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Ladies in their 40s

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  • palesa2018
    palesa2018 Member Posts: 58
    edited December 2019

    ROAREUS, sending you hugs. I am learning that feeling scared is a part of this journey. The key is not to let you overwhelm you. Rather get the professional opinion as quickly as possible. I have also learnt that not every ache means cancer. I recently had elevated liver enzymes and I was terrified. I went for a CT and it was clear. One day at a time. Take care

  • Eigna
    Eigna Member Posts: 256
    edited December 2019

    Hello ladies. I get to join you in this club. I’m 43 yo. Diagnosed this past August. I have two young boys, 9 and 7 yo. I had a lumpectomy and SNB in October. I’m weakly Estrogen positive, Grade 3 tumour, lymph nodes were negative. Tested negative for genetic testing. I’m about to start chemo in the next few weeks and I’m terrified if I’m doing the right choice. I’m scared of the short but mostly the Long term side effects of chemo. I don’t want to end up with osteoporosis or leukaemia. I just hope I am alive to raise my kids and make them young responsible adults before I die.

    Also after chemo I will have radiation therapy. Not sure about hormonal therapy ( tamoxifen). This needs to be discussed with MO after I completed chemo.

  • Walden1
    Walden1 Member Posts: 110
    edited December 2019

    Hi Eigna,

    I am sorry you are going through this. I had very similar fears and questions about treatment when I was diagnosed at 44. If you haven't already, I would encourage you to direct your concerns about osteoporosis and leukemia to your MO. I have found that some of the general information I read online, and elsewhere, was far less frightening once my MO clarified what it meant in my specific situation. If it is any help to you, I did ask about these two items specifically myself and had a reassuring response from my MO.

    Looking back now, there were two basic concepts that helped me with treatment decisions. The first was “does the benefit of the treatment out weigh the risks". The second was “make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time". At the end of the day, I realized that I was more comfortable with accepting the potential side effects than missing out on the potential benefits of the chemo. That was just my take on my situation at the time. I’m now almost two years post chemo, and I can say that a lot of my fears have lessened with time, and I am sure yours will too

  • roareus
    roareus Member Posts: 68
    edited December 2019

    I saw the NP on Wednesday. She did a clinical breast exam and found nothing. I had a mammo and ultrasound. Both were normal. Given my history, the radiologist wants me to get a MRI to make sure we are not missing anything under the nipple. I am better but still terrified as i didn't have a MRI when i first got diagnosed. So, why now? They wouldn't lie to me about the normalcy of mammogram and ultra sound. Would they?

  • Spoonie77
    Spoonie77 Member Posts: 532
    edited December 2019

    Roareus - I understand your worry. For what it's worth, I believe they are just trying to be thorough for your benefit with the MRI. I'm on a rotating surveillance regimen, 6 month 3D Mammo and then a 6 month MRI. I'm not sure if back in 2013 they were aware of how helpful and more accurate MRI's are for younger women and those with dense breasts. Hopefully your MRI will confirm your Mammo & US. Keep us posted.


    https://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/supplemental-mri-benefits-extremely-dense-breasts

  • roareus
    roareus Member Posts: 68
    edited December 2019

    I got my MRI results and it was fine. Thank you everyone for your support. Will go back in 2-3 months for a follow up to make sure it does not happen again. Greatest Christmas gift I could have asked for. Hope everyone has a happy holiday.

  • palesa2018
    palesa2018 Member Posts: 58
    edited December 2019

    That's great news. Best gift indeed.

  • 2002chickadee
    2002chickadee Member Posts: 79
    edited March 2020

    Hi Brokenatmgene17, welcome! I'm sorry to hear about the surgeries being moved around, I imagine that's adding a lot of stress at a very stressful time. I also was really not that into medication before my breast cancer journey, which began in Dec 2017. Before that I'd never had anything medical aside from two pregnancies/births and having my wisdom teeth pulled in my '20s, I rarely saw a doctor, etc. From my perspective, I came around to realizing that this is a very serious disease, and exactly what Western medicine does best. I resigned to a lot of medical procedures and medications for cancer treatment, and even more things to counterbalance the effects of those treatments. Everyone is different, and you'll find a path forward that feels right for you, but wanted to share how my perspective has shifted over these last few years. Starting tamoxifen while surgery dates can't be confirmed sounds like a solid plan, I'd make sure they've given you details on side effects and how to manage, and there are many threads here where you can find support as well.

  • 2002chickadee
    2002chickadee Member Posts: 79
    edited March 2020

    Brokenatmgene17 -- Yep, lots of scary things to say out loud during a cancer journey. Best of luck with the lumpectomy. If it's any comfort, many sisters have walked the road before you!

  • pebblesv
    pebblesv Member Posts: 486
    edited April 2020

    Just sharing that I was super nervous to take tamoxifen too. I am also a very natural person and don’t take anything! But I gave it a go (also because it was my ticket out of chemo) and it’s been almost a year and a half and I’ve been pretty fine on it. I also take a half dose though which my oncologist has supported due to recent studies that lower doses are just as effective. I think you have to try it and know you can stop if there are unbearable side effects but also that it might not be so bad once you give it a go. It’s different for every person.

    In the meantime, here’s my helper while I’m working from home!

    image

  • pebblesv
    pebblesv Member Posts: 486
    edited August 2020

    Brokenatmgene17 - thanks for the update and sounds like you are thinking through everything which is the best we all can do, just be informed and make the best risk/reward decisions for ourselves. I’m SOooo sorry I didn’t respond sooner - I was off the boards all this time, mostly because I’ve been struggling with being overworked and less work/life balance even with us working from home. But I’m trying to balance better and get back on these boards as it keeps me more aware for myself too if trying to keep on top of this fight.

    How are things today? Did you get your Oncotype score and what is it and next steps? Note I’ve been on tamoxifen at half dose and did not due chemo thanks to a low oncotype but also like you I was pretty resistant to the idea of the toxins it would introduce. I was fine with the surgery and also fine with follow up radiation.

    Hope you’re well and hope all the ladies on this board are weathering these strange times OK!

    This is our other puppy Finley - now 11 months - next to his big sis Domino who is 13 years!

    image

  • July152020
    July152020 Member Posts: 16
    edited August 2020

    anyone is their 40s decided to go flat and how did that go and make you feel ? I know it’s a personal decision and probably not related with the age, just curious.

    You don’t need to reply if you don’t want to.

  • ladyc2020
    ladyc2020 Member Posts: 87
    edited September 2020

    hi, I’ve been reading a lot of threads on here and it’s very helpful. I’m 44, 3 kiddos and separated from husband. Some real challenges have been needing support with kids or appointments and been very limited in options due to Covid. No local family and many friends are out being social though we have widespread cases.

    My husband took me to my mr I assisted biopsy yesterday as I choice sedation, however I get zero emotional support and care on any level. I’m really trying to reduce stress But having him take me and basically ignore me, not ask how it went, how I am ect is all a little soul crushing. A little history, I left him in March after years of being ignored often for weeks and months at a time - refusing to speak to me, talk, communicate. After a lot of thinking, I do believe he is some type of subtle clever narcissistic Who takes pleasure in hurting me.

    Brings me back to my surgery, which still not sure what or when or where - getting Second opinion 4 hours drive away. Family cannot come Due to Covid. Friends have busy lives, kids, work ect. Which basically means I will need him to help me.

    Anyone else gone through cancer treatment with a narcissistic ex?

    Thank you.

  • ladyc2020
    ladyc2020 Member Posts: 87
    edited September 2020

    hi, I've been reading a lot of threads on here and it's very helpful. I'm 44, 3 kiddos and separated from husband. Some real challenges have been needing support with kids or appointments and been very limited in options due to Covid. No local family and many friends are out being social though we have widespread cases.

    My husband took me to my mr I assisted biopsy yesterday as I choice sedation, however I get zero emotional support and care on any level. I'm really trying to reduce stress But having him take me and basically ignore me, not ask how it went, how I am ect is all a little soul crushing. A little history, I left him in March after years of being ignored often for weeks and months at a time - refusing to speak to me, talk, communicate. After a lot of thinking, I do believe he is some type of subtle clever narcissistic Who takes pleasure in hurting me.

    Brings me back to my surgery, which still not sure what or when or where - getting Second opinion 4 hours drive away. Family cannot come Due to Covid. Friends have busy lives, kids, work ect. Which basically means I will need him to help me.

    Anyone else gone through cancer treatment with a narcissistic ex?

    Thank you.

  • dread2020
    dread2020 Member Posts: 36
    edited September 2020

    Lady, there are no words for how your husband treated you when taking you to the MRI. The emotional impact is complex, I'm sure, but practically, I think you can think of it as using him for a very specific purpose, NOT for emotional support. You may want to arrange things such that your husband does the mechanical part of transferring you from point A to B, while a friend or relative stays on the phone with you to keep you company.

    I also have no local family, nor close friends. Without my husband, who is a paragon of helpfulness, I would have to rely on colleagues and neighbors, with whom I am friendly but not close. If you do have close friends that live locally I would try to lean on them a bit in spite of Covid, especially for help with childcare and chores. Also, if you belong to a church or other religious community (I don't) that should be a great resource for support.

    Wish I could something to help!

  • ladyc2020
    ladyc2020 Member Posts: 87
    edited September 2020

    dread - thank you 💕 the phone idea is really good... I could definitely call and talk if he happens to be the one driving me. I am learning so much about emotional health and immune system and really need loving care right now, as we all do! It is hard as I still love and care about him, but can see so clearly who badly we were all treated.


    Family is spread around the world and due to Covid and their own family challenges cannot come. I have friends locally though just 2 who I feel comfortable enough with seeing. One has come to several appointments and is coming again today but she does not travel... local only. No long drives ect.

    I’m glad you have your husband as a great support!! How are you doing today?? And where are you on treatment/tests now? I am lost from reading so many threads, sorry!

    I see my MO and hopefully get results from biopsy and perhaps even genetic testing results.

    Sending you hugs.

  • dread2020
    dread2020 Member Posts: 36
    edited September 2020

    You seem like an incredibly strong and humble person to me. I thought doing this with young kids was too much, but adding a recent separation and the absence of a supporting spouse...wow. And yet, in the short time since we both joined this board, I've seen you express gratitude more than once. I'm just in awe of that!

    I decided to do a lumpectomy, so that I could be informed by the histology and prevent progression while I mull over my subsequent treatment steps. I have resigned myself to doing chemo (even though the thought of hair loss, and corollary loss of privacy, is destroying my mind), and after that I'll follow up with radiation and/or more surgery.

    Unfortunately, the scheduling of the lumpectomy, as with every other referral and procedure so far, has been subject to mishaps and delays. I was originally having it this week, then was told Tuesday next week, and now even that is up in the air. The uncertainty is eating through my coping like acid. No results from genetics yet.

    Fingers crossed for your biopsy results!

  • WC3
    WC3 Member Posts: 658
    edited September 2020
    Ladyc2020:

    I'm sorry your husband has not been supportive. I've dealt with narcissists before. They come in different flavors but I lost my taste for all of them during cancer treatment. Toxic people and situations are just not worth my time.

    Have you looked in to resources through your cancer center? They may have local support groups and possibly even transportation services.


  • ladyc2020
    ladyc2020 Member Posts: 87
    edited September 2020

    dread - you are very kind :) I have found focusing on the many positives around me reducing my stress and anxiety significantly. And I definitely want to do that. I feel like Facing This uncertainty has made so much of life seem unimportant, and I am more aware how good my friends are and how loved I am, in a way perhaps I couldn’t see as well before. And of course, that my cancer seems to be very treatable is something I am massively grateful for. I am so sorry you have so many delay’s! Did you get a confirmed date today?? I have now decided to do surgery locally instead of travel and hope to get a date for next week. Like you, it’s a lumpectomy. I’m just waiting on the schedule of everything, Covid ect. I think I will get more anxious leading up to the surgery honestly! Need to start that guided imagery a friend sent me.


    WC3 - yeah, nothing like a cancer dx to just make you want to be totally real all the time with everyone, and want the same back 🙏🏼 I did connect with a few people - I have a cancer connections phone buddy and there is a monthly Zoom support group. I have now decided to stay local for surgery and transport will be easy to figure out. Appreciate your advice, thank you


  • duchessoftea
    duchessoftea Member Posts: 6
    edited September 2020

    Hello July152020,

    I don't know if I decided to go flat as the decision was made for me but I have not had reconstruction since my bilateral mastectomy. I had just turned 43 and had gone through chemo but I was still really ill. I gained a lot of weight during chemo and the plastic surgeon didn't think I was a good candidate. I had planned on getting it done later but 7 months after the mastectomy, I was diagnosed with a new tumor in my adrenal gland. So I began chemo again....It has been two years and I am again thinking about it. It is a difficult decision. I have gotten used to the way I am and rarely wear the prosthetics. I know how difficult the surgery is and everyone I have spoken to has told me it was so much harder recovering from reconstruction that the initial surgery to remove the breasts....so I just don't know, I think it would have been easier if I could have done it at the beginning but I have seen a lot of women get infections and have more problems that way, so I really don't know. Everything about breast cancer is hard. The treatments, the surgeries, the decisions....I hope you are able to come to a decision that you are comfortable with and are emotionally ready for....Praying for you

  • hn
    hn Member Posts: 31

    Hi ladies in 40s, ✋
    I am commenting here to get this thread on top of active forums. Happy to share experiences here.

  • orangeflower
    orangeflower Member Posts: 92

    I was dx at 41, almost 42. Very shocking to me. I am now almost 46.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,884

    Hi @hn and @orangeflower! Thanks a lot for giving this thread a boost.😊 Let's keep the conversation going!

    The Mods

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 735

    Hello,

    I was 39 at my first diagnosis, but I'm now solidly in my 40s with my second (44).

    This time, I am being put into menopause and starting AI drugs soon, which I'm very worried about. Lately, I've been going down a rabbit hole of researching supplements that might help with side effects or preserving both aesthetic and physical experience - e.g., I've been very lucky with my skin and looking somewhat younger than I am, and, vain as it sounds, I'd love to keep it that way.

    I periodically go down the supplement rabbit hole and often end up spending plenty of money for questionable results, but hope apparently springs eternal. I'd be glad to read about others' experiences.

    I'm also single with no children, which in some ways feels very lucky as I stare down my fears of mortality and in some ways feels quite bleak.

    Sending out good vibes all around! Thanks to hn for bumping this thread!

  • hn
    hn Member Posts: 31

    Hi @orangeflower and @salamandra I understand your situation and wish you both good health. 😇

    I have two kids (age 5 and 10) and I really want to do well as far as health goes for my kids and family. So far I am doing okay, able to manage work and family life with some side effects like hot flashes. My doctor had suggested to walk so I walk everyday for about 2-3 miles. I also reduced sugar intake - I barely eat sugar. I have some cheat days like during holidays and family events. Other than that trying to eat healthy food and praying. Also thinking to start meditation.

    I know all days are not same but I want to stay positive as much as possible 😊
    And I wish good health to all. ❣️

  • snm
    snm Member Posts: 72

    Hi all! I'm 46. Diagnosed last year with mainly DCIS, microfocus of invasive. Tomorrow will be 1 year out from BMX- lots of mixed emotions but I'm focusing on the positives. Wish I had the will power to ditch the sugar, hn!

  • hn
    hn Member Posts: 31

    @snm All the best to you. Ditching sugar is not very easy for me but not that difficult also. I have been thinking of ditching some other habits too like coffee but can't!! I think we all are different and we can do what we can do. 😌

  • creativezoo
    creativezoo Member Posts: 28

    @salamandra I can relate about the vanity. I am not even a person who gets caught up in superficial things but the fact that I looked 10 years younger than I am was always something I valued about my looks when I didn’t value much else. I’m not a makeup wearer and I am pretty casual as far as clothes/style are concerned. Now I look 20 years older and I’m sure as the years of tamoxifen start to add up it will only get worse.