Hello there Bob,
You and I have the distinction of being male breast cancer survivors. In my case I had to see four different Doctors before one of them would take me seriously. I got these smirking chuckles followed by "you're just getting old and growing boobs...." Got tired of that very quickly and moved on to the next Doctor.
I found a lump behind my left nipple in Oct 2006. Saw the fourth Doctor and by Dec 2007 the tumor was nearly one inch in diameter. Mamo, followed by needle-core biopsy: 25 Jan 08 diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma; Stage 2, Grade 3 [very aggressive]. On 1 Feb 08 = Modified radical mastectomy left breast; 2 of 14 lymphnodes were cancerous. Chemotherapy began 28 Feb [three-drug cocktail] of "TAC" at maximum dosage tolerated for 6 cycles spaced 3 weeks apart.
At that time I was 62 years old just as you are. The Chemo wiped me out; my white blood cell count went literally to "zero". I was admitted to the hospital and put in reverse isolation ....... I did not wear a face mask, but everyone coming into my room were masked to prevent infecting me. I lost 26 pounds in 30 days. Chemo # 6 put me back into the isolation thing again.
I lost every hair on my body. I said to others that "I'm a hairless Chihuahua ...."
I am today in remission. I elected not to have radiation therapy. Instead I had the other breast removed. My theory is "Less breast tissue equals less chance of reoccurrence of the cancer. Also, too many side-effects with radiation to suit my taste.
It took about 12 months from finishing Chemo to begin thinking better, more sensible. Chemo-brain was a serious problem for me. The Mod-Radical Mastectomy was a shock to my sensibilities. To wash the scar in the shower made me have the urge to vomit. There were very serious nerves that were cut, and badly distorted signals were getting through to my brain. It has become less of a problem over time.
Now I understand what the ladies meant about menopause and hot-flashes. I am taking Tamoxifen daily, a hormone blocker, that gives the same hot-flashes. Oh well, there is a 50% reduction of cancer coming back while on this medication for 5 years; then switch a different blocker.
If I can help out with anything you might question about your situation, I'll help you find the answer if I don't already know it.
You're not in this alone, Bob. We are here to ease your mind and lift you up as you go thru this life-changing experience. Keep us posted about your progress, please.
God Bless, Jim
US Army (retired)
Post Edited (Heli-Pilot) : 5/25/2010 7:30:14 AM (GMT-6)