong life? I would love anyone's thoughts....Thank you so much!

  • Lita57
    Lita57 Member Posts: 2,338
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    Sorry I can't help you, duchess...I was dx'd with Stage 4 metastatic right from the get go. My cancer wasn't even picked up on annual mammograms because it's occult amorphic (hidden, without shape).

    Hopefully someone else can chime in.


  • Tpralph
    Tpralph Member Posts: 281
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    dychess what about option for total hysterectomy?

  • nativemainer
    nativemainer Member Posts: 7,866
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    Duchessoftea--I'm guessing the bc was ER+/PR+ if tamoxifen is being recommended.The estrogen blocking drugs are as effective, if not more effective than chemotherapy by themselves, and go throughout the system.Over the 5 years of hormonal therapy it is thought that the cancer cells actually die off. Yes, hormonal therapy (Tamoxifen and the AI's) can be difficult, and not every woman can get all the way through. BUT, hormonal therapy is less toxic than chemotherapy, and much less dangerous. If you could get through chemo I'm sure you could get through hormonal therapy. It is also possible to start hormone therapy and stop it if you really can't manage the side effects.

  • eph3_12
    eph3_12 Member Posts: 2,704
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    Happy Memorial Day weekend! Hope you all are able to enjoy! I get to work overtime!!!!!! This is how we should all be on holidays...the dad's comment cracked me up!

    image

  • Tpralph
    Tpralph Member Posts: 281
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    eph. Carb intoxication. Haha. Nice pic

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,189
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    Eph - thanks for bringing back the long time Cheetos mania. I'm sure Eli will love it.

  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,885
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    Uh-oh, BCO must be "upgrading" again. The icon pics at top are ginormous. The font I am writing this post in looks funny, at least in the edit box. The editing toolbar is missing. Well, I hope this quirk gets fixed pronto.
    --------------------

    duchessoftea, welcome! O.K. let's sort through it all. So, you know the chemo first was to immediately attack any cancer cells that may have gone beyond the lymph node, and they wanted to get to that quick because Grade 3 signifies aggressiveness and usually more rapid growth. Chances are pretty good that the chemo killed off those rapidly dividing cells. But the thing is that usually ER+/PR+ cells are slower to divide, and they don't want to take chances that something slow and sinister could be happening in you, so you need something for the long haul, and that is where Tamoxifen comes in.
    First, let me mention that Tamoxifen is being recommended for extended use up to 10 years now, or a combination of Tamox. to start with, and switch to an AI, if natural menopause occurs along that timeline. While there are drugs for ovarian suppression and oophorectomy (ovaries out) that is usually done so that a pre-menopausal woman can use an AI. But if the plan is for Tamox. and you can tolerate that, then no need for those procedures. I am not sure why Tpraplh mentioned hysterectomy, but do you know that even with all the ladyparts removed your body still finds a way to make some estrogen? Yeah, some of the fat cells on our bodies betray us by whipping up the stuff. Therefore, you probably should be on something that blocks estrogen wherever it is coming from. But only if you so choose. We all have the power to say no to whatever treatments we don't want. Tamox. is the standard of care, and most of us here just didn't want to buck tradition. I'm saying we were too scared NOT to do the anti-hormonal therapy. It is true that some have side effects that really do affect the QOL, but I think in the silent majority the side effects are merely annoying yet tolerable. Remember, you can give Tamox. a try and see how YOU feel taking it before making up your mind to how long you will stay on it
    I hope I have shed some light on the WHY do Tamox. question. You wrote "is it just to prolong life?" That alone seems to be a great reason for anyone not quite ready to check out yet, BUT who wants a recurrence even if it is not life-threatening?
    I will also recommend to you that you ask your doctor for something called Adjuvant Online (or maybe there is a newer program by now?) It is a risk assessment tool and can tell you percentage of risk you face for the cancer returning with and without various therapies. So, you could see what level of benefit you would get from taking Tamoxifen.
    Let us know, and Good Luck!

    Eph, thanks for the holiday smile!!!!!!!
  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,885
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    I guess I will have to "pardon the BCO progress." It made one huge paragraph out of the several neat ones I typed. :-(

    (And the toolbar emojis are missing so I can't even insert a proper frowny face!!!!)

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
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    I confess that I am mildly shocked that someone would give a small child cheetos.

  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,885
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    Mo, If you are only MILDly shocked, then we will just have to try harder.

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
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    :D I actually fired a sitter because she gave my kid cheetos

  • eph3_12
    eph3_12 Member Posts: 2,704
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    Momine....OKAY, THAT is hilarious! But I get protecting the kiddos from chemicals! But Cheetos?!?!?!? They're just orange air (unless you do crunchy, which is the best one, then it's orange smog air!)

  • Lita57
    Lita57 Member Posts: 2,338
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    Duchess, Eli made some excellent points.

    No one can force you to take a pill you don't want to take. You are well within your rights to conduct your own due diligence before signing up for Tamoxifen. I've known women who had minimal problems to no problems at all on it. Nevertheless, the se's from these pills are real and debilitating for some...but so is the reality that cancer CAN and DOES return for thousands of women, and it can take away our lives or pave the way for some other opportunistic ailment to take us out.

    There are women out there who have chosen NOT to take the traditional western standard of care approach, and rely only on diet and herbal supplements. That's their choice. We live in a free country, and it's not for me or anyone else to pass judgment. I can certainly see their point: They question the traditional "slash, poison, burn" approach.

    I was dx'd with Stage 4 from the get go, so I have no other choice but to follow the western approach. "Poisoning and burning" with chemo pills and radiation has kept me alive with a fairly decent QOL. My MO was very honest with me. She said, "No matter what we do, Stage 4 will eventually kill you [unless I die in a car crash first]. You have to tell us how much you think you can deal with treatment-wise, and when you tell us that you've had enough and it's finally time to stop fighting, we will respect that and assign you to hospice."

    Your situation is completely different from mine, and the decision has to be yours. It needs to be something you can confidently accept, work with, and be comfortable with.

    Take your time, weigh your options, and take it one day at a time. You have options.

    I wish you health, joy and peace,

    Lita


  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,189
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    The thing about the Cheetos - if you give them to you kids & get them started, there's less for you!!! I vote for hiding them on top of the fridge.

  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,885
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    Oh great sage, Minus Two, truer words were never spoken.

    ----------------

    Can anyone else still insert pictures? I can't because my whole toolbar has vanished.

  • Lita57
    Lita57 Member Posts: 2,338
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    Eli, have you tried both lap top and smart phone/tablet? Something like that happened to me a while back, but I was able to do it from my lap top.

    If all else fails, I'd contact the mods.


  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
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    Eph3, my kid didn't have chips, soda etc. I was brought up the same way, so it seemed normal to me. Now, it was not only the cheetos that led to the firing, but it was definitely a part.

  • elimar
    elimar Member Posts: 5,885
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    First things first, since the tooldbar is back now. (Yes, PMed the Mods, but I don't know if they took any action to restore the toolbar or if it was just a weird coincidence.) I have just been chomping away, waiting to post this pictorial reply for days now, so here it is...

    image No one is born evil...must be those Cheetos. That MY story anyway.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now about that other substance I regularly consume, TEA, ...and this one falls into the "Supposed To Be Good For You? Dept."

    Study Finds Epigenetic Changes in Women Consuming Tea

    Upshot is that no one knows quite what all this means yet, but whatever it is, it has had decades to have been working on me. The jury is out on a lot of stuff, this is just another one, but should findings ever come back that tea is a proven risk reducer for BC and CRC, well, I will just have to sit back and have a good laugh at the irony of that.

    Meanwhile, continuing to drink tea until further notice.

  • Lita57
    Lita57 Member Posts: 2,338
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    WTF! Now TEA????

    What about all the Asian women in China and Japan? Not to mention India, where they drink Darjeeling? They supposedly have lower rates of cancer (I know, I know, they also eat lots of REAL soy, not powder), but they drink tea every day! (So do Afgan women and other Middle Eastern women.)

    As for me, I switch it up. Some days it's green, some days it's black, some days rooibos or honeybush (technically, not tea, but "tisane"), some days herbal passion flower, etc. And I'm NOT going to stop. Coffee upsets my stomach, and I've had to give up wine while on continual, Stage 4 treatment; and we've ALL been told NOT to drink sodas, or at least limit them. So what's left? Water? BORING! Juices? TOO MUCH SUGAR. So tea is my "go to" beverage. Either iced or hot...that's pretty much all I drink WITHOUT any sugar, and maybe a little squeeze of lemon or a sprig of mint.

    Can't get any healthier than that.

    I also think about this stuff recently in the news saying "Even one alcoholic drink per day raises the risk for BC in women." I call BS on that one, too. Look at how many women are getting BC in their 20s and 30s....they haven't been ALIVE LONG ENOUGH to consume that much alcohol, unless they're binge drinkers. And I know a lot of women who NEVER drank and STILL have BC! Are all the French women, Italian women and Spanish women in Europe dropping like flies from BC considering all the wine they drink in those countries? NO, they're not.

    Sorry this turned into a rant, but oh well. What else is new?


  • Dianarose
    Dianarose Member Posts: 1,951
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    I don't like tea and barely consumed any alcohol in my 56 years. Was first diagnosed at 43. If they were to say stress caused cancer that would be more believable

  • ndgrrl
    ndgrrl Member Posts: 645
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    Hi, They are now saying they believe stress contributes to cancer. or my new MO has stated it. She told me I needed to reduce stress for prevention. To Meditate, to listen to music and relax. She is more into natural healing. I was rather shocked.