Congratulations KatyKaty, what a significant milestone, particularly given when you have endured. Keep enjoying life and your family. You are inspirational
I was discharged from the hospital post mastectomy on Thanksgiving Day 1995. Some years I forget about that day (it’s not dementia). I’m still working at age 72 and continue with my unhealthy lifestyle of eating what tastes good to me, avoiding exercise, and holding on to my “negative” attitude. My hope for all of you this year is that you will reach a point when you have long periods when you “forget” about breast cancer. I am grateful for the many disease free years that have enabled me to live my life authentically.
thank you for posting this! What a good reminder to just live! I hope to post many years out from diagnosis.
I reached my five year cancerversary two days before Christmas. So I've come back to give hope for those recently diagnosed. My tumour was very large, having been missed by a mammogram I'd had 6months before diagnosis. So by the time I was diagnosed I was stage 3. I was petrified. I was nervous about whether I'd get to five years. My kids were 5 and 11 at the time and my world changed dramatically. Thanks to my loving husband and beautiful supportive friends and family I soldiered on and am living a healthier life now. I do still think about breast cancer and the fear does still come and go. I figure I'm still high risk of late recurrence, but try and live everyday with enthusiasm and joy. My kids help me achieve this. I'm so grateful to get this far. So to all those just starting out, hang in there, it does get easier and you will get past the treatment and see good days again. This community has been wonderful and I'm very grateful to have found it. I hope to post on the ten year board in 2026.
Thank you for posting this encouragement. It is hard not to think of what will be but this gives inspiration to what is right now...wishing u all the best
Hi All - I was diagnosed with BC that had spread to my lymph nodes in 2014 when I was 45 years old. I went through chemo, radiation, lumpectomy, oophorectomy, and five years of aromatase inhibitors. Life will never be the same, but it sure is good to be alive and thriving. I remember how scary those first few years were. Every slight ache or pain made me think the cancer had spread. With each passing year, those fears have dimmed.
I remember what an encouragement this thread was to me so many years ago. Here's to 7+ years of survival and praying for many more.
congrats on 5 years newnorm - bet you didn’t think when you joined back in 2017 that newnorm would mean something different in 2020/21! I think those of us who have been through cancer have found the covid newnorm pretty much typical for the way we navigated treatment - keep your distance, wash your hands, avoid crowds!
Enjoy your beautiful family and friends. You deserve it.
So true Katykaty. Thank you. Stay safe. X
Well five years ago today I was finally diagnosed with Stage 3C breast cancer after a couple of negative mammograms. In Australia it's not routine to be offered an ultrasound with your mammogram. If it was the case I would have been diagnosed a lot sooner. I'm also BRCA2 positive and when I asked my doctor to test me, years ago she promptly told me that it doesn't come from your dad's side. How wrong was she.
Anyway I've somehow made it to five years. Five years ago I couldn't even imagine this day. I suffered terrible anxiety for a very long time and turned to others here for encouragement. Thank you to Linda, Julie, Jacqueline, Karen and Steph. All long time stage 3 survivors. I love you all.
To all of you starting this journey, keep putting one foot in front of the other and before you know it you will be posting here too.
AusyKaren - Your doctor said you couldn't get cancer from your dad's side? Where did that idea ever come from? My paternal grandmother had breast cancer (don't know the details) and she got it in her mid 60's like I did. Her niece died from breast cancer (refused treatment) and the niece's sister (another niece of my grandmother of course) also had a biopsy with a resulting fibroadenoma, just as I did years before the cancer. The only breast cancer I know of in my family is on my father's side. Also, my father had prostate cancer which I understand can often be related to breast cancer in women.
Well, I'm only 3 years out from an original stage3B diagnosis. It changed after neoadjuvent chemo to something like I or 2 A or B. I can't understand all the diagnosis stuff or which one matters more - the clinical or prognostic stage, but anyway I'm happy to have made it this far and am really hoping to be on this 5 year list at some point.
A hearty congratulations to you, AusyKaren for making it this far!!!!
AusyKaren - Your doctor was most ill-informed. She would know from med school that genes can be acquired from either parent. I'm NED for breast and prostate cancer. My mum died aged 40 of breast cancer. I've been told to ensure my 40-someting kids, a man and a woman, get scans annually.
I too am BRACA positive and I was diagnosed at age 51. Both my grandma and my mom had breast CA. I’m not sure how old my grandma was at diagnosis (maybe in her sixties) and my mom was 79 at diagnosis. Years before I was diagnosed I asked my OB:GYN if I should have genetic testing and he said no that my mom and grandma probably had “old lady” breast cancer… I wish I would have pushed for that… I could have had prophylactic mastectomies….,instead I’m dealing with cancer Shit show…
I have zero cancer in my family that would be inherited (my dad had mesothelioma) . First woman in my family with breast cancer. Yay. Me.
7 years later I'm doing fine, continuing on the Arimidex until year 10. Looking also into transitioning to a more plant based diet then I've been doing. You have to do all you can to keep the C away.
Have you had genetic testing? Definitely a lot going on in your family.
I need to get on to my kids too re: genetic testing. Whilst they are younger than your kids, my eldest is nearing 30 and who knows how long I had breast cancer before I was eventually diagnosed just before my 50th birthday.
I hear you. We do put too much trust into our doctors at times but with good reason. I definitely would have taken preventative measures if I was tested when I asked to be too.
Congratulations on 7 years.
A plant based diet is a good idea. I mainly eat plants now. Occasionally some fish and chicken, very rarely red meat.
AusyKaren - I've wondered about getting the genetic testing, but have yet to bite the bullet. I don't know about insurance coverage for it, and I absolutely hate blood draw, needle sticks, etc. Sometimes I wonder if it really matters as the treatment would be the same regardless. The only reason I consider doing it is that I have two daughters ages 38 and 40. I've heard the testing is super expensive, but I would do it for my kids.
ThreeTree, Medicare covers BRCA testing for people who have a personal history of breast cancer. There are other criteria to support medical necessity besides that (as with all Medicare policy, it’s complex). Many other insurance plans cover testing. I got tested many years ago for the sake of my son and granddaughter. I had a commercial insurance plan that covered 90% of the cost and as I remember my copay came to $300. So it was quite expensive. The costs have dropped more recently because there are more companies who offer the test. I suggest that you and your daughters check with your insurance plan to see if the testing is a covered benefit. It was worth it to me to find out that I did not have the gene
I just finished reading Radical: The Science, Culture, and History of Breast Cancer in America by Kate Pickett. So much has changed since I was diagnosed and I haven’t kept up. I learned quite a bit from the book and feel like I’m more current on changes.
Lottanodes - Thanks very much for the info on testing and insurance! I just have Medicare and a supplement these days. Lost my work insurance last November. While my paternal grandmother had breast cancer, as did her niece, myself, and my sister, no other women even in that group of the family had this problem, and there were many other women. My grandmother had several sisters and they all died from strokes in their early 80's. Their mother (my great grandmother) died from something like a stroke brought on by colon cancer at about age 90. Back beyond her too, there is really no known breast cancer. It's hard to know if it's really a family genetic thing or just chance, diet, lifestyle, etc. So far I haven't heard about anyone in my family being BRCA2, but there are many other genetic possibilities too.
Also, interesting book suggestion. I might have a look.
sisters and brother.
Your stories are truly inspirations. Waiting for pathology from second mastectomy at about 5 yr mark. Surgeon said he did not see anything bad. Ty ty.
Hello my fellow warriors I remember when I was first diagnosed always searching and reading the wonderful stories of past warriors and saying I can hardly wait till I can post there on my 5 year anniversary. I can now say its been over 5 years that I was diagnosed and am living my life with love and gratitude and most of all enjoying life. To those that recently diagnosed I pray for strength to get you through your dark moments but know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and will kick butt. Stay positive even though it may be hard it will get better and soon you will be posting on this thread too
The small scare form of simple mastectomy on radiated side was not suckers.. it was atypical vascular proliferation due to radiation which usually come into light 5yrs. yes yes I made 5 yrs. If I need to make 5month increment to make next 5yrs, I will do it
7 years now! Whoop!
So happy for you! Thank you for sharing your good news!
I'm nine years out this month. Had a local recurrence in Jan of 2020 but a lumpectomy took care of that and was put on Faslodex. I had a clean PET scan in Feb so I'm just charging straight ahead.
It's wild that I'm here to post this, remembering when I first joined in 2016, scared of what my diagnosis meant. I am now over six years out from my diagnosis and surgery and I completed hormone therapy earlier this year. My annual screening showed no evidence of disease. One of my dearest breasties died a year ago this month and so it all still feels heavy and complicated, but I'm mothering my 10-year-old, who was 4 at the time, and I am deeply, deeply grateful.
Congratulations to all that recently posted. I hope to join you in a few years.
Six years out now.
Congratulations to all on here! I so wanted to make it here too, but 2 weeks ago at 4.5 years out, I've learned that I now have mets to my ribs and spine. I assumed this thread was for those who survived 5 years with no progression, so don't think I belong, but if I happen to make it to late next summer, would I still count as a Stage 3, 5 year survivor?
Congrats, everyone!! I've only got two years done, but I'm grateful and looking forward to more. Stupid cancer.
ThreeTree--I suppose if we survive 5 years then we are a 5 year survivor! I'm so sorry to hear about your progression, but now you're going to have to be a long-term Stage 4 survivor. My best wishes to you, and lots of hugs.
Well, thought I would check in. It's the 5 year anniversary of my diagnosis. I'm alive. Since leaving here in 2021 I've gone into further (complete) isolation, struggling to take care of the basics with untreated PTSD. I quit working, applied for disability and of course was denied. I'm still hopeful every morning that things will turn around, but that usually fades by 8 am. I've had a headache for a few weeks and have an MRI scheduled for Friday. I hope it's nothing like my previous scares, but we'll see.
It has been so nice to see some familiar names on the message boards this morning.