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Topic: Recent DEXA Results

Forum: Bone Health and Bone Loss —

Talk with others about bone density, osteopenia and osteoporosis, and ways to keep your bones strong

Posted on: Mar 14, 2014 12:57PM

conniehar wrote:

Just got back the results of a recent Dexa scan.   My femoral neck bone slipped into the osteoporosis range.   I am 46 and pissed and depressed at the same time.

This is my 3rd scan in the last 4 years and each time it gets worse.   I had an infusion of Reclast a year ago but obviously that didn't help.  I am taking Calcium supplements and Vitamin D. 

I feel like I am active.  I could probably could be more active but I am definitely not a couch potato!   I feel like I eat decently but could probably improve on that, too.   In other words, I feel like I have been doing things to help my situation and they didn't help at all.  I feel helpless like I have no control over this!

I am going to increase calcium in my diet and up my workout routine but I feel like I have no idea if that will work!   I already started eating prunes as mentioned on another thread (I like prunes so that won't be a problem at all).   I haven't met with my doc since getting the results but she did order another Reclast infusion.

Any other words of advice?  Does anyone have a good workout routine that they could share?   Is there hope that I can improve my density?

Thanks for listening!

Connie Dx 3/7/2007, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 14, 2014 03:44PM mdg wrote:

Hey Connie -

I have been in the same situation.  I am 48 and have been a fitness instructor for 25 years and eat healthy.  My t-score was -2.4 last year.  I just had a repeat dexa this week and now it is -2.0.  I had a 5% increase in bone density in the last year.  I have been on Atelvia since last March.  Are you being seen by an endocrinologist?  Mine has me do blood work every 3-4 months or so.  Has your parathyroid been checked?  Mine is out of whack and that can effect bone density. What is your vitamin D level?  Mine is increasing with sublingual drops.  It went up from 27 to 35 in 3 months.  My endo is very thorough and he really watches what is going on. 

Maria Visit my BC Blog at breastcancerwontdefineme.blogs... Dx 12/13/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/23/2010 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 1/27/2011 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 3/3/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 5/19/2011 Surgery 6/22/2011 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/10/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Mar 14, 2014 07:33PM conniehar wrote:

Thanks Maria - awesome news that your density increased!  I am seeing an endo.  Actually, you sent me a PM a month ago because I was thinking of switching.  I like my endo personally but her office staff is less than desirable and I feel like it takes forever to get a call back.  Maybe I will give your endo a call - at this point it is probably worth a second opinion.   I have had my parathyroid checked and it was normal.  My last Vit D level was 31.  It has always been right about borderline like that.  It is so encouraging that your density increased!

I haven't done a lot of research on Atelvia.  I did take Actonel for awhile a couple years ago and it gave me unbearable heartburn with heart palpitations - I thought I was having a heart attack!  So, that I why we settled on Reclast as it is an infusion.

Thanks!

Connie Dx 3/7/2007, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 15, 2014 06:22AM mdg wrote:

I thought we had discussed this before.  I also have stomach problems and that is why my Endo put me on atelvia instead of the other choices.  It has less GI side effects.  I have not had any issues while on it at all.   It may be an option for you.  I am still on 8000 IUs of vitamin D daily and I take tums twice a day for calcium because calcium pills made me constipated.  For some reason I don't have that issue with tums.  I really like my Endo and he is very thorough if you decide on a second opinion.

Maria Visit my BC Blog at breastcancerwontdefineme.blogs... Dx 12/13/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/23/2010 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 1/27/2011 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 3/3/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 5/19/2011 Surgery 6/22/2011 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/10/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Mar 15, 2014 07:07AM doxie wrote:

Conniehar,

Try to get your Vit D level up into the 60s at least.  31 is too low.  I've pushed my to the 90s.  I don't take much extra calcium, but am very diligent with the Vit D.  My density has held steady over these 2 years. 

Dx 8/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/1/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Mar 15, 2014 08:38AM conniehar wrote:

Thanks for the advice on Vit D.  I was taking 1400 IUs and increased it last week to 2400 - maybe i will go even higher.  I don't how quickly it will improve but I go for another blood test in about 3 weeks.  The 31 was in Sept and I spend a lot of time in the sun in the summer (we have a lake home) so I would think it would have been high in Sept.   You guys give me hope!  Thanks!

Connie Dx 3/7/2007, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 15, 2014 08:44AM Golden01 wrote:

Here's one evidence-based exercise program: 

http://nutrition.cals.arizona.edu/best-exercise-pr...

I am not very good at weight lifting on my own. May need a trainer for this one. I am good at walking though! Maybe I need to consider a weighted vest. 

Mucinous Carcinoma, Hypercellular Variant; Oncotype DX 27, Dx 7/8/2011, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 7/20/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 15, 2014 09:31AM - edited Mar 15, 2014 09:43AM by Momine

Golden, thanks for that. Since the book costs $130, here is a free video explaining the program.

BEST program

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 15, 2014 09:31AM conniehar wrote:

Thanks!  I have been walking for the past few years and feel like it failed me.  However, I probably wasn't as consistent as I should be.   From what I am reading, it sounds like the right kind of weight bearing exercise and consistency is the key! 

Connie Dx 3/7/2007, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 15, 2014 09:44AM Momine wrote:

Yes, you need weights, basically. There are also yoga exercises you can do that will stress your bones.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 15, 2014 09:59AM Golden01 wrote:

Wow! I didn't check the price today. I got one for $20 or so. 

Mucinous Carcinoma, Hypercellular Variant; Oncotype DX 27, Dx 7/8/2011, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 7/20/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 15, 2014 10:06AM Momine wrote:

Golden, yes, it is a little crazy. But the video is very instructive, and you can get most of the necessary info there.

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 15, 2014 10:14AM Golden01 wrote:

http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/


Here you go . . . you can buy it right from the University of Arizona for $35. It outlines the six or so exercises that showed the most bone building effect. You are right the video is very instructive.

Mucinous Carcinoma, Hypercellular Variant; Oncotype DX 27, Dx 7/8/2011, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 7/20/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 15, 2014 10:51AM Momine wrote:

Cool, good work!

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 15, 2014 12:31PM BrooksideVT wrote:

Thank you for the link, Momine.  I watched the video.  I'm already working on integrating weight bearing exercise into my lifestyle, but the chart showing the difference in changes in bone density for those taking, and not taking, calcium supplements really surprised me.  I'm guess I'd really better take the things. 

Dx 11/21/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/7/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/21/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/4/2014 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 9/28/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 15, 2014 12:45PM conniehar wrote:

Yes - thank you for the link to this video.  It was very informative!

Connie Dx 3/7/2007, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 15, 2014 02:42PM doxie wrote:

I jog about 60 min per week, lift weights, climb stairs instead of elevators, walk other days.  I take 4000iu Vit D + what I get in 3 servings of dairy.  Don't get much Vit D from the sun.  I did have one infusion of Zometa 15 mo before my most recent DEXA.  Not sure one would make a difference. Now my MO is ok with waiting on further DEXA results before going back to that.  I had bad SE from it.  

Dx 8/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/1/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Mar 18, 2014 03:02AM - edited Mar 18, 2014 03:12AM by Heidihill

http://lauvemetcalfe.com/uploads/icaa-best-article.pdf

Here are the exercises with explanations. Can recommend them 100%, except for the Smith squat which I've never tried but want to now. Although it does look hard on the knees. Lifting weights definitely strengthened my bones more than Zometa alone. My onc said Zometa would exactly offset bone loss due to Femara but I increased my bone density from osteopenic (including bone metastasis) to above average as a result of adding exercise, dietary calcium and Vitamin D. Actually I have been getting very lax about doing the weights these days, so I'll be trying to do the BEST exercises to get me back to the weight room. (Thanks, Momine!)

Dx 8/2007, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 2/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 3/25/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 18, 2014 08:08AM noellech wrote:

Hi Connie, I am in Naperville. Are  you in meno? On tamox or AI? It seems like these override anything else we do. I think I am about -2.0 at 48, same as I was at 42 just after chemo. I have been on tamox for just about 6 years and probably will continue for the full 10 years. I am really hesistant to switch to AI even if and when my periods finally cease just for this reason. I never thought I would have a problem - lifelong milk drinker and exerciser - but here we are. Thanks all for the video and exercise suggestions. I am going to explore these. Noelle.

Dx 6/21/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Mar 18, 2014 02:07PM Momine wrote:

Heidi, you are very welcome ;). 

Dx 6/1/2011, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 7/23 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/20/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/13/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 1/9/2012 Surgery 3/8/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 18, 2014 06:34PM conniehar wrote:

Hi Noelle -

Yes, I am in menopause - chemo put me there.  I was on Tamox for 5 years and have been on Femara for 1 year.  My first scan in 2010 had my femoral neck at -2.0 and now it is -2.7.   Is your onc at Edward?

Thanks Heidi for the exercises - I watched the video but it is nice to have a pdf.  I joined the gym this week (was previously just walking) and am determined to do this strength training routine. 

I think the hardest part for me is not knowing if it is doing any good.  I will be devastated if it goes down again at the next scan after following this program.

Hugs to everyone!

Connie Dx 3/7/2007, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 18, 2014 06:57PM doxie wrote:

conniehar,

If you do the weight bearing exercises, jarring aerobics, and raise your Vit D levels, you should see results.  At the worst you'll be stronger and healthier from the exercise and less likely to fall .  At best you'll gain bone density.  I'm convinced my efforts have kept me stable.  

Dx 8/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/1/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Mar 18, 2014 07:40PM conniehar wrote:

Thanks Doxie - I am going to stay positive and absolutely keep to a consistent appropriate exercise program!

Connie Dx 3/7/2007, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 17, 2014 01:17PM conniehar wrote:

Just got my recent Vit D results and I am now up to 37 from 31.  Slowly increasing it!    What does everyone take for Vit D supplements?  I have been taking 2,400 iu's for the past month and previously was taking 1,400 iu's.  My endo doesn't even ask me how much I am taking she just says keep doing what you are doing as your blood work looks good.....

Connie Dx 3/7/2007, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 17, 2014 01:51PM snorkeler wrote:

My vitamin D level was 11 when diagnosed. I was put on 50,000 IU/week for 8 weeks, then 1,000 IU/day as maintenance. About 6 months later it was up to 23, but my onc wanted it higher so she suggested doubling up on the supplements. So after a year or so on 2,000 IU/day, my level is up to 35. I was a little frustrated that it seemed to go up only slowly, but then my last DEXA scan showed increased bone density in my hips, which were osteopenic at diagnosis. I haven't been doing weight training, but I have been jumping rope and going up and down the stairs quickly in addition to walking on pavement. Apparently it's the impact that stimulates the bones to regenerate themselves. My spine is still above average, but to help keep things that way I plan to add yoga--the standing poses are supposed to be good for bone density.

Dx 1/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast
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Apr 17, 2014 06:20PM Golden01 wrote:

I take 4,000 IUs D3 a day (2,000 in the morning and 2,000 in the evening). I also try to get out into the sunshine as often as I can for a least a little while. My values have slowly come up over the last two years  from 22.8 ng/ml to 48.0 ng/ml Vitamin D.

Mucinous Carcinoma, Hypercellular Variant; Oncotype DX 27, Dx 7/8/2011, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 7/20/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Apr 17, 2014 06:48PM doxie wrote:

I take 4,000 iu plus what I get from 3 servings of calcium and 600mg calcium supplements.  Mine went from 30 to 95 9 months ago.  A bit high, so I reduce it whenever I get at least 10 min of bright sunshine.  (Not often this winter.) Will do 2,000 in the summer.  Hopefully it will be in the 70s next time I test. 

Dx 8/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/1/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 17, 2014 06:55PM lago wrote:

I'm getting 1000IU of D3 and 700IU of D (from other pills like vitamins)

Total calcium 600 in supplement + 220 in my vitamin

I'm so frustrated. I wish I could get my bone density to go up. Not sure I'll be staying on this Fosamax. I do have reflux but not too bad. Will give it 1-2 more pills to see what happens.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Apr 18, 2014 06:42AM conniehar wrote:

What is your Vit D level lago?  

Sorry about the reflux!  Not trying to be discouraging but mine got worse the longer I took it.  My sister has actually taken Fosomax for several years with no issues.  So, everyone is different!

Connie Dx 3/7/2007, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 18, 2014 12:19PM lago wrote:

I believe it went back down to 36. Both my onc and PCP say that is fine... but you'd think with all that I'm doing including a cobiani yogurt every day it would be better.

DONE!! goo.gl/IoaN6U • Tattoos 2.7.2012 • Nipples 10.6.2011 • Exchange 6.24.2011 • Chemo 1.18. 2011 • BMX 8.31.2010 Dx 7/13/2010, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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May 15, 2014 08:34AM eekwine wrote:

Been lurking on and off for a while. Feel like the medical community is clueless.  I am 47 years old, just past the 2 years post Sx, chemo, radiation anniversary. Had been on Arimadex until about a week ago then switched to Tamoxifen. Just started on Fosamax

Here's why: was pretty darn fit, raced bikes and triathlons before diagnosis.  Since diagnosis have been trying to get fitness back -- no such luck, but can gain weight!! Lovely SE's of Arimidex.  Dialed back expectations, so did minimal biking/weights/running/mini tri's to wind up with a stress fracture, base of the 2nd metatarsal -- 9 months ago!!  Still not healed, ortho, MO and Surgeon not really concerned.  DXA has gone from normal to osteopenia in 9/10 months and the bone loss is higher on the side of non-weightbearing b/c of the foot --   Oh, and the crutches brought back the Lymphadema! HELP?

Dx 6/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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