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Topic: Mammoversaries // Cancerversaries

Forum: Emotional Crises: Anxiety, Depression & Other Emotional Effects —

Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around breast cancer fears, diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: Jul 30, 2017 01:30AM

Michelle_in_cornland wrote:

I have been thinking, for a while, about starting a thread dedicated to the anniversary of the day our mammograms found breast cancer. My day is coming up on Tuesday, August 1, 4:30pm. In honor of that day, I invite others to share their thoughts, emotions, plans for the future, in the context of what that telling mammogram laid out for their future. This is a place for our stories of how we were initially diagnosed, how we handled the news, how we progressed through treatment, and how we are now.

Sometimes, just putting words on paper, or in this case computer, is very healing. The following is my story.

I decided to make all of my appointments with doctors on the same day last year, I had my obgyn appt, my pscyhiatrist (anxiety/depression) appt, and ran late to my mammogram appointment. I dislike these types of appointments so much, that I want them over in a day. However, it did not go that way. August 1, 2016 was on a Monday. By early Tuesday morning, the radiologist called me for followup ultrasounds and 3d mammograms. I thought I would just get a slip of paper in the mail telling me how dense my breasts were and how everything was normal. That did not happen. The radiologist told me that she highly suspected cancer, but that my lymph nodes looked really good. I thought I was going to pass out, that I was having an out of body experience, that they had made a mistake with some one else's chart. My knees felt weak and I went into to full panic mode. I went to a radiologist friend of mine's house, near my house, and she helped me figure out what to do. I trusted her, and she usually read my mammograms. The next morning, August 3rd, we did a 7am biopsy. Afterwards, I went to my sister's house for several days in a row, shaking, crying, feeling like I was going to die. Somehow, about a week later, I pulled myself together, had a plan in place with a breast surgeon, saw a counselor that I had used for post partum depression, and took responsibility for my health. I had input into what type of surgery I wanted, mastectomy vs. lumpectomy. I went with lumpectomy and have been very fortunate to have recovered well. I had 20 total treatments of radiation, which I flew through and finished by November. While contemplating what antihormonal I was going to be taking, I decided to to have a hysterectomy and oopherectomy. That was in January 2017. I was no where near menopause and was worried about reproductive issues. It had been a concern for a few years, since there was no sign of menopause and we did the CA125 to make sure my levels were always good. I take Tamoxifen, with very few side effects, I am healthier now that I was a year ago, I am active and try to walk five miles per day. I am no longer scared of breast cancer. It was my worst fear, my worst nightmare, and I got through it. This year has been a growth year for me in facing a major crisis, and taking control of my fear. I have learned so many lessons along the way, and met many wonderful survivors. This website has been a godsend, and I appreciate each and every one who contributes.

I hope this is an appropriate forum, because I could not think of a more appropriate forum to deal with the emotional effects of a mammoversary. Some people call it cancerversary, I call it mammoversary because that is where it all started for me.

Live free - Oncotype 14, Take things as they come and you can do it!!! Dx 8/8/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2016 Radiation Therapy 10/6/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Aug 30, 2017 08:32AM Michelle_in_cornland wrote:

Trish, we completely understand. Just having the diagnosis said to you is irreversible. We all feel something around the time of year, days of mammogram, days of diagnosis, day of surgery, start date of radiation (October 6th). Falconer reminded me of my surgery date, which was yesterday. I mentioned it to my husband, and we both had a sense of dejavu. But guess what? We, you, me and all the people on this thread, are marking our milestones and living our lives. I am living my life as my best self. It took a wake the hell up call, but I have changed my life because of this. Trish, what is your story, if you can share, and did it change your outlook and lifestyle? I am glad that you found this thread. Big hugs from the heartland...

Live free - Oncotype 14, Take things as they come and you can do it!!! Dx 8/8/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2016 Radiation Therapy 10/6/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Nov 7, 2017 02:45PM - edited Nov 7, 2017 02:46PM by illimae

Approaching 1 year.Saturday, 10/29-Felt the lump. Mon 10/31 PCP appt and referral (only my 2nd mammo, first one 18 months prior was normal. 11/4 mammo and ultrasound, biopsy was scheduled and a nurse met with my husband and I, she was well intentioned but left little doubt it was cancer, we left saying "well, that went badly". 11/8 biopsy and freak out, I recall telling my husband he could get remarried, lol! 11/10 PCP called, its cancer, I leave work and have a friend/coworker tell our boss and my team. I knew I had a positive axillary node too, so I'm thinking stage 3. I'm in Houston, so I insist on going to MD Anderson. 11/16 (next Thursday) I'm at MDA discussing a positive supraclavicular node now and a lesion on my hip bone according to scan and there it is, I jumped the line straight to stage IV. It took me a few weeks to remember that I felt fine but once I did, I decided I wasn't going to live like I was dying. I did my 1st 5k during chemo and my 2nd a couple weeks ago. Chemo, surgery and radiation all went well, my hip bone is healing but I now have 5 tiny brain lesions treated a few weeks ago and I find out the results on 11/14. I've had some ups and downs but honestly I feel pretty good, like I did before I even knew about cancer, if you saw me on the street you'd never guess. As bad as it is, I consider myself very lucky.


Diagnosed at 41 Stage IV De Novo Dx 11/16/2016, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 1/2/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 6/26/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 8/10/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 10/5/2017, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to brain Radiation Therapy 10/20/2017 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 4/18/2018 External: Brain Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 7, 2017 06:31PM - edited Nov 8, 2017 07:33AM by Michelle_in_cornland

illimae, thank you for sharing your story. My breasts are so weird/dense, that I would not have felt a lump. I went with a relative to get her follow up mammogram and ultrasound today. It was at the same place that I was diagnosed. Over the years, I have had several mammograms and they were all fine. Except the last one. I no longer go to that facility, but a preferred facility by my surgeon and MO. I really think the nurses and staff need better training in how to deal with patients newly diagnosed. Maybe, even a social worker on hand for impactful follow up and diagnostic appointments. How we deal with information from the onset, is really key to how we cope through surgery, and other treatment. If a newly diagnosed person has a positive frame of mind, I believe that can carry over throughout treatment. Good for you that you ran a race while in chemo and after. Keep on keepin' on......big hugz from the heartland.

Live free - Oncotype 14, Take things as they come and you can do it!!! Dx 8/8/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2016 Radiation Therapy 10/6/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Nov 8, 2017 06:14AM gb2115 wrote:

I totally passed my one year anniversary on my surgery and didn't notice---was sick as a dog with the crud going around. It's crazy how quickly time passes and moves on.

Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen. Age 38 at diagnosis.
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Nov 8, 2017 01:11PM keepthefaith wrote:

Just passed my four yr SX anniversary a couple of wks ago. Hard to believe that is has gone by so fast. The fear of recurrence never goes away, but at least it is buried somewhere instead of at the forefront of my mind. I agree that the medical providers/insurance companies need to offer a broader approach to treatment. Nutritionists, social workers, physical therapy, fitness, etc. More support is needed instead of just the blanket, "one size fits all" standard of care approach. God bless you all.

Dx 9/17/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/18/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/3/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 12/26/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 1/16/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 2/11/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 4/1/2014 Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/23/2014
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Jan 24, 2018 01:50PM Oceanbum wrote:

I am approaching the anniversary of when it all started for me. I went for my annual exam & mammogram last year on Valentine's Day. They called me on Feb. 20th and told me there was something in the mammogram of my right breast that they wanted to look closer at. I really wasn't too worried at that point. It had happened before. Back in 2000 I had an intraductal papilloma removed from my right breast. So scar tissue would occasionally cause me a call back on my mammograms. So I really thought it was no big deal. But when they called me to schedule it they told me it would be a diagnostic mammogram. This was different than my previous call backs. They were always just another mammogram. That was the first indication that this time was different. So my husband went with me to the appointment. A diagnostic mammogram followed by an ultrasound. Then they scheduled me for a biopsy. My breast surgeon called me with those dreaded words a few days later on March 6th. I met with her in her office later that week. She told me she wanted to do an MRI just to be sure we weren't missing anything. I thank God she pushed for that! The MRI found an aggressive cancer in the left breast that was about twice the size as that in the right, undetected by the mammogram. They went back and pulled 3 years of my mammograms to see if there had been any sign of it. My breast tissue was so dense you couldn't see it. So with this diagnosis everything changed. Now I was going to need Chemo and a bilateral mastectomy was highly recommended. I started Chemo in April and finished it in Aug. I had my mastectomy in Sept. with the tissue expander placement. Then I had the exchange surgery Dec. 15. I have 3 more Herceptin treatments left. And am taking Tamoxifen. I started it in Sept.

Becky ~ "Sometimes we're tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths." Surgery 11/2/2000 Dx 3/6/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/21/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 4/20/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 4/20/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 4/21/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 9/4/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 9/24/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Targeted Therapy 10/1/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 12/15/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/19/2018 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting
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Feb 11, 2018 05:21PM - edited Feb 11, 2018 05:22PM by LimnoGal

Today isthe 2 year anniversary of my LX. Like Michelle, I make all of those annual appointments on one day. Two years ago, I made them all on my birthday (I will NEVER do that again!). I went in for the mammo and the tech, who has done my mammos for 10 or 15 years, said she wanted to send me over to have an ultrasound and that I could stop by after my PCP appointment. Long story short, I was diagnosed with an encapsulated papillary tumor. According to Dr. google, survival statistics for this rare type of BC are excellent. I was mentally ready for surgery, rads, and the rest of my life. Then I got my Oncotype results-a screamingly high 49. Off to chemo in I went. Made it through chemo in time for a work trip to Alaska (which was great!). I am now a year and a half into 5 years of femara. I am planning to retire soon, and to celebrate that milestone by hiking Hadrians Wall with my DH.

This is a shi**y path to travel down, but it can be done. It is good to have it in the rear view mirror!!

Moving on.... Dx 11/2016, DCIS/IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 2/11/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Balloon-catheter: Breast
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Feb 12, 2018 09:29AM EastcoastTS wrote:

Limnogal:

Congrats on the anniversary!

Dx@ 49. Oncotype: 14, BRCA 1/2- Dx 1/4/2017, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/6/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 12, 2018 10:38AM Michelle_in_cornland wrote:

Limogal, thank you for sharing your story with us. It is amazing how just hearing the words, changes your life forever. I do not take anything for granted, and live each day to its fullest. If breast cancer has taught me one lesson, it is the meaning of life. So, here is to all of us living our best lives!!! Good luck on your hike..

Hugs to all mammo and cancer versaries....it does mark a milestone.

Live free - Oncotype 14, Take things as they come and you can do it!!! Dx 8/8/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2016 Radiation Therapy 10/6/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Feb 12, 2018 01:02PM - edited Feb 12, 2018 01:04PM by TWills

I just had my 1st chemoversary Feb 2 so I have a lot of intense anniversaries directly following that. This time last year I was cutting my long hair short in anticipation of loosing it all. I have to say, I feel worlds different a year out from that. Sheesh, that was rough.

Dx 11/2016, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/12/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 2/2/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 7/9/2017 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 7/30/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Surgery 8/27/2017 Hormonal Therapy 11/8/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 3/1/2018 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Mar 11, 2018 01:30AM SJI wrote:

Yesterday I realized I was exactly the age my mom was when she died of ovarian and breast cancer 20 years ago. I've been a tearful mess for two days now. The one year anniversary of my lumpectomy is at the end if this month and I think the age/date thing just opened up the floodgates to all the feelings from this past year that I had pretty much kept a lid on. I had very little help. I live alone and had to keep working the entire time.

Onctype 11, Completed 16 radiation treatments plus 4 boosts on June 28 Dx 2/3/2017, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/30/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 5/30/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Radiation Therapy 5/30/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Mar 11, 2018 01:45AM LimnoGal wrote:

SJI-anniversaries can be rough. Sometimes acknowledging the anniversary helps. Please know that we are thinking about you

Moving on.... Dx 11/2016, DCIS/IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 2/11/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Balloon-catheter: Breast
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Mar 11, 2018 03:03PM EastcoastTS wrote:

SJI:

Thinking of you.

Dx@ 49. Oncotype: 14, BRCA 1/2- Dx 1/4/2017, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/6/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 11, 2018 09:46PM Michelle_in_cornland wrote:

SJI I know that these dates bring up a mix of emotions. But, from what I gather from your profile, is excellent news. You have a low oncotype, it is low stage and low grade, no nodes, which is wonderful. It is okay to open the floodgates and let the built up feelings out. Maybe a counselor could help you sort out the types of feelings that you have and give you support in dealing with them. I had to do that upon diagnosis, as I went into shock immediately upon even suspecting breast cancer. I am not sure what is worse, the feelings that we are left with or the actual surgery and treatment. I would consider, at least for me, a Post Traumatic Diagnosis Disorder. Hugs to everyone.

Live free - Oncotype 14, Take things as they come and you can do it!!! Dx 8/8/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2016 Radiation Therapy 10/6/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Mar 11, 2018 11:40PM - edited Mar 12, 2018 07:10AM by Celand

My one year Cancerversary was in October 2017, so I am actually 16 months out. I had been having problems with my left breast - slight peeling of my nipple and then scabbing - I thought it was an injury from when our family dog had jumped up and scratched me in that area, I didn't feel a lump yet.  On October 12, 2016  I went in for my annual mammogram, actually, I was a few weeks late with my appointment, as I went on an annual vacation out of town and decided to get my mammogram when my husband and I returned home.  When the technician finished my mammogram, I was brought into the ultrasound room, it was there that the radiologist informed me that she saw a small mass in my left breast near my nipple that concerned her.  She offered to schedule me for a biopsy of this mass next week, but I told her no, I don't want to wait that long, I am off today, so if possible, let's do the biopsy now.  She was able to do the biopsy then and there.  The mass was so small that she had trouble getting a sample, what I thought would take about 15 to 30 minutes ended up taking 3 hours!  They had set me up to do what was called a stereotactic biopsy (I was positioned using the Mammogram machine).  Following this ordeal, I was told that the results would be relayed to me in a week.  I actually cried in the waiting room, the nurse navigator, who was present during my biopsy, talked to me for quite a while, she told me not to worry, that I think 15 - 20% of biopsy's ended up being benign.  Well, I was an emotional roller coaster for the rest of the week.  I somehow got through the weekend, and I called the nurse navigator back on Monday, October 17, 2016, to make sure that my biopsy results were in, she told me that they were and for me to come in that afternoon for the results.  I went to the breast center and was ushered into a private room in the back.  The radiologist and nurse navigator both came in and the radiologist gave me the news that I had invasive ductal carcinoma.  At this point, her delivery of this news about my cancer seemed surreal to me - almost like she was talking about someone else - I didn't even cry then, as I had done a lot of crying the week before.  The doctor stressed that my cancer was very small and had not invaded my lymph nodes, so that more than likely my treatment would consist of a lumpectomy and radiation and I would be done.  She asked if I had any questions, the first one I asked was to see my pathology report, which the nurse navigator handed me a binder that included this and was organized for me to keep my medical records - I really appreciated this later - this actually came from a local cancer services center in our community.  I then asked if I needed to make arrangements to go to M.D. Anderson (we are about 3-1/2 hours away from Houston - some people from here go there for cancer treatment) - she told me no, that what I had was very treatable and that local medical providers in our community could treat me.  The nurse navigator had already set me up with a well known, respected surgeon for me to consult with about my options.  I  had an appointment with the surgeon Oct 24, and at that appointment decided that a lumpectomy would be a good option for me.  I had my surgery on Oct 28, then the surgeons office made an appointment for me to see an oncologist, who I saw at the end of November.  My final pathology results indicated that my tumor size was 0.8 cm, ER+ PR+ HER2-, no lymph node invasion, clear margins, and OncoType DX Score 5, which meant no chemo. Also, genetic testing was negative for BRCA 1 and 2. I did have 30 radiations sessions and began taking Arimidex but changed to Tamoxifen because we were uncertain of my menopausal status.  My current oncologist wants me to remain on Tamoxifen at least until I am post-menopausal for a couple of years, unless I decide to get a complete hysterectomy (which my gynecologist say s I should do but my oncologist says not necessary because I am BRCA negative) so, I don't know what I am going to do yet.  I just had a DNC due to uterine thickening, pathology came back benign on all of this.  So many directions this journey can take.  But I am so thankful for my supportive family, friends, co-workers, and this online support group as well as my local breast cancer support group and excellent medical care and professionals - makes all the difference in how I have coped with this.  Also, I don't sweat the small stuff anymore and try to do as the oncology nurse told me - take one day at a time! (My post-diagnosis mammograms - every six months for left breast, every year for my right, have been all clear, with the exception of scar tissue in the area of my lumpectomy). In moving forward, I am incorporating more vegetables into my diet, limiting portion sizes of meat to small (6 oz or less) each meal, limiting dairy and soy, and taking two to three weekly yoga classes - that helps me to wind down and relax, takes stress away, also I walk and swim (I belong to a health club with an indoor pool, so I can swim year round). Also, this past weekend, I had a lymphatic massage, which was awesome!  I have recently discovered a book titled "The Pink Ribbon Diet", which includes many healthy recipes that I can try.

Plus, on a side note, my mother passed away from breast cancer at age 51, I was diagnosed at age 51, my final radiation appointment was on Jan 26, 2017, the 41st anniversary of her death.  My first doctor's appointment following radiation was on Jan 30, which was my late dad's 97th birthday,  and my paternal grandmother passed away at the age of 97!  I feel that I had Angels looking out for me!

Dx 10/17/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/28/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 12/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 12, 2018 10:00AM farmerlucy wrote:

Thank you for sharing your story Celand. I was dx at 51 also. My mother passed when I was a child of BC. I have always felt she was looking out for me as well.


Dx at 51 after a preventive mx that wasn't. Oncotype dx 3. 3D tattoos from Vinnie! PTSD?? You are not alone! Surgery 2/21/2012 Prophylactic mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Dx 2/24/2012, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/11/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 7/22/2012 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 4/10/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 4/14/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Mar 12, 2018 12:42PM Celand wrote:

Farmer Lucy,

Isn't it wonderful to feel like your Mom is your guardian angel and always looking out for you? I hope that in telling my story that I don't come across as a nutcase, but I feel that the similarities with the dates and numbers were more than just a coincidence. Whether it was or not it definitely means something to me and is part of my story.

Even though no one chooses join the BC Club, medical science has made so many strides in treatment options than my Mom and other ladies had in the 60's and 70's (she passed away in 1976). So much more is known about the different types of breast cancer now and treatment specifically targeted to each individual patient. I hope that medical science can find even more effective ways to treat and even prevent this terrible disease for my daughters and the ones in their generation.

Celand

Dx 10/17/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/28/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 12/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 12, 2018 05:59PM farmerlucy wrote:

Yes, yes. For our daughters. That possibility strikes fear in me like nothing else.My precious girl turns 28 next week. Earliest onset in our family is 27. Since I’m her only first degree relative and I was diagnosed at 51, she doesn’t fit in any high risk category. I guess that’s a good thing and a bad thing. 🤔

Dx at 51 after a preventive mx that wasn't. Oncotype dx 3. 3D tattoos from Vinnie! PTSD?? You are not alone! Surgery 2/21/2012 Prophylactic mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Dx 2/24/2012, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/11/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 7/22/2012 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 4/10/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 4/14/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Mar 12, 2018 11:00PM Michelle_in_cornland wrote:

Celand, thank you for sharing your journey with us. If there was one thing I could change about getting the diagnosis, it would be that a professional social worker help deliver the news. It is not just the diagnosis that is shocking, it can be the delivery of the information. I believe that every breast center, needs a social worker to help the patient understand the news and engage with the doctor. We see the ultrasound techs and mammogram techs trying to fill that void without the knowledge of a social worker.

Live free - Oncotype 14, Take things as they come and you can do it!!! Dx 8/8/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2016 Radiation Therapy 10/6/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Mar 13, 2018 06:36AM Celand wrote:

My oldest daughter turns 28 in August, my younger daughter turns 25 next month - both are very precious to me and I am not sure if the fact that my mother was diagnosed with bc in her early 40's whether that puts them in a higher risk category or not, since I am their only first degree relative diagnosed with it but not until age 51. I do fear for their future health and I hope and pray that medical science will make continued progress in even better treatment options (or even a medication that high risk ladies and men can take to drastically reduce or eliminate this terrible illness for all). Celand

Dx 10/17/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/28/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 12/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 13, 2018 06:47AM - edited Mar 13, 2018 06:47AM by Celand

Michelle in Cornland,

  1. Yes, I agree that a professional social worker being part of the team to deliver the dreaded diagnostic news that a patient has breast cancer would be a welcome addition and asset to all breast centers.  This should not fall to mammogram / ultrasound techs, I am sure that this put many in this profession in a tough spot professionally.  I think that at the breast center where I went, the nurse navigator was supposed to serve a dual role as social worker - she did assist with my biopsy, and was with me through the whole awful experience.  Looking back, I have often wondered if they all knew that my tiny mass was cancerous all along, I do wonder why she even told me that there was a chance that it could be benign!   Especially when things really moved fast for me with doctors appointments and surgery once my diagnosis was delivered or maybe I was just lucky? Celand
Dx 10/17/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/28/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 12/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 13, 2018 10:21AM Michelle_in_cornland wrote:

Celand, a word that comes to mind when actually receiving the news, is "clumsy" and "abrupt." There is no reason, in this day and age, for such important information to be "choked" out vs. smoothly delivered by a professional in a support role. The nurse navigator is no substitute for a seasoned social worker.

Live free - Oncotype 14, Take things as they come and you can do it!!! Dx 8/8/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2016 Radiation Therapy 10/6/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Mar 13, 2018 12:54PM - edited Mar 13, 2018 12:55PM by EastcoastTS

Celand:

My mom was diagnosed at 73. (We're both BRAC-.)

When I told this to doctors before and after BC, once they heard her age, they shrugged it off. However, if I had said she was 51 -- I believe the interpretation would have been different. Have them take any precautions they can push (negotiate) for. MRI if they have dense breast tissue, etc. I wish I had known to ask for this. Some states are requiring, I believe I read here. I was already receiving 3D mammos since the age of 39 due to family history -- which noted nothing, ever, even with me pointing out my tumor. (US did see it, very faintly.)

Horrible to have to worry about what we pass to children. Ugh.

Dx@ 49. Oncotype: 14, BRCA 1/2- Dx 1/4/2017, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/6/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 13, 2018 05:29PM Celand wrote:

Michelle in Cornland,

Well,  I must say, that the nurse navigator who was there when the radiologist delivered the diagnosis was so helpful and comforting to me, she also had my appointment with the surgeon already set up, so I didn't have to do that.  She gave me her phone number and told me to call her anytime if I had any questions (don't know if she was only being sincere though because I never did call her after that, but do see her occasionally when I returned for follow-up mammograms and she always asks how I am doing).  But I do agree that the nurse navigator should not be expected to serve as a well-seasoned social worker.

The radiologist really did do a good job of delivering the news to me but, she was kind of abrupt, she said it quickly and really  tried to focus on the positives of my situation (the small size of the mass, that I would probably only need radiation and surgery).  She said what she had to say and left me alone with the nurse navigator, who was a godsend to me, she kind of helped me pick up the pieces - but I can see where a good social worker would have been even more helpful.  I know that delivering bad news to patients is not an easy task.  Celand

Dx 10/17/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/28/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 12/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 13, 2018 05:37PM Celand wrote:

EastCoast TS,

I have heard from a dear friend, who is about 20 years older than me and was also diagnosed with early stage bc, that the older you are when diagnosed the less that they want to offer to do for you.  Her tumor was Stage 0, I think, but she had a lumpectomy and radiation only.  Her doctor said that she didn't need to take additional medication.  Now for me, I had lumpectomy, radiation and the 1st oncologist that I consulted with told me that I needed to take medication for 10 years, however, the 2nd oncologist tells me that 5 years of Tamoxifen for me would be OK.  I do agree with you that age of a patient at diagnosis changes the medical recommedations. Celand

Dx 10/17/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/28/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 12/14/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 13, 2018 08:54PM - edited Mar 13, 2018 08:55PM by EastcoastTS

Completely agree, Celand. They did not advise chemo for my mom (due to age, she thinks) -- and she was TN (triple neg.) so I have to almost agree with that. But she insisted. And ten years later, trucking right along. We must advocate for ourselves.

But what I mostly meant was that they considered me "normal" risk almost because my mom was older at diagnosis. When I said she was 73, they were like: that has no impact on you. Versus you, who has been diagnosed at 51. (I was close to you at 49.) So, for your daughters, your earlier age and that fact that your mother also had BC may contribute to more surveillance for them. Which they should then advocate for if it's not offered.

Although I wonder if my mother and I are connected somehow genetically (though we were both BRCA-) and it's not been found yet. She was ILC, too. Idk.

Dx@ 49. Oncotype: 14, BRCA 1/2- Dx 1/4/2017, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/6/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 13, 2018 09:03PM Michelle_in_cornland wrote:

My focus is on those very few moments when the diagnosis is delivered, and the long term effect of how it was delivered. I was traumatized, and did not need to be. That trauma, in the right hands, could have turned around very quickly to a more proactive stance as opposed to a reactive stance. I sought out my own counselor, who was able to get me out of the rabbit hole of despair. If that could happen for all diagnosed women, would it be a better way to address the big picture from the very beginning?

Live free - Oncotype 14, Take things as they come and you can do it!!! Dx 8/8/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2016 Radiation Therapy 10/6/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Mar 23, 2018 11:02AM Tappermom383 wrote:

It was a year ago today that I was “officially” diagnosed with IDC. I say officially because on March 13 my PCP had given me an incorrect pathology report - he only saw the DCIS. I took home a copy of the report and (don’t yell at me!) Googled every word in it. So, by the time I got to the surgeon’s office on the 23rd (he had been on vacation), I knew what to expect. He explained my options very clearly. When I told him I had a trip planned in mid-April to celebrate my grandson’s birthday, he whipped out his phone, checked the calendar, and said we’d do my surgery the following Friday (March 31). It had been a long process from the initial screening mammo in October so I was grateful for the speed at the end!

MJ

Diagnosed at 70 after four excisional biopsies over the course of 47 years. MammaPrint came back Low Risk. DexaScan: osteopenia. Cancer removed was 1.8 cm. Dx 3/23/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/31/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 5/22/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 7/17/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 23, 2018 05:58PM EastcoastTS wrote:

Tappermom:

May this year be much less "eventful" for you. ;) Hope you're doing well.

Dx@ 49. Oncotype: 14, BRCA 1/2- Dx 1/4/2017, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 9/6/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 24, 2018 12:27AM Michelle_in_cornland wrote:

Tapper, I remember seeing you on the boards around that time. Glad that you have the year under your belt, and can now focus on your future. I am very focused on how I want to live my life and make every day count. I think that this diagnosis gives us an idea of our own mortality and the concept of the time that we have. I am streamlining my life and downsizing all of my belongings. It has been quite a journey, but I feel really good about the future. Big hugs from the heartland....

Live free - Oncotype 14, Take things as they come and you can do it!!! Dx 8/8/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/29/2016 Radiation Therapy 10/6/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/14/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal

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