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Topic: Feelings about breast cancer awareness month

Forum: Coping with Holidays, Special Days and Anniversaries — Holidays and special days, like birthdays and anniversaries, can be filled with complex emotions. Are they a time to celebrate or are they extra difficult? Share your feelings and experiences here.

Posted on: Oct 2, 2015 09:42AM

Moderators wrote:

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, which can be an overwhelming time for many women and men affected by breast cancer, but could also be seen as a month of hope and progress against the disease.

We want to hear from you about what you think and feel approaching this month.

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Posts 151 - 163 (163 total)

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Oct 2, 2019 03:57PM Newfromny wrote:

Bessie I was at GMA yesterday , and it really was so nice to meet other BCO members, we went out for breakfast later thanks to BCO and got to hear each other’s stories and what we’ve all been through, it was so good to meet these strong women. I had a sign 1 year thriver, today is one year since my Dx, and what an awful year it’s been. My lows during chemo when I wanted to give up we’re truly bad, but women here helped me get through it. I’m still not fully recovered from everything,chemo, surgery, radiation, I’ll never be the same, but I’m here so in that way I’m thriving, or at least I’m trying to every day even when it’s hard. I don’t agree with all the pink for one month but some people like Robin Roberts who spoke of depression after treatment really are trying to help

Dx 10/2/2018, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 10/25/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 3/13/2019 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Oct 2, 2019 04:05PM MissouriCatLady wrote:

thepinkbirdie - good point, we need more support groups. We need some that meet after 5 pm please, if any hospital or group is listening.

Spookies mom - good article.

One of my friends at work gave me a card today, with Help Fund Breast Cancer Research stamps. I thought that was very nice. There are still things we can do without it being Pinktober. I am just learning about it all, it is one year for me this month. I send cards every other week to a lady I met at radiation with lung cancer, so actually, these stamps come in handy! Support each other.

diagnosed at 55, DX 10/17/18 IDC Left IIB grade 3 0/2 nodes ER+PR-HER2+, 11/7/18 TCHP, 4/4/19 Left Lumpectomy, 4/29/19 anastrozole (name-brand at CVS with a GoodRX coupon), 6/3/19 Rads, HP done 1/8/20, complete response to neoadjuvant therapy
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Oct 2, 2019 08:13PM VL22 wrote:

I’m a vegetarian. I don’t eat packaged food. I work out 4 days a week. My job is very active. I’ve never been over weight or smoked and I got breast cancer. I was stunned and my family was stunned. Jaws literally dropped. I had a woman who is also very health ask me if I drank out of plastic bottles - because what else could it be?? Was it second hand smoke from my dad? Our drinking water?

I now just chalk it up to bad luck and still live my healthy lifestyle. I also gave up alcohol- I’m all in!

I also agree that the most important thing is support. I had some really dark times that I wouldn’t have gotten through without the people here. It’s nice to have somewhere to go where people get it

Dx 5/5/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/14/2017 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Dx 6/23/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 1/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/10/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 1/10/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/11/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 2, 2019 09:35PM jredfern2 wrote:

Well, it gave me a laugh.

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Oct 2, 2019 10:05PM Beesie wrote:

Scrafgal, I agree that our posts were not inconsistent. There are two sides to the coin. Those who do well through treatment and who successfully move on after their diagnoses should be celebrated. But that should not be the sole face of breast cancer. The difficulties of treatment, the emotional toll, the lasting side effects, the long-term risk we all face, the fact that 20%-30% of us are or eventually will be metastatic... that is the other face of the coin and that should be discussed equally and openly.

Lexica, yes there are studies that support exercise and diet. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle does reduce the risk of breast cancer... and heart disease, and diabetes, and colon cancer, and.... just about every other disease. Yup, people who are healthier tend to live longer. But people who are healthier still develop breast cancer and heart disease and every other disease. I'm all for promoting a healthy lifestyle as a means to reduce health risks, but when it comes to breast cancer, there is no question that the highest risk factors are the ones we can't control. Number one is being a woman. Number two is getting older. Then there are risk factors like breast density. I likely inherited my extremely dense breasts from my mother, who still had dense breasts when she was diagnosed at age 80. Everything I could possibly do from a diet and lifestyle standpoint might reduce by breast cancer risk by 30%. That's not insignificant, but it pales when compared to my post-menopausal extremely dense breasts that increase my risk by as much or more than 200%.

Newfromny, I'm glad you enjoyed being at GMA and meeting the other BCO members. It was a great opportunity to get together and I wasn't being critical of anyone who chose to attend. I'm sorry you've had such a difficult year, and I admire your effort to keep moving ahead. From what you say about where you are right now, maybe it's just me, but "thriving" is not the word I would use. I think that word hides the difficulty of what you've been through this year and downplays your grit and the effort you've made to get through it. "Thriving" makes it sound like it was easy. Just my opinion, but I don't think it was appropriate of GMA to force fit that word onto everyone's experience. Perhaps "Been through hell for a year and but am now on the other side" would have been a more meaningful sign. Thriving will come, but I doubt that many of us thrive as we go through active treatment or as we decompress for a period of time afterwards.

Robin Roberts knows the reality as well as anyone. It sounds like she was trying to the shape the message but wasn't able to or didn't want to rock the boat about all the pink cheerleading

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Oct 2, 2019 10:13PM AliceBastable wrote:

"Enduring" is the word I would choose.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Oct 3, 2019 07:24AM - edited Oct 3, 2019 07:25AM by DivineMrsM

Beesie, what an impressive post. Every point you make is valid.

The use of thriving does seem forced. It feels like another attempt at pushing perfection on women. It's not enough to get through the damn difficulties to get to the other side; a woman must “thrive".

found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets------------- Chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex------------- March2019/Ibrance-Aromasin---------- Sept2019/Verzenio-Aromasin
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Oct 3, 2019 08:07AM - edited Oct 3, 2019 08:08AM by Scrafgal


Your post was great! I think that it did something that is not always done on these boards. It showed respect for everyone and the pain and suffering that we've all experience with this disease, regardless of stage. I don't know what it is like to be stage 4 and won't pretend that I do. That is why the stage 4 boards have exclusivity, to a certain extent, I presume. At the same time, there is no need to marginalize how non-stage 4 women choose to deal with their experience, even if it doesn't suit our particular fancy. What one woman does to deal with her painful experience with breast cancer does not have to be marginalized, just to lift up our MBC sisters, and that is what your post reflects.

Dx 12/2016, IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/6/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 3/22/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 6/15/2017 FAC Hormonal Therapy 9/25/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 10/13/2017 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 5/9/2018 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Surgery 10/16/2018 Reconstruction (right): Nipple tattoo Surgery 5/9/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Hormonal Therapy 7/23/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/6/2019 Reconstruction (right): Nipple tattoo
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Oct 3, 2019 08:45AM Yogatyme wrote:

There was a breast cancer oncologist on Jeopardy last night and when Alex asked about breast cancer in men being rare, the doc said “yes, relatively, but I currently have 12 male pts.” So, encourage the men in your life to do self exams.

Yogatyme Surgery 3/2/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 7/19/2019, IDC: Papillary, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/12/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Nov 23, 2019 12:24PM - edited Nov 23, 2019 12:52PM by jbmonco

I’m new to this having been diagnosed on 10/3/19 but the awareness I would advocate for is the cost and financial strain. 15K is my anticipated 2 year out of pocket max. $100k in billing so far. 

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Dec 9, 2019 11:02AM ShetlandPony wrote:

Agree, jb. There is a word for it: “Financial Toxicity”. Just search that term along with the word “cancer”. Most patients, I suspect, don’t realize what is about to happen to them financially, which means they can get in worse trouble for lack of quick action and planning. I wish newly diagnosed patients would be offered both psychological and financial counseling.

2011 Stage I ILC 1.5cm grade1 ITCs sn Lumpectomy,radiation,tamoxifen. 2014 Stage IV ILC mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD
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Nov 15, 2020 01:14PM PeppermintPatti wrote:

Hello everyone!

I am a 3x breast cancer survivor. My first lumpectomy surgery was November 17, 1998. My 2nd lumpectomy was November 2006 and my 3rd surgery resulted in a double mastectomy in December 2016. I think I can safely say I was triggered during breast cancer awareness month. I deel like I have PTSD. With Covid in our midst and not having a job, I got triggered. I lost my job in May 2019. I got fired after my return from my last reconstruction surgery (I had 4 after the DMx). That's been a nightmare losing my job. I got another job 5 months later then lost it due to Covid.

I can't seem to find the right bra. I feel like I have annoying pains and pinching everyday. I have been dealing with this for many years then all of a sudden it all just got to me and I figured I would reach out here.

I guess I just didn't want to feel so alone. I'm going this week for a gyn appointment which was put off due to Covid. I've been to my oncologist and my primary for check ups and all's well!

I moved upstairs in my own home. New surroundings, new bed. Just feeling a bit sad about getting fired after my last surgery, worrying about money, and hoping to get another job soon. I'm on unemployment and it's running out. I know I'm not alone on this topic.

Thanks for listening.


Patti aka Peppermint Patti

"No matter what's going on, I found, we all still need to buy toilet paper!" Dx 11/1998, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 11/2006, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 11/2016, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0, ER-/PR-, HER2- Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Radiation Therapy
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Nov 15, 2020 02:21PM Trishyla wrote:

Oh, Patti. I'm so sorry you're having such a rough time. This truly is the year from hell. I have no real advice except that hopefully, come January, there may be some additional unemployment relief passed. Small comfort, I know.

Sending virtual hugs. Vent here any time you need to. We're here for you.


Dx 8/30/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/30/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 9/6/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/28/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/4/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 8/5/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine)

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