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negative nodes & chemo

cnsal
Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2001

Hi everyone,its Ann again.
My surgeon told me yesterday that I had 8 nodes removed last week with my mastectomy. All were negative. I was so relieved. BUT, she said they found another 0.6cm tumor in the removed breast tissue. They already took out an 0.8 cm tumor during the surgical biopsy. I don't have the path report yet, and the appointment with the oncology will be another 10 days. I am really scared now. If the size adds up, it means 0.8+0.6, the tumor is 1.4cm. Doest that mean chemo is most likely ? Besides this tumor, i have extensive DCIS. My cancer is low grade, grade 1, and ER and PR positive. I just hope and pray that they won't tell me to have chemo as the nodes are all negative.
whats your experience ? anyone with nodes negative but still goes through chemo ?

btw, my chest is till very uncomfortable, and the underarm area is very sore. Its just 1 week, i know it will get better.
However, there is an area in the inside of my upper arm, that is very painful to touch. Is this normal ? I don't have any swallon, but that part really hurts when i touches it. Will this get better over time ?

Sorry to ask you so many question, i really need to talk this out.

love to you all.

Ann.

cruf
Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Ann. I'm Cathy! I had DCIS in Sept. Initially,only had lumpectomy,but they found through pathology,my lateral margin wasn't clear so I had a mastectomy with immed. recon. DCIS in itself is noninvasive so chemo wasn't needed. I also didn't need radiation because they did the full mastectomy. I'm also Estrogen pos. so I'm taking Tamoxifin for 5 years. So far, I've had no problems except HOT FLASHES,which are much less and less frequent,as well as now going through menopause from the Tamox.(I"M 49 and had been noticing changes prior to the meds).As far as pain and tenderness, you'll be uncomfortable for a few weeks but should be better every day. Watch for redness,heat swelling discharge etc. These are signs of infection and should be Rx'd immed.You're probably just experiencing postop pain. Good luck at your next MD visit. Keep in touch! Cathy

blackbandana
Posts: 65
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi Ann, my story is that I was first dx with DCIS (June 00) and had a mastectomy (Aug 00), which actually turned out to be stage I breast cancer. My onc said that I had to do 4 cycles of A/C, but before I started treatment I wanted to be 100% sure it wasn't in my nodes (two were taken when I had the mastectomy and were negative). Had another 16 taken and guess what.....it was discovered that 2 nodes were positive and then I had to add Taxol to my treatment. The reason I am telling you this, is that don't be surprised if you do have to have chemo, the fact that the DCIS was extensive might affect the outcome. But know this, whatever your treatment you will be fine at the end of your treatment and remember a positive attitude is really the key... take care and I will be thinking of you.

maestro099
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2001

What are the side effects of lymph removal? Doctor says there is numbness in the arms and chance of lymph buildup. What has been your experience? Did your arm regain the strength after operation?

blackbandana
Posts: 65
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi Ann, my story is that I was first dx with DCIS (June 00) and had a mastectomy (Aug 00), which actually turned out to be stage I breast cancer. My onc said that I had to do 4 cycles of A/C, but before I started treatment I wanted to be 100% sure it wasn't in my nodes (two were taken when I had the mastectomy and were negative). Had another 16 taken and guess what.....it was discovered that 2 nodes were positive and then I had to add Taxol to my treatment. The reason I am telling you this, is that don't be surprised if you do have to have chemo, the fact that the DCIS was extensive might affect the outcome. But know this, whatever your treatment you will be fine at the end of your treatment and remember a positive attitude is really the key... take care and I will be thinking of you.

jeancmici
Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi Ann,

Glad your surgery is over. My experience nowadays knowing people who are node negative, they still have four AC treatments. I just had my last one April 19. They were not as bad as I had thought. Because I had one node positive, I am scheduled for taxol next.

I recognize your description of the upper arm. It got better and then regressed somewhat. Does it feel like you're carrying an orange or waded up rope under your arm when your arm is down at your side? When I get an itch, the scratching doesn't help because it still feels numb. I had surgery Jan 2 and am 63 years old.

Good Luck to you and thanks for your follow-up. Always nice to know how everyone is doing.

Love, Jean

judyd
Posts: 130
Joined: Nov 2000

Hi Ann, I had a mastectomy in Dec. of 2000. I did not have to have chemo or radiation. I am on tamoxifen & so far doing fine on it. I have hot flashes abut I can tolerate those. I did not have reconstruction mainly because I just felt I couldn't deal with making a decision like that with all the other I was dealing with. I am now considering reconstruction, in fact I have an appointment with the plastic surgeon on Monday to consult with him about it. I won't do anything until Fall as I am ready to enjoy my summer, work in the yard, flower beds, etc. I am 46 years old. My husband has been very supportive & said it does not matter to him that it is my decision. It jut bothers me more than I thought it would. good luck to you. Judy

sueholm's picture
sueholm
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2000

Ann< I had the very painful to touch thing with my arm too after lumpectomy, but it soon cleared up. I am node positive so I cant answer the other. but it is interesting to read all the replies to you, because everyone in the States seems to get Taxol if nodes are positive, but here in Canada I didnt..just the four AC chemo and radiation, which will go up over the collarbone, because the one node (of three) which was malignant was very invaded and they are assuming it is in more nodes further up too. I start that radiation on MOnday. Do not despair if you have to have chemo...they are just trying to save your life! I know it is hard at first, but you will find it easier as you go along. Love Susan

cecilia
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2001

HI! Ann my name is Cecilia I'm 33years old.
I'm having a sandwich treatment. That means
first four chemo, then had my breast remove
and 14 lyphms notes also.Now my doctor tells me I need four more chemos and six weeks of radiation. The breast mass and lyphm notes are negative. I still don't understand why they giving me all this treatment if i was negative,but i remember that the cancer I have it can come back 1 to 3 years.So I rather take chemo and radiation if that's what it take for not to come back. Some people recover faster and some need more time to recover.You need four to six weeks to recover. Yes I remember when I had my operation, I had alot of pain. You need to rest and also excercise for the rest of your life. Because of the lymphs notes being remove you have to take care of your arm.You
can't pick up heavy bags. I believe the most you can pick up is 15 to 20 pounds. Also you need to eat good foods. Like fruits, vegetables, especially greens.Help you fight
cancer.Well I hope it really help answering some of your question.
Your New Friend
Cecilia

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