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Stage III Cancer Survivors...15+ years and out

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  • lkc
    lkc Member Posts: 182
    edited June 2021
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    thanks Karen and yes it’s wonderful for us all to be able to grow old. Happy you are with the oldsters and well

  • rebzamy
    rebzamy Member Posts: 49
    edited June 2021
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    Hey there,

    Not quite 15 years out yet, but 14 this month. I thought as I am so close, it would be okay to post.

    I really had no idea if I'd still be here 14 years ago, when I was in my 30s, but I am blessed to still be and am doing well.

    Lovely to read these posts.

  • scar1888
    scar1888 Member Posts: 23
    edited July 2021
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    That's wonderful news Dutchigirl! True milestone! My 24 year of survivorship will be the end of October this year. It has been a roller coaster ride for sure but I feel so blessed. There are days I deal with severe fatigue and wish this would clear up but I just try to move forward each day.

    You two having each other is a huge, huge support.

  • scar1888
    scar1888 Member Posts: 23
    edited July 2021
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    I see that you shared your story on June 7th and here, a month later, I'd love to know how you're doing! Yes, it is tough to be single but I also know a few dear women whose husbands simply left after their dx. It's such a hard ordeal especially as a single woman Racheldog. Where are you in treatment at this point? Do you have many friends who have supported you? I had many but, due to severe fatigue that has lingered, I often 'didn't show' when invited out and after a while they stopped inviting. Some would say, "Can't you push more?" There were times I could and times I just needed to stay put. Kind of understandable but on the other hand, you want your oldest friends to back you 100% all of the time. This doesn't always turn out the way we hoped.

    Let me hear from you Rachel!

  • lexi4
    lexi4 Member Posts: 59
    edited August 2021
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    Hello stage III sisters. Checking in on my 16th year out from stage III bc. Doing well overall and getting to reach milestones that I wasn’t sure I’d be here for :). My youngest was married this year and it was so wonderful to witness my baby girl, who was 9 when I was diagnosed, marry her best friend ❤️ And, the best news, our son and his wife are making me a grandmother. My heart is so full of joy sometimes I feel it will burst.

    All those years ago being diagnosed with stage III her2+ bc, was scary and I felt very lonely in my diagnosis. I was so blessed to find my stage III sisters here at BC.Org. Lots of time spent here praying, encouraging and cheering on milestones together. I surely love to see my stage III sisters from back in the day sharing their cancerversaries. I’m hopeful that just because I don’t see as many of the group that I started here with update, it’s because they are enjoying their lives and bc is inot ruling their life.

    Hugs and prayers,

    Lexi

  • scar1888
    scar1888 Member Posts: 23
    edited September 2021
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    Rachel Dog

    How are you? Give me an update as soon as you can. I'd not been on here in a while so just checking on some folks.

    Love,

    Linda

  • scar1888
    scar1888 Member Posts: 23
    edited October 2021
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    Lexi,

    I know how you feel at year 16th! I'm happy to hear that you're doing well and know you feel so blessed to have seen your daughter marry! You're going to be a grandmother!~ Do you know if it's a boy or a girl yet? How exciting!

    I've been off of bc.org for a bit but checking on a few folks. The end of this month will mark my 24th year of survival! Since losing my precious mom a couple of years ago, I go to the mountains each year on her birthday, in Oct. There's no place like the NC mountains!

    Another year of celebration!

    Love,

    Linda

  • iamelaine
    iamelaine Member Posts: 39
    edited December 2021
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    Hello ladies! I wanted to pop in here and say I hit my 17th year this past March! So, coming up, year 18 in a few months. I actually forgot to post because the day went by and I didn't even think about it! Keep on keepin' on!!

  • newnorm
    newnorm Member Posts: 54
    edited December 2021
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    Congratulations Elaine. Wonderfully inspiring news. Cheers to many,many more years. Xx

  • scar1888
    scar1888 Member Posts: 23
    edited December 2021
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    So happy to read your message! I was dx in Nov of '97 and told it was early. When I went in for surgery, they saw I had node involvement and so a rigorous treatment. (Four out of 22 nodes involved) I am very thankful!

    I'm approaching my 25th year of survival in Oct. '2022! The main thing I deal with is fatigue. All of my bloodwork is normal so I am very very thankful! The 'anxiety' is always 'there' but if this is all I deal with, it's GOOD!


    Please reply. I'd love to hear more from you.

    Love,

    Linda

  • karen1956
    karen1956 Member Posts: 4,555
    edited February 2022
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    Sweet 16💕 02/03/06 I heard those dreaded words that changed my life forever. My husband found BCO soon after and it was my lifeline through chemo and radiation and while suffering on AIs. I’ve never left BCO. I’ve made lifelong friends here, many I’ve met in person.

    I’ve been blessed to see my 3 children grow into wonderful adults. High school graduations, college graduations, 1 wedding and so much more. 16 more years with my BFF forever, myco-survivor, my husband.

    I’m not who I was before BC, but I’m living life and still upright and vertical 16 years later, something I was unsure about back then. I’m growing older

    There is life after breast cancer.

  • mpetago
    mpetago Member Posts: 54
    edited February 2022
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    Eighteen years and counting ❤️❤️❤️ I'm a few weeks early but didn't want to forget to post!! Some lymphedema on the left side, a few spots of necrosis on the DIEP reconstruction, but other than that, just living life and not thinking about breast cancer 😊🙏❤️ There is hope and this could be you too, just as I read these stories from long-term survivors all those years ago and thought that could be me, and it was.

  • pip57
    pip57 Member Posts: 7,080
    edited February 2022
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    I just had my 15th. Im sograteful.

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830
    edited February 2022
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    Wow, just found this thread! Congrats to all of you! I'm halfway there!

    Did anyone change their diet, lifestyle, etc?

  • pip57
    pip57 Member Posts: 7,080
    edited February 2022
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    Home mom, I did change my lifestyle. If nothing else it helped my body heal from all the treatments. But I do believe it was a factor in my survival as well. I did “fall off the wagon” when I moved to a retirement community and lived one big party. But now I’m trying to incorporate a healthier life style while still having fun in light of my heart issues. I dobelieve that keeping a reasonable weight is very important when dealing with er/pr+ cancer.

  • malebreastc
    malebreastc Member Posts: 93
    edited February 2022
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    Hi All

    Wanted to let you know that I have been going strong for 17 years, recently diagnosed with mets, but am going to fight it out. So hang in there girls

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,478
    edited February 2022
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    I'm with HomeMom here and wondering if any of you 15+ years out could please share any tips and thoughts you might have about what has helped and worked for you, even if it's "just a hunch". I'm only 3.5 years out, but have many hopes and dreams, as I'm sure we all do.

    pip57 - Thanks for your thoughts re healthier lifestyles, maintaining weight, etc. From what I've seen and heard it does seem to be key, even if not completely foolproof.

    MaleBreastC - So glad to hear of all the years you were "clean" and very sorry about the recent developments. From what I've seen and heard on here though, there are still many reasons to hope for even more years, in spite of mets. Also, I've got a friend who has had 16 years with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and she's still chugging along, as is her brother-in-law who has had about 10 years now with stage 4 esophageal cancer. Both de novo diagnoses. I've got my fingers crossed for you also. Wishing you the very best of luck! (Both of my friends did everything the doctors suggested and got all the standard treatments for their conditions, but they also immediately began taking, and continue to take, the alternative fermented wheat germ product AveMar and absolutely swear by it. I haven't tried it and don't know if I will, but that is their big strong advice to all. I also know that pancreatic and esophageal cancers aren't breast cancer, but who knows?)


  • malebreastc
    malebreastc Member Posts: 93
    edited February 2022
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    Threetree- Thanks for you encouraging response, you asked what worked, I was taking Tamoxifen for 14 years until I was asked to stop, I think tamoxifen worked for me and wish I had not stopped, but that is hindsight .

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,478
    edited February 2022
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    MaleBreastC - You're very welcome and thank you for your thoughts on what might work. I take Letrozole and just hate it, but I supposed I should plug away with it, regardless. Do take care; I'm sending you good vibes and wishing you all the luck in the world!

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830
    edited February 2022
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    I am moving more towards a plant based diet and using more alkaline foods. It was just in th enews that people who didn't eat red meat were less likely to be diagnosed with cancer. Seems it could keep it away from those of us who had cancer and have a higher chance of being diagnosed again as well.


    Love my wine though, I don't overdue it, but I like a glass or two to unwind after the work day - Friday - Sunday only though.

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,478
    edited February 2022
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    HomeMom - I hear everything you're saying, but you know, I used to love those couple of glasses of wine when I got home from work too, and have been wondering for sometime now though, if that wasn't one of the big contributors to my stage 3 cancer. I guess I'll never know. During chemo, I couldn't tolerate any alcohol at all. Just two sips of wine and my head started spinning, so I've been pretty much a non drinker for over 3 years now. I do have a glass of wine, or a beer or hard cider, on holidays and to celebrate a birthday or something now and then, but even today, just that one occasional celebratory wine or beer can make me feel wiped out real quickly and sometimes for a couple days after. I don't know if the Letrozole I take effects it or not, but there doesn't seem to be any pleasure in it anymore. I almost have that glass of wine now thinking, "Darn it, it's Thanksgiving and I'm having a glass of wine come hell or high water!" That takes all the pleasure of just unwinding a little out of it.

    I'm trying to do more plants and fish, but I'd cut out red meat (except for some Thai steak from the local deli once or twice a year) many years ago. Just chicken, turkey, and fish, but now trying to even cut back some on the chicken and turkey and do more fish. What you heard in the news is interesting, but how do we know it is actually the red meat that made the difference and not the cooking method or something else that red meat eaters do or eat, etc. that they all have in common. It still really all seems like a big crapshoot to me, even though I try to do all this eating better and exercising. I'm not sure if in the end it will turn out that it didn't make any difference.

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830
    edited March 2022
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    threetree -- I guess just be as healthy and fit as you can? I know that whenever my husband would cook steaks they were on the grill (coals) and being italian, pork sausage and meatballs were a constant part of my meal planning.

    I can substitute the meat with the Beyond meat products as they do not have soy. My main goal is to get keep my weight down, enjoy a glass of wine here and there, and exercise regularly. My latest blood work from both the MO and my PCP show low cholesterol and my liver "looks spectacular". I'm hoping that means I'm doing something right!

  • lkc
    lkc Member Posts: 182
    edited June 2022
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    17 years now . Living, loving, laughing and everyday giving thanks

  • sugarplum
    sugarplum Member Posts: 75
    edited June 2022
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    So great to see you Linda! Right behind you at 16 years - still living the "gravy" (which is what I call this extra time I've been given!). When I was diagnosed there were so few of us Stage 3-ers out there, but just look at us now!

    Hugs & hope to all...

    Julie

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830
    edited June 2022
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    I'm 7.5 years and looking forward to 15++ :) I think I've asked this before, have any of you stopped your AI if you were ER PR+? I'm still on it and my MO has given me the option of getting off of it after insisting I stay on for a total of 10 years.

  • geewhiz
    geewhiz Member Posts: 671
    edited June 2022
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    Almost 13 years out for me! Big lifestyle changes, vegetarian (vegan for 8 years), lots of exercise.

  • mpetago
    mpetago Member Posts: 54
    edited June 2022
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    18 years NED and no big changes for me. I did tamoxifen for five years as recommended at the time, decided against oophorectomy and going on an AI and extremely glad I did as I knew I would be one of those with terrible quality of life after surgical menopause. Now I've been in perimenopause for awhile and having severe issues related to estrogen depletion, as I expected. It's so bad that I'm considering HRT after looking at the most current research about it and the relative risks vs benefits. Dr Bluming is an oncologist who has researched this and has an article in Cancer Journal this month on the topic - I can email a copy to anyone interested in reading it. My risk tolerance is much higher now than it was for those first years following end of treatment, I know that I can still have a local or distant recurrence at any time, but I'm at a point where I'm going to do my best to stay current with research and try to live the best quality of life I can after all of this for however much longer that is.

  • francesca30
    francesca30 Member Posts: 63
    edited June 2022
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    thank you geewhiz and mpetago. it’s encouraging and inspiring to read your updates. remaining hopeful because of them

  • lkc
    lkc Member Posts: 182
    edited October 2022
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    Passed17 years ! Living every day with much joy and gratitude.

  • ausykaren
    ausykaren Member Posts: 62
    edited October 2022
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    Congratulations Linda. ❤️

    I pray that I too can post here one day. Being estrogen positive makes me worried about late recurrence.🙏