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Ladies in their 40s

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  • agness
    agness Member Posts: 406
    edited February 2014

    I have a uterine fibroid that showed up on the PET. I already knew about it though.

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited February 2014

    babyduck - hoping that what lit up on the pet is one of those "incidentalomas" - i.e. absolutely nothing.

  • stfne
    stfne Member Posts: 19
    edited February 2014

    Hi everyone. I was DX with DCIS a few days after my 46th birthday this past January. I am married and have an 11 year old son and just adopted 3year old ds and 5 year old dd in November. I am BRAC-. Scheduled for BIMX on March 6th and ooph on April1st. I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you.

  • Blueberry4
    Blueberry4 Member Posts: 20
    edited February 2014

    I'm 43 and was diagnosed with IDC and DCIS in January.  I'm having a bilateral mastectomy March 10.  I am married and have a 15 year old daughter and a 12 year old son.  Thank you for creating this thread; I look forward to getting to know you all.  

  • Jenwith4kids
    Jenwith4kids Member Posts: 216
    edited February 2014

    love that word, young Turk...."incidentalomas"....baby duck, I'll be thinking about you, I hope all comes back clear.

  • oranje_mama
    oranje_mama Member Posts: 79
    edited February 2014

    for those who asked about working through chemo - I just had #4 TCH on Thursday. Still lying in bed this morning. Last in the office on Wed. I'll do an occasional email/call from home on the Friday post-chemo. Will try the same (possibly) this afternoon. Tues/Wed I will not go to office. But should be able to do a bit more work from home. Thursday is an infusion day for me (herceptin), so I don't attempt a trip to the office then either. Friday I may or may not go in, depending. A week from today I'll be in the office for the next week 1/2 and then cycle starts again.

    So, I'd say I'm kinda sorta working through chemo. Once I feel well enough. I really like being in the office. Gives me a feeling of normality. 

    That's my experience. Everyone is different

  • roareus
    roareus Member Posts: 68
    edited February 2014

    Pzercher - Thank you for the words of encouragement about your college roommate.  I wish neither one of us ever got diagnosed.  I wish we didn't have to share the commonality of being diagnosed a day apart.

  • Gonein40
    Gonein40 Member Posts: 76
    edited February 2014

    ladies I have done my first treatment of FEC-D. I felt a little sluggish after day 3 of pain in stomach and heartburn.  But I feel great.  I do my next treatment on the 4th. I am hoping to return to work next month. I work in a retirement home.  I plan on working only half days. But I am soreadu to go back to work. I have been off since nov  21 st. 

  • peacestrength
    peacestrength Member Posts: 236
    edited February 2014

    Hang in there those who are in chemo treatment.  You can do it!

    I noticed a few are not receiving ACT chemo.  May I ask how it was determined you received a different chemo?  

  • Breamom
    Breamom Member Posts: 2
    edited February 2014

    I was diagnosed at 41.  I am here to encourage all of you 40 something year olds.  My kids were in 3rd grade and 6th grade at the time.  I had a double mastectomy (after two failed lumpectomies), I had chemo and radiation.  I have been reconstructed but never got nipples.  Chemo put me into menopause.  Once chemo ended I would have a period every 6 months to 1 1/2 years or so.  They would be super heavy, like stay at home and don't even leave the house kind of heavy.  I was and still am a working mom.  I took that year off and was able to volunteer at my kids' school and really enjoy being home (I am a flight attendant).  Looking back it was the best year of my life and I was blessed by so many and so much.  11 years have passed, I am now 52.  Hang in there.   Enjoy this time.  Please understand that I say this because I was there.  I had school aged children and my kids have a fantastic memory of that time.  I'd like to share my chemo haircut video with you.  youtu.be/XyH11P0xtZ0 (this video can only be watched on a computer)

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited February 2014

    Breamom,

    I certainly hope you are a legitimate poster, but I have noticed that you posted only within the last 24 hours, and in each case, you are providing a link to a video.  If you are a legitimate poster, thank you for your encouragement.

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited February 2014

    Also, Breamom, for those of us who had to go through chemo and other brutal treatments, in many cases with young children at home, I would not use the words "enjoyable" or that year being "the best year of my life."  In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing happy or enjoyable about being a cancer patient.  If you are NOT a legitimate poster, I hope you never have to experience the brutality of any cancer diagnosis or its treatment.  It is not happy or pretty in any shape or form.

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited February 2014

    Breamom - I also would like to respond to one more sentence you wrote: "I had school age children and my kids have a fantastic memory of that time."  My son told me that if I died he would dig my skeleton out of the grave with his bare hands, and he would take my skeleton to his home and hug it for the rest of his life.  He (and my daughter) are just as traumatized as I am about the whole situation.  No child wants to see his/her mother without any hair, no ability to eat, and throwing up for three days in a row after each chemo infusion.  My apologies if I am cynical and skeptical about the authenticity of your post just based on the fact that your children had a blast while you were going through treatment.

  • tangandchris
    tangandchris Member Posts: 934
    edited February 2014


    Youngturk-I thought the wording was strange too...never have I felt that this was an enjoyable time, especially in regard to my children. Not sure if she is legit, but if so breamom you might want to reconsider your wording on this forum.

  • Breamom
    Breamom Member Posts: 2
    edited March 2014

    My name is Natalie.  it's been 11 years since I was diagnosed.  There was no FB.  There were virtually no blogs.  I don't think I knew what a blog was.  I am a Christian and have great faith in God.  My faith is not that I will survive because of my faith but my faith tells me that God is in control and I have always had great peace with this.  I am a real person who had a real cancer.  I have deleted all of my other posts and will never return to this website.  The only reason that I have not deleted the previous one above is because for some reason there is no delete button on that post.  I am responding to those that are telling me that that it could not have been the best time of my life.  Well in HINDSIGHT it was.  The key words is hindsight.  I am a flight attendant.  I would go away on day trips or over nights, nothing too long.  Having cancer allowed me to stay home without being responsible for work or others at my work.  In other words I have the type of job where others are not affected by my absence.    I was able to focus on my kids and husband and still was feeling good enough to volunteer at their school.  I didn't get that sick from chemo.  I got a little achy from the Neupogen  shot that I would receive every two weeks or so.  Other than that I was feeling pretty good.  I was bald and my daughter preferred that I wear a wig to class vs. a scarf to teach Art Masters.  Other than that my kids were fine because I took it in stride so they took it in stride.  Let me back up though.  In 2000, my husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  He almost died because he was diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms twice while undergoing treatment.  His chemo was way worse than mine.  He had 3 rounds and the first week of every round he would go in for eight hours a day, five days a week.   We got to know all of the chemo nurses and his oncologist.  It was summer time so the kids and I would go sit with him during his long weeks of chemo.  Three years later when I was diagnosed , I already knew all of the chemo nurses and the oncologist.  I used the same Doctor and treatment center as my husband.  Cancer was not an unknown thing to me or my kids .  We had already endured it.  My husband had already lost his hair. I knew how that all worked.  There was nothing scary ( the unknown) about cancer because my husband was a three year survivor.  My kids heard the word cancer again and the word did not have a harsh impact on them because they had seen their dad go through it.   I had chemo and after that I had radiation.  I was a radiation case study.  I won't go into details but because of the case study I had to see the radiologist for follow ups more than most in order for them to track me in the study.  Sometimes I would miss my appointment and profusely apologize to the radiologist.  One thing that I will never forget is when the doctor told me what was so different about me than many of his patients and what made me a survivor.  He said that I had a really good mental outlook.  He said that many of the patients would come in with log books filled with symptoms and time lines and I was oblivious to all of that.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  He said I had a better psyche than many people that he was used to seeing.  He made me feel good about who I was when I was going through cancer.  I have a very positive outlook on life and miraculously I made the best of it while undergoing cancer treatments.  Now that my kids are grown they understand things a bit better and they are shocked that their dad and I were the way we were but they "get" us and they are proud of us.  I'm sorry if I offended anyone going through cancer at this time.  It's been 11 years for me and 14 for my husband.  Oh but there has even been so much more.  I have great memories because girlfriends took me out to lunch, teachers treated my kids and me like royalty, my extended family was wonderful and when I would go shopping with my scarf and/or hat people would smile at me.  I smiled at everyone I encountered.  I realized that I actually made people smile.  Strangers would come up to talk to me and say a simple "God Bless you".  Yes people look at you as if you are the walking dead.  What a great opportunity this is to be a Christian witness ( if you are a Christian that is).  What a great opportunity you have to be a blessing to others and to receive blessing by those that want to do something for you whether its bring dinners for the family or do something nice for your kids.   I had a couple girlfriends from work come to visit one day who told me that they came to bless me and in turn they were the ones blessed by the visit.  I didn't do anything.  We just talked and laughed.  You can be a blessing to others by this experience.  11 years from now cancer may be your legacy or a distant memory for you.  My question for you is How do you want others to remember this time of your life?  I am a breast cancer survivor.  Good luck to all of you.  I hope years from now you can understand a wee bit of where I'm coming from.   

    Edited by Mods only to remove member's personal email address, for her own privacy and protection.

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited February 2014

    Breamom - I wish you all the best in your journey.

  • agness
    agness Member Posts: 406
    edited February 2014

    When we spoke to the surgeon the other day during my consult my partner asked "what is the difference between those who respond well to treatment and those who don't?"

    The surgeon said patients who take it one day at a time, doing their best with the daily challenges, not getting lost in the bigger questions, who get their "Verizon crowd of people" backing them up. Those are the ones who do really well. Trying to soldier through this, trying to go it alone don't do as well.

    Just something to consider.

  • Jennt28
    Jennt28 Member Posts: 1,095
    edited February 2014

    agness, statistics don't agree with your surgeon. There have been studies that have shown that outlook / attitude do not make any difference to outcome. 

    Your outcome will be based on the genetics of you and your cancer, not your attitude. If you want to feel hopeful and happy that's fine. if you want to feel sad, depressed and pessimistic that's fine too. Makes no difference to outcome...

    Jenn

  • cascam12
    cascam12 Member Posts: 4
    edited March 2014

    peacestrength. Sent u pm

  • cascam12
    cascam12 Member Posts: 4
    edited March 2014

    jennt28. pm sent to you

  • cascam12
    cascam12 Member Posts: 4
    edited March 2014

    enerva. I pm' d u.

  • happyraccoon
    happyraccoon Member Posts: 105
    edited March 2014

    Hey Ladies, I just found your thread.  I guess I can stop feeling sorry for myself for being diagnosed at 42.  Looks like I majorly lucked out, though, because I have three kids who were all breast fed.  The youngest is 10.  She had just turned 8 when I entered Cancerland.

    Just wondering, those of you who are raising tween or teen daughters through this strange landscape, what advice can you give me?  My daughter is grossed out by my body.  She wanted me to wear foobs, so I did.  But then she was even more grossed out and made a rude comment to me in front of her friends.  Really, it seems the only thing I can do is be as comfortable as possible with all of this myself.  And be compassionate about her attempts to relate.  I know I made snide remarks about my own mother...normal right?  Breast cancer just seems to be another level of difficulty? 

    What stories, tricks can you share? 

  • cancerisnotmyhappyplace
    cancerisnotmyhappyplace Member Posts: 6
    edited March 2014

    I am jumping on this thread late. I am 41.  I went for my birthday screening mammo and was given an unwelcome surprise. It was a simple little cancer that just needed surgery, then step by step has become more involvfed. I go for PET CT this week. Not looking forward to it as every test has brought to another obsacle. My kids are still elementary age and doing well with everything. I show them  scars, drains, and talk about things generally. Life has changed dramatically, I couldn't do it without the support of my husband. 

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited March 2014

    Hi cancerisnotmyhappyplace,

    I am so sorry you have to be here.  I guess we are both up late.  I hope that your PET CT will come back clean.  Many of us on this thread have young children.  We completely understand you.

  • JerseyMomOf3
    JerseyMomOf3 Member Posts: 7
    edited March 2014

    I guess this is the place for me. I am 45 years old, married mom of three kids - 15 year old identical twin girls and a 12 year old son. I have been diagnosed with Multi-focal DCIS and a veritable precancerous petri dish in my right breast. Based on the very busy precancerous activity in my breast, family history, etc my surgeon recommends bilateral mastectomy, which I instinctively and through research feel is the best decision for me. I am likely having a DiEP Flap procedure done this spring. I am making decisions now regarding surgeons, facilities, etc. it is comforting to read others' stories and know I am not alone.

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited March 2014

    hi Jerseymomof3 - so sorry that you had to find yourself here.  I have not regretted my bilateral mastectomy despite the fact that I still do not have complete feeling in my armpits and a serious shoulder range of motion issue exacerbated by Femara.  Despite all of that, I would make the same exact decision today. The only thing I am ambivalent about is the reconstruction with the implants.  They still feel like odd foreign objects stuck to my chest wall.  I guess I do not know what it would feel like to not have done reconstruction but to me there is nothing that feels natural about the implants. Perhaps psychologically it was the right decision.  Thankful to have had the option to reconstruct.

  • agness
    agness Member Posts: 406
    edited March 2014

    How is it for you being one of the younger ones when you go to medical appointments? I feel so isolated, like this cant be happening to me. I'm sure the other patients have lots of complexities in their own lives but having to worry about pre-school pick-up probably isn't one of them.

    Have you found peers in your community to talk to?

    I'm also struggling to makes sense of it all. How hard it was to become pregnant (5 years of infertility due to fibroids), miscarriages, then two beautiful and healthy boys who I breastfed full term -- culminating in a sudden weaning of my younger one with this diagnosis. Motherhood feels like such a Faustian bargain when I worked so hard for it and then I end up with PABC (pregnancy associated breast cancer).

    I'm just so sad about it all and worry about treatment affects and whether we can overcome the entropy in my body that is this malignancy -- or am I just sliding down a slope of inevitability?

    Know what I mean?

  • agness
    agness Member Posts: 406
    edited March 2014

    Happyracoon - it is not okay that your daughter be abusive towards you. I haven't studied psychology but might she be lashing out in this way because she is frightened by the cancer treatments, worried about whether she might lose you and worried about her own risks -- just as she is at an extremely body conscious stage in her life? I had an ex-boyfriend in college that was so scared I would leave him that he acted in a similar fashion.

    Might she need to speak to a counselor to work through some of her feelings instead of bullying you?

    Such a difficult situation, I hope you find resolution. 

  • oranje_mama
    oranje_mama Member Posts: 79
    edited March 2014

    A lot of activity here since I last checked!

    Happyraccoon - I'm interested in what others have to say about tween girls.  I have a 9.5 yr old daughter - I haven't had surgery yet, but I am bald from chemo.  Initially she was really worried that I wouldn't be wearing my wig when I come to pick her up from school. In the meantime, she's chilled out about it.  A week or so ago, we were going to her "debut concert" (ha! 4th grader "instrumental concert" - what a noise!) at school, and I told her that I was planning to wear a hat with my headband of hair under (no wig) - and she was like, cool, no problem.  She's used to it now.  At the moment, it's my 6 yr old who's having the harder time of it.  Every single morning she tells me her tummy hurts.  She's been to the nurse at school several times with this undefined tummy ache too.  I think it's anxiety/nervous tummy.

    Cancerisnotmyplace - We also talk with our girls about everything.  I got my older daughter a book called "The Year My Mom was Bald" and she devoured it from cover to cover.  It's pretty detailed with pictures and diagrams.  I think being open helps.

    Agness - yes, I know what you mean.  Last week I was the youngest by at least 25 (if not 35!) years in the infusion room.  There was a guy in the room accompanying his elderly mother - and the guy was a good 15 years older than me.  I know of one person in my broader circle who is going through BC right now - however she is also 8 or 9 years older than me, and she did not have chemo.  On the other hand, my boss is an 11 yr survivor.  She went through this at age 44 with two daughters just a few years older than mine are now.  She has had no recurrences, looks awesome, so healthy & physically fit.  She is an inspiration for me of how we can come out of this on the other side.

    I am on Day 12 from chemo #4.  Finally feeling more normal.  This was a hard one.  I actually find Days 7-10 the hardest.  I feel like I *should* be over the worst of it, and in fact some SEs have gone by then, but the lingering (or new SEs) are seemingly some of the worst.  Mucositis (that burned feeling on my tongue & throat), Taste Bud changes (water tastes terrible, I drink it like it's medicine), and lingering GI issues.  I think my positive energy is just gone by Day 7 and find it hard to power through.  

    Yesterday, I had tremendous tingling in my feet, and to a lesser extent in my hands.  We had gone to Baltimore and went for a long walk, plus visited a museum so I was on my feet more than I have been in quite some time.  When I got home, the soles of my feet, especially my heels, were on fire.  Bright red.  Part of my palms too, and they were peeling.  Dr. Google seems to say this is Hand & Foot Syndrome (HFS), a rare SE of Taxotere. I will be calling my MO once the office is open again (everything is closed here in DC due to snowmageddon #5 this winter) but I'm already worried that this will throw off my chemo schedule.  It seems that HFS is serious enough to warrant dose reduction or holding chemo until symptoms subside.  

    We recently booked a trip for the 2nd half of spring break - which would start on Day 14 after my last chemo.  We got refundable plane tix this time.  We knew that chemo schedule could be thrown off.  But this would send my girls into a tailspin.  They were so upset at the idea that we would not go to the beach for spring break (we normally go every year and drive all the way to SC where my parents live).  

  • CarpeVinum
    CarpeVinum Member Posts: 10
    edited March 2014

    oranje_mama ~ my worst days are later than most also ~ days 6 - 8. I am on AC now but I had taxotere last year and it did suck, but I'm happy to report that all of my peripheral neuropathy has resolved since my last infusion of it last July. My hair also grew back just fine (many people are not so lucky on the taxotere). My eyebrows ~ not so much. I'm getting to be a pro at drawing them on lol.

    Sounds like you absolutely have HFS I'm glad you're getting it checked asap.

    My 9 year old was also having lots of stomach aches and many trips to the school nurse. Luckily his school has a therapist who is there solely for children of military families. She has been wonderful. Not only does she also have a 9 year old son, but she's lost loved ones to cancer and can totally relate to how my little guy is feeling. She sees him once a week for an hour. They play games and cards and talk. He loves her, and I think just knowing that she is there at school for him makes him so much less anxious. Maybe your daughters' school has someone similar that they can talk with?