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Always in the back of your mind

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  • edj3
    edj3 Member Posts: 1,579
    edited November 2019
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    Yeah--every time I have something new going on, I am trying to keep the attitude that those hoof beats are horses, not cancerous zebras. It's hard.

  • edwards750
    edwards750 Member Posts: 1,568
    edited November 2019
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    I don’t think there will ever be a day at least for me when a constant ache or pain isn’t attributed to BC. We’ve been branded with the C word always looking over our shoulders but as time passes not as much. My MO told me if a pain persisted for 2 weeks to come see her. Fortunately I didn’t have any issues.

    8 years last August.

    Diane

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 468
    edited November 2019
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    Thanks for this thread. I'm pretty cranky that even though as far as we can know all the cancer was taken out w/my BMX - just one tumor and a little in a sentinel node and none in other 8 they took out- and even though I had clean Bone, CT and MRIs plus a transvag ultrasound to check out the ovaries etc. before starting chemo --even with all of that documentation I can't just relax and enjoy my course of treatments and not worry it's gonna come back. Total BS.


    big hugs to everyone

    -Vic

  • hikinglady
    hikinglady Member Posts: 625
    edited November 2019
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    Hello, fellow worriers and warriors! I had a bad headache, for a day, then another day, and a few days later, it had been a week. Pressure on both sides of my head. My MO had trained me after chemo ended to be alert to anything that could be a symptom of various types of mets, and "headache that doesn't get better over 2 weeks" was on the list of something that could possibly be Brain Metastasis. I was debating what day to go see my PCP or MO about this headache. Which doc, how to follow up, how long to Wait And See and Suffer, etc. before getting myself to a doctor.

    Turns out, I had gotten new glasses the day before the headaches started, and they were too tight. This was the fastest ever cure for Brain Mets! Of course, during the headache days, I was positive that I had Brain Mets, because every hoofbeat's a zebra, not a horse, when we're living with some (very understandable) worries.

    I went back to the optician and asked her to make the earpieces be less snug. Presto, Abracadabra, my brain cancer is cured. No more headache. You would think that I might have thought of this on Day 2 of new glasses, which was also Day 1 of new headache, but I did not. It took a whole week for me to consider this cause for the headache. Apparently, I see zebras everywhere. I know you'll all be excited that I cured my brain cancer so quickly. Ha ha ha, --that sentence must be said with dark, ironic humor......

    Zebra is the American medical slang for arriving at an exotic medical diagnosis when a more commonplace explanation is more likely. ... Since horses are common in Maryland while zebras are relatively rare, logically one could confidently guess that an animal making hoofbeats is probably a horse. (Google's explanation)


  • AnnC2019
    AnnC2019 Member Posts: 93
    edited November 2019
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    edj3,

    Do you have the FH mutation? That can cause leiomyomas. I had the breast cancer genetic testing and I have that mutation. I don't have leiomyomas but the doctor wanted to order a kidney MRI which I haven't done yet. I did have melanoma taken off my leg in September but luckily caught it early. I asked if the FH mutation can cause breast cancer and they said it is unknown

  • edj3
    edj3 Member Posts: 1,579
    edited November 2019
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    AnnC2019, if that was included in my genetic screening, then no. Nothing popped for me. My husband says I'm an overachiever to have two cancers with no genetic mutations, which made me laugh.

    I did get in w/ the derm for the re-excision today, he took a lot more (and showed it to me, was kind of cool in an oh my that's my flesh kind of way). He also strongly urged me to share the path report with my MO because of that tie to renal cancer. I see the MO's PA the first week of December so I'll have the original path report plus the one from today's pound of flesh removal.

  • dogmomrunner
    dogmomrunner Member Posts: 492
    edited November 2019
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    HikingLady - I would have also been convinced I had a brain tumor.

  • arizonaboundgal
    arizonaboundgal Member Posts: 38
    edited November 2019
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    Great post, Hikinglady. Thanks for the laugh.

  • 2019whatayear
    2019whatayear Member Posts: 468
    edited November 2019
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    Thanks for sharing that story Hiking lady! So glad it was your glasses!

  • tb90
    tb90 Member Posts: 280
    edited November 2019
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    Hikinglady: zebras are everywhere. When my mom was dying of cancer and we were caring for her in her home, one morning, I noticed her squinting and reaching for things that were not there. I thought, oh no, it’s gone to her brain now. After watching her and feeling devastated, my sister yells, “has anyone seen my glasses?” We had put her glasses onmy mom. My mom was such a trooper, she laughed and then asked whether we put her teeth in her mouth or whether they too belonged to another. She was amazing. And died only one week later. I hate zebras 🦓 but love humour and stoicism.

  • vlh
    vlh Member Posts: 768
    edited November 2019
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    HikingLady, loved the moment of levity! When we feel anxious about every anatomical oddity, it's a good reminder that they often end up being nothing worrisome.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
    edited November 2019
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    Haha HikingLady thank you for the giggles! I would have totally been thinking the same

  • AnnC2019
    AnnC2019 Member Posts: 93
    edited November 2019
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    hikinglady thanks for injecting humor into a difficult situation we all face. When I was first diagnosed I hoped I would have at least five years because that would give me time to plan. My aunt sent me a prayer booklet from the Grotto/Saint Peregrine in Portland, Oregon and in it there was a section about cancer giving us the gift of being able to plan and reflect, unlike a sudden death. I guess even in the most awful of circumstances there is something to learn or gain. I guess that is easier to say if you aren’t stage 4

    I am a caregiver to several family members with different issues and a single mom. My biggest worry is that my current family are all on the way out and my daughter will be completely alone if I pass. Her father died when she was a child. I could have benefited from therapy but never went. At this point, I am just taking each day as it comes and will slowly plan for a shortened life span if that is in the cards. Saving money so I can leave as much as possible to my adult daughter wth the idea that not worrying about survival can sweeten the day a bit.