Join Us

We are 224,430 members in 83 forums discussing 163,550 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

Topic: Crying, scared, blind-sided 50 year old.

Forum: Just Diagnosed — Discuss next steps, options, and resources.

Posted on: Sep 17, 2021 09:32AM

ritac97 wrote:

3 weeks ago I was healthy. I had recent blood work that showed all my numbers were excellent. And then one morning I woke up with pain in my left breast. I thought I slept on it wrong somehow and waited until the following day to check it. That's when I found a lump. It was going into the weekend but I managed to get an appointment with an OB-GYN Monday morning. He checked the lump and immediately referred me to get a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. They didn't have any appointments available for over 2 weeks but I finally had the tests done 3 days ago. I knew by comments from the people doing the tests that it wasn't good. One mentioned "a lot of excess flesh" in the breast with pain. Another said she wanted to be honest "the ultrasound didn't look good". I was too shook up to ask any questions so I just went home and cried.

I got 2 more referrals for a biopsy and MRI but both couldn't schedule me right away. I have the MRI in a week and the biopsy in 2 weeks. I'm actively trying to get an earlier biopsy appointment. Yesterday I gathered up the courage to call radiology and get more details. I was told on a scale of 1 to 5, I was a 5 meaning cancer likely. I was also told it appeared to have spread to the lymph nodes and that it measured 3.4 cm on the largest side.

Ever since I can't stop crying. I am terrified. I feel like I've just received a death sentence. I just turned 50 years old last month. I didn't think cancer ran in my family because all the relatives on my mother's side never had cancer but I came to find out that my father's sister (my aunt) who we are estranged from, had both breasts removed due to cancer and that my second cousins on his side also had it.

People keep assuring me that everything is okay and that breast cancer treatment has come a long way but mostly that is for early detection. I am usually good about getting annual mammograms but this year I was so overwhelmed with other things that I missed the Feb 2021 appt. I wasn't very concerned because I've read that every 2 years after age 50 is recommended by a lot of doctors.

It appears my best case scenario at this point is stage 3. I won't know for sure until I have the MRI next week. I'm so scared I can't sleep. And when I do, I have nightmares. My grandmother on my mom's side lived into her 90s. I always thought I took after her as I resemble her. Now I am faced with not making it out of my 50s. I would appreciate just talking to people who have been through this. Maybe ones with stage 3 or 4 diagnoses because they can help me prepare for what's to come. Thank you.

Log in to post a reply

Page 4 of 6 (151 results)

Posts 91 - 120 (151 total)

Log in to post a reply

Oct 5, 2021 04:16PM moth wrote:

HopeHeal, oh that's lovely to hear, thank you :)

I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Dx 12/9/2020, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External Hormonal Therapy 12/16/2020 Femara (letrozole) Dx 1/28/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External: Bone
Log in to post a reply

Oct 5, 2021 07:05PM scaredme wrote:

I am glad that you are finally getting some answers. It sucks to hear that you have Cancer, but not as much as to wait around and worry about it. It will feel good for you to have a plan moving forward, trust me.

As far as lumpectomy versus mastectomy, it is a very personal choice. I originally opted for lumpectomy but was not happy with my pathology reports (margins were too narrow for my taste). I also had a second scare after they did a mammogram after my first surgery (they found atypical cells), so I opted for the the bilateral mastectomy. I am very happy with my decision, especially because they found residual Cancer during the second surgery. I didn't want to have to face mammograms again, knowing that they didn't detect a 4.2 cm tumor the first time.

All in all, I am very happy with my reconstruction. I had tissue expanders placed with the surgery and will be getting my final implants on December 13th. My "foobs" (fake boobs) look great and no one would know that I have had a mastectomy if they saw me with clothes on. I had to have my nipples removed, but plan on having 3D tattoos once my plastic surgeon gives the go-ahead. The great thing about having foobs is that they don't sag at all!! Lol..

The recovery was a bit tough, but I felt fine after 3-4 weeks. Good luck in your decision.


Dx 8/11/2020, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 8/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/1/2020 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/29/2020 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/4/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 3/25/2021 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/29/2021 Femara (letrozole)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 7, 2021 04:06PM ritac97 wrote:

Hi everyone,

I'm going to keep it short today because I'm very depressed. Just got the biopsy results and I'm triple negative. I know what that means and how serious it is. I'm so upset. I'm sorry I can't answer any responses today. It's just a shock to me. Here's what the report says...

This breast carcinoma is triple negative

(ER-negative, PR-negative, Her2/neu-negative).

The FDA recently approved a number of PD-L1

inhibitors for clinical use in patients with

advanced stage triple-negative breast carcinoma.

One or more of these PD-L1 assays may be

performed on this tumor to determine if a

particular immunotherapy is indicated. Please

contact the pathology laboratory if PD-L1 testing

is clinically indicated, providing the requested

specific assay, or proposed immunotherapy being

considered.


Log in to post a reply

Oct 7, 2021 05:32PM - edited Oct 7, 2021 05:34PM by Sunshine99

rita, I'm so sorry. There is a TN (triple negative) group here. Check it out, if you haven't already.

(((hugs)))

Carol

Here is the link (if this works)

https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/72

Cancer has progressed to my bones. I pray that it never enters my soul. Dx 11/2/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/26/2020, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/5/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 5/12/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 6/10/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 7, 2021 10:20PM oldladyblue wrote:

I'm sorry, Rita. Hugs. I've been following your thread and hoping you would get good news and not something this serious. You don't need to reply, just know that others are thinking of you.

64 years old, Oncotype 28 Dx 6/25/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/26/2021 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 10/7/2021 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 8, 2021 05:56AM - edited Oct 8, 2021 06:07AM by scaredme

Hi Rita,

I am so sorry, but please realize that there are many, many triple negative breast cancer survivors out there!

Because you are triple negative, you will very likely have chemo first. This means that you will be given the option of getting a port put in within the week or so and then start treatment. Although a little scary sounding, the port is a great decision. They will do all of your blood draws and infusions through it. For me, chemo was not nearly as bad as I had feared. There are some really good drugs out there to stop the nausea before it becomes an issue. I was able to work right through chemo with very few issues and I had dose-dense A-C chemo which is known to be the hardest. You could possibly have a different chemo regimen, but likely will have the same one I did.

As far as hair loss, it didn't really bother me all that much. I had lots of fun hairpieces and scarves and we had plenty of laughs over the whole thing. I did lots of experimentation with make-up and learned some tricks that I am still doing. Seven months afterward, I am doing great. My hair has grown back to a pixie cut and I am feeling strong and normal.

You will get through this. It sucks that you have been dealt this card, but it is amazing how you are able to do what you have to do. I am a different person after this experience. I no longer sweat the small stuff and am so grateful for the life that I have. Be strong.


Kristen






Dx 8/11/2020, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 8/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/1/2020 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/29/2020 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/4/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 3/25/2021 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/29/2021 Femara (letrozole)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 8, 2021 09:38AM ElaineTherese wrote:

Kristen is right. Triple negative breast cancer can be challenging, but many women have gone on to live happy, fulfilling lives after being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. Plus, if it is successfully treated, the likelihood of triple negative recurrence nosedives after the first 2-5 years. Indeed, breast cancer in general is highly treatable. Pancreatic cancer this ain't.

DX IDC June 28, 2014, 5 cm., 1 node tested positive (fine needle biopsy); 0/20 after neoadjuvant chemo + ALND; Grade 3; ER+ PR+ HER2+ Neoadjuvant chemotherapy starting 7/23/14 ACX 4, Taxol X 12, Perjeta X 4; Herceptin: one year Chemotherapy 7/22/2014 AC Targeted Therapy 9/16/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/16/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/16/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 1/11/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 2/24/2015 Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 3/8/2015 Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 08:51AM scaredme wrote:

Thinking of you, Rita and hope you are doing ok.

Dx 8/11/2020, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 8/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/1/2020 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/29/2020 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/4/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 3/25/2021 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/29/2021 Femara (letrozole)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 03:31PM LivinLife wrote:

Also want to send support and gentle hugs ritac!!!

with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/30/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 03:56PM ThreeTree wrote:

Ditto here, hope you are OK!

Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 05:54PM ritac97 wrote:

Hi guys,

Thank you for your concern. I'm having good days and bad days emotionally. Sometimes I just need to cry I guess. Everything is moving quickly now. I met with my surgeon yesterday who totally depressed me but then she assigned me to an oncologist that made an appointment available for me first thing this morning. I really like her. I have a ton of tests scheduled over the next week. MRI on my brain tomorrow. Blood work Thursday. Bone scan Friday. I'm being baptized at my church on Sunday. CT scan on my chest, abdomen and pelvis on Monday. Eco-cardiogram and port placement on Tuesday. And then shortly thereafter the oncologist will know what she's dealing with and chemo will begin. For triple negative cancers, they administer chemotherapy first. Apparently it's very fast spreading and they don't want to wait for surgery and to heal from that before trying to kill the cancer cells that may be circulating already.

Most of the time I try to live as normally as I can and attempt to keep cancer from popping into my head more than once an hour. It's hard though. My husband and I tried to go out and have fun yesterday because we thought my chemo would start today. But I have found little enjoyment in anything anymore. I'm on an antidepressant but my oncologist is switching me to Lexapro (I think) and Trazedone to help me sleep. I've been averaging 4-5 hours of sleep each day. Not much less than the 5-6 hours I was getting before all this started but I don't think it's enough time for my body to heal overnight. I've just been under a lot of stress and pressure for several years now. Anyway I'm trying my best to be optimistic. Not easy for me because my husband says I'm a negative person. He's probably right. I like to think of myself as more of a realist though.

Curiously I talked to a couple different nurses at the medical center today and they said it doesn't matter what I eat right now. Only during chemo will a diet change be necessary. I always though sugar, red meat, etc were bad for cancer but I guess triple negative isn't driven by the usual suspects so it doesn't really matter. That's good news for my taste buds but bad news for my diet. I am still trying to lose weight. Weighed in at 250 today. Not as much as it use to be. I was pushing 290 at the beginning of the year. Still I feel better. My blood pressure was good at the doc's also which I'm happy about because hypertension runs in my family. It's sad that all my numbers for diabetes, BP, cholesterol, etc are excellent yet I'm faced with a potentially deadly disease that I can do nothing about. I've been walking almost every morning for 2 miles even though temps are dipping into the 40s now overnight. I feel completely healthy other than this horrible, horrible thing growing and spreading inside of me.

Sorry I never responded to earlier posts. I just have been trying to avoid talking about cancer as much as possible. It just seems to be the topic of conversation from the minute I wake up until I go to bed. I even told my oncologist I didn't want to know anything about my condition. If she tells me it's terminal, it will put me into a spiral that I'll never be able to talk myself out of and it will ruin what time I have left. If I tell her to only tell me if it's early stage and curable, and she says nothing, I'll know my days are numbered. I realize it's messed up but I was emotionally and mentally exhausted dealing with my parents for the past 7 years when all this started and I just don't have anything left. Hope you all are doing well. This next week is a big one for me.

Rita

Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 06:13PM ritac97 wrote:

Forgot to add that I'm sick and tired of being treated like a prized heifer at the county fair. At the surgeon's office I'm sitting there in a robe, nothing underneath. In walks my female surgeon who promptly introduces me to her 20-something MALE medical student. She never asked if it was okay (I would have said no). And thus I have to undress in front of this guy and expose my huge, saggy breasts that look like they should be featured on African artwork. This happened to me at the OB-GYN also. Man comes in who is suppose to be my doctor. Two giggling female interns are with him. He talks me into getting my pap smear done that day since I was overdue (this was the mammogram appointment I hurriedly scheduled after feeling my breast lump and pain). But does he do it? NOOOOO! One of the interns did the deed. Just getting tired of being the subject of medical training. Okay, venting over with. I feel better.

Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 06:44PM AliceBastable wrote:

Rita, are you at a teaching hospital? The parade of interns is normal at those. I gave birth at one, and after a loooong stint of labor (around 18 hours), I was automatically spreading 'em whenever the door opened, like Pavlov's Pregnant Pup. I'm sure I flashed some housekeepers.

You might find it difficult, but do try to have fun times scheduled, even if it's just watching your favorite comedies, or driving around to see fall colors (if you're in the right area), or whatever small pleasures make you happy. I was pretty deliberate about doing that, and once I started looking back on my screwy year, I found the good times easier to remember than the medical stuff. I'm not a very chipper person by nature, but I knew I needed to create the right balance in my life that year.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Hope it stays that way. Dx 5/2018, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 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
Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 06:48PM ThreeTree wrote:

Rita - Good to hear that you're getting the ball rolling, if nothing else. Your current situation brings back a lot of memories for me. Mine is ER/PR+ but it was a large tumor, so I did chemo first also. Sounds so much the same: all those scans scheduled just about one day after another, meeting with the oncologist, etc. Well it let's you know you're not alone, so many of us have done this same routine. Also, it is not out of the ordinary treatment either and that's a good thing, in that you fit into a routine and "normal" category of some kind overall. I can so relate to the needing to cry at times and just put it out of your mind at others.

I can also really relate to your troubles with the residents and interns. They should definitely ask you ahead of time if it's OK! A word of warning if you will be getting radiation eventually - that's another big thing with being exposed to everyone and their brother. When you lie on your back on that table, you are exposed and everyone under the sun of both sexes comes in and out to check all sorts of things about you and the machine, and it can really get emotional. But that's for another time, just a heads up.

Also, please do not feel obligated to post if you don't feel like it. Likewise, I for one certainly don't feel the need for a personal response to everything I post. We all just worry and want to know that you are OK. Do not post or whatever unless you are feeling like you want to. Just know that we care and we are here whenever you feel the need.

Glad you liked the oncologist. In the long run you will be seeing more of that person than the surgeon, so it's good that that seemed to be the one you liked.

Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 06:51PM moth wrote:

All the hospitals here are teaching hospitals. I personally love students - they usually spend more time and are super thorough. I love being part of someone's training experience.... that said, you should always be allowed to say no... though some hospitals just say " then you need to go to another hospital"

re the diet, no diet restrictions necessary. Sugar doesn't feed cancer. Some foods might be better and some might be best avoided during chemo. I like the lists on this site as they're linked to studies https://foodforbreastcancer.com/recommended-foods....


I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/14/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Dx 12/9/2020, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External Hormonal Therapy 12/16/2020 Femara (letrozole) Dx 1/28/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External: Bone
Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 06:53PM Cowgirl13 wrote:

rita, I was on trazadone for years and it really, really helped me sleep. Never had to worry about it. I took about 100mg at night.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the Devil says: 'Oh crap! She's up! Dx 5/28/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 6/16/2009 Chemotherapy 8/2/2009 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/21/2009 Hormonal Therapy 2/22/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 07:08PM ThreeTree wrote:

rita - Just wanted to underscore a couple of things that AliceB and Moth said. I think Alice's idea of watching comedies, going for drives, and just generally making space to do things that make you happy is a really good one. I used to take myself on drives where I could see the water and mountains, and through parks where I could see children playing, etc. I also started taking walks and just enjoying the nature of it all. Not power walking or anything, but just really appreciating all the bird sounds, the changing flora and fauna of the seasons and all. I still do that a lot, and now is of course a really nice time to walk outdoors with all the seasonal color changes. I just got back from a good walk and really enjoyed not only the fall leaves, but also the Halloween decorations that many are putting up in their yards. I live alone in an apartment, so I really like getting out into the residential area where I can appreciate families and houses and yards, along with everything that comes with that! Just make time for those certain things, whatever they are, that make you really happy.

Yes, I go to a teaching hospital also, so often encounter the students. While I'm sorry that they did not ask you first, like Moth said, some of them can be really friendly and nice. They are just starting out so a lot of them are still very idealistic and enjoy talking and spending time with you. I had an especially nice resident come by with my surgeon after my mastectomy, and while he went on to see other patients, she wanted to stay and talk for awhile and I really appreciated her and the time she spent with me. All of those situations with them are not downers by a long shot.

Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 09:29PM kksmom3 wrote:

rita, I don't think you're a negative person. This is hard. Maybe have a good "come to Jesus," talk with the hubby. Mine could be the same way at times. I told him he doesn't get to decide how I'm supposed to feel. He got it after I explained it.

Prying all your tests turn out ok. It's good, also, that your vitals are in good range. I know, it's weird, I felt great when I got diagnosed. But, I guess that's a good thing. You got this. Hugs!!!

Dx 8/8/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 09:33PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

rita,

Please don’t feel you have to respond to every post. The nice thing about an online forum is that you come and go, post or not on your time. We all have bc here so we understand that standing on ceremony is completely unnecessary!

Re: diet… While we should all strive to keep our bodies as healthy as possible, a bit of sugar or red meat will likely not effect your bc. Losing weight is generally thought to be a good thing so perhaps you could see a nutritionist who can help you reach your goals and understands what you’ll be going through with bc tx. She can help you come up with a plan that fits with your tastes and lifestyle. It won’t be unlimited sweets, carbs, red meat, and fried food but you’d be surprised by how little changes beget big changes. And if it’s any comfort to you, I am a petite woman who has never been overweight, eats healthy, etc. and I was stage IV de novo.

My medical facility always asks before students or interns participate in patient care. Usually I say yes (I was a teacher so I want people to learn) but I’m glad they ask. Take care.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 09:40PM AliceBastable wrote:

Just adding that my radiation center was really considerate. I was assigned female technicians, and the one time there was a male substituting, they let me know ahead of time and asked if I wanted to switch my schedule that day. Also, I had a hospital wrap robe on the whole time. The technician would briefly lift the wrap on the cancer side to check that my markers were still there, and redraw them if necessary, then close the robe. I had my regular clothes on from the waist down. The actual radiation was done with the robe closed. It was a nice heavy-duty soft cotton and I kind of wish I'd swiped one!

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Hope it stays that way. Dx 5/2018, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 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
Log in to post a reply

Oct 12, 2021 10:15PM Sunshine99 wrote:

rita, just checking in to say hello. You are in a safe place here, so just come and hang out, post when you feel like it, but do not feel pressured in any way.

Regarding diet, yeah I'm sure most of us could "eat better", but if you have to exist on kale and raw vegetables (OK, a slight exaggeration) it's going to make you miserable (and probably everyone around you!) Cut yourself some slack. If you crave something - eat it! A serving (or two) of ice cream or mashed potatoes and gravy is not going to kill you.

Be kind to yourself. It's funny how we can be so hard on ourselves, but if we saw someone treating someone we loved that way, we'd be all over them, right?

OK, sorry for the ramble.

Gentle hugs to you.

Carol

Cancer has progressed to my bones. I pray that it never enters my soul. Dx 11/2/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/26/2020, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/5/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 5/12/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 6/10/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 13, 2021 12:08AM AMG2 wrote:

Rita, 2 things:

1) I also want to chime in on the teaching hospital bit. While these days, I feel more like Moth does (am generally happy to be part of someone's medical education), I had an experience like Alice's when giving birth to my third child, where everyone kept coming in to gawk because my first kid tore me up pretty bad, and apparently I'm a bit of a spectacle in certain nether regions, but I finally had enough after the 4th or so intern/student came in to gawk and comment on how freakish I apparently am and forbade another one from coming in.

If you feel uncomfortable, tell the staff before you even go in the room, you don't agree to see anyone but your doc and nurse. You have that right.

2) What you're going through right now, not fully having a plan in place, just learning something is life-alteringly wrong, still learning just how life-alteringly wrong it is, this is scary! This, so far, was the worst part for me. I'm about to go in tomorrow for session 7 of 12 weekly taxol + herceptin. I'm getting my taxol dose lowered a bit because my nerves are getting hammered. It stinks, but this is so much easier than where you are right now. The unknown badness is horrible, and it is far more intolerable than the known badness.

We will get through this together. We are here for you, and it will get better, even as you get into the thick of it. Big hugs, and take care.

Actually, a 3rd thing: no beating yourself up on weight. I'm underweight, have been most of my life, and I have breast cancer. You did not do this to yourself, and neither did I. We just had some cells that mutated enough they could strike out on their own. That's why we have cancer.

Dx 6/17/2021, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 8/3/2021 Lumpectomy: Right Targeted Therapy 9/1/2021 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/1/2021 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy Breast
Log in to post a reply

Oct 13, 2021 07:47AM - edited Oct 13, 2021 09:00AM by scaredme

I am glad that things are finally moving along for you.

Just a thought.. Most Cancer centers have counseling services free of charge. It is something I found out about after I had finished most of my treatment and wish that I had known about sooner. It is very normal for you to feel as you do right now! It is a lot to take in.

I was also offered a consult with a nutritionist after I had started chemo. She was extremely knowledgeable and I would recommend it highly!

Do you know what type of chemo you will be getting and how often?

Kristen



Dx 8/11/2020, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 8/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/1/2020 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/29/2020 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/4/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 3/25/2021 Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/29/2021 Femara (letrozole)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 13, 2021 11:18AM Sunshine99 wrote:

AMG2, your post is right on - especially about the overweight/underweight thing. I don't know why, but it made me think of the Armor (sp?) hot dog ad jingle that they used to play when I was a kid (I'm 63 now). The words were:


Fat kids, skinny kids, kids that climb on rocks,
Tough kids, sissy kids, even kids with chicken pox
Love hot dogs, Armor hot dogs,
The dogs kids love to bite!

Does anyone else remember that song?

Cancer comes to healthy, physically fit, vegetarian teetotalers too. It doesn't discriminate!

Wishing all of you lovelies a beautiful day. I'm off to get my Zometa infusion.

Carol

Cancer has progressed to my bones. I pray that it never enters my soul. Dx 11/2/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/26/2020, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/5/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 5/12/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 6/10/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 13, 2021 11:57AM Beaverntx wrote:

Sunshine, thanks for the smile today. I do remember that jingle. Now it may be my earworm!

Diagnosed at age 77-- Oncotype 17, dealing with this bump in the road of life!!🎆 Dx 1/24/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 1/30/2018, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0 Surgery 1/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/11/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Surgery 6/15/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 13, 2021 12:12PM ThreeTree wrote:

Sunshine99 - I'm 68 and I absolutely remember that jingle. Fun memory from times when I felt much more loved and secure. Parents, after school TV, etc.

Log in to post a reply

Oct 14, 2021 05:53AM Rah2464 wrote:

Anyone else have to sing it in their head? haha no way I could simply read it.

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)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 14, 2021 11:21AM Sunshine99 wrote:

rah, oh definitely! Sorry if anyone has an earworm now.

Headphones

Cancer has progressed to my bones. I pray that it never enters my soul. Dx 11/2/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/26/2020, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/5/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 5/12/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 6/10/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib)
Log in to post a reply

Oct 14, 2021 12:51PM mle42 wrote:

Rita, just adding my voice to the chorus of women who are thinking about you, sending positive thoughts your way! I'm so sorry you have to deal with this sh*t situation, but am glad that your medical team and treatment plan is coming together. It's awesome that you like your oncologist - I think that's the most important relationship since of the whole team that is the person who is usually with you the longest.

I was a total mess of anxiety from the time I found my lump until the first dose of chemo actually hit my veins. At that point, knowing exactly what the plan was, and visualizing that crappy tumor being poisoned, a lot of my anxiety fell away. Not completely, of course, but once the decisions are made, all you have to do is show up!

You can do this.

Dx 5/17/2021, IDC, Right, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/18/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 10/25/2021 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
Log in to post a reply

Oct 15, 2021 08:37PM ritac97 wrote:

Hi guys,

Just thought I'd give you an update on how my week is going. Wednesday I had the MRI on my brain. They gave me 10 mg of Vicodin but it did absolutely nothing to calm my nerves. I handled the MRI part just fine however. I asked for a mask to cover my eyes and then just went somewhere else in my mind. The torture part of the day came when they were trying to inject the ink into my veins. It seems I have been cursed with very tiny veins. I've known this all my life because giving blood can be problematic but it was pretty bad. I told the girl prepping me for the MRI that I had bad veins and explained that I always ask for the most experienced person to draw blood. Apparently she found this to be a challenge to her ego and wanted to prove that she could get the ink injected. She didn't even attempt to inject into my arm because my veins are so buried. I've been told in the past that they are small, deep, move around, etc so it's always been a source of anxiety for me. I make sure I drink lots and lots of water but it didn't help. So after PAINFULLY attempting to get a vein more than once in each hand, she gave up and got her coworker.

He came in, attempted to warm up my hands and then kept tapping the veins. However, he also was unsuccessful. A third person arrived and was able to get it injected into my arm. He gleefully admitted to formally working as a phlebotomist. He got it on the first try. So I returned home bruised and in pain. The following day I was scheduled to give a blood sample (yipee!) but thankfully the lady who worked on me did a good job and got it her first try in my arm.

This morning I was scheduled for a whole body bone scan. I wasn't sure what that meant but figured it meant an x-ray. To my surprise and dismay, it involved injecting radioactive material into my veins!!! Now I'm already sore and bruised from 2 days of needles and now I have to face this. I told the girl right off what had happened at the MRI hoping that she would go get the master phlebotomist on staff. However, I suppose her pride got in the way again and she just had to attempt it herself. It was deja vu all over again. She tried and failed in both hands (yes, very painful once again). A second lady came in and tried and failed in both hands. And then finally a third lady came and was able to get the injection into my right hand. No one even attempted my left arm. No veins there I guess. And my right arm was all bruised up from the previous days. I have a CAT scan on Monday that most likely will also involve injecting something into my veins so I'm expecting the torture to continue.

Thankfully the weekend is here and I don't have to worry about doctors. I am getting Baptized on Sunday and I am looking forward to that very much. I've been praying a lot and it keeps my anxiety and fear to a minimum. I was suppose to have new antidepressants available but there's been a delay at the pharmacy so I haven't taken anything but Trazadone for a couple days now. My oncologist is starting me on Lexapro but I don't know what the hold up is. So I pray and pray and listen to the Bible on my iPod and it leaves me feeling at peace.

I did get my blood results back today. Everything was normal. My doctor ran a couple other tests that check for cancer biomarkers. CEA and CA 27.29. I was normal on those I think. Or maybe normal for someone who has cancer. CEA needed to be less than 2.5 and mine was 0.5. And CA 27.29 needed to be less than 38 and I was 25. Not really sure what that means though. I would rather the numbers be zero.

Okay let me respond to a few of the people who wrote last. Hope you don't mind if I keep it short.

AliceBastable: My experiences have been at all different places all over town. I don't think I've been to the same place twice. I just asked for the earliest appointments and drive as far as I need to. Steinberg Diagnostics in Henderson, NV, Steinberg Diagnostics in SW Las Vegas, Comprehensive Cancer Treatment Center in Henderson, Medical Offices next to Southern Hills Hospital in SW Las Vegas, etc. The two incidences of trainees attending my examinations were at two separate locations. But I'm more prepared to put a stop to it next time. I did get a chuckle out of your pregnancy story though lol. And I will do my best to find things that bring me joy. I need that.

ThreeTree Regarding radiation treatment. You make it sound like I will be completely naked. Is that how it works? I pity the employees working that day! But geez, I DO NOT want strange men, even doctors, seeing my body. I don't know how to explain it except that peeping Toms in my neighborhood put up warning signs outside my house.

moth I normally don't have a problem with students joining in but I'm feeling very vulnerable right now and would just like some privacy at this time in my life. Let the students learn on someone else. I am very surprised about the no restriction diet once you have cancer. I haven't brought myself to eat anything unhealthy still, even though I've been given the green light. Maybe once chemo starts and I know the cancer is being kept under control I can relax a bit but right now I feel as if my life depends on me eating right and exercising. I did buy some oranges today which I wasn't sure about since they are full of sugar. But for the rest of my meals I ate healthy. Triple negative is just so serious and they simply don't know what feeds it so I'm hoping my body will keep it in check until the chemo starts.

Cowgirl13 My doctor started me on 50. I think it might have helped some. It probably takes a while for it to build up in your system. I still woke up around 2-3 a.m. and was walking my neighborhood somewhere between 3:30 and 4:30 a.m. Didnt see a single other person walking of course. I normally like to walk between 5 and 6 am. I wish I could get on a schedule and sleep between 10 and 6. But instead it's more like 8 or 9 to 1 or 2. I'm hoping the Lexapro and Trazadone combined will help me sleep longer.

ThreeTree I would love to start hiking some of the canyons around Las Vegas. I use to spend the summers boating, swimming and fishing on Lake Mead and that was heavenly. It's my favorite part of living in Las Vegas. However we're in a terrible drought right now and the lake is so low that we can no longer boat safely. Mostly I just walk around the golf course that's in my neighborhood. It's nice and green and I can pretend I'm somewhere other than a desert. But I mostly walk when it's still dark out so I can avoid cars driving by and people walking.

kksmom3 Yeah it kind of hurts when he says I'm a negative person but I just let it roll off of me. I mean I am in a way because even when I get good news...such as the biopsy testing negative in the lymph node, his reaction was that it was fantastic news and was celebrating whereas I immediately explained to him that testing negative on the biopsy doesn't mean that there's no cancer. It just means that no cancer was detected but something is making the lymph nodes enlarged and that cancer cells too small to detect could still be present and the true results won't be determined until they are removed during surgery. So he has a point.

exbrnxgrl It does take quite a bit of time to respond to everyone but from now on I will do so only when I have the energy to. Just know that I am reading them because I always do that.

AliceBastable They do allow me to keep my bottoms on also. But the male technician got the full monty of my breasts. He did stand pretty far away though lol. I'm wondering if his eyes were even open at the time lol.

Sunshine99 Hi Carol. I do sometimes beat up on myself. I wonder about all the things I did wrong, different from my older sister, that could have led me to this. She is 2 years old, has always been thin, exercises daily, eats healthy. She has the same genetics. But here I am with BC and she is still healthy. I tell myself that my second cousins died in their 20s and 30s so it couldn't be simply being unhealthy that caused this. I got a call today from the genetic testing center but they said my insurance wouldn't cover the costs. I told them to forget it. It's too late for me and I don't have any children to worry about. So it's more my sisters and their daughters who need to be tested. Maybe their insurance will cover it.

AMG2 Haha, thanks for sharing your birthing story. I'm sure hospital staff have seen it all. And I hope your chemo went well. I'm not sure what they are going to use on me. As a triple negative, they don't have a lot of options. I've already resigned myself to losing all my hair. It's really not a big deal to me because I just keep it in a ponytail anyway. I'm thinking that I'll just buy a scarf and wear it or else buy a wig and put it in a ponytail so it resembles my old hairstyle. I'm doing my best not to blame my weight for the cancer. But I can't help but think back to a few food binges I went on this past year and whether that influenced the cancer growth. I normally don't eat bacon but it went on sale this past year and I ate it all! Not all at once but on several occasions I ate 12 ounces at a time and probably ate 5 lbs total over the course of a month or two. Now I very rarely eat bacon but it makes me think that this might have triggered something. Another regret I have was when I went to the store and Heath bars and Skor bars were on sale. Now those are my favorites and again I rarely eat them but they were really cheap so I bought A LOT and ate them all over the course of a week. And then there were the cheese hot dogs that went on sale and I bought about 8 packs and ate them all over the course of weeks. All that poison entering my system couldnt have been good. At the same time I wasnt sleeping and was under a lot of stress. It can't be just a coincidence. But memories like these haunt me now. :(

scaredme Hi Kristen. I believe the cancer center where my oncologist is located will be offering me a nutritionist once my chemo begins. They mentioned that during the appointment when I first met the doctor. I'm not sure about counseling though. To be honest, I've instructed my oncologist not to share any information with me regarding my condition. I just don't think I could cope with it. Regardless of stage, there is nothing that I would change about how I will be living my life so I might as well live in ignorant bliss and have a bit of quality of life for the time I have left. I don't know the type of chemo yet. My oncologist said she wants to see the results of all the tests so she'll know what needs to be done.

Sunshine99 I remember that jingle also. I wonder if there is a place I could watch some of the commercials that were running during the 70s and 80s when I was growing up. It would be fun to relive those days.

mle42 Thank you for your support. I appreciate everyone on here. I have a difficult road ahead of me given the Triple Negative diagnosis and the huge tumor. But I still pray that a miracle will happen and I will come through this okay in the end. Having second cousins who died in their 20s and 30s is pretty darn scary. God willing I will beat the odds.

Thanks again everyone. I'll update you in a few days after my CAT scan, port placement and echocardiogram. Take care and best to you all.

Rita




Page 4 of 6 (151 results)