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Ladies in their 40s

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  • cancerisnotmyhappyplace
    cancerisnotmyhappyplace Member Posts: 6
    edited March 2014

    oranje_mama. We travel in simi,ar circles, I get my treatment in Bethesda and am going to grad school in Baltimore.  I know there are a lot of other people in this metropolis, but nice to connect with one of them.  I just got my prechemo hair cut and my kids do not like it. But it gives them plenty of joke material and laughing is better than crying.  My oldest is 11 and in passing said he was really worried about me. It is a huge advancement for him to be able to verbalize that versus the anxious stomach symptoms we went through with my husbands last deployment. 

    Carpe Vinum, good to have another mil spouse here. We will pcs mid-tx and all new docs and location. Increased stress with moving is already challenging. 

  • CarpeVinum
    CarpeVinum Member Posts: 10
    edited March 2014

    cancerisnotmyhappyplace ~ where is your new duty station? I cannot imagine going through that mid tx.

  • cancerisnotmyhappyplace
    cancerisnotmyhappyplace Member Posts: 6
    edited March 2014

    CarpeVinum- we move to Hawaii. Thankfully we have been there before, so we know a bit of what to expect. 

  • CarpeVinum
    CarpeVinum Member Posts: 10
    edited March 2014

    cancerisnotmyhappyplace ~ that's where hubby and I met :)

    Are you happy about going there?

  • capricornchrissy
    capricornchrissy Member Posts: 7
    edited March 2014

    Hi ladies.  I am new to this forum.  I was diagnosed almost two years ago.  I was diagnosed with DCIS when I had my first-ever mammogram at age 40, but then each subsequent procedure and scan brought more bad news until I ended up with Stage 2 bc with one lymph node involved.  I had a bilateral mast, chemo, radiation, hyst, and reconstruction.  

    Cancerisnotmyhappyplace: your journey sounds a lot like mine. I hope your PET brings nothing but good news.  Finally getting the diagnosis nailed down and on the road to recovery brought me a lot of comfort.  I also have young kids and a supportive husband, and they did a lot to keep my mind hopeful and focused on recovery.  I also found that accepting help from my mom and sister with regards to my children was a very good thing for me and for them.  On chemo weekends, they would go stay with my sister and her kids, which allowed me to relax without worrying about them, and made it a fun weekend for them.  I hope you have someone around to help as well.  

    Jerseymomof3: good luck with your surgery and I am glad that you are comfortable with your decisions.  I was like you, I did not have cancer in the second breast but I did have "atypical cells" and adenoma, so I decided on the bilateral.  I do not regret it at all.  I had my reconstruction with back flap (forget what it is called) last May.       

    Orangemama: a "nomo chemo" trip sounds great!  I'm glad you have that to look forward to, and I hope it all works out.  

  • capricornchrissy
    capricornchrissy Member Posts: 7
    edited March 2014

    Macintx, tangandchris, blueberry4: Just noticed that we are all in the same area. Its cool to see some local girls.  Let me know if you have questions about local resources. I'm not sure that I will know everything but I might know something!

  • Macintx
    Macintx Member Posts: 24
    edited March 2014

    capricornchrissy- I got my post-surgery camisole at Survivor Gals in Plano!  Love that place.  I don't live too far from Plano. 

  • capricornchrissy
    capricornchrissy Member Posts: 7
    edited March 2014

    I have been to Survivor Gals too and All About Me, which I also liked.  I hear they were partners once, then had a disagreement and broke up.  Now they both have shops a few blocks from one another.  I don't know about SG, but All About Me is really good about checking your insurance and getting you free bras and things.  

  • oranje_mama
    oranje_mama Member Posts: 79
    edited March 2014

    cancerisnotmyhappyplace - I am also getting treated in Bethesda, Dr Hendricks (Johns Hopkins/Suburban). Can't believe you have to mice to Hawaii in the middle of this.

    Edited to say, uh, that was supposed to be "move" not "mice"!

  • tangandchris
    tangandchris Member Posts: 934
    edited March 2014

    Capricornchrissy-Good to see you too! I'm also a capricorn lol. I need to check out some of these cancer stores, I'm having a heck of a time finding hats that fit my head. turns out I have a big ol' head :(

    I can't remember who posted..Agness maybe...but what is this PABC? I wondered early on in my dx if my late in life pregnancy brought about hormone changes that led to my cancer. It was just a theory though.

    I had my port put in today. It turned into a 2 hour surgery, they couldn't get the port to go in on my left side. They tried on going in by m clavicale(sp?) and my neck, so they went to the right side. I'm all kind of sore now. I'm also loopy as all get out so I hope this post makes some sense :)

     


     

  • cancerisnotmyhappyplace
    cancerisnotmyhappyplace Member Posts: 6
    edited March 2014

    CarpeVinum- We are happy about Hawaii but it has logistical challenges. Also it was taken off the table several months ago, as in assigments officer saying someone else  is slotted you are not going there. Then out of blue, we aregoing. Gotta love PCS season. 

    Capricornchrissy- my husband is exceptional and my 

  • Maggiemay1220
    Maggiemay1220 Member Posts: 1
    edited March 2014

    Loving this thread!  I couldn't bring myself to join a group called middle at age 43.  LOL

  • Macintx
    Macintx Member Posts: 24
    edited March 2014

    I barely snuck in at 49.  Phew!

  • agness
    agness Member Posts: 406
    edited March 2014

    Here are some links about pregnancy associated breast cancer. 

    "Pregnancy at a relatively young age reduces the risk of breast cancer over the long term, but epidemiological studies have found that women are at an increased risk for breast cancer during pregnancy and for up to 10 years after giving birth, said Debra Tonetti, associate professor of pharmacology and lead researcher on the study. These pregnancy-associated breast cancers also carry an unusually high risk of spreading to nearby organs and for lethality as compared to breast cancers in women who have never been pregnant, she said."

    Clues to Pregnancy-Associated Breast Cancer Found

    http://chicago.medicine.uic.edu/cms/One.aspx?pageId=10491764

    Researchers study breast cancers after pregnancy

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/02/breast-cancer-after-pregnancy/1601129/

    Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer

    http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/tips-and-solutions/37/breastfeeding-and-breast-cancer

    Gestational Breast Csncer Epidimiology and Diagnosis

    http://www.uptodate.com/contents/gestational-breast-cancer-epidemiology-and-diagnosis

    From my understanding it is through the process of cellular involution (scaling back after the stimulation of pregnancy hormones) that creates local inflammation in which malignancies can get set up in. Breast cancer cells can hide in what I refer to as "dusty corners", areas with poor drainage or circulation -- they like anaerobic conditions in some cases. The cancer cells can also use the inflammation to sort of trick the white blood cells into ignoring it.

    I have to put my little guy back to sleep, hopefully my post makes sense.

  • capricornchrissy
    capricornchrissy Member Posts: 7
    edited March 2014

    tangandchris: Be sure to have the stores check your insurance to see what might be covered.  My insurance paid for bras every year, a bra insert (because my breasts are a little uneven), and part of my wig.  Btw, I have 2 cousins who live in Royse City.  

    I also have wondered about the pregnancy thing.  I had my kids at age 35 and 38.  Late pregnancies are not really talked about as a risk for bc so I never thought about that before.  And I'm sure the years I spent taking birth control pills didn't help either.  I have no family history so still looking for answers.  

  • MedicMom2
    MedicMom2 Member Posts: 4
    edited March 2014

    Room for 1 more?

    Diagnosed 1/17 this year at 46 w IDC. Mom diagnosed also at 46 w DCIS (25 yrs ca free this June!!). Grandmothers x 2 and 3/4 great-grandmothers plus a couple of great aunts on both sides (I have no aunts) tossed into the family cancer club as well but I'm BRCA negative. Thinking  we need some more genes to test.

    So thankful I was diligent with annual mammos.  Negative mammo 1/6/13. Positive mammo 1/13/14. 

    I am married to an amazingly supportive hubby, hope to keep working FT (or close) as a paramedic, and have 2 girls, 17 and 13, 2 boy cats, and a new puppy (gotten pre-diagnosis) that provides equal amounts of diversion, entertainment, company, and frustration. 

    Biggest fear and concern is keeping life as close to normal as possible for our girls.  They're still my babies...

    Deb

  • agness
    agness Member Posts: 406
    edited March 2014

    Welcome Deb. how interesting that breast cancer has appeared several times in your family but your BRCA is negative. Yes, they have a lot to learn still about this disease.

    A puppy sounds like fun. I've got two wiggly little boys so no puppies for us yet.

    Why did they have to do surgery on you twice?

  • Momof3GreatKids
    Momof3GreatKids Member Posts: 285
    edited March 2014

    Welcome Deb!  I hope everything can continue as normal for your girls as possible also. We had that same goal for my kids as well and it seemed to make things easier for them. I just had my 2 year canceversary this week and we are proof that it can work.  I have a DS who is 16 and two DD who are 13 and 11. I am from CT also. What part of the state are you from if you do not mind sharing?  This site is great and has helped me keep going these past 2 years. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. 

    Gentle HUGS to you all!

  • MedicMom2
    MedicMom2 Member Posts: 4
    edited March 2014

    Agness 

    The 2nd time they went back for skin and the margins that weren't clear.  Very frustrating.  The incision is much bigger and now I'm worrying about which way my nipple is going to aim. Prob north now. Of all things to focus on.... :-) Pushes back the rest of treatment as well as work.  I'm so used to being on the go that this being in a standstill is harder than . My brain won't shut off just hangng out at home. There was no option for re-excision that I saw. Prob did my profile wrong 

    Momof3 - I'm near Hartford.   I'm so glad it's gone so well for you and the kids. I'm hoping. How much did you share? I'm trying not to worry them but also don't want to understate it either. Esp w my oldest leaving for college in *gulp* 5 months.   My youngest is at the lock-myself-in-my-room stage Of being a teen to begin with. (Although yesterday she actually cleaned it while she was in There)

    So glad I found you all my age. It's disconcerting to find myself middle aged but then be told I'm young. And it's so awesome to see there is normalcy on the other end. 

  • MedicMom2
    MedicMom2 Member Posts: 4
    edited March 2014

    momof3...where did you go in CT for wigs/scarves/hats? Now that I'm feeling good to drive, I want to go look and figure out what I will do, but I kind of don't want to just walk in blind.  I don't see myself as a wig person but I don't see myself wearing a hat or being bald to N's high school graduation either.  I am debating a pre-chemo short haircut to get everyone used to it. 

    I went to Nordstroms at West Farms right before my surgery for a post-survey bra and got the most amazing bra fitter so that was easy.  

    Anyone - Am I nuts for thinking I can work in between chemo treatments? It seems that as soon as you ladies felt close to normal with symptoms, it was time for the next round.  Financially, I'd still like to have a house to live in when I'm done w all this. 

  • Momof3GreatKids
    Momof3GreatKids Member Posts: 285
    edited March 2014

    MedicMom - I was at the cancer center at St. Francis and they had they had someone there from the American Cancer Org there on certain days and they have me a free wig. I only ended up wearing the wig for 4 days and then I switched to hats since the wig was hot and itchy. Where are you going?  I also got hats from them also and they gave mesome cotton   hats on my first day of chemo that I wore around the house. Where are you going? I also worked all through chemo but I have a desk job. Feel free to PM me if you want. 

  • MedicMom2
    MedicMom2 Member Posts: 4
    edited March 2014

    momof3...I will definitely pm you tomorrow when I am awake and able to focus. The 2nd surgery has wiped me out way more than the first and I took pain meds and going to sleep. Thankfully hubby is working and the kids are happy to have a night of TV. 

    I also am at St Fran!!!!!   

  • Momof3GreatKids
    Momof3GreatKids Member Posts: 285
    edited March 2014

    Sleep well MedicMom and we will definitely talk more later. Hope you feel better in the morning!

  • agness
    agness Member Posts: 406
    edited March 2014

    My boys are young (7 and 3-1/2) but I have tries to be upfront about treatment. In order to keep this a happy time for then I have been reaching out to other select families and asking for their support, so that we can get lots if playdates in. That way I can rest and they will benefit from increased social time and support. 

    I just came across reference that through how we handle things during this time we model for our children how to deal with adversity in life. Yes there will be tears, but we can show them how to tap into their support network and to do the work and fight the fight to get through it.

    Yes MedicMom, here we are just dealing with some of the changes that come with our 40s and feeling a bit less youthful but then we are young relative to the patient population. 

    Which brings to mind, have you found a support group or a peer to aid you during this journey? My MO's nurse gave me the name of an organization that you can call and they try to hook you up with a peer support, someone who has been through breast cancer treatment and is a similar demographic (age, marital status, children). I can post the info here is anyone is interested. I just got the number yesterday afternoon so I haven't had time to call yet,

    Have a good weekend. I have a kids birthday party to run.

  • oranje_mama
    oranje_mama Member Posts: 79
    edited March 2014

    3 months since I told my DDs my diagnosis. Today my 6 year old asks me for the first time: "can you die from breast cancer?"  I said "not usually." Then she asked if I thought I would die from it, and I told her I didn't think so. "I don't think so either mommy."

    Hope I handled that one okay . . . No tears from her or me. I've come a long way in 3 months.

  • momwriter
    momwriter Member Posts: 276
    edited March 2014

    Hi,

    I'm new to this forum, but so glad I've found it. I'm 48 now--  I was diagnosed at 47 with IDC 3cm plus micromets in 3 sentinel nodes, triple positive. At the time my kids were 9 and 10 1/2.  I have no family history of BC, though I did have my  kids late at 36 and 38 and I did use some fertility drugs for first child-- I blame bc on that-- though no regrets--. I did ACTH chemo plus possibly perjeta (trial) and radiation, and tamox. I managed to function pretty well through chemo though I got tired (and I had helpful DH) . Found radiation challenging.   I finished Herceptin this January (yay!) and had the port removed three days later.  While I was devastated when I first got my diagnosis, (tearing up constantly) I decided to be upbeat with my kids, and I didn't want to scare them unless there was a reason to.  I did wear a wig for a year (hair takes sooo long to grow back!!) mostly because I didn't want to be seen as a sick person when I went to my kids' soccer games or the grocery store etc. But this is such a personal decision.

    Now that I'm done with active treatment, I'm not sure where I should "put" this bc experience in my life.  Anyway, it's great to hear other peoples' stories and find other 40ish moms of fairly young kids.

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited March 2014

    Hi momwriter - welcome to thread.

  • youngturknyc
    youngturknyc Member Posts: 115
    edited March 2014

    Hi orange_mama - you handled that conversation with your DD really well!!!

  • megonzal
    megonzal Member Posts: 6
    edited March 2014

    Hello all,

    I've noticed in this thread that there are some women who've had their ovaries removed and others who haven't (among those with hormone positive cancers). Does anyone know what the criteria is for doctors to recommend oophorectomy? My doctor never mentioned it, but I was ER+/PR+ and pre-menopausal.

    Melinda

  • Momof3GreatKids
    Momof3GreatKids Member Posts: 285
    edited March 2014

    Melinda - I am BRCA2 positive so I was at a 40% higher risk of ovarian cancer and since it is hard to diagnose early I decided to get them out after talking to my MO and. GYN Oncologist who was the one that did the surgery. 

    Feel free to ask more questions if you have any.