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

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  • weesa
    weesa Member Posts: 78
    edited April 2017
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    Shelly, we certainly have similar diagnoses! I had a very sketchy course of AI's. I took the 3 main ones--Arimidex, Femara and Aromasin. All my joints became inflamed and then weakened with all three of them, tho I finally decided Femara was the least worse. I limped to a five year finish and decided to stop. I had a number of operations to repair ripped and weakened joints, and while my onc wanted me to continue on for ten years, he supported my decision to stop. I think now more is known about the type of reaction I had but at the time I quit, around 2008 after five years, not much was known about how to counter this reaction. (My onc had not wanted me to try tamoxifen because my port had clotted up once and tamoxifen raises the risk of clots.)

    There are times I worry about my short spell on AI's which was punctuated with frequent AI vacations. I know my estradiol level is still fairly high. In addition to a sketchy history of AI's I also do pretty much everything else wrong. Bad diet, lack of exercise, use of body products with dangerous ingredients, daily wine. Don't take any supplement except vitamin d3.

    I think of myself as being uniquely well-suited to give hope to the survivors behind me--pretty much do everything wrong yet don't seem to relapse. Knock on wood. I am superstitious about crowing too much about my good health!

    xoxo, Weesa

  • Artista928
    Artista928 Member Posts: 1,458
    edited April 2017
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    I hear ya weesa. I'm was doing ok on Tamox. Then in Feb when I was for sure in menopause onc put me on Letrozole. Oh my holy hell was it hell, head to toe. At 5 weeks when I saw her next I was in miserable shape. I heard Arimidex is basically the same se's and Aromasin is too expensive. Hair loss was worse on Letro and that was big for me. Got back on Tamox. I take a baby aspirin daily too to help prevent clots. I still have my port no problem. It's easier on me to have labs drawn from the port than the vein. Plus in case I need chemo again, I have the port.

    Food is my only consolation. I'm obese, BMI 37. I try not to eat junk but do at times. I have issues with portion control. I live alone so it's very hard to be on a good diet and exercise, ha. So ya, I hope to have your luck weesa.

  • weesa
    weesa Member Posts: 78
    edited November 2017
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    The day is here at long last. Fifteen years ago today I must have driven home from a surgeon's office after hearing the words, "You have breast cancer, now you have something to talk to your bridge club about." I could not remember the trip home; the very next thing I was sitting at my kitchen table thinking, "I'll never know what it is like to have gray hair." ( I didn't think about cleaning out my closets and getting ready for my husband's next wife until the next day.) Well, guess what...I am getting wispies of gray hair around my temples. My closets are still embarrassing. I've seen my children marry. I have two darling granddaughters. I still have dark moments, but life is good.

    Happy Thanksgiving...

  • dancingelizabeth
    dancingelizabeth Member Posts: 305
    edited November 2017
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    Congrats Wessa!!! I love reading your posts!!! You give me (much needed) hope!!!

  • leesad
    leesad Member Posts: 100
    edited November 2017
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    Weesa- Congratulations!! So happy for you and I needed to read your post today. Thank you for sharing!
  • hopefour
    hopefour Member Posts: 104
    edited November 2017
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    Weesa thank you for always bringing a bit of humor and encouragement to us!! Thankful for your 15 years and hope we each are blessed with such too. As always thank you for stopping by and hope someday I too can come back and post 15 years! Now on to 20 and beyond!!

  • newnorm
    newnorm Member Posts: 54
    edited November 2017
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    Congrats weesa. Thanks so much for posting and giving us all more hope. Looking forward to posting here myself one day. Xxx

  • ladyb1234
    ladyb1234 Member Posts: 1,237
    edited November 2017
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    Congrats, Weesa. I love this post so encouraging 💕💕. Now marching to 20 years

  • sugarplum
    sugarplum Member Posts: 72
    edited November 2017
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    Weesa!!! I KNEW you started this thread with the full intention of posting on your very own 15th - and no surprise to anyone, you made it. I'm pinning my hopes on this thread too...

    Hugs & admiration as always -Julie

  • Momine
    Momine Member Posts: 2,845
    edited November 2017
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    Weesa, good to hear from you, as always. The longer I deal with the bitch-f*@ker, the more I am convinced that living well is key, whatever that means to someone. This is a sneaky and unpredictable cancer. Whatever you do, there are no guarantees. If you live well, at least you can die happy, whether that is 2 or 50 years down the line. I happen to like exercise, so I do exercise. Maybe it will help, but meanwhile it makes me feel good. However, I also finally decided that I won't give up wine. Quality of life.

  • denise-g
    denise-g Member Posts: 353
    edited November 2017
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    Weesa - congratulations and thank for the continued hope to so many of us!!!

  • lkc
    lkc Member Posts: 180
    edited November 2017
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    Weesa,

    Congratulations on your MEGA milestone. You have gone through these past years with grace, humility and also hilarity.

    I am so happy your life is so enriched with your family and grandchildren. Celebrate those gray hair wisps . I know I do!

    Much love,

    Linda

  • yatcomw
    yatcomw Member Posts: 57
    edited November 2017
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    Weesa...

    As you said...."Let's build it and they will come"....

    Well.... you built it and you came.....simply awesome.

    I know when I started out in 2004...this thread seemed so impossible.....the simple hope it brings is priceless....and now to start adding names.......well it gives it cred.


    Congratulations......on living life to the fullest...while kicking cancer's ass........who knew we would be happy getting gray hair;)

    Jacqueline

  • 5graces
    5graces Member Posts: 12
    edited November 2018
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    congratulations weesa and all you other survivors I sure needed to see this today...thank you for the encouragement! :-)

  • TectonicShift
    TectonicShift Member Posts: 102
    edited July 2020
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    .

  • weesa
    weesa Member Posts: 78
    edited November 2017
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    Friends old and new--, I am so humbled and honored by the heartfelt congratulations here. I've read every one over and over. It's so gratifying to hear from the "oldies" like IKC and Yatcomw and Sugarplum, and from so many of you just starting out...and fearful. Such strong, warm voices here. I have to call out Tectonic especially and say what a knowledgeable and intelligent presence we have here who keeps up to date and presents her thoughts so well. I never miss her posts. Nobody should.

    Love to all of you on this unexpected journey...Weesa

    Hmmmm.. Maybe you will see a 20 year thread pop up in a bit...

  • iamelaine
    iamelaine Member Posts: 39
    edited November 2017
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    This is most excellent news, weesa! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. CONGRATULATIONS and cheers!

  • yoselyn147
    yoselyn147 Member Posts: 2
    edited December 2017
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    i´m so happy to read these stories! It's hard to be optimistic

  • peacestrength
    peacestrength Member Posts: 236
    edited December 2017
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    weesa - thank you for all the support here and for sharing your hope filled 15th year. Much peace and many hugs!


  • kar123
    kar123 Member Posts: 72
    edited December 2017
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    Congrats Weesa!!!! So happy for you!!!


  • Wonderwoman386
    Wonderwoman386 Member Posts: 12
    edited December 2017
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    I’m half way through treatment, my road is dark and gloomy right now, my daughter just turned 8 months new and when I look at her I cry because 10, 15, 20- it’s not enough, I need a cure, I want to meet my grand babies.

    Thank you for this thread, it has shined a light in the darkest of places.

  • Milolove
    Milolove Member Posts: 2
    edited December 2017
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    Congratulations and thank you for giving us hope!

    I just got my pathology report and it seems I have an extranodal extension of 0,50 cm on lymph node, the only one with cancer of 22 extracted. This was totally unexpected and hard to digest since it seems I have a higher risk of recurrence and lower survival chance. I would like to know if anyone of you had a similar case.

    My cancer is hormonal and Her2 positive. I had chemo already and double mastectomy on 12/5/17. The plan is start radiotherapy for 5 weeks on January and continue with Herceptin every 3 week for a year. Tamoxifen will be added soon along with a new medication.

    Thank you and hope to all!


  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,082
    edited December 2017
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    Dear Milolove,

    Welcome to the community. We are sorry for your breast cancer diagnosis and at the same time we are so glad that you reached out to our community. We hope that you find support, information and shared experiences that can guide you along the way. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help you to get connected here on the boards. The Mods

  • Wonderwoman386
    Wonderwoman386 Member Posts: 12
    edited December 2017
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    milolove- I had extranodal extension on 2 nodes, one was 1.3cm! I also had micro growth in 4 other nodes.

    My treatment plan has been chemo, rads starting Jan 18/2018, and then tamoxifen

  • WorryWartSuzie
    WorryWartSuzie Member Posts: 8
    edited December 2017
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    OMG! I needed to read ALL of these posts! I went to a party last night and my oncology nurse was there and he goes, "Well, we have lots of things to treat recurrences these days! I was like, "Recurrence? My surgeon says I am going to be fine, as did about 3 other MDs. Why worry about that?" I just finished my treatments in August and I can't go down that road - None of us should. The minute we do, it wins! Haven't we all be through enough? I can't talk to stupid people - it depresses me for days.

  • denise-g
    denise-g Member Posts: 353
    edited December 2017
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    WorryWartSuzie - OH MY, I am SO SORRY that your Oncology Nurse said those words to you! Of all people, they

    should know better. Sending HOPE --

  • HoneyBeaw
    HoneyBeaw Member Posts: 150
    edited December 2017
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    Worry

    Im so sorry someone of his profession would do that

    Seriously what a dumbass, I would rip him a new one and let him know how unprofessional his comments were .

  • PVM
    PVM Member Posts: 27
    edited January 2018
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    Ladies have been lurking on this thread for a while & had to post how much of an inspiration you all are. From the 1 year to 5 to 10 to 15 & plus years. This is so encouraging to read especially as im finishing my cancer treatment. Have 7 rads to go woot woot woot. I wont lie ladies i do worry about reoccurred as well as developing LE & am so tired of seeing peoples eyes open wide when i tell them how many positive nodes i had. Does it ever get easier i wonder but in the meantime i will try not allow Cancer to rob me of living a happy life & enjoying life. It has taken so much from me already but i shall continue to stay in warrior mode & read the wonderful inspirational stories of you survivors. WorrywortSuzie i cannot believe a doctor would even have the nerve to say that to you. Unless he has a crystal ball & can guess the future he has no idea if your cancer will come back or not. What a jerk, does he not realize that having a BC diagnosis not only leaves physical scars but mental scars too. Don't listen to him you continue to stay strong & fight. Have a wonderful weekend ladies

    Smile

  • HoneyBeaw
    HoneyBeaw Member Posts: 150
    edited January 2018
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    PVM

    Love you attitude, I understand the worry, I do pretty good until I have a upcoming appt then the anxiety gets me . I don't tell people I had positive nodes only a couple of friends know . I guess in a way Im lucky as I have work friends that have/ had breast cancer and we simply don't talk about it unless one of us is having a horrible day and then we deal with it an all get back on the wagon..

    Keep up the positive attitude, I know its hard at times and can be a daily fight at time. I try to keep myself super busy an keep the positive in my life.

    Huggs

  • PVM
    PVM Member Posts: 27
    edited January 2018
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    Honeybeaw thanks so much for the hugs & moral support & I shall definitely try to stay positive even though like you my mind tends to drift every now & then. I shall take a page from your book & try to keep busy & the positive in my life :) I think all the amazing warriors on these threads are all inspiring & hope to join you ladies with many years cancer free. Hugs xo