Intro and Looking for Other Stage III Survivors

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Nemekke
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 309
   Posted 5/1/2006 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Everyone,
 
I am Michelle, 44, and was diagnosed with Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma 12/29/05.  I am currently midway through second half of chemotherapy with Taxotere.  My oncologist told me today that I am more than likely Stage III/Grade III and this has me very worried about recurrence/mets.
 
Are there others on this forum with a similar diagnosis?
 
Because of the size of my tumor and possible lymph involvement, my doctors chose to have me complete chemotherapy before surgery, then I think I will have bilateral mastectomy (decisions....decisions...AARRGGHH!!!), and then radiation and possibly five years of Tamoxiphen.
 
I wish you all happiness, strength, and pain/stress-free days......
 
Michelle

karen in north idaho
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 5/1/2006 7:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello! I was diagnosed in July 04 with stage III B breast cancer with 7 of 13 lymphnodes involved, and the tumor was 5 cm. I had a mastectomy and did 4 treatments of A/C chemo, however I had a crappy time (do to stomach problems) and I only did one fourth of the taxol! That was an extremely scary move, but I followed up with Radiation... so we will see! I do worry about mets, but so far so good! I am doing great now, but it is a hard journey! I have learned so much and life is better now than before I was diagnosed! Karen in North Idaho

Nemekke
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 309
   Posted 5/1/2006 9:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the reply Karen :)

I think I already knew I was at least a Stage III, but hearing the doctor say it makes it a little too real. It helps to see others who were Stage III and now doing well. Chemo has been rough but since I don't/can't work right now, I am just dealing with it day by day and doing whatever I can to finish it as it is definitely shrinking the tumor.

I am sooooo glad your life is even better now. I have made many serious mistakes in my life....started doing things right almost four years ago....and I would like to hope that I have enough time left to fix some of the mistakes.

I will keep my fingers crossed that things will get even better for you.

*Hugs*

Michelle

Brnadebt
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 5/2/2006 6:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Michelle

I was diagnosed with stage IIb grade III my tumor size was 4 cm and I had 1 out of 3 nodes positive. I had a lumpectomy because the Dr did not realize how large the tumor was. Looking back I wish that I had opted for the mast. I finished chemo in Janury and radiation in April. I feel really good now and my strength is finally coming back. I still get tired easier than I used to but Iam so happy to be alive and have my treatments behind me.

We all worry about recurrance but there is nothing you can do about it. Try not to worry and just take one day at a time. Good luck with your treatments and keep us posted on your journey.

L&H
Bernadette
 
 


karen in north idaho
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 5/2/2006 9:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello again Michell
  I wrote you a reply under my diep concerns... this is so new for me so mtreatmenty reply was hard to understand because I have so many issues with major relevence to breast cancer and my choices for treatment.                                                                                                                                            Depression is known to lower a persons immune system, but I did not find that out until I was already dealing with breast cancer. It is wierd for me to get BC because there is no family history!!!
 I have not changed as many things in my life to help prevent any mets as I would like.  My husband and I did sell our house and we no longer have a house payment with a 30 year morgage!  My sugar addiction is a major problem because I believe sugar feed cancer, but I have high hopes that there is no cancer to feed! 
I have one son, Aspen,(age 12) and I have 3 stepsons;15,12,and 9! That has kept me from acting on my suicidal feelings during depression!  And I am not ready to have any disease send me to heaven! One bonus is that I would get to be with my sweet mother who passed away the day before 9/11!  I so hope she did not have a rough time passing over! It was a busy time in heaven and that is so sad!
  I am trying one naturopathic treatment that the oncologist I am seeing is absolutely against... I am using natural progesterone cream to help regulate the high levels of estrogen that the natureopath found in a saliva hormone test. This test was scoffed at by this same oncologist. (By the way I am looking for a new oncologist!) It felt so right when I read  a book called something like "What You Doctor Won"t Tell You about Breast Cancer"  by Dr. Lee.  He has a web site...it is a very personal decision and I can" recomend it to people, but for me it just felt so right it was like it was some sign from... well from God I guess! tongue   I am getting a wee bit spiritual because I am feeling my mortality!!! tongue   Whatever, eh!!!!
                                 Enough from me for now! Karen in  Idaho                                                                           

karen in north idaho
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 5/2/2006 9:06 AM (GMT -7)   
PS- I meant I can't recommend progesterone cream, but I still really feel it is the right choise for me!

MNlady13
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2044
   Posted 5/2/2006 9:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to both of you, Michelle and Karen. I know you will find comfort and support from members of this board. Many of us have been together for several years. There is a special kind of unity that this disease brings. Lauri

"Go confidently into the direction of your dreams. Live the life you always imagined" Thoreau
 
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.


gma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 5/2/2006 10:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Karen, few of us have a family history before diagnosis. I was diagnosed first and then two years later my older daughter was diagnosed. Now because of our history my younger daughter is being very carefully watched. Fortunately, my cancer was low grade and my daughter's grade II because of the tumor size. We are both doing great at 9 1/2 years and 7 yeaers out. We both had tram flap reconstruction after mastectomies.

There are all kinds of stages and pathological reports here. You can learn a lot by reading and asking. You can teach a lot by sharing your story. Welcome to both of you!!!!

Hugs, Mary K (MK for short)


Tavish
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 5/2/2006 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Karen-
I was a stage IIA, so cannot relate to your specific experiences....I did chemo and rads after a lumpectomy and finished my 5 years of Tamoxifen last June. I'm a 6 1/2 year survivor, mine was also a grade III (2.5 cm).

One thing to keep in mind is that statistics are just numbers that help the doctors try and predict your scenario, but nothing can predict how your cancer will act. Plenty of people are given low odds to make it 5 years and plenty of them are still here years beyond the prediction with no sign of disease... stage III is serious but is not necessarily a death sentence. One day at a time, we'll help you....

L&H,
Lori


Nemekke
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 309
   Posted 5/2/2006 7:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for all the responses :)

My personal thought is that statistics are just numbers that can be manipulated to say anything the manipulator wants them to. I think my Stage III diagnosis gets to me because I also have sarcoidosis which is similar to fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome. Sometimes I just want to have "normal" days like "everyone else." On the other hand, I believe "normals" are furry little woodland creatures that hide from us humans....LOL...(By the way, yes I am certifiably insane :) )

*hugs*

Michelle

Brnadebt
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 5/2/2006 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Michelle

I was just diagnosed with sarcoidosis 3 weeks ago I have had an active stage for awhile but the Dr does not know for sure how long. I have alot of symptoms but had no idea that I had it. I have been trying to find someone who has it to get some info from, maybe you will be able to fill me in. any info would be appreciated.

Thanks, Bernadette
 
 


karen in north idaho
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 5/2/2006 10:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Michelle,
   You said you have sarcoidosis???  When my mother was pregnant w/ me she was being treated with high doses of prednisone for sarcoidosis! The doctors told her that she would need to end the pregnancy via abortion, but my mom had me anyway.  It was even recorded in some doctor manuels that a women being treated for sarcoidosis had a baby. (something more official sounding I am sure)  I so hope you are doing good! Sarcoidosis was so hard on my mom... it was 1971 and at age 27 she almost died. confused   She lived in Missoula, MT and she was so sick they sent her all the way to Seattle! Obviously she had an extreme case and I hope you are doing much better!  For awhile My mom did have trouble breathing if she walked up hills and that was so scary to little 5 year old me!  However, she was quite healthy until she found she had esophogial cancer at age 57. confused   It was so devastating that we were not aware of GERD, which is acid reflux/heartburn. The acid erodes the lining of the esophogus and it can cause abnormal cells which can eventually become cancer. If we had known all this... the cancer could have been found before it metastisized.  My son inherited GERD and my mom's experience taught us so much! He will know to watch for signs...just as we have learned to watch for signs of breast cancer in our selves, our daughters, and all the people in our lives!
        By the way I have never heard anyone talk about sarcoidosis, and it really weirded me out!!
             Chat later yeah    Karen in north Idaho

Nemekke
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 309
   Posted 5/2/2006 10:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Brnadebt,

I was diagnosed with granulomatous sarcoidosis in 1996 when my youngest son was 1. For me is has been mountain peaks and valleys this past ten years. The doctors promised me remission after my surgery if I took the steroids and antibiotics. Over the years I have chatted with hundreds of sarcoidosis patients and NONE of us believe there is ever a remission from this condition. There are periods of time you feel great.....and other times you feel like a giant slug. The fatigue, arthritis pain, low immune system are always active for me. I don't have the option of sending PM's yet....do you use any other chat programs such as yahoo or msn? Let me know....in the meantime *huggles*

Karen, I'm sorry about your mother. The medications I was on that first year with my sarcoidosis left me with a hiatal hernia (where a portion of your stomach moves up into the esophagus) and seven ulcers. The ulcers eventually healed but I still have problems with the hernia, especially with chemo and nausea. I met a young woman several years ago who had her baby with active sarcoidosis....she said she felt better during the pregnancy....not sure if it was the hormones or the joy at carrying a new life.

My support and hugs to both of you....

Michelle

karen in north idaho
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 40
   Posted 5/3/2006 12:05 AM (GMT -7)   
michelle,
My mom was in remission! She was doing so good before she got esophigial cancer. That was caused from acid reflux and should never have gotten out of hand. I hope you feel healthier soon. Have you ever thought you might have depression on top of everything else? It causes alot of physical symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath! Anti-depressants can be very helpful in treating all types of depressions, plus there are natural remedies!! I better get off the net or my husband will think I've met some man on line!! just kidding, but good night from north Idaho! Karen

Brnadebt
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 5/3/2006 9:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Michelle

I have a million questions about the disease, really don't know what to expect in the future. Will I get very sick or will I stay like Iam? Do you have severe symptoms? When you were diagnosed did you have alot of problems or were you diagnosed on accident like alot of people? I would love to be able to e-mail you, mine is listed if you would like to talk.

Thanks, Bernadette
 
 

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