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HELP 27 yr old diagnosed with breast cancer!!!

luna20
Posts: 13
Joined: Mar 2002

Hi I am 27 yrs old and I was just diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma?? Anyway the initial breast surgeon who told me the news, was the worst Dr. I have ever dealt with in my life. I got rid of her, and found a good team of doctors... I guess I have a lot of questions???? The first thing s I have the cancer in my right breast, it is about 2.5 cm
I am choosing to go with the mastectomy because I am small breasted, (sometimes I wonder how anything could have made a home in there. I then think I have decided to go and take the healthy breast as well and go for a double mastectomy. I opted to have reconstruction at the time with the tissue expanders, and if anyone has any info good or bad, it is very much welcome.
The other concern I have is that at the age of 27 I would like to have kids one day, and I am afraid between chemo and Tomoxifen, that might not be possible. Also any help on that subject will be wonderful. I guess I am having a hard time because, I can't really find people that are around my age group to talk to, because I think people deal with it different at different ages..I am also estrogen+ as well as her2neu positive. The oncologist says I may be eligible for that new drug Herpecin? He also wants me to go through 6 rounds of chemo.
I am suppose to have my surgery on 4/10/02, and I was wondering if people can tell me about the pain and recovery time with a mastectomy/expanders????? I know everyone is different I would just like to here some feedback. I am also very worried about lymphadema, I am very athletic, and love to play sports, I don't want that to be taken away as well...Sorry I am rambling there is just so many questions...Thanks for listening
My prayers are with you all

apryl
Posts: 15
Joined: Apr 2001

our prayers are with you too. i can't answer the reconstruction questions as i have not yet been reconstructed, but i can help with lymphodema.
i dance and choreography plays here in the area and need my arms. i too was concerned about not being able to use my arms. it turned out that i was overly concerned. within days of surgery i was lifting my arm over my head and with time, everything returned to normal. piece of cake...just be sure to let your surgeon know that this is a huge concern of yours. when i told my surgeon she explained to me that she had never had a case of lymphodema and wouldn't allow me to the first. she also explained to me that they have discovered the more meticulously you use caution in getting the nodes around the nerves, the less chance of lymphodema. and of course afterwards, never let anyone take your blood pressure or blood from that arm. just make sure your surgeon knows your concerns. mine sure relaxed my fears. going into surgery with less fear makes all the difference...God bless you sweetie...april

nocarb1
Posts: 99
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi I am 37 years old have about exaxctly the same as you. I had a 2.2 cm tumor, node neg, er/pr pos and her-2 pos. I had a mastectomy and didnt do reconstruction at the time. I had 6 rounds of chemo, now I am doing radiation, then will follow with 6 rounds of taxol. I then may take herceptin for a year. If you would like to talk to me anytime my email addy is nocarb1@yahoo.com I would love to answer any questions you have. My thoughts and prayers are with you!!

blackbandana
Posts: 65
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi Luna20, welcome to this great site, but I'm sorry it's under these circumstances. I was diagnosed at the age of 34, I had no lump or symptoms, I just went for a baseline mammo and can I tell you that I am very glad I did. I was Stage IIb, estrogen +, her2neu+ (strong) and node positive. I had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, I did the free tram flap, being overweight for once helped me. I sometimes have pain, doctor say

comom
Posts: 46
Joined: Dec 2001

I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction last fall after being diagnosed with DCIS and LCIS. I was 37 at the time. After your surgery, you will be out of commission for at least a week. getting in an out of bed, lifting your arms, holding simple objects in your hands will be difficult. Make sure you have lots of help the first couple of weeks. I had my Mom with me the first week and my mother-in-law with me for two weeks, for a total of three weeks of help. It was a godsend.
The expanders are pretty uncomfortable so don't get too discouraged when these are in. It is difficult, if not impossible, to sleep on your side or stomach. I was pretty small before my surgery and opted to remain small. The expansion process was a breeze since I only had to go up one size after the surgery. You will probably be an A cup after the surgery. I chose silicone implants and am very happy with the results. I did not have to do chemo or radiation so I am not too sure about the fertility issues. I know some woman have opted to harvest eggs in advance. It sounds like you have made some good decisions. Keep up the positive attitude and you will get through this ordeal with flying colors! I am sure there is alot more info I can share. If you need someone to talk to, email me at tcb_co@iname.com. I would be happy to get on the phone with you for a more detailed discussion.
My prayers are with you.
Trina

momof2
Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2001

Hi there! I was diagnosed almost a year ago at the age of 24. I was a stage 2a, strongly HER2 positive, but estrogen negative. I am currently taking herceptin and in the expansion process of reconstruction. The expanders are uncomfortable, but get somewhat better, it can be painful during that time too. I only had a 2cm tumor, 1 node positive, and took 4 rounds of adrimyacin and cytoxan. I just had a hysterectomy 7 weeks ago, but already have 2 wonderful, but naughty at times children. I haven't had any trouble with lymphedema and I love to lift weights at the gym, walk, run, all kids of things like that. I had my reconstruction done in December of 01. I am going in on April 15 to have my permanent implants put in. I would love to talk with you more. I am like you, can't find anyone my age to talk with. THe women on this site are wonderful support. It has helped me so much. If you want to e-mail me at home the address is cmlamm@netins.net or you can leave me a message on the site here. Good luck with everything. You will do great! Things do get better eventually!

Take care and God Bless!

Carrie

wmiller
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2000

I know you have so many questions and fears, but you are doing the right thing by asking questions. I was diagnosed August of 99. Estrogen +, node + with a 4cm tumor. I had a mastectomy with reconstruction and 6 months later I had a hysterectomy and then 6 month after that I had the second masterctomy with reconstruction. In between these surgerys I have had two implants to go flat. I am sick of surgerys. I feel if I had it to do over again I would have had the tram and been through with it. They told me you heal faster with implants and it isn't as painful, but it is a drawn out process. I'm also athletic, or was more before surgerys, and weight gain from chemo. and tamoxifen. But I am working hard to get back to where I was before cancer. I was also told that the cancer had probably been in my body for 10 years so I was 25 when it all started. I had no Idea because I felt healthy and never sick. You have a long road ahead of you, but just take one day at a time and enjoy the good days. You will be in my prayers and I'm sure you will do just great. Hope to hear from you soon.
wmiller

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