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    I'M DONE !
    Doris1933 posted:
    I AM DONE — thank you, Jesus, for taking care of me during this ordeal! Age 77, had Stage IIIA, unilateral modified radical surgery in April 2010, 7 chemo treatments, 33 radiation treatments, and now on Arimidex. Had my 2-week follow up last Tuesday and completely forgot to ask the most important question I had on my mind. So I want to run it by you.

    What do I reply to friends/relatives when they want to know if I'm "cured" or in "remission", etc. I've noticed women on TV and in articles declare they are 100% cancer free. I did ask my medical oncologist a few months ago about this and he said there is no such thing because there could be one cell lurking somewhere just waiting to grow, and there is no way to know who will survive and who won't. Neither my medical nor radiation oncologist would give me a prognosis or status, except to say I would be most vulnerable the first 2 years after treatment and the more time goes by the less vulnerable I would be. I felt let down and though they were very kind, I got no encouragement from them at all.

    I might add, there has been no evidence of cancer (PET scan, mammograms) since after surgery until now (after undergoing all the treatments "just in case"). Although I know there is likelihood of recurrence, I'm thinking if they can't find any evidence, I will assume I don't have any cancer. Of course, I'll keep up with the tests and follow-ups, but at the same time just go on with my life. But, what do I say to people when they ask? Do I qualify for the terms "remission", "100% cancer free", etc.?
    rachael67 responded:
    First of all, Doris, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! How wonderful to read your post...And I promise we are all celebrating along with you!

    Secondly, perhaps it is the Irish in me that would be afraid of being presumptive if I declared myself "cured"...Can't challenge the fates in such a manner! However, we here have a lovely, beautiful abbreviation we use when speaking of being clean of the disease...We say we are "NED"...NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE!! It is the brand we like to wear most proudly.

    So, I lift my glass to you, Doris...May you remain NED forever and a day!!


    Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
    cancer47 responded:
    Congrats!!!! My treatments were over 4 months ago and when people ask me those same questions I say "everything looks good right now" Treat yourself to something special you deserve it!!
    Doris1933 replied to rachael67's response:
    Rachael 67 and Cancer47, your congratulations and good wishes warmed my heart. Thank you for your replies. Doris

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