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Topic: Radiation December 2018

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During, and After —

What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: Nov 20, 2018 04:28PM

PurpleCat wrote:

I don’t think anyone has started this group yet, so here goes. Anyone else doing this over Christmas?

Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 5, 2019 07:39AM PurpleCat wrote:

Resurrecting this thread to compare notes on recovery if anyone's still following this thread. I've been done for 9 weeks. Still have the faintest of tan lines and my nipple/areola is still a bit peely, but other than that, I think my skin looks just fine.

The sensations are another matter. There is a sore spot or two within the breast that flares up and is worse in the morning, maybe because I've been lying on it. The quadrant near the armpit periodically looks puffy. There are periodic twinges and zingers. And there's this feeling of tightness in the rib cage near the sternum that gets me worked up about spread to the chest wall, or pulmonary embolism from the tamoxifen. It's hard to tell where it's coming from; sometimes it feels pretty localized, and then it dissipates to a few more ribs at less intensity. I keep taking deep breaths to make sure I still can, and they're not painful, so I'm probably fine. I would guess that some of this is left over from surgery and losing lymph nodes too. They cut through a lot of healthy nerves to remove the bad stuff and also some healthy tissue that was serving a purpose, then cooked the whole mess from the inside, including more healthy tissue and nerves that are now unhappy, and it's going to take a while for all that to heal. Is it just me?


Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 5, 2019 10:23AM DeeBB wrote:

Purplecat - My last radiation treatment was January 2nd and I have the same thing you are describing. I though it was just me. I actually see my MO this month and will definitely mention it. I think you're right though, from what I understand you can feel these twinges and pains 1-2 years after surgery and radiation. I think I'm a little bit of a worrier anyway but after all this, I will definitely be proactive. Hope all is going well otherwise, take care

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Mar 5, 2019 01:57PM Dani444 wrote:

Purplecat, Thanks for resurrecting the thread! My last treatment was Jan 23rd. My skin is back to normal, just some occasional bouts of itching still. I still have muscle tightness across my chest wall, and in the muscle just at the front of my armpit. It seemed to be letting up for a while but some days it feels just as it did in the thick of rads. The tightness near the sternum seems similar to what my experience is, it seems to "pull" a lot from the sternum when I stretch out that arm. If that makes sense:)

I am seeing a new LE therapist just to gain knowledge and I am getting a prophylactic sleeve for certain activities. At my last appointment she said she could "feel" some edema in the upper arm ( not LE related). She also reminded me that I am still in the acute phase of healing from rads and it will be a slow process for these muscles. It was a bit of a light bulb moment for me. It seems sometimes those around me feel I am just done and moved on from rads. She was teaching me manual lymph drainage and even with light touch along my clavicle it really turned red. She said all those structures are still healing and to stay away from the radiation field during the massage. So it is not just you, and you explained it perfectly with the description of them cutting through not just the bad stuff but the healthy stuff too. Our bodies are still going through an amazing healing process, and I agree it is hard not to worry about the evolving sensations.

DeeBB- If you think of it let us know what your MO says. I hope you have a good follow up :)

My best to all of the Christmas rads group!!

DX @ 46, premenopausal, mammaprint low risk Dx 8/21/2018, LCIS/ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 2/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 12/5/2018 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 8/19/2020 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 5, 2019 05:16PM Salamandra wrote:

My peeps :)

I haven't had pain really but I've noticed that the radiated breast still feels a couple of degrees hotter than the other one.

I look at the recurrence at biopsy site thread sometimes and I feel so grateful to have been able to do radiation. Is that mean?

High fives all around!

Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9. Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/17/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 12/3/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2019 Fareston (toremifene)
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Mar 5, 2019 09:37PM PurpleCat wrote:

I know what you mean, Salamandra. Every time I hear about someone getting a recurrence or see someone on the site who did I check their signature to see what's different from my situation (higher grade, no tamoxifen, etc.) so I can assure myself it won't happen to me. I feel like a terrible person every time I do this, but I can't stop.

Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 6, 2019 12:35AM - edited Mar 6, 2019 12:36AM by PebblesV

Ladies - so nice to check in with you and thank you purplecat for reviving this! Honestly on the hormone therapy thread I feel a little closer to all of you because we all went through rads together.

So, mostly since finishing rads mid-December I'm pretty fine. The “but" is that I still get a random pain here and there too! Not the heated stabbing that we were getting a couple weeks after rads, more mild than that, but I have to remind myself that my body is still healing too (thx Dani for that reminder too!) so I don't worry when it happens.

Like DeeBB I see my RO next week so I will keep you ladies posted on how it goes.

Salamandra - I'm also grateful to have done radiation esp since we got through it pretty well.

Purplecat I do the same thing sometimes re: looking at history of what people have done!

That's really it though. Skin is great, both breasts match again in skin tone, and dare I say the lumpectomy side is perkier / fuller now, the dent I had at my lumpectomy scar has filled out. This is a big deal! Scars still clearly there but I'm feeling no reconstruction need, happy enough with this. Another good is the breast feels soft for the first time since surgery - it was always hard by the lumpectomy scar before then and felt like the lump was still there even though the docs reassured me that was just scarring. It's finally softening again and feeling closer to the other breast, not exact but closer and it's such a relief.

OK sorry if that's TMI so to take your mind off that, here are Domino and Tucker!


Dx 9/7/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/18/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 6, 2019 08:00PM Cherryi3 wrote:

Hi Rads Girls! So nice to hear from the old gang. Sorry some of you are still getting pains. As for me, the boob looks and feels prett normal. I started going to yoga at our local cancer center but it’s hard for me to center myself and sit still. Starting today my MO wants me to do a 2 week break from anastrozole and switch to letrozole due to stomach issues and migraines. Otherwise I haven’t been letting BC take up too much space in my head anymore.

Dx 10/1/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/22/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 7, 2019 11:44AM DeeBB wrote:

Cherryi3 - Great to hear you are doing well! Smile

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Mar 7, 2019 12:37PM LPLlibrarygirl wrote:

Greetings to all! It's nice to reconnect and check in. I was lucky to have an easy time with radiation, except for my shoulder. After 6 weeks of PT with no improvement, my therapist is wondering if I would like to reconsider having a cortisone shot. I had said no to that originally. I ran into my BS in the hall yesterday at the hospital and he said I might want to try acupuncture. Hmmm. Anyone have any experience with that? I need to see if my insurance would help to cover the treatment cost.

cherry, I am taking letrozole and it is going well after just a couple of weeks. I have some hot flashes but I think that's the worst of it. I am having some other SEs which I attribute to Naproxen and I am super tired, which is probably related to the drug a little, but mostly because I can't get a good night's sleep. I sometimes feel kind of depressed but I attribute that to SAD, lack of sleep and discouraging test results. Letrozole, and probably all AIs, can cause bone loss and elevated cholesterol. My DEXA scan showed osteopenia and osteoporosis already and yesterday's lab work showed my cholesterol is in the intermediate range-a huge change since my last tests which were all wonderful (but that was 12 years ago). I am trying hard not to feel like it's not more crummy news, but rather a cancer blessing i.e. that without the cancer the bone loss and higher cholesterol would not have been discovered.

Sending good wishes to everyone.

Dx at 68, onco 29 Dx 10/1/2018, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 11/5/2018 Radiation Therapy 12/3/2018 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 2/12/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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May 10, 2019 03:26PM DeeBB wrote:

Good afternoon everyone. Just wanted to check in and see how everyone is healing. I didn't have to hard of a time with the radiation itself, my last treatment was 01/02/2019. However, towards mid March, I started having bad heart palpitations and it really scared me, my blood pressure went sky high (I've never had high blood pressure). I was having and still am having some bouts with a dizzy feeling and muscle weakness in my arms and legs, I'm guessing it's fatigue? It does seem to be a little better now. I started taking Tamo in February. I've talked to my MO, my primary, I am seeing a cardiologist and a neurologist just to rule out anything major. My EKG and echo both came back fine. Monday I see the Neurologist to follow up on blood work and my EEG results.

Has anyone else had SE months after? I don't know if it's a combination of radiation and Tamo, my MO did say it was ok to stop taking the Tamoxifen to see if that's part of the cause. My heart palpitations have ceased and blood pressure is back to normal but I still randomly get lightheaded and weak feeling, especially in my arms.


Hope everyone is doing well, healing fast

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May 10, 2019 09:13PM Cherryi3 wrote:

LP , the heart stuff sounds scary. I haven’t seen any posts about that as a side effect of either treatment. I hope you get to the bottom of it soon. Please let us know what they come up with. I’ve had to stop letrozle and Arimidex for Gastro issues even tho MO says it’s not a SE. Nothing like the stuff you’re dealing with. Keep us posted and good luck with this

Dx 10/1/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/22/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole)
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May 11, 2019 08:47AM PurpleCat wrote:

DeeBB, I just posted about palpitations over in the "Bottle o'Tamoxifen" forum. I've had them occasionally since early adulthood, and they got a lot worse a few years ago during a time of high anxiety. I had them checked out at the time, they were pronounced annoying but harmless, and they pretty much died down until my diagnosis and then I started noticing them again. The night before last and into yesterday they were relentless for some reason, and I wondered if it might be the tamoxifen. I now think they were related to an uncertain situation I hadn't realized was triggering my anxiety until it resolved mid-afternoon and I started feeling better almost immediately. But I've also heard about palpitations and lightheadedness being part of normal hot flashes for women going through regular menopause, so it seems highly plausible they'd be related to tamoxifen. I wouldn't think they'd be related to the radiation.

How's everyone's fatigue? I've been working hard at exercise/diet/repairing my Vitamin D, and I can tell I generally feel better and stronger ... and then in the evening I crash. There have been a couple days when I have specifically commented to myself how much better I feel and how great it is to feel good ... and then by evening I can't get off the couch. It can't still be the radiation, can it? It could be the tamoxifen, whether on its own or because it's disrupting my sleep.

No new side effects here, just continuing mild breast soreness and muscle stiffness. My last lymphedema measurement showed things heading in the right direction, which was reassuring. I've had some emotional days lately, sad and angry and anxious about the life-longness of this stupid diagnosis.


Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 11, 2019 01:20PM - edited May 11, 2019 01:22PM by Spoonie77

Hi all, so good to hear from you and to hear the mostly things are healing and getting better. Encouraging.

Just wanted to say that for me, even though RADs ended on Halloween, and it's what now, 7 months later, I still have quite a bit of SEs.

The "tan" is still there, but thankfully it's no longer red, peely, and painful to touch. Took about two months for the red to fade to the tan. The tan is fading though. My surgeon said it should probably be gone next year.

For the longest time afterwards my nipple was a mess. When it finally started healing, it went through this weird "am I oily? am I sticky? am I dry?" stage. My PT said that's to be expected. It still has days when it's oily/sticky but it's getting better.

I put on my lotion 2 x day but my skin is still very dry. Also to be expected.

The Breast Lymphedema continues and my PT says likely I will it for the rest of my life worst case, best case maybe a few years from now it will be better. Meaning I wear compression bras, Comprex prosthesis, and do daily PT to manage it the best I can. I still can't wear a normal bra and according to my team, I'm likely not going to be able to for quite awhile. It's too painful and uncomfortable, plus leads to build up of edema in my breast.

The Fibrosis damage/scar tissue is pretty awful. Appearance wise you'd never know anything is there, but it is. It's all lumpy, bumpy, grainy underneath the skin. Extending from an inch or two under my treated breast, to the inner edges of the unaffected L breast and sternum, up into my neck/clavicle, and over to my ribs and armpit....I alomst forget about it until I go to do my daily LMD massage therapy and have to feel all of it and the accompanying pain/tenderness.I can't lay on my stomach as it puts pressure on my breast, and well that pain is no fun. I'm hopeful that in a year that will be a bit better. My PT says that's possible. Let's hope.

So yeah, RADs was not kind to me. I wish I could've had a better outcome but what matters is that it hopefully zapped all the random cancer cells to kingdom come. At least I still don't have to shave my armpit! LOL.

Anyway for anyone that's still healing, progressing, and struggling just know we are all different and even though the RADs may be similar, our bodies sure process it differently. Hang in there.

Gentle hugs to all.

"Spoonie" who entered BC World @ 41. DXd w/MS & Thyroid Cancer @42. Treatment: LX/SLNB/RADs. Plan A: 5mg Tamox = 0 QOL. Plan B: OS/AI = Rare allergy to OS meds. Plan C: Only option left,  Diet & Exercise. PS: Not a dr, just a Googler. Dx 7/20/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 8/30/2018, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2 Surgery 8/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/1/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/30/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/2/2019 Zoladex (goserelin)
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Aug 13, 2019 10:47AM PurpleCat wrote:

I haven't been on the forums much lately, trying to put cancer into the rearview mirror, but with the anniversary of my diagnosis coming up I wondered how my December buddies were doing. Presumably many/most of the posters on this thread were diagnosed last summer/early fall too.

I'm doing fine. Just had my appointment with my surgeon, including an entirely unremarkable physical exam. My blood pressure was even normal, which is astounding considering the severe white coat syndrome I was feeling at the time. I've lost enough weight to move my BMI comfortably into the normal range, although lately have been slacking on the habits that will keep me there. Tamoxifen is going fine; I'd prefer not to be taking it, but side effects aren't anything I can't live with, and it may even be making my migraines somewhat better. I still feel tired and foggy and achey sometimes, but have been spending less time on the couch feeling like an invalid since a weekend of camping and hiking last month conclusively proved to me that I'm not one! A magnesium supplement definitely seems to help with the joint and muscle aches.

How has everyone been handling their first post-treatment mammogram? I have to schedule one for next month. It can't be any earlier than that due to insurance restrictions. It will be diagnostic to get a new baseline, so they'll read the results immediately and tell me. I can't decide how to set it up. I could do it early in the morning on a day I go in to work late, but then if it's upsetting news I'll have to go to work immediately afterwards, although that could be a good distraction. I'm tempted to take a whole day off just in case it's all more emotional and stressful than I expect, but then if I'm fine I've wasted a whole day of PTO. Or I could do it on an upcoming Friday I already have off, but that's several weeks away, plus then if there were concerning results I'd have to wait over the weekend before taking any action. Any advice?




Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Aug 13, 2019 11:57AM PebblesV wrote:

Purplecat thx for posting here, I’d love to hear from everyone too! I really feel we were a community and it was so helpful to me to have a group where we were all going through radiation at the same time together.

Congrats on getting to a normal BMI, that’s huge! I think if you can, just take the day off for the follow up mammogram, it’s a huge milestone and you’re allowed to give yourself a day for it. Or do a half day with work in the morning to keep you distracted and then you have the afternoon free.

My update - I’ve lost weight but am not yet in normal BMI so that continues to be my challenge. I’ve actually lost 25 lbs and don’t look overweight but I’m only 5ft so the range they have for normal BMI does not take into account ladies with hips and thighs like me! I seem to be faring on tamoxifen as well as I did on radiation which is a huge relief as I was super worried about SEs that said, I’m on a 10mg dose which so far my MO is OK with. I don’t want to do the 20mg dose until I’m at normal BMI I’m enjoying life and the moments between appointments - if I’m doing fine, I prefer less appointments and to have this in the rear view as much as possible. Trying to enjoy this time before my first mammogram post this whole ordeal which will be in late Sept / early Oct. Anxious about that but will deal when it comes and trying to just enjoy today.

Domino and Tucker say hello! You can still see them on the Diet and Nutrition Together thread or a couple others!



Dx 9/7/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/18/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Aug 14, 2019 09:28PM PurpleCat wrote:

Awww, the pups! They really helped my mood last December! Good to see those faces again!

Call me crazy, but I set it for first thing in the morning and am planning to go to work at noon. I'm really trying to train my brain to see it as just a normal routine mammogram that's going to take a little longer than usual but will have the benefit of getting the results right away. I've already arranged to meet a surviver friend for breakfast afterwards. I really ought to ask someone to come with me, but I set it for so early in the morning on the first day insurance will allow because I just.want.to.get.it.OVER.WITH, knowing that most of my support people will be busy getting ready for work or getting kids off to school at that time, and maybe a little bit superstitiously wanting to save those sorts of requests and most of my PTO hours for the scenario I really REALLY hope won't happen, where they find something they want to biopsy and September 2019 turns into a same song second verse scenario. It's almost a month away, so I'm going to try not to think about it until then and just remember that neither the resident nor my surgeon found anything worrying on my physical exam yesterday. The surgeon even commented that she could barely even tell I'd had radiation. I thought to myself "Well, maybe YOU can't ... " but it was good to hear.

Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Aug 16, 2019 04:14PM - edited Aug 16, 2019 04:18PM by DeeDeeT

Hi!! So nice to catch up with everyone! I'm still struggling a little with radiation after-effects. I have had a lot of rib pain. So much, that they sent me in for an xray to check for broken ribs or metastasis. Thankfully, all checked out okay. The diagnosis is costochondritis. It's painful, but not cancer.

I had an MRI earlier in July that showed a lot of edema from the radiation (not a surprise) but they think I'm cancer free. They can't be positive though, because the swelling blocked their view. Birad 3. I have to do it again in April. Hopefully the swelling will be down by then. Have I mentioned that I struggled with radiation??

In other news. . .my oncologist is sending me in for a colonoscopy! I am stunned. Apparently they recommend them now for 45 year olds and I turned 45 last week. Happy birthday to me, lol!! That's a gift I didn't expect, so I thought I'd warn y'all. Just in case.

PurpleCat--Congrats on the weight loss!! Its great to hear you are doing well! In addition to my MRI in April, I also have a mammo in September. I believe we learned about our cancer around the same time together last year. Prayers for a great test for us both this year!!

Pebbles-- Cute pics! Congrats on your weight loss as well!! 25 pounds is quite an accomplishment!! You are doing great!



Dx 9/20/2018, ILC/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/26/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/20/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Aug 17, 2019 09:49AM PurpleCat wrote:

Hi DeeDee - yes, I remember that week, nervously chatting with you on a couple of threads while we both waited for results. Hard to believe it's been a year, and glad you're doing well! Surely this year will be better for both of us! A colonoscopy is likely ahead for me too, although I'm going to wait until the mammogram and whatever may follow is wrapped up. One kind of cancer screening at a time is plenty for my anxious brain.

Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Aug 17, 2019 01:32PM Dani444 wrote:

It is nice to catch up , and I always enjoy seeing those pups! Purplecat- That sounds like a great plan to meet up with a friend for breakfast after. I am sure it will be nice to have someone there to talk to that really understands. I hope that day is filled with as little anxiety as possible for you. So good that it is diagnostic, so you will get the results right away.

DeeDeeT- I really hate to hear that you are still struggling with SE's. This whole thing sucks for sure. Are they able to manage your pain at all? Sorry you have to wait for another scan. My MO also mentioned that I need my colonoscopy but to have mt PCP order it. I have yet to get a PCP (I know, bad patient) so I may ask my GYN for the order. Might as well get it in while I have met my deductible, plus I have a family history of colon cancer.

I had my first yearly mammo on my remaining breast on the 7th. Also a follow up US on the foob for a lump that has been there since March. The mammo was a diagnostic, and after waiting for the read they called me back for some extra views. The radiologist then came in to do my US and spoke to me about my mammo. Seems I have some new/changing calcifications in my remaining breast. He was very kind and took a lot of time explaining everything, most of which I forgot after he said words like concerning, and biopsy!!! He was encouraging that most calcifications are benign but I did get a BIRADS 4b. It states they are pleomorphic, and may represent linear branching so that worries me. I saw my BS right after the appointment and she ordered an MRI. I am not handling the anxiety very well on some days but pressing on. I feel like I am on hold until I get the results. The stereotactic biopsy is on tuesday, the day before the anniversary of my diagnosis. Sorry for sounding dismal and rambling, I just know you guys can understand the anxiety!!

DX @ 46, premenopausal, mammaprint low risk Dx 8/21/2018, LCIS/ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 2/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 12/5/2018 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 8/19/2020 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Aug 18, 2019 12:45AM LPLlibrarygirl wrote:

Dani, I am so sorry to read your news. I can just imagine the anxiety you are feeling and how hard it must be to not think the worst.My cancer was lobular too, so just reading about what you are going through gives me the same concerns. Lobular cancer is sneaky, elusive and more likely to be found in both breasts. So scary! The tumors are so hard to detect that they are also usually much larger when they are found. It looks like your original one was 4+ and mine was 3.7. I think the good news is that ILC is usually slow growing so if there is anything going on it's going to be discovered early. I am sure the radiologist is being extremely careful and thorough, given your history, and hopefully that is why you have BIRADS 4b. Usually ILC is more common in older women, especially those of us who took HRT...so you shouldn't even have to be going through any of this! But here you are...and the timing is unbelievable. Knowing that you have to go through all this just one year later is really crummy. Know that we are thinking of you and hoping for the best. Please keep posting. �

PurpleCat and DeeDee it's good to hear from you! I just got a letter reminding me it's time for my one year mammogram but I just had my 6 month mammo in June (6 months after finishing radiation, cancer side only) so I don't really know if they want to see me now. I will follow up.

Hope everyone can find some peace and relaxation this weekend.

Dx at 68, onco 29 Dx 10/1/2018, ILC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 11/5/2018 Radiation Therapy 12/3/2018 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 2/12/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 20, 2019 04:34PM DeeBB wrote:

Hi everyone! I also just had my 6 month follow up mammo and I was very nervous, I scheduled mine late in the day so I could just go home afterwards. I didn't know I was going to get the results the same day, so after the mammo the technician asked me to have a seat in another room and the doctor would be with me in few minutes to review the results. I was just like 'oh great this can't be good' but they went over everything and all looks good so far, I just about cried. They were very sweet and understanding.

Great to hear from everyone and Dani I hope you get good results and I will be thinking about you. I can just imagine the anxiety you and stress you must be feeling.

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Aug 21, 2019 10:13PM Cherryi3 wrote:

Hi Everyone! Sorry I’m late to the party. I read all of your updates and am thinking about all of you. Past few months have been pretty uneventful here. I did develop a pretty bad case of anxiety. Doc put me in cylexa and it is the best thing since sliced bread! I also joined an all breast cancer survivor dragon boat team. They race all over the country and the world! These chicks are bad-ass! Some in their 60s and 70s. Practices are intense but a great workout. One year diagnostic mam coming up in October. Cheers Girls!

Xoxo

Dx 10/1/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/22/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole)
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Sep 21, 2019 08:55AM PurpleCat wrote:

Cherry, I'm even later in responding, but I had some anxiety going too. A therapist was helpful, and I'm checking in as needed.

DeeBB, I'm so glad your mammogram went well and you didn't have to wait for the good news!

My first post-treatment mammogram was last week, the very first appointment of the morning on the very first day insurance would allow after that life-changing one just a year and a day earlier. I knew it was going to be a big deal and have been stewing about it for months, whether to take the whole day off work, take anyone with me, etc. I finally decided that the best thing to do would be to treat it as much as possible like a regular mammogram, where I'd never bother to ask anyone to come with me, although I did arrange to meet a friend and fellow breast cancer survivor afterwards for breakfast. I was pretty nervous for the actual appointment, and the tech was so kind. She got the first set of picture and showed them to the radiologist while I waited again in the waiting area. Then she called me back in for spot compression on the surgical site, which I had known was a good possibility, so I actually felt more relaxed that this was all they needed. Just moments later she called my name from the changing room area, and was absolutely beaming, telling me everything looked fine and to schedule another one for next year. I nearly hugged her, but instead thanked her profusely, beaming pretty broadly myself, then got dressed, stopped in the outer waiting area to text everyone, and headed off for breakfast with my friend and then to work. I'd only taken the morning off from work, knowing that if things went south the appointment could take a lot longer but also that work would be a very good distraction. When I got there I did a happy dance with another fellow survivor.

I talked a bit with one of the other patients while waiting. She was also there for a diagnostic, but for a new lump. I told her I was there for a one year check after going through cancer treatment, and it hadn't been fun but I got through it and it was doable. A couple other women sitting nearby sort of perked up and listened when I said that. I'll never know how things turned out for any of them, but I realized I am now one of that tribe of women who got me through last year, the ones who told me "I did this, and you can too."


Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 3, 2019 04:37AM WorryThePooh wrote:

Hi all, I only just discovered this thread, rather late! Hope it's OK to tag along. I had my radiation treatment from the 13th of December 2018 to 14th of January 2019.

PurpleCat thank you for sharing your story of your first post-treatment mammogram, glad to hear it went well. :) I have realised recently I am starting to feel nervous about mine coming up mid November.

Good luck to all of you about to have your mammograms.

Dx 11/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/21/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/13/2018 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 3, 2019 02:02PM Dani444 wrote:

Welcome! I hope that your first post treatment mammo goes smoothly with nothing but normal findings to report! I was definitely nervous for mine.

DX @ 46, premenopausal, mammaprint low risk Dx 8/21/2018, LCIS/ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 2/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 12/5/2018 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 8/19/2020 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 3, 2019 09:48PM WorryThePooh wrote:

Thanks Dani444 :)

Dx 11/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/21/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/13/2018 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 10, 2019 04:00AM PebblesV wrote:

SOooo nice to hear from everyone! I was waiting until I could post this update and I'm so glad I can post this particular update... I had my mammogram this week, and the radiologist on staff was able to tell me my results right away and my oncologist also called the next day with my results and... everything looks normal! Benign! Cancer-free! OMG it's like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, I am feeling elated and like I can move forward now... still in this fight, but there's a difference in being diagnosed and fighting cancer vs. being cancer-free and preventing cancer...

DeeDeeT - I'm 44, I turn 45 next year and... we have colonoscopy's to look forward to? OMG I didn't know that... I looked up costochondritis and it says it usually goes away on its own, so I hope that's a good thing? And thank you for the weight loss congrats! Congratulations to YOU on the clean mammogram too! I also cried when I got the news all was fine, happy tears.

PurpleCat - congratulations on your mammogram and having breakfast with a friend after sounds like the perfect way to celebrate! I'm doing the happy dance with you too. I'm glad it all resolved to a good plan on how you wanted to spend the day.

Dani444 - OMG I remember that anxiety and waiting and follow-up tests. Have you had the MRI yet? Is there any update? We are here for you. And so is our newest member of the paw family Finley! We are thinking of you, please update when you can.

LPlibrarygirl - have you decided whether to do your annual mammogram or not since you already did one at 6 months?

Cherryi3 - good luck on the upcoming mammogram (have you had yours yet?) and dragon boat team, wow! I'm very impressed.

Worrythepooh - have seen you on other threads and welcome to this one as well!

I hope to hear from everyone and continue to get updates (thanks again Purplecat for reviving the thread). I feel like wouldn't it be nice to all get together on a retreat or long weekend 5 years from now?

Dx 9/7/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/18/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 11, 2019 04:22AM WorryThePooh wrote:

PebblesV I remember you from other threads too. Happy Must admit I felt so emotional reading your account of getting good news with your mammogram, a great feeling it must have been!

Dx 11/2018, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 11/21/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/13/2018 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 2/28/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 11, 2019 08:06AM - edited Oct 11, 2019 08:07AM by DeeDeeT

I was typing a large message and my phone ate it. So sorry!! But, a great big "thank you" to everyone for keeping this thread going!!

I had my mammo and colonoscopy. Both went well. Yay!!!!! OK, so by "well" I mean the mammo and colonoscopy did not find cancer. I have to say, the colonoscopy prep was pretty rough. I couldn't finish it. But. . .I still had a successful procedure and no problems. So, overall, I'm very happy about those tests.

I am on tamoxifen. For two of my past three cycles, I have had some very heavy bleeding and horrible cramping. I was referred to my GYN. At my GYN, I discover that I have a thickened uterus and a lot of ovarian cysts--on both ovaries. They're a mess. My GYN took a biopsy of my uterus and did a CA 125 blood marker test to rule out ovarian cancer. She did tell me that while the thickening may be a side effect of the meds, my ovarian issues were probably not related to tamoxifen. She also said that even if this isn't cancer, I'll need to do something about my ovaries.

That appointment was yesterday. Y'all understand how hard it is to leave a doctor's office, knowing you have a weekend of waiting ahead. But, my doctor did tell me she would personally watch for my results and call me right away with the news. So, that's where I am right now.

Dx 9/20/2018, ILC/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/26/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/20/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 11, 2019 08:11AM DeeDeeT wrote:

WorrythePooh--Welcome! Glad you found us!

DeeBB- I'm so happy your mammo went well!!

Pebbles-- At least my oncologist said they changed to age for colonoscopies to 45. Something to look forward to? LOL Thanks for the cute pic!

LPLibraryGirl- Also wondering what you decided. Please let us know, when you are able.

PurpleCat--I'm so happy your mammo went so well! Such a relief and definitely worth celebrating!

Dani- We're here for you! Please let us know how things are going, when you are able.

Cheryi3- Wow! You are inspiring! That team sounds like a lot of fun (and tough too!!) You are amazing!!

Dx 9/20/2018, ILC/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/26/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/20/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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