Hello Bernadette! It is nice to meet you. I am so glad that you found us. This is a wonderful group of women. Together, as a group, I doubt that you can ask a question that at least one of us will have the answer to. Hearing the word "cancer" puts your system into shock. It is so frightening. As Lori said, you will experience so many different emotions these next few weeks. Don't be afraid to cry or be angry or yell and scream. (The shower or car are great places to do this) You didn't say if you have a support system. Are you married? A couple of other things that you might want to do before and when you go to the dr again is...(1) Keep a tablet close and write down all questions that you want answered. No question is to silly to ask. (2) Take another person w/ you when you go for your appointment. As you said, there is so much info thrown at you that there is no way that you can remember everything. With the aid of your tablet w/ the questions, your tape recorder and support person, you will be able to review and remember what was discussed. The PET scan is an easy test. You will be injected w/ a radioactive tracer and will have to sit quietly for about 30 mins. Then the test itself is similar to the ct scan. It is painless other than having to lay in one position for awhile. The PET scan will give your drs a more indepth look at everything. Almost like a 3d view. No real side effects. Just drink plenty of water afterwards to help your body get rid of the injection.
Please continue to post here. Your friends and family I am sure are there to help you but they don't understand everything that you are feeling and thinking and going thru.
hugs and prayers....Deb
Bernadette, you are right about the "workload". It is amazing....I remember when I went for my 2nd opinion, I had to run here and there to get copies of slides, films, take more tests, etc. And when I was all finished and a few months out, my position at work ended due to loss of a contract....so I was interviewing for another job and I felt like putting cancer on my resume, as it sure felt like a full time job in addition to my job and house and other daily duties!
As for age, we range here from 30's to 60's or so.....you will likely find a lot of peers here, which is nicer than a real live support group where they tend to be older. I was diagnosed at 30, and now am 36. We have seen gals in their 20's here too, amazingly enough.
Where do you live? We are from all over the US, (even one in New Zealand!) with a bunch in Michigan, Ohio, NJ, and Texas, but really all 4 corners of the US are represented here!
Hey, about that Her2neu. Maybe some of you can explain mine to me, because I am not sure I believe the DR. There are 2 tests for Her2neu. IHC which is cheap and done for every BC patient. I was 3+ positive and according to my onco I would probably quality for a special study so I volunteered for the Herceptin study. To qualify, they ran the FISH test. I do ot have gene replicaiton so I did not qualify for the study. My onco said that about 10% of the positive IHC patients would be negative on the FISH test. She said my FISH neg improved my prognosis. Has anyone else had any experience with this study, test, etc?