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Stage III Cancer Survivors ...Five + Years and Out.

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  • lexica
    lexica Member Posts: 138
    edited September 2020
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    Awesome sbelizabeth! And thank you!

  • serpentis
    serpentis Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2020
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    Another 5 years survivor here. I wish I was brave enough to visit and post on this forum more often, but at least I kept the promise to post every 5 years and do my bit in encouraging others that are at the beginning of this journey and looking for hope. Special thanks to yatcomw, sugarplum and all the other lovely ladies who helped me survive the darkest moments. Lots of love and ‘see’ you in 5 years time ;)

  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336
    edited September 2020
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    Just had 3yr post all treatment ckup.

    Considering my initial DX, bilateral I came a long way to be able to discontinue anti depressant. For the first time I did not have to take extra anti anxiety med before the check up. It will be a while to dare to get away from Ativan. But for now I am very proud that I am likely to get off of Celexa completely in the near future.

    Life is good for me I cannot help pinching myself.

  • faith71
    faith71 Member Posts: 3
    edited September 2020
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    On this day 5 years ago i had my mastectomy with 20 positive nodes.. and i'm happy to announce that I am officially 5 years and out today :) Wishing everyone here a wonderful weekend, stay safe stay healthy!

  • faith71
    faith71 Member Posts: 3
    edited September 2020
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    On this day 5 years ago i had my mastectomy with 20 positive nodes.. and i'm happy to announce that i'm officially 5 years and out today :) Wishing everyone here a wonderful weekend, stay safe stay healthy!

  • kmom57
    kmom57 Member Posts: 178
    edited September 2020
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    faith71,thank you so much for returning to post. I so needed to hear that today. I actually spontaneously took a deep breath when I read your post. Thank you for the encouragement. And congrats.

  • lauren32
    lauren32 Member Posts: 9
    edited September 2020
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    Hi there to all the brave ladies,

    Years ago I came here a lot to try to believe that I would make it out the other side and enjoy life again and I'm happy to report I'm doing just that! 😊 I'll always be thankful for the stories of hope that others shared that made me feel that could be a possibility.

    Six years ago I was diagnosed at age 32 with an aggressive 1cm tumour that had spread to 6 of my lymph nodes. Later I discovered I have the Brca2 gene. I had a single mastectomy, chemo, radiation, then another prophylactic mastectomy and a complete hysterectomy. I'm now considering possible reconstruction. I've been on Aromasin since I started radiation and was originally on Zoladex injections . I've also had Zometa infusions twice a year as I have osteoporosis. I was so depressed that year of treatment and so fearful for my two small children and husband. I started on an anti depressant and sleeping tablets and I finally managed to get off the sleeping tablets a year ago. I still take the low dose anti depressant.

    I struggled to see six days ahead at that time and now suddenly it is six years later. I've packed in a whole lot of living since then and our family has had the most wonderful adventure for the last four years after we took a leap of faith and moved to West Africa for my husband's work. I still get anxious and find it difficult when it comes to check ups and scans and if I feel strange pain, and when I hear of friends who are struggling but for the most part I don't think about cancer much - I'm too focused on Choosing Joy and Living. Time certainly helps so if you are in the thick of things just allow yourself to feel it all, I honestly think I cried every single day for a solid year often more than once a day!

    I've had an incredible oncologist at my side who truly cares and that has also helped hugely. Frustratingly I find it very hard to lose weight on Aromasin and have also developed metabolic syndrome with insulin resistance during this time so I'm on glucophage/metformin. I have put on 10kg since finishing treatment and despite being active, trying to eat healthy and exercising I can't seem to lose the weight. But I walk a lot and do strength training as I know that is really good to try to prevent recurrence and it keeps me sane mentally ! I drink two cups of green tea a day and I became a pescatarian and I don't miss meat. I do eat some dairy but try to limit it. I take a low dose aspirin everyday. I also juiced vegetables for a few years but don't do that anymore. I don't think there's a recipe to this as I look at friends who have had the same treatment and who have tried so hard to stay healthy and it breaks my heart to see some who are still fighting and struggling, but I try to do what is in my power to support my body. I hope that my story offers hope to the newly diagnosed and pray for continued health for all of us. Lauren

  • sbelizabeth
    sbelizabeth Member Posts: 956
    edited October 2020
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    Lauren, I took an SSRI antidepressant, paroxetine (Paxil), from 2011 until January 2020. I originally started it because I was overwhelmed with treatment and stayed on it to control the hot flashes from the letrozole. I made up my mind last December to wean myself off. I did it very gradually, cutting pills in half and in quarters. As soon as it was out of my system, I dropped 10 lbs almost overnight. Now I'm walking an hour a day and limiting calorie intake to an eight-hour window, usually noon to 8.

    I've lost 25 lbs since January. I believe the paroxetine was preventing me from losing any weight, no matter how hard I tried. The letrozole probably makes losing weight difficult too, but I'm not willing to risk coming off it.

  • kamboka
    kamboka Member Posts: 1,060
    edited October 2020
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    Lauren: I've lived in West Africa and was actually diagnosed there in 2019. I've not traveled back yet d/t COVID. Take care of yourself and enjoy your adventure!

  • 7of9
    7of9 Member Posts: 474
    edited October 2020
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    fairh...20 positive nodes...you doubled me up! I am 4 1/2 yrs out from recurrence in 10 nodes. God bless you and keep rolling baby!

  • wifeandmomof1
    wifeandmomof1 Member Posts: 2
    edited December 2020
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    After getting my latest "all good" bone density results I thought I'd visit and post today. I am officially 6 yrs from diagnosis and 5 yrs from end of treatment. My then 6 year old is now 12! I have a lump in my throat just thinking about everything we all go through with this diagnosis, physically and mentally. To all the ladies in the middle of their storm, hold onto hope because hope can and does blossom into survivorship. Xo.

  • Leidy
    Leidy Member Posts: 5
    edited December 2020
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    Diagnosed on my birthday in 2015. Still here. Woot!

  • nancyd
    nancyd Member Posts: 557
    edited December 2020
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    Congratulations wifeandmomof1 and Leidy!

  • Lottanodes
    Lottanodes Member Posts: 19
    edited December 2020
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    I forgot to check in this year! I'm still going after 25 years and just as ornery as ever. Keep your hopes up and you will eventually believe that you are done with BC (or that it's done with you).

  • francesca30
    francesca30 Member Posts: 63
    edited December 2020
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    congratulations wifeandmom,Leidy, and lottanodes! such inspiring ladies ❤️

  • kmom57
    kmom57 Member Posts: 178
    edited December 2020
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    Lotta nodes, wife and mom, and leído....you’ve no idea how much I needed to read that today. Thank you for coming back and posting. Happy for you all.

  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336
    edited December 2020
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    Lottanodes,

    Thank you.

    Happy holidays to all my extended diarrhea sisters. (I call breast cancer extended diarrhea)





  • raleighgirl
    raleighgirl Member Posts: 56
    edited December 2020
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    Today marks 6 years for me! A stage three diagnosis, ten tumors with a 10cm span. Was 37 years old with a 19 month old and seven month old. Had a complete response to chemo and to top it off, had another baby naturally two years ago! Life is good

  • nancyd
    nancyd Member Posts: 557
    edited December 2020
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    Well done, Raleighgirl

  • amanda6
    amanda6 Member Posts: 50
    edited December 2020
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    aww, so wonderful to read this Christmas morning...keep on keeping on to all of us :)!

  • ab45
    ab45 Member Posts: 153
    edited January 2021
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    Hi All

    I am a newly diagnosed breast cancer 45 year old women. I went into my lumpectomy surgery as stage 1 and after surgical pathology landed on stage 3. None of my scans showed positive lymph nodes but I had 7 out of 7 to include both sentinel nodes. I have a tumor less than 2 cm but lymph nodes brought me to a stage 3. I am hormone positive and her 2- it has all be so scary especially thinking about mortality. First thoughts are death sentence because of high lymph nodes, has anyone experienced such high number of nodes?

    Thanks

  • notmargaret
    notmargaret Member Posts: 28
    edited January 2021
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    AB45,

    This group definitely understands what you’re going through. I went into surgery a Stage 2 and came out a 3. I was devastated. I ended up with 8 positive nodes and a 9 cm tumor. My diagnosis was a little over 4 years ago and I remain NED. Hang in there. The early days are really difficult. Reading hopeful anecdotes really helped me. I hope they do the same for you. I also found strength in focusing on things within my control, like exercise, diet, meditation, a support group, etc.

    Notmargar

  • juju-mar
    juju-mar Member Posts: 200
    edited January 2021
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    thank you all for posting your success stories. I am half way through chemo 8 done, 8 more to go, the mastectomy, then radiation, then Tamoxifen an having a low day..These successful stories have made my day! Thank you! I hope to join the 5 yr club, then the 10 yr club etc 😊

    Julie

  • juju-mar
    juju-mar Member Posts: 200
    edited January 2021
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    I should also add I went into lumpectomy with Stage 2, grade 2, no lymph nodes, but came out of surgery stage 3A, grade 3, 2 + lymph nodes! How everything changed in the 5 weeks from diagnosis to lumpectomy

  • sbelizabeth
    sbelizabeth Member Posts: 956
    edited January 2021
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    Jujumartin, I went into my lumpectomy expecting Stage 1, no nodes. Turned out to be Stage 3B, many nodes involved...big guns chemo, mastectomy, radiation, reconstruction... That was almost 10 years ago and I'm healthy and thriving. There is hope, with better days ahead. SB

  • juju-mar
    juju-mar Member Posts: 200
    edited January 2021
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    Sbelizabeth, thank you so much for your story! It gives me hope. Glad you are in the 10 year club 😊

    Julie

  • amanda6
    amanda6 Member Posts: 50
    edited January 2021
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    love reading everyone's story...11 years out next month. Also got bumped from a stage 2 to a 3a after a lumpectomy. 4 years ago I was diagnosed with radiation induced heart disease & had open heart surgery to repair my mitral valve & a maze procedure to eliminate heart arrhythmias. I'm fine now, but I do think there needs to be more awareness of the possibilities of heart problems as the result of cancer therapy... from both chemo & radiation. My best to all :)!

  • karen1956
    karen1956 Member Posts: 4,551
    edited February 2021
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    Yesterday (02/03/2021) I joined the 15 year club. Life is good!!!

  • juju-mar
    juju-mar Member Posts: 200
    edited February 2021
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    yea! Congratulations and thank you for sharing. I am similar diagnosis and it's so good to know women are living long healthy lives!

    Julie

  • mpv459
    mpv459 Member Posts: 83
    edited February 2021
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    HI.. I had a 8cm tumor and 14/31 nodes with all kinds of other bad stuff. I did surgery, ACT and 30 Rads. Now on hormone blocker and I am almost 2 years out. I know thats not very long, but so far, so good.