I think I am STage 4, am I a goner?

kansasrose
kansasrose Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hello. Had mastectomy on Wednesday, 4/16 and had 20 nodes removed, 4 of which looked, just by the eye anyway, to be positive. Waiting for pathology results. I have a 'spot' on my right lung that appears to be malignant. Don't know what to think. Some doctors are optimistic, the surgeon that removed breast is not. Used the percentage of 30% survival if spot proves malignant in lung. Have surgery to remove this lump in 4 weeks. I am really affected by this doctor's dismal outlook on things. Are there others at Stage 4 that are alive and well? Very down today. Thanks.

Comments

  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi Kansasrose:

    I had lumpectomy and no mets at time of dx. I'd suggest that you not jump to conclusions and wait until your complete path report is back and carefully review it with your doctor. I'd also suggest a second opinion as soon as you can schedule one.

    In answer to your question about being a goner if you are in fact a Stage IV: Not so! As proof that Stage IV can have it's royal hiney kicked too:
    I have a good friend who had Stage IV Ovarian cancer, over 12 years ago and she's doing just great today. Her treatments were much more difficult as they didn't have all the anti nausea meds, etc. that are used today but she got through, even so. She's been fine since finishing treatments. She returned to work just 2 months after her final treatment. She's a very busy lady, always on the go and still is. She went on hormones, to control her hot flahes, etc. after treatment and was on it until a year and a half ago, at which time, her mammo showed some
    microcalcifications...several clusters. She was immediately taken off the estrogen, had 3 surgeries, which got it all, and so, she busted BC's grill too. She didn't even need chemo!

    Try not to get too caught up in "percentages" as they don't mean very much for any particular individual. But please get second opinions and do your homework research as much as possible. Most of us benefit from the research because, in general, doctor's just don't give us all the info. we need to become better educated about what's going on. Never, ever put all your eggs into just one basket.

    The spot on your lungs could be completely benign, so keep that in mind. Otherwise, you'll make yourself very anxious with "what if's".

    Sending you a big pink hug with purple stripes (purple just because it's Bunny Day, ha) and wishing you the very best. Stay positive and please keep us posted!

    Love, light and laughter,
    Ink
  • 24242
    24242 Member Posts: 1,398
    Dear Rose,
    I am glad you found a place to come to ask questions and to hear of others experiences. Getting support improves all chances for survival. I have heard now in my 6 year survival, many stories of women who were told to get their lives in order since prognosis wasn't good. Yet these women simply refused to believe that, got the medical community to do treatments even though they thought it wouldn't do any good. Many women defy all odds and keep on living inspite of it all it seems. I am stage 3 with 11 out of 21 nodes positive. I believe stats are just that and really don't have anything to do with me. I work hard to minimize the risks that are many now, quitting smoking as my first line of defense. Many believe if you quit smoking you will die and in fact I felt my life slipping with every drag of a cigarette.
    You have to find what it is you need to do for yourself and understand what you have control over and what you do not. Life is hard work with or without cancer I am beginning to feel and worth all the effort. Get out and get some exercise it helps to clear the head even though it might just be a walk. My prayers are with you and I am here for you as you will find this board to be.
    Take good care of yourself,
    Tara
  • jeancmici
    jeancmici Member Posts: 665 Member
    >>I am really affected by this doctor's dismal outlook on things.

    This sentence bothered me because it is important that anyone's doctor forget about statistics. Other women here got this response from their FIRST doctor but did not stay with him - looked for another doctor and found someone willing to do everything to beat (really uncertain) statistics. I hope you find that one too.

    Good luck! BTW, chemo often takes care of a small 'spot' on the lung at the same time that you are receiving chemo for your primary cancer - and maybe only cancer. Surgery is not always the first attack.Take the others advice here and get another opinion - not someone recommended by this surgeon.

    For now, just get enough rest - you probably still have drains - and don't look too far down the road until you at least have the pathology report. Don't hesitate to ask for copies of your reports. Most states MUST give them to you by law.

    Best wishes, jean
  • kungfu
    kungfu Member Posts: 2
    jeancmici said:

    >>I am really affected by this doctor's dismal outlook on things.

    This sentence bothered me because it is important that anyone's doctor forget about statistics. Other women here got this response from their FIRST doctor but did not stay with him - looked for another doctor and found someone willing to do everything to beat (really uncertain) statistics. I hope you find that one too.

    Good luck! BTW, chemo often takes care of a small 'spot' on the lung at the same time that you are receiving chemo for your primary cancer - and maybe only cancer. Surgery is not always the first attack.Take the others advice here and get another opinion - not someone recommended by this surgeon.

    For now, just get enough rest - you probably still have drains - and don't look too far down the road until you at least have the pathology report. Don't hesitate to ask for copies of your reports. Most states MUST give them to you by law.

    Best wishes, jean

    I know this sounds like pop physcology, but is the glass half full or empty?

    EMPTY: We don't know for sure how bad you have it, looks bad. Immediate drastic surgery is recommended, I have a friend from medical school who specialized in this treatement. I urge you to take action immediately, I've already evaluated alternative treatments and as your doctor, I recommend your current treatment.

    Full: Yes, you have cancer but it isn't the end of the world. There are thousands of stories of men and women who have overcove cancer under much more challenges circumstances. As anyone on this board who has overcome cancer at any stage and they will tell you wonderful stories of encouragment and support. Remember, what ever you think something is... it is.
  • ktinkey
    ktinkey Member Posts: 170
    Hi Kansasrose,

    First of all welcome to the site. Yes, I am a stage IV breast cancer survivor. I know exactly what you are going through. When the oncologist first told me of my odds - I saw her right before Thanksgiving and she told me to enjoy my holidays, because they would be my last - it devasted my husband and I for a few days. Then we both looked at each other and said, "no way". Cancer is not going to win. It has been 4 years and I am doing great. This past December, the cancer started to grow again, but again we attacked it and I just got off the phone with my oncologist's office and my last Ct scan and bone scan were great. The cancer has stopped growing again. I give all the glory to God. Cancer has tried my faith, but I am not going to allow it to defeat my faith. Remember, you are a human being, not a statistic. Each one of us is unique and we can choose to believe the worst or the best. I chose to believe the best and I am still here. I hope you do the same. You will meet several women on this site who are Stage IV and still here to give encouragement. Please feel free to join our ranks. We would love to have you in our club. LOL

    Seriously, you have to decide what is best for you and then go out and claim it. Take charge of your treatment. Ask a lot of questions and do some research. If your doctor doesn't satisfy your questions, find another one. You will be amazed at how differently some doctors approach the same problem. All doctors are not the same and medicine is a practice - not an exact science.
    Hope this helps. Feel free to e-mail me on this site.

    God Bless,
    Kathy
  • DeeNY711
    DeeNY711 Member Posts: 476 Member
    There are two excellent documentaries on Cablevision's THE HEALTH CHANNEL about women with metastatic breast cancer. The first is living a perfectly normal life 6 years after diagnosis. The second tells of many, many women doing the same. Treatment of breast cancer is a team effort, and oncologists provide a better view of
    the whole picture. The surgeon meant to indicate that his efforts alone cannot erase the problem. Sometimes that is a tough nut for them to swallow. With meticulous long-term treatment and follow-up, we'll all be sharing the message board for a long long time.
  • jeancmici
    jeancmici Member Posts: 665 Member
    ktinkey said:

    Hi Kansasrose,

    First of all welcome to the site. Yes, I am a stage IV breast cancer survivor. I know exactly what you are going through. When the oncologist first told me of my odds - I saw her right before Thanksgiving and she told me to enjoy my holidays, because they would be my last - it devasted my husband and I for a few days. Then we both looked at each other and said, "no way". Cancer is not going to win. It has been 4 years and I am doing great. This past December, the cancer started to grow again, but again we attacked it and I just got off the phone with my oncologist's office and my last Ct scan and bone scan were great. The cancer has stopped growing again. I give all the glory to God. Cancer has tried my faith, but I am not going to allow it to defeat my faith. Remember, you are a human being, not a statistic. Each one of us is unique and we can choose to believe the worst or the best. I chose to believe the best and I am still here. I hope you do the same. You will meet several women on this site who are Stage IV and still here to give encouragement. Please feel free to join our ranks. We would love to have you in our club. LOL

    Seriously, you have to decide what is best for you and then go out and claim it. Take charge of your treatment. Ask a lot of questions and do some research. If your doctor doesn't satisfy your questions, find another one. You will be amazed at how differently some doctors approach the same problem. All doctors are not the same and medicine is a practice - not an exact science.
    Hope this helps. Feel free to e-mail me on this site.

    God Bless,
    Kathy

    Kathy,

    Forgive me for butting in here on a different subject but did you stay with that oncologist. I suppose if she is good, best to just make your feelings known and let them proceed. I think it is terrible to tell people that they have a certain time or there is no hope. I know of someone who always had it emphasized by her onco that mets were not curable so after taxol worked and then failed she never tried anymore - just gave up - and she looked so well while taking the taxol.

    Wishing you continued success - glad for your recent good news!
    Jean
  • bc2miraclebaby
    bc2miraclebaby Member Posts: 32 Member
    First thing to mention is that I am a 10 year survivor, My Onchologist has told me I am a miracle. He said if there were 100 women with the extent of disease I had, 3 of us are alive today. This sounds scary but IT CAN HAPPEN! I am proof that statistics are only percentages based on "those" people in "That" particular study and YOU can be that other Statistic that Survives! So don't allow anyone to tell you how your body will respond... Only the Maker really Knows!
    Secondly, I too would seek out a doctor who stresses the fact that it is treatable. You have to be comfortable with your doctor so that you can trust them.. They are humans and can make mistakes, even though some doctors hate to admit it. Find the right Doctor for YOU. Don't allow them to Squash your HOPE.
    I began as a stage 2, had a recurrence in both lungs and the sternum (anytime it has spread outside the breast,it is considered a stage 4)I had Taxol and Carboplatin and That was 7 years ago.I still have spots showing on the ct scans but they have not changed in 7 years.Maybe the surgeon was focusing on the fact that He/She could not remove it all but there are treatments available that work wonders! My Best to You. You are Not A Goner, You are a Survivor!