Diagnosed at 25

bebe1976
bebe1976 Member Posts: 60
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi, my name is jennifer and I am a 25 yr old legislative advisor for the PR Senate and part-time law student for whom the thought of having breast cancer was a distant one despite a very strong family history. I was diagnosed on July 24th and am having a partial mastectomy and radiation to treat a ductal carcinoma in situ stage 0, grade 3. Any suggestions on how to cope with treatment and what to expect?

Comments

  • georgeann
    georgeann Member Posts: 43
    Jennifer,
    I know how much of a shock the actual diagnosis is, and that you must be still trying to assimilate the impact. When you have a the partial mastectomy will they do the lymph nodes? If possible, have them do the sentinel nodes.
    What to expect ... each of us preponds so differently. I had a lumpectomy in early June and then another 3 weeks later because the margins weren't clear. I spent most of my time in a somewhat incoherent state, as I responded poorly to the anesthesia. The second surgery required more pain pills.
    Less than three weeks later I started radiation and am in the midst of the treatments (have completed 10 as of yesterday). I am already burned, have an infection in my breast, and am lethargic (a very uncharacterstic pattern for me.
    I am twice your age, so my experiences may be totally different than yours. I would be more than happy to answer individual questions. Everyone suggests Susan Love's Breast Book (excellent). I also found a local breast cancer support group, which is delightful and very wise in finding coping mechanisms.
    We are always here - to support and hopefully provide comfort.
    Georgeann (email: [email protected])
  • bebe1976
    bebe1976 Member Posts: 60
    georgeann said:

    Jennifer,
    I know how much of a shock the actual diagnosis is, and that you must be still trying to assimilate the impact. When you have a the partial mastectomy will they do the lymph nodes? If possible, have them do the sentinel nodes.
    What to expect ... each of us preponds so differently. I had a lumpectomy in early June and then another 3 weeks later because the margins weren't clear. I spent most of my time in a somewhat incoherent state, as I responded poorly to the anesthesia. The second surgery required more pain pills.
    Less than three weeks later I started radiation and am in the midst of the treatments (have completed 10 as of yesterday). I am already burned, have an infection in my breast, and am lethargic (a very uncharacterstic pattern for me.
    I am twice your age, so my experiences may be totally different than yours. I would be more than happy to answer individual questions. Everyone suggests Susan Love's Breast Book (excellent). I also found a local breast cancer support group, which is delightful and very wise in finding coping mechanisms.
    We are always here - to support and hopefully provide comfort.
    Georgeann (email: [email protected])

    Dear Georgeann,
    My surgery will be Monday August 3rd. As of yet, they have decided to leave my lymph nodes alone 'cause they're pretty sure this thing is still in situ, but we'll see after sugery. They are going to have go through six weeks of radiation if the pathology doesn't change from what they saw in the biopsy. If it does I will go through six months of chemo and then have the radiation. What I'm really affraid of at this point is what we're all afraid os matatasis and recurrence, but I'm trying to cope one day at a time. Could you please tell me the name of the support group you found? I appreciate all of your support, it's good to know we're all in this together.
    Jennifer
  • heavenlee
    heavenlee Member Posts: 113
    Hi Jennifer,
    My name is Angel and I was diagnosed last year at age 29. I was at a stage II, with 2 lymph nodes positive for cancer. My tumor was about 2.2 cm. I had a mastectomy. The kicker was I was also pregnant while I found out about my cancer, had surgery and went thru 4 cycles of chemo. I gave birth just 3 weeks ago. Anyway, It has been hard to cope but I had a little one in me counting on me not to give up. I also have a 2 year old that I think about all the time. I just try not to dwell on the cancer even though is scares the holy S*** out of me. I have my days. Like I started on a new chemo yesterday and was off chemo for 6 weeks to have my baby and reality hit again that I have cancer and was pretty depressed again and crying alot. Your diagnosis sounds very good..stage 0.. wish I had that. Just be strong and do what your docs say. Good luck with your surgery on Monday. I will say a prayer for you. If you ever need to talk, my email is [email protected]
    God Bless.
    Angel
  • shirlann
    shirlann Member Posts: 229
    bebe1976 said:

    Dear Georgeann,
    My surgery will be Monday August 3rd. As of yet, they have decided to leave my lymph nodes alone 'cause they're pretty sure this thing is still in situ, but we'll see after sugery. They are going to have go through six weeks of radiation if the pathology doesn't change from what they saw in the biopsy. If it does I will go through six months of chemo and then have the radiation. What I'm really affraid of at this point is what we're all afraid os matatasis and recurrence, but I'm trying to cope one day at a time. Could you please tell me the name of the support group you found? I appreciate all of your support, it's good to know we're all in this together.
    Jennifer

    Hi, Jennifer, I question the decision to not do a sentinel node biopsy. I never heard of not doing that or disection. The sentinel node is by far the preferable way to go. We are all afraid of metastasis and recurrence. But just so you know, recurrence is not worse than the original cancer. Your life expectancy is the same. Just a really discouraging nuisance. Mets are another matter. I think you need to not jump ahead to far right now. Remember, you have time to get educated. Get Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book and read it. I would feel much more comfortable personally if you went to a Breast Clinic for a 2nd opinion. You can take your slides and mammo's, so they do not have to be done again, I just question going ahead with treatment without knowledge of what is going on in the lymph node? I never heard of this sequence of treatment. See what the other gals think. Don't feel rushed, you have a few weeks to be educated. Are you near a major medical center? Dana Farber, UCLA, M.D. Anderson, Sloan-Kettering? I would be interested in the rational for no lymph node testing. Thinking of you, Shirlann PS, if the thing is in situ, then all bets are off and you probably have DCIS or DLIS, in that case, you do not need to look at the lymph nodes. These two are non-invasive and your life is not at risk. Then, I wonder why the chemo? I will drive you crazy? Hugs, Shirlann
  • bebe1976
    bebe1976 Member Posts: 60
    shirlann said:

    Hi, Jennifer, I question the decision to not do a sentinel node biopsy. I never heard of not doing that or disection. The sentinel node is by far the preferable way to go. We are all afraid of metastasis and recurrence. But just so you know, recurrence is not worse than the original cancer. Your life expectancy is the same. Just a really discouraging nuisance. Mets are another matter. I think you need to not jump ahead to far right now. Remember, you have time to get educated. Get Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book and read it. I would feel much more comfortable personally if you went to a Breast Clinic for a 2nd opinion. You can take your slides and mammo's, so they do not have to be done again, I just question going ahead with treatment without knowledge of what is going on in the lymph node? I never heard of this sequence of treatment. See what the other gals think. Don't feel rushed, you have a few weeks to be educated. Are you near a major medical center? Dana Farber, UCLA, M.D. Anderson, Sloan-Kettering? I would be interested in the rational for no lymph node testing. Thinking of you, Shirlann PS, if the thing is in situ, then all bets are off and you probably have DCIS or DLIS, in that case, you do not need to look at the lymph nodes. These two are non-invasive and your life is not at risk. Then, I wonder why the chemo? I will drive you crazy? Hugs, Shirlann

    Hi Shirlann,
    Thanks for all your support. To answer your questions, I was diagnosed with DCIS, and that's why the doctor won't touch the lymph nodes untill he gets a pathology back from the tumor he will remove tommorow. That will be Friday and chemo is only an option if it has spread and is not in stu anymore, I will have 6 weeks of radiation though. I am dealing with a major hospital in Puerto Rico and the doctor specializes in oncological surgery. Thanks again for eveything.
    Jennifer
  • shirlann
    shirlann Member Posts: 229
    bebe1976 said:

    Hi Shirlann,
    Thanks for all your support. To answer your questions, I was diagnosed with DCIS, and that's why the doctor won't touch the lymph nodes untill he gets a pathology back from the tumor he will remove tommorow. That will be Friday and chemo is only an option if it has spread and is not in stu anymore, I will have 6 weeks of radiation though. I am dealing with a major hospital in Puerto Rico and the doctor specializes in oncological surgery. Thanks again for eveything.
    Jennifer

    Hi, Jen, it sounds like they are doing just the right thing. I stupidly didn't see the DCIS and wrote away without knowing what I was talking about! Dumb! I am sorry and please disregard all the talk of nodes. With DCIS, you don't have to worry about nodes and the procedures your doc is following sound fine to me. Gentle hugs, Shirlann
  • georgeann
    georgeann Member Posts: 43
    bebe1976 said:

    Dear Georgeann,
    My surgery will be Monday August 3rd. As of yet, they have decided to leave my lymph nodes alone 'cause they're pretty sure this thing is still in situ, but we'll see after sugery. They are going to have go through six weeks of radiation if the pathology doesn't change from what they saw in the biopsy. If it does I will go through six months of chemo and then have the radiation. What I'm really affraid of at this point is what we're all afraid os matatasis and recurrence, but I'm trying to cope one day at a time. Could you please tell me the name of the support group you found? I appreciate all of your support, it's good to know we're all in this together.
    Jennifer

    Jennifer,
    The support group I joined is actually affiliated with the hospital where I am being treated. The chaplain (a woman) serves as the facilitator. She is wonderful as are the women who attend. And they have given me wonderful suggestions. For instance, how to prepare for the long session in which I got marked. Also some tricks about getting out the ink which is all over my clothes.
    Ask both your doctor and the hospital where you will have your surgery.
    Georgeann
  • banker
    banker Member Posts: 317 Member
    Hi Jennifer, sorry about the BC. But it is DCIS stage , thats good. I had stage 1 in Feb.2002. Had lumpectomy, 34 Radiation treatments and at present going thru chemo. If you like to know more, just contact me at this site or at
    [email protected]
    Think positive,ask questions and listen to your doctors. A good book , if you want to know a lot, Dr.Susan Loves Breast book, bookstores carry it, full of information. Best wishes, hugs and prayers...Love Emmi
  • cekramer
    cekramer Member Posts: 33
    Hey Jennifer,
    My prayers are with you. I was diagnosed at 33, had a partial mast./lumpectomy with 8 rounds of chemo and radiation. I pulled thru great and you will too. No chemo for you then? I'd be surprised since you are so young. Your cancer was found really early and that's the best prognosticator. My tumor was bigger and had one lymph node involved so my chances of recurrence were greater.
    Be sure to take one day at a time, don't stress, join a local young support group. I couldn't relate to the other women though they were so nice and all. I'm single and had diff issues with dating, etc.
    Are you going to work thru it? If you can, it will keep your mind off stuff. But don't force yourself, it's tooo much stress.

    Let me know if you want to chat offline.

    Best,

    CK
  • bebe1976
    bebe1976 Member Posts: 60
    cekramer said:

    Hey Jennifer,
    My prayers are with you. I was diagnosed at 33, had a partial mast./lumpectomy with 8 rounds of chemo and radiation. I pulled thru great and you will too. No chemo for you then? I'd be surprised since you are so young. Your cancer was found really early and that's the best prognosticator. My tumor was bigger and had one lymph node involved so my chances of recurrence were greater.
    Be sure to take one day at a time, don't stress, join a local young support group. I couldn't relate to the other women though they were so nice and all. I'm single and had diff issues with dating, etc.
    Are you going to work thru it? If you can, it will keep your mind off stuff. But don't force yourself, it's tooo much stress.

    Let me know if you want to chat offline.

    Best,

    CK

    Hi Ck,
    I would love to chat offline, 'cause I have the same issues with dating and that sort of thing since I'm single and so young. Made through the parial mastectomy it with flying colors yesterday and am back home now and plan to eturn to school and work on the 19th despite being in a lot of pain at the present moment. I will get my pathology report on Friday and I guess we'll take it from there. Thanks again for the support.
    Jennifer