gettin' thru it

marysun Member Posts: 39 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
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!


  • newjersey25
    newjersey25 Member Posts: 27
    hello, I am 26 and had stage IIIa breast cancer. I can say I have BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT! I have experienced everything you are going through. I am doing radiation on my (what used to be my left breast, mastectomy)I have 10 more to go! I am also experiencing redness and a little irritation. My doctors told me to use aquaphor. It really helps! It keeps the area moist, kind of like vasaline. I found my lump myself in the shower and I waited a long time to have it checked out. There was no history in my family and I was only 25 at the time, I figured it was a cyst,I was wrong! I had several surgeries to test,remove, re-exicional biopsy, ax-node biopy, mastectomies(had both breasts removed and replaced)chemo,menapause, and radiation. You name it! If you ever need someone to talk to give me a yell! Fawn
  • 7fergie
    7fergie Member Posts: 19

    You sound like you are doing very well. I had a bilateral mastectomy in December 2002 1 and 2 weeks before Christmas. I did great-surprised myself at how much humor, good attitude and confidence I had. Then the hair fell out in February and I was depressed for 2-3 weeks. Got over that completely but then all the current and down the road reminders of cancer were getting me down-I just could not get past them. I was good and stuck. What turned me around was talking to 2 new friends(courtesy of cancer)who basically told me that there is no easy or magical way to get through it. You just get through it. You put one foot in front of the other and go. No sense in rebelling like I was doing. I wouldn't even get a Relay for Life yard sign because that would be one more thing to remind me of it every time I looked out my window or drove to and from the house. So these two friends helped me turn the corner and I don't rebel any more--I just get through it however that is. I can't wait til it's a distant memory but for now there's no way around it-we just have to get through it--lots of acceptance of the situation. Thanks for my friends' advice or I might still be stuck.

  • 7fergie
    7fergie Member Posts: 19

    Got your message. Glad I could help you. It's a good feeling to help someone thru something I've been thru. Forgot to put it in my previous message but I finally got the Relay for Life yard sign(that I was rebelling against getting) at one of my support groups last week and am very happy and proud to have it there and that my emotional place is so much better so that I could do it. It's not just a sign. It's a reminder and now a reminder that I can handle such things. Since I've put mine up(in the rain,at night) I noticed another family down the street put one up. I hope it's helping raise awareness. So, that was a biggie for me but thanks to my 2 new friends, I got through it and all the other reminders and glad my friends helped you too.

  • hippy
    hippy Member Posts: 5
    I have been where you are at marysun. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 99. Had lumpectomy. Came back next year and was moving aggressively. Had masectomy and 6 mos of grueling chemo. I still cant stand the color red. Lost all of my hair seemed forever before it grew back long, but it did. Next year after that it came back and I went through 2 mos of radiation. It was the longest two months of my life. The burn, tired all the time and going every day wore me down. All I can say is when you get near the end of the radiation treatments they nuc you less and once it is over you can rejoice. It took me a couple of weeks to get my energy back. But I still have hot flashes. Aren't those fun! Good Luck. If you want to e-mail me and talk more you can reach me at [email protected]