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    Newly Diagnosed
    suert posted:
    Hello-- My name is Sue and I am a single mom newly diagnosed with breast cancer the 10 of July. I have DCIS and I hear it is one of the most common to have. I have went through all the feelings of being diagnosed and I have come to the realization that I have this dreaded disease. It is hard being a single mom with the only income coming in. I have been out of work for 7 weeks now with other health issues and stress No. 1.... I finally had surgery to take this thing out on the 17 of Aug and now I am recuperating reaching out to someone who has gone through this. I know there are alot of women who have gone through breast cancer. I guess I will be doing radiation and working through it. I don't know how the treatments will affect me. Please I would like some input in the situation.
    DiKay1024 responded:
    Hi Sue!

    Welcome to the board no one wants to have reason to join! I'm glad you found us. This is a great group of women, and a few good men, who are here to offer support, and whatever info we can give from our experience. Whatever is encountered along this roller coaster ride, there is most always someone here who has been there, done that!

    It sounds like you are well into your treatment decisions. It always helps some to have a plan in place and be DOING something, rather than just waiting. I remember that it felt really good to have the surgery over with and know that what cancer we knew was there, wasn't anymore! I had invasive ductal CA and had one lymph node positve, so did both chemo and then radiation. That was five years ago and I'm doing great. It must be doubly hard being a single mom--I hope you have a good support system of family members, friends, co workers, or church members to help out.

    Most of us find radiation to be a fairly easy treatment program. I had just finished chemo and was very fatigued from that, but as the radiation continued I actually got more energy as time went on. I had been off work during chemo and went back when I started radiation. The biggest inconvenience is the daily trip to the clinic--the time involved is basically the time it takes to drive there and back. Treatment itself is about 15 minutes from in the front door to out again, except for once a week when you see the dr, and that adds 20 min or so (depending on how efficient your doc is ) The most common side effect is a mild "sunburn" on the treated area. A few have more bothersome burns which can be treated with special creams and sometimes a couple days off treatment. It's important to follow your docs instruction as to care of the skin, and use only the products he/she gives you. Pure aloe gel seems to be the product of choice for many docs, used liberally a couple of times each day (after the treatment, not before).

    I know you'll hear from many more on the board with other good tidbits for you! Good luck with your treatment, and come back often with any questions, concerns, etc, and keep us posted as to how you're doing.

    Blessings, Di
    Rachael67 responded:
    May I, too, welcome you, and assure you that this is doable! Di spoke from the point of view of invasive DCIS..I had non-invasive DCIS and, therefore , did not have chemo so my journey was easier than hers. You didn't mention which you had, but, as you can see, both are not impossible nor are they death sentences!

    I can appreciate that having a child and being alone can add a bigger challenge to this journey, and hope you have others you can count on to help in many ways. Feel free to come here any time with questions or to vent or seek support...We are open 24./7 just for one another.

    You will be in my thoughts.

    Blessings. Rachael
    djmelt responded:
    Hi Sue,

    Welcome! I so remember those days where you are right now. Emotions come and go without warning, feeling numb, sometimes helpless and hopeless. It is one of the roughest times emotionally. Just know that it will pass. I know that is easy to say and hard to remember when you are wondering what is going to happen next? I was diagnosed with stage 4 ductal carcinoma that had spread to my vertebrae in 2005. I only tell you this for one reason. You are going to make it through this journey. It isn't easy, but it is definitely do-able.

    Please know that we are here for you 24/7 for whatever type of support you need. We throw "pity parties" (I still have those, too), happy celebrations, crying, screaming, laughing....I better stop before you think I'm nuts! LOL, Hang in there. How many children do you have and how old are they? I used to be a teacher, so I'm always nosey about the kids. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love and gentle hugs,

    Peggyloou responded:
    Hi Sue; My name is Peggy. I just had a left mastectomy on 8/5/2009. This is my 2nd time with breast cancer. I had it 15 years ago when I was 46, had a 4 year old and my husband and I separated. First, you have to find your spritual base. You need to know that you are loved by "your GOD" because you are you, and that you are not alone no matter how things are going. 2nd,let your kids be your goal, not cancer. Treat cancer, like a problem that needs to be solved, and YOU HAVE THE POWER TO SOLVE IT! 3rd, you must stop yourself from stressing out, this will be the hardest part, being a single mom. Take it 1 day at time. Remember you have everything going in your good to yourself....I'm also waiting to find out if I have to have chemo and radiation, Again! If so I'll treat it like just one more thing to put on my to do list.....Remember, you're beautiful and wonderfully made....we'll journey together.....Peg
    suert responded:
    Hi Peggy and everyone for responding to my post. I think I finally figured everything out. When you post something does it go to everyone or to just one person. I am sorry that you have to go through this experience again. I think there is more support now than then. My mom had cancer over 30 years ago, female cancer. She is gone now and I miss her and her support that she would give me. I finally figured out how to do my profile, so you can look on there to find out info on me. I am also a singe mom. Will be praying for you through this journey.

    suert responded:

    Thanks for all your support. I also have DCIS non-invasive. I go to my surgeon tomorrow for my final pathology report, I hope everything is good. I will be attending my first Breast Cancer support group at the cancer center. Really like your saying, I feel more like a butterfly. I hope they will be making a appt for a medical oncologist and I will find out about the rad treatments. If you can let me know how your rad treatments were, I would appreciate it.

    Rachael67 responded:
    I had no trouble with them at all....Despite the fact I am quite fair skinned, I was most fortunate to only have a bit of pinkness toward the end of the treatments. (My thought then was that given the exposure my breast had given the multitudes, it ought to blush!! )

    The first appointment is the longest as they usually mark your breast with a permanent marker or tattoos...This enables them to make sure you are properly positioned each visit. The tattoos are little dots; no pretty flowers or fairies!

    Also, they make a foam form which is initially soft, but hardens to encase your back/chest. They will use this each visit only for you...It is designed to again make sure the xray goes directly to the tumor area.

    After that visit, you will spend more time on the road then you will for the treatment. (I am assuming you are going to have the 35 or so treatments and not the one which is done with two visits per day for a week. Correct?)

    I want to advise you that YOU be the best advocate for how your breast is reacting! Keep a close watch for any changes, especially a sun burn effect. Should you notice anything, make sure you bring it to the doctor's attention IMMEDIATELY! Most docs are very watchful over us, but once in a while they slip up and we must make sure that we let them know of changes. If any serious burn is beginning, chances are great they will curtail the tx for a while until your skin heals.

    You will be given creams and lotions to use. Be very careful of using anything (including deodorant) before a tx!! It can block the rays! Pure aloe is usually a good one that is prescribed.

    I had no real tiredness the entire time...Some have had a little but a nap usually took care of that. As far as I know, most everyone kept on with normal activities during the tx.

    If I've not answered a question you have, please post. One of us will make sure we are there for you!

    Blessings. Rachael
    suert responded:
    Hey everyone- I went to my surgeon on Tuesday and good news from path the margins were clear. I had my first appt with medical oncologist and she explained everything with me. We will be doing rad treatments for 5 weeks, so I will get 25 treatments. I hope that will do it for me. She mentioned tamoxifen after treatments what do you guys recommend. I see the rad oncologist next Tues to set up time and so forth. I will be starting back to work next week after being off for 8 weeks. I will be glad to go back to work. I will be doing partime, I need to get my strength back after surgery and other problems. I have lost 29 lbs from stress and not eating, sleeping and so forth. I am taking ambien which has a helpful. I finally can get some sleep. Will keep you posted on my condition. They said they caught mine early, I was one of the lucky ones. Remember to get yearly mammograms to keep up to date. If we all got yearly mammograms, cancer would not be as bad is caught early. Sue I had an emotional breakdown on Sunday with my daughter leaving for college and me worried about the path report. I am feeling less stress now. Thanks for all your input. It has helped alot. Praise God. Sue
    retaccount responded:
    Hi Sue, my name is Joann. I had surgery similar to yours in February of this year followed by 33 radiation treatments. Radiation was no hassle whatsoever for me with no side effects! I focused on eating correctly, staying active and had a positive mental approach throughout the treatments. The nurses supplied ample ointments to help the skin with sensitivity which I highly recommend using as directed. The skin turned red similar to a moderate sunburn but very little discomfort. I had an Oncotype DX test done on the tumor that indicated chemo treatments were not necessary. I had my 6 month diagnostic mammogram a couple weeks ago and no sign of cancer!!

    My advice is to approach radiation with a positive outlook and follow the directions given to you and you will be fine! Good luck and keep us posted!!
    suert responded:
    Hi Joann-- Thanks for your input. I have been reading some of the other posts that the girls said. Some have had bad reaction to rad tx. I found out I have to do 6 weeks of tx and then the boost. I am kind of nervous about starting tx now from what the other girls said. I go to my rad onc. on Thursday for a CT scan and to get marked up. I guess I will start tx next week. I am just starting back to work from the surgery 3 weeks ago. I start tomorrow, now I wonder if I will have bad reaction from rad tx. and loose some more work. I hope I will be able to work through the rad tx. How long into tx will the redness start. I was told about 3 weeks. I will think positive about this whole thing. Wish me luck and keep me in yours prayers. Sue
    SYOKPL responded:
    Hi, I was newly diagnosed as well. I have an appt with another doctor next week for a second opinion and because I didn't like the doctor I went to first. Apparently I have DCIS but I am not sure if it is invasive or not or if I would know this at this time. There is so much to absord. I am also a single mom, I have yet to tell my son, this is his first year of HS and he is already stressed about that.

    I am leaning towards a mastectomy so I won't have to do radiation. It will be hard for me to get someone to drive me to radiation treatments. Can someone answer how long you are off work if you have a mastectomy?
    mimi2290 responded:
    DCIS is not invasive. It stands for Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, meaning it is confined to the duct. When it is invasive it is called IDC or Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. If they have told you you have DCIS, it is non-invasive or has not spread beyond the duct. Sounds like this was caught very early.
    SYOKPL responded:
    Really, I was reading where it could become invasive even though it is DCIS. I don't know, there is so much information!

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