Feb 23, 2009 07:31AM klp wrote:
No Jo my onco wanted me to take Arimidex but because of expense we went for Tamoxifen instead. I can't imagine now getting hot flashes more than 20 years past natural menopause.
Meet other women who are similar in age and dealing with age-appropriate issues.
Posted on: Feb 7, 2009 03:29PM
I am an "older" woman with breast cancer (I was diagnosed at 65 and am now 66). I notice that most of the posts seem to be from people younger than I am (often by quite a bit...). I'd love to "talk" with others my age, exchange info about their diagnoses, effects on their lives, etc. I see that there is a forum for young women.
Someone suggested that maybe it's that older people aren't so computer-savvy or aren't used to being in online discussion groups. However, for those who are, it would be great.
Posts 31 - 60 (38,744 total)
Feb 23, 2009 07:31AM klp wrote:
No Jo my onco wanted me to take Arimidex but because of expense we went for Tamoxifen instead. I can't imagine now getting hot flashes more than 20 years past natural menopause.
Feb 23, 2009 08:11AM PaulaLS wrote:
Glad I found this thread. I was almost 62 when diagnosed, and have believed I have different issues than younger women who are diagnosed with BC. I was diagnosed 12/12/08. After getting a second opinion I had a mast 2/11/09 with SNB and immediate reconstruction with silicone implant and alloderm sling. I am healing slowly, feel pretty good, am looking forward to getting my second and last drain removed tomorrow, and wondering when I will be able to return to work. I feel like I gotta keep working due to insurance coverage (I am so glad I have it) but would love to retire. My husband has been wonderful, supportive and caring throughout. I know I am very blessed, but still occasionally whine. Are there any "older" ladies out there with similar experiences?
Feb 23, 2009 08:45AM - edited Feb 25, 2009 03:32PM by JO-5
My dx. is similar - except I had 16 nodes removed - all neg. My tumor was a little larger but still stage 1. Since I had a lumpectomy I had 36 rads w/ boosts.
I do have mild LE in my arm and my breast never has gone down or gotten smaller - so I have issues w/ that due to rads and 3x cellulitis - because of cuts/scratches on that hand. Never had LE until after the first round of cellulitis.
You will feel so much better when you get your drain out. I had one in for about two weeks and the day it came out I began to feel better!
Good to hear someone else has a good supportive man! My husband is my rock and has been an angel through it all and yes, he allows me to whine, although I try not to!
God bless and is that you in the picture? Pretty!
Feb 23, 2009 09:18AM samedaynurseJan wrote:
This is so very good.......I feel so in touch with each of you !
Paula, you and I had our surgeries on the same day.....12/12/08....wondering why they suggested a mastectomy for you....location ? and JO how comes they did a full axillary node dissection ? You know, we try not to second guess ourselves , and I was very confident in all my decisions but you do wonder what formed other peoples decisions.....
I too would love to retire and play with my three little grandsons more but the health insurance is like a huge neon sign in my head flashing 24/7
My husband has been amazing throughout all of this.....totally my rock maybe our *seasoned* marriages have a hand in making that happen .....he changed disgusting dressings and cried with me and for me and really never left my side throughout the worst parts of this journey. Now that the worst is over things are more *normal* whatever that means, but we have a new closeness that will never change. He and I went to High school together......
I am on Arimidex and so far am experiencing NO side effects at all....I didnt have many hot flashes when I went through menopause, in my line of work, I meet a lot of women my age who are on Arimidex and most of us who are post menopause seem to have more of the joint and bone pain than the hot flashes....Im prepared for that and Im religiously taking the supplements that were suggested to me by my Drs.
A good friend of ours just lost his wife to her bc.....but the fight and the story are good....she was diagnosed in 1977 had her mastectomy and her chemo and her rads and had no reoccurence whatsoever for 26 years....her reoccurence was treated successfully for another 5 years and that all started back in the days when there was one surgery and one chemo and everyone got it no matter what. I believe we live in the age of good things......and this thread, will be a very good thing :) DH did well with his surgery this AM......back to work for me tomorrow
Feb 23, 2009 09:51AM Moderators wrote:
I like the idea of having a forum for "older" people, however, I am concerned about setting this up for a number of reasons:
1. many people on the boards are "older". That is, how to define "older"?
2. We have soooo many forums as it is, that we aren't too keen on the idea of adding to the long menu.
3. We want people to find others who are in a similar situation (breast cancer diagnosis, age, background, where they live), but worry about having simply too many categories.
Your ideas/feedback are welcome.
Feb 23, 2009 10:57AM JO-5 wrote:
Young Women w/BC / Singles w/BC / African Americans w/BC / Lesbians w/BC and I'm sure there are things in each group that relate especially to them.
I suppose we don't want a Forum called "OLD GALS" lol so how about something akin to
BREAST CANCER AFTER MENOPAUSE or something similar?
Some that have posted here are in their 50's and others in their 60's and by the posts I think there are certainly issues we would like to discuss that the ones in the other groups are not really interested in, and don't have any experience with.
However, I suppose we can just keep the thread going that has started. You asked for input and these are my thoughts.
Feb 23, 2009 11:02AM samedaynurseJan wrote:
I think......that the response to this thread in a mere 24 hour period shows there is a definite need and want for a forum of this nature and there are more than just a few interested, and I feel even more will join in as it becomes more well known. As far as what the *age* limit for old should be.....anyone who wants to consider themself *old* or interested in the things we are discussing certainly can.....I tried looking through the other forums to see if one or another isnt used but all have some following and therefore are important to someone.....I hope the Administrators will give this one some thought and come up with an idea that makes everyone happy, even if it means we just have to continue on this thread
Feb 23, 2009 11:06AM - edited Feb 23, 2009 11:11AM by JO-5
My Dr. usually does not do SNB - but will if the patient requests it. He knows that I am one that does not want more surgery than I have to have and when he told me that in the event of pos. in the SNB it would mean another surgery - I elected to have the axillary.
For the same reason when he told me that he would try to get clear margins - I told him to take as much as he needed to and I got clear margins first time (looks like he used an ice cream scoop) LOL
I had a friend (same Dr. ) that chose axillary and only had 6 nodes removed. I asked the Dr. why that was and his answer was that when the axillary cut is made you never know exactly how many nodes will be in it....... I was one that had a lot. Don't know if this is related or not ---- but after her drain tube was removed she was fine...... after mine was removed I had to go in four times to have fluid removed by needle.
Did this answer your question? Hope so, and by the way ---- I, too, try to never second guess myself on the choices I've made on this journey.
PS -- Happy that your hubby's surgery went well.
Feb 23, 2009 11:13AM JO-5 wrote:
Those of you on Arimidex -- anybody five years yet? Are you going to be taking it longer?
My Dr. wants me on it another two years -- he said because my tumor was so highly ER+PR+.
Feb 23, 2009 01:20PM samedaynurseJan wrote:
Thanks for the explanation Jo.....it all made a great deal of sense , when I had my surgery, my surgeon told me that if my sentinel *nodes* showed any carcinoma of any kind that she would proceed with a complete axillary dissection right then and there and that it would add another hour to my surgery.....as it was my family waited 45minutes for the sentinel reports to be finalized.....I too had a good sized area of tissue removed in hoping for clean margins first time around and also got them, you also need a certain sized cavity for the Mammosite insertion to be *good* I would think the amount of fluid you had collect post op did have something to do with that number of nodes.
How long I can take Arimidex is on the top of my list of questions when I see the Oncologist next month....I am 98% Estrogen positive and I would like to continue on it for as long as its safe and for as long as it works, although I say that now while I am SE free , I do however know people who have sailed through 3-4 years already with minimal SE and Im hoping that will be me. Have you made any dietary changes or eliminations in an effort to reduce and estrogen increase ??? Do you do specific supplements ?
Its all this big circle of events that you have to try to stay in control of but sometimes you wonder....get well....fight every day to stay well....sooooooooo that you can work and keep your health insurance and not find the whole thing so stressful that it ultimately affects your health again *whew*
I didnt even know that people were allowed to stay on Arimidex beyond 5 years.....thats very interesting to me.....
I dont usually have this kind of time to devote to posting.....but Im enjoying it today :)
Feb 23, 2009 01:31PM klp wrote:
My BS said similar...if any nodes turned out positve then the surgery would be more involved and take longer. Also would need drains. Thank heavens for me that wasn't the case. She removed 2 nodes, both negative along with tumor and clean margins. I consider myself very fortunate. Surgery was easy and I healed quick. And the breast looks the same as the other one..scar underneath that you can't notice. SNB scar is also very faint now.
Is Arimidex now the gold standard for post menopausal women? My onco didn't have a concern prescribing Tamoxifen for me when I mentioned the expense of Arimidex. It really wasn't the fact I couldn't afford the drug but concerned mainly with the SE that went along with it. My bones are good so far and would like them to remain that way.
Feb 23, 2009 02:42PM PaulaLS wrote:
Hi Ladies, Thanks for the replies. I still have one drain but it should be removed tomorrow. I know I will feel much better getting that out. Jo, thank you for the nice words about the photo. I was showing off my Steelers scrub top (whoops - I see you are from OH - a Brown's fan maybe?) Samedaynurse - are you a nurse? I am a school nurse but admittedly not a very bright RN when it comes to breast cancer. I chose the mastectomy route due to having one area of IDC and a second area indicating atypical LH. I would have had to have two lumpectomies (with questionable cosmetic results) for those areas so chose the mast (2/11/09) hoping to avoid the rads also.
It is good to hear that others have supportive husbands. Mine is cooking dinner now. I am getting quite spoiled. I am sure thankful for him!
Feb 23, 2009 02:45PM crazy4carrots wrote:
Jo and Jan: I agree completely! We post-meno ladies do have some different concerns, chief among them (I think) would be what the lack of estrogen is doing to us, now and in the long run. Osteoporosis, high cholesterol, bp and diabetes concerns for example. I sure don't want bc to return, but I also worry about the long-term effects of AI's; my onc says that, for the forseeable future, I should remain on Femara. I do want to hear what the rest of you are doing, and how you're handling everything.
Let's either keep this thread going, or else start a new forum for Post-Menopausal BC.
Feb 23, 2009 02:59PM mikita5 wrote:...if any nodes turned out positive then the surgery would be more involved and take longer. Also would need drains. When having a mammo, do you only get drains if the nodes are positive??
Feb 23, 2009 03:14PM anondenet wrote:
I had cold flashes. I don't know if that was post meno stuff or low thyroid.
My grandmother was diagnosed at 70 and would not let them operate. She had a boyfriend and didn't want to lose a breast for him. So she did nothing. Refusing treatment may have been more common in her generation when mastectomies were automatic.
In later years, I visited her in the nursing home where she developed dementia and died of a stroke at 86. We can only guess that the the tumor was slow-growing or no growing. I don't know if us older ones are less likely to have aggressive disease.
Feb 23, 2009 03:30PM GramE wrote:
Melissa and Moderators, as you can see, I have made many posts on many threads, but THIS one is at the top of my "concerns" -- age or "older" person things. I was a host on a grief recovery website and we had 3 distinct groups for widows - Over age 50, Under age 50, and general widowed.
It may not be necessary to set a specific age for "older" and no one is going to ask for ID if a person appears to be "young". There are those who may have a mother, aunt, grandma, or wife who falls into the older group.
I had a very interesting conversation recently with a woman in her 30's. She said her life expectancy is 40 + years, where mine is 20+ years. Kind of puts thing into perspective when one plans for the future. Just a few thoughts on making this a separate topic.
Feb 23, 2009 03:32PM mzmiller99 wrote:
I so agree about the many other forums! I bet we'll have a plethora of seasoned women joining us.
I'm looking thru the forums wondering if there are any young, single, African-American, gay men, with LCIS, who have just had surgery and are waiting for results. Hmmm, guess I'll just say good night!
Feb 23, 2009 03:50PM Mandy1313 wrote:
My aunt was diagnosed in the UK at age 91. Because of her age the medical system did nothing at all. She is now 100. (and yes, she did have a wonderful birthday and received a card form the Queen).
I am an "older" person and some of my concerns such as already high cholesterol may not be the concerns of our younger "sisters". There probably is a need for this forum but I wouldn't close it to anyone....you never know what we might learn from anyone. I think "Older"breast cancer patients would suffice as a name.
Feb 23, 2009 04:00PM Binney4 wrote:
Enjoying this new thread, and hope it'll turn into a "place of our own". I was diagnosed and treated in 2001, then five years on Arimidex. My oncologist then switched me to Femara. I did okay on the Arimidex, but the Femara really did me in, with major joint aches and depressing hair loss, etc. So we had a talk, and since my percentage of ER positive was low (17%) we decided to quit it. There really are no studies showing what the ideal time to stay on them is yet. And of course while they feel like a safety net there's no guarantee they'll keep you cancer free. Also, he told me that if I kept my weight down that would help reduce estrogen production also. Sooo...working on keeping my weight down. Which is actually somewhat easier now than when I was on the AIs (it kept creeping up despite all my efforts -- very frustrating!)
Anomdenet, I love your story about your grandmother. Good for her!
Paula, I too chose mastectomy hoping to avoid rads, but the tumor was too close to the chest wall so I had to do it anyway -- very hard adjustment for me, as rads scared me more than chemo. Well, heck, the whole thing's plain scary!
Anybody else dealing with lymphedema?
Be well, all!
Feb 23, 2009 04:31PM samedaynurseJan wrote:
Evening to everyone.....what a great response this thread is getting !!!!!
Paula....I am indeed a nurse, full time in the Recovery Room of a very busy surgical center , and also not particularly brilliant about breast cancer. Up until my own diagnosis, my grandma and my cousin were my main sources of information and that was really very little. Now Im turning into a walking talking bc text book and Im not sure I really like that either....actually , like all of us, I dont really like anything about any of this, to quote my 3 year old grandson " Its stupid....I HATE IT !" and age has nothing to do with that part, does it......That IS a great photo Paula , we are all young at our ages now.....and having bc isnt going to change that, yes ????!!!!!!
I agree that anyone from any thread anywhere anytime should join us and read and ask and talk for anything we can help with just as I would go to other threads if I were looking for something specific......I have read some of the hormone boards about Arimidex but decided to come to my own conclusions.
Here is some of what I know from my own Drs about the Arimidex......if you start your therapy with a strong normal Dexascan you have a much smaller chance of bone loss.....if you start with osteopenia or osteoporosis the concerns and precautions are much greater. I have a normal Dexascan and so I was advised to take Calcium 1200mg, Magnesium 500mg, Vit D-3 1000U plus fish oil and I have added glucosamine. This should offer me enough protection to stay out of bone loss danger.....actuality remains to be seen but I believe it. Fish oil and diet should help cholesterol......and weight, well, I am going to struggle with that forever anyways so I will just work a little harder.
*giggling* a little at mzmiller.......
I got a statement today.....insurance pending for treatments......very healthy six figure number.....enough to raise my stress level LOTS.....going back to the gotta have insurance issue, and now gotta hope it pays. Did any of you have Mammosite ? what makes Femara harder than Arimidex, does anyone know ?????
be happy, be healthy
Feb 23, 2009 04:41PM klp wrote:
My Dexascan in June was better than the previous one a few years before that. I had the D3 test and I scored a 74 so my Vit. D level is very good. I take calcium, fish oil, glucosamine, COQ10, folic acid, B-complex, C and D..I'm sure there is more but that's a start. I also walk my dog every day and go to Curve's 3x/week for a workout...
I guess so far I'm the oldest one on this board...bully for me..heehee
I had 33 radiation tx but no Mammosite..going tomorrow to rad doc for checkup. I had no burning, redness or anything from the radiation.
I feel very blessed to go thru this breast cancer experience without problems. When I read and hear about others especially the young ones it makes me very sad.
Feb 23, 2009 05:01PM swimangel72 wrote:
Hi - I love the idea of this forum for women who are naturally post-menopausal. I'm 54, was dx'd last year at 53 and was postmenopausal from the age of 48. My oncologist put me on Arimidex - and so far, no real SEs (since last September).......originally I was very vocal against Tamoxifen because I read it increases your risk for endometrial cancer - and I already had a thickened endometrium. Seems the Arimidex has also solved that problem - which is a GOOD SE! I'll be finishing my Herceptin tx's in April - yay! but still have to go through Stage 2 of my free-tram reconstruction and also opened abdominal surgery in July to repair a very large hernia (the result of the MRSA staph infection I got at the hospital last year.) At that time they'll also be taking out my gall bladder - so while I'm not very worried about a cancer recurrence as of now, I'm extremely worried about getting another MRSA infection during these surgeries! MRSA kills more people in the US than Aids..........and the CDC and hospitals are NOT taking it very seriously! Sorry to get on my soapbox about this everyone.......I'm happy to be part of this forum!
Bonnie I also ended up with Stage 1 lymphedema in my right arm - it started with painful cording which was only relieved when I found a certified LE therapist. She was wonderful - fortunately my insurance paid for everything (but not for my sleeve for some reason.)
My DH has been my rock - and also my comedian! He makes me laugh and that has been the best medicine for me! Also my kids have been so wonderful - without them I'd only be half the person I am now. I have two daughters in college and a 16 -year-old son. He's my "movie-buddy" since my DH isn't fond of the movies (he gets too sleepy). I saw the Dark Knight with my son - and I can see why Heath Ledger got an Oscar - he truly deserved it (may he rest in peace) even if I wasn't crazy about the movie itself - too much plot, too many characters and too much action.
Talk to you all later!
Feb 23, 2009 05:11PM samedaynurseJan wrote:
A Quick note before I retire the computer for tonight.....
I truly hope Administration keeps an eye on this thread.....sees how we have all flocked to it....how positive and welcoming this group is and will be and reconsiders a thread for us under any name they choose to give us.....I was hoping that with the demise of the Political threads there might be room for us now.......if not, we can make ourselves very much at home right here.
What a great group of women.......
SwimAngel.....I so sympathize with your experience with MRSA....its one of the best reasons I have for working where I do and not at the hospital anymore, dont be afraid to speak up as to what you expect from your health care workers we are all expecting to hear it now...and should. My mom got C Diff on her last hospital stay, another hospital friendly infection.
Kathy....Im with you about feeling blessed....totally.....scared still....but blessed for sure.
Feb 23, 2009 05:34PM - edited Feb 23, 2009 05:37PM by Sierra
wow, nice thread and nice to see a few mature sisters
I still get hot flashes at night
and as for the cold.. I live in Canada
and have to wear nearly 3 scarves.. I really feel
the cold a great deal now
best to all wherever you are on the path
Feb 23, 2009 06:01PM mzmiller99 wrote:
Sierra - I'm married to my mom!!! She lives with me and when I get home from school, she's got chicken and biscuits on the table and the floors swept!! The best thing is, that I don't have to sleep with her!!
And, I really do like this group of veteran warrior women! I hope we can stay together.