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Advice/hope please: young with mets

tracyysc
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2001

I am 34 years old. I was diagnosed at the age of 32 with BC. I had mastectomy with axillary node dissection. Depending upon the pathologist you ask, I had either 1 2 of 13 nodes positive. I was not ER, PR or Her2. I had 4 cycles AC and 4 cycles Taxol. I finished my treatment this past January 2001.

Now, barely 10 months later, I have a regional recurrence: nodes in the supraclavicular. My scans and x-rays are otherwise clean. I am awaiting the hormone receptor status. (I am hoping I am now ER+, of course.)

I am -- flat out -- terrified. If I failed ACT, what else could there possibly be for me that will have a lasting impact on my disease? I am frightened that I will go through chemo again -- and likely radiation, too -- only to find myself with an even shorter remission.

I have a two year old son, and I NEED TO LIVE FOR HIM.

WHere are these promising new agents? p53 vaccine? genetic agents? I need them now?

I'm frightened ladies. Am a fighting a battle I am destined to lose?

Tracy

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

You must know that reading the posts here Tracy, there is plenty of hope. Fear is the force in our lives that we must come to terms with. Those of us who have had problems have a hard time letting it go. In fact that very thing sometimes keeps us stuck in the disease.
I truly believe finding that place where you truly know what you have control over and what you do not. We soon become kinder and gentler to ourselves not always trying to find reasons, WHY?
One step at a time, have to calm the mind.
Be good to yourself first,
Tara

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

Tracey..No, you are not fighting a battle which you are destined to lose! there are ever-changing treatments for breast cancer..the cancer in which there have been the greatest strides in survival. Breast cancer is no longer a death sentence. I know you are frightened. I found the answer to my fears is knowledge. Once I knew everything there was to know about my cancer I felt much more in control. Right now, I am awaiting results on a biopsy for the uterus, having only finished breast cancer treatmentin June of this year. I got on the net, found out everything I could about it, and feel much better, not because the prognosis is better than i thought, but because i now know. Your little boy doesnt need a mum who is shaking in her boots.This is a process you are going through, with every expectation you will come out the other end! Be an active participant in your treatment, but try not to let the cancer become the focal point of your life. My very best wishes for a good day go out to you...just deal with today, tracey, dont try to deal with next month, or next year. I have a vase which has a saying on it. 'Don't burden today's strengths with tomorrow's loads' Have a great day. I plan to!! Susan in Canada

bcs
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2003

hi i am a 6 year battler with breast now with mets.. be your own best friend...be possitive..be resourceful...get information and talk with you doctor.. try new things.. and live each day to the fullest... you can survive...a wise oncology worker told me..think of your meds as the old pac-man..going in and munching up all those cancer cells..picture the med doing that..drink lots of pure water and pee out all the eaten up cells... it sounds corny, but it can be mind over matter... it helps your body do what it needs.. i've been there..still am...i'm taking herceptin iv weekly... email we'll talk deb-jb@groundhog.net

ktinkey
Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2001

Tracy,

Your greatest enemy is not the cancer, it is FEAR. Cancer can be cured, but only you can conquer your fear. And fear is a mighty enemy. Fear has to be battled everyday and sometimes every minute or second. Speak to your fear and your cancer. I know it sounds stupid, but it works. Tell the cancer it can not abide in your body and tell fear you will not let it rule your life. Find someone you can talk to about your fears. They are real, but you can win. We are all pulling for you and praying. On this site are many women who are winning the battle against breast cancer. I had a recurrence Nov 98. Stage IV. The onclogist didn't give me much hope. Told me to go home and enjoy my holidays, they would be my last. Praise God, three years later I am still here and celebrating!! I refused to listen to the negative and only focused on the positive and God's promises in the Bible. He made us and He can fix us when we are broken. Resist the fear. You're right, your little boy needs his mommy, so be strong for him and yourself. Take each moment and savor it. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Faith is little steps each day that bring us down the road to our destination. Fight the good fight. Don't give up. We are here to be your cheering squad. We care.

I like this phrase a friend of mine uses, "God answers knee-mail". Talk with Him and anyone else who will listen. I believe knowledge is powerful too. Fear exists in what we don't know, more than in what we know.

Take care. I will be praying for you.

God Bless,
Kathy

loulou
Posts: 66
Joined: Sep 2000

Tracy, I agree with Kathy, just live your life like you did before you were diagnosed. Tell your body that you are no longer going to be sick, or are you going to be afraid. I'm sure that sounds crazy, but you will feel better. Fear will make you sick. Believe in yourself, see yourself well and keep telling yourself that you are healthier and healthier everyday.

God Bless,
loulou

tiger
Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

Tracy, first of all, fear is natural and ok, just dont give in to it. I just turned 30 when I was diagnosed with bc, with mets to my liver, I thought at that moment that I was going to die and I cried for three months. my sons at the time were 2 and 7, I have been doing chemo for the past two years without a break. The liver tumours keep growing, but I keep getting stronger and stubborner!! I am Her2 +, ER-, which means that my cancer is a quicker growing form. Scary if I stop to think about it, but I dont. I just keep going about my life as if nothing were wrong, and some of the ladies on here can tell you that I dont look like a person with cancer. It is definately not a death sentance. There are ladies out here who have it pretty bad, but are beautiful, vital, strong women with the will to fight. Your son is too young for you to be stressed out, and stress will not help your situation. It's like I told my parents , who were devastated when I told them, you can cry now, but I dont want to see anymore tears or long faces, I need strength and laughter around me. crying is not going to get rid of the cancer, but laughter will go a long way to helping me fight my battle.
Stay strong, allow friends and family to help, it will be easier for you, and believe me, they WANT to help, it took me along time to be able to let someone help me, but when I saw how good it made them feel, I am letting more people assist.
Smell the fresh air, put your face to the sun and Thank God for each day you are able to wake up and keep fighting. Like I said in an earlier post, the poor people of Sept 11 might have had a fight with a spouse before going to work, and bam, before you know it, they are gone, no time to make up or say "I love you" just one more time.
We have been given a blessing in disguise, lets use it to our advantage. Kick some cancer ass and let us help you on your journey. We love, laugh and understand each other, so cry on our shoulders when you feel the need or share your funny stories. We are always here.

my love and many hugs to you
Tiger

cruf
Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Tracy! I just want to add that you have just received love from some of the bravest woman I've ever spoken too. They've all been(are) fighting this Beast and winning. BC is very scarey, but with all the new medicines and other treatments, it can be beat! Think positively! Keep Fighting! You have a great reason to win the battle,not only for your baby and husband and family,most of all for YOU! Keep up the fight. Talk to us whenever you want . We're all here! HAPPY HOLIDAYS! HUGS!! Cathy

bdean
Posts: 262
Joined: Feb 2001

Dear Tracy:
Hey now, you can't win if you believe you are already defeated. Think positive, believe positively, and stay strong in your faith! God bless you.
With prayers, Brenda

maud
Posts: 183
Joined: Nov 2001

Tracy
My thoughts and prayers are with you as are all that are on this net work. Please don't think that you are fighting a battle you can't win. There are many people praying for you and cheering you on. You can beat this I know you can. You take good care of you and keep us posted.
God Bless You Debbie

inkblot
Posts: 705
Joined: Jul 2001

Hi Tracy:

I understand your being frightened. It can
be a terrifying time. Yet, we each have the
power within us to get the fear under control. Once we have accomplished this, we
can then move on to making our treatment decisions and go forward in healing our spirit, as the medical treatment addresses our cancer.

There have been many good suggestions made here for getting there. You must find the
method which works best for you and focus on
it. Get yourself educated by visiting reliable, reputable websites (nci.nih.gov for
example). Find out the latest approaches to
regional recurrence. Discuss everything with
your doctor and ask lots of questions to get
clarification on anything you are concerned about or don't understand. This will help you decide on which treatment you prefer.

That settled, you can to begin to deal with
emotional/spiritual issues. This is where you can find peace and perspective. There are many good books out there which can help you. As may talking with a counselor, minister, etc.. You may want to try meditation, Yoga, etc. too.

You also need to address nutritional needs. Our bodies' immune system needs all the help we can give it! If we are stressed out all the time and not eating well, then our immune system is compromised and cannot
attack cancer cells and help us in our efforts to get back to good health.

I'd like to share with you that I know quite
a few women who've had mets, following their
initial diagnosis and treatment,and they're still here, years later and doing well. As far as mets go, as I understand it, a local
or regional recurrence carries a better prognosis than if mets occurred elsewhere in the body. I know a lady, in her late 50's now, who had bc in her 30's. Had treatment and did well for two years and then had mets
to her lungs. She had surgery, where part of her lung was removed, and radiation and that was that. She's been healthy ever since. There are so many positive stories around, Tracy. How could you possibly believe that you are destined to lose??? There are many options for you, medically, but all the rest is up to you. I personally believe that our attitudes exert a direct effect upon how well our treatment works and how well we feel. You may want to think about joining a local support group too. Open yourself up to share all the amazing stories of women who simply refused to give up and won!!! There's so much inspiration and strength in that. Surround yourself with positive thinking people. Even if loved one's are negative, then you have to distance yourself from them as well. THIS IS YOUR LIFE, HERE. There is no time for
fooling around with poor attitudes, from anyone. You can always go back and deal with those people later on. While you're fighting with every fiber of your being, you
need all your energy and resources for YOU.

You have the power within yourself and I know
you'll discover it and nurture it.

On this site, we come just as we are. Good
day, bad day, high, low, angry, frustrated,
feeling sorry for ourselves, whatever. Overall, we come to gain strength and to help
others find it. This is part of our FIGHT.
We've a mountain to climb and though we may falter, our sisters will catch us and hold us and help us find our upward path again. We all find the "way" that is right for us.
The best thing is knowing that we are never
alone.

Love your wonderful little son, love your family, but most importantly, love yourself and do all that you can to take the best possible care of your total self. Medicine can work miracles but the power within ourselves can work even more of them! If we're going to fight then we must fight to win, all the way.

I wish you the best and hope you'll keep us
posted.

Love, light and laughter,
Inkblot

pamtriggs's picture
pamtriggs
Posts: 408
Joined: Sep 2000

Dear Tracy
If you live with fear you die a thousand deaths before you have to. Fear is your greatest enemy in this fight. We all have our days when the fear gets to us but we have to kick it in the butt & tell ourselves we are not going to let this BC defeat us. Listen to Tiger. She kicks butt everyday & should have been dead long ago but she won't let it beat her. No one is going to tell her when to die. She is my strongest ally in my fight. I had initial BC at age 35 (20 + years ago) & now have mets to most bones from neck to femurs. I had lung mets too but treatment has kicked them into touch. I am currently on second type of chemo after many hormone treatments & adriamycin. I intend to still be here when my 6 year old grandson graduates from college. I too had young children when first diagmosed & they were the reason to fight. So find out all you can & you will find knowledge is the key to conquering the fear. Remember we are always here for you to help & pray & comiserate & often to laugh & cry with you. Good luck in your fight.

Love Pam

marilyng
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2001

Tracy,

I was diagnosed at age 30, had bi-lateral masectomies and chemo twenty years ago this January.

Given my family history, the statistic books said I shouldn't have made it past 33.

The moral is, there is always hope because you are unique. Take each day, one step at a time and make every minute count - when I was diagnosed, I decided I could waste time worrying about things over which I had no control, or become an active advocate in my healing process and use that time enjoying life and making every minute count.

Advances in treatment is ongoing and thank God you have many more options, advantages and possibilities available to you today.

My prayers and wishes are with you..
Marilyn

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