CSN Login
Members Online: 11

Just diagnosed with breast cancer at age 31

aliciamt80
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2013

I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer the day after my birthday,march 6. Happy Birthday to me:( I immediately started to look for research to try and find what stage i coukd be in. My MRI is scheduled for this friday,march 15 and i am so nervous! i have 4 tumors and my right lumph node under my armpit is sore and the radiologist says i will most likely need that removed. I dont have much of a family history of cancer,just my great aunt having a lump when she was in her 30s in the 1980s. she had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery with no radiation or chemo. I pray i will not need them either,but the obgyn and radiologist seem as though i may do radiation after. I work in the skincare/ beauty industry and as terrible as it sounds,i dont want to lose my hair or go through the pain and sickness of chemo. Is there ways to go about not losing yout hair in the treatments? working in this industry of skin and hair will be so hard to deal with and goung through the thought of being diagnosed with the cancer itself has been a real shock to the system and family. I was told Penguin Caps are helpful? im not sure that they are,i need to do more research. i am in the washingtin,dc area and have been so busy looking for a good breast cancer surgeon at the moment. so sad and have been crying alot dealing with it. any help will be beneficial,thank you.

-Alicia

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8333
Joined: Aug 2009

WELCOME TO OUR SITE - Sisters in PINK --  

The waiting is really one of the hardest parts. Once you have a treatment plan in place, things will start to go a lot faster. We on this board know about the waiting and the myriad of emotions one goes through -- so let us wait with you. Post whenever you feel the urge and we'll keep you company. I think at this point it is easy to get overwhelmed with all the new things happening in your life. It might help to take things one step and one day (sometimes even one hour) at a time. Get your results, talk to your doctor, give yourself some time to digest, etc. Please let us know later today if you feel up to it. We are here to support you.

If you are hesitant about anything, get a second opinion as soon as possible. I felt confident with my surgeon and knew I wanted the cancer out immediately, so I went ahead with surgery. I did get a second opinion when it came to chemotherapy. There is time for that later.

You will find many wonderful, caring, uplifting, funny, amazing people along the way. Put your seat belt on, raise your arms up, scream and go!!!! 

We will be there for you every step of the way - We are here for you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Strength, Courage and HOPE for a Cure.

Vicki Sam

 

 

 

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

You are so young and I am so sorry for your diagnosis.  Good luck with your MRI tomorrow.  I will be praying for you.

The pink sisters are always here for you, always!

Hugs, Debby

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

You are so young.My mom was 21 and lived 60 years.My niece was 30 and doing fine after 8 years,I was dx at 62 in 2009 and my sister was dx last year at 62.Family history.

I know having 4 tumors is a worry.Have you found out yet that all are cancer??? I wondered because my cancer tumor was found and biopsied.Then as they were prepping me for the lumpectomy surgery another tumor was found.Doctor took both out one was the malignant and the new one was benign.  Went in for my 2 week checkup.Everything was fine but doctor wanted to do a clear margin sugery.It was scheduled for 2 weeks.Just 2 days before that surgery I found a lump myself.So the check margin surgery was also another lumpectomy.That tumor was benign.SO I know how you feel.Then another scare 2 years into my surgeries. A regular mammo found another tumor.It was biopsied and benign.It was a fibroid and they watch it. 

I can imagine what you're going through.I hope the lymph node is clear and the other 3 tumors are benign if you haven't found out yet if they are cancer or not.

Did you find these tumors on your own and then got a mammo???The sad thing they never do mammos on the younger women till about 40 years old but there are way to many young ladies getting breast cancer. 

I also had tumors(benign since I was 20.) A total of 3 and a cyst.So all the years since I had a benign breast tumors/one cyst at 20 I only missed one check up or mammo in all those 40 plus years.I was faithful.   

I didn't need chemo or radiation.It was DCIS non invasive Stage 0.Thank Goodness after all that it was Stage 0. 

Thoughts and Prayers to you.

Lynn Smith

 

    

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Alicia, I am wishing you good results on your MRI.  I am very sorry that you're here, but, I hope that you can see the emotional support that we will give you when you need it.

Sending you lots of hugs and prayers!

treecy1106's picture
treecy1106
Posts: 147
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi Alicia....my name is Patrice. 2 years ago I was diagnosed at the end of March, one month after my birthday in February....so I know the feeling! I also had 4 tumors in my left breast. None of which were spotted on the mammo or ultrasound. I felt one and made the Dr. take a fine needle biopsy. Then I had the MRI with contrast and that's when they all were found. I had a core needle biopsy which I would have never agreed to cause they have very serious risks to cancer spread ...but unfortunatelyt I was never told that. SO I had the core needle and 2 were cancerous, 1 was benign and the last one they couldnt tell. SO I decided on having a bilateral mastectomy. Which I decided cause I have dense breasts and nothing ever showed up on these tests.

Well the Dr. tried to talk me out of not taking the right breast but I made the choice. Good thing because I had it in both and the MRI with contrast didnt pick that up at all.

I know this is a very very emotional time. I don't call it a journey I call it a trip....why?...Cause I didn't want it to be that long! Trip sounds a lot shorter and after all the tests, waiting, surgery and treatment (if needed) time really goes FAST!

If you ever want to call someone and talk 24/7 I will give you my number. At the time I was going through it I called the Y-ME line all the time but I dont think it still exists anymore.

You need to be your best advocate. Try to stay as focused on that as you can. The hair thing was very hard for me since I had very long hair. I refused to cut it I also wanted to get the cap...I was praying I was one of the 5% that didn't lose it...but I did. Yes it was worse than losing my boobs but after the initial shock I bought a bunch of wigs in all different colors and lengths. Sounds terrible to you I am sure but its really not....hair grows back...you need to work on getting your body ready to fight and stay well. More important than anything else.!!!! You will get better, you will meet the most adoring "PINK SISTERS"! You whole outlook on life will be different and that is a good thing. A lot of positive things will come from this I can assure you of that. 

One thing BC taught me was patience....something I didn't have a lot of. I was always in a hurry and very intense. 

I actually became certified as a Health Counselor while I was on my trip. I also wrote a little booklet you can download for free. I put it on line cause I was asked to make copies for people. SO check it out I hope it helps! Remember we are all here for you!!! Welcome to the club you never wanted to join but in the long run will be ok that you did!!!!

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow!

XOXOXOX

Patrice

mom62
Posts: 601
Joined: Mar 2004

Alicia,

I wish I would never hear those words again (I was just diagnosed with BC).  Your emotions are going to be all over the place that is normal.  I was diagnosed at 41, not as young as you but sill early in life.  It's never easy no matter what age you are.  Don't count out things like radiation or chemo yet.  As much as you think you can't you can do these things.  It will become important to you to save your life and give yourself the  best outcome and long life possible.  It happens at different times for everyone.  Chemo has side effects yes, but it's not as scary as you would think.  I was a cosmetologist when I was younger.  I had every color hair in the rainbow.  I recommend buying a wig, and have a cap to wear in the privacy of your own home if you do chemotherapy.  You will look fabulous in a new doo.  I actually liked wearing a wig because I didn't have to spend time on my hair. Just remember we are all here for you when ever you are scared or need to vent.  Heck, we even have imaginary bus rides to your appointments if you request one!  I love to be the one with the margaritas and singing.  Keep your chin up.  Attitude is 1/2 the battle.

(((hugs)))

Terry

aysemari's picture
aysemari
Posts: 1590
Joined: Dec 2009

Though I knnow you really don't want to be here, just know you have come to the right place. You will find

a wealth of useful information and an abundance of support on this board. It helped me more than anything.

The ladies and gents on this board JUST get it. I too was diagnosed in my 30s and no family history whatsoever.

The first few weeks are tough, you will get a crash course in cancer and whirlwind of information coming your way.

Stay calm and stay in the driver's seat, take control of your treatments and ask lots of question. We are all here

for you to help any way we can. Below is a great article and information I wish I had at the time I was diagnosed.

Take deep breaths and stay strong, Hug - Ayse

 

The Things I Wish I Were Told When I Was Diagnosed With Cancer

Posted: 06/28/2012 8:00 pm
 

 

Your relationships are about to change. All of them. Some will get stronger. They will probably not be with the people you would expect. The people you want to handle this well might not be able to for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons will be selfish. Some of them will be entirely innocent and circumstantial. All of them will be forgivable because no one plans for cancer. Carrying bitterness or anger won't help your recovery. Fighting for anyone to stick with you won't cure you. Those who can, will. 

You will be determined to have more energy than you do. You will convince yourself that you are thinking straight, are able to handle all of this and do not need anyone. You will run out fuel. Your body will change first and your mind will follow. You won't lose your mind, memories or sensibility. It will all come back. But, you will be different. You will never have the same sense of self. You should embrace this. Your old self was probably really great. Your transformed self will be even better. Give into what is happening and trust it. 

You are going to feel fear. Even if you are normally stubborn, confident and seemingly invincible you will finally find yourself admitting that you are scared of something. Cancer is scary and incredibly confusing. The unknowing will eat at you worse than the disease itself. You'll need distractions. Music and sleep will probably be the ones you resort to most. Reading will become difficult. So will watching TV or movies, having conversations, writing and basically everything else. They call it "chemo brain" for a reason. You will feel normal eventually. Just a new kind of normal. When you feel afraid let yourself lean on those around you. Cry. Be vulnerable. You are vulnerable. There will be time for strength, but never admitting weakness will cause anxiety to mount and your condition to worsen. Let it all out. Yell if you need to. Sing when you feel up to it. Sob uncontrollably. Apologize for your mood swings. Treatments and prescriptions will often be the cause of them. The people that love you will understand. 

The people that love you will be just as scared as you are. Probably more. They will be worrying even when they are smiling. They will assume you are in more pain than you are. They will be thinking about you dying and preparing for life without you. They will go through a process that you will never understand just like they will never understand the process you are going through. Let them process. Forgive them when they don't understand. Exercise patience when you can. Know that those that were built for this will be there when you get to the other side and you will all be able to laugh together again. You'll cry together too. Then you'll get to a place where you will just live in the world again together and that is when you know that you have beaten this. 

The sooner you recognize that you are mortal, the sooner you can create the mentality for survival. There is a chance you might not make it. Just like there is a chance that you will. Don't look at statistics. You are unique and what is happening inside you is unique. Your fight is yours alone and there are too many factors to compare yourself to others that have had your condition. No one will want you to think about death, but you won't have a choice. You will think about it from the moment you are given your diagnosis. Come to terms with it. Calmly accept it. Then, shift every thought you have into believing that you won't die. You are going to beat this. Your mental focus on that fact will be more powerful than any treatment you receive. 

Your doctors and nurses will become your source of comfort. You will feel safe with them. If you do not feel safe with them you need to change your care provider immediately. There is no time to waste. This shouldn't be a game played on anyone's terms but yours. When you find the right caretakers you will know immediately. Do not let insurance, money or red tape prevent you from getting the treatment you deserve. This is your only shot. There is always a way. Find those hands that you trust your life in and willingly give it to them. They will quickly bring you a sense of calm. They will spend time answering your questions. There will be no stupid questions to them. They won't do anything besides make you feel like you are the most important life that exists. They will never make you feel like they don't have things in control. They will be honest and accessible at all times. They might even become your friends. You might celebrate with them over drinks months or years after they have cured you. They deserve your gratitude, respect and appreciation daily. If you get upset at them during treatment know that they'll forgive you. They get that you're going through something they can't imagine- but they understand better than anyone. They see it every day and they choose to be there because they want to make the worst experience of your life more tolerable. 

You will need to find balance after treatment. Start by seeking balance during treatment. Eat well. Sleep well. Listen to your body. Explore meditation. Experiment with new forms of exercise that aren't so demanding. Embrace massage and other body therapies. Go to therapy. A therapist will be able to guide you through your journey in ways you could never fathom. Do not be too proud to speak to someone. You cannot afford to store up the intensity of the emotion that comes with fighting a life-threatening illness. Let it out for yourself. You will begin to hear your voice changing. That voice is who you are becoming in the face of mortality. Listen to that voice. It will be the purest, most authentic version of you that you have ever known. Bring that person into the world -- strengths and vulnerabilities and everything between. Be that person forever. 

You will inspire others. It will feel weird. People you haven't spoken to since grade school will be in touch. Ex-girlfriends, former colleagues... even people you felt never wanted to talk to you again. The influx of interest in your seemingly fading life will be greater than any living moment you have ever experienced. That support is what will shift a fading life into a surviving one. Be grateful for every message. Be appreciative of each gift and each visit. There will be moments where all of this attention will make you feel lonelier than you have ever felt in your life. In a hospital room full of people with messages stuffing your inbox, voicemail and mailbox you will find yourself feeling completely alone. This is when you will realize that you could afford to have a stronger relationship with yourself. That only you walk this earth with 100% investment in you. Make the investment and use this as an opportunity to reexamine your self-worth. Love yourself more than ever and recognize how much love there is for you in the world. Then start sharing that love. You will come to see that even when you are the neediest person you know you can still be giving. Giving will make you feel better than taking. 

When you get to the other side you won't believe it. They will tell you the disease is gone. Everyone you know will rejoice and return back to their lives. You'll constantly wonder if it is coming back. Slowly this feeling will fade, but cancer will always be a part of you. It will define how you see the world moving forward. You're going to feel like the future is a funny thing to think about because the present is going to suddenly seem incredibly important. Keep moving. You'll be more productive. You'll understand who truly loves you because they will still be there. You'll want to meet new people that connect to the newly evolved version of your old self. You'll want to let go of those that don't "get" who you are now. You'll feel a little guilty doing it. Then, you'll move on. You don't have time to waste. The greatest gift you've been given is that you now understand that and you're going to make the most of every second. You're going to be the most passionate person you know going forward. Translate that passion to a greater purpose. Be fearless again. 

I was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 27. Now 28, I have been told I have no trace of the disease in my body.

Jeff Tomczek is a freelance writer and the founder of C2Bseen, offering consulting services to niche brands and entrepreneurs.

For more on cancer, click here.

For more on Jeff Tomczek, click here.

 
 


Follow Jeff Tomczek on Twitter: www.twitter.com/C2Bseen

 

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

Just wanting to say a big hello to you and to remind you that we will always be here for you.  Post anytime as we never close and we want to help.

 

Simba11's picture
Simba11
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi Alicia,

 

Breathe, Breathe and have a glass of wine. Like you I was diagnosed with cancer 2 months before my 32nd Birthday. I'm still in the process of going thru this. I just had my last surgery in November, it has been a long process for me but I have a wonderful group of doctors. Advice from someone who is still dealing is 

1. Find a breast surgeon that you LOVE. You have to feel comfortable because you are in their hands. If you don't have the connection move on to someone else. Don't ever just seattle because of insurance or anything it is rought but this is your life. 

2. DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT look at the internet. That was the first thing my breast surgeon told me was don't search the internet. And that was the first thing I did, by the time I was done I was on the phone sobbing to my bestfriend Kathy that I did this to myself. I did it becuase im in my 30's no kids, eat red meat, drink red wine, partied in my 20's. Needless to say only look at sites like this or that are Cancer ORG.

3.Buy a small notebook and always carry it with you. You're going to have questions pop up during the day and it's best to write them down right there and then. If your family or friends have questiosn write them down. It's better to be too informed than not at all. 

4. Ask your doctor questions, don't be afraid, if you don't understand them ask again and tell them to tell you like your 5. Remember this is your life don't be afraid to ask and be comfortable. 

5. Have that support person next to you be it a friend, family member, co worker you will need them. 

6. If you need to cry, cry it does SUCK..

7. As you start to tell people around you they will change. Don't be mad at them. People handle things in there own way. Some will run up to the plate and be strong for you and with you. Other that you thought were strong will turn out to not being able to handle your news which is fine. Just know that and be alright with that. 

If you would like to private message me that is fine and I will tell you my story. Keep your head high and remember you are in control right now not anyone else.. 

 

P.S the article that Aysemari put up is on point...

 

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

Checking to see how you're doing Alicia.  Lean on us when you need support.  And, please keep posting.

Hugs, Debby

SK12
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2013

Dear Alicia,

I'm so sorry for you. I was dx 9 months ago with stage 3, at age 42. I agree with Simba, for the most part. She gave you great advise.  The only things i do differently, I do my research, mostly from reputable medical institutions, then I ask my appropriate professionals. I started recording appointments and some doctor's conversations with me. Get their permission first. I have chemo brain now, and forget things that are odd.  Much of what the doctors will tell you in their offices will go right over your head. She is right on about finding the right doctors for you.  Here is my list: Primary, oncologist, breast surgeon, oncology radiologist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, nutritionist, possible optometrist. Don't forget your spiritual guide (priest, minister, rabbi, life coach, guru?).  Your needs will change with course of txment.  
I took my own approach to this journey.  First, I went through a bit of denial, found a lump.  Left it alone, and hoped it was a cyst.  Then received my diagnosis.  Started pigging out, knowing i would lose weight (best thing I did). Told my love ones. Put together my team; doctors, other health professionals, and most importantly my emotional team. I made an appointment with my local ACS and attended with my partner. If you have a partner, bring them, if not, bring whoever is going to be your greatest support and caregiver. Sit down and write down every conceivable question and bring it with you. If you don't do anything else, please go there. It is an invaluable resource. I cut out most stressors in my life, and yes, that included some family members. You have to put yourself first. With everything as possible in place, I postponed my chemo for 2 weeks and headed to Miami. I rested, ate (everything you cant eat during chemo, e.g. sushi, steak - rare, shellfish, even a veal chop that most men couldn't finish), drank (sometimes to excess), sunbathe topless, and just tried to have a normal vacation before I started with all this. I am not recommending this for you, for the fear of getting yelled at on this site and everyone is different with different cancers. Believe me when I tell you, my onco was not happy with my decision, but I figured what's 2 weeks.  With the doc's reluctant approval, off I went. I do not regret that decision. As odd as it might sound, I still wanted to celebrate every occasion I could. I flew back the night before my first chemo. I even hosted four parties (during txment), since I couldn't really go out, I brought the party home. Just remember selective guest list and no one who is sick was allowed.
While in FL, my partner saw the news and screamed for me. I had hair down to the small of my back and he is very attached to it, more than me. The interviewee was a personal trainer that went thru chemo and had a full set of long curly THICK hair.  She used the penguin cap and swore by it. According to her, it cost around $2,000 and it is still not covered by insurance. Some other sources, say it is approx $500 a month. It is suppose to "freeze" the follicles before chemo txment. I chose not to do it. Not for financial reasons, but I couldn't bear to put an "ice helmet" (-22 F) on my head for any length of time.   Just beware, the hair on your head is not the only thing that goes. Brows, lashes, etc.  I will try to include some links, but in case it doesn't go through, feel free to contact me. I embraced my cute bald head and make my partner kiss it everyday. 
You will be amazed at how fast everything goes, so you need to plan. It is an emotional roller coaster.  I do suggest you find others around your age to discuss certain issues that other women aren't thinking of, eg reproduction, dating (if you are not married yet), young dependent children (if you have any), etc.  I found women of all ages and most  importantly, women who had similar diagnosis, similar age, needs, and social interactions. I was usually the youngest in chemo room. Use every resource you can. If you are on social media, contact your old friends from HS or college. Unfortunately, you might find people that you know that have gone though this already. That's my experience. You will need help with nutrition, side effects, maybe a cook (I couldn't stand the smell of raw chicken, your sense of smell will change.  I don't eat much processed foods anyway, so had someone else cook for me.  Also, i utilized two of my favorite restaurants. The owners and chefs knew what i could eat.  Most people will tell you not to eat out at all, but with my life, that was impossible.), cleaning the house, shopping, and transportation (I use a car service everywhere now).
I also have another friend with stage 4, in her 30's going through this. She is approx. one month behind me in her care plan, so I try to share all my knowledge with her. I am her guinea pig. Trust me when I say, it does a soul good to help others during this.  I was blessed with so many great people and advice, so i had to share.  I had a shopping list of things to make this process easier for her.   Will be happy to share that with you also. 
Good luck to you. You are not going through this alone. Just be proactive and positive. Things will all fall into place. 
 
BTW...as shallow as it might sound, I miss my mani's and pedi's.  
 
http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/new-cold-cap-helps-chemopatients-keep-their-hair
 
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/OnCallPlus/cold-cap-therapy-women-chemotherapy-hair/t/story?id=11985624
gagee
Posts: 323
Joined: Sep 2010

I too am so sorry you have to be here.  It is a great place for info and support. Just wish none of us ever had to meet here. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I don't really have any info about your case but quite sure some one will be able to give you some.  Diana

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

Like Diana wrote, I wish none of us ever knew each other at all, simply because I wish none of us ever had bc.  You are way too young to be facing this, but, you've got a strong team here with you.

I will be praying for you and will keep checking back in for updates.

Good luck!

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

It's always sad to see a new member here as I wish they would someday find a cure for cancer and there would be no need for this site.  It is especially sad when someone as young as you joins.  I am sorry and just want you to know you can post anything here and we'll lend you our support and encouragement.

Hugs, Jan

Michelle_2014
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2012

I'm 32 and going through breast cancer treatments.  Chemo first, then surgery, and am about to start radiation next week.  I did some research on the Penguin Caps in anticipation for the hair loss, but decided against it.  Instead, I started getting my hair cut into shorter and shorter styles the closer I got to my chemo start date.  I also had permanent makeup applied on my eyebrows (light color). So glad I did both!  I can't adequately describe the feeling of loss that comes with seeing clumps of your hair on your pillow cases or worse, in your hands when you wash your hair.  The shorter hair cuts helped minimize that trauma for me.  My eyebrows didn't all fall out, but they did get very sparse, getting the tatoo helped shorten my morning routine.  I don't think I would have been able to free hand my eyebrows evenly.  The wigs are so good these days, no one is going to know but you that you are wearing one.  I still get compliments on the color and cut of my "hair" when I'm out and about.  Good luck to you, Alicia! 

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Just wishing both of you, Alicia and Michelle, good luck. 

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Just want to add lots of hugs and hope you'll post again Alicia.

 

LoveBabyJesus's picture
LoveBabyJesus
Posts: 1654
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Alicia -- I am so sorry you are going through this at such a young age (not that there is an ideal age to deal with it), and so close to your birthday. I was dx at 32 in 2011. I harvested my eggs (no kids yet), took chemo, radiation and currently on tamoxifen for 5-10 years (possibly 10), and I will be on pills forever. I am from NYC and I was wondering if we can chat more, if you need information I can maybe help. I am been treated at Sloan, but I also know of a few great Doctors in the area. I can get a listing from Sloan for you too if you'd like. Let me know.

You've come to the right place! These ladies are AMAZING. They helped me so much during my journey, and they still do. If you need chemo or radiation or pills, whatever it is you'll need to treat your cancer, we'll be able to guide you on what to do to try and minimize the issues that can arise from treatments. You will do GREAT!

I am going to tell you one thing I did that I wished I never did, and that was: LOOK ONLINE FOR INFORMATION that didn't apply to me at all! You cannot diagnose yourself, and certainly, you cannot assume other people's experiences are the same as yours. Everyone is unique with their tumors, stages, treatment plans and outcomes (a stage 4 may survive vs. someone who is early stage and vise verse (of course you would want to catch it early, but it doesn't guarantee anything. Everyone is different.). What you can do is listen to your doctors, trust their plan, have faith and stay positive no matter what. That is 1/2 of the battle already won.  Additionally, you will find a level of strength you never thought you had. Promise!

About the hat to prevent your hair to fall, I would NOT do it, and here's why: If I have to put myself through chemo, why would I want to prevent my scalp from getting the treatment? There is a chance you can get metastasis if you don't treat that part of your body, so why do it? If your Dr. wants you to take chemo (and you should ask lots of questions first), please be sure it hits your entire body so there are no regrets later (no what ifs). I had my hair down to my hip and I didn't care to lose it because I was fighting a monster. When you fight cancer you need to become a much bigger monster than cancer is - YOU CAN DO THIS! Treatments are much easier than what they used to be.

I have history of cancer in my family but this is only 15% of all breast cancers. 85% of breast cancers have no family history. Additionally, no one knows why we get it. There are thousands of mutations that scientists have not been able to identified (only BRCA). I hope you get the genetic testing to make sure you aren't carrying the gene. But don't worry, because this is rare.

I wish you the best of luck with everything. Please know the diagnosis will probably be the worst part of all of this. Once you have a plan, everything else will come into place. You will feel more confident. I wish you a SMOOTH recovery with no complications.

Ah! One more thing: This is YOUR TIME now. This means, you tell who you want to tell. If you want to keep things private this is fine too. It is your life, your party, your recovery. I decided to keep mine private but bad news travels fast. If you find people contacting you out of the blue (it happened to me!), you have the right to choose wheather you want them as part of your support team or not. I suggest you find someone (could be a family member or a close friend) who can do the communication for you. Someone who can keep others informed for you instead of you having to deal with the stress (and dealing with keeping THEM calm, when you need to stay calm). You decide how you want this done. No one else! Remember that.

Sending prayers your way sweet sister!

Hugs

P.S. I am here if you need to chat. I am turning 35 next month.

 

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

Positive thoughts and cyber hugs!

survivorbc09
Posts: 4378
Joined: Jun 2009

It is natural and normal to be scared.  That's why this site and the pink sisters are so great.  We can help you, comfort you and just be here for you.

Praying and sending hugs,

Jan

dthompson's picture
dthompson
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

I agree with you on the caps, my wifes Onc said absolutly not as cancer cells can be in the scalp and hair follicles and the caps can prevent the chemo for reaching those cells. Like everyone has told you  "THIS IS DOABLE" and there is so much support to be found here. Do not be afraid to reach out to others, cry, be mad but most of all FIGHT and never give up hope. I am not a BC survivor but my wife is currently going through it. DId her chemo and just got done with her bi-lateral mast. It has been rough, but we are comeing to the end of the road and we did it, SO CAN YOU !! God Bless.

 

Dennis

littleangel65
Posts: 46
Joined: Jan 2013

As all of the other ladies have said we are here for you and each other, we learn from one another.

I know you must be so scared, I was there, and it just seems like you have to take so much in at one time.  I was worried about losing my hair, but, I finally came to some kind of peace or terms of the situation, and kinda made fun out of looking for a wig, and then I made it fun to experiment with making stylish looking scarfs after my hair fell out.

I did however, have 2 months to kinda get used to the idea, because from the time I was dx which was in late Jan. 2012, I had my surgery on March 15, 2012, and not only did I have to have my right breast removed, but my uterus was grossly enlarged to the size of a bowling ball, thank God, that wasn't cancerous, but I think what really made me come to my peace with losing my hair, was when I went in for my PET scan, and I thank Jesus everyday, that, the PET Scan didn't show that anything had spread beyond my lymph nodes.

So, I came to gripes with the hair loss, ok, so I may lose my hair, but, its hair, it will grow back.  But I honestly had fun with the wig, the cool thing with the wig, is, I just pop it on, and off I go, which vs. getting up, shampooing my hair, drying my hair, styling my hair, and on some days go through all that, just to have a bad hair day.  lol

And, when I didn't feel like wearing my wig, I had fun coming up with scarf styles to wear different ways, I got alot of compliments, and so that made up for idea that I was bald underneath the scarf. ,p

The hardest part for me, was when my hair did start growing back, it got to what I call and awkward stage... My hair is naturally thick, very thick and course.  Believe or not, I was kinda hoping my chemo would maybe cause my hair to thin out, but, it came back just as thick as before.  But as I was saying, it did get to that awkward stage, but my bangs were way too short for me, but at the same time, I was excited to see it come back, and I used to be a med.-dark blonde, well, I am 47 yrs. old, and my hair came back very dark brown???? and of course there was alot more gray, ok... I wasn't happy about that, but, it gave me a chance to once again "experiment"  I didn't want to go back to blonde right away, I knew I would have to bleach it, and I didn't want to play with the bleach yet, since I am still undergoing treatments, so I tried different shades of Red, and to be honest, I found a shade that I like, and my husband actually said he kinda likes it just as much, if not better than the blonde.

So, if you do lose your hair, take advantage of the situation, and play with what you do have, you may just suprize yourself, and make you feel good inside as well as outside.  The only good thing I can say about cancer, is that I agree with what one woman said, it does show the ones going thru it, that we have a strong inner self, that we didn't realize was there, and that we can endure this.  You are young, beautiful (I am sure), and strong, don't think that this is going to make you less attractive, you are going to surprized of how beautiful you will look, and that will show out to other people, because they will be giving you compliments.  I had so many compliments, women asking where I got my head wraps at, and how I made my scarfs look they did etc.  It just made me feel so good.  And as far as the chemo making me sick, actually, I didn't get sick at all, I would get dizzy sometimes, I had that metalic taste in my mouth, but thats about it, other than being tired, but you'll have an excuse to sleep in or take beauty naps in the afternoon.  :)

Take Care Alicia  (love your name, I have a daughter named Alicia)  I hope everything does come out well with your biopsy reports, but if something shows up, keep a positive attitude, and know that cancer treatment has come a long way, and there are more people surviving this, and you have every reason to be one of the surviovors!!!!  

Keep us informed, remember we are all here for each other.

littleangel65

 

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Lots of positive thoughts, cyber hugs and prayers for you Alicia.  Do come back and keep posting to update us.

Hugs, Diane

Rivendell
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi Alicia,  I was diagnosed at age 42 with Stage 1 breast cancer.  I finished chemo on December 20, 2012 and finished radiation about 2 weeks ago.  My hair is now short and came back gray, but I dyed it dark brown (my natural color).  I was worried about hair loss and eyebrow loss and looking sick due to chemo.  My hair did fall out, but I kept most of my eyesbrows, though they were very sparse.  Get a very good eyebrow pencil.  Quit wearing mascara after your second chemo...it you repeatedly remove mascara each night, they will all fall out.  Because I stopped tugging on my eyelashes to remove mascara, they stayed fairly intact.  I use a good BB cream, but layered my blush and then a Bobbi Brown shimmer brick on top...this made me look healthy and glow-y, not sick and pukey!  And wigs....my wig looked very real and like my own hair.  That helped alot.  So much that every week between chemo sessions when i went to do blood work, people in the waiting room did not realize that i was a cancer patient.  They thought i was waiting on someone!  The anti-nausea meds help alot if you need them.  You may very well sail through this....think positive.  Chemo is not the horrid medicine that it once was.  Best of luck to you!!

Patti1967
Posts: 186
Joined: Mar 2013

First of all let me say I am sorry you are going through this.  I am just three months out of chemo, I had bilateral IDC and had a bilateral mastectomy with a total of 16 lymp nodes removed.  Chemo was hard but know that if you end up on that path, you can and will get through it.  I lost all hair from head to toe.  My hair is coming back, although more gray then brown:)  I am 45 and always dyed my hair, it was quite a shock to see me with gray hair, but at least it was my hair!  Wigs never looked right on me, to me any way.  My daughter seems to think I was fighting not looking like my old self.  She's probably right.  I did and still do wear many different scarfs (my hair is still very short) and in the middle of winter I had cute pink beanies to help keep my head warm:)

Waiting is always hard, we have all been there:)  In the mean time, like others have said, write down every question you can think of.  I really believe our knowledge during this battle is so very important. 

Thoughts and prayers,

Patti

 

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Do you have your MRI results Alicia?

Praying for you,

Megan

JJDS
Posts: 259
Joined: Apr 2013

I have seen many women that lost their hair due to chemo and they were some of the most beautiful women I'd ever seen.  They had inner beauty and had that will and determination that even though they'd lost their hair, it would come back and they weren't going to let cancer take one more minute of their self esteem and demure.

I am wishing you the best of luck and I know that if you do lose your hair, you will rock in a wig, turban or scarf.  It is temporary.

 

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4011
Joined: Oct 2009

Alicia, I was diagnosed at age 33 with Stage 3, just days before my 4 year old daughter's birthday party.  My sister did the party for me because it was all planned.  One of my big goals, at the time, was to see my daughter's 8th birthday.  I thought that if I could get her to 8 it might be a little easier on her.

Believe it or not, that was 26 years ago.  I am 60 yrs old and continue to battle breast cancer (after a long remission). My daughter is 31 and getting married next year.

Prepare for the worst, but keep fighting!  Be as adherent to therapy as you possibly can.  And don't let anyone ever put an expiration date on you!!!

Big, big hugs!

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Thinking of you Alicia and hoping you will update us.   I hope you will post an update soon.

HUGS!

 

 

survivor87
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi!  I am new to this site.  I too was 33 and had a 4 year old and a 8 year old.  I was stage 2 with 1 lymgh glad and a terrible family history.  I had a mastectomy and 12 rounds of CMF.  I was good for 23 years.  3 years ago I relapsed.  So now Stage 4 wtih two tumors and 9 bone spots.  I have had Femara, Tamoifen, deadly Afintor and now just had my first shots of faslodex.  Have you tried Faslodex?  I am having terrible mood swings and anxiety.  I was doing farily well but have gone to the bottom and barely hanging on with little to no hope which is definitely not like me.  So trying to find out if anyone else has gone through this.  Its only been two weeks and just cant fathom anymore but don't want to give up either.  I know it can be so much worse and have 7 grandchildren to love much more.  Just need a dose of hope again I guess.  Thanks for listening

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

There is always hope survivor87.  Never give up.  I know it is difficult, but, look at all you have in your life that is good.  Those 7 beautiful grandchildren!  Please talk to your PCP or onco about this.  Perhaps you need to be on antidepressants or seek some counseling.

We are here for you, so, keep posting.

Hugs, Diane

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network