Many thanks for your very helpful reply and the advice about the SNB.
I wonder if you could tell me a bit more about what treatment you eventually had after the lumpectomy and SNB. My tumour is 12mm and feels quite big to me. I found it myself i.e. not via a mammogram. How does that compare?
Yes I live in the UK but have travelled all over the world as an air stewardess and also lived and worked in Greece for 3 years so my language may reflect this. I'm a teacher by profession but wanted to see the world as well.
I've been rather worried about my 93 year old mother. She lives alone and is reasonably well but has severe short term memory loss. She lives about 3 hours drive away from me and I was planning to go for Christmas but the timing of my op next week will mean that I can't. My only sister lives in St Paul Minnesota but she has been great and has already organised a flight so that she can come to the Uk and be with mother for Christmas. I haven't told mother yet - it would upset her but also I'm not sure she would remember with her memory problem ! It's a difficult situation.
Once again many thanks for your support. Best wishes
Hello Lori and thank you again. that is an idea - I mean not telling my Mother, but I think in our situation it wouldn't work as I see her probably more often than you were seeing your grandmothers as I assume that you lost your hair from the chemo?
does that always happen - I mean hair loss? What about these cold caps I have heard about ? Do they work? If not how long does hair take to regrow? I have no idea about these things.
In fact - I must confess - that I'm very relieved not to have to go to Mother at Christmas. She is lovely but her deafness and short term memory problems mean that any sort of communication is difficult to say the least. I manage - by shouting every word - to stagger through a conversation, but then 5 minutes later she's forgotten we've had the conversation so I have to live through the whole thing again ! It's very very hard work and very stressful and I really couldn't cope at the moment so I shall be immensely relieved to leave it all to my sister.
thanks for your advice about continuing my languages. I shall certainly do so. I speak French and Greek to quite a good standard and was intending to spend some time in each country to become fluent. As you say - that will have to wait - but I shall carry on reading and doing my conversation classes. Also I've just started beginner level Italian which is great. Hope this cancer doesn't make my brain go soft.
You were very young to have breast cancer. do you have children? but how wonderfully positive you sound. thank you so much
Good MorningAnthi! Wow, I am so glad to hear that you have a private insurance policy. I can remember the many horror stories I heard from women in the UK about the long wait and never being able to see the same dr.
You will be going thru a wide range of emotions over the next few weeks. Almost like what a person that has lost a loved one experiences. I can remember being in disbelief, then fear, depression, anger, disbelief and finally acceptance. Just go w/ how you are feeling. If you are really nervous, don't hesitate to ask your dr for something to help you stay calm.
One thing that will help you get thru this right now is to laugh. Watch comedies on tv or go to funny movies. Don't watch anything that is depressing. When I would get down during treatment, I would watch reruns of the Carol Burnett show and found myself laughing so hard that I cried. Felt 1000% better afterwards.
Hang in there and remember we are here for you.
I would not fit the mold your doctor describes, I found my lump myself and had negative nodes. Due to my age (and therefore dense breasts) it did not show on the mammogram. That is the thing about statistics and patterns...they just try to predict what might happen, but no one can say for sure. You are just you and not a number.
As for the type of breast surgery, my suggestion at this point is to go with the lumpectomy and get it out. Then once you have the path report you will know more regarding size and location and can then make a calm and educated decision regarding whether to do a mastectomy or not.
In some cases, they say there is equal survival rate for a lumpectomy vs a mastectomy. Not true in all cases. But it is a very individual decision and not one to rush into.
I just had to drop in and say hello. I have been reading thru your posts and they sound so much like all of ours did when we were first diagnosed. I had so many questions for the ladies here that I flt like I was a pesky child. You will get lots of great advice and a whole lot of hugs from our ladies. I don't know what I would jave done without them.
I wanted to touch on the hair loss issue. I was totally freaked out about loosing my hair, I was told at first that I would be having a lumpectomy and then radiation but the tumor was larger than they anticipated so I had 6 months of chemo and 2 months of radiation. I hated the thought of loosing my hair and having to wear a wig. I can tell you looking back on it it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I wore my wig only for work and went bal at home. I wore baseball caps to the store or shopping. I can honestly tell you it is not that bad. I enjoyed the fact that getting ready took almost no time at all. I had no hair, lashes or brows all I wore was a little eye liner. It felt great and I loved having the extra time every morning. I can only tell you how I took this experience and almost all of the ladies here felt the same way.
For now you have enough on your plate to think about, come here and "talk" anytime. We are always here to listento anything you have to say. You will even find that many of us have had pity parties when we are having a bad day, so feel free to vent.
Forgive me for intruding on your forum. I had UC (ulcerative colitis) for 8 years (now symptom and med free) and realized that UC symptoms are, as well as many of our diseases, the result of a fungus. Throughout my research of mycology, I have come across articles that I have passed on to others, not to persuade them of anything, but to give them another view point. It is with this in mind that I leave a link to an article that may or may not interest you. The author has co-written a "huge" book about cancer, "The Germ That Causes Cancer" with a doctor. The research is undeniably accurate and hard to dispute that fungi and mycotoxins do cause cancer. If nothing else, please note that both cancer cells and fungi must have sugar in order to survive. Also, both respond to antifungal medicines. Some cancers have gone into remission or reduced in size when an antifungal medicine was used to treat a co-existing infection. Both will die in the absence of sugar. It matters not to me what you think of this research. However, if I had cancer, I would certainly be open to any and all facts/opinions that came my way. As an aside, I've heard that Beta glucan can help with negative symptoms of radiation therapy. May be worth looking into as well?
The link takes you to a website. Look for the title: "The Role Of Fungus In Cancer" It also has a link to the book I mentioned. I've seen it on Amazon as well.
I don't mean to in any way to belittle your disease. I have friends that are battling this disease. It breaks my heart to see them suffer. Maybe even one out there can benefit from this knowledge. I don't know...I haven't lived it myself. Take care...
Kim: I am glad that you have found info that you feel will help you deal w/ your illness. The problem that I have w/ books on topics such as this is that there are no clinical trials that have proven them to be useful in the cure of cancer. There are many, many books and theories and alternative therapies that claim to be able to cure cancer. Each of the women on this board is fighting for their lives. Each has faith in the oncologist, surgeon and medical dr that they have chosen as well as the course of treatment that has been chosen.. Our journey is a difficult one both mentally and physically.
I personally don't appreciate someone coming here and telling me that the treatments that I have endured for over 5 years are not what I needed. That something that will kill a fungus will kill my cancer cells. I am sure that if this was true, tests would have been done by now and one of our members would have reported on this.
Thank you for taking the time to post. I wish you well in your journey but please keep these crazy, off the wall ideas to yourself.
It was not my intention to make anyone feel this way. After reading about several studies, one such as the JAMA (2004) that published a study that the use of antibiotics (fungal toxins) is associated with increased risk of incident and fatal breast cancer (one of many such findings in the aforementioned book), it made sense to me that there MAY be a link there. I am certainly NOT saying ALL cancer is a fungus. For me, the documentation provided in this book is substantive. I apologize for any ill feelings and will keep my comments for the UC forum. Sorry...