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Topic: Book Lovers Club

Forum: Moving Beyond Cancer —

Managing life after a breast cancer diagnosis, including rediscovering intimacy, coping with fear of recurrence, reconnecting relationships, sharing hobbies and interests, and finding inspiration in daily life.

Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 02:04PM

konakat wrote:

I've been receiving marvelous book suggestions on another thread and it was recommended that I start a Book Lovers thread.  This is not for BC or health books -- this is pure escapism!!!  I've collated the suggestions (with snippets describing the plots) I've received thus far.  Please post your recommendations too!!

Elizabeth's Mantra: When in doubt, eat cake. When you haven't a clue, add ice cream. Elizabeth's Mets: Liver, bones, brain (yuck), and lungs (more yuck). Dx 5/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 13/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Dec 6, 2018 05:03PM M0mmyof2 wrote:

Bought a book of Norse Mythology recently. Haven’t had time to do much reading lately.

If you value your freedom, thank a servicemember both serving and retired!
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Dec 6, 2018 07:05PM Jelson wrote:

JaBoo You are right, this thread is all about escapism!! there is a bc book thread under recommend your resources community.breastcancer.org/for... but in addition to the book thread, it looks like there are other threads about specific books.

Dx 4/17/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Dec 6, 2018 08:22PM MinusTwo wrote:

The Book Lovers Club does seem to discuss more fiction than non-fiction, but please don't discount our loyal readers who weigh in with their non-fiction recommends. When Konkat started this thread, she specifically set out parameters that we would not discuss cancer & health. So it's a place you can come to see what your friends are reading and yes, put aside the cancer discussions & worries for a bit. All during treatment this remained one of my favorites. Now some years post treatment, I wouldn't stop checking this thread for anything.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Dec 6, 2018 09:16PM - edited Dec 6, 2018 09:19PM by voraciousreader

jaBoo....why not start another thread asking for breast cancer book recommendations? I am sure you can fine tune the kind of books you are looking for. Just like why someone might ask for recipe books. If you are a vegan, you probably aren’t interested in paleo cook books. Perhaps if you are more specific, you might get some recommendation gems

Doctor told me regarding my prognosis that I WASN'T on the Titanic! Hmmm...Really?....Okay! 02/2010 Pure Mucinous Breast Cancer, Oncotype DX 15, Stage 1, Grade 1, 1.8 cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+ 90% /PR+ 70% HER2- (+1)
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Dec 14, 2018 08:38AM pat01 wrote:

I usually alternate fiction with non-fiction - the last book I read was Still Alice by Lisa Genova, about a woman with premature Alzheimers. I thought it was a true story, but it is fiction with a good dose of realism, so kind of a quasi non-fiction book. At first I didn't want to read it, was afraid it would put all my forgetfulness and short term memory loss in a negative light. But happy to say after reading this book, I am not getting Alzheimers :) The book was made into a movie a few years back, but a very interesting read. The author is a neuroscientist and also has written other books on various maladies, I'm putting them on my list.

Dx 6/1/2011, DCIS/IDC, Right, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy
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Dec 14, 2018 08:47AM MinusTwo wrote:

pat - seconding your recommendation. I recently read Still Alice for the second time.

I read and loved The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, the story of him accompanying his mother through cancer treatments by reading books & discussing them together. The books they chose were mostly old favorites and it was illuminating to read how & why they chose them and how they got to know each other better as they re-read them. For a Christmas present to myself, I recently ordered the follow-up, Books for Living:Some Thoughts on Reading, Reflecting, and Embracing Life. Both are billed as "a love letter to reading and readers."

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Dec 14, 2018 01:40PM carolehalston wrote:

I recommend the last two books I read. The first is What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman. The back story happened 30 years ago. Two young sisters, one a teenager and the other a pre-teen, go to the mall and disappear. The time present story involves a woman who may be one of those two sisters. The telling of the story fills in the background and key characters and maintains suspense. A different kind of whodunit. I found the book very interesting reading.

The second book is Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. The story opens with the death of Amelia, a high school girl who attends a private school in Brooklyn. Amelia's death is ruled a suicide. Her mother, Kate, a single parent, is heartbroken. Then she begins to question whether Amelia's death really was suicide. The narrative technique involves switching points of view and going backward and forward in time. I really liked this book despite the sadness.

Now I'm reading another Michael Connelly, Burning Room with Harry Bosch solving a ten-year-old crime.

Nipple-Sparing BMX w/Alloderm & Silicone Implants 7/24/09, Oncotype Dx 9, No Chemo, No Rads, Arimidex Dx 6/25/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 14, 2018 04:49PM MinusTwo wrote:

Carole - I just read an old Laura Lipman book. I'd forgotten how much I like her.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Dec 14, 2018 05:14PM ruthbru wrote:

I loved both Still Alice and The End of Your Life Book Club! I just finished Michelle Obama's Becoming. It was very good, I felt we were sitting at the kitchen table, drinking coffee and having a visit.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 14, 2018 06:44PM MinusTwo wrote:

VR - what are you reading? We really don't want to post fiction only so we need you!! What's your DH reading?

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Dec 14, 2018 09:03PM magiclight wrote:

I just started The life and death of the war correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum. Marie Colvin was killed in Syria in 2012 at age 56. I think this book is certainly in keeping with Time Magazine's person of the year depicting slain journalists.

Life is available only in the present...the here and the now. Thich Nhat Hanh Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 4/27/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Dec 14, 2018 09:57PM voraciousreader wrote:

minus...I can’t tell you what the DH is presently reading because the kids got around to treating him to an eReader and now he has been downloading his own books from the library. He is still reading his regular authors... DaSilva, Childs, Flynn, Lescroat and Baldacci.....


Besides reading children’s books, lately, I haven’t read much that is notable, nor have I had much time to concentrate. Three weeks ago, I lost my 93 year old mother and last week, my daughter gave birth to her second child. My mom’s last few months were rough and so was my daughter’s pregnancy....so I did a lot of running around....

But....I did find some time on Sunday to grab some books that needed my attention and ran to a quiet, cozy corner in my local library and drenched myself in some Q books....When I came up for some air, I realized four hours had passed. It felt so good to be reading again. I breezed through a fantastic book about John Singer Sargent....


https://www.amazon.com/Sargent-Masterworks-Stephanie-L-Herdrich/dp/0847862399


For any Sargent fans, it is a wonderful primer. The painting on the book jacket is among my favorite paintings of his. I have had a chance to see in person a number of the paintings in the book, but the one on the jacket I pine to see, but it is in England. A few years ago, the Met had a special exhibit of his works and I was hoping the painting would be there, but it wasn’t. So, alas, seeing the painting remains on my bucket list...I have read books devoted to some of his individual paintings... there are so many stories about each of his paintings that I never tire of him or them. One thing that I learned from the most recent book was that he gave up painting portraits the last twenty years of his life. He just found it too difficult and unenjoyable to work for his patrons. Switched to watercolor landscapes. I also learned that Henry James was a close friend. Interesting connection....of course that reminded me of a book that I read years ago about the James siblings. Now that was also an interesting book....


https://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/13/books/review/Marshall-t.html


https://www.amazon.com/House-Wits-Intimate-Portrait-Family/dp/0805090207


https://www.amazon.com/Love-Fiercely-Gilded-Age-Romance/dp/0151014477


https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/sargent-carnation-lily-lily-rose-n01615


https://www.fashionologiahistoriana.com/costume-history-legends-essays-in-english/marvelous-beetle-wings-dress-of-lady-macbeth













Doctor told me regarding my prognosis that I WASN'T on the Titanic! Hmmm...Really?....Okay! 02/2010 Pure Mucinous Breast Cancer, Oncotype DX 15, Stage 1, Grade 1, 1.8 cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+ 90% /PR+ 70% HER2- (+1)
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Dec 15, 2018 06:46AM - edited Dec 15, 2018 10:59AM by ruthbru

So sorry about your mom, VR (wasn't she the original voracious reader?), and congratulations on the new grandbaby. I hope your daughter makes a quick recovery.

I have a couple fiction books I grabbed while in an airport. I'll report back if they are any good.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 15, 2018 09:35AM MinusTwo wrote:

VR - I too am sorry about your Mother. I do remember you sharing what she was reading in past years. And congrats on the grandbaby. I love it that your DH is downloading his own books!!!

Reading a 2013 Jodi Picoult - The Storyteller. It's about a family of bakers starting before WWI & on through the concentration camps of WWII to the present. The question is can there be some (redeeming) good in an evil person? Is there some bad in every good person? Does anyone have the right to tell someone else's secrets? To what lengths will we go to keep the past from dictating the future?

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Dec 15, 2018 10:56PM - edited Dec 15, 2018 10:58PM by voraciousreader

thanks for the sympathies and good wishes!


Ruth...my mom was THE VR! When she passed the age of 90, she no longer read books, but continued reading the paper and clipping coupons! Last year, she moved 5 minutes from my home and I would visit most days and read with her. She was, arguably, Geoff Dyers' oldest groupie! He is coming out with a new book in February and I guess I will meet up with him and break the bad news to him. He practically knew her! Can't wait to tell him that the last story I read with her was one of his essays found in his White Sands book. It was all about his wife and his.trip to see The Northern Lights. If anyone is interested in one of Dyer's most hilarious essays, well, here it is....Enjoy!


https://www.afr.com/lifestyle/northern-lights-20160620-gpmzr5

Doctor told me regarding my prognosis that I WASN'T on the Titanic! Hmmm...Really?....Okay! 02/2010 Pure Mucinous Breast Cancer, Oncotype DX 15, Stage 1, Grade 1, 1.8 cm, 0/2 nodes, ER+ 90% /PR+ 70% HER2- (+1)
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Dec 16, 2018 08:03AM pat01 wrote:

VR - sorry to hear about your Mom, but congrats about your new grandbaby.

I am grateful for this thread, I get so many good book suggestions, I just put them on my library wish list and usually get around to reading them in the future, so I have forgotten who gave me suggestion! My DH is in to all those Alaska and Wilderness shows, so I just sit on the couch and read on my tablet while he watches TV - together but not really!

Dx 6/1/2011, DCIS/IDC, Right, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy
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Dec 16, 2018 01:01PM MinusTwo wrote:

Barnes & Noble was nice enough to give me store credit for a duplicate book I received as a gift. So of course I had to shop. They had a whole table of books - buy two get one free. Who could pass that up? I got Lincoln in the Bardo, The Underground Railroad and a Liane Moriarty book The Husband's Secret. Then, oh my, all those other books calling to me & jumping into my arms. I was a good girl. I only got one other book that my niece said I MUST read - Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

I'm sorry to say that the local indie bookstore where I physically drove across town two months ago & bought my initial personal copy of book, would not extend me the same courtesy of store credit on this duplicate gift. They lost the sale of four other books, and probably lost my future business. Too bad because I like to support indie book stores.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Dec 16, 2018 02:03PM ruthbru wrote:

Tell me know what you think of Lincoln in the Bardo, Minus. I LOVED it, but the only other person I know who did is a 92 year old VR friend. Everyone else either hated it or didn't get it!

I just read The End of Everything by Megan Abbott. I won't recommend, or not recommend, it. It was disturbing but riveting. A couple reviewers likened it to a modern day Lolita. A 13 year old's best friend is missing......and it's complicated.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 16, 2018 05:46PM SandiBeach57 wrote:

Ruthbru. I loved Lincoln in Bardo.

2006 and 2007 DCIS ER+PR+, Oct 2016 Stage IV widespread liver mets, ER+PR-HER2-. Oct 2016 AC. Jan 2017 Letrozole/Ibrance
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Dec 16, 2018 06:09PM - edited Dec 16, 2018 06:10PM by ruthbru

Yea! Obviously it is we who have good taste in literature Winking.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 16, 2018 08:44PM MinusTwo wrote:

Ruth - I got the book based on your recommendation. It's not at the top of the pile but I should get to it soon.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Dec 21, 2018 09:35PM sparrowhawk wrote:

My favourites are Jane Eyre, Anne of Green Gables and The Little Prince. I can read them over and over. AoGG is very special to me; my mother read it to me when I was a baby, and the copy I have is twenty years old. I went on a series binge recently and am currently reading Anne of Ingleside for the first time.

I also love A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin. Another favourite which I inherited from my mum. It is a children's novel but a beautiful read, in my opinion.

Non-fiction: books about language, lateral thinking and psychology really interest me.

27yo who loves life. Dx Phyllodes tumour and 13 fibroadenomas. Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Dec 28, 2018 05:58PM MinusTwo wrote:

Ruth - finished Lincoln in the Bardo. Once I got past the distraction of the"citations" after most sentences, I did like the book. (I quit reading most of the citations) I stopped to look up things numerous times. For example I had no idea what "bardo" meant. I won't give a spoiler here by defining. And I looked up Ft. Donaldson & that battle. etc. Interesting to consider that waiting 'spirits' (maybe hovering spirits but I don't think the "undead") might be able to pass in & out of living beings and change the course of their thinking and/or of history.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Dec 28, 2018 06:09PM MinusTwo wrote:

Very much liked Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I'll be looking for her next book.

I read a Jodi Picoult book - The Storyteller. It's concerned with WWII and some descendants of the Holocaust. There were questions at the end that have caused me to reflect and I thought I'd share.

1) The girl remembers how good were special rolls her father used to bake for only her.
How does food connect families across generations?
What are some of the special foods you enjoy that connect you to relatives or the past?

2) The Nazi's forced the family to relocate to the Lodz ghetto & gave them 5 minutes to clear out.
If you were forced to evacuate your home in five minutes, would you know what items to bring & what to leave behind?
What would be on your short list of essentials?

Every time I pick up a Jodi Picoult book I ask myself why I'm reading it and remembering I didn't like her. Maybe she's changed from her early books, or maybe I have. There is always a hook that grabs me and usually several things ("truths"?) that I need to ponder.

And just finished Joyce Carol Oates Middle Age Romance. I am always astounded how she keeps all the disparate threads moving forward and somehow winds them into a central theme. I liked this quote about one of the protagonists: " She'd spent a year mourning - what? - emotion maybe. The passing of, not youth, for her youth had long since passed, but the passing of the attitude, the expectations of youth." It's pretty much true where my thoughts were when I was middle aged. That peak of exaggerated excitement doesn't continue.


2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Dec 29, 2018 07:02AM ruthbru wrote:

Glad you liked Lincoln, Minus. I found it fascinating. I liked Everything I Never Told you too.

Food! I have many, many family memories about food. I could tell you the Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas menu we had every year when I was growing up down to the last crumb. And remember churning the homemade ice cream on my grandpa's back porch every summer, and I could go on and on and on......

Yikes, if I had 5 minutes to clear out, I'd probably panic; grab stupid things & leave the things I really need/want all behind!

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 29, 2018 02:51PM Warrior2018 wrote:

Hi all! MinusTwo- the Storyteller is my favorite book. I loved it ;)

Just finished The Storytellers Secret by Sejal Badani. It is a beautiful story about love and loss and finding one’s self. The writing is so eloquent.

Now starting Where the Crawdads Sing.


AKA- Paleo Unicorn 🦄😊 Dx 3/14/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 4/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Dec 29, 2018 05:53PM Snickersmom wrote:

Where the Crawdads Sing is one of my favorite books. I absolutely loved it. The only other book that has ever made me want to read it over and over again is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

Dx 3/24/2017, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/3/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 6/12/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Dec 29, 2018 07:52PM ruthbru wrote:

Loved both of those too!

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 29, 2018 10:33PM magiclight wrote:

I just finished ...Crawdads and I could reread Snowflower…

Ruth - you look cold but your grandpup looks ready to play.

Life is available only in the present...the here and the now. Thich Nhat Hanh Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 4/27/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Dec 30, 2018 09:50AM Snickersmom wrote:

Did you like Crawdads?

Dx 3/24/2017, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 5/3/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 6/12/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)

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