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All TopicsForum: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) → Topic: My (perhaps controversial) thoughts as a "newbie" to CA.

Topic: My (perhaps controversial) thoughts as a "newbie" to CA.

Forum: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) — Just diagnosed, in treatment, or finished treatment for IDC.

Posted on: Nov 11, 2015 09:35PM

Trill1943 wrote:

What an intense time!

I found a lump on my breast on my birthday--October 31. A fun Halloween party ended with this nice birthday present.

I hadn't had a mammogram in 13 years and know this was risky but the last two I had they called me back and it turned out to be nothing...shadows, etc. But it freaked me out so much I couldn't do it again.

Anyway, here's a lump. Had a mammogram last week and biopsy Monday and here it is Wednesday and I learned from my doctor it's IDC. I think he said no estrogen or--is it progesterone?--anyway, no receptors for either. The lingo is still new to me....

Here's the thing for me.

I'm 72. I have no one dependent on me but my lovely cat, Pantaloon.

I was hoping this would be DCIS and that a lumpectomy and some radiation would do the trick.

But now I think--I see oncology doc Tuesday--it's gonna be more--more than lumpectomy and radiation--more like extensive surgery and radiation and chemo and hormonal also.

I absolutely hate the idea of chemo--there is nothing worse to me than nausea and vomiting. Nothing. Give me aches and pains, strains, cuts, stomach aches, headaches, toothaches, severe stiff neck, groin strain--I can take them in triplicate. But the nausea I suffered after sinus surgery and general anesthesia was the worst I think I've ever known. I literally could not move an inch I was so ill--like the worst food poisoning in the world.

So this evening I've been going over and over things.

And a part of me wants to do---nothing.

To let nature do her thing. Yes, I know this means growth, spread, and death--but that's going to happen anyway.

I look at the tests, the surgery, the meds, the appointments, the destructive reality of radiation, the chemo that's going to shoot my entire body into a (poorly) defensive posture, the floppy old magazines on waiting room tables....

I think of the anxiety, the bland food (which sinus issues can lead to--no sense of smell=no sense of taste=no fun), the hair loss, the irritation, the low moods, the no-energy (but, perhaps, no good rest, either) and that handmaiden to any illness, that infernal guest: patient, inevitable depression.

All that trying for something, battling for something, but living on the knife-edge of Not Knowing If It's Gonna Come Back.

I like the idea of having some control over what's happening--knowing that it's my choice that's leading to my decline and end.

I decided not to have those mammograms, and had 13 years free of that anxiety.

There are worse things than death, and living in the purgatory-like limbo world of Will These Treatments Work That I AM Suffering Through? to me would be--hell. I've lost loved ones and dear friends to cancer over the years--and followed their courses of treatment...

Do I want to go through all that to gain, perhaps, a two-year extension to my life? Or do I want to just accept that--OK--I have a fatal disease?

I paced my living room after speaking with my doctor and thought:

"What if I just look at this as an incurable disease that I will learn to accept and deal with day to day? I've lived a good life and today am energetic and otherwise in good shape. Do I really want to battle at this point? Maybe I'll do better if I treat this diagnosis as if it were no different from ALS, MSA, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's? Maybe I'll find more peace by accepting cancer than from engaging in a war with it?"

I realize that this runs counter to the prevailing thinking, and know that the oncologist is gonna frown at me next week when I discuss this idea with him (if I get up the nerve). I know that there are thousands of sites discussing breast cancer and all that surrounds its treatment and diagnosis, and these are great. But few sites extoll the good that can arise from acceptance.

I want to enjoy the time I have left. To be the one to--let it be. To know that I am turning myself over to nature herself.

(Of course I would undoubtedly be seeing this differently were I younger and my heart and prayers go out to the fighters and the survivors of all ages.)

Who knows what gave me--us--this? They still haven't pinned down what cause the thousands of cancer types that exist. If there were proof-positive treatments--like drilling out decay from a tooth and filling it with a replacement will take care of a cavity--that didn't essentially poison the body in the process that would be a whole different matter entirely. Cancer is so manifold and mysterious a malady they can never promise a cure. Not yet, anyway.

Thanks for being here and letting me run my thoughts by an audience of the interested tonight! Glad I found this site to air them!

I still don't know what I'm gonna do and wonder if these racing thoughts are due to shock and fear. I may turn 180 degrees onto the other side. But for now they give me a sense of peace and calm that I haven't felt since--I felt the lump.

I wish the very best for all of you and would welcome any thoughts or comments you'd like to offer.

Dx 10/31/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/14/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Jul 13, 2017 06:13AM WenchLori wrote:

LOL I'm loving all the raccoon and bat stories. Racoons are such silly and skillful critters.

Trill, I had a bat get tangled in my hair when I was about 7 or 8... I think? From the way my brothers and sitter tell the story it was such a hilarious thing to watch. Me running and screaming all the way home!! It was quite a job getting it untangled and lucky for me I had enough hair so it could be cut out of my hair! My baby brother went out onto our porch one night after being told to stay in the house as there were all kinds of critters out and about and he could get hurt. Well, he just got out the door when he came back in screaming MONSTER!! MONSTER!! The monster was a bat hanging from the overhang on the roof above the porch. My brother never went outside at dark ever again and I never heard my mom and dad laugh so hard! Us youngins couldn't figure out what was so funny about a monster hanging from the porch roof?!


If I stop laughing, I'll start crying! Lori Dx 3/18/2016, IDC: Papillary, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/5/2016 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 8/4/2016 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/19/2017 External: Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 5/22/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Chemotherapy AC
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Jul 16, 2017 12:56AM Trill1943 wrote:

Hi Lori--- Have been ailing with the flu for the past few days....it's a weird thing--today after getting the Safeway grocery order--there was no way I could tackle 90 degree heat with the flu, even though it's tapering off--I put things away, made up some Jell-O, and was feeling like my old self...voila, I thought, I'm over it! Then suddenly I just had to lie down...I felt all queasy and almost nauseous and just stunned with bad feelings.....I got up and put on my two Sea Bands, one per wrist, to press the pressure point related to nausea--and that seemed to help... But it struck me, that, o, no, it's not gone yet! So I just put the computer to the side....

There is one little tale that's sad about critters I want to share. I think you'll probably get a lump in your throat.

I guess I was five or six or maybe even younger. My brother Dick had a pet raccoon he called Jody. One day relatives were visiting us from DC, including my grandfather. Very proudly my brother brought out Jody. They were outside and he let Jody climb a lamp post, which got everybody giggling and laughing it was so cute. But Jody fell. And perished. So an otherwise so joyful sweet time was made tragic. I'm still so thankful that I was too young to be aware of what was happening--I just was told about it. (Or maybe I blocked it?) Well, we all have a sad story or two about our pets and other creatures, I know--since we tend to outlive them all.

Ever since, Dick has had this overwhelming love of critters. They drive him nuts! I'm gonna gather some of your best shots and send them to him to let him see what YOU have got going out there--I know he will love them like I do.

Keep cool! t

Dx 10/31/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/14/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Jul 16, 2017 10:55PM Molly50 wrote:

Trill, I am so sorry you are ill. Do you have anyone who checks on you?

54 years old. Chek2 mutation. Family history of BC. Oncotype Dx 13 Extensive LVI Dx 6/8/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 7/29/2015, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 7/29/2015 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Surgery 9/4/2015 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 10/13/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 10/20/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2016 Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery 7/22/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/21/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Jul 17, 2017 08:01AM Trill1943 wrote:

Hi Molly--- Yes, if I really needed that I could call on a neighbor.....i was feeling yucky but able to get up when nature called and to scramble food and drink as needed....thanks for thinking of me!

I now feel like myself again... I thought it was gone but I felt that pinching feeling a little when i peed....and I wondered if the flu was actually from a recalcitrant UTI....but now the feeling is gone...so i dunno....I see my regular doc on wednesday and am gonna do a urine sample at the lab beforehand to see if it's indeed gone or not....

My thermometer broke and I wanted to see if maybe i had a fever...i ended up using my digital candy thermometer and it worked great!!!

Dx 10/31/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/14/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Aug 3, 2017 12:14PM Trill1943 wrote:


A relative just sent this and I thought it would be good to forward....


Messages Phoebe Hoaster

You're friends on Facebook

Lives in Saint Simons Island, Georgia 8:46AM Phoebe HoasterHi lady can you put a Not your typical forward...please read... THIS IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH READ IT CAREFULLY & SHARE IT !!!! This is from Dr. Geetha Krishnaswamy, Please give your 2 minutes and read this: 1. Let's say it's 7.25pm and you're going home (alone of course) after an unusually hard day on the job. 2. You're really tired, upset and frustrated. 3 Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up in to your jaw. You are only about five km from the hospital nearest your home. 4. Unfortunately you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far. 5. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy who taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself. 6. HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE? Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. 7. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. 8. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital. 9. Tell as many other people as possible about this. It could save their lives!! 10. A cardiologist says If everyone who gets this mail kindly sends it to 10 people, you can bet that we'll save at least one life. 11. Rather than sending jokes, please... contribute by forwarding this mail which can save a person's life.
Dx 10/31/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/14/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Aug 11, 2017 01:45PM - edited Aug 11, 2017 01:47PM by Trill1943

Panty on the book

Yesterday I got an email from my friend Maggie, who is13 years post bc diagnosis. She has a blog called Poemelf that's so wonderful and fun and full of great poems, etc. She--Poemelf--goes around dropping copies of poems she loves....I highly recommend it! Anyway, the email she sent--am gonna try to copy and paste it here--leads you to a link where she wrote a piece in an online mag called Easy Street. The piece was touching and beautiful about moving day angst and then one night her husband rolling off her and saying, honey I'm sorry to have to tell you this but there's a lump in your breast....OK, I gave it away..but not really, as she shares this fact. Anyway, so beautiful and touching... I hope you will click the link (and that it works) and read it for yourselves. I was in grad school with Maggie and she was the first person--or nearly the first--I called as I knew she'd been through that discovery moment that I was just experiencing when I got my diagnosis.....she's doing fine, thank goodness.

OK, and Quinn--hey, there's ART to lift our spirits in these strange, tense times!!!




New post on Poem Elf Shameless plugging by poemelfToday is the thirteenth anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis (all good here) and a day I'm going to do something I've always thought I shouldn't. Give up my anonymity and promote something I've written. Makes me feel like I'm wearing a push-up bra and shimmying my way into a bar, but it's not really that big a deal and I hope you don't mind.

So here's a link to a piece I wrote for Easy Street Magazine. While you're at the site, take a gander at the other pieces there. . . some wonderful writing.


Excuse me as I find my way to the disco dance cage. Shimmy shimmy.




poemelf | August 8, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pU8Yh-IzComment See all comments

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Dx 10/31/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/14/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Aug 11, 2017 11:05PM Molly50 wrote:

Trill, thank you for sharing. What a beautiful, mournful, haunting piece.

54 years old. Chek2 mutation. Family history of BC. Oncotype Dx 13 Extensive LVI Dx 6/8/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 7/29/2015, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 7/29/2015 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Surgery 9/4/2015 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 10/13/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 10/20/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2016 Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery 7/22/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/21/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Aug 11, 2017 11:27PM ChiSandy wrote:

Trill, that was a beautifully-written and gripping article. Thank you for sharing it.

To answer an earlier question, no, I’m not having chemo. I was curious, though, after hearing stories of women with Oncotypes of 16 or 17 who elected to get chemo, to see what if any extra benefit it would have conferred over an AI alone. And then I wondered how much extra time an AI is giving me over just having had the “scoop & burn.” So I went to the various prediction calculators. But risk percentages are only numbers. I had only a 12% risk of getting breast cancer (being robustly average in everything else from hair color to eye color to stature to blood type and therefore supposedly destined to meet my maker courtesy of a bum ticker or inauspicious blood clot), but here I am. If you don’t get a recurrence, then the risk % was 0. If you do it’s 100%. It’s all a coin toss. But we’ll never know if the coin is normal, has “heads” on both sides or “tails” on both sides.

Diagnosed at 64 on routine annual mammo, no lump. OncotypeDX 16. I cried because I had no shoes...but then again, I won’t get blisters.... Dx 9/9/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 11/2/2015 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2015 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 12, 2017 01:45AM Trill1943 wrote:

Sandy, Thanks, I directed Maggie to this thread to read our posts etc but will pass on your nice words to her in an email just in case...

Dx 10/31/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/14/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Aug 12, 2017 01:46AM Trill1943 wrote:

Molly, glad you liked it. I'll pass that on to Maggie...am sure she'll enjoy the compliment! t

Dx 10/31/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/14/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Sep 3, 2017 10:37AM Molly50 wrote:

Howare you, Trill? My mom passed away two weeks ago from Alzheimers Disease. I was surprised at how much it hurt.

54 years old. Chek2 mutation. Family history of BC. Oncotype Dx 13 Extensive LVI Dx 6/8/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 7/29/2015, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+ Surgery 7/29/2015 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Surgery 9/4/2015 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 10/13/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 10/20/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2016 Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery 7/22/2016 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/21/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Sep 3, 2017 03:25PM Trill1943 wrote:

Oh, Molly, I'm so sorry to hear that! Wow, I know how hard it can be. There's really no way to prepare for it, either.

My mom had senile dementia but ultimately died of pneumonia. I miss her every day.

I'm fine. Sinus issues of course are kinda always on-going but now that the weather isn't so hot and sticky that seems to help ease them a bit. Fingers crossed it stays that way.

That Alzheimer's--well, all forms of neurological breakdown really--are wicked in every way possible.

Take care.

I'll be thinking of you.

love,

trill (and Miss Panty)

Dx 10/31/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/14/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right

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