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Just hit 72 hours knowing I have breast cancer
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kountrykat posted:
Hello.Please bear with me as I sort of fumble through this.I am soon to be 48 years old on the 27th of June and just learned 3 days ago I have breast cancer.I am scared and numb and feel oh so alone although I have my husband of 30 years,my 28 year old son and 2 wonderful grandchildren ages 4 and 2.I have an appointment tomorrow morning with my physician to discuss my condition.And I have no idea what I am about to face.My precious mother died 4 years ago and right now all I seem to want and need is to have her with me to hold me and tell me I will be okay and I will survive.There has not been 1 case of breast cancer in either side of my family blood lines and I am so very confused.I will be coming back to this board as time permits me to so I can talk with you all.I have absolutely no one to talk with about this.I live in the country of upper East Tennessee and neighbors and friends are few and far between.So I would like to thank you all in advance for any advice you can give me.I have to leave now to get ready to spend this dark rainy,stormy,Sunday (mirrors my emotions and mood),with my beautiful 4year old granddaughter and 2 old grandson.Grandma can't let her little angels see her crying and splotchy and bleary eyed from crying.So I will be back soon.Have a good day all.God bless.
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bcdevil responded:
Kountrykat,
First off, i'm so sorry you were diagnosed! We all go thru the initial shock and anxiety when diagnosed. Go into this with a positive attitude and research everything. Knowledge is power when dealing with this. Even thou we all have our own individual cancers, we are all here to give advice and support to one another. The beginning is such a horrible time, because it's the unknown. Waiting for results seem to feel like eternities, but we are all here for you, Try to enjoy your grandkids today and stay as busy as you can. We are all experienced warriors here and i know that these ladies are the most amazing people i have ever encountered! Keep in touch sweetie, and ask away. God bless you and know i am already praying for you!!
Hugs, love, and lucky shamrocks
Sandy
 
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brcansur responded:
kountrykat
Hello sorry to hear about your dx I too am 48 I am a 3 year breast cancer survivor I found out just before my 45 birthday. It isn't a easy thing to hear very scarey but you are in control remeber that ask questions the only stupid one is the one not asked. Do a lot research you are your best and only health advacate. You are the boss of what is or isn't done to your body. Right now is the time that you are going to have a lot of test and results thrown at you. It is a wise thing to try and have someone with you or make sure to write things down and ask doctors to talk slow so you can do this. If they wont or ask why they are not the doctor for you. That is another thing you can pick what doctor feels right for you you do not have to go to who they want you too. But most of all remember to breath we tend to hold our breath a lot during all of this it just makes us more tense breath it helps calm you down. Remeber you have a lot of women here that have been there are there now or started just like you that you can come and ask question, lean on or vent to please come back and let us know how you are doing. I know that you are going through a lot right now and everything is is all crazy in your head but it does calm down and get clearer for you. Right now you need to focus on what is going to be best for you and your well being. What is going to get you to the next step in getting better because this is doable and fightable. You are a lady and us ladies are strong and we beat the beast called cancer every day and you will too. So go out there and beat her too be strong be positive and keep your spirits up we are here for you and cheering you on. You can stay strong for the grandchildren when you need a shoulder to cry on I am here I know I have been there. I send my prayers and angel hugs to comfort you Roberta
Roberta
 
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judyfams replied to brcansur's response:
So sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Please remember that early stage cancer is very treatable and has a survival rate of over 90% after 5 years.
You did not mention the type of cancer you have or the stage. I'm assuming they already did a biopsy so they should have more information to give you.
When you meet with the surgeon ask for copies of any reports he has and make sure to get copies of all tests done.
The other ladies have given you wonderful, sage and practical advice.
The advice I'm offering you is from something I put together under a section of this website on the right side called TIPS. .
I. Find a Breast Surgeon and/or Plastic Surgeon, and/or Radiation Oncologist
A. Mastectomy (skin and/or nipple sparing mastectomies)
with possible reconstruction at the time of surgery or post operative.
There are different kinds of breast reconstruction using your own muscles, tissue and skin such as TRAM flap, DIEP flap, SIEA flap,and Latissimus dorsal with an implant. Reconstruction can also be done using implants. If that is what you are considering youmight also want to consult with a plastic surgeon prior to surgery to know your options.
B. Lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy is another option and with this option you have radiation. You might want to consult a Radiation Oncologist prior to surgery to know your options.
1. One option is known as internal radiation (also called brachytherapy) and can be done at the time of the lumpectomy or within a few weeks of the surgery. This is also known as Accelerated Partial Breast Radiation. This is done using a balloon type device that is put in the lumpectomy cavity which allows the radiation to be delivered to the site within catheters. This usually is done twice a day for 5 days. Even though radiation takes place after chemo (should you need chemo), if you wait to consult the radiation oncologist after you finish chemo, you will probably not have the option of doing brachytherapy and will only have the option of external beam radiation.
2. External Beam radiation includes IMRT — Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy and 3D-CRT — 3 dimensional conformal radiotherapy.
3. The standard external beam radiation is the one that takes place every weekday for five to seven weeks. Most external beam radiation is done in the supine (face up) position. Definitely ask about having radiation possibly done in the prone (face down) position.
II. Find a Medical Oncologist
A. Chemotherapy is usually done (if needed) after surgery and prior to radiation (adjuvant), sometimes it can be done first (neo-adjuvant) to shrink the tumor. The oncologist might recommend a DNA test be done on the tissue from the tumor to see if you would benefit from chemotherapy. The name of that test is the ONCOTYPE DX test and it determines the % chance of recurrence of your specific type of breast cancer over the next 10 years. You should discuss this with your oncologist to see if this test is feasible for you and if your insurance company will pay for it.
B. Hormone Therapy is prescribed by a medical oncologist if your breast cancer is estrogen/progesterone positive or HERS2 positive
III. There are many decisions and choices that you may have to consider if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I would strongly recommend that you discuss these options with your surgeon, plastic surgeon and radiation oncologist prior to your surgery, to help you make the right decision for you. Not all breast cancer patients are candidates for each of the above mentioned options, and not all surgeons are trained to perform these new procedures. So you need to educate yourself so you can ask your doctor questions about these procedures and their ability to perform them.
Please try to keep yourself busy while you go to the doctors and take the tests.
Stay in touch with us as often as possible as the ladies here are truly wonderful and caring!
Judy
 
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cindy12345678 responded:
Hi Kountrykat,
The ladies here have wonderful advice. I am 46. I was 45 when I was diagnosed. I was very scared when I was first diagnosed. Today they have so many treatments and there are alot of survivors. Your physician should give you the names of oncologists, and they can give you your treatment options. Do you have any university or breast care/womens hospitals near you? Second opinions are also good,sometimes there is more than one treatment option.
Keep us updated on what is happening. We will be here for you. It is ok to cry. You have to feel what your feeling. THere is life after this.
Stay strong,
Cindy
 
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rachael67 responded:
As you can see, you will have alot of support from this community. Most of us have been there/done that and can appreciate the myriad of emotions you are dealing with.

There is little I can add to the great suggestions you have already been given, but I can tell you that everything you are eperiencing is normal! I describe my diagnosis as being "overwhelming"! I was drowning in a surreal sea of confusion...New names, new faces, new tests, new terms...I had been blindsided by something I never pictured having to face. Yet here I was..smack-dab in the middle of the whole thing, and I hadn't the slightest idea of just how to approach it.

Best bests? First and foremost remember to breathe! Slowly in and slowly out. Keep doing so until your world begins to slow down to a bit more of a manageable pace.

Take it all one moment at a time: Each doctor visit. Each test. Each procedure. Each treatment. If you attempt to somehow put it all into some sort of order and keep it all under your control it would be like trying to eat an elephant! All must be done with little bites or you will choke!

Welcome help and support. It will assist you through some difficult times AND...if is great therapy for those who love you! They finally will be permitted to feel like they are doing something rather than merely standing by.

Feel free to come here whenever we can help in any way. We are very good listeners and have soft shoulders. Also, if you need to vent and scream, feel free! We've all done that as well!

Blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
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0910faith responded:
Hello Kountrycat,
I hate to see you crying. I'm so sorry
you have to face this. It's hard at any
time. I'm so glad you have a loving
family. Please search thru this website.
It helped me so much.
My journey start 8/11 and its not
over yet.
You will find strength you never thought
you had. Ask all the quetions you can
and write down more. Don't let your
doctors leave until you are satisfied.
You are not alone. We have all
walked in your shoes. Your moods will
be up and down. This was the
most comforting place I have been .
It's very hard for others that have
not had this happen to them to
understand how you feel.
We do AND you are not alone
hugs
faith
 
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cancer47 responded:
Hi I was the same as you no family history of any cancer. I know it's hard to be Grandma when your so overwhelmed. These first hours turn into days and then weeks. I wish I could tell you how long you will feel this was but looking back these numb days will turn into a blur. Just ask your husband to hold you any have a good cry. It might be good for him to see how you really are unable to make this journey scary journey alone. And you have all of these wonderful women here who will support you.
Take care
 
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susan1240 responded:
Dear Kountrykat ... as you can see, you have tremendous support at this site. Am glad you have a husband, son and 2 beautiful grandchildren ... each person will play a different role in your "journey". Some people may surprise you. Let us know what happened at your appointment ... IF you can bear to write it down. We understand what you are going through. This just happened ... so take a deep breath and give yourself TIME. A year from now you will have the experience behind you.

"Stars shine brightest on the darkest nights".
- Susan
 
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Lindaquilt responded:
Hello Kountrykat, I like yourself, didn't have a history of BC in any of my family lines. Just take it one day at a time, the waiting will be thehardest part you will get through it, I just started my first round of chemo this past Thursay. Enjoy your grandkids I too did alot of crying and still do. Keep a positive mind as you go on this journey. Report back often to let us know how you are doing Bunches of hugs to you. Linda
 
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0910faith replied to Lindaquilt's response:
Hi Kountrykat,
I am so sorry you are having to deal
with this terrible BC. You have the
surrport of a new family here.
We are all with you and will be there
when you want to complain or cry
or vent or whatever.
My journey started last Aug, 2010.
I had three surgeries, my last was
a Bi-Mastectomy on 5/4. I had Invasive
Lobular cancer on my Right breast
and afer the Mastectomy they found
3cm Ductal on my left breast. I made
the right decision. I opted for
Immediate Reconstruction so I am
dealing with expanders and had my
first fill post surgery yesterday.
I have a ways to go. I found a lot
of peace here and met a lot of new
friends. My husband and children
and Grand children are all understanding
but not like the ladies here. No one
knows what you go thru or feel like
the ladies here. We have all been
poked, proded, examined and been
mortified by all of this. Please know
you are not alone and never will you
be again. We have a bond
hugs and love
faith
 
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jenna291 replied to 0910faith's response:
Hello Kountrykat,
First off, I am so sorry to here of your diagnosis. It made me numb and afraid when I first heard, and I too had no family history of the disease. I had to get past my anger as well, and fight, fight, fight. Unfortunately breast cancer is so common these days, and who knows the why. I thought myself in fairly good shape, eating well, not overweight wenI was diagnosed, and my doctors called me a random case. I had invasive ductal carcinoma, stage II, had a lumpectomy, 16 weeks of chemo, 36 radiation treatments. I won't sugar coat it, it was a tough year, but I have made wonderful friends and connections thru this journey, and have learned to not sweat the small things in life so much. Stay strong, we are all fighters here and are happy to be of support! I am years out now, still have active doctor follow up appts, and am afraid sometimes, but don't let it control my life. Please keep in touch and we are all here, bonding together in our fight!!!!
~Jenna
 
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misspandora replied to jenna291's response:
I was diagnosed with breast cancer after a mammo, an ultrasound as well as an ultrasound with biopsy (all on the same day) on June 22. I had a lumpectomy on June 24. I also had two Lymph nodes removed at the same time. They called me with the results one week later. I have stage 1 cancer and one of the lymph nodes had apparently a tiny spec of cancer in it. I have to go back to NY on the 7th for a follow-up with the breast surgeon. They also told me that they want me to have a OncoDx test but have to wait two weeks since this is what Medicare's rules are. Did any one of you have this OncoDX test? I live in Florida but used to go to NY for mammograms and visits to the breast surgeon. I had ADH and had excision surgery about 3 and a half years ago and the results were negative.. And the lesion which they found on June 22 was located where the scar of that excision was. I am depressed.
 
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judyfams replied to misspandora's response:
I am sorry that you have been diagnosed with breast cancer. You didn't mention what kind or stage of cancer in your post. You really should get copies of all your reports as you go through treatment.
I had the oncotype Dx test which is done on a piece of the tumor already removed - so you really don't have to do anything. Theey analyze 21 genes of your specific tumor to see if it would respond to chemo. Your report will gicome back with a number from 1-100. Numbers from 1-18 mean that you should not need to have chemo, and numbers from 31-100 mean that you definitely do need chemo to fight your particular type of cancer. Numbers fron 19-30 are in the intermediate range and they do not know if chemo is beneficial for women in the intermediate range. There is a clinical trial for women in the intermediate range called the TailorX (I think).
if your numbers are in the intermediate range than you need to decide with any input you get from your oncologist whether or not you want to do chemo. That decision is a difficult one to make, and there are no right or wrong decisions - you must do what you are comfortable with.
I had an oncotype # of 21 and wrestled with that decision and decided to do the chemo. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IT WAS THE RIGHT DECISION FOR ME. If you have an intermediate # then you must make the right decision for you.
I don't think the scar from 3.5 yrs. ago caused youe present cancer. Breast cancer is very common in the "aging breast". One out of 7 women over the age of 60 will get breast cancer.
Please know that your breast cancer was caught early and is very, very treatable so try to concentrate on that.
Mine too was diagnosed in 2/10 after a rouutine mammo and now over a year later and a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation i really feel good physically and plan to stay aroung for a long time to bug the "heck" out of my grandchildren!
Stey busy and keep occupied by doing things you like so you do not remain depressed.
Please let us know how you are doing - and please start your own thread as this one is very long and some of our members might not see it.
Good luck,
Judy
 
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misspandora replied to judyfams's response:
It is stage 1. One of the nodes was positive but minimal: o.1 mm largest dimension. So it says on the report. Both PA and breast surgeon told me yesterday that lymph node result does not pose problem?? Result of lumpectomy says: invasive well differentiated ductal carcinoma 1.9cm. Lobular carcinoma in situ is present. Margins: the closest margin is the anterior 1.o mm distant to tumor. It is estrogen/progesterone receptive. He-2 negative. The surgeon was very positive. Specimen was sent to lab yesterday for Oncotest DX. So we will see. Meanwhile I called the oncologist which was recommended. Waiting for them to get back to me. Did you have to take Arimidex. Thanks for replying to me. I will start a new tread next time.


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