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Topic: Canadians in British Columbia

Forum: Canadians Affected by Breast Cancer —

Canadian health care, clinical trials, and life in general in the north.

Posted on: Dec 19, 2011 05:17AM

suz45 wrote:

I'm wondering how many West Coast Gals we currently have on here. It makes it a little easier to compare notes as our health-care is provincial. Would be nice to share tips and such to each other as we wade though the health-care Bureaucracy.

I'm in Richmond BC (a part of the Vancouver Lower Mainland) and the majority of my treatment has been at Vancouver General Hospital and Vancouver Cancer Agency.. with a few small surgical procedures done at UBC and my original Lumpectomy at Richmond General. My GP is also in Richmond. Ive been on the BCO boards since 2007 with a few breaks.

Please pipe in even if only to let us know your here Wink

Hugs Suz

Laugh your heart out, dance in the rain, cherish the memories & ignore the pain, love and learn, forget & forgive. Remember you only have one life to Live. Dx 11/25/2010, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IV, 8/23 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 17, 2020 01:16PM Elderberry wrote:

Hi: Pots, Mariane, Pearl, Cathy67. Welcome, Lemon!! I have been totally off the boards for awhile. No posting, not even just reading. I also expected more posts.

It is a weird time for us. I was hoping to go to Glastonbury either this month for my 70th birthday, or perhaps in September when it is less busy when kids go back to school. Some meditations at the Well, a walk up the Tor and lie on the grass and look at the sky. Of course, breakfast at my B&B and great pub food and music in the evenings. It sucks. I cannot even have my annual sleep-over with my surviving older sisters. My eldest sister died one week after our sleepover last September. Feeling a little sorry for myself. I should be ashamed when other people are really suffering. But I have to ask, will I still here next August/September, or be fit enough to travel?

Marian, you are an amazing woman. Under such pain and drugs you are as clear and concise of mind as anyone could be. I will watch for your post following your August 18th meeting.

Pots: I retired in 2016. I really loved working with the clients and nurses at The Travel Clinic but I have never had so much as a second thought about taking retirement when I did. Really glad not to be worrying about having MBC and working amid a pandemic. The clinic had to shut down. So where would I have been? Employment Insurance and wondering if the clinic would open before the insurance ran out. How doth thy garden grow? I am starting to freeze my green beans. A huge haul everyday. I will be sad when fall comes around and I won't have sun warmed tomatoes every day

Moth: I am glad the trial seems to be working. I was given the name of a travel insurance company whose whole job is to ensure the hard to insure. I can't remember their name. I used them back in February to go to the States. It wasn't all that expensive either. I'll see if I can find any old e-mails or papers and get back to you so when the time comes you can go ahead.

Should I be glad that MBC ended the consideration of radiation? My MO is trying to get me my PET scan. It was due this month but they are seriously cutting back on who gets one. There is so much sanitation/disinfecting etc between patients. I might get a CT instead but Dr S really wants a PET. I want to know where I stand now. Planning was hard before, it is a nightmare now. And I want to know where I stand?

Have any of you been to Glastonbury? I would stay so far away from the place when they have that big music festival. The thought of such a small, tranquil place being full of throngs of people, packed together and loud music was a put off before the pandemic, which cancelled it.

These are not my photos but they do a nice job of showing the Well and the Tor. I have been twice - once way back in 1990 with my husband, then with my American friend in 2012. The B&B at the foot of the Tor that Bob and I stayed at is still there and I was ready to book. When Lynn and I were there at the top to the Tor a WWII Hurricane buzzed us a couple of times, the pilot waving. I would have preferred a Spitfire Ha ha. But it was pretty cool.

I think the town must be a ley line. The very ground has a vibration that feels magical.

Blessings to everyone. Instead of Dr Henry's motto I will use the one from the radio show "Dead Dog Cafe"


Be brave

Stay Clam

Wait for the sign



De Novo - this isn't a "brave battle" - it is a "furious struggle" Dx 3/6/2019, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, HER2+ Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab)
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Aug 18, 2020 12:48PM runor wrote:

Like Elderberry I have been away from the forum more and more. I do drop in to read. I was happy to see Marian Elizabeth post. Not happy to hear about the struggles with pain. 

Life rolls along here and I am happy to not think about cancer every second of the day. But even then it's never far from my mind. I set it aside to water tomatoes, fold laundry and feed chickens. You know...life. 

Dead Dog Cafe! Now there's a reference that takes me back!  Yes. I shall wait for the sign!  Take care, everyone. 

Dx 3/23/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 7/5/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Aug 19, 2020 02:21PM moth wrote:

Pots, I read you were doing scans in August. How are you ? Hope piqray is still going well for you.

Marian - I'm sorry to hear of the pain. Sounds like your team is doing what they can but it's just not enough - i wish we had a magic wand to make the pain go away. I'm glad you had some visits with friends.

Elderberry - I've only ever heard of Glastonbury in context of the festival. It looks magical. I hope we can travel again soon. I want to go to Disneyland. And if I'm stronger, I'd go back to Europe. Maybe a river cruise. I'd like to see Venice again. I've only been to England once so that would be nice too - maybe take some train trips through the UK.

I'm well, still not at baseline for energy or activity level but improving steadily. My clinical trial is in upheaval - partly on hold as a different trial reported out that taxol + atezolizumab had no benefit over taxol alone. A previous trial of abraxane+ atezo did show a quite large benefit. Nobody knows if the taxanes are just more different from each other than they thought or if the trials are faulty. I have scans on the 31st but all signs so far are that my treatment is continuing to work for me so we're staying on. But it's all complicated because atezo is approved but not funded so we're still at Roche's mercy. Right now it looks like they'll keep parts of the trial running so I can keep getting the atezolizumab from them.

The back to school ads are like a knife - I'm grieving giving up my nursing degree. I need to switch gears to my other goals - I had plenty so it shouldn't be difficult but nursing was really a passion project for me and I'm still mad at stupid cancer for screwing it up.

Hugs for everyone :).

Seriously???? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." nevertellmetheodds2017.tumblr.... Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/11/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/13/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/12/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/17/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/18/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab)
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Aug 19, 2020 03:46PM Elderberry wrote:

moth: I can barely imagine what you are feeling about your schooling. If you were still in school there would be the anxiety of returning to class. Not going -- the loss of giving up on a dream. My sister and I did a 2 week trip on a Britrail pass in 1992. It was great fun, we did Scotland and Wales as well. The Lake District is lovely and Chester just begs to have photos taken. I hope you get to make the trip to Disneyland and Europe in a post-pandemic world. I hope they find the treatment continues to show positive signs. Keep us posted for the results of the 31st

Best wishes to all!


De Novo - this isn't a "brave battle" - it is a "furious struggle" Dx 3/6/2019, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, HER2+ Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab)
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Aug 19, 2020 04:08PM cathy67 wrote:

Moth, pray for your 31st scan. My friend's husband was diagnosed lung cancer IIIB six years ago, he visits cancer clinic every month and has scans every six months since then, and he is doing great on the trials Hopefully cancer is just a chronic disease that we only need routine treatment.

I back to gym last week, hopefully pandemic can be over soon. I plan to do short trip myself and do longer trip with my daughter when she has school breaks.

I had a plan to work again after my daughter grows up, but I had to change it since my diagnosis. We can not control life ourselves, but we can make every day wonderful.


Oncotype 6, Dx 08/06/2019, IDC, Right, 2.1 cm, Grade2, 1/1 nodes,ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 11/20/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/26/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Aug 19, 2020 06:42PM marianelizabeth wrote:

It has been great to see so many people back on our British Columbia thread. I would love to respond to each of you but I am just too tired. Thanks for remembering my CT. The results yesterday surprised me even though I had a head's up Friday from my BCCA pain doctor. More progressive metastatic disease than expected and I was shocked really. My MO thought the report was badly written as did I but she has ordered a PET/CT to be done in the next 2-3 weeks and chemo Eribulin will probably start next week. "Never say never" with my decision once again to start chemo was a decision made once we discussed the different circumstances from November to now. Then I did not want to add one more thing to my broken body and my brutal pain was nothing like it is now. One of the tumours in my chest wall that we can feel is "not open yet" a quote from my MO. YUCK. The other mass is in an odd area in my upper medial chest and we look forward to finding out more from the PET scan. Again I was surprised that I did not feel the lump myself but but with all that centres around my pain my MO said that she herself was not surprised. There may be a few tiny nodules in the upper lobe of my right lung that are growing too. Weirdly though I am emotionally wrung out I feel strengthened knowing more endurance is needed.

Over the past few weeks I have got a couple of pars of pullets (young female chickens) and for those who remember, keeping hens for 4 years in Vancouver during cancerland was a blessing for me to care for and enjoy. My deck garden with the majority of plants grown by seed has also been a positive. I am still lying down most of the time and manage what is needed very carefully. Still, life is a roller coaster and I can go to anger to sadness and back in nano seconds.

More later and love to you all,

Marian

breastcancereh.blogspot.ca Surgery 9/7/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/15/2012 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 3/5/2013 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/29/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/7/2013 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 12/6/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/12/2016 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 6/26/2017 Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 9/8/2017 Surgery 9/9/2019
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Aug 19, 2020 10:14PM Pots wrote:

Hi ladies,

I’m happy to report that my CT scan says tumours are stable. I’m on cycle 13 now. My TM are bouncing around a bit which is worrying however MO says that is not uncommon on Alpelisib. Still is crazy making for me....I live my life in 3 month stretches these days. SE are ok, latest is the addition of the second Metformin that has upset my digestive system so the mornings are spent close to the bathroom. Sigh.

Life otherwise is good. My daughter/son rented a house at Skaha Lake in Penticton and the whole family spent a week in early August together....beach, babies, wine and sun. I felt like I was living in a dream, it was so wonderful. I am so missing being able to go see my son in Ottawa and my brother in PEI. Some days it feels like my “good calm” time is slipping away the longer I’m on this drug. Sigh.

My COVID garden is stunning and I’m really happy with how it turned out. The dry gulches frame the various Ed’s and my flower seeded assortments have gone crazy. My giant marigolds are 5 ft tall, same with the cosmos. We’re also still living in Reno hell....hopefully the flooring and tile work gets installed next week. I’m so done with the noise, the mess and cramped living out of boxes.

Moth I’m relieved that your trial drugs are working. It’s hard reconciling who you were with what is happening now. Sending you warm hugs.

Elderberry, your trip to UK sounded lovely. What a great memory! It is daunting to see the COVID numbers go up and know that you don’t dare spend time with your sisters. Sounds like your garden is your solace too.

Marian, I'm glad that you have a treatment plan is place. It’s still a gut punch to know you have a progression after a long time NEAD. I bet those young chickens help keep you focused on here and now!

Runor, please please try to live your life without the constant shadow.....I think we all experience a sadness that the naivety we once had is gone. Thankfully living life help keeps us focused...I’m learning to make plum jam from the yellow Pershore plum tree in our back garden. They are bitter not all that nice a plum until they get cooked and then they have a marvellous burst of flavour...almost like an apricot.

Bewell

Ann

Dx 7/2013, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 5/20 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 5/2017, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to other, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 3/2018, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs/other Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib) Chemotherapy Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 23, 2020 01:05AM runor wrote:

MarianElizabeth, I am sorry to hear of even more challenges for you to deal with. It sounds like you have a great team around you who are responsive and on the ball. That goes a long way when you don't have the energy to fight for yourself every step of the way. 

Pots, thank god for stable! I am jealous of your garden! My garden is always a challenge because we live in a forest and it is spread all over the place on what small areas of level  (ish) ground I can find, always under trees that provide shade and steal moisture. Right now the squirrels are in cone gathering mode and are in the trees hurling cones to the ground They are hitting my tomato plants and knocking all the green tomatoes off. I am not amused. Squirrels decided that the 5 gallon water bucket I had would make a dandy cone storage spot and filled it to the brim! They've gone berserk those damn squirrels!

Moth, fingers also crossed for upcoming scans. 

Take care all!

Dx 3/23/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 7/5/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Aug 31, 2020 06:18PM marianelizabeth wrote:

Runor I had to laugh at the image of squirrels filling a 5 gallon water bucket with cones. I'm having a hard time visualizing your forest living. I would love a picture of how your house is situated and where the squirrels are throwing cones from.

Wednesday is my second Eribulin treatment and so far I don't think I feel any side effects except maybe a little more fatigue. Tomorrow at 0800 I am having what is called a supraclavicular or infraclavicular phenol neurolysis. This will be ultrasound guided and with an anaesthetic. It is a trial with anaesthetic to see if it decreases or stops the pain for a short time. The next step at some point would be to inject phenol which would leave me with a floppy arm so it's not something I will be taking lightly or making a decision soon.

Moth I see you here and there on other threads that I am either considering or just checking them out. I keep hoping that the trail you are on continues to work. Ann I would appreciate a photo or two of your garden.





breastcancereh.blogspot.ca Surgery 9/7/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/15/2012 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 3/5/2013 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/29/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/7/2013 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 12/6/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/12/2016 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 6/26/2017 Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 9/8/2017 Surgery 9/9/2019
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Aug 31, 2020 07:19PM cathy67 wrote:

MarianElizabeth,

I will pray for you!

Today is my 53rd birthday, I back here to meet my special friends. During my toughest year, this group gave me warmth. I pray for every woman in the group, we all are heroes. Mariah Carey's "HERO" is one of my favorite songs, there's a hero if you look inside your heart!

Oncotype 6, Dx 08/06/2019, IDC, Right, 2.1 cm, Grade2, 1/1 nodes,ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/9/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 11/20/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/26/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Aug 31, 2020 11:35PM runor wrote:

Cathy67, Happy Birthday and I am so sad you're here. I was diagnosed at 53 (in 2017). It feels like a lifetime ago. 

M. E. good luck with these pain treatments. I don't know much about phenol other than I had the pharmacist blend me up a special bottle of camphorated phenol and it's some potent stuff! Can't imagine injecting it into a body. Hugs to you. 

Dx 3/23/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 7/5/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 1, 2020 10:39PM marianelizabeth wrote:

Sorry, not phenol today, anesthetic. Apparently phenol is hard to inject as very thick, like molasses. Alternative is alcohol which has more possibility of unwanted S/E. Today's procedure was positive so probably phenol soon. Floppy arm for sure.

Marian

breastcancereh.blogspot.ca Surgery 9/7/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/15/2012 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 3/5/2013 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 4/29/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/7/2013 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 12/6/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/12/2016 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 6/26/2017 Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 9/8/2017 Surgery 9/9/2019

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