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hagelgans
Posts: 18
Joined: May 2002

Hello fellow comrades! I was diagnosed with Advanced StageIII breast cancer Dec. of 1998.
I had 4 round of 2 kinds of chemo, a lumpectomy (when they found a 2nd kind of cancer in the breast), a mastectomy, a stem cell transplant & 7 weeks of radiation. I've been out of transplant 2 1/2 years now praise God! It's so amazing that every week I hear of at least one other person who's just been diagnosed with cancer. I see an oncologist every 4 months - when I was there in April, I had asked a statistic question - the phys. asst. made the comment, it's not a matter of 'if' your cancer comes back, it's 'when' your cancer comes back. I'm trying to keep things in perspective, but I sure wish she had never made that comment!
I'm trying to take one day at a time just like the rest of you.
Melody Hagelgans

nocarb1
Posts: 99
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi there,
Welcome this is a wonderful place!! First of all you need to remember your onc or the asst, does not really know that. They may go by stastics for a a base, but they have no idea if its going to rear its ugly head or not. There are many survivors out there that were given little time to live and they are here and healthy many years later. I think we all have to be realistic in the fact that yes it could return, but not living our lives trying to focus on that. We are all survivors and intend to stay that way!! :):) I hope you have a wonderful day!!
Carlye

hagelgans
Posts: 18
Joined: May 2002

Thank you for your words of encouragement.
Melody

jeancmici
Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

>> it's not a matter of 'if' your cancer comes back, it's 'when' your cancer comes back.

There's no doubt that State III is serious, but so much for optimism - and thoughtlessness - from the physician's assistant.

If you live to age 99, I'll bet you will see a return of cancer. Often the statement has been made that every woman will get breast cancer if she lives long enough.

So I'd just go with the hope that everything will be all right for a LONG time - and heck! mets can be treated too.

Tell her what you thought of her statement - some people need help in communicating!!!

My best wishes,
Jean

hagelgans
Posts: 18
Joined: May 2002

Hi Jean. Thanks for the helpful words - I do try to keep the thought of my cancer returning out of my mind. When it rears its head, I think about what another dr. said - if my cancer returns, I will be an automatic Stage IV. Scary. I've thought about telling the onc what the PA said, but she is really sweet and I don't want to get her in trouble. Talk to you later, Melody

banker
Posts: 321
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Melody, looks like you have been thru the mill, God bless you for your courage. That Phy.Asst. should not have made that comment. We all face reality but a little tact is always welcome. I would mention it to my doctor if I were you. I have just been diagnosed again with BC. It did not come back,it is a new cancer in the other breast which is again different. So I say the heck with all the statistics, cause acording to them I should not even have BC. Like you I deal with it one day at a time. Hang in there, God bless you, I will keep you in my prayers. Emmi

hagelgans
Posts: 18
Joined: May 2002

Hi Emmi - sounds like you've been, & are going, through the mill as well. Thank you for your prayers - you will be in mine as well. Prayer works miracles. Melody

shirlann
Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

Hi, Melody, That infor is totally wrong! the only time "when" is more certain is with metastases. Even then, many women live for years and years. My mom's best friend is 47 years post double mastectomy, she is 92 and doing fine, Remember, Betty Ford and Happy Rockefeller BOTH, President's wife & Vice-Presidents's wives had breast cancer 35 years ago. Betty is now well into her 80's. That was just not true information. Get Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book on line at Borders.com or Amazon.com and you will see many great info spots for us. If you go 5 years, you have an 80% chance of NO recurrence or metastases. Whoever told you that info was dead wrong. Hugs ans kisses from your sister, Shirlann

hagelgans
Posts: 18
Joined: May 2002

Thank you Shirlann for your words of encouragement. I'm sure the Lord allows hard times into our lives sometimes so we can uplift others going through the same.
Melody

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

Well Melody you can be sure of only two things that is that our alive cause you are breathing and then you stop, breathing that is that is for sure in our lives. I think the one thing women forget is once you have cancer your risks are even higher now than they were before cancer. Not only that but risks for other cancers goes up as well. Most of the time we don't think about that.
I too was stage 3,
Tara

hagelgans
Posts: 18
Joined: May 2002

Hi Tara, You're right in what you said - if I were to dwell on the return of cancer, I would be a basket case.
I don't know what tomorrow will bring, but I know how holds tomorrow.
Thanks, Melody

bullfrog13's picture
bullfrog13
Posts: 216
Joined: Apr 2002

Melody.. been there.. i was told not a matter of "if" but a matter of "where and when" That sucked..and i think about it everday.. evertime i have a ache or pain or a bruce that stays for what i think is to long.... I also had a large tumor in left breast stage III with two nodes infected----well be on chemo for at least 4 more months... I just want to be "NORMAL" again someday... but have no clue how sometimes...

Good luck... lets chat someday.. email me at ribbitfrog13@icqmail.com and we can make a ''chat date''

hagelgans
Posts: 18
Joined: May 2002

Hi - thanks for your message. I know you're going through a tough time but at least you're reaching out to others for suppport - that's important. When were you diagnosed? The tumor board decided to not even check my lymph nodes - said they knew they were involved to a large degree anyway. I'm 2 1/2 yrs out of transplant & I'm still here and thankfully at my last checkup everything still looked good. Everytime I get a new pain I wonder too but the longer you're out of treatment, the easier it gets. I'm in the process of getting my baby shots again - a stem cell transplant wipes out your entire immune system. Fun!!! Take care. Melody

nasa2537
Posts: 317
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Melody...welcome to our group! It is sad when we see so many new diagnoses, isn't it? And just think, for all the new ladies that do find this site, there are so many more who are diagnosed that we don't even know about. My first rude awakening was the Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure. I have never seen so many pink shirts and hats! I cannot believe the physician's asst. said that to you. That is an awful thing to say. If they don't know exactly what causes our cancer, how can they know if it will come back? I would have smacked the person!!! You just keep your spirits up, live every day to the fullest with a positive attitude, and you'll do just fine. I nwill pray that recurrence will not be in your vocabulary. While we all have that thought in the back of our minds, it's not fair for someone to come out and say it will be back, when no one knows. Stick with us and you'll get all the support you need! Need to chat? E-mail any time. Cyndi
miilionairs2@aol.com

lemon
Posts: 11
Joined: Apr 2002

I was also diagnosed on 12/98.Stage 111b 5cm with the nodes also invited to the party. You know there are no rules. Everyday I wake up I get great joy in the fact I am messing up their stats. Hope we all keep on doing just that. Best of Luck.Just for spite lets mess up their records.Set new standards give others more hope.I can be a bad girl that way.

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