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Stage 2 Sisters Club

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  • XfitMama2
    XfitMama2 Member Posts: 18
    edited May 2022
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    thanks guys! :) I definitely rang the bell today!

    Just woke up from my benedryl- induced nap, now I’m awake with a steroid- induced headache. You know- the usual drill for day 1 chemo.

  • beginagain22
    beginagain22 Member Posts: 100
    edited May 2022
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    xfitmama,

    I haven’t had chemo, but I am sending you lots of pink light, that’s not like breast cancer pink, it’s like the pink light you get with a beautiful sunset. Happy light. This will soon be something to look back on and remember how strong you were. Feel neyter

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 338
    edited May 2022
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    Diary of a Stage 2 Shut-in

    I’ve been pretty much housebound for the past week. I’m still able to work from home, so glad not to have to burn my paid leave. After finding out I was neutropenic last Wednesday, I’ve not left our property. I’ve stepped outside, but hadn’t felt up to much more than that. This week’s labs showed big improvement, but I’m having some coughing. I did just manage to walk a half mile. It’s not much, but it’s something. Fortunately I’ve not had any fever, so I’m expecting next week’s treatment to go ahead.

    I’m used to always being busy. Strange to feel okay after work just reading or watching TV. It’s temporary, right?

    Good things today, cheesecake, a little walk, immune system’s up, and new A/C unit’s keeping us cool.

  • katg
    katg Member Posts: 209
    edited May 2022
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    Sounds good sarah maude. In between infusions are a grab bag. Sadly, my blood numbers kept me tired. Even with a blood test every week. I lost whole bunches of my muscle through that. I am finally finding the energy to get that started. Must really have been the "exercise thread letting me know it is my choice and efforts.

    Bonus, my MOH surgery on my nose is looking great. Just as the DR said when she checked me out after the nurse removed the stitches. Perfect!! I wish i had a camera to watch what she did. I really believe that surgery is an art and she is the best. I needed to keep the steri strip on one more week, so 1 week and one day later, i peeled it off.

    Through all my treatments i thank every Nurse, tech and Doctor for going to school to learn the skill and to give me the best care i could ask for. I make sure i keep in touch with all to fill them in on my side effects. We have a portal and i use it at the COH.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,027
    edited May 2022
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    It is temporary & now is the time to do what your body tells you. If it tells you a little walk is enough' listen to it. I watched all 7 seasons of The Mary Tyler Moore Show while I was on chemo. It was something I always wanted to do but never had the time. Read, watch some series that are interesting, and eat whatever tastes good!

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 338
    edited November 2022
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    Wow. Hard to believe this thread hasn’t been updated since May! I’m now 4 months post final chemo and over two months past radiation. My hair, which was never thin enough to need a wig, but was thin, is coming back like crazy. I had it cut into a chin length bob, and hopefully by June will be all back to uniform length. Cold capping was worth it for me. But, waiting to add color has been hard. I have an appointment scheduled for December 15 to get rid of my gray. I wouldn’t mind staying gray, but my almost white temples compared to the soft shades in the rest of my hair are making me impatient to kick them to the curb.

    I’ve been on anastrozole for 2.5 months and have very minor side effects. Occasional hot flashes and my gut is still in need of regular miralax. I’ve had my second Prolia shot. My blood results are pretty good, though my platelets and WBC counts are still a low. I guess I’m one of the patients who take longer to rebound from chemo effects. I read one report that it can take 6 to 9 months to recover. I had a chest, abdomen and pelvis CT scan this week and was greatly relieved that all was normal. I wasn’t sure about even looking because I was sure it would lead to follow up for something that was likely nothing.

    I’m attempting to join the DARE study for HR+ HER2- high risk breast cancer. They use the Signatera circulating tumor screening. In this study, if a patient comes up positive. They are either given oral treatment or “standard of care” which is wait for clinical signs of mets such as imaging or blood count changes. It’s one of the very few studies for non-metastatic breast cancer patients

    I was able to travel for work back in the end of September and took a weekend trip twin daughter B to twin daughter A’s daughter’s college town to celebrate their birthday. I love that I could do that and still keep up with work and home without being flat on the couch for days. I am truly enjoying this phase of post treatment.

    I’ve been reading a new book called A Short Primer on Why Cancer Still Sucks by David Stewart. It’s pretty insightful. He spends some time comparing US and Canadian health systems as he’s worked extensively in both.

    Also, I’ve been able to enjoy quilting again. I’ll go over to SerenityStat’s thin slices of joy thread later and post some photos.

    I hope all of you are doing well. I hardly come here anymore as it’s so overly quiet. I still miss that early energy I saw here back in February. Hard to believe my one year anniversary from diagnosis is so near, and the brokenness here is still so apparent.

    Hugs,


    Sar

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,027
    edited November 2022
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    Great to 'see' you sarahmaude! Sounds like you are doing very well! I remember being so happy to get some color back in my hair! I did lose my hair & it came back really curly & so 'salt and pepper' that I looked like an old lady who puts their hair in pincurls at night! It took me several YEARS before my WBCs went back into the low normal range (and they have stayed there ever since.....maybe that was always my 'normal'?).

    I am doing well. Exercising, walking my very large (93 lb) dog, just very gratefully living! My son & his girlfriend (whom I like very much) got engaged over the 4th of July & are getting married next September. She invited me to go wedding dress shopping with her, her mother & sister next Tuesday. Since I don't have a daughter, I am pretty excited about that. I just got my omicron booster shot today so will be ready for the holidays and some winter travels!

  • runor
    runor Member Posts: 1,613
    edited November 2022
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    Sarah and Ruth, happy to hear you are both doing so well. Ruth, I think you are brave to deal with a 90 pound dog. I also have a 90 pound dog and swear he's been trying to shove me down the basement stairs for the last few years. I don't think he realizes that if I pop off, no one will feed him or brush the burrs out of his hair! Have fun dress shopping!

    Sarahmaude, I'd love to know the contrast and compare outcome of the book you are reading, American vs. Canadian care. Glad you are well and probably your gray hair looks more lovely than you are letting on. 

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,027
    edited November 2022
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    Runor,, I think my big dog will either keep me young or do me in. The jury is still out as to which way that will go! Future DIL did find her dress. It was a fun day and happened just in the knick of time because it has been snowing ever since. It has turned into winter here.🥶

    image

  • sarahmaude
    sarahmaude Member Posts: 338
    edited January 2023
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    On the compare and contrast between Canadian and US systems, the author notes that Canada does a lot better job covering people in their younger years where the US, because of Medicare, has much better coverage of people in their older years. People live longer in Canada, and it appears that some of that could be due to lacking payment for care and preventive care in their younger years.

    The author also says that lack of quick access to imaging in Canada makes a big difference in lung cancer outcomes. For breast cancer, the system sizing for imaging seems adequate. I'd say that for those of us who are diagnosed while we are used to being in excellent health, delays in any imaging or results are mentally hard. He doesn't address that, and is more focused on outcomes.

    As for my hair, I went into the salon on a day I couldn't make one more decision, so I told my hairdresser to pick a color. She did a great job, but it's a brighter shade of red than I'm used to. I think I would have been okay with gray, but I went that day with old color on my ends, white temples, mousey gray on top. It was a real hodgepodge!

    In other news, I'm working on a presentation about my cancer diagnosis and treatment I'm presenting to my contract. It's subtitled, "happily ever after for now." Which I think pretty much summarizes where I am today.

  • clars
    clars Member Posts: 42
    edited April 2023
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    Hi everyone! I'm Claire I'm from the UK. I have bilateral breast cancer - tiny Grade 1 IDC in left and 3.5cm IDCStage 2B Grade 3 ER/PR+ and HER2- in the right. It's in maybe 3/4 of my lymph nodes. I am 39.

    I'm having chemotherapy first before surgery, I start three months of Taxol on Friday, I’ve finished four rounds of EC and have dealt with the physical stuff really well.

    Mentally though… sheesh. I haven't even finished treatment but I'm terrified of recurrence! I hate being known as high risk. I've convinced myself it's going to get me at some point :( how do I live with this uncertainty and fear?

    I don't post much here but I've read so many pages! I have a little book of long term survivors, many of your names are in it. I read it each night and send a little prayer out into the universe for you all.

    All the best

    Clars / Claire x

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 924
    edited April 2023
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    Hi Claire, I'm glad you are surviving treatment well so far. The current chemo and probable future hormone therapy will help prevent distant recurrence while the surgery and probable radiation will help prevent local recurrence.

    Everyone seems to worry about recurrence from the start because the treatment you are going through is focused on preventing it. During and after finishing active treatment eating well, avoiding alcohol and exercising have been shown to significantly lower the chance of recurrence. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. Some people with low risk tumors enter stage iv and others with high risk tumors live long lives and die of something unrelated to cancer or its treatment.

    I don't think the fear of recurrence ever goes away but it does fade into the background more over time. At two + years out from diagnosis I'm more accepting of the possibility. I had a tumor about the size of yours, one involved node and LVI so, as my surgeon said, there is evidence that my cancer has learned how to spread. Whether or not it does and becomes active again is to some degree up to fate. Some people suffer scanxiety whenever mammogram time approaches. Imaging doesn't really bother me, probably because my cancer wasn't identified until two and a half years after a callback for architectural distortion which was deemed unimportant until micro calcifications appeared in the same spot. Talking about the mental stress with others who understand does help you process and deal with the anxiety. Some people eventually find that they need medical help so if that turns out to be the case don't be afraid to seek it.

    Keep in touch. I hope it all works out well for you.

  • yippeekiyaymf
    yippeekiyaymf Member Posts: 25
    edited April 2023
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    I hear ya Claire- I am currently in active treatment - (on to radiation post surgery and chemo) and I find I read more about people who had something similar to you and I and are now are in stage 4 ......rather than hearing from anyone who is all good --- But I know based on stats that isn't the case- so i'm trying to hang my hat on that and also what my oncologist said that this is just "a blip in our lives" ( why won't it be us?.... truly so try not to be anxious all the time about maybes) I also like to think about all the money and research going on, and how even if we have a recurrance things will likely have progressed not only with finding it, but also with treatments. Not sure it helps but it how I try and reframe my thoughts..... we will see if it works- I am hoping it fades over time as maggie above says - just messaging to say its nice to hear from other feeling the same way.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,027
    edited April 2023
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    Hi ladies, I think it is as tough mentally to deal with as it is physically. Just remember that if you are Stage II, do the recommended treatments, and make life style adjustments if needed (keep at an appropriate weight, exercise a lot, eat a balanced diet and drink very little) you should have a very, very, very good chance of never having to deal with BC again. As you get further out from treatment, and you fill your life with interesting/fun/meaningful activities; an evening will come and you will be shocked that you have not thought about cancer ALL DAY & it will start to recede into the background. (Although I still almost break into tears when I 'pass' my yearly mammogram, and I'm 16 years out!)

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,027
    edited April 2023
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    I think this is worth sharing:

    image

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 924
    edited April 2023
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    Good advice!

  • yippeekiyaymf
    yippeekiyaymf Member Posts: 25
    edited April 2023
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    LOVE this- I am sure it is true---

  • warrior70
    warrior70 Member Posts: 101
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    Warrior70

    Checking in… I hardly ever come here now, but 10 years ago it was my lifeline. I am humbled and so grateful to be a survivor of stage 2a node-positive, grade 3 BC. It has been a beautiful 10 years… the daughters in my profile, 12 and 8 at my diagnosis, are 21 and 17; one is a college graduate and the other is going off the the University of Oregon in the fall. I am still on Arimidex and tolerating it pretty well…traveled a lot, laughed a lot, took up new hobbies, continued my education, life full of love, gratitude and joy. To everyone who was just been diagnosed, stay hopeful. Never thought I'd make it this far….so grateful I have.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,027
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    Awesome, Warrior! It's a wonderful life!

  • azjs
    azjs Member Posts: 19
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    @warrior70 and @ruthbru, I am in the middle of treatment right now, done with chemo and surgery and waiting for radiation. You have no idea how much your posts mean to me! You both made my day. My treatment feels all consuming right now but I know it will pass. Yesterday, the plastic surgeon cleared me to exercise and my hair is finally growing back! Both things that felt so far off just a few weeks ago. My kids are about the same age as yours Warrior70 and I am looking forward to being there as they embark on young adulthood. So much to look forward to!

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,027
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    Yea for hair and exercise! If you want some exercise buddies, check out The Let's Post Our Daily Exercise thread ( which used to be on the fitness forum, not sure where it's now but you can also find it on the active topics list).

    My son, who was 17 when I was diagnosed, is getting married in 3 weeks; so there indeed are many wonderful milestones to look forward to!! ❤️

  • azjs
    azjs Member Posts: 19
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    @ruthbru thank you so much! I will check out the thread. Congratulations on your son's wedding!

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,027
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    Managing life with cancerWorking on Your Fitness

    Lets Post our Daily Exercise

  • katg
    katg Member Posts: 209
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    Hello all. i think when i saw post your exercise i thought i try to get my 10,000 steps for sure. Also stretching in the am.

    For now, I am sad about this new site. Migrating all of us over lost people. Where are my favorite sites? I figure to go in and post and hope someone posts after me.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,027
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    If you want to bookmark the Lets Post Our Daily Exercise thread, click on the link I put in my post above yours. It will take you to that forum, I just checked & that thread is the first one shown (at least on my computer). Click on that link, if you want to bookmark it (or any other thread), click on the little icon to the right of the thread's title (it looks like a tooth with roots to me). It will turn red & then when log in, it will show up in your favorites (which you will find on the very top right hand side of the page (it's an icon that looks like a bell). This is from my computer, it might be different on a phone or other device, but the icons should be the same.