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Ladies in their 40s

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  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited February 2014

    I am so sorry you had to join us roareus.  I have a boy and girl twins too - they are 9!  I completely understand how you feel.

  • audra67
    audra67 Member Posts: 127
    edited February 2014

    Bluewillows- Question:  why did your MO say no to fat grafting?  I had some when implants put in and my PS said they 'always' do fat grafting as the skin around the implant needs filling or it looks weird...what does it do to have it with er pr positive?

    All of you that have had ooph/hysterectomy- how was recovery?  How is that menopause different than chemopause ? 

    Do you still have to take Tamoxifen or another med?

    thanks

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited February 2014

    Audra - i had an extremely easy recovery from ooph and minimal menopausal symptoms. I believe fat is one of the tissues in which estrogen is produced in a post menopausal woman.  I assume (but do not know) that the fat in close proximity to breast tissue may feed the breast tissue estrogen. This is what came to my mind when I read about the fat grafting but do not know the answer.

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited February 2014

    also I have no idea if I had any fat grafting in connection with my skin sparing mastectomy. This was not mentioned to me by my PS.

  • Enerva
    Enerva Member Posts: 2,985
    edited February 2014

    Hi, i heard about the same risk with Estrogen and fat but i didnt research much i just refused to get it done, more cuz i am afraid of lipo complications. Now i ll see a new PS hope he can help me get better results, my exchange was in Dec 24, so only 2 months ago. Not sure how long i need to wait before a revision surgery.   

  • bluewillowskys
    bluewillowskys Member Posts: 268
    edited February 2014

    Audra: yes the doctor (two of them) said they dont trust yet that the fat graft would not feed the cancer cells because of estrogen being in the fat and my cells were estrogen positive. They both said they didnt feel there had been long enough studies yet on doing the grafting in cases such as mine.

  • Mirona
    Mirona Member Posts: 1
    edited February 2014



    I was 44 at dx. It started with a bloody nipple discharge on
    the left breast. Mammogram shoed a lump and I was sent for further testing. At
    the hospital another surprise they found another lump on the right side too.
    Between April and September I have been through double mastectomy, 4 rounds of chemotherapy
    and ooph and found out that I am a brca2 positive. Recently I was complaining about
    back pain. I have done a CT scan which came negative for mets but have found
    that I have advance spinal stenosis. I am on Tamoxifen . I have bad hot flashes and
    joint pains. I am not thinking reconstruction
    because of my low tolerance to pain. I am thankful for every day that is cancer and pain free. This
    is my journey so far.


  • Okiemomof4
    Okiemomof4 Member Posts: 10
    edited February 2014

    I'll join this group, too. Diagnosed one month before my 48th birthday in April of 2012. Have 4 children. It is nice to have a group that gets it.

  • CarpeVinum
    CarpeVinum Member Posts: 10
    edited February 2014

    Oh Mirona I can empathize with the hot flashes. Sometimes every 30 minutes for me. Drenched. I've got three gorgeous wigs and I've worn them a total of 2 times since last April because it's just too hot!

  • pzercher
    pzercher Member Posts: 6
    edited February 2014

    ROAREUS:  We were diagnosed just a day apart.

    I have three sons, ages 14, 18, and 20. They have been really wonderful. My middle son even asked to feel the lump before I had it removed--I think it made it more real for him. He seems to be the only one who is not afraid to say what he is thinking and feeling, and to ask the hard questions.  No platitudes from him. We have had some pretty amazing conversations about breasts (occasional awkward moments, as he has a quite buxom girlfriend, hahaha).  

    I am trying not to lose sight of the hopeful stories as well.  My college roommate was diagnosed at 32 with your exact stats, and she is cancer-free 15 years later.  And is raising two beautiful adopted children!  Courage...

  • Macintx
    Macintx Member Posts: 24
    edited February 2014

    I just found this thread.  I am 49 and have 2 kids, 23 and 21.  First person in my family to get BC.  What I noticed first was the hard lump in my armpit. That's what I originally pointed out to my ObGyn at my annual appt.  She subsequently sent me for a diagnostic mammogram and US which warranted a biopsy of both breast and lymph node.  Even after my dx, I still couldn't feel my breast tumor since it was small, deep and near the chest wall, and I have dense breast tissue around the outer edges.   I have gotten a mammogram every year since 40, but unfortunately they were always the old-fashioned film ones, not digital.  After getting a diagnostic digital mammogram this year and finding the suspicious area, I wonder if the "benign calcifications" they had noted on my previous few years' reports would have been looked at more closely if they could have seen them better.  It's amazing the difference between digital mammograms and the old film types.  Like night and day as far as what they can see.  Oh well, can't go back, so just looking forward to getting past chemo and radiation!

  • Gonein40
    Gonein40 Member Posts: 76
    edited February 2014

    welcome to the thread.  You have come to the right place.  I have learned so much from these forums. You will not be disappointed.  I also have children  19,25,27 and it's not just them going thru this. It's all of us.  Good place to ask lots of questions or get answers to some you want answers to. Good luck with your journey but remember we are not alone.  

  • Macintx
    Macintx Member Posts: 24
    edited February 2014

    I do have a question.  Does anyone know if you have to have risk factors to be BRCA tested (and have insurance pay for it?)  I don't really fit the criteria for testing (no family history- no females in my family have had any cancer, let alone breast or ovarian), only Dad had Colon and Prostate- both in his 70's.)  But, I have an identical twin sister and daughter who would really like to know.  Plus, I met a girl who was told she had no reason to get tested (same thing, no family history) so she paid for it herself (several thousand dollars) and it turned out she tested positive for the gene!

  • Marlene18
    Marlene18 Member Posts: 48
    edited February 2014

    Hi Macintx, we're up in Canada (so not on private health insurance) but my identical twin sister was immediately tested for BRCA because of us being twins, though we had no family history until her diagnosis. (We're negative for the genetic mutations but we both still got BC anyway.)

    Thanks for starting this thread YoungTurk - I'm turning 40 in a couple months. My twin sister is a six-year survivor and expecting her second child this summer. I was diagnosed during pregnancy at 38 and my daughter just turned one. I just finished Herceptin in January so I'm really looking forward to the end of those side effects (fatigue mostly and the annoying nose drip), just the tamoxifen achiness to endure now. I only seem to get the sweats at night so I just changed to taking my pill in the morning to see if that makes a difference. Good to meet you all. :)

  • MCbeach
    MCbeach Member Posts: 43
    edited February 2014

    Hi All-

    Dx at 43 10/11/13.  I had a call back mammo, dense breasts, one of many callbacks, this time they called for a biopsy.  Biopsy was positive for DCIS, Gr. 3.  Had prior augmentation so not a lot of options as the rads would have left me disfigured, so BMX in November w/ TE placement (nodes clear!).  Clear side had ADH and DCIS was much larger then originally thought - so glad I went for the BMX.  I'm scheduled for my exchange in March.  BRCA negative.

    I have 2 girls, 11 & 14 and have been married 16 years.

    Bluewillowskys-If you get an MRI make sure it is timed to your cycle.  Mine was not so the test was worthless.

  • tangandchris
    tangandchris Member Posts: 934
    edited February 2014


    Hi ladies...I found this thread late. I was dx'd at 39 on 10/24/13 and I turned 40 on 1/18/14. I've had 3 surgeries including BIMX and then having my TE's removed due to infection. I just finally started chemo last Thursday, 6 rounds TAC. I'm married :) DH is has been holding up well under all of this, but it is hard on him. I feel guilty alot that I'm causing so much stress, even though I know it is ilogical. We have 3 girls, 21, 15, 4...mine, his, and ours. The oldest is out of touch and doing her own thing, the middle lives with her mom so she isn't here much and the baby is...well my baby. She's a strong little girl, but this has been hard on her too.

    I haven't read thru all of the posts, but I will. I did see in the beginning lot's of people talking about how healthy they were when initial dx happened. I hate to say that I wasn't that healthy at all. I am overweight and have high blood pressure. I am sure that has not helped in my recovery issues. I do go thru my mind and wonder at times if this is what caused my BC, you see I am the first one in my family too.

    Anyway, glad to find this thread. I hate going to the MO's office and seeing all these much older people than me there. It is HARD to see that.

    ((hugs))

  • babyduck
    babyduck Member Posts: 32
    edited February 2014

    Wandering if any of you worked during chemo? How much?

  • megonzal
    megonzal Member Posts: 6
    edited February 2014

    To Macintx: I had the BRCA test done. I believe you do have to qualify based on risk factors in order for insurance to pay for it. One factor is being diagnosed with BC at the age of 45 or younger. Another is to have a family history of cancer (either BC or ovarian). For me, it was an aunt who had had ovarian cancer.

  • peacestrength
    peacestrength Member Posts: 236
    edited February 2014

    Babyduck - I did not work through chemo.  Some women do but for me there was no way that I could have handled anymore.  

  • tangandchris
    tangandchris Member Posts: 934
    edited February 2014


    I am in the process of trying to work thru chemo. I had my first treatment last Thursday, was off Friday and Monday. So I had a long weekend to recover, but I am still worn out. Luckily I work from home....otherwise I don't know that I could do it.

    I'm gonna keep going as long as I can.

  • roareus
    roareus Member Posts: 68
    edited February 2014

    I worked through chemo.  Had chemo on Thursdays, every other week.  I took Thursdays and Fridays off every other week and went back to work on Mondays.  Only work if you can handle it as we all react differently.  Good luck!

  • odie16
    odie16 Member Posts: 1,415
    edited February 2014

    Hello everyone. 

    I am 43 years old and was diagnosed at age 40. Failed my "baseline" mammogram. No family history and brca negative. Married with 3 grown boys and two neurotic fur babies. Currently on year 3 of the 10 year plan. Hoping for gentle treatment for everyone. 

  • Swimmom2
    Swimmom2 Member Posts: 43
    edited February 2014

    just want to add my 2 cents on the braca test. I was diagnosed 2 months shy of 46 and luckily made the cut off for braca testing. No family history, but based on being 45 or younger insurance usually pays.  I was negative, and thankful it was paid for. 

  • Vannabrown3
    Vannabrown3 Member Posts: 2
    edited February 2014

    Hello Ladies! I am 43 (soon to be 44) and was diagnosed with Stage 1, er/pr+, her2-, BRCA- breast cancer. I am heading into my third round of chemo. I am going through chemo because I have a high oncotype score of 46. This damn oncotype score keeps me from finding any sort of peace for an extended period of time! What does stage 1 matter if I have a high risk of recurrence? I know the score is way to note that chemo will benefit me. I know that aggressive cancers respond well to treatment.  But the words, 'high risk of recurrence', are torturing me! I wish there were more stories of long term survivors that had a high oncotype score.

  • Vannabrown3
    Vannabrown3 Member Posts: 2
    edited February 2014

    I am a teacher, so I chose not to work due to the exposure of germs. However, if I had an office job, I think I would have continued working through chemo. Now that I have experienced two infusions, and have an idea of its effects on me, I think working would be doable.

  • Macintx
    Macintx Member Posts: 24
    edited February 2014

    Vannabrown3, I'm not sure if it's better to know you have a high score, or be like me who didn't qualify for Oncotype testing or BRCA testing.  I didn't fit the criteria for either because of age, node status, being pre-menopausal, etc.   I knew I would have to have chemo based on my positive node (it was a tumor the same size as the breast tumor in the one node) but I have no idea as to my risk of recurrence.  I'm getting chemo, radiation and hormone treatment, so I'm going all out, but not sure if being in the dark is any better than knowing your score!

  • roareus
    roareus Member Posts: 68
    edited February 2014

    Vannabrown3 - 

    Please remember that the onco score was developed to come up with a more personalized treatment.  If I remember correctly, these recurrence scores indicate your chances of a recurrence with no treatment.  It is often used to determine whether you get chemo or no chemo.  Not sure what your diagnosis is but don't drive yourself crazy.  Talk to your doctor about what this means...

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited February 2014

    vannabrown3 - my oncotype score is 48 for one tumor and 27 for the other, and I am stage 2a. My onc said I would likely get a huge benefit from chemo, and that's all that oncotype determines - effectiveness of chemo. So no worries you are lowering your chances of recurrence way down.

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited February 2014

    welcome to the thread ladies

  • babyduck
    babyduck Member Posts: 32
    edited February 2014

    Ok y'all. Anybody had something show on PET scan? MO says everything looked good....except something lit in the brain. He feels confident it is nothing and says other drs would probably not even do more tests but he likes to be overly cautious and wants an MRI...a bit nervous of course. JW if anyone else had a scare?? I guess I'll know once it's done. He did go ahead and set up my chemo for Friday. A bit nervous about that too.