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Topic: Ladies in their 40s

Forum: "Middle Age" 40-60(ish) Years Old With Breast Cancer —

Meet others in this age-range who share similar life issues.

Posted on: Jan 13, 2014 03:11PM

YoungTurkNYC wrote:

Hello All,

I just wanted to start a new thread for ladies in their 40s.  Although we are considered "middle aged," many of us are still dealing with issues concerning young women, such as fertility, pre-menopausal status and related treatment decisions, young children at home, being single etc.  Both younger ladies (in their 20s and 30s) and older ladies (60s and above) have been so gracious to include us on their threads, but I thought we could have our own place to meet.  Also, obviously, this is not a thread to exclude anyone due to age. If you share similar concerns or issues (or if you are "near" your 40s), please post.

I will start by introducing myself - I was diagnosed at the age of 40 in October 2012.  I have two young children at home (9 year-old twins), and I still work, and I am very far away from retirement.  I did make the decision to have my ovaries removed due to the fact that I could not take tamoxifen due to a blood clotting issue, and therefore, I was sent to instant menopause.  I look forward to meeting you ladies.

Dx 10/14/2012, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/6 nodes Dx 10/14/2012, ILC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 10/14/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/24/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Surgery 10/24/2012 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/9/2012 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/28/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 7/8/2013 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 7/15/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Dec 6, 2019 01:26AM Palesa2018 wrote:

ROAREUS, sending you hugs. I am learning that feeling scared is a part of this journey. The key is not to let you overwhelm you. Rather get the professional opinion as quickly as possible. I have also learnt that not every ache means cancer. I recently had elevated liver enzymes and I was terrified. I went for a CT and it was clear. One day at a time. Take care

Dx 6/7/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/11/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 7/8/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 8/8/2018 Hormonal Therapy 9/11/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 9/15/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 11/3/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 6, 2019 05:49AM Eigna wrote:

Hello ladies. I get to join you in this club. I’m 43 yo. Diagnosed this past August. I have two young boys, 9 and 7 yo. I had a lumpectomy and SNB in October. I’m weakly Estrogen positive, Grade 3 tumour, lymph nodes were negative. Tested negative for genetic testing. I’m about to start chemo in the next few weeks and I’m terrified if I’m doing the right choice. I’m scared of the short but mostly the Long term side effects of chemo. I don’t want to end up with osteoporosis or leukaemia. I just hope I am alive to raise my kids and make them young responsible adults before I die.

Also after chemo I will have radiation therapy. Not sure about hormonal therapy ( tamoxifen). This needs to be discussed with MO after I completed chemo.

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/17/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/31/2020 Whole-breast: Breast
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Dec 6, 2019 08:45AM - edited Dec 6, 2019 09:02AM by Walden1

Hi Eigna,

I am sorry you are going through this. I had very similar fears and questions about treatment when I was diagnosed at 44. If you haven't already, I would encourage you to direct your concerns about osteoporosis and leukemia to your MO. I have found that some of the general information I read online, and elsewhere, was far less frightening once my MO clarified what it meant in my specific situation. If it is any help to you, I did ask about these two items specifically myself and had a reassuring response from my MO.

Looking back now, there were two basic concepts that helped me with treatment decisions. The first was “does the benefit of the treatment out weigh the risks". The second was “make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time". At the end of the day, I realized that I was more comfortable with accepting the potential side effects than missing out on the potential benefits of the chemo. That was just my take on my situation at the time. I’m now almost two years post chemo, and I can say that a lot of my fears have lessened with time, and I am sure yours will too

Dx 12/28/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/10/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/2/2018 Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy
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Dec 7, 2019 08:14PM ROAREUS wrote:

I saw the NP on Wednesday. She did a clinical breast exam and found nothing. I had a mammo and ultrasound. Both were normal. Given my history, the radiologist wants me to get a MRI to make sure we are not missing anything under the nipple. I am better but still terrified as i didn't have a MRI when i first got diagnosed. So, why now? They wouldn't lie to me about the normalcy of mammogram and ultra sound. Would they?

Dx 9/11/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/24/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/24/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy
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Dec 11, 2019 11:42AM - edited Dec 11, 2019 11:43AM by Spoonie77

Roareus - I understand your worry. For what it's worth, I believe they are just trying to be thorough for your benefit with the MRI. I'm on a rotating surveillance regimen, 6 month 3D Mammo and then a 6 month MRI. I'm not sure if back in 2013 they were aware of how helpful and more accurate MRI's are for younger women and those with dense breasts. Hopefully your MRI will confirm your Mammo & US. Keep us posted.


https://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/supplemental-mri-benefits-extremely-dense-breasts

"Spoonie" who entered BC World @ 41. DXd w/MS & Thyroid Cancer @42. Treatment: LX/SLNB/RADs. Plan A: 5mg Tamox = 0 QOL. Plan B: OS/AI = Rare allergy to OS meds. Plan C: Only option left,  Diet & Exercise. PS: Not a dr, just a Googler. Dx 7/20/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 8/30/2018, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2 Surgery 8/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/1/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/30/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/2/2019 Zoladex (goserelin)
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Dec 18, 2019 11:56AM ROAREUS wrote:

I got my MRI results and it was fine. Thank you everyone for your support. Will go back in 2-3 months for a follow up to make sure it does not happen again. Greatest Christmas gift I could have asked for. Hope everyone has a happy holiday.

Dx 9/11/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/24/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/24/2013 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy
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Dec 20, 2019 01:37AM Palesa2018 wrote:

That's great news. Best gift indeed.

Dx 6/7/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/11/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 7/8/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 8/8/2018 Hormonal Therapy 9/11/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 9/15/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 11/3/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 29, 2020 03:34PM Brokenatmgene17 wrote:

Hi,

I was recently diagnosed. I am 44 years old. My surgery was scheduled for Tues. (3/31) but I think I have changed my mind on the the type of surgery I want. So it's going to have to be cancelled and pushed out probably about 3 more weeks, (I've already waited 3 weeks for this surgery), because of the corona virus. They plan on putting me on tamoxifen until then. I'm a very natural person and am afraid of taking that. Anyway this is my first post here. A friend of mine that went through this a couple of years ago told me about the site. So here I am.



Dx 3/4/2020, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 3/4/2020, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Mar 30, 2020 10:03AM 2002chickadee wrote:

Hi Brokenatmgene17, welcome! I'm sorry to hear about the surgeries being moved around, I imagine that's adding a lot of stress at a very stressful time. I also was really not that into medication before my breast cancer journey, which began in Dec 2017. Before that I'd never had anything medical aside from two pregnancies/births and having my wisdom teeth pulled in my '20s, I rarely saw a doctor, etc. From my perspective, I came around to realizing that this is a very serious disease, and exactly what Western medicine does best. I resigned to a lot of medical procedures and medications for cancer treatment, and even more things to counterbalance the effects of those treatments. Everyone is different, and you'll find a path forward that feels right for you, but wanted to share how my perspective has shifted over these last few years. Starting tamoxifen while surgery dates can't be confirmed sounds like a solid plan, I'd make sure they've given you details on side effects and how to manage, and there are many threads here where you can find support as well.

DX'ed at age 41 on my first mammogram Dx 1/11/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IA, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/6/2018 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 3/23/2018 CMF Dx 9/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Mar 30, 2020 05:28PM Brokenatmgene17 wrote:

Hi 2002chickadee,

Thank you for the reply. So it turns out I'm keeping the lumpectomy scheduled for tomorrow. The mastectomy is going to have to be later. I hear you on the effectiveness of these drugs. I am almost there too. It's just scary to say it out loud and admit it to myself, you know? I appreciate the support. Thank you.

Dx 3/4/2020, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 3/4/2020, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Mar 30, 2020 09:44PM 2002chickadee wrote:

Brokenatmgene17 -- Yep, lots of scary things to say out loud during a cancer journey. Best of luck with the lumpectomy. If it's any comfort, many sisters have walked the road before you!

DX'ed at age 41 on my first mammogram Dx 1/11/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IA, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/6/2018 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 3/23/2018 CMF Dx 9/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Apr 3, 2020 09:59PM PebblesV wrote:

Just sharing that I was super nervous to take tamoxifen too. I am also a very natural person and don’t take anything! But I gave it a go (also because it was my ticket out of chemo) and it’s been almost a year and a half and I’ve been pretty fine on it. I also take a half dose though which my oncologist has supported due to recent studies that lower doses are just as effective. I think you have to try it and know you can stop if there are unbearable side effects but also that it might not be so bad once you give it a go. It’s different for every person.

In the meantime, here’s my helper while I’m working from home!


Dx 9/7/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/18/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 11, 2020 09:11PM Brokenatmgene17 wrote:

2002chickadee, Surgery went well, they were able to get all the invasive cancer and it was not in my lymph node. There is still a bit of DCIS in there, but she said she can get that with the mastectomy. I have oncologist appt on Monday. As soon as this virus stuff is over I can get the mastectomy scheduled. So I'm feeling pretty lucky right about now.

Dx 3/4/2020, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 3/4/2020, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Apr 11, 2020 09:27PM Brokenatmgene17 wrote:

PebblesV, First of all, your dog is adorable! Going forward, the oncologist is going to do the oncotype diagnosis to see if chemo would be beneficial. If I do the double mastectomy I may not need radiation, if I don't do more surgery, radiation is recommended. Either route I take the hormone therapy is recommended. The lumpectomy was successful in getting all the invasive cancer out and there was nothing in my lymph nodes. There is however still a bit of DCIS in there. Bottom line is I'd rather have them cut me open than be pumped full of toxic stuff. I realize there is still a chance I may need some radiation, but that possibility goes down with surgery. And I know the tamoxifen is coming. I'm sort of coming to terms with some of these necessary evils. Cancer is no joke. Gotta hit it hard.

Dx 3/4/2020, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 3/4/2020, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Aug 2, 2020 04:10AM PebblesV wrote:

Brokenatmgene17 - thanks for the update and sounds like you are thinking through everything which is the best we all can do, just be informed and make the best risk/reward decisions for ourselves. I’m SOooo sorry I didn’t respond sooner - I was off the boards all this time, mostly because I’ve been struggling with being overworked and less work/life balance even with us working from home. But I’m trying to balance better and get back on these boards as it keeps me more aware for myself too if trying to keep on top of this fight.

How are things today? Did you get your Oncotype score and what is it and next steps? Note I’ve been on tamoxifen at half dose and did not due chemo thanks to a low oncotype but also like you I was pretty resistant to the idea of the toxins it would introduce. I was fine with the surgery and also fine with follow up radiation.

Hope you’re well and hope all the ladies on this board are weathering these strange times OK!

This is our other puppy Finley - now 11 months - next to his big sis Domino who is 13 years!


Dx 9/7/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/18/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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