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nsepic
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2000

Hello

I am new to the network and just sign on today. I have read many of your messages and am looking forward to hearing from you. On October 15th it will be one year since my last treatment. On October 9th I will be going to the doctor for my 3rd 3 month check up. I have actually been feeling very good. My hair is back to a length I can style and my energy level is almost back to normal. For months I have been so busy I have not thought much about my cancer at least not in a worried fashion, but all of a sudden in this past couple of weeks I have been doing nothing but thinking about how I would handle things if my cancer was to return. Is there anyone out there that is a year or two out from there treatment that has dealt with these moments/hours of fear?

I would also like to talk to anyone who has had reconstruction. I am still in the process of wondering if this is something I would like to do. I would like to here from anyone with some advice on this subject.

I have also noticed in the discussion group that there seems to be many people who are able to take tamoxifin. I had stage 2b cancer and it was estrogen negative which can not be treated by tamoxifin. I was very lucky to live in a community that has an outstanding reputation for cancer treatment. None of the doctors could even feel the lump in my breast. I had a tingling feeling in my left breast and I can not explain why but I felt like there was something wrong. When I called my doctors office and ask if I could have my yearly mamogram moved up the nurse took me seriously and scheduled an appointment right away. When they found something on the mamogram I was ask to come in right away. A second mamogram was taken and on the same day an eltrasound and a biopsy. Three days later my doctor called to tell me I had a small cancerous tumor and would need to have a lumpectomy. A week later I was in surgery everyone believing that I had one very small lump. During my surgery they found another tumor behind the tumor that was found on the mamogram and 6 lymphnodes had cancer in them. My cancer was a fast growing cancer and my family doctor tells me that I am alive today because I trusted my own instincts and the doctors all followed through. He told me that my tumor looked so small on the mamogram that some doctors would tell you to watch it for a while to see if it was going to grow.

I guess I tell this story because I have realized how important it is to believe you know your body better than anyone else and you have the right to insist on the best care possible.

I am looking forward to hearing from anyone who is interested in writting me.

Nancy

murphy
Posts: 45
Joined: Sep 2000

Hi Nancy, Welcome to CSN, I think you will meet some wonderful people here, I am sort of new here too and I think it is great. Let me wish you all the best in your next app. You asked if anyone else experienced "the fear" well, yes I have. It has been 8 months since my last chemo treatment and like you I feel great, I have had a very active summer and sometimes I almost forget that I had cancer but always before each appointment I feel the same way you described, I think we probably all do. I had a modified masectomy in July of 99 and I also think about reconstruction but not sure yet weather it is for me, it is hard for me to get past the thought of more surgery so until I am over that hurdle I can't be of much help to anyone else but I hope you get some feedback from some of the others, if you notice in the discussion area there a several woman who have had it. I will be happy to keep intouch if you want. All my best wishes to you. Murphy

maggie's picture
maggie
Posts: 77
Joined: Sep 2000

Hi Nancy! I'm Maggie. I am also new to the network. I took my last chemo treatment on Dec. 10,1999 and my last radition in March. I feel the same way you do everytime I go for a checkup. I just went Wed. for my 3rd 3 month checkup. It was clear. I had a mastectomy in Aug. 1999 with reconstrive surgery and lymph nodes removed. Out of 17 removed 13 show cancer in them. I was not sure about having the reconstruction the same day, but I have not had any trouble from it. I had the surgery, where they cut my back and used that muscle to pull around to the front and then a expander. I went back in Dec. and had the expander removed and a implant put in. I had a great plastic surgeron. I check the discussion everyday and I would be glad to keep in touch. Maggie

denise
Posts: 11
Joined: Aug 2000

Hi, I am one year+ from my last treatment and I've had a lot of the same feelings/fears at times. Somedays I get through the day without a single worry and somedays it scares me to tears. I'm also almost finished with my reconstruction! I have to tell you it was one of the best things that I decided to do. It gave me some control back and it is so good to look in the mirror and not flinch. If I may say this, it's improved my sexual relations with my husband. He didn't mind but I did. It was a mental fatigue to me, I am totally glad I had reconstucion surgery. I also had my other breast removed and reconstruction on it at the same time. Whatever you decide will be the right thing for YOU, so think about it and do only what your heart tells you to do. God Bless and the best of all He offers. Denise

nancys
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2000

Hi Nancy, I'm Nancy too. We share a great name, I have always liked my name. My brother plays music and he has always called me "Nancy with the smiling face" (the old Sinatra tune he wrote for his daughter). You mentioned a tingling in your breast....I had that too. Little fine tingle pains that would go toward the nipple on my breast, nothing serious, but I was aware of it. More noticable at night, in bed, when I was relaxed. You made a very intelligent decision to follow up on your instincts. I think your feelings of trepidation before your check up is very common. We are only human and our imaginations and fears are always present. You have every right to be anxious, but just keep reading positive information, keep doing all the instructions for prevention ( eating, exercising and staying cheerful) I am going to participate in a study here in Kansas City, at Kansas University, to track my feelings, before therapy, during therapy and afterward. The study is to find out if we need psychological support when treatment is finished. Just as your post suggested, we remain fearful and maybe some support or counseling would help us through the after cancer period. This CSN is a great network of women sharing and encouraging one another, stay with all of us and we will go hand in hand through this difficult time, Your new Friend, Nancy Sims

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