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May 15, 2010 12:48PM
I am not my breast cancer. The information posted on any of these boards is just the opinion, sometimes supported by research, that any one of us chooses to embrace, and make our decisions accordingly. The risk I am willing to take, may be more than what another individual wishes to accept. I don't think Beesie is trying to force her opinion down any ones throat, but I do think she is trying to put the risk into perspective. The psychologist that works at my cancer center once commented that he did not want any woman thinking their cancer came back because of that one ice cream cone or those two glasses of wine. There has got to be balance and quality of life, or our doctors have not been successful in sending us off into survivorship. I am not a doctor, but I don't think some glasses of wine were directly responsible for a woman's grade 2 DCIS cells multiplying in the months between the first and second excision. They may have contributed, but the cancer cells were doing exactly what makes them cancer cells by definition. There was abnormal rate of growth of the cells, and that is what cancer cells do. I didn't see anything about tamoxifen or an AI being taken after the first excision, before the second, which is what would keep the estrogen from feeding that cancer cell. None of us have absolute control over what happens, with our cancers or any other aspect of our life. We gather our information and make the best decision for ourselves. I have a slightly different perspective than someone who is just beginning this journey. I am just asking that you all have good primary care doctors that oversee your health care beyond your breast cancer. As my psychologist said, he has seen far too many women so focused on not dying of cancer, that they forget to live. Some get so focused on the breast cancer, they do not see the heart attack, stroke, or other important health issue coming to run them down.
For those of you who choose not to have a drink, that is great! However, do you also go without hair color, cosmetics, facial products, non- organic meat and vegatables, etc. etc? There are carcinegens in all of those things. For myself, I refuse to live in a bubble and let breast cancer win. I do take a folic acid supplement as the benefits of folic acid are documented. In all aspects of my breast cancer, I have embraced the philosophy that I prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. As I stated before, my mom is an alcoholic and smoker, no cancer ever. My good friend Dorothy, a 56 year breast cancer survivor, does not drink, but is a typical southern girl, loves fried chicken, catfish, foods loaded in fats and sugars, she is overweight, and yet, 56 years later, still here defying everyone that would have predicted her chance of survival. Before breast cancer, I went without so many things I would have enjoyed, but I was afraid of being fat, becoming an alcoholic like my mom, having too much fun. Getting breast cancer taught me that life is simply too short to not cash in some fun tickets. I now regret not partying more in my youth, and stopping to smell the roses. Growing old is a privilege. We are all going to die someday, and we simply lack much control over when that will be. I had a hard lesson on that two years ago when my best friend's son died at the age of 21 in a parachuting accident. Enjoy life, live it with passion! Do not let the cancer win by having it control every aspect of your life. Read the research, educate yourself, and make the best choice for you, but please do not live your life in fear.
DCIS, 2005, lumpectomy, 32 rads, tamoxifen
4/15/2005, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-