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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 09:28PM

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 20, 2020 10:06AM PebblesV wrote:

The pups are sending their best to you as you recover Purplecat!


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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Sep 27, 2020 05:51PM egregious wrote:

Just had the two year anniversary of my cancer surgery. Clear mammogram and so grateful. The arimidex was hard the first few weeks but the side effects settled down and it's all good now. I did have a yellow discharge from the surgery side that they ultimately decided was just one of those things. Scared me though. I'm waiting until December to get the next bone density scan to see if the arimidex has pushed me over the line into real osteoporosis. I have been walking a half hour every day which helps my mood and blood pressure.

It's a rough time for everybody. Hope you are all doing ok. Peebles thanks for all the dog pictures, I think we lived for those during December and January of our mutual treatment.

I am grateful to see my daughters and grandchildren (three of them, when I thought there might not be any a few years ago). I am pulling up out of grief for losing my husband and mother in 2019 and trying to keep head above water and be sensible during the epidemic. It's northern California so pretty good mask compliance. This too shall pass.

Love to all!

Sometimes I feel brave, and sometimes I get tired of feeling brave. I keep going for my children. Age 67 at diagnosis Dx 9/5/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/26/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 11/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 1/26/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 28, 2020 10:22PM Dani444 wrote:

egregious- So glad to read an update.Congratulations on the clear mammo, such great news. I am glad to hear that you are tolerating the anti hormonals. I wish I could say I was as consistent with exercise as you are!

I just had a prophylactic mastectomy of my left breast 5 weeks ago and I am getting along ok. I am still struggling with tamoxifen SE’s but had a little break from it recently due to the surgery.

All my best to everyone and wishing you all the best as we ride out these crazy times we are all going through.

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 12/6/2018 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 8/20/2020 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 4, 2020 09:40AM - edited Oct 4, 2020 09:45AM by PebblesV

egregious and dani444 so good to hear an update! I was thinking about our radiation group - it's October 2020 and officially 2 years since we all started this part of the journey together. So... happy 2 years to all the ladies that helped me through this aka our awesome virtual community. I would love to hear an update from all of you if you are still checking into the boards!

Egregious you absolutely are a Wonder Woman. Congrats on the clear mammogram and I'm glad you have your children and grandchildren to continue to be with you in this world. I could not imagine going through this without my husband so I cannot fathom what you have been through, I can only say that I am in awe and admiration of your strength and I know your husband and mother are looking after you from another plane and I'm glad you have your kids and grandkids. And are doing well! It's so nice to hear the paw pics were appreciated when we were all in treatment too.

Dani - wishing you all the best for a smooth recovery from the latest surgery! What a strong woman you are too to continue to face the next thing head on. I am also still struggling with tamoxifen SEs - I know I was the one with the fewer SEs but I can't seem to lose weight on tamoxifen no matter what I do. But I'm too wary to stop it if the weight thing is the only major issue but also then I worry because I think cancer is linked to weight to a degree but my oncologist and my family don't want me to stop taking it so I continue with it and I keep thinking that maybe I'll push through the weight loss wall. It is really frustrating though. So, I guess we can bear through the tamoxifen SEs together and do a toast when we reach the 5 year mark?

My own update - we lost dear sweet 18 year old Tucker around a month ago now, our border collie mix and my protector boy. It's heartbreaking but we are comforted by the fact that he lived a really long life and now he's reunited with Kit Kat across the rainbow bridge. So now our paw family consists of Domino, the last survivor of the original pack who will turn 14 this week and who I hope lives forever, and new puppy Finley. Domino is my ESA and I just hope she has many, many healthy years ahead with me. Other than that, my husband and I have been working from home, I'm still taking the 10mg dose of tamoxifen daily, can't lose weight, but otherwise OK I guess on SEs. Oh and I've come to be OK with the permanent dent in my right breast from the lumpectomy. Husband doesn't mind and he and I are the only ones who will see it outside of doctors so I don't mind.

Here's a pic of the original paw family - from left to right Domino, Kit Kat and Tucker:


Here's a pic of the current paw family - Domino and Finley:



Hope to hear from all of you with an update

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 4, 2020 08:47PM Salamandra wrote:

I got confused which thread I was in a second ago - here are my ladies :) <3 Heart

Dani - sending you wishes for a speedy recovery!

Egregious - congrats!! I am in a similar boat - I just had my mammogram last Monday and it was clear, so I think that puts me officially 2 years out :)

Pebbles - I think about your dogs really a lot for animals I've never met. I'm so grateful you've made them part of all of our lives. Sending hugs for Domino and Finley and warm thoughts for Tucker and Kit-Kat Heart

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 12/2/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/18/2019 Fareston (toremifene)
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Oct 6, 2020 04:06PM - edited Oct 6, 2020 04:08PM by PurpleCat

I'd just been thinking it was about 2 years from diagnosis for most of us on this thread and wondering how everyone was doing. So good to hear the updates!

Pebbles, I am so sorry to learn of the loss of Tucker. Such a sweet dog. A few months before my breast cancer diagnosis I had to say goodbye to the best cat in the world, and both experiences were equally traumatic and difficult. I'm glad you have your other pups to still make you smile.

So glad you are doing well, Egregious, and sorry for all the trouble you have experienced since treatment. "This too shall pass" is something I need to remember.

Dani, glad you are recovering well from surgery and I sincerely hope this is the end of all breast cancer scares for you forever!

Salamandra, hooray for the good mammogram! And I had the same thought: here are my ladies! :-)

I passed my 2-year mammogram and MRI about 3 weeks ago, hooray! They let me get a diagnostic mammogram, which I almost didn't accept because in a way it would have been less scary to just go in like a regular person and wait for the letter. My heart rate went all the way up to 116 while I was sitting in the room waiting for my images to be read. But the tech came back smiling, and I would have hugged her if not for COVID. I had the MRI the next day and was horribly anxious waiting for the results, jumping every time the phone rang and feeling a rush of panic at every voice mail from an unfamiliar number. I even googled the phone numbers before checking the messages because I needed to know if they were going to be from any of my treatment providers. But as the days went by and no one called I decided no news was good news. I finally verified it this morning by working up the courage to look at the report in my patient portal, which has been sitting there all this time.

Other than that, it's been an interesting year, and I've posted bits of the story on various threads as it's unfolded. To make a long story as short as I can, in March I had a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and a D&C because it was determined that the tamoxifen was causing ovarian cysts , thickening my endometrium, and spiking my estrogen level scarily abnormally high. I opted to keep the uterus because the in-office endometrial biopsy had come back normal and life circumstances made the shortest possible recovery time much preferable, but then the D&C came back showing complex atypical hyperplasia, a precurser to the cancer linked to tamoxifen. Sigh. They gave it 3 months to clear up, but when a July D&C showed it hadn't, I opted for hysterectomy rather than continued rechecks or a hormonal IUD that would have been complicated with my breast cancer history. The whole ordeal took about twice as long, start to finish, as the breast cancer experience, with a lot more "great news, the scary test results you've been anxiously waiting for came back normal, but now let's sign you up for THIS one, and then you can wait for THOSE results." It has likely set off some PTSD, which probably explains a lot of my very fearful reactions to my recent breast scan experiences. I couldn't even schedule my first bone density test without checking to find out whether bone density tests ever uncover suspicions of bone mets. And even though the answer is no, and it sounds like the easiest test EVER compared to all we've all been through and I'm fairly certain I don't have osteoporosis, which is no big deal compared to cancer, I'm still anxious about it.

In the meantime, I happily quit tamoxifen after the first surgery, gave myself a little time to recover, and started Femara. The joint pain made me feel 80 years old and made me feel exhausted, to the point that when they told me in July that the hyperplasia hadn't gone away, my first thought (after being scared/upset/frustrated at the news) was "Hey, if I have a hysterectomy then maybe that means I can quit this nasty drug and go back on tamoxifen!" I had my appointment with the breast team in the midst of all this, and they gave me the go-ahead, saying that being able to tolerate the full term of tamoxifen is better than struggling with intolerable side effects even if I'm somehow able to stand it for five more years. So I've been back on that for about 2 weeks, and it's going OK. I learned on the first round that magnesium helps prevent muscle cramps that were my most intolerable side effect, so I stocked up on that before picking up the first prescription. I'm not thrilled to be back on the stuff, but am relieved that I will never have to worry about any gyn cancers ever again and am still glad to be on a treatment that will reduce my chance of another breast cancer.

Onward and upward, everyone!

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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