Hi everyone. I am 50 years old. My gyn found my lump last august during routine yearly checkup. Had fine needle aspiration - results were suspicious for cancer. Sept 9 had biopsy and found 2.7cm aggressive tumor with clear margins. The surgeon sewed me up and told us to see the breast cancer people at Moffitt Center in Tampa. So we did. Oct 23 they did a lumpectomy and sentinel node mapping. 1st result was no cancer in nodes, but a subsequent stain showed microscopic cells in the 2 nodes they took. What a blow. Back to Moffitt on the day before Thanksgiving 2002 for axilla surgery. They took 19 additional nodes and inserted the drain which in my opinion was probably the worst part of this whole adventure. I wore that for 10 days (get it out of me!!), saw the surgeon on Dec 10, started AC on Dec 17. I made it through four sessions, the last on Feb 17. Bad but here I am. Even now seeing effects of the chemo -- I am now menopausal (terrific hot flashes every 2 hours), my nails have these white stripes, I still have "sticky spit", my skin is pebbly sort of like permanent goose bumps, hair is coming back real soft but worst of that is the hairs on my throat and chin are back which i really appreciated not having to deal with for a few months (pluck, pluck, pluck). I am now in radiation -- 15 down of 35 treatments. I am t-i-r-e-d, tired of being tired. I am experiencing some radiation burn but not too bad (yet, I guess) just sore all the time and some reddish sensitive skin up by my collarbone since they are radiating the lymphs there on my chest as well as 2 angles of my left breast. I am using the biafine cream the dr. gave me. I don't want to know what it would be like without it. My upper arm is still tingly/sore from the axilla surgery which accentuates the radiation effects. You know how each step of this journey seems so overwhelming as you pass through it. I am stuck here in the forever radiation. Maybe it is the noise of the machine, maybe it is because I am in the room alone, maybe it is going every day. What ever it is, I am finding it hard to get to the "oh well" stage of this treatment. And don't tell me this is the "easy" part. There IS NO EASY PART. It is all hard and terrifying and threatens to break you down. I miss being exuberant. I know it will be over by the end of May, but here I am just half past April. Sorry this is so long, but wanted to introduce myself and say I read the success stories here and am encouraged. Although we are in this together, ultimately the road is a lonely one. I have superb support -- friends, loving family, and I don't wear a wig just a skully cap so I get lots of peripheral sympathy. I check the board every day now and say to all -- we go, girls!