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One of the less than 1%

TexasCharlie's picture
TexasCharlie
Posts: 74
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi, my name is Charlie and I am one of the less than 1% of those which have breast cancer that is male. Being a male, I of course can't tell you all the particulars except it expressed itself through my right nipple and started bleeding. That was why I went to the doctor. After all the tests and 3 biopsies and a port installation I am in the middle of chemo. Two down and four to go. The cancer is shrinking. From all the tests it looks like it only got as far as the ancillary lymph nodes so after all the chemo they will excise the nipple area and the lymph nodes.
My greatest strength through all this is my faith and I KNOW that my Lord will see me through this. There have been times during all of this that I have experienced the greatest peace that I have ever had after moments of intense prayer. Especially my last surgery day which turned into an experience I will never forget, the peace was so complete and deep.
The side effects of chemo have been kind of rough but the chemo has been doing it's job so I can't complain. However, I just wish it didn't make everything taste like cardboard.

New Flower
Posts: 4140
Joined: Aug 2009

Charlie welcome to the board. I wish you a very successful treatment despite all side effects from it. We are having several male survivors here I am sure they will provide insight .
Please stay connected and keep updated us on your progress
New Flower

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8504
Joined: Aug 2009

Welcome to our Group of Kindred Spirits -- both Male, and Female.

.. helpful tidbits to help with chemo, and side efforts, my Brother ...

It is so important to remain and continue hydration, water - water, and more
water. Splash in a little lemonade, cranberry juice -- or prepackaged crystal
light, or Lipton Tea. Herbal Tea's also work for a change of pace.

If you are getting the neulasta shot -- Please ask your Oncologist about taking
a benadryl -- or claritin -- which many of us === swear by -- as they help alleviate that
'just run over by a truck' aches and pains - some of us experience from the
neulasta shot.

Ask for prescriptions for nausea and vomiting -- as well as diarrhea.

Plastic silverware is a must --- to help with the metallic taste
biotin toothpaste and mouthwash is a daily essential
(available at most Target's or Wall-Mart's)

Food is subjective -- depending on your personal needs and taste buds .. What
taste good or was tolerable 1 week -- changed for me, the very next. I could not
tolerate any foods with sugar, i.e. ketchup, or cola's. Plain Pasta's, and potatoes
seem to be my main food staples. Old fashion oatmeal, also helped.

To help prevent mouth sores -- suck on ice chips during all chemo treatments.

Rest when you can, as some chemo queens/ and kings have bouts of insomnia ---

Post when you can to keep us updated.

Strength, Courage and HOPE for a Cure.

Vicki Sam

TexasCharlie's picture
TexasCharlie
Posts: 74
Joined: Nov 2012

Thanks for the advice. I don't know if I get the neulasta or not. I am getting the TCH treatment of which I only remember Herceptin is the H. I do know that by day 4 I feel like I am walking on rocks and have shin splints. I do take Benadryl at night and I'll have to try the Claritin in the daytime. I have yet to get nausea but have the drugs just in case. Texas Oncology was about as thorough in instruction as anyone could be and prepared me pretty well for what to expect. I am diabetic and had been controlling it with diet and exercise but that went out the door when my blood sugar before the last treatment was 408 so now I take Glipizide every day and have to monitor my blood sugar daily. I am thankful that I had 5 years of drug free control though.
One of the things that just makes me shake my head is, I quit drugs and alcohol 24 years ago. I quit smoking almost 4 years ago. My cholesterol has always been around 160. My families have little history of cancer (I have an uncle who was a chain smoker that had a lung removed) and yet it found me anyway.I have Aunts and Uncles that lived into their 90's and my mom was 101 years old when she died. No one is safe from this, no-one!

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8504
Joined: Aug 2009

Yes, I agree it makes one wonder why 'us' when there is no cancer in our family history. I am the first person in my family to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Al-tho, I am not a big drinker, I was a smoker for years. Quit while on chemo -- sad, but true.

I was on the chemo regiment of TCH - my chemo .. Taxotere (later changed to Taxol), Carboplatin and Herception. 18 consecutive weeks, no breaks -- then the Herception
continued for 1 year.

I was not prepared or educated on chemo. I guess my Oncologist did want to scare me. Perhaps, he was afraid I would run to the nearest exit and leave. I was told however,
that I would lose my hair, and MAYBE get a little tired. After several infusions, 2 ER visits -- my side efforts were off the 'Bell Standard' charts.

I don't know how .. I managed to complete all 18 treatments, crawling to the finish line. January 17th I will be celebrating 3 years of remission, or as others refer to it -- NED,
which is no evidence of disease.

While we battle this disease called the beast, life goes on for others - family, friends and loved ones. There are times when I felt alone, and slight depressed.

Keep your Oncologist on speed dial, and come here often.

Gentle hugs, my Brother in PINK.

Vicki Sam

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4017
Joined: Oct 2009

Welcome Charlie! And I can't begin to tell you how much I respect you and Robert for coming aboard and giving other men the courage to speak up. You are not alone. A physician friend of mine has about 3 relatives with male breast cancer and he has shared his concerns with me.

I am so sorry that you have had to find us, but I am glad that you did. You will get a lot of helpful information here. Big hugs!

mamolady's picture
mamolady
Posts: 795
Joined: May 2011

Charlie,
Sorry you have to be here but glad you found this site. This is a great resource for everything from information to hugs to prayers!
On a side note, you mentioned diabetes. I am on a clinical trial for metformin. Evidently it seems to be reducing recurrence. The trial is phase 3 so it has some potential. You may want to talk to your oncologist and whoever is managing you diabetes. It may cover two issues at once!
All the best,
Cindy

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 7948
Joined: Aug 2005

from one of the 'old guard'. *smile*

Vicki has given very wise advise...my treatments were a long time ago, so all I can do is offer hugs...just remember, though, that there IS life after (and during) cancer treatment!!!!! Take care of yourself!

Hugs, Kathi

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

We do have a frequent male poster with bc and another one that isn't frequent. I've been on boards (not this one) since 1997 and in my time have known quite a few men with breast cancer. There is a lady who began a Facebook Page in order for people to know that Breast Cancer is not a disease for "women only". Her husband had breast cancer. I believe a lot more can be done to spread the word that bc does happen to men, perhaps a sign in cancer centers.

I am glad to hear that you are doing very well and the chemo is working. Not a pleasant experienced.

Best to you,

Doris

Kelly513's picture
Kelly513
Posts: 13
Joined: Nov 2012

Hello Charlie I am new to the board as well and all I can say is I was looking for something after my surgery while I was laid up at home and I found this site. I had right mast on Nov,7th not sure about my treatment yet should find out more on that tomorrow. Glad you found this site as well, everyone here seems to be totally wonderful and full of great advice. There is something very comforting knowing that people have all ready been thru what we are facing and are about to face. It makes me feel a whole lot better getting advice from people that have been thru a similar situation!! Sorry any one of use even has to come to this site but glad I have others to turn too. Can't thank you all enough for your kindness

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

Welcome Charlie. I'm sorry you have a need to be here. But glad you found us. I've found this group to be incredibly open, compassionate, and supportive. I hope you find it to be the same.

I so remember that cardboard taste! I tended to eat different bland foods. Like VikiSam, what worked one week did not work the next week...I went from mashed potatoes, to baked potatoes, plain noodles, plain rice, etc. In my chemo class I was told to focus on proteins and calories. That's what your body needs to repair.

Best wishes, I hope your treatments are easy on you. Please come back and let us know how you are doing.

Hugs,

Linda

ManWithaMission's picture
ManWithaMission
Posts: 497
Joined: Sep 2008

Hello Charlie,and Welcome,from one brother to another with Breast Cancer!

I am so glad that you found this site and that you are already getting some good advice from these ladies. Even though they are not the same sex as us, they have very good advice and experiences similar to what you are going through. They are also very undrestanding and caring ladies who are very trustworthy & loyal to all on this board,all of whom I am honored to call my friends.

I'm happy that you are responding positively to your chemo and that your cancer is shrinking. I read your other post that you are also fighting diabetes,too. It is dificult to fight these both together, but I belive they are "doable" for you with your strong belife in your faith.

Hope we will get to talk again,soon. Cyber (((HUGS))) brother.
Robert

TexasCharlie's picture
TexasCharlie
Posts: 74
Joined: Nov 2012

Thanks Robert,Though I am sorry that ANYONE has to go through this, it is comforting to know I am not alone as far as being a man.

kacee999
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2012

Yep, chemo was "a drag". I HATED the lack of taste...I also had "weird smells" all the time...not sure what that was about. I got through surgery, chemo and rads and am 5 months past rads. That is great that you have such faith. It helps so much. Wish you could leak a little of that peace you have felt off onto Diane on the board here. She is so scared. I always feel so badly for folks who feel they can't cope with their situation. It's so important to their recovery! I also looked at chemo as the worse I felt, I knew that the cancer was taking a big hit too. Glad to see you on the board Charlie!

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4630
Joined: Feb 2004

Hello Charlie and welcome! I too wish you had no need to be here but since you do glad you found us, this is a great group of supportive folks who are or have walked a similar path. Not sure if anyone has mention this as I did not read the entire feed, but sometimes while on chemo we get chemo brain which can result in forgetfulness. It is extremely helpful to keep a note pad on hand to jot down things you want to ask your doctor for your next visit then remember to take it with you so you can read off your questions and write down his replies. It is also helpful for jotting down things you have to remember because before all this is over you are apt to get forgetful. In regards to cancer and diabetes my mom battled cancer 4 different times and she was diabetic. I can't give you tips there I can only tell you she did it and she seem to do it well! :-) Keep that positive attitude going as it will carry you far! Fighting cancer certainly is not fun but it is doable and remember to strive to survive and thrive! You can have a good life after cancer!

Hugs,

RE

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