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

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  • BethCon1
    BethCon1 Member Posts: 77
    edited June 2013
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    Thank you for this thread. It's been a dark couple of weeks and I really needed to read these stories!

  • kar123
    kar123 Member Posts: 72
    edited June 2013
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    Thanks JudyO for posting!  Congrats!  Another ILC sister here looking for good stories.  It will be 3yrs since diagnosis for me on June 14th and 3yr surgery anniversary will be Nov 27th.  I never know which one to use Wink

  • Jasplisa
    Jasplisa Member Posts: 3
    edited June 2013
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    What do you mean? Chemo brings on strokes? I am wondering if I one my vision is off. MRI tomorrow.

    Lisa

  • jpsgirl96
    jpsgirl96 Member Posts: 25
    edited July 2013
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    Just checking in after annual mammogram and MRI - 7 years out since the end of chemo and the start of radiation.  All clear - the Center says, see ya next year.  Hooray.

  • sherry67
    sherry67 Member Posts: 370
    edited July 2013
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    Jpsgirl96,

    Congrats to you on being 7 years out...

  • hopefour
    hopefour Member Posts: 104
    edited July 2013
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    Thank you for coming back and sharing...congrats on seven years!!

  • karen1956
    karen1956 Member Posts: 4,555
    edited July 2013
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    jpsgirl....nice seeing a post from you....its hard to believe that is been 7 years...

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 126
    edited July 2013
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    Newly diagnosed  with a regional spread.  Last year I was diagnosed at stage 0 then after lumpectomy path stage 1 then after snb stage 2a. Completed treatment, all of it, then hair grew and I was just about to start styling it when new lump in the other axilla resulted in many tests and result was nodes on both sides including on original side supra-clavicualr nodes.  This means like IIIc.  AC+T starts next week and then radiation again and surgery again.  I am so grateful for your posts that help me to see the light ahead of me and have hope.  Thank you! Has anyone else had supra-clavicular nodes?  Feel lonely.

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited July 2013
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    V, I am so sorry. I was never DXed with supra-clavicular nodes, but when I started rads, the onc traced my clavicle thoughtfully and announced that he wanted it to get a good zapping. I think they all pretty much suspected that those nodes were affected, although they couldn't see any of them on the scans. They were not able to see any of the affected axillary nodes either, but found them at surgery.

  • ali68
    ali68 Member Posts: 644
    edited July 2013
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    V, so sorry you are going through this again xx

    I had that but only just above the collar bone so yes but not on my neck. Rads is not nice but they give you liquid morphine to take for the discomfort. It makes you feel very tired and you will need to rest most of the time.

    I'm cancer free and living well and I know it's not fair for you but YOU can do this.



    Alison xx

  • Cpacino
    Cpacino Member Posts: 7
    edited July 2013
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    I love this thread! Thank you ladies for continuing to post your stories of survival! When ever I'm feeling overwhelmed I come here:)

  • hmh23
    hmh23 Member Posts: 50
    edited July 2013
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    Thx for sharing........seems I just needed it right now.

  • hmh23
    hmh23 Member Posts: 50
    edited July 2013
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    Last night I noticed a 'pea size' lump just over my 'new' left breast.  NERVOUS!!!!  Sent email to my onc's PA and anxious to hear what they want me to do.  

    Any and all advice welcome....

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 126
    edited July 2013
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    Hi Alison, Thank you!  The ones they found on me are just above my collar bone/clavicle also.  I am so glad to hear that this could still be a 3a. (No one has given me a stage but me thsi time.)  Even if its just a chance.  Whoppeeeeee!

    V

  • DebbD72
    DebbD72 Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2013
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    Thank you for these posts! Usually I am very positive but I have had a couple of days of feeling low and feeling/hoping I will make it to my youngest daughters graduation. (My oldest daughter graduates next year)

    I was diagnosed last September with BC. At that time they were saying Stage 2 B metas tic. I had 1 tumor in left breast that was 1 1/2 cm and another that was 4+ cm with 2 positive nodes (per PET scan and MRI). Oncologist said chemo first and I had 4 A and 4 Taxol. A month later I chose to have bi lateral mastectomy. I had to have the left breast removed and since I was very large (double d) decided just to remove both. When I had made the decision I thought I would be able to do reconstruction right away, but alas, that was not to be. They told me that even though my tumors no longer showed on MRI OR PET scans that because the tumor was large and was in 2 nodes I had to do radiation. So I did the double mastectomy on March 13th (pathology showed only 1 tumor with .2 cm left A MIRACLE in my eyes and 1 lymph node of 8) and then April 10th started the 28 days of radiation. Now I am waiting to be able to do reconstruction (hopefully in December) and now they are saying remove the ovaries. I have felt very positive through out and friends have been amazed at my positive attitude (I worked through chemo and radiation. I am a teacher. I only took 4 weeks off when I had my surgery). As of late I have had a hard time with waiting for reconstruction and also just hoping I will be around to see my young daughter (she is 4) graduate from high school.

    Thank you to ALL of you who have posted. You are an inspiration and have helped me tremendously and have given me hope. As I know several people who are 5, 10, 20, 30+ years out and doing fine it always helps to read and keep hearing more and more positive stories.

    Good luck to all on your journeys.

    Debbie

  • Tomboy
    Tomboy Member Posts: 2,700
    edited October 2013
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    i know that this thread is about stories of hope for stage three people, and i am coming up on one year since my surgury, which is kind of when i date my survivorship from, and not when it was discovered by me, because i feel like that was the first concrete step towards eradicating this disease out of my body. so, i was at my treatment center yesterday, and was talking with a woman there who described this as a "rodeo"! Perfect description, cuz even tho i have never personally attended one, i was kind of imagining trying to ride a bull, and what that would feel like! Whoa! one thing i don't feel like i will ever in reality ever do, dont want to ever break or bend anything if i can help it, but i really am grateful that that year is over. Whew, what a ride, and what it did to my so called mental equilibrium,pretty bruised and slammed into the dust, dessicated and waiting for moisture. That horse threw me! and i am not one who did this with alot of grace, either. Docs were prolly wishing i would go ahead and just die, am certain for a fact i asked to many questions (They told me) and was called non compliant, even tho i was dragged kicking and practically biting from one phase of treatment to another. cause even tho i had formally abused my bod in my youth, was so systemically whati would call clean for 15 years that i was so averse to potential harmful changes that might be incurred by treatments, they really had to convince me of the necessity of each thing, and why. even tho i read voraciously in medical journals, i really didnt want to. but i did. and was so scared the night before chemo, i googled "am scared of chemo" and that brought me to breastcancer.org! am so grateful, as it is what gave me just a tad courage to go ahead and go there and begin, So i can really credit all the women whose writings i read here for help with that, and so much more. i dont think there is much likelyhood of me ever really going away from here for long,because it really matters to me that you were all here. really. i am no fraidycat in my living and breathing life, even chased a burglar around the block a scant few years ago, but i am telling you, this diagnosis and since has been one heck of a ride, and the buck dont stop here. i almost consider it my job to tell about it, so it may help another woman thru it, with info i have gleaned here there and everywhere! sfunny, how even @ my treatment center, an instand cameraderie would spring up between us women, and for true, a genuine respect and care for each other the drs could not touch.

  • Tomboy
    Tomboy Member Posts: 2,700
    edited October 2013
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    but another thing i just really dont understand, and ive read a ton, when a woman with the same stats as me recived differant chemos. how do they figure that one out?

  • DebbD72
    DebbD72 Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2013
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    V I was not officially diagnosed with super clav however, on my first PET supposedly there "could be something there". The radiologist who looked at it here did not say anything but when I went to Dana Farber for a second opinion about radiation they said there "could possibly have been something there" because there was a very tiny "blip" on my first PET that was not on the second one. So when it came time for radiation they said even though they weren't 100% positive that it was cancer there in the first place I should still do radiation to that area. I had 24 days to that area. Originally I was supposed to do 25 but my skin was very blistered and broken through that my radiation oncologist told me 24 was enough. I had 28 total to the left breast only as there was never any cancer in the right according to all scans and pathology.

    As far as radiation I HATED IT. Give me chemo any day of the week and twice on Sunday over radiation. However, with that said I do not regret doing it. It did not take that long to heal because on the last day of radiation as soon as I got home I lathered in Vitamin E oil (32,000 IU) and a week later I just looked like I had a tan and was peeling.

    Good luck V with everything. Keep on the forum it really does help you get through. It helped me a lot and still does help a lot.
    Deb

  • jay_horses
    jay_horses Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2013
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    i am IIIc triple negative 7.5 years!!!! whoo hooo!!!! :)))

  • ali68
    ali68 Member Posts: 644
    edited August 2013
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    Jay, that's amazing and thank you. Xx

  • Lily55
    Lily55 Member Posts: 1,748
    edited August 2013
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    YEAAY....great to hear...us ILCérs are a tough bunch

  • denise-g
    denise-g Member Posts: 353
    edited August 2013
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    Jay___Horses - OH CONGRATULATIONS!   I write a BC Blog and here from so many Stage III TNs.  I am going to use you as an example!!   May you continue to bring hope!

  • mamabee
    mamabee Member Posts: 148
    edited August 2013
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    Oh, one of my favorite threads...congrats jay__horses, that's wonderful!

    And a special shout out to jpsgirl96, whose stories of commuting between Florida & DC during her TAC treatment inspired me while I was having TAC chemo - congrats!

  • Ninja6812
    Ninja6812 Member Posts: 13
    edited August 2013
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    Longtime lurker since my diagnosis in June 2012 and first time posting. I just wanted to say thank you to all of you survivors for your words of encouragement. I've been through chemo, surgery, rads, now on Arimidex. I went back to work full time recently and find myself TIRED and in some kind of painall the time. I work/i crash/I cry and try to get my excercise and joy by walking my dog at night as much as I can Somehow I thought once the "hard stuff" was over I'd start feeling normal, but now all I'm thinking, is this as good as it gets? I have this little voice inside that has started reminding me that my cancer was serious And when I can't catch my breath going up a hill, I think it's spread to my lungs. I know, crazy thinking. I never thought of it that way before as I just took everyday one at a time. I was incredibly strong, positive, and grateful each day. The support goes away when you are done with treatment. People ask how you are doing, but they only want to hear that you are doing well. You are left alone..



    Hearing that so many have gotten through this and don't even think about the cancer is where I want to be!



    I'm very grateful to call myself a survivor, but when will I have the strength to start really living again?



    Susan

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 126
    edited August 2013
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    Thank you all for oyur comments.

    Did insurance fight you on bmx when evidence of disease was only in nodes?

  • Lily55
    Lily55 Member Posts: 1,748
    edited August 2013
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    Ninja - the crash after cancer treatment is well known but never really told to cancer patients, its like post traumatic stress disorder and we need support space and kindness through it, i am eight months on from the beginning of my crash when i truly felt life was not worth living and cried a hell of a lot.....and i feel very different and more empowered, so please find yourself a trauma counsellor and dont wait to crash like i did.....good luck

  • Ninja6812
    Ninja6812 Member Posts: 13
    edited August 2013
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    Thank you Lily. You are right, no one talks about the after cancer. I ordered a book last night called Dancing in Limbo that was recommended in another discussion. It addresses much of what I've been feeling. I worked through most of my treatment, but not full time. I'm back full time and its hard. The last few days have been better. Just need to go back to taking my life one day at a time. I've been thinking a lot about some counseling. I tried a support group when I first started treatment last summer, but it only made me get depressed. Thank you for responding. It really helps to have connection to people who understand :)

  • Lily55
    Lily55 Member Posts: 1,748
    edited August 2013
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    Dancing in limbo is a great book, it was the start of me believing that actually my feelings were normal and healthy and created my allergy to what i call the positivity police, which is only an added pressure on top of disfigurement, life threatening diagnosis, exhaustion, etc etc........there is so much mythology around cancer and most of it we dont need!



    Can you do reduced hours for. Month or two to get some rest or is that a financial pressure? I went back to work three weeks after rads and it was too soon i needed another month really and i simply got really ill with chest infections!



    Take care and i am here if you want to pm....

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited August 2013
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    Lily, I love the "positivity police." I may have to steal that one.

  • martha323
    martha323 Member Posts: 17
    edited August 2013
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    Thank you everyone for keeping this thread going. I'm almost finished with rads, two weeks of six total to go, but I woke up this morning wanting to hear about life after treatment ... and beyond. Reading about women who have stage III with many lymph nodes involved is very encouraging. I'm usually able to keep a balanced outlook (with some blue days and occasional total meltdowns, of course!), but it's always good to hear from those of you with similar dx and tx. I hope this thread keeps going because I'd like to check back from time to time and also add encouragement to others as time goes by.

    'Positivity police' - oh, such a good description for that unwanted pressure. And what does it mean, anyway? It feels like a command - the way some people want you to behave around them regardless of how you really feel!

    Ninja, I started counseling during the third week of rads and it has helped a lot. I suddenly started having an incredible amount of anxiety - more than usual - and talking to the therapist is helping a lot.

    Think I'll get the book two of you recommended ...

    Blessings to all of you -