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Topic: Not quite a horder - decluttering

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: Mar 21, 2011 01:00PM - edited Feb 21, 2012 12:21PM by suzwes

suzwes wrote:

 

Okay friends, I'm updating this info.  I love the picture though so I'm leaving that!!  I continue to look at a very unorganized house.  My friend Zogo had an idea about a thread for decluttering and I thought why not get one started.

Feel free to share decluttering or organizational ideas or hold yourself accountable to us. We have a fun group to share with and want you to jump in!  Below are a few links and info that might be helpful to get you started or to review from time to time.

Fly Lady: http://flylady.net/

Wonderland shared Jeff Campbell's Clutter Rules. Go to www.jeffcampbell.com/Rules-Clutter/ for more details on each rule.

1. When in doubt, throw it out

2. Use it or lose it

3. Efficiency counts, so store things accordingly

4. Handle something once (this is my personal favorite. Another way to state it is "Touch Paper Once")

5. Recycle it

6. Pick a number and stick with it

7. Use a file cabinet

8. Do Something (another personal favorite)

9. A place for everything, and everything in its place

10. Items displayed in the house have to pass a test

11. Don't do things "later"

12. Label things

13. Call in a professional


Suzette Dx 4/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 12, 2018 01:53PM Vargadoll wrote:

Yesterday the utility room got a mini makeover. Part of it will be used for a changing room for the pool. With 6 grandchildren I'm trying to cut down on wet feet and butry running through the house. I had a huge black trash bag full waiting in DH to haul off. Today I got the bird bath and feeder moved. Got all the pool floats clean that were worth saving and the other in the trash. Productive day!

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come" Proverbs 31:25 Dx 12/23/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/7/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/13/2017 Breast Hormonal Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 13, 2018 05:40AM NativeMainer wrote:

I was visiting with my Mom and her partner the other day. She asked me how my decluttering was coming, specifically my garage/basement. Come to find out, she wants to store some of her stuff in MY basement! I am floored. She has a barn, a storage shed and a bunkhouse available where she lives, plus the basement there, AND 2 storage sheds on her property (the mobile home has just been moved off and is being used elsewhere), and has stuff stored in my cousin's garage near there. And she says she doesn't collect or hold on to anything! She wants to move the woodworking tools from the old place to my place and set up an woodworking area in MY basement. For HER use. It's been more than 10 years since she's done anything like that. I was glad I could tell her that my basement still needs work. The reality is that I don't plan to ever keep the basement/garage cleaned up to her standards--I will NOT wash a concrete garage floor once a week, nor will I dust and vacuum the beams weekly.I will sweep it out periodically, but I park my car there, it's going to have dirt and dust on the floor. And I sure as shooting do NOT want to have to try to keep a wood working shop are clean and dusted and organized. ARRGGHH!!!

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." Audre Lorde Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/15/2007 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/29/2007 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/10/2007 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/5/2007 Hormonal Therapy 4/25/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/15/2008 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/21/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jun 13, 2018 06:44AM Jazzygirl wrote:

NM- I am floored too that your mother wants to fill up your newly cleaned space with her stuff. I am speechless. I think you handled it well by telling her you are still working on the basement. Perhaps this is a bit of a realization of what you may be facing some day with cleaning out her space(s) though?

Dx 9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 1/7/2013 Breast Radiation Therapy 2/25/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane)
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Jun 13, 2018 10:53AM - edited Jun 13, 2018 10:57AM by DivineMrsM

Dh and I just got back from vacation, and I have a few things to share with you when I am more settled in. I want to address your situation, tho, Native Maine. Great job setting boundaries with your mom. Doesn't it feel good to assert yourself? It is a way to honor the work you've done decluttering. It sounds like if you gave your mom a foothold into your place, who knows where that would lead. Do you think you could gently point out to her some of the areas where she lives that she could simplify and make space for her ww equipment? I'd also avoid discussing your decluttering successes with her now that you realize she's attempting to make plans for “your" cleared out space!

I think we all have those relatives who try to push the envelope in one way or the other. I was very happy that dh has told his sisters that his mother's place across the street from us must be emptied by the end of the month so take whatever it is they want because we do not have room in our garage to store anything. He has always had a problem standing up to them, so I was relieved he let them know he wasn't going to pick up the slack of their indecisions. This way they don't get any ideas.

Wrenn, ha ha, love your rock story! Fascinating insight about wanting to see wide open spaces!

Vargadoll, making a pool changing room in the utility room is a great idea!

found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex~ "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
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Jun 13, 2018 03:51PM Jazzygirl wrote:

NM- Divine makes a good point about not talking to your mom any further about the de-cluttering activities. Unfortunately, family and friends whom we love can see these things activities as "opportunistic" for themselves. Been there when I have had to deal with things in the past. I have learned that if you have breaks in your work schedule with contracts, people see that as an opportunity for you to help them with something (moving, painting, you name it). Help with elder care things is another biggie (even with my sister whose partner has aging relatives). The universe hates a void and when we clear something out, things move in (and we have to decide what things we want). More stuff is less time maintaining it and more free time for you! You are a good and kind soul, this much I know is true, but you are definitely not doing this to open up space for other people's stuff, even your mom's!

I have been doing out those once a year drawer and cabinet clean out activities. Last weekend was the cabinet under the dresser with all the cold medicines, skin care products, etc. I like to purge old medications (even over the counter) once a year and also old lotions and make up at least once a year. Today I am cleaning out my utensil drawer and cleaning my stainless steel. I always end up with a lot of plastic forks and other junk there I don't need (I recycle the extra plastics).

Dx 9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 1/7/2013 Breast Radiation Therapy 2/25/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane)
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Jun 13, 2018 05:18PM DivineMrsM wrote:

Jazzy, I love that word you use, opportunistic! I just had this conversation with my husband today! I told him now that the responsibility of caring for his mom—-40 years of looking out for her ( 30 of those in which we were married); the last 3 years where she lived across the street from us, he is going to have a vaccum in his life and he needs to make sure other people do not fill up that time for him. I mentioned boundaries and choosing to do what he wants, not what he is guilted into doing. I am sure I will have the conversation with him a few more times. His son from a previous marriage is one I am thinking of. Great person, but dh does all the giving and not much reciprocation from his son.
found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex~ "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
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Jun 13, 2018 05:30PM MinusTwo wrote:

NM - perfect response. I too love the word opportunistic. I seem to be the queen at that in my neighborhood lately & must pull back again. Need something...something happens...call Minus.

Bought a new summer top today so two others have to go. This rule works well for me.

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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Jun 13, 2018 10:42PM Jazzygirl wrote:

This is a great article about drama. How other people can create it with us, when to not engage, how to not label it as such too quickly. The world feels like nothing but drama to me anymore, so I need some guidelines. My favorite line in here is that not everything requires a response.

Hope you find these helpful too!

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/7-crucial-steps-to-min...

Dx 9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 1/7/2013 Breast Radiation Therapy 2/25/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane)
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Jun 14, 2018 08:54AM NativeMainer wrote:

Jazzy--Cleaning out after Mom dies is going to be a major job. A MAJOR job. Particularly now that her stuff is intermixed with Dick's stuff. Good Lord help us if Mom and Dick die together. Which is a real possibility since they are together most of the time. It would only take one car crash to put us in that situation.Both Mom and Dick have wills and have made clear who gets what as far as the important and valuable stuff (the property, investment accounts, certain items of value) but neither Mom nor Dick even know all of what is packed away in thebarn and the shed and the bunkhouse. There is a big area in the basement that is full of Dick's ex-wife's things, and she had Alzheimer's for years and died last year. I dread the day I'm going to have to start dealing with that stuff. But that thought is adding to my motivation to get my own house cleaned out.

Anyway, I think I can keep her stuff out of my house by pointing out that I live with a dog and the things will start to smell like dog if she keeps them here. That, and the basement may never get finished with the decluttering, cleaning and organizing. And it's too far away--a good 45 minute drive--so it's not like she can pop in and work on something when she has a few minutes between household chores and such.

Mrs. M--Mom has spaces she can clean out, and has had plans for all of them that fall through for one reason or another, mostly that she won't ask for help. The bunkhouse would make a great craft room, but some big furniture needs to be moved.They won't ask Dick's son to help move stuff cuz he's too busy, and it would take more than one person to move the stuff. They won't ask me cuz I'm a girl. But Dick's son, one or two of his teenage kids and myself could get together and probably get the stuff moved in a couple of hours, if they'd just say they want it done and let us set up a time to do it. Not that I can say much, I have a hard time asking for help with things, too.

I don't talk to Mom and Dick about the decluttering unless they bring it up. Unfortunately, Mom brings it up regularly. And you are right about stuff filling the void left by cleaning out. I've been able to do more gardening and landscaping since the decluttering started and thatis the direction I want to continue to move in, so the basement space is going to be reorganized to support that. I'll need storage for the tools and supplies, and a space for potting bench, and, eventually, space for canned goods as my veggie gardening increases and I preserve more stuff. So, no room for woodworking tools!

Good idea to purge make up and lotions and first aid stuff on a regular basis.

Great article about drama! I never really thought about me being the one bringing the drama to the table, but I can see how that has/is happening at work, and it is me looking for attention. I really need to do some thinking about this. Thanks for sharing the article, Jazzy! I, too, love the line that not everything requires a response.

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." Audre Lorde Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/15/2007 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/29/2007 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/10/2007 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/5/2007 Hormonal Therapy 4/25/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/15/2008 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/21/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jun 14, 2018 09:40AM - edited Jun 14, 2018 09:41AM by Jazzygirl

Hi folks- I am glad you enjoy the term "opportunistic". It came from some old biology learning years ago about opportunistic feeders in the wildlife world like bears, raccoons, etc. But I learned long ago that people can be opportunistic feeders too in their own way. You share something in passing you are doing and the next thing you know, they have found a way to tap in to it. I think we all have these people in our lives, they may be relatives, friends, people we know at work. I listen carefully for those "trying to get a foot in the door on this" types and usually try to cut it off quickly. People who do this need strict boundaries. Cancer has taught me to be even better at it too!

NM- I know you will have a big job ahead of you friend. If you ever see that window of opportunity with your mom and Dick, once you are done with your own project, try to help them get rid of stuff they know they don't want. When my sister and I used to go back to visit our mom after our dad was gone, we would make it a point to de-clutter something with her. One time it was a bunch of old paints and other household chemicals we took to to dispose of safely. My mother would agree to these things with time. When it came time to clean out the house though (they lived there 50 years), it was still really hard. Does Dick have kids? You will need a team to do it but honestly, all the work you are doing at home now will help you to know what to do when the time comes. Our mom was still alive when we had to do it, as we had to move her in to assisted living, so that was hard too. Be thinking ahead on this friend.


Dx 9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 1/7/2013 Breast Radiation Therapy 2/25/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane)
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Jun 14, 2018 09:49AM - edited Jun 14, 2018 09:50AM by mustlovepoodles

My mother passed away last summer. It was always her intention to declutter her house, but she just couldn't bear to get rid of anything. Her house wasn't so bad when my step-father was alive. He was retired military and their house was neat as a pin back then.He died in 2002 and from that point on Mother just gave up on cleaning. She acquired mountains of sheet music, camping gear, and craft supplies, which were strewn about the house occupying every room. She shopped at thrift stores for recreation. She allowed her cats to poop and pee on things and the whole house smelled like wet dog.

There came a time when Mother wanted to move into a small senior apt. No problem, she thought. She'd just sell the house and use that money. Except that by that time she wasnt physically or psychically capable of clearing things out. So, she moved anyway and her house, with all her hoard, sat there while she fretted about not having money (she was sitting on $200,000 "for a rainy day". At age 82.)

Mother's house became a millstone around her neck. The clutter shamed her and caused her to isolate herself from all her friends. She became increasingly anxious and depressed, which in turn prompted her to go shopping to feel better. Mothers last years were pretty miserable. When she passed it took seven of us 6 weeks to go through her stuff and disperse with her things. I NEVER want to do that to my kids!

Oncotype 23. Positive for PALB2 & Chek2 gene mutations. My breasts are trying to kill me! Dx 7/20/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/20/2015 Lumpectomy Surgery 9/2/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/19/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/4/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 10/18/2016 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery
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Jun 14, 2018 12:26PM MinusTwo wrote:

Great article about drama Jazzy. Thanks for posting. I to am going to take some time to think about all those points.

You were fortunate that your Mom would talk about getting rid of things. My Mom was happy to get rid of clothes her clothes - but saved a lot of her Mother's clothes & her kids clothes. She wouldn't part with dishes/vases/platters that had meaning to her - even if they were chipped or cracked & badly repaired. Neither would she part with papers. She just kept copying more & more pieces of paper & pictures that she wanted her kids to see/have/value. She had a stroke & became a vegetable 12 years before she died, but my Dad would not let us get rid of anything. (who are we kidding - us was me)

I think value is the key. What is of value & why. Things that are most valuable to me are because of the memories involved with them. Intellectually I understand those memories aren't often the same for my son - as my memories were not the same as my Mothers - but there are some things I just can't let go.

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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Jun 14, 2018 12:54PM Wren44 wrote:

A professional who helps seniors downsize said her technique is to hand the client pink stickers and ask him/her to put them on things they absolutely want to take with them. That way they don't feel like something really precious will be ripped out of their hands. Once that's done, it's easier to contemplate the rest and decide what to do with it.

Lumpectomy and re-excision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Five years of anastrasole completed.
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Jun 14, 2018 06:53PM mustlovepoodles wrote:

Oh, lord, Wren. My mother would had had the house covered with pink stivkers.

Oncotype 23. Positive for PALB2 & Chek2 gene mutations. My breasts are trying to kill me! Dx 7/20/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/20/2015 Lumpectomy Surgery 9/2/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/19/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/4/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 10/18/2016 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery
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Jun 14, 2018 11:01PM AgathaNYC wrote:

My mother already does have post-it's taped to the back and underside of anything valuable (mostly talking of sentimental value.) She's written the name of the person she'd like to get it when it's time. Since my father passed away she downsized into a 1 bedroom apartment and did a really good job of paring down. I was proud of her. However, she managed to keep decorations for every possible holiday tucked away in some secret spot in that little apartment! It drives my brothers bananas but it makes her happy. She's 92 so she's earned the right to have as many little pilgrim cornhusk dolls as she wants for that one week a year they come out.

I was starting to make some progress decluttering my house, but I got sidetracked by getting laid off last week. I guess the upside is that I will have more time at home to do the organizing/tossing/donating but looking for work is a full-time job! I may have no choice to rent out a bedroom in my apartment to help with the rent. If I do that I'll REALLY have to get my act together fast. My dining room that is really a sewing/crafting/home office/storage room won't cut it with a roommate. ARGH!


... grateful for my pCR Dx 9/11/2017, ILC/IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/6/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 3/5/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/18/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Jun 15, 2018 07:46AM NativeMainer wrote:

Jazzy--I like the term "opportunistic" too, but was thinking of it in the medical sense--an opportunistic infection is one caused by a bacteria/virus/yeast/fungus that is always present but usually harmless, unless something weakens the host, then the bacteria take advantage of the situation to multiply out of control. Mom will take advantage of the opportunity to mover her stuff into my place if I weaken in my decluttering and cleaning out and reorganizing commitment. So, the basement has moved to the bottom of the areas to be completed list, which does not mean I won't be working on it, it just won't ever get officially finished. Mom is always working on some cleaning out project or another, but mostly ends up just packing stuff in totes and boxes and piling them up somewhere. I've offered to help many times, but it never seems to work out. I keep telling myself that it's HER circus, and thus HER monkeys to corral and control. Someday, however, that will change.Dick does have kids. I'm not close with them, but recognize them when I see them and they occasionally are visiting when I visit, and weget along ok. Dick's kids have already had to deal with some of this stuff with their Mom as her Alzheimer's progressed and she had to be moved from her home to an assisted living apartment, to a nursing home. She was quite a hoarder, from what I've heard and the first couple of moves where pretty hard. This is always in the back of my mind these days, as I see Mom and Dick aging.

Poodles--oh my, what a horrible thing your Mom went through. My house was becoming a millstone like that, which is part of what got me moving on decluttering, but hearing your Mom's story shows me where I might have ended up (and could still if I'm not careful to maintain progress). Not what I want for myself or anyone who has to clean up after me when I'm gone.

Minus--Value and memories are important. I do have some things that I am keeping only for the associated memories, which I value. Fortunately, these items aren't many, and aren't large. I'm allowing myself to keep them, but will review them periodically, and am assigning places for them to go to when I am ready to let them go (or die, whichever comes first). Many of the items that were Dad's will go to the Historical Society in his home town. Not having children of my own, I have had to think pretty hard about where some things that I value should go when I die, and has made me think about relative value. I have my maternal Grandmother's china set, probably not monetarily very valuable (it was brought back from overseas by one of my uncle during his military service), not a pattern I would ever have picked out for myself, but very valuable to me, and on display in a china cabinet in my living room. Still trying to figure out where to have this go that isn't a junk shop or junk yard, cuz that though bothers me. Don't want to stick with someone else to try to figure out what to do with, either. So that's a work in progress.I think it's ok to hold on to some things, so long as I can say WHY I am holding on to them.

Wren--marking important items that way is a great idea! Takes away some of the fear of losing something important accidentally.

Agatha--sorry to hear about getting laid off. That must be scary and worrisome.Having more time to declutter is a plus, but needing to job search is important. In your situation, I'd have to have a timer, work on decluttering for a set amount of time, work on job search a set amount of time, do nothing or just amuse myself for a set amount of time. Otherwise I get bogged down or overwhelmed, and never even get started.

"I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival." Audre Lorde Dx 3/9/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/15/2007 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 3/29/2007 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 4/10/2007 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/5/2007 Hormonal Therapy 4/25/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/15/2008 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 6/21/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jun 15, 2018 01:12PM Wren44 wrote:

Agatha, Sorry you were laid off - and you're right. Looking for a job is way more work than having a job. Native has a great idea to work for set times and then do something you enjoy.

Lumpectomy and re-excision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Five years of anastrasole completed.
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Jun 15, 2018 02:37PM AgathaNYC wrote:

Thanks, Native and Wren. I like the idea of setting out distinct blocks of time so I just don't sit on the floor overwhelmed by it all.

... grateful for my pCR Dx 9/11/2017, ILC/IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/6/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 3/5/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/18/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Jun 15, 2018 08:55PM MinusTwo wrote:

I did better than two tops out for the new one I bought last week. I'd been holding on to a number of 'boat neck' or wide jewel neck tops because they have 3/4 sleeves. I like these sleeves since I'm always cold. But I just can't come to grips with the wide bra straps of my compression bra hanging out there for all to see. And I have no choice with the lymphadema. When I last sorted, I put a bunch of these tops in a different room. I've looked for over a year for "V" neck tops with 3/4 sleeves or tops with a tighter neck, but they're scarce as hen's teeth. Today I talked to my tailor about pulling the necks in a bit. With one style she may be able to put a dart in the middle of the back. With another, she may be able to just open the shoulder seam & pull up the material. So I kept two for experimentation but folded up all the rest and packed away for the Battered Women. One top in - Eleven tops out. Woo Hoo!!

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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Jun 15, 2018 09:05PM Vargadoll wrote:

MinusTwo - I'm so with you on this one! I wear a tank top under just about all my tops to cover the wide bra straps of the compression bra. I was a Victoria Secret girl before and always wore beautiful bras. The compression bras are far from pretty! I have a bag full of the Victoria's Secret bras in my closet and I'm not ready to part with them yet. Maybe next year.

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come" Proverbs 31:25 Dx 12/23/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/7/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/13/2017 Breast Hormonal Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 15, 2018 09:15PM MinusTwo wrote:

VargaDoll - I've finally gotten rid of all but one 'pretty' bra. I don't think I've worn that in 3 years. I did save a couple of Danskin jogging bras but don't wear those often since my LE therapist says they don't come up high enough under the arms or cover the back. So why did I need all these lovely low neck tops which work so well in our HOT southern climates? But they were so pretty. Gone!!! Sigh.

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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Jun 15, 2018 11:04PM Wren44 wrote:

I found a shirt last year that looks like a camp shirt but is the thinnest material and really cool. I sunburn instantly so need to stay fairly covered up, even when it's hot.

It seems to me that someone could make higher necked cool tops. Lands End has mastectomy suits that are a little more covered than their regular ones. They look the same unless you really compare them side by side. And make cuter bras. There are a lot of us and we still like pretty.

Lumpectomy and re-excision followed by mastectomy of right breast. Five years of anastrasole completed.
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Jun 16, 2018 12:57PM Jazzygirl wrote:

I wore my Moving Comfort sports bras (much like a compression bra) after lumpectomy surgery and have found through time, they are the most comfortable bras to wear in the new world in which I live. I was told no underwire after surgery and rads for some time, and now that I have lots of scar tissue so the underwires are no longer something I can wear much anyways (maybe for an evening with a particular outfit). My moving comfort bras have wide straps too and with summer tanks, I have to watch that. You can find Moving Comfort bras at REI or on line too. I think there is a whole untapped business opportunity for "breast cancer friendly fashion".

I was super self conscious of my bathing suit tops/area when I went back to swimming after cancer. Along the way, I found some great swim shirts at Big 5 for those of you that have those (or go on line). I had some residual evidence from rads and also the sentinel node biopsies on both sides, and did not want to answer questions about those. Not too visible now, but of course, there are scars we still carry with all this. Some of the shirts are short sleeved, like a t-shirt and others longer sleeved (for sun protection). I wear them a lot, something you can easily pull over a tank suit or wear with a sports bra and bathing suit bottom. Worth looking in to if you are around pools or the beach this summer and you want more coverage.

Also found these great soft sided bras at Walgreens by Hanes that I love and wear around home too.

I love to talk bras! Comfort is key for us after all this.

Dx 9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 1/7/2013 Breast Radiation Therapy 2/25/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane)
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Jun 16, 2018 08:45PM - edited Jun 16, 2018 08:46PM by MinusTwo

Here's the link to the Bra's 101 thread. Not very active, but some great information in the header about favorite bra companies. I think I read through the whole thing during the 7 months between my original mastectomy and the reconstruction.

https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/44/topics...


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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Jun 17, 2018 05:18PM Zillsnot4me wrote:

Back from vacation. Brought home two boogie boards, four hats, two tshirts and a bucket of shells. Also some ornaments for Christmas.

I love the lands end scoop neck tanks. They have wide straps that cover my port. I also wear a rash guard when swimming outside. Have a high neck suit for the indoor pool. I wear boat neck shirts to the oncologist so they can access my port.

Liver 1/ 2016, Xgeva 9/2015, Bones 4/2015, Lungs 4/2013 Dx 4/2013, 4cm, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/29/2013 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 5/22/2013 AC Hormonal Therapy 10/2/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 11/5/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 9/25/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 1/6/2016 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 1/7/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy 2/3/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/23/2017 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 11/15/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Jun 17, 2018 07:09PM beach2beach wrote:

I have a bit of OCD so I'm forever purging/organizing. Drives my kids nuts. I try to stay out of their rooms or there would be nothing left. When I catch an episode of hoarders that pushes me over the edge and I'm color coordinating my closet etc....Nutty right? lol

Dx 7/28/2017, LCIS/DCIS/ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/8/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 9/11/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 17, 2018 07:52PM Vargadoll wrote:

Beach2beach- you just discribed me!

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come" Proverbs 31:25 Dx 12/23/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/7/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/13/2017 Breast Hormonal Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 20, 2018 01:46PM Mominator wrote:

I’ve been going through boxes of my children’s books. DH doesn’t like how long it has been taking me. However, there are some treasures in those boxes, favorite read to me books.

I’ve been donating most of them to our elementary school where my 3 children went K through 8 and I now work there as a substitute teacher.

I brought these two boxes in on a recent work day.


There was less than one box left when I was leaving. The Magic Treehouse, Geronimo Stilton, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series were taken by the second grade teacher.

By my next working day, the other box was gone!

Mominator, BRCA2+, STK-11 VUS, wife, mom to 3 children of various special needs, musician, volunteer. My Mom dx DCIS age 62, ILC stage IIIA age 79; Mom just passed 2/28/18. My Grandmother died of ovarian cancer age 48. Friend to Lori M, died 5/25/16. Surgery 11/11/2015 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 1/18/2016 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 6/30/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant
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Jun 20, 2018 02:24PM mustlovepoodles wrote:

Wow, Mominator. You just made somebody's day!

Oncotype 23. Positive for PALB2 & Chek2 gene mutations. My breasts are trying to kill me! Dx 7/20/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/20/2015 Lumpectomy Surgery 9/2/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 10/19/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 2/4/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 10/18/2016 Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery
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Jun 20, 2018 03:27PM Jazzygirl wrote:

Mominator- good job on the books. Must feel good to pass on some treasured books to teachers who will use them with their students! I always feel great about passing things on when I find the right place to do it!

Dx 9/14/2012, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/14/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/15/2012 Lumpectomy: Left, Right Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Surgery 11/15/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 1/7/2013 Breast Radiation Therapy 2/25/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane)

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