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Aug 29, 2019 02:02PM
mwlimelite YES, this is a good place to vent and share all these very familiar anxieties, and I'm glad we have each other. I am your twin, for sure, as far as worry and guilt and anxiety and fear. I see that you're 1A, which has a SUPER GOOD cure rate, so probably you can calm down! My 2003 cancer (I was 45 years old) was 1A, and I was totally, completely, For Sure Cured. My 2018 cancer was unrelated, and a new primary. Just bad luck.
Aw, how sweet your DH sounds, reminding you of blessings to count. He sounds loving and good for your mental health! Enjoy your beautiful new home, and I hope you can go forward with hope and some joy. I bet time is your friend on this stuff. Maybe it will all be easier, and you'll feel calmer as you accrue more time since diagnosis and treatment. That's for sure how it was for me after 2003/age 45 cancer. This time, my DX is more worrisome, so I'm a bit more derailed. Alas.
I do everything on the Good Outcomes and Low Risk list, and have done so my whole adult life. I'm a tiny bit overweight but not terrible (could lose10 pounds), have been devoted to daily exercise my entire life, eat super nutritious food with no junk, and YET. Why did I get cancer twice? Probably a genetic connection, say my doctors, as there's some in previous generations in my family. Probably NOT because I'm naughty and do things to deserve it!
I've thought a lot about this, and have some ways of balancing common sense with my loud, Inner Guilt Voice. Each thing you mentioned about diet choices is loosely correlated with breast cancer, which is wholly different from blamable for breast cancer. For instance, what about the millions of women who live on red meat or drink a ton of booze or eat bazillions of simple carbs, or are morbidly obese and never exercise and eat bacon every day, but don't get breast cancer? Unfortunately, giving up all the loosely correlated things isn't a guarantee. So, we live on a tightrope, for sure.
Did The Pill cause your cancer? That seems like something to clarify with your MO. If something raises the statistical risk of something, that's definitely not the same as a cause. My MO says that for the majority of breast cancers, the highest risk factor is "being a woman and having breasts," which is to say, We Just Got Breast Cancer And They Don't Really Know Why.
I completely agree with your frustration going forward. How many indulgences should I give myself, and how will I feel about a recurrence, depending on which new rules I follow? I have those nagging worries, for sure.
I liked to have 4-6 drinks a week before 2018 breast cancer. My MO does not say zero booze going forward. More than 3 drinks a week IS correlated with recurrence/mets, so he advises no more than 3 per week, but all the way down to zero booze isn't correlated with better stats, so says my MO. So, my husband pointed out: well, if you obey the new limit, and then get a recurrence, you'll be furious that you gave a few drinks a week up for nothing! This is quite humorous, and he's right! It's our private giggle about statistical odds, which are not guarantees. I usually have 3-4 drinks a week now. Which is something I feel continually guilty about. UGH.
And, as for sugar. Yes, lots of sugar is bad. But heavens, life with zero desserts ever is No Fun! So, I have something sweet for fun about once a week--split a restaurant dessert with DH, or maybe bake something great (fresh cherry clafoutis last week, because my sister is a cherry farmer, and the cherries were divine!). I certainly had a few bites a few times of that crepe-like desserty thing.
In general, I do not eat white flour or any simple carb sugar at all, and I eat super healthy, nutritious food. Except for occasional treats, which are Quality of Life Fun Units. So, a bite of dessert once in awhile, a martini or a glass of wine once or twice a week, and the rest of the time, I'm super No Simple Carbs in my eating. Red meat? My MO says that it's not on a list of things to skip. For good sense for heart and low-ish-fat diet (which is correlated with lowered risk of recurrence), red meat as an occasional thing but not daily is fine, he says. And, what about becoming a vegan or vegetarian? I'm an omnivore. My MO says that there is zero scientific evidence that a vegan or vegetarian diet protects against breast cancer, and the same goes for organic produce. Of course, there is a slightly lower risk of colorectal cancers for vegetarians. Cured meats are on the Probably Not A Good Idea list. Research correlates a high risk of recurrence of breast cancer with DAILY eating of such things (ham, smoked salmon, bacon, etc.), but there's no clear evidence about how much is okay. So, I have those on my Occasional Treats list.
3/2003, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes, ER+, HER2-
6/9/2003 3DCRT: Breast
8/7/2003 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
4/25/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
5/22/2018 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
6/25/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
11/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
1/2/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant