Back Again! (Oh ****!!)

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 6/3/2009 4:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear All
Six years ago you all were so supportive as I went through a mascectomy with chemo & radiation.  Now just one month past the magic six year anniversary from that diagnosis I have another primary in the other breast! This was discovered by a routine mamagram - unlike the first episode this one can't be felt at all.
Good news is that this is much smaller - only 7.5 mm when the other one was 40mm so things are quite different this time - I could have a lumpectomy with follow-up radiation then tamoxifen or opt for a mascectomy alone with no radiation/tamoxifen.  Am considering my options with this at the moment.  both options involve sentinal a node biopsy.
Has anone else on the board had a double whammy? I am wondering what the odds are of this but in my view its better to have another primary than have secondaries.
Anyway have caught up with some of your news on the board - so sorry to hear about Cathi - I really admire her spirit and am gald she is in such a lovely place with her family close by.  I remember she was so keen on quilting.
MK my birthday sister - so sorry to hear about Chuck but hope that the pain is more controllable now - you have been through so much what with yourself, Caroline and now your dear DH.  My thoughts are with you all.
DH & I have just come back from a lovely break in the Cook Islands.  I love swimming in the warm water and snorkelling amongst the brightly coloured fish.
Last year we went to Canada/Alaska -  From Vancouver to Rocky mountaineer to Bamff  then coach tour back to Victoria Island then flew to Fairbanks and coach /rail accross Alaska to Anchorage - then seven days at sea doing the inside passage back to Vancouver.  It was a magical holiday and was well worth waiting for.  The year before we went to Los Angeles (Disneyland & all that!) then to Denver to watch our then 16 year old grandson compete in the barbershop chorus competition.  That too was a wonderful experience.  Grandson's chorus is preparing to compete next month at Anaheim and they hope to do even better this time and get in the top 10.
Its winter here in New Zealand and it has come early - snow is everywhere and we even got a few flurries where I live in Wellington - All you in the northern hemisphere will be basking in sunshine lucky you!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 6/3/2009 7:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Kath. Sorry you had to come back under these circumstances! But yes, a second primary is so much better than a metastatic finding. It's funny how our perspectives change, isn't it? I remember one day I was told that a good friend had metastatic cancer, I picked up the phone to check my messages, and I had a message from my onc nurse that my mammo showed a "mass" in my remaining breast. I was so relieved, because I had just had chest ct, blood work, and bone scan come back clean, so I could deal with another primary...I was just so happy that the message wasn't mets! As it turned out, it was nothing, but I will never forget that feeling of relief that everything but the mammo was clean.

Anyway, as far as second primaries... lobular cancer tends to mirror in the remaining breast, and as years pass, odds actually increase that you will get another cancer in the remaining breast. Outside of that...well, breast tissue is breast tissue, and I figure if you are prone to brca, then you're prone to it in any breast tissue. (That one's just my opinion...!)

Take care, and let us know how it goes.
"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 6/4/2009 5:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Kath, it is certainlly good to hear from you, but not for this reason. I'm sorry you have to deal with this mess all over again. Jo-Ann had two primaries and not only that but they were different kinds of breast cancer. Her second tumor was not as wicked as the first and she had never had reconstuction, so she just had a mastectomy and is now matching on both sides. Braless and comfortable.

Have you heard the news about my daughter? Her bone marrow is clear after having mets there, altho she takes chemo every week to hopefully keep it that way. She is doing well. Chuck had a terrible day yesterday, fifth day after chemo, but today seems to be a much better day already. He just took the car to the end of the drive to get the papers, yesterdays and todays because I never got out there yesterday. What a difference a few hours makes. Tomorrow is a test for us, home health nurse 8:30, leave for FW 9:00, see surgeon 10:45 about the port, blood work 12:15, and then the long drive back home. So far I am holding up, altho yesterday I was about ready to throw in the towel.

Take care of yourself and hang out with us again. Not so many around these days, but I am sure you remember a few names here!

Hugs MK

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1090
   Posted 6/4/2009 5:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kathi, My sister in law had a primary in her other breast, a little over 5 years after the first one. She had surgery and a milder chemo(never lost her hair or got sick)and rads. She is fine now and that was ten years ago. She was just telling me that in  August she will be finished Femara. She asked the Dr. to give her a placebo and not tell her. I certainly can understand her feelings after two go rounds.  I am so sorry to hear you are having to deal with this again but I know you know this is the best of two evils. I wish you lots of luck and my thoughts will be with you. Hugs  Joyce
How wonderful it would be to see Angels where there are only clouds. How sad it would be to see clouds where there are Angels.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 6/5/2009 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Kath...nice to see you but definitely sorry to hear of another primary. I would think the coping and education you learned 6 years ago will help make this one easier to deal with, but crummy nonetheless.

If it were me, I'd opt for the mastectomy and tamoxifen....I wonder why they suggested that only with the lumpectomy? Surgery is for local control and medication (tamox, chemo, etc) is for systemic control...I've never heard of tamox only being offered with a lumpectomy. If in doubt, please seek a second opinion.

Either way, make your choice and don't look back...just choose with confidence and knowledge and we'll help you with the rest.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1294
   Posted 6/9/2009 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   

It was good to see your post, but I am sad at the circumstances. are strong and fight hard and it appears that they found it at an earlier stage. Have peace while you are making decisions, like Lori said, make the decision and go forward. You can do this as you have fought and won in the past.


Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

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