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jko
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/27/2007 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   
scool  Hi, All.  I joined this group, I think, earlier this week.  My name is Jan, 56.  I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma on November 16, 2006, 3 days before my birthday.  My Christmas season was spent on December 11, 2006 having a mastectomy and recuperating.  The tumor was .8cm, located in the lower, inside quandrant.  It had lesions but had not gone any further than the breast.  It was Stage 2, Grade 2 tumor, with no lymph node involvement.  Had no chemo and no radiation. 
 
In January, 2007, I started taking Arimidex.  The side effects were too much too deal with so after six weeks, I was switched to Femara and Clodronate (a clinical trial medication for bone strengthening purposes).  Things are so-so right now.  I have had an increase in migraine headaches, bone/joint pain in my left knees (10+ on a 1-10 pain level).  There is not a day that goes by that I don't hurt in most every place.  Part of the pain is due to injuries to soft tissue in a car accident several years ago.
 
I appreciate being a part of this group.  I do not have much expertise about breast cancer except for my own experience and what I gained from another website. 
 
Hope to be a participating and friendly member of this group.  yeah                                                                                                 
"Life isn't how you survive the storm, but how you dance in the rain."
 
 

kasey56
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/29/2007 10:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi jko,
Diagnosed this morning with the same...invasive ductal ca and here I am welcoming someone already? Oh well - welcome! What caught me was that you were diagnosed with the same type and 3 days before your birthday....I turn 51 in 7 days! I haven't seen my surgeon or the Cancer Clinic yet but I imagine mastectomy will be next on my calendar as well. Did you have reconstruction as well or no? Did they do a sentinel lymph node biopsy or remove more nodes than that? How long to recuperate? Well, great way to welcome someone with 500 questions, eh? Wishing you less pain in your life!
KathyV

jko
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/29/2007 11:49 PM (GMT -7)   
tongue  Hi, kasey56:
It is a little late right now.  However, I do want to post back to you.  So sorry that we have to meet this way.  I'm glad to share my experiences with you and answer any questions that you may have.
 
Talk to you later.  Thanks for the welcome.
 
Hugs, Hope and Prayers,
jko

barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 6/30/2007 9:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Jan. I really hate to welcome newcomers to the board, but if you have to be a member, at least you have found safe haven and respite here. Jan, one of the other women here, rubyshooz, has been feeling a bit out of place here, I think, because she has opted for tamoxifen only at this time...no chemo, no radiation. I was just curious...was this the recommendation, or was this by choice? (BTW...a number of our friends here have not been through chemo or radiation).

Keep coming back, Jan. One can never have too many friends...or too many shoes!

Take care.

Hugs...
BEV

jko
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/30/2007 7:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, kasey:
 I wish that I was meeting you under different circumstances - something other than breast cancer, for sure.  Wow!  Just received a diagnosis!  I remember that day only too well.   yeah    I don't think there is anyway to prepare anyone for that moment when the doctor starts out and says, "You have breast cancer."  Those were words I never in the world imagined would be part of my history, present or future.
 
I have my own experiences and emotions as my point of reference.  I have been part of a great website on breast cancer that was extremely helpful.  It helped get me through so much during times when things were moving really fast.
 
Thank you for the welcome.  I will be glad to answer any questions that people have about my experience.  I will keep you in my prayers in the days to come as you begin the journey of breast cancer.
 
Hugs, Hope and Prayers,
Jan K

jko
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/30/2007 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
 
  :-) Hey, Bev:
 
  Thanks for the welcome.  I appreciate the opportunity to be here to share.
 
  The no chemo and no radiation was a medical decision made by oncologist.  Previous to my husband and I deciding on a lumpectomy or mastectomy, I made
a consultation visit with my oncologist.  He looked over all the data about my diagnosis, the size of my tumor, stage and grade, all that "good" stuff.  He then told me of my choices.  He said with lumpectomy, I would definitely have 5 weeks of radiation, 5 days a week or as he said, and I quote "cooking the breast."  With a mastectomy I would have no radiation.  Probably no chemo because of the location of my tumor.  We did not know at the time if there was cancer in the lymph nodes.  Oncologist said if no cancer in the lymph nodes, probably no chemo.  He said that since I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, I was in the company of very elite company such as Jackie Onassis, Betty Ford, basically many of the First Ladies.  Actually that wasn't much comfort and I did not hesitate to tell him that. His point being that it was a very treatable cancer.  He didn't tell me which to have but my husband and I opted for the mastectomy because I wanted to rid of the cancer and I was considering reconstruction at that time.
 
I hate to say this but this was the easy part of breast cancer for me.  I wish that things were as easy now.
 
No one should ever feel like he or she is on the outside because of the treatment options that they choose.  She is a survivor of a disease that affects many, many people.  Surviving breast cancer in any way, shape or form is a big deal and one to be proud of.  I hope that rubyshooz realizes that.  Hugs((((()))))))
to her and each one of you on this board.
 
Hugs, Hope and Prayers,
jko  yeah
 

jko
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 6/30/2007 9:10 PM (GMT -7)   
:-)  Hey, Kasey:
  I was reading your post as you awaited your diagnosis.  Waiting is no fun and hopefully now that you have some idea what you are dealing with, I hope you are feeling a little better.
 
  I had a single mastectomy but in retrospect, wished that I would have had a double mastectomy.  The reasons?  I think that I would not be wondering about cancer in the other breast, and my body image would be so different now.  This is my experience. 
 
  I didn't do reconstruction because after two consultations with two different plastic surgeons, I did not like the options that were offered to me.  I had wanted to have a DIEP flap but was told that I had too much abdominal tissue.  One surgeon told me that he would only do the lattismus dorsal type of reconstruction with implants only.  The second surgeon told me that he would only do the lattismus dorsal type using my own tissue from my back.  I already have a weak side on the side he was going to take muscle and tissue from (left side) because of a previous surgery on my left shoulder.  Besides that both surgeons had egos that were huge.  I quickly learned after these two consultations why these people are called "plastic" surgeons.  Neither of them believed they were human.  They were the experts and had no considerations for my thoughts or feelings.  After consideration of all the information I received in the consultations, information from the internet, (particularly that from the American College of Cosmetic Surgeons), and considering what my experience with the mastectomy had been, I felt one surgery was enough.
 
Hope this helps.  Just remember, whatever your decision, it is the one that is right for you.  My decision was right for me.  I will be keeping you in my prayers as you look to the future.  :-)   
 

kasey56
New Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/1/2007 6:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks jko,
I think I will feel better after I see the surgeon and/or oncologist this week or so and have a plan down. Right now I am bouncing from hitting the bottom to reasonable to hitting the bottom. Very scared....I think this will be better once the fight starts too. I like your signature on your first post here - I was out for supper at a good friends house last evening with another couple that I just told about the cancer and I've spent the last two days slowly telling people who matter (my children, my sisters and good friends) about the cancer. I find this so hard because you can see the pain it causes in their eyes to hear this. I haven't done bad at not breaking down crying (I do that more when I'm alone! ;) but I sure would like to find the strength and grace to reassure them. I guess maybe it's too early for that? It's helping me just talking about it with you - I guess I have to get some strength and grace inside towards myself first and then I can share it. Meanwhile, if you've read my posts - I either have a really bad infection (on two antibiotics and yesterday the incision starting oozing blood and seroous fluid) or I am really afraid maybe IBC. So I am having to be dressing the wound and need to go down and buy some more dressings today and worrying about what to do about that. A doctor at the walk-in clinic gave the the first antibiotic and my GP gave me the second so both doctors have looked at it...well I'm going to try and forget it about it as much as I can through the weekend and then push for some answers. Thanks for being here and that is the most important - having no regrets!
KathyV

jko
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/2/2007 4:32 PM (GMT -7)   

Kasey:

This breast cancer stuff is not easy, at least that has been my experience.  It does get better, especially after you meet with the oncologist and get your treatment plan together.  That being said, I wish people would have told me that the biopsy and mastectomy were the easiest part of this journey.  I am finding that the hardest part for me is the unexpected things that happen, like side effects from meds. 

Take some time to breathe and take one step at a time.  The fortunate thing about breast cancer is that it is not a death sentence anymore.  With all the progress in treatment and research, we don't have that fear anymore.  There are ladies with Stage IV cancer that lead productive lives. 

The hardest part, as I recall at the stage where you are, is the waiting and not fully knowing what is going on.  You just know there is this stuff in your body that is not supposed to be there.  Not knowing is the worst.  Cancercare.org is a good website to get information about breast cancer as well as the Susan Komen website.  The American Cancer Society is great, too. In fact they have resources to help a person financially.  A great book that was given to me by the nurse at the clinic I go to is Breast Cancer For Dummies.  It explains things so simply and alleviates a lot of uncertainty.  For me, information is power.  I know for others this is always true.  But the more information I have, the more I can know what I need to do.

I wish you well as you begin your journey.  You aren't alone.   :-)   

 

 

 



  Hugs, Hope and Prayers,
  jko

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