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Topic: I'm pretty fine- life after treatment

Forum: Share Your Experiences Of Life After A Breast Cancer Diagnosis —

Share your experiences of life after a breast cancer diagnosis and offer advice on how you cope with life's daily challenges, including how you develop a new daily/weekly routine while you deal with breast cancer.

Posted on: Sep 25, 2020 11:44PM

OnTarget wrote:

I feel like I don't see enough positive posts. I'm 1 year and four months out from my BMX and I'm feeling pretty good! :)

I finished chemo in Oct 2019, reconstruction in Nov 2019, and a revision in Feb 2020, followed by an infection in Mar 2020 and explant of the right.

Despite losing Ethel (right implant), I'm doing great with just Lucy! Poor Ethel never starts the trouble, but she always bears the brunt of it.

Looking back, it sucks that I had (have?) cancer, but there are a lot if bright spots for me.

I have been able to see how strong and resiliant I am. I have always been a pretty happy person, and cancer hasn't changed that! I got really stressed when I was first diagnosed (craycray), and I'm a very tough patient (I like to do my own research), but I made it through. My doctors haven't fired me yet, which is a plus.

Chemo wasn't that bad, although I do seem to have a few residual side effects. I'm very competitive, and I wouldn't have been happy with myself if I hadn't chosen chemo, so for me I'm happy paying the price.

Menopause at 43 sucks a bit. I feel like I'm a creaky old lady, but at least I work out of it. I have even started sleeping better (I only wake up 3-4x a night now). The hot flashes have really calmed down and the joint pain doesn't wake me up as much. Yes!

I'm so happy that I can exercise and live a normal life!

One thing I'm so grateful for- I have proven that I don't define myself by my looks. I have had just 1 boob since March, and I haven't worn a bra since then! I just rock 1 boob. I wear the same shirts, which clearly show it, and I actually forget about it. Finding the positive- my purse strap sits very nicely over the empty boob!

Speaking of how we define ourselves- I realized that I define myself by my intelligence and capabilities, not my appearance. That is clearly an issue for many women, and I'm kinda glad that I'm not super pretty and I had to find other things to be good at. Who knew that would be a positive??

I'm quite pleased with my liposuction, I mean fat grafting. I had these saddle bags that just wouldn't quit! Now they are helping out my slightly ripply boob! I can't say enough how glad I am to be rid of them! Woohoo!

I do have some concern over my cognitive abilities after chemo. Names and words elude me. I'm like "hey you, Person, it is nice to see you again". I can't multitask as well, and I have to think before I speak! That sounds obvious, but I used to be able to start talking and smart arguments would just form as I spoke. Now I have to plan my statements and make sure I remember big words! There is nothing worse than coming to the punchline and being unable to grasp that...word...!! Argh!

After getting cancer, I took a minute to reevaluate my life and my future. I'm trying to live more now. I'm trying to make memories rather than just doing the humdrum.

During this Coronacation, despite teleworking awful hours, I've leaned to sew, bake, cook, spackle, and do masonry. I think I earned my Eagle Scout badge or something!

I'd always known I'd get a doctorate in something, but after cancer I was wondering if I wanted to "waste" my time on it, especially if my time is limited. A year later, I've decided to "live like I was living" instead of "live like I was dying,", so I've applied for a doctoral program. At least I have a headstart from reading a million articles on cancer!

Aside from a few sucky side effects, I'm great! I run (OK, jog-ish), lift weights, hike, and do whatever I want. I even have bigger boob than before. Life is good!!

I'm not looking forward to starting back over with a tissue expander and then Ethel 2.0, but I'm ready!

Bring it on world, I'm ready for you!

Diagnosed at 42, Oncotype score 16, ITC in one node- considered node negative. Lost right implant to infection March 2020. Waiting to start reconstruction all over again. Dx 4/8/2019, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/23/2019, ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/15/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 6/14/2019 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 8/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Sep 26, 2020 06:30PM ceanna wrote:

OnTarget, thanks for sharing. Despite your setbacks, your positive attitude will go a long way. All the best for Ethel 2.0 surgeries and doctorate!

Dx 2014, IDC, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Multi-catheter Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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Sep 26, 2020 11:14PM OnTarget wrote:

Thanks Ceanna!

Diagnosed at 42, Oncotype score 16, ITC in one node- considered node negative. Lost right implant to infection March 2020. Waiting to start reconstruction all over again. Dx 4/8/2019, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/23/2019, ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/15/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 6/14/2019 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 8/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Sep 27, 2020 05:05AM Rah2464 wrote:

OnTarget thank you for sharing your story and your wonderful energy! God bless you and best wishes as you pursue your dreams. (and congrats on that Eagle Scout badge )

Dx 5/23/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 6/26/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 7/26/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 27, 2020 07:41PM LiveLoveLaugh2020 wrote:

OnTarget I posted an update about a week or so as well as it was my one year post double MX. It feels like everything goes so slow at first but I totally agree with you and it's nice to see some positives in this journey. This is such an emotional roller coaster that I think most of us don't expect. But I'm glad to see you are doing well even with some setbacks. Good luck with your Doctorate and Ethel! Xo

DCIS Dx @ 34 - Bil NSM 09/2019 - Bil implant exchange with FG 01/2020.
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Sep 27, 2020 10:25PM OnTarget wrote:

LLL2020, I have to check out your post! Great to year from you!

Diagnosed at 42, Oncotype score 16, ITC in one node- considered node negative. Lost right implant to infection March 2020. Waiting to start reconstruction all over again. Dx 4/8/2019, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/23/2019, ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/15/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 6/14/2019 Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 8/6/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant

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