Meet others in this age-range who share similar life issues.
Posted on: Aug 22, 2009 01:25AM - edited Jan 13, 2020 02:17PM by elimar
This thread was created for "middle-aged" women. At the time, we didn't have our own category on the pull-down Forum menu. The ages 40-60 in the header are unofficial--we don't "card" anyone, (wink, wink) --- so if you are close in age it's meant for you as well. We aren't young with small children. Many of us have just gotten to the stage where we were all set to enjoy the freedom of our kids being grown when, Bam!, we got breast cancer instead. We aren't retired yet, so we get to juggle cancer and a job. We might have to care for an elderly parent on days when we feel like we could use a caregiver ourselves!
(BTW, those are general statements, NOT a checklist for belonging to this group. It's fine if you have some variation!!!)
Our disease unites us with ALL the strong sisters on this site, but here we can bring up some topics to share with others in the "middle."
"Home of the Hot Flash"
Posts 61 - 90 (31,895 total)
Aug 23, 2009 12:53PM OG56 wrote:
Hey another thread, and I think I can stay here because although my BC diagnosis changes with time and my surgery status changes with time I will be 55 and stayin alive all year and I fully intend to keep growing old (smile) I know a few of you so to speak from reading your posts over the last year. BCO has been great and I have learned more from these boards than from any Dr's visit.
I read somewhere on this thread the word "lucky" there is obviously no luck involved in a BC diagnosis, if you were lucky it wouldn't happen at all. My husband said that since my MRI I have been "mean as a junkyard dog" because I told him if anyone said I was lucky to catch this new stuff early I was going to slap them really hard...I think he secretly runs up to people and warns them not use that word with BC in the same sentence around me LOL
It will be nice to have a home thread, thanks for starting it. Oh, by the way in case your worried about me hitting people I just recently started therapy for the first time in my life and during my 2nd session my therapist told me that he was 4 years in remission from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and he understands the urge I am having bilateral excisional biopsies on Sept. 4th keep your fingers and toes crossed that Arimidex has been doing her job and that I don't have any new invasive bc.
Aug 23, 2009 01:40PM cmharris59 wrote:
Hmmmm .... Middle - aged... ugh! Never thought about being middle aged. I also never thought about having cancer. I am 50. I was dx'ed at 48. My avatar is me just a few weeks after my dx. I think I was scheduled to begin chemo the next week.
I never married; never had children; had just gotten a promotion, had a job that I LOVED, and a company paid trip to Paris; gotten comfortable with being able to manage my parents' care from 200 miles away; was helping my 33 yr old niece financially with her borderline autistic son and in general feeling very successful and secure with my life, finally. I lived alone with 6 cats. I practiced yoga and belly dancing. I rode a nice motorcycle. I hiked. I camped. I drove 4 wheel drive vehicles daily on the job and had a physically demanding career.
Still not married, no kids, and have 5 cats. Those are the only things that have remained the same. I lost one cat to unknown causes while going through the first round of chemo - A/C. That almost put me out of the race. I can no longer: work; go on that trip to Paris; help my parents or my niece; belly dance or practice yoga. And for the piece de resistance... I can no longer enjoy sex. Something that I didn't plan on giving up so soon. And yes, I have been to the Mojo threads and have found no help there or from my doctors for the pain and discomfort. I have problems with concentration, focus and my math processing skills are nearly nil. I have trouble grasping for words in conversations and typing. I can no longer ride my motorcycle or drive my stick shift sports car and SUV.
I am on methadone, percocet, neurontin, xanax, paxil, buspirone, various scrip creams and ointments, asthma meds out the yin yang, and still have doctor appointments constantly. I have neuropathy, congestive heart failure, and a lot of depression, yes, suicidal at times, still. I am on the verge of financial ruin. I have a weak support group locally. I have put on weight that makes me uncomfortable, but I can't lose it because my PS says that I need it for recon.
I usually come to this site and rant or rave, then slink off to my bed and have a good cry. Then I get up and try to take back some semblance of control over my life. Am I wallowing in self-pity? Probably. But honestly, I am not a brave or strong person. I did what the doctors told me after much research and discussion. Did it turn out the way they thought? NO. Somehow I still managed to become permanently disabled. Is it worse than anyone else? NO.
But it is MY life that I am having to adapt and adjust and it isn't easy. Most days if I sleep at all... I just happen to wake up, not due to a conscious effort. Some days I just happen to go to sleep. Some days I get up and manage to dress and get to a doctor's office or physical therapy with a lot of difficulty and some days I just cry. I dread having recon and cannot bear living without it. I had to have my treatment stopped early due to the se's, so I worry about recurrence. I know my family could have weathered this economy if they could have gotten my life insurance. Instead, I have drained my accounts and have no options for affordable insurance with the same payout.
There is no history of cancer in my family. I am the youngest of six children. Both parents are still alive. My dad has Alzheimer's and my mom is blind. They still live in their own home. None of my siblings have jobs thanks to the economy. Three still have their homes but only just barely. Of 14 nieces and nephews, 1 has a decent career, 2 are underemployed and the rest are also now unemployed. Of all of them, I had the best job security. There is no way that I can be of help to them now.
Oh well, probably too much information. I am inclined to ramble and whine. Can you tell I have too much time on my hands?
Good luck to all,
Aug 23, 2009 01:57PM gandl wrote:This looks like a good group for me to join. I'm 56, have 2 girls 24 and 26, and would like for my nest to empty. I have 2 cats and one of my daughters has 2 cats (my grandkitties). It's been a little over a year and a half since my diagnosis. I had bilateral mastectomies, reconstruction with expanders and implants, ovaries out and hysterectomy, arimidex (stopped because of side effects), and will start aromasin probably tomorrow if the pharmacy gets it in. I have wanted to be complacent and put this all behind me. When I stopped the arimidex I thought I would give that route a try. Last Thursday at my 6 month check-up, the breast surgeon felt a "fullness" in my armpit and ordered an ultrasound with biopsy if indicated. That brought me on the fast track back to reality. It was the first time since my surgery that I had been back to the breast imaging center. I think I had a little PTSD type flashback. I had my oncologist appointment immediately after the ultrasound. They already had the report saying that they saw a fatty lymph node which looked benign. (whew!) After having had some time to contemplate a recurrence while I waited for the ultrasound, I was in the right frame of mind to be talked into going back on an AI ( I had stayed off for 3 and a half months). That's where I'm at today. It's nice to meet you all. Lori
Aug 23, 2009 02:01PM footprintsangel wrote:
It look like we have alot of my age group, Everyone still young at heart.
People still tell me I am to young to have breast cancer, But I count my
blessing each day my God and arimidex give me. Thank you again for this
wonderful group, Alot of people here knowing and caring. Take care, Footprints
Aug 23, 2009 02:28PM ReneeJean wrote:
Nope, this was not on my 'to do' list when I turned 45! I have been married for 26 years to my highschool sweetheart. We have 3 beautiful children. A 23yo that is married and gave us our most precious granddaughter a few months ago. A 22yo son that is in college and our baby is a 17yo senior in highschool. My parents are in good health and live close by. I have a career I love and work with the best people in the world. We have a beautiful home and have been enjoying 'almost empty nest' for a few years. I am so looking forward to enjoying every part of our youngest's senior year and preparation for college next fall.
I have no risk factors other than being female. No cancer in my family at all. I was knocked over by having an abnormal mammo in June. I am scheduled for my bil mx on 8/25 with tissue expanders. Praying for clean nodes so I can skip the chemo and move on. It has been a bumpy road these 2 months while I adjust to my new schedule....I had to give up grad school this fall but that is okay as I will get back to it. It is important to me to not have my daughter's senior year be filled with her mom being 'sick'. And I love my job and cannot imagine not working...it was hard to leave this morning and know I will not be back for 6 weeks. I am a RN that works in a childrens ED so if I have to have Chemo, I will be out of work for the duration of that---can't work around sick kiddos when you don't have an immune system. All in all while this is not something I planned for and am finding it an extreme inconvenience, I count myself very fortunate. My family is healthy and I have a wonderful job with understanding managers and great health insurance (something I have found myself thanking God for daily). I have wonderful surgeons. I will get through this and I will get to continue my 'empty nest' quest....
Aug 23, 2009 03:06PM hollyann wrote:
Well, count me in with the Middle Agers!.....I was dx 4 days after my 43rd B-day......Happy Bday to me, right??.....It has been 2 years and 8 1/2 months since my dx......I am doing ok except for forgetting certain words and this dreadful fatigue......I didn't do chemo so can't claim chemo brain.....Although now it is called Brain Fog.......I have a soon to be 18 yr old daughter who loves to rub it in that she will soon be 18...(Yeah, kid, just twist that knife in my heart!..LOL).......it is nice to have a place to belong.......
Aug 23, 2009 03:13PM barbe1958 wrote:
...or as some would say "brain frog".....hehehehe
Aug 23, 2009 03:24PM swimangel72 wrote:
Hi everyone - wow, three pages already in this group! Must be the baby-boomer generation with the force of numbers!
I'm 54 - dx'd last year with .9cm IDC - followed by a unilaterial mx with immediate muscle-sparing free tram (followed by an abdominal mrsa staph infection). I switched to a new PS for my Stage 2 revisions which were done this past May (I LOVE Dr. Israeli!) I still need a Stage 3 for more lipo and nipple recon. This past July Dr. Israeli worked together with a fantastic general surgeon to repair my large abdominal hernia........spent 4 days in the hospital and a month recuperating. Fortunately July was mostly a rainy month this summer so I didn't miss much fun. We just returned from a beautiful week's vacation at Hulett's Landing in Lake George in the Adirondack's. I was so happy to have had my last drain pulled 3 days before that - both doctors gave me the thumbs up for swimming and kayaking - my stomach still feels very tight but it's getting better every day - and now it's FINALLY flat! My belly-button is funny-looking, but there's no way I'll ever wear a bikini again - still, if I could lose 35 pounds, I'd be happy to wear a two-piece, the kind with the high-waist bottoms.
I have 3 kids - two daughters aged 23, 21 and my son is 16. My DH has been so wonderfully supportive and loving since I started this very strange and long journey - he's like a big oak tree - with roots soooo deep! We also have 2 cats - 14 years and a 2 year old (who is extremely loveable but poorly behaved.......he peed on my black leather sofa while we were away! Fortunately it was covered with a sheet - and there weren't any stains or smells. Sigh...........what we do for the love of our animals - and children. This is actually my daughter's "kitten" she got while in a dorm in college - of course she couldn't return to school with him without getting in trouble, so we're raising our own "grand-kittie who is now over 20 pounds".
I love BC.org........it has been such a blessing to share and read my sisters' stories - I think of you all every day and pray that God's angels will watch over and protect us all!
Aug 23, 2009 03:28PM - edited Sep 3, 2009 10:57AM by elimar
Thanks for joining everyone!
If the first day is any indication, we're going to have a long and lively thread on our hands. (I just saw that the "Older" group was started by a 66 yr-old about 6 months ago and has over 2,000 posts already. It got so popular that they got their own heading in the pull-down menu.)
At my house, besides my elderly mom, my houndog, and myself, it's all testosterone---a husband and two sons. All this breast cancer stuff, they don't quite get it. I only have one friend that has had B/C (and she is a two-time survivor!) and my other friends are concerned but not really up on the medical jargon that WE have all gotten so familiar with. Guess you could say I went lookin' for a peer group. The hard part was owning the "middle-age" label, the rest was easy!!! :-)
I'm at about square two or three on the Big Gameboard of B/C. I'm post-surgery, pre-everything else. After a failed Contura (like Mammosite) attempt, I start whole breast radiation tomorrow. I'm "in it to win it," and if I get to the 5 yr. DFS point, and then to 10 yrs. and more, I will be about as "badass" as a woman can get. I think it compares to a guy winning an Ironman Contest, at least!
Aug 23, 2009 03:34PM Nebraskagrandma wrote:
HEY EVERYONE !! LET"S HEAR IT FOR ANNE N !!!!!!!!!
Her tumor is SHRINKING !! from 6cm+, to 3.2 !!
Now that's the kind of news I like to hear !!
Hope everyone is having a restful week-end,
Blessings to all................
Aug 23, 2009 03:52PM activern wrote:
I am "fifty something" - and I welcome humor. This cannot be sad all the time. I am a 12 year survivor and now with a recurrence of STG IV IBC - how worse can this be. I am not sad; but planning the rest of my life.
Aug 23, 2009 03:58PM AnneN wrote:
Thanks, that's very sweet of you. I love reading everybody else's good news, too.
Aug 23, 2009 04:01PM - edited Aug 23, 2009 04:03PM by elimar
activern, Sorry to hear of your recurrence. My friend said her second time was more devastating than the first go-round. There is a forum on here called "Second or Third Breast Cancer," that you might like too.
Aug 23, 2009 04:55PM Nebraskagrandma wrote:
Is that like active RN ? I am a nurse was just wondering..............................
Sorry to hear about the return of the BC beast, but being a 12 year survior you know of the possiblities. Humor, & appreciation for each day is the way life should be lived. All of us on these pages know this to bad everyone doesn't.
Many Prayers will be sent your way,
Aug 23, 2009 07:54PM - edited Aug 23, 2009 07:55PM by OG56
So, glad Anne's tumor has shrunk, and sorry to hear of Vilma's reoccurance...
I agree with her that no matter what we must never lose our sense of humor. I have one friend that is 14 years out of a Stage IIIb diagnosis with 15/20+ nodes and she always say's that after a diagnosis of BC you need to have "best friends and breast friends"' because we need to talk often with others who are having alot of the same feelings. Coming to BCO has been awesome for me!
Aug 23, 2009 09:08PM PattiB wrote:
Wow - what an active thread this is. So many posts to read. We are so NOT alone. I am 51 and was diagnosed last December - Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to me! January I had a lumpectomy, then with an onco score of 40, I had 4xTC chemo treatments - the last was in May, 33 Rads ending 7/14, then Tamoxitrain. I now have most of my energy back, although I don't sleep well at night, and have a full coverage of soft brown (with hints of gray) hair. Now I am in "survivor" mode. My onc's office has even started a new survivor appt. that is a 1 hour appt. with the NP to go over bloodwork, VIT D, and longterm SE's from the treatments received - my appt. will be in October. I am married and have a soon to be 19 year old daughter. She will be leaving next week to start her 2nd year of college. We have a 2 year old golden retriever that is quite a character and handfull. I was able to walk him almost everyday since the weather broke in March, although sometimes I only went 1 block but I always tried to get out. I work in the office at an elementary school and was able to take off WED, THURS, FRI for my chemo treatments, and when rads started I worked 1/2 days in the AM to accomodate my rads appt. I am off in the summer so I have been able to get plenty of rest and recuperation. I will start back officially on Thursday, but have put in a couple of days withing the last 2 weeks.
Thank you Elimar for starting this thread! Oh I found it on the active topics listing and thought I would check it out!! Talk about active 3 pages in 1 1/2 days.
Aug 23, 2009 11:27PM Mazy1959 wrote:
Hey CM Harris,
What better place to come than here....it's okay to vent and many of us ramble.
Hopefully the economy will get better soon and your family will get jobs. It's tuff out there right now and it breaks my heart when people lose their homes etc.
I am so sorry you have so many health issues. I understand how that could make you feel so down. I am on permanent disability also and really miss my job. But I am grateful for SSDI.
Some days it's hard to see what good we have in our lives when it's clouded by the bad things. But it's there and I hope you find it.
Sorry about your recurr ...I have mets and I am still very much alive and plan to stay that way.
Aug 24, 2009 01:46AM cmharris59 wrote:
Thank you for the understanding. I do tend to ramble and whine, rant, and rave. I don't know if you remember me but you were one fo the main women that I spoke with in teh chat rooms when I first registered to BCO. I was very depressed adn suicidal in the weeks before my mastectomy. I will never forget your help and that of the other ladies in the chat rooms during those long nights.
THANKS SO MUCH,
Aug 24, 2009 01:09PM Nebraskagrandma wrote:
Hope we are all off to a good start this new week. I have spent the morning registering a team for Race for the Cure. In Nebraska it will be Oct. 4th.
I go back to PS on Thursday, getting a little better each day. I think I have 6 stitches on the outside that may come out on Thursday. All the rest are inside and will dissolve.
Aug 24, 2009 01:22PM jpann39 wrote:
Add me to the group too!!!!!!
I was within two weeks of being 46 yrs old when I got my dx in Oct 2006.
Been through several surgeries, rads, no chemo, tamoxifen, arimidex, femara......now back to tamoxifen.
This website and the ladies here are the absolute best thing that happened to me during my bc journey....
Best to all
Aug 24, 2009 01:30PM msroulette wrote:
Good Morning ladies! I get to see my PS tomorrow morning for first fill. Crazy, but I'm actually excited about it. Like...I finally get to leave puberty and see my breasts grow! I was never happy with the size and shape passed down to me through my oh so fortunate gene pool. Here's to the marvel of modern plastic surgery!
Have a Marvelous Monday!
Aug 24, 2009 01:43PM bettysgirl wrote:
barbe- like you i kind of get kicks by folks who can't quite figure it out. I don't know about you but i wish I had a dime for every time someone has said "but you are going to do reconstruction some time aren't you???" AHHH NOPE!!!
What a great group of ladies. I hope everyone has a great week. I will try to finish reading and catch up tonight.
Aug 24, 2009 01:51PM kane744 wrote:
Gee, I'm 65 and felt 45 until bc set up residence in my boob. I'm almost a year into it now and my treatment is complete but I am definitely not what I was before all this. My energy level is not back to where it was, I have pains where I never had them, and I feel like the last shred of youth is now gone forever. But, hey, I'm alive. I had a lumpectomy, chemo and rads and am hoping to make it to my 90s at which time I'll start a thread for those gals!
Here are a few things I've learned on this journey: Just because you don't feel like smiling every day doesn't make you a "bad" cancer patient. There are many people worse off than me, which I discovered pretty quickly in the waiting room. Your family is going through this too. Accept help when it's offered and don't try to do it all yourself. Try not to believe everything you read on the internet. Bald is beautiful and a lot easier to "do." No matter what you say when bald, you WILL complain about bad hair days. Belly laughs kill cancer cells. Rest when your body tells you to. Your feelings aren't right or wrong; they're just your feelings. Take someone with you to your doctor appointments. You are your own best advocate so keep asking asking asking. Doctors aren't gods. You're stronger than you ever thought you were.
Aug 24, 2009 02:06PM OG56 wrote:
Hi nice to meet you kane 744, and thanks for the good advice. I am reading a book called the "Anatomy of an Illness" it is a quick read and is about the man who discovered that Laughing could cure oneself. So, I am trying to have one big belly laugh a day or more if possible.
Paula I will be in Omaha to walk on October 4th also... I'll pm you when it is closer to the date and maybe we can say hello to each other.
Aug 24, 2009 02:06PM elimar wrote:
Well, I have to say radiation is pretty BORING! Yeah, I went to my first actual Tx this morning, now 32 more to go. Oh joy. Stay tuned for upcoming episodes like, "what treatment # will she abandon her bra?" and "honey, do these blisters make my butt look fat?"
Speaking of my butt, I have already made some future plans should fatigue make me want to lay around on it quite a bit. My husband really monopolizes our Netflix subscription, and loads the queue up with war movies, sword movies, and Scarlett Johansson. I am not ashamed to say I played the cancer card to get a few so-called "chick flicks" in the line up.
Nebraskagrandma, Don't forget to let us know how the Race event goes.
Aug 24, 2009 02:10PM Jo_Ann_K wrote:
I like this thread. I am 54, soon to be 55 in December so I make it just under the wire. Was diagnosed almost a year ago with DCIS. After some reactions to the radiation therapy, I'm back to "my old self" again, though with a much smaller left breast secondary to surgery and radiation.
In a month, I go for my next mammogram followed by an oncology visit. That's the next terrifying step on this survival path.
Aug 24, 2009 03:07PM elimar wrote:
Oh yeah, and my treatment room has a "peep hole" in the ceiling. I asked them if it was a porn camera. They said it was another laser to line things up. I swear I better not see any of this on You Tube!