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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 04:14 PM
Original message
Just diagnosed with very early breast cancer
Edited on Fri Oct-30-09 04:15 PM by shrike
THe tumor's 1 centimeter, low-grade, slow-growing, etc. Found on a mammogram. The radiologist was very encouraging, but my emotions have been all over the place ever since. I have an appt with a surgeon on Monday.

The worst part, I suppose, is that my husband had a very severe health crisis this past year. He's doing much better now, the crisis is past, but I don't know if I have the emotional reserves to get ME through this. It took everything I had to get us through this past year. And I know he's scared to death, even though he won't admit it.

On Monday, I'm also going to do what I can to get into a support group. I've always been the Lone Range type before, a lot of emotional reserves, but I think it may be time to change strategies. Anybody who reads this, thanks for listening.

P.S., I don't mean to whine or be a baby about this, since I know folks on this board are going through much worse times. But I needed a place to vent.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-31-09 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. You're not whining or being a baby about this. It's cancer, not a hangnail.
This stage you're in is the worst part because you really have just the diagnosis to go on and no other info, so your mind naturally plays out every scenario it can think of, and our minds can think of a lot of them, mostly scary. Once you talk to the surgeon and others and get more information and a game plan moving ahead it becomes a little easier to deal with, and you feel like you have some measure of control instead of the other way around.

The fact that the tumor itself is so small is encouraging. That's about as small as they get while actually being detectable, so as scary as it is I would feel very positive about the treatments working for you. It sounds like this was caught very early, and that makes a huge difference.

My mother had breast cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes already. That was seven years ago now, and as of last year she was considered cancer free. If she can make it after being diagnosed so late in the cancer's progression then I know you'll get through this.

Best wishes to you and your husband, and come down here and vent away as needed. :hug:
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-31-09 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thank you so much
I had to come back and edit my post because I felt so foolish, with all the troubles people are dealing with in this group. The radiologist who did the initial diagnosis was talking in terms of twenty year survival rates. But you hit the nail on the head: my brain is running through all sorts of scenarios.

I'm so happy you still have your mom with you. I feel so blessed to have my husband doing well and by my side; I told him last night I couldn't imagine going through this alone.

Thanks again, and back at 'cha: :hug:
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-03-09 07:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. You do have the strength
and you will get through it.
It's not whining, your scared and want some support. Finding a support group is great idea.

1-800-4Cancer can help you get answers
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast

Good luck
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thank you so very much for your kind words
I will investigate your link. I was also referred to the Cancer Resource Center in our town. They have a lending library and everything, info on nutrition, classes, etc.

I feel much more in control.
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. you aren't whining or imposing on anyone
Edited on Mon Dec-07-09 11:38 PM by noiretextatique
been there, my friend :hug: you have a relatively small tumor, so you are going to be fine. in some ways, accepting that i was okay, after a lumpectomy and radiation, was harder than the diagnosis. support is a must, even for us loner types.
here's a resource that i found invaluable:
www.breastcancer.org

there is a wealth of information there, including discussion groups and chat rooms. when i was waiting...and waiting...and waiting for test results, i would go to the chat room and let our my fears and frustrations.
the women (and men) there are a great resource and offer wonderful support.

:hug: hang in there, and keep us posted.
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-03-10 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Feel like I've been let out of jail
A rather late reply to you:

Although the tumor turned out to be slightly larger than expected -- 2.1 at its largest point, not 1.0 -- everything else turned out to be positive news. No lymph node involvement, no vascular invasion, grade 1 tumor.

Then came the icing on the cake: my Oncotype score is 12. I would get zero benefit from chemo, so onc didn't recommend it -- and I accepted her recommendation. It's hormone therapy only, and so far, so good.

My surgeon recommended a mastectomy because I was SO small-breasted (a small A). On a hunch, I decided to go for a bilateral, and am glad I did. The lab reports on the "prophylactic" side came back with all sorts of funky things: atypical ductal hyperplasia, etc. A couple people who analyzed it told me bluntly that I'd have been back in a few years, it would have been only a matter of time.

Despite some bumps in the road I ended up with a terrific onc and a wonderful plastic surgeon. My onc is one of the best in the area -- I stumbled upon her -- and it was kind of neat to see how happy she was; it must be nice to give someone good news. And my ps is everything I thought he wouldn't be: compassionate, caring, almost fatherly. (I was expecting a Hollywood type, gold chains, fast cars. Then again, he's a specialist in breast reconstruction, so maybe that's why.)

Never intended to join this club, but nobody does. Let's hope we both go on to live the best lives we can.

Carpe Diem. :)
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Redbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-12-10 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Glad things have gone so well for you.
Carpe Diem, indeed.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-01-10 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Good for you and glad it all worked out well.
:)
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-10 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. sorry for my very, very late reponse
:woohoo: :party: i am so relieved that you got through this ordeal. take good care :hi:
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thanks, noiretextatique
Things sure look different on the other side of the tunnel, don't they?

I mostly come to DU these days to post in Cancer Support; nice group of people here.
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-13-10 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. there is defintely light and life after the tunnel
almost three years now for me. i am taking femera and i still recovering from the radiation, but i am thankful my brush with cancer left me relatively unscathed. there are some very nice people in the club that no one wants to join :hi:
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Uben Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-01-10 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
8. My wife had the same thing 8 yrs ago
Surgery, reconstruction, no chemo, no radiation (her choice). 8 yrs and she's healthy as an ox! She found a lot of solace on BCANS,a breast cancer forum. There are folks there that can answer questions and relate their experiences. Good group.
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-03-10 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Thank you
Schedule-wise, local, face-to-face support groups don't work out for me. I already frequent breast cancer.org, but I'll check out BCANS, too.

All the best to you and your wife. May you have many more years together.
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K8-EEE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-10 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
14. My mom had similar last year, is cancer free now!
I'm happy she, and you, found it early! HUGS!!
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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-26-10 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. So pleased your mom is doing well
Since my diagnosis I have met a number of survivors who are ten, fifteen, twenty years out. So now the challenge is "a life well-lived," as another post on this forum puts it.
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Liberty Belle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-20-10 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
16. I had 2 friends with breast cancer. I think their attitudes had a big part to do with their outcomes

One did everything wrong -- refused to quit smoking or drinking heavily, refused her husband's pleas to eat healthy or exercise or consider anything like vitamins or supplements. She did chemo and radiation, beat it for 5 years, but ultimately was an alcoholic with emphysema when the cancer came back and she lost her battle.


The other friend is doing great, fully recovered and in remission. Her breast cancer came at the worst possible time, like yours. Her husband had just been in a bad accident, had almost died, and was still in a wheelchair. They wound up getting a friend who is a comedienne to move in and take care of them both for a couple of months -- tough to be deprsesed when someone keeps cracking jokes! Her husband was very supportive. She had surgery and chemo, but as I recall, passed on radiation. When she lost her hair from chemo her husband shaved his head too and they hosted a Halloween party dressed as Hare Krishnas! She got reconstructive surgery right away to restore her figure (unlike my first friend, who didn't and always felt self-conscious about her looks). She's now the picture of health, ever upbeat, and her husband has recovered so fully that he's now running for City Council.

My aunt had breast cancer, too, and she's survived it for decades now. She's always been a cheerful and happy person. so think positive, be as healthy as you can otherwise, and good luck!

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shrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-21-10 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Thanks. I'm sorry to hear about your one friend, and happy to hear about the other
I love the story about the Halloween Hare Krishnas.

The reconstructive surgery does help, actually; makes you feel like you're putting the cancer behind you. A woman on a message board I frequent says that her surgery gave her two new breasts and a tummy tuck, since tissue was taken from her abdomen to create the breasts. She jokes, "if I don't die, this'll actually be worth it."

Keeping upbeat and positive does help you follow through with all the tasks you have to do, to stay healthy. Continued good luck to your friend.
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