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    Newly Diagnosed and...
    tobewithpeace posted:
    have cried for a week. Literally every day I have cried. I was told on Oct. 3 that I have breast cancer that has spread to my lymph nodes under my left arm. It would be an untruth if I said I wasn't scared. But, my tears are mostly for my 15 year old son. I've been a single parent since day one of his life and he is far from independent (nor should he totally be at the age of 15). I fear for his future without me. It is truly just us.

    I went for a PET/CT scan yesterday as well as had an MRI. Please pray that no other tumors are in my body. I'll know the stage when my breast surgeon view the scans. However, he said surgery, chemo, and radiation are definitely in my future.

    How long was the span between diagnosis and surgery? My thought at the current time is "get it out".
    judyfams responded:
    I am sorry to hear what you are going through. At first the diagnosis takes your breath away and paralyzes your brain. So you need to take some long, deep breaths to calm you.
    I was diagnosed on Feb. 22, lumpectomy on March 25, chemo begun on May 25 and radiation done on Oct. 1. I finished radiation on Nov. 22. so from diagnosis to end of treatment it took nine months.
    Please come back and let us know what you find out from your PET/CT scan. There are wonderful women here who have had all kinds of treatments and chemo and will be able to help you get through your treatment.
    Good luck and remember if your anxiety becomes too unbearable please ask you doctor to prescribe some anti-meds to help you get through this rough time.
    tobewithpeace replied to judyfams's response:
    Thank you Judy. My doctor has prescribed an anti-anxiety medication. However, I'm hesitant in taking it. I've never liked taking sleeping pills or items even close to a sleeping pill. Although, I probably need something because I contribute every ache and pain to the breast cancer. Like right now I have a slight headache and my thought...has it spread to my brain? Or when my knees hurt...has it spread to my bones? This headache I have is more than likely due to stress and a lack of sleep though. I'll reply back with my scan results and the stage. Not that any of this is good news, but good news would be a low staging number. Again, asking for prayers and thanks bunches for your timeline.

    Any other timelines are welcomed. Thanks ~ Debra
    jenna291 replied to tobewithpeace's response:
    Hi, I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I was diagnosed is November, chemo started in December, finsihed in March, then lumpectomy in April. Radiation started in May for 36 treatments.
    I would take the medication if you need it. This is all so overwhelming and you need to do whatever it takes to get thru it.
    Anxiously await your update with treatment plan and staging.
    Take notes if you can - all the information is so foreign at first and a lot to take in at once.
    Sending you bunches of hugs and flowers and anxiously await your update.
    ~ Jenna
    rachael67 responded:
    Dear Debra, I am so sorry to have to welcome you to this community, but I am glad that you have found us as here you will find folks who have been there/done that, will do all they can to offer support and share their stories.

    Yes, most of us are at best overwhelmed at the beginning. First of all, "whoda thunk"?? Right? Few of us expect to hear the words "breast cancer" applied to us. And with those words we enter a whole new world!!

    New tests.
    New medical professionals.
    New vocabulary filled with words whose names and meanings make us feel like we are touring in some strange new world. (And we are!!!)
    And for this new land, we are given absolutely no GPS or road map!

    To all of this toss in a 15 year old son who is as yet not ready to leave the nest and fly on his own! Whew!! No wonder you are emotional and fearful and crying!

    Judy advised you to breathe...I add my voice to that as well. When our world is spinning our of control, deep slow breaths in and out have a wonderful way of helping us slow it down a mite. It is an exercise which is always available, non-addictive and very effective. Breathe in and out...Continue until you feel that things are not quite so overwhelming. And go back to this exercise each time the pressure-cooker begins to build up steam!

    My history of dx and trx:
    Suspicious mammogram - Jan 22, 03
    Exam by surgeon - Feb 4, 03
    Excisional biopsy - Feb 10, 03
    Lumpectomy - March 10, 03
    [2nd opinion at another facility - March, 14, 03>
    Appointment with oncologist - April, 03
    [2nd opinion for pathology report pre-rads - April 10, 03>
    Radiation trx - about April/May, 03-July, 03
    I did not need chemo and opted out of anti-hormonal meds

    (I must tell you that despite the fact at the time I was overwhelmed, right now I had to take out my records to try and recall each of these steps...In other words, there is a future when it will not occupy your mind quite so much...Hold onto that idea. Okay?)

    I pray that your report not only gives you some much-needed answers, but that it will show that treatment will be most successful and, therefore, might reassure you a bit that you and your son's future together will be long and lovely!! I can only imagine how that will alleviate some of your greatest fears!

    As for how to help him during this journey, I am sure you know your son well-enough to appreciate how he might internalize his concerns and/or deal with the situation. One thing that most members have found most successful in dealing with children is to not try shielding them totally...If they feel you are being honest and, especially, that you are not overly concerned, they will relax, assuming you will let them know when to worry!

    Please know you will be in our thoughts. Let us know how things are going, and if there is anyway we can offer support or ideas. We care!!

    Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
    tobewithpeace replied to rachael67's response:
    Rachel67 writes, "I pray that your report not only gives you some much-needed answers, but that it will show that treatment will be most successful and, therefore, might reassure you a bit that you and your son's future together will be long and lovely!! I can only imagine how that will alleviate some of your greatest fears!".....Yes, that will definitely alleviate my greatest fear!

    I received a call yesterday from my surgeon's office. I have an appointment on Tuesday, October 16th to hear about my scan results and to discuss my treatment plan.Tuesday is the day my surgeon will meet with a team of doctors, nurses, and other professionals. Prayers, prayers, prayers.
    jenna291 replied to tobewithpeace's response:
    I am sending you tons and tons of prayers for your appointment onTuesday. I hope you can keep busy and have some fun in the meantime!

    ~ Jenna
    sadblossom responded:
    Hello tobe....

    I know that cry. Goodness knows I do. I also understand the fear you feel for your son.
    I had cancer in my right breast and it had spread to lymph nodes. I had a lumpectomy and 2 more surgeries for more tissue to get to clear margins because the cancer tumor was invasive. It had spread to two lymph nodes. They removed eight. I did not have to have chemo but I did have 35 radiation treatments. I take a pill daily to help keep it from returning as it was hormone positive. I am 3 years out from diagnosis now.

    I was diagnosed and had the lumpectomy within a couple of weeks via my choice. I am sure they will act as quickly as you allow them to. Try to relax if possible. And know all of us here are riding pinkie with you Tuesday. Breathe deep and stay strong.
    I will keep you in my prayers for good news and powerful strength.
    Please keep us informed.
    God Bless! ~ Pat
    brcansur responded:
    Hello and welcome, So sorry to hear your dx but glad you found this board. I am almost 5 years from my dx date of Feb 13 2008. I found my lump Feb 8 mammo done then bio the 11th dx the 13. I had my bi mast March 31, port put in april 29, 1st chemo May 7 last chemo Aug 20. Reconstruction Sept 29 2009. I wanted it out of me as fast as they could get me into surgery the faster the better. But there are a lot of test they had to get done before my surgery that is the only reason mine was a few weeks away from dx. But I feel things moved along very fast and were done as I wished them to be. I was in control of my body and what was being done and getting well again. I didn't feel out of control or like they decided what would happen to me or my body I got to decide. That is number one make sure you have say in what is being decided. You do have choices and the right to speak up and ask all the questions you want the only stupid one is the ones not asked !!!
    I so understand the crying and not knowing weither you are up or down coming or going. It isn't easy being a single parent then to have this come at you all at once not easy and not any fun! I have been there I too am a single parent. But what ever you do know that we are all here for you to help in any way we can. We listen, cry with you, laugh with you even share silly stories that have nothing to do with dx it helps sometimes to just have fun and get our minds off things. I wish you all the best and will be on pinkie with you for your appts.
    Have a great day angel hugs Roberta,
    tobewithpeace replied to brcansur's response:
    All systems clear and ready to go! Okay...not exactly CLEAR clear. But, On October 16th, I saw my breast surgeon. My biggest fear was the breast cancer spreading to other areas of my body and being a stage 4. As I was calm on the outside but anxious on the inside, the conversation started with the surgeon stating, "Your lungs are clear, your kidneys are clear, your ______ is clear...." Honestly I stopped hearing him for a second because a breath of fresh air went through my body. I am going to live!!!

    Yes, I still have breast cancer. And, yes it did spread to one lymph node under my arm...making me a Stage 2B. But that's it! Maybe I shouldn't say that's it...because breast cancer IS breast cancer. But, I feel truly relieved and blessed. Blessed because I skip doctor's appointments, mammograms, and such. I am so grateful that God put it in my spirit to get physicals because my cancer is an agressive cancer. My breast surgeon said the rate of growth is between 80% -90%. Today, I asked my oncologist what does aggressive really mean as in time periods. He said within a few months, the tumor would have probably doubled.

    Okay then...that's good enough for me...I guess I'm off to chemotherapy. Which starts the 29th by the way. A little nervous...yes. Downright I'm in good spirits because I've been blessed to have it found before it was too late.

    I'm scheduled for eight rounds of chemotherapy on a bi-weekly basis (ending in February), surgery (probably in March), and radiation (I'm estimating May and June).

    So, on this journey I continue to trod.
    vajanie responded:
    Hi Debra,

    I've been involved with my chemo and hadn't come here for a few weeks so missed your post. I'm always glad when I do come back. I'm so sorry about your diagnosis, it is so very devastating to hear, I know. I'm 67 years old, children all grown of course. I can only imagine your concern for your son, 15 is still quite young. Do you have any extended family to help out during your recovery?
    My time between first suspicious mammogram, diagnostic testing and surgery was 3 weeks. My thought too was "get this out of me".
    I will certainly keep you in my thoughts and prayers, for no other tumors, and for speedy surgery and healing.


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