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Topic: stage 3a breast cancer survivors

Forum: Stage III Breast Cancer — You are not alone. Meet others who have Stage III breast cancer.

Posted on: Oct 21, 2011 01:11PM - edited Nov 19, 2011 08:49AM by mariar

mariar wrote:

    I am a recently diagnosed.  I am very fortunate to have a great support team.  I am in the middle of my chemo. treatments.  I have been very fortunate with minimal chemo. side effects (no taste and nausea).  Though, I have felt sad lately.  So, I was wondering if I could hear from stage 3a survivors.  I think it would help me see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I know what I am doing is going to extend my life and make it worthwhile, but I get scared and sad all at once.  So, I thought it help me hear from those special people that have survived this test. Thanks.

Dx 7/23/2011, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 5/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 21, 2011 02:07PM kdking wrote:

mariar..I know exactly how you feel.  I have already made it through my BMX and DIEP reconstruction and I am feeling pretty good. My first chemo treatment is Nov. 8th.  Everything you hear about survival is in 5 yr.and 10 yr survival rates.  I am 36 years old with 2 young daughters...I don't want to think about 5 or 10 yrs.  I want to see my family grow.  That is what makes me soo sad.  Its not the fear of chemo or the 17 hour surgery I had..it's the not knowing whats ahead.  I'm glad I'm not the only one who just randomly bursts into tears!

Kerrie Dx 8/4/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/15 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 9/28/2011 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 11/4/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 1/4/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy 3/28/2012 Surgery 12/28/2012 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Oct 21, 2011 02:16PM geewhiz wrote:

I am 2 years out, 3 young children and doing quite well. I feel like I have a bit of my body and life back. It is scary, and there are still moments that a random tear will roll down my face. But I am here right now, and very much intend to stay that way and that's all that matters.

Hang in there, it gets betterLaughing

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Oct 21, 2011 02:22PM KerryMac wrote:

I am nearly 3 years out, Stage IIIa.

My kids were 2 and 4 when I was dx, and I was absolutely terrified. But, it does get better! The year of treatment is hard, and your world gets very small, but you do get through it, and you will be able to build a good life back for yourself.

Just keep moving forward, one day at a time, you will get there!

Kerry - Dx Oct 2008, Stage IIIa IDC, ER/PR+ Mx, Chemo, Rads, Ooph, Arimidex, Zometa, Tamoxifen
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Oct 21, 2011 04:56PM jenni__ca wrote:

over 7 years out here .....

ILC, multifocal, 7+++cm, ER+, PR-, HER2-, 1/4 nodes, stage 3A ...13 years !!!!!! and counting....
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Oct 21, 2011 06:52PM - edited Oct 30, 2011 07:15PM by jpsgirl96

Hello MariaR,  Your dx could be mine!  I am ILC, 6/16 nodes, had twin lumpectomies, chemo and radiation in 2006, so I am five years and some months out and doing well.  I was also a minimal-SE chemo girl - I had treatments in South Florida while I was commuting to  DC - and had 33 radiation treatments (also bilateral) and have been taking Femara (after a brief round of Tamoxifen) since early 2007.

My original dx was December 2005, and I was throwing a 50th birthday bash (with almost no hair) for my husband and me in October of 2006...so your light may be a few months away, but it WILL come. Thinking all kinds of good thoughts.Leigh

Dx 1/15/2006, ILC, Stage IIIA, 6/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/28/2006 Lumpectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 3/22/2006 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 7/31/2006 Breast
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Oct 21, 2011 07:09PM DATO wrote:

I'm over 5 years out too.  I had a double mastectomy, hysterectomy, TAC chemo, rads & DIEP reconstruction.  I had one year of tamoxofin and I'm almost done with 5 years of Arimidex.  I am also in the clinical trial for Zometa.  I feel great, I work out at the gym with a personal trainer 2 days a week and I'm working on getting in the best shape of my life.  Hang in there.

Dx 5/12/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 6/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 21, 2011 07:24PM caaclark wrote:

I am over 5 years, 9 months out.  I was 40 when diagnosed and had 3 young daughters-ages 8, 6 and 4.  I never thought I would be here.  Same with me on the treatment front-I did well through it all physically.  I found the hardest part to be the psychological aftermath.  But I got through that too.  With stage III they throw the book at us and that's a good thing.  It is hard to see beyond treatment when you are in the middle of it.  There are lots of us doing well years out.

Carol Clark- Author of WHEN OUR MOM HAD CANCER Diag.1/06 at age 40, 1.6cm, 6+nodes, stage IIIa, er/pr+, her2-, chemo, mast. rads, no recon
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Oct 21, 2011 07:27PM O2BAKAT wrote:

I am almost 2 years out. I have had double Mastectomy, reconstruction, T AC, rads and am on zometa and arimidex and also trying to od it seems on vit D, Oh and I also had a hysterectomy too. I feel good, but know that we are on that scary edge where it can go either way and time will tell.

Bilat mas, TA-C 6x, rads, complete hysterectomy, arimidex, Zometa Dx 1/2010, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 8/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 21, 2011 08:54PM SpunkyGirl wrote:

I am here and still going.  Just keep on doing what you can do, and don't worry about anything else, 

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."
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Oct 22, 2011 07:41AM kathleen1966 wrote:

I am not that far out, only a year but "hear" to understand! 

Dx 7/26/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/15 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Dx 7/26/2010, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/15 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Dx 7/26/2010, Paget's, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/15 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 8/23/2010 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 9/7/2010 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/7/2010 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/1/2011 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Oct 22, 2011 09:31AM SpunkyGirl wrote:

I'm sorry, I was looking at my previous response and it sounds a little flippant.  Sorry about that.  It wasn't my intent.  I know it's hard not to worry about these things sometimes.  I just talked to a friend of mine from church yesterday, and seeing her always gives me fresh hope.  She had BC in 1988 with 11 positive nodes, and she is doing great today.  Her hubby also went through lung cancer twice and they are just lovely people.  She and I met at JoAnn Fabrics yesterday because she is making my boys snuggies.  The world is full of good people.  Surround yourself with them!



"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."
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Oct 22, 2011 02:35PM sespebadger wrote:

Hi Mariar,

I am almost two years from diagnosis. I remember feeling like you....scared and sad. There were a lot of other feelings in that first year too, including anger.  The treatment was difficult (chemo, BMX, rads, now hormone therapy). But I got through and sure enough, with time and keeping very busy, I finally got to the point where I stopped thinking about it all the time. I am enjoying life again and that's a wonderful thing. I don't think you can avoid feeling sad and scared. Cancer is sad and scary. But many of us get through and can move beyond those feelings. Take care of yourself, cherish those friends and family members who help, be your own best advocate when it comes to treatment, rest and eat right. Good luck to you.  

Surgery 12/11/2009 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 1/19/2010 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 7/11/2010 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 9/1/2010 3DCRT: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2010 Hormonal Therapy 11/12/2012 Femara (letrozole) Dx 1/20/2014, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 5/11 nodes, ER+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 1/28/2014 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 4/15/2014 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Oct 23, 2011 07:21AM pupfoster1 wrote:

Hi there,

I'm IIIc (hope you don't mind me piping in :)) and I'm almost 2 years out since surgery!

Kick that cancer's ass sistah, we'll be here for you!

Sharon Wink

Sharon Dx 9/17/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 13/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 23, 2011 08:23AM karen1956 wrote:

Marier.....I am 5 1/2 years out since Dx.....

Karen in Denver, Dx 02/03/2006, ILC, stage IIIa, ER/PR+, HER2-,
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Oct 23, 2011 09:10AM - edited Oct 23, 2011 09:46AM by KCandJsMom

Thank you so much for your post, you took the words right out of my head! I just finished Rads (Fri) and start tomoxafin Monday. I have a 6 and 8 year old and though I worry about always being here for them, I must confess that they were the ones that got me thru treatment (which was not all that bad - especially now that it is behind me!!!). The kids kept me from curling up in a little ball and giving up. I had to MAKE myself "ok" when going through my treatments because of them. Because they are always watching.It is tough on those of us with little ones but I wonder if they actually help us to get through?

I was so frightened when dx'd but the day that I started chemo was the big earth quake in Japan. I thought of all of those thousands of peope whose lives ended in just a matter of minutes. I realized in that moment how very fortunate I actually am. I was given a second chance, the gift of time, to say and do the things that none of those victims of the quake had a chance to do. I thought I was "unlucky" at first, I think I am one of the luck ones now. 

I am in a herceptin trial (they've seen some great results in her2 negative gals, not just her2 positive) and though I hope my cancer never returns, I am banking on the fact that my treatments have bought me the gift of more time. I know better treatments/the cure is around the corner. I intend to be here to see that day!

I am 9 months down the path but the things I have learned this past year almost outweigh everything I learned the 44 years that preceeded it. Honestly! I read this quote recently and totally agree. 

 Bill Hemmer: "You said cancer changes your life, and oftentimes for the better."
Joel Siegel: "Yes.... Gilda Radner... said this in her book. What cancer does is, it forces you to focus, to prioritize, and you learn what's important. I mean, I don't sweat the small stuff. I used to get angry at cab drivers. It's not worth it.... And when somebody says you have cancer, you realize it's all small stuff. And what Gilda said is, if it weren't for the downside, everyone would want to have it. But there is a downside."
~American Morning, CNN, 13 June 2003

 Sorry for rambling!

Thank you to my breast cancer sisters for helping me along! Dx 1/20/2011, ILC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 5/10 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 23, 2011 08:17PM SharonMH wrote:

Hi  Another stage 3a here. I am two years out and doing pretty well. As pupfoster says  Let us kick that cancer's ass. I would say all of my treatments were very doable. I am one of the older ones, I am 61.  I do feel for all of you with such young children. To all of us Sistahs.  SharonH

Dx 8/10/2009, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, 14/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 24, 2011 06:55AM NancyD wrote:

mariar, I'm another Stage 3A survivor here. Over 3-1/2 years, and doing well. I've just graduated to every-six-months check-ups with my onc, and feel like that's giving me a new outlook on my life. I'm not living in 12-16 week cycles anymore. Every six months is like my dental check-ups, lol.

I'm not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing. Dx 2/22/2008, IDC, Left, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/22/2008 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/11/2008 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/5/2008 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 1/28/2010 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Oct 24, 2011 07:07AM kim40 wrote:

I'll have three years in January, and I'm still kicking with lots of nodes.  Hang in there!!

Kim "I Run for Life" - Melissa Ethridge Dx 1/6/2009, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 14/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Oct 24, 2011 12:31PM mariar wrote:

I appreciate all the positive comments. It helps me to hear from each and everyone. Part of me I think is still in shock. Like so many others, I thought that I was so vigilent with mammograms and ultrasounds, but it wasn't enough. So, it scares me that it can sneak up on you. Keep the survivor list coming. It helps me, and I hope that it helps others.

Dx 7/23/2011, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 5/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 25, 2011 04:28AM everyminute wrote:

3 years and almost 5 months here! I just ran TWO marathons in one week 10/9 and 10/16. 

I am happy, strong and healthy and have a pony tail!!!

Life is good!

Dx 6/5/2008, IDC, Stage IIIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 25, 2011 12:24PM MaxineO wrote:

I'm not that far out, but done with treatments! Surgery in Feb, finished chemo in June, finished rads at the end of August. My hair is coming back, my energy is coming back, and I feel great!  I am currently taking scuba diving lessons!

Dx 12/1/2010, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 4/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 25, 2011 09:02PM Trish03 wrote:

Eight years for me, and, yes, it does get better. It seemed that the first two years passed more slowly, but now each year just flies by. It seem like no time since I was at the 7-year mark. BC treament is a distant memory for me, and I do feel that I fully have my old life back. I still take Arimides, now for about 7 1/2 years. After 5 years, the doctor left it up to me since I was Stage III, and chose to continue. I think that I have more joy in my life than many people I know because I don't stress over the small stuff. I feel that every day is a gift, and I love my life! Some ladies aren't fortunate enough to make it 8 years, and I want to get as much as I can from every day.

All the best to everyone.

Hugs, Trish 

Dx 09/03, ILC, Stage IIIa, 7 cm, 4/18+ nodes, ER+/PR+, Her2-, 11/05 BL DIEP, 5/13 Stage IV, dx mets to liver Dx 9/15/2003, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, 4/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/1/2003 Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/15/2003 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 4/15/2004 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 4/15/2004 Breast Surgery 11/17/2005 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Dx 5/27/2013, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IV, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 6/24/2013 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 6/24/2013 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/24/2013 Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Oct 26, 2011 05:51PM Joviangeldeb wrote:

This past April 21st was my 3 year mark of no evidence of disease.

Debbie Dx 10/1/2007, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 26, 2011 08:42PM weesa wrote:

Mariar, Look at my bottom line--we are so similar! I am doing well nine years out.

Sometimes I wonder if I am an old soul temporarily trapped in a breast cancer body. Dx 11/22/2002, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/20/2003 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 6/14/2003 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/23/2003 Femara (letrozole) Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap
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Oct 27, 2011 02:41PM medommer wrote:

My diagnosis was the same as yours except I had 9+ nodes.  That was almost 10 years ago.  I know it's hard to believe now, but it does get better.


Dx 4/2002, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 9/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 27, 2011 08:48PM cmdczc wrote:

20 months out from a stage IIIa diagnosis.... all of these posts are so encouraging! Thank you!

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Oct 29, 2011 02:17PM MEG54 wrote:

Four years out from Stage IIIa diagnosis...

Dx 8/16/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 6/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 29, 2011 05:48PM TexasRose2127 wrote:

A big thank you to all the survivors posting on this discussion board. 

When I was diagnosed AUG 17 2011, I had every test known to man (except for a PET scan).  I went into my BMX w/TE thinking I was Stage IIA without lymph node involvement and woke to Stage IIIA with 6/10 lymph node involvement.  I too have been diligent with my mammograms & breast exams & thought I was early stage.  This is soooooooooo scary.

Keep those Stage III survivor stories coming.  All of us newly diagnosed appreciate the positive support.

Love, Hugs & Prayers-

Rose Dx 8/17/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 5/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 29, 2011 05:56PM mariar wrote:

 It's been really hard lately.   I can't understand why I feel so sad lately.  So, it means alot to hear your story.  I thank you.


Dx 7/23/2011, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 5/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 29, 2011 10:02PM SharonMH wrote:

Hi   SharonH  here. Just stopping in to say hi again.and to say I am thinking of you.  Looks like we have almost the same diagnosis. Sorry that you are feeling so sad. We all really do get it. .SharonH

Dx 8/10/2009, ILC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, 14/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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