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2013 Sister Warriors

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  • melissa119
    melissa119 Member Posts: 127
    edited February 2013
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    Momof5inva

    I had a BMX with TE also. Surgery was 12. I was there earlier for the SNB injection. My surgery was about 5 hrs. I got out of recovery and into a room by 7pm and stayed overnight. My BS came by at 7am the next morning and asked if I wanted to go home. I said yes! and she discharged me. But it was a def 1 night stay surgery! I can't see how yours would be an outpatient procedure. U should def double check that one.

    And the best advice I could give you for recovery is do not think u have to lay around all day! That is the worst thing for you. I was at my daughters softball game two days after mind u with big sweatshirt covering the drains but I kept mobile and constantly moved my arms too. My ps 1 week out said she could not believe I had full range of motion and could lift my arms over my head. Just stay positive and you will do great!

  • Kimberly1965
    Kimberly1965 Member Posts: 32
    edited February 2013
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    Momof5inva

    My BS and PS said I would stay 2 or 3 nights for my BMX with extenders. I'm having mine Thursday the 7th. They also said I could be in surgery 8-10 hours. But that's not a sure thing might not take that long. I do know of a few that has done it in a day but if I was you I would insist on staying atleast 2. I hope all goes well!

  • LuvSnow
    LuvSnow Member Posts: 138
    edited February 2013
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    Ya, this is nuts. I am not a hospital person, and am not looking for a long hospital stay (heck, my 10 yo has no hospital baby pics because i wanted to go home that afternoon lol) but this is major stuff. My BS said surgery with TE would be 4 or more hours. I doubt i will even be awake enough to get up the stairs at home. I would just be more comfortable with a 24 hr stay to be monitored.



    Thanks melissa119. I am definitely not a lay around the house person and did not intend to lay in bed for this. I expect to be uncomfortable and will need rest, but seriously, out patient surgery, SMH.



    BTW, I called the insurance company. They were sooo nice and said they would absolutely approve a night or more. The lady on the phone said she was a little shocked that they categorized it as outpatient. She said the only thing she could think of is if they have rooms/beds for observation, they can keep you for up to 48 hours for observation and it is still considered outpatient (and cheaper). So I guess I will be following up tomorrow.

  • Kimberly1965
    Kimberly1965 Member Posts: 32
    edited February 2013
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    Still trying to wrap my mind around all of this. I'm terrified of the surgery and chemo. I know they say stay positive but I have this feeling that something bad is going to happen. Another thing no your not supposed to smoke. I mean I quit for a year cold turkey once and this time I stop and go a few days and smoke again. I feel like I'm slapping everyone in the face that is try to help me. I feel like people don't want to listen to me and like I'm annoying to everyone even on this forum. Maybe I should just stop and not post just read. I mean we are all in the same boat reaching for the ores that fell in the water.

  • lemon68
    lemon68 Member Posts: 301
    edited February 2013
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    Kimberly

    I just typed a HUGE RANT and deleted it.. I guess I had to get it out. I feel the same as you..we all have doubt and fear. Your not hurting them by smoking, do the best you can thats all you can do, your not perfect, this is new just do what you can and stop beating yourself up. I read all your posts and learn and feel what you feel, dont stop. I am scared so fricken scared and not a damn thing I can do about it. Nor can those that have been great in my life truly Get it. When faced with our own mortality its unimaginable. I wouldnt wish this on anyone but we are here and it sucks we decide what we are going to do about it. WE are allowed to be a bit unstable, scared, confused and just pissed off right now if we want.

  • momtotenkids
    momtotenkids Member Posts: 37
    edited February 2013
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    Kimberly trying to quit smoking is hard to do without trying to do it on top of dealing with all of this. I had just stopped smoking again in September. I have stopped for as long as a year too but always find a reason to start back up again. The Friday before Christmas I was so stressed  I called my husband and told him to stop and get me a pack on his way home from work. I smoked up until the night before my surgery although I did not smoke alot the day before. A friend brought a very fancy electronic cigarette that you load with different flavors a few days before my surgery and i did start smoking it too. It has nictotine so she said it would help. I have only been using it since my first surgery which was on the 14th of this month. It is not the same as a cigarette but it does help. Try to be strong and do what you have to do to get through this stressful time. I needed to smoke and take xanax to get through the first few weeks so that is what I did. I still take the xanax to help me sleep at night. Still only smoking the stupid electronic cigarette but it is better for me than the real ones so I will stick with it for a few more weeks then hopefully give it up too. Being afraid it normal right now. We were all there too. We all handle it the best we can. 

  • Cuetang
    Cuetang Member Posts: 173
    edited February 2013
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    Kimberly1965 -- these forums are a place for all of us to vent, so keep posting! We are dealt a crappy hand with our diagnosis and we don't have any control over that. Personally, I'm completely terrified of the unknown (having horrible anxiety attacks) and as lemon68 said, facing our own mortality. We are here to listen to whatever you need. Hang in there! (Hugs).

  • Kimberly1965
    Kimberly1965 Member Posts: 32
    edited February 2013
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    Watch that electronic cig. some of the cartridges do have nicotine and we got a big thing from the cdc at work stating some of the stuff can be toxic. So be careful with those.  I feel so selfish right now I have never been one to think of whats best for me. Someone told my husband the other day Man your wife is handling this well. He said well you don't see the breakdowns, the crying when you ask what do you ask her what she wants. They said but she doesn't seemed worried about the BC. She's more worried about trying to figure out the financial stuff and how everyone else is handling this crap. I feel so helpless.  I never ask for help. Now I find myself worrying who will be burdened with stuff I can't do till I heal and if I get to sick during chemo to work. I mean they can't even find underwear without asking. How can I do this and fight it if I fighting my own mind. Rant is what I do. Worry about everyone else is what I do. How do I shift that to ME. I have talked to counsilors and people. No one truely understands but all of you.  There is a big difference in caring for someone that has cancer and having it. I'm ashamed to say it. But there is no comparision. Everyone says do it for your kids and grandkids even husband. But does this not have to be for ME. like it has to be for you right know.  I prayed one night God please change my life I'm so unhappy and don't want to live like this anymore.  Well he did and now I'm afraid to pray because it was changed by cancer.  If I pray again what then?

     

  • pacools
    pacools Member Posts: 35
    edited February 2013
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    Happy Friday to all of you.  Cynthia group hug to you today. My SNB and lumpectory are Tuesday. So many of you are having such struggles coordinating your own care and treatment. ReneeinOH glad that is now on the books for you.  Momof5inva no way a BMX should be outpatient, ever. I am sure you will be on the phone early this morning getting that changed. Good luck with that. Lemon68 glad to hear the encouraging news you are feeling better. Did you have drains from the SNB? How long did they suggest you should be off work?

    Warm happy thoughts to all of you.   

  • lemon68
    lemon68 Member Posts: 301
    edited February 2013
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    Hey Pacools,

    I love to see your pic, such cute hair! :) I did not have drains. Will you have drains? I had my lumpectomy and SNB seperately, just wanted to torture me twice I guess. The lumpectomy was not a big deal to recover from, really the only pain was the wire they put in before the surgery. The SNB has been a different story, it was a week yesterday still in pain. If you work outside the home I would take at least 3-4 days depending on what you do at work. I work at home and sit at a desk so for me I worked the day after but I shouldnt have. Seems I felt worse as the days passed then better. Your going to be okay, its not as bad as you are imagining. I used alot of ice and I am not ashamed to say I took the pain pills.

  • Cynthia56
    Cynthia56 Member Posts: 12
    edited February 2013
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    I just typed a long reply addressing each and everyone one of you and it has disappeared!  Anyway, thanks for the words of encouragement, the hugs, the rants (now I know I'm a little normal), and just being there for each other.  If we can't find our own oars in the water, we can certainly help others find theirs until ours float back up!!!  And yes, dealing with our own mortality scares the hell out of us all.  I'm really afraid that mine has spread to my lungs d/t all those years of smoking.  When do you find that out????  Hope you all have a day, good or bad, we are still here!

  • TMM60
    TMM60 Member Posts: 121
    edited February 2013
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    Cynthia56- I'm a smoker too. (and I'm a nurse too so I guess I really should know better). The stress we are under is huge and to add the stress of quitting on top of that- man, that must be really hard! I got a wake up call when they saw an 8mm nodule on my right lung on my preop Breast MRI. A follow up CT revealed it to be scarring (maybe from pneumonia I had 8 years ago. I dont' know) but the thought of lung cancer on top of all of this- it was the first time during this whole thing that I was really, truly scared out of my wits. I've quit before, but my husband smokes and being around it- well, I started again.

    I am rooting for you, take it one smoke free day at a time.

  • TMM60
    TMM60 Member Posts: 121
    edited February 2013
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    momofiveinva- sometimes the way hospitals work is to classify the surgery as outpatient and then admit after surgery. I am really hoping that that is what happened in your situation. Either way, really crappy that no one explained any of what they were planning to you and all you got was an email! I know you will get it straightened out today. In your shoes, I'd want an at least an overnight stay too!

  • LuvSnow
    LuvSnow Member Posts: 138
    edited February 2013
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    I called today.  It is considered outpatient, per the insurance apparently.  They can keep me for up to 23 hours for "observation" after I come out of surgery.  It is an ambulatory surgical center, but attached to the hospital.  I guess it is cheaper for the insurance companies to keep me there, and not have me admitted to the hospital.  So, I will be observed, but not admitted, unless there is an emergency.  I at least feel better about that....I was worried about being kicked out before the anesthesia wore off LOL

    So, totally OT, but people seem to say and ask the stupidst things when they find out you have breast cancer.  First, I had a person, who mind you has had BC, ask me about my stage, grade, etc.  When I told told her that all I knew was that "it" was a grade 2, they said "oh, well you are much better off than me, I am a grade 3 (stage 1)".  I was like WTF???  I didn't realize it was a competition??  Then, when I told a friend I had BC, they wanted to know in which one?  Like, seriously, does it matter?  And lastly, if I hear anyone else telling me how well I am taking this because I am not a total basket case and rocking in the corner I will scream. I finally told some one today that I don't have a choice...it is happening and I can't stop it. All I can do is go with the flow, so to speak. 

    Honestly, except for my husband and this board, I don't want to talk about it.  It is such a personal thing...I need to work it out inside, if that makes sense.

    Oh, almost forgot, HAPPY FRIDAY!!!Smile

  • ReneeinOH
    ReneeinOH Member Posts: 232
    edited February 2013
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    OK--I want to challenge everyone to identify what they need to learn from their cancer.  It's an intriguing, and could be an offensive question, but taking the question to heart can be quite revealing.  

    For me, one major lesson is putting myself first.  This situation has forced me to, and I'm learning that it's not the end of the world, and in some ways has been rewarding, and wonderful.  I have a neighbor who has chronic health problems and she is making extra food from her meals to feed me.  I'm getting healthy, delicious food, and it's because I said yes to her offer instead of saying what I would normally say: "That's OK, I'm fine."  I've done this with my workload at work (asking others to take on things I normally would have shouldered, saying no to other things I normally would have said yes to).  It's opened up a whole new experience for me, and forced me to say I am worthy of this love and have the right to take care of myself.

    Related is, I've got to do a better job handling stress.  And because I've been working on that, I have feel the positive response from that.  I am challenging myself to let the little things go (the day I decided to I stepped in dog poop with my brand new shoes [first time worn]--hello Universe, are you testing me?!).  Saying no to things--work and home, has been a great.  

    And, it is forcing my family to step up, learn to do things without me. For example, my kids (12, 10, 8) make their beds, but I have always put their clean sheets on for them.  I thought, well, I'm not going to be able to do this after surgery, so I better teach them how to do it.  Other things: I am learning my family can manage without me--my husband is combing my daughter's hair in the morning (no easy task).  

    And they are learning too.  The best part will be when we get meals made for us.  My kids are such picky eaters.  And they hate casserole--any kind, even homemade mac and cheese.  I am so looking forward to them learning how to try (and maybe even like!) foods prepared different ways, different food items.  

    I think for all of us there are lessons for us to take from this experience.  And if we can do so, develop better habits, love ourselves, we will do better and be OK.

  • TMM60
    TMM60 Member Posts: 121
    edited February 2013
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    momeof5inva- so glad for you that they gave you the time. Be gentle with yourself. I'm taking a guess that with 5 kids you are used to putting everyone else's needs before you own. I'm trying to learn to put myself first these days, not always successfully, but I'm making progress Wink. I don't need to be fully successful at it, just better.

    Not OT at all about the bizarre things people say who just don't understand. I asked the RO about whether or not I would get fatigued with the rads. He said "its really pyschological rather than physiological". Now, because I'm a nurse, I understand the clinical meaning of that statement in that there really is no organic basis  for it ( i.e.; unlike chemo it doesn't affect your white or red blood count that can cause fatigue). But really, that came off to me as pretty insensitive ("It's all in your head")  His nurse piped up (good for you sister nurse!) and said, well, it's like having a second full time job. And then he said, "and remember many of the women just had 6 months of chemo". Yeah, no foolin', really?

    Well, you know what? Having BC is having another job on top of my already demanding full time job. It is never far from my thoughts, the zillion appointments, stress of waiting and doing all the additional reading and researching to be sure I have all the information I need- it is in fact a second full time job! I was supposed to be on a business trip this week to a meeting. I declined, although I think my boss was disappointed ("Oh, since you are not starting radiation this week, you can come to the meeting right?)  I need to be home with my husband right now. It's what I need. I'm stressing big time about what my Oncotype results will be (I find out Tuesday)- chemo or no chemo? I'm betting for working mothers, it's a third full time job.

    So , my warrior sisters, Happy Friday and here's to hoping that other than the usual domestic things we need to do over the weekend we will all find some moment of peace and relaxation. I'm putting some fun on my schedule this weekend.

  • TMM60
    TMM60 Member Posts: 121
    edited February 2013
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    Oh my ReneeinOH, I had a 30 minute lag in sending my message because I just got a text from a friend who found out she had an abnormal mammo and needs to call her doc on Monday (her sister got BC in her 20's) so I didn't send my message right away. She's putting her little boys to bed and I told her to call me later when they are no longer in earshot. You must be channeling my thoughts. So right!

    Another side of the thoughtless things people say is the incredible generosity of people who we may not exactly call friends. You mentioned your neighbor. My neighbor, who lost her son at Christmas last year, just months after her separation from her husband, stopped me while we met at our mailboxes the other day and said if there is anything she can do- let her know and she invited me out to coffee. I accepted.

    As a nurse, I have always taken care of other people. It was never a burden or a drudge. I chose the profession and I loved it when I was practicing clinically. I guess taking care of other people was part of me or I wouldn't have become a nurse. It's hard for me to be a patient and ask for help. But I'm learning. In truth, people are really glad when you accept their gifts of sympathy and generosity in response to your BC. Some people really do give selflessly (even when it's not Christmas) and get joy from your happiness in receiving their gifts.

  • lemon68
    lemon68 Member Posts: 301
    edited February 2013
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    What do I need to learn? Patience.. I have none and no tolerance in waiting for anything. Never have, so far I am not doing good in learning it either. But I think this is more about control. I control everything around me and now I am faced with something I have no control over and that for me is so hard.

  • ReneeinOH
    ReneeinOH Member Posts: 232
    edited February 2013
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    That's a great one lemon68.  Me too.  Major control freak.  Coming to peace with not having control is a major challenge.

  • momtotenkids
    momtotenkids Member Posts: 37
    edited February 2013
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    Great topic ReneeinOH. I saw my family Doctor today and had a nice chat about how this is life changing for us. I, like most of you have to learn to give up control. Not easy for me at all. I have always been in control and like  lemon68 said I have no control over this.  I also need to learn to except help. Some ladies from church brought us dinner everynight for 2 weeks after my surgeries. At first I felt so guilty like I was doing something wrong because in my mind I was not "sick" enough to have someone else cook for us. Especially my big family but after the first few nights I felt a little more comfortable with it. After the second surgery I was grateful for it. It took so much pressure off of me. I was able to relax and take care of me instead of worrying about feeding the kids. I have always taken care of everyone else so this is all hard for me but I am learning. 

  • PositiveThnking
    PositiveThnking Member Posts: 37
    edited February 2013
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    Hi everyone,

    New to the thread.  I turned 46 on 1/21/13 and 4 days later I was diagnosed with stage II (ER/PR-, HER2+). My MRI was all clear.  My first thought when diagnosed was "Well this is inconvenient."   There is a lot to learn from having this diagnosis.  I'm learning that I am still a strong woman and  that it is OK to be vulnerable and accept help.   I have a wonderful support system and a husband I cherish even more. We were married Aug. last year.   I am having a lumpectomy and aprox. 10 nodes removed on Monday as well as having a port installed. I'll need a PET SCAN after I heal from surgery but it was very important to me to get the cancer out.  

    I have a WONDERFUL medical oncologist and he explained my treatment which will be 6 cycles of chemo, 6 weeks radiation, and a year of Herceptin.    So instead of obsessing about the surgery and the year ahead (which will happen anyway) my daughter (24)  and stepson (20)  went online with me to start looking at wigs. We had a great laugh.  I did mention there are probably easier ways to stop coloring my hair? 

    Waiting for the Dx and the MRI was what scared me.  I had a few bouts of tears.  Knowing I have a plan of attack and hearing both the surgeon and my oncologist say "you will be fine." Has put me at east and ready to take this head on. I will learn to take time for me.  To say no, more often (especially with work) and live my life to its fullest.   I expect I'll be healthier on the other side of treatment since I was already seeing a nutritionist to help with my eating habits before the Dx. I am committed to getting healthy and staying that way.

    And hope when I wake up wide awake at 5 am while my husband is sound alseep I can come here to the forum and chat with you wonderful women who support each other going through this process. 

    Love to all.

  • unbreakable
    unbreakable Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2013
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    Just wanted to (unfortunately) join this group.  Trying to navigate through all these new terms and steps towards surgery and treatment.  Unsure about type of surgery I will have, and all the things after.  What a life changing event.  I keep hearing and reading all these things and I can't wrap my head around the fact that that will be me. I don't even feel sick! 

  • maureen1
    maureen1 Member Posts: 87
    edited February 2013
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    PositiveThnking...your name suits you so well...you are facing this new journey will such a positive attitude:) Learning that being vulnerable and accepting help doesn't mean you aren't a strong woman, and, learning to say "NO", especially to the things that "don't really matter" like work commitments is a great message to all of us. Yes...there are advantages to losing our hair and wearing a wig or hat - I've saved a lot of money and time during the last 6 months - getting ready in the morning is just putting on my hat or my wig instead of 30 minutes of curling and styling LOL:) Sounds like you have great kids and the love and support of a wonderful husband...I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you go to surgery on Monday, (((hugs))) Maureen

  • maureen1
    maureen1 Member Posts: 87
    edited February 2013
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    (((Unbreakable))) sorry so much is  still unknown for you...that is so tough...and, yes, you don't feel "sick" because, in the words of my breast surgeon, you aren't a sick person, you are a healthy person who happens to have breast cancer...it's not easy but I'm learning to not to let cancer define me or make me who I am. I am still the same healthy woman I was BC - before cancer - and I will do everything I can to fight this. 

  • kjiberty
    kjiberty Member Posts: 687
    edited February 2013
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    Momofive:  You mentioned telling people was the worst.  I understand.  When I told people, they made comments like, How Awful, or that's the worst news.  None of know how to react unless we are right center in the situation.  What I found worked for me is that after about a week (me settling down a bit), I sent a blast email (BCC) to all my friend's and family telling them about my dx; I did not want to hear bad things, only words of support.  I mentioned some of the things people had said (see above) and told them I DID NOT want to hear that stuff, only positive stuff. It really did help make a difference.  Again, like others have said, you WILL get through it.  A year after my dx, I had aother core biopsy yesterday due to calcifications.  They are erring on the side of caution, and I am being optimistic about the results (due Monday) I saw a psychologist this week(sleep issues) and he said having cancer is like being thrown in the river.  You don't know how to swim, but you make it to the end.  If you have a rediagnosis, you know the river and how to swim.  It has helped me get through this.  I am attaching a pic of my hair to show you there is light at the end of the tunnel.  6 months ago, I was completely bald...AND my hair ws straight.

    http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj616/kjliberty1/Hair Growth/Hair 6 months PFC/IMG_0373_zps1d9d773c.jpg

  • lemon68
    lemon68 Member Posts: 301
    edited February 2013
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    kjiberty! Your hair looks great! Beautiful curls and color. So impressive in 6 months, makes me feel better if I ever have to go that route there is good at the end, thank you for sharing that.

  • LuvSnow
    LuvSnow Member Posts: 138
    edited February 2013
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    kjiberty - love your curls!!! Thank you so much for sharing.



    I must share, I am dealing with the cancer fine, but dealing with "it" PLUS stupid stuff, is getting to me.


    Today I received an email from my short term disability company, they approved my claim (great right???) for whopping 13 days (what???). The first 7 days are waiting period, so they will cover the last 6 days (4 work days). I don't get it. My surgeon said SIX weeks.



    I don't know if I will need that full 6 weeks, but I don't want to rush it. I am so annoyed right now, and of course they are closed until Monday. How can I even focus on getting better, and over this when have to deal with this?

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Member Posts: 942
    edited February 2013
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    Momof5~call them back. It may be an oversight on their part, and sometimes they approve week by week.



    I pray it all works out for you.



    Blessings

    Paula

  • new2bc
    new2bc Member Posts: 252
    edited February 2013
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    TMM60,

    I am almost in the same situation as yours.   I was diagnosed with IDC stage 1, grade 2, no node involvement, ER+, PR+, HER- in the left breast. My oncologist told me that he does not recommend chemo but I need to meet with radiation specialist to see what he recommends. I did double mastectomy. The oncologist mentioned that it is possible the cancer can show up under the skin on the left side. He said I am not a good candidate for oncotype testing. I am 50 years old. I was very happy when he said I do not need chemo.

    I understand that you did lumpectomy. I was confused that there is a possibility that you may need chemo based on the oncotype test. My oncologist told me that he ran some statistics based on my diagnosis and he did not think I would benefit from chemo or oncotype test. I am just confused why you would be a good candidate for chemo. The only thing I can think of besides your lumpectomy, is the size of your tumor(1 cm). Mine was 8 mm. Any ideas?

  • LuvSnow
    LuvSnow Member Posts: 138
    edited February 2013
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    Hi Paula,



    Thank you! I never thought of week by week. I do hope that is the case. My HR department approved the FMLA without a problem. I assumed the STD would be just as easy.