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Sep 16, 2020 10:49AM
Hi Jackie! Just want to say hi and add some support. We have very similar diagnoses-- I am 43yo, diagnosed in February of this year, also with IDC, ER/PR both at 100%, and HER2 negative (I know you're waiting on that still), but my tumor is much larger (10cm) and my lymph nodes are also cancerous, which makes me Stage 3. My oncologist recommended chemo first, then surgery, then radiation, all at the maximum levels possible because of my advanced stage. The good news is I just finished five months of chemo (AC-T) and it was tough but I totally made it through! And I have surgery (unilateral mastectomy + lymph node dissection) next week! Yes, my life is totally different now-- chemo slowed me down, cancer made me reevaluate my life and what's important, lost my hair, about to lose just one of my boobs-- but I am feeling great and optimistic! For the most part, IDC breast cancer is a very well-understood cancer with clear, heavily-researched treatment paths and lots of success stories. A pretty common, boring cancer. Not that there's ever a "good cancer" (all cancer sucks!), but hey, common and boring was kinda reassuring to me.
But I do remember the beginning when I was just diagnosed-- how time was a whole different thing. Everything moved slower than I ever thought possible, but also in the opposite way, huge gaps of time just disappeared and I didn't remember what I was doing... my brain was overwhelmed with anxiety, questions, forced distractions, ignoring/bottling up emotions while trying to do normal things like drive or work. It's a lot! As britspeech said (I love this, btw): "your brain scrambles" as you make sense of the "new normal." I hear you going through similar things and totally understand. It's cool that you already know some of your own best coping mechanisms, and it sounds like you know how to self-care, so you're already one up on me! I had to learn that shit for real, haha. For me, it also helped to give myself permission to *not* try to make myself the expert, to chill somewhat on the googling and trying to research the results, to write down my questions (before I forgot them) and trust my doctor team to answer them. Not saying that you shouldn't try to self-educate and be your own advocate, of course that's great, too. But it's also ok to not do everything. It's ok to not do it all! Just came here to say it out loud for you (and for me, and for all of us), even if we know this, it sometimes helps to be reminded! love, jess
2/13/2020, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
4/2/2020 AC + T (Taxol)
Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right