Hi Pam: As Chantry said, take a deep breath and try to relax. I know how frightened you are. Each day you are being told things that scare the hell out of you. You don't know what to think. You don't know what to expect. The realization that your life is going to change dramatically is a huge blow. I think that the hardest thing for me was knowing that I had a disease and that I had to face my own mortality. I had never really been sick. You read the posts from each of us and we sound relaxed and trusting and sure of ourselves and what we face each day. Trust me when I tell you that each of us has felt the very same way that you are right now. We wondered if going thru treatments, losing our hair, losing one or both breasts was worth it. All I can tell you is that it IS worth it. You may have to change your life for 6 months to a year but at the end of all of the treatments, you will see that it was a fight that you fought and won!
Allow yourself to feel all of the emotions and don't be afraid of them. You will laugh and cry and scream and ask "why me"? This is normal. Educate yourself. Find a support group. It is always important to have someone close that you can talk to that has experienced what you are going thru. Don't be afraid to call your dr and nurses and ask questions. Education will help you take away some of your fears.
No matter what any of us tell you, in the end, it is YOUR decision and yours alone. We are here for you. Please let us help you.
Blondy- I was told my cancer was 3+++ for her2neu. I was er-/pr- so I couldn't take tamoxifen. When alot of tumors are measured in millimeters, mine was 4.5 cm. I had 5 of 49 lymph nodes positive when i *thought* we caught it *early*. My pathology report was HORRIFIC, with every thing measuring to the worst extreme (necrosis, etc.). I was told my chances of surviving 5 years was 50/50 (and this was by the Head of Breast Oncology at Duke University).
Guess what? I just passed the 5-yr mark, no sign of a recurrance (knock on WOOD!) and I feel great. YOU CAN DO IT. Did you hear me? Did you hear all the posts above mine? YOU CAN DO IT!!! Use us as a resource; we know you are scared, and we know the thoughts that go thru your mind at your darkest moments. But you can fight...I am sure there are alot or people you want to live for. Just think, if you get a good treatment plan together and even get 5 years out of it, where will cancer treatment be by then? Herceptin is a AWESOME, POWERFUL drug, and I KNOW that is why I am here today.
Please don't give up.... you are as strong as you want to be. Lean on us, we can help.
Post Edited (JUJU8872) : 4/30/2006 6:02:33 PM (GMT-6)
I don't post as often as I should, but I, too am HER2 +3. And I had lymph nodes involved and I was 34 when I was DXed in 2003, so I thought at the time, "hoo boy, that's it for me" (actually what I thought was much darker and contained more swear words but this is all that is acceptable to print here). I went through chemo first (to try to shrink my rather large cancer) and had AC and Taxol....and it DID shrink it to almost nothing so the chemo DOES work. Then I had surgery and rads.
They weren't given Herceptin to people like me at the time, so I got called back a year ago by my oncologist who urged me to take Herceptin. I am happy to say that after a whole year on Herceptin I have my last treatment of it on May 12! That's 3 years of survivorship and I'm still going (like the Engergizer bunny but I take way more naps).
It's a horrible thing to go through, no sugar coating it, and there will be days when you think you can't do it but you CAN get through it and you WILL. In fact, you will surprize yourself with how strong you really are.
And you've got all of us rooting for you, too!
ps: I did not have a port and my advice is GET the port. Boy, I wish I had had one!
Post Edited (Chemosabe) : 4/30/2006 8:17:48 PM (GMT-6)