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Stage 2 Sisters Club

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  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 326
    edited April 2022

    Katg, I’m getting Taxotere and Cytoxin x4 every three weeks. If all stays on schedule I’ll have my last infusion on July 6. I’ll try to update my profile and see if it works later today.

  • katg
    katg Member Posts: 206
    edited April 2022

    Thank you for the update. I hope you can manage symptoms and do it a day at a time sarahmaude.

    Chemo is manageable becuase it is not forever.

  • beginagain22
    beginagain22 Member Posts: 100
    edited April 2022

    SarahMaude,

    You will be done in time for a late Independence Day! You are gonna crush it

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 326
    edited April 2022

    Years ago I did diving certification. Although I've been a recreational swimmer my whole life, at the time, I'd not done anything to build up to the part of the course that was many laps, maybe a mile of swimming. I can't remember. Anyhow, we could use our flippers, and I set my mind to it and just decided I would pass that part of the certification.

    I remember feeling a little tired, but I was able to put my mind into a state of just maintaining my constant steady foot strokes. I had a "frenemy" type coworker who made himself sick, and dropped the course because he didn't finish that element. Of course I finished. I'm thinking of this part of my treatment in that way. I want to finish treatment. Because I have such a huge oncotype number, the advantage I get from chemo is more like 25% than 15%. This treatment isn't optional. I'm starting it feeling well. I've got a whole list of tips and recommendations from this website. I have so much support. I will finish. Now, that doesn't mean I won't have days where I'll measure my time in small strokes. But this elephant will be consumed a bite at a time. And Norman Bates, your seeds are going down!

    It's kind of odd how the past 2 1/2 months have changed me. At first, I kind of thought, oh, I'll have surgery and maybe some light radiation. Then I'll be done. Return to baseline. I had no idea what the pathology that I received on 2/17 actually meant. Everyone was soooo positive. Maybe if I'd had a stage 1 grade 1 case I could feel a little more confident in putting this experience behind me, but my tumor was never grade 1. Even if it had been caught at a DCIS stage, the biology was wicked.

    I didn't know that lack of nodal involvement wasn't a huge indication of my tumor's aggression. I've learned so much! Now, I know that my life will never be the same. I've also accepted that not the same doesn't mean worse. Yes, my body is damaged, and that's going to get worse. Yes, I've got cancer. But, I've also learned that my friends and family still love me even if I'm damaged. They are supporting me and checking in on me in ways that mean so much. My brother asked what restaurant gift cards the family likes. When I told him, he sent two in dollar quantities that will feed my family twice a week throughout my treatment. Wow. My boss has reiterated that nothing is more important than my health. My daughter is ready to be my cold cap assistant. I'm starting out in much better physical shape than a lot of people who have to travel this road.

    That doesn't mean I won't be coming here whining. However, I'm ready to, as Beginagain22 says, "crush it!"

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 408
    edited April 2022

    Sarahmaude,

    Thanks for the sharing, it encourages me a lot. I wish you a smooth chemo journey, just free to write if you want. May 4 is my biopsy date, we all face a new journey that day.

    Cathy


  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 326
    edited April 2022

    Cathy67, May 4 is a big day for both of us! I'll be thinking about you. Feel free to write to me also. I know how frustrating all the time you've spent in diagnosis and treatment must be. You're moving forward, and sometimes that alone is of comfort. Hugs.

    Cyndi

  • beginagain22
    beginagain22 Member Posts: 100
    edited April 2022

    SarahMaude,

    Awww, what a sweet brother, mine is one of my favorite people in the world. You will crush it sister and we will all be right here with you to help you kick harder when those strokes get tough

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 326
    edited April 2022

    Sweet friend, I’m counting on you! My Stage 2 sisters are part of my survivorship plan. One step at a time.

    Oh, I made myself grin today doing the simplest thing. I put all my treatment appointments in my work calendar. I color coded them highlighter yellow, and categorized them in their own group called “Norman Bates.” AKA, die tumor spawn die.

  • beginagain22
    beginagain22 Member Posts: 100
    edited April 2022

    SarahMaude,

    Love it. Get your battle field General hat on. This is war. Plot your course, flank the enemy and decimate Norman and his spawn! I called mine Lurch

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,708
    edited April 2022

    Some Navy Seals had made a daring raid & taken out a terrorist cell right before I started chemo. Since cancers definitely are terrorist cells; I envisioned chemo as Navy Seals hunting them down; superbly trained, deadly, and working for me.

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 326
    edited April 2022

    Ruthbru, I love the image of Navy Seals taking out the terrorist cells. I’m adding that one to my visualization. This monstrosity can go in a maelstrom of Joint Forcesattacks

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,708
    edited April 2022

    My Navy Seals were heavily armed and VERY handsome!

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 326
    edited April 2022

    Ruthbru, I am definitely am inviting them to my battlefield. I’m going to think about them as my head and hands are frozen through my treatment. Maybe I need some Tom Clancy books to listen to during treatment?

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,708
    edited April 2022

    I say whatever works is what you should do! I ate a lot of mashed potatoes, and Mexican food (very strangely, I craved Jalapenos!).

  • beginagain22
    beginagain22 Member Posts: 100
    edited May 2022

    SarahMaude,

    Do you need to frozen socks too? A girlfriend sent me a pair and now that I do not need to do chemo they are no good to me. Pm me your address if you want them, still in the box, pink unfortunately, lol

  • katg
    katg Member Posts: 206
    edited May 2022

    To all....the fight is on. I love your words, thoughts and knowing that this road is not easy, but there are a whole lot of people with you on the journey.

  • beginagain22
    beginagain22 Member Posts: 100
    edited May 2022

    Katg,

    You have an army behind you. Never alone

  • katg
    katg Member Posts: 206
    edited May 2022

    Thank you beginagain22.

    I love finding all the posts like this thread with a reminder to stay strong! A Day at a time, it is possible.

  • beginagain22
    beginagain22 Member Posts: 100
    edited May 2022

    Katg,

    It is possible, this site is full of survivors. It sure is easier to eat an elephant with a cheering section and Michelin chefs.

  • katg
    katg Member Posts: 206
    edited May 2022

    I agree beginagain22.

    I had my mammogram on my remaining side, and it is clear. My surgeon is also moving to a hospital with a brand-new cancer center. I told her i will go with her for my other breast. Let her and the plastics doctor finish the second side!! They did a great job. I would suggest anyone to go see her. Dr. Ami Polverini in California. This Doctor is young and full of the most current knowledge on breast cancer. She wants all of us to be survivors. Since i am Brca2, I remain on her WATCH list!!!

    I love your elephant phrase too!

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 326
    edited May 2022

    katg, good to hear your mammogram was clear! I love these energetic and knowledgeable female surgeons too. I'm very happy with all three of my female oncology specialists. They seem to work well together, and I feel very well taken care of as a patient.

    I'm glad to be able to say that I've survived all of my appointments this week...chemotherapy which took at least an hour longer than planned out of my day due to delays in start time, and then another wait to get final orders approved. Tomorrow was a very long day! Today I got my Pegfilgrastim injection, so I'm done with facilities until labs next week.

    Today I'm feeling well, but a little wired from my Decadron yesterday. Glad I had Ambien to sleep last night.

    I keep thinking of all of our Navy Seals and herds of elephants. Yesterday I wore my Aubie (Auburn University tiger mascot) shirt where he is dressed like a linebacker. It is pretty amazing to me what a village of doctors, nurses, researchers, support groups, pharmaceuticals and on and on we have to give us the best possible chance at surviving these ugly tumors and their spawn.

  • beginagain22
    beginagain22 Member Posts: 100
    edited May 2022

    SarahMaude,

    The science and the medical teams are amazing! So glad to have treatments and options that we do have. I got my first Lupron shot yesterday and today I had “dead arm” felt like a horse kicked me in the shoulder. Glad I will not need another one of those! So glad you made it safely through your first mission soldier, keep up the good work

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 408
    edited May 2022

    Oh, I am totally okay with lupron. I got it every three months, forgot to notice the dose, already 2.5 years, I won't mind how long I need it.

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 326
    edited May 2022

    Beginagain22 and Cathy67, I think it’s amazing how people can have such different side effects on the same medicines. When I got my Pegfilgrastim (Neulatsa) shot, the nurse said only half of people get bone pain. I’m not taking a chance and have switched from Allegra to Zyrtec (which my clinic prefers to Claritin) now.

    I hope your arm feels better soon. When I was in grade school, my mom, brothers and I went to South America. We got some extra shots. One was yellow fever. My brothers and I made slings because our arms hurt so much.

    I had my second shingles shot last week. It was very sore. The first wasn’t nearly as bad. I also had a little rash. (Which is common.) It was still itchy on Tuesday, but I guess my steroids yesterday zapped that rash away.

  • katg
    katg Member Posts: 206
    edited May 2022

    I was reading a bunch of posts and saw how many had lumpectomies. I was thinking about my case. Not till i sat in my Breast surgeon's office did i remember what she said and wrote in my very first visit. She drew it all out and i kept that picture. At that time, i was not diagnosed yet with BRCA2, so it was all based on my over 5cm tumor and my small breast size. Taking the tumor out with great margins would be unsightly. She wrote out a couple scenarios, and i knew at that moment i had a choice. She then sent me to my medical oncologist. She was perfect for me. I feel like each doctor has other doctors they love working with. So, my medical oncologist found me the gyno doctor who removed my fallopian tubes and my ovaries. When he asked me who i did my yearly pap with, i told him a new doctor snd her name and he said she is great and he gets many referrals from her!!! A circle of care. The MO referred me to a plastic doctor who has been great. Honesty, I look at myself and the mastectomy and had few real pains. The under arm where the 3 sentinel lymph nodes came out and the waist from the gyno surgery, which really was like when you do too many sit ups after having done none for a while. Nothing else. Both are stellar with their jobs.

    Questions.....we must ask. I ask my breast surgeon Tuesday my oncotype and why i did not see it. She said my case is scored more so with my HER2+ and Brca2 additions. i left it at that. My risk is already greater.

    My Mohs surgeon gave me some numbers i looked up after my surgery. This type of surgery has a 99% success. I like those odds for my nose. I wish someone could tell me how long hair takes to grow! Loopy. I do now that each of us are different.

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 408
    edited May 2022

    Sarahmaude,

    Katg,

    Thanks for your interesting posts, they help me relax a lot during this dreadful waiting. My surgeon is also a young woman, I don't think she is a BSO, but she does a lot of breast re-construction. I think, breast surgery is not that hard, compared to other organs, but we want a beautiful breast no matter it is mastectomy or lumpectomy.

    Just write whatever you want, I will read.

    Cathy

  • XfitMama2
    XfitMama2 Member Posts: 18
    edited May 2022

    Hi Everyone!

    I was dx with IDC stage II in December and I follow this thread regularly :). Today was my final chemo and I just had to share that with a group of people who truly know the significance. It was an extremely long 4.5 months, and Im so grateful it's done. Complications took what would have been 8 treatments and made them 16. But that's behind me now!

    Surgery and radiation still await me, but for now I am going to bask in the joy of finishing this step :).

    Wishing you all peace and happiness!

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 326
    edited May 2022

    xfitmama2, Congratulations on finishing chemo!!! that is certainly worth celebration. Best of luck to you on your next steps. We might end up in radiation around the same time depending on your surgery schedule.

  • cathy67
    cathy67 Member Posts: 408
    edited May 2022

    xfitmama2,

    Ring the bell!

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 46,708
    edited May 2022

    Congratulations, xfit! Having chemo in the rear-view mirror is definitely something to celebrate!