Am I going to die?

frog08
frog08 Member Posts: 26
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I'm 41 years old. I just had a lumpectomy last Friday. They removed the tumor and 17 lymph nodes. 3 were affected. My mother and grandmother had breast cancer. I have been getting mamograms every 2 years since 30. Just had one in Oct/2002. Had a nodule removed in left breast Nov/2002. Then felt lump in June. Didn't think much about it since I had just got a clear mamogram. However, had another Mamo. and ultrasound. From that I went back to my doctor, heard it was cancer and it was bad. I went to a surgeon, pre registered at the hospital and had the lump and nodes removed. After the drain was removed Wednesday, the doc told me it was 2.7 cm, 3 nodes were affected, she wasn't yet sure of the margins. Scheduled me immediately with the encologist, said I would need a port put in quickly and chemo quickly. Seems my cancer is very aggressive! Is there hope for me. I have two children that I would like to see grow up, but I know cancer is not forgiving or caring and will fight until the end. Am I going to die??
Thanks for any responses!
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Comments

  • gjenvick
    gjenvick Member Posts: 4
    No one can predict the future when you have cancer, but you should NOT be thinking the worst. There are MANY survivors of bc out there. I am one of them. I was 41 when diagnosed, had lumpectomy and 20 lymph nodes removed, 2 positive, tumor was 3 cm and considered "agressive". Had chemo and radiation. It is SEVEN years later and no recurrence.

    My mother and aunt had breast cancer also but that was over 30 years ago and today's treatments were not available. Because of the family history, I too had regular mammograms but never showed anything, even when the lump was found.

    I wish I could tell you how to "not worry". The way I got through it was to focus on the fact that I was doing everything that was possible to do, as far as treatment goes. I also had help from another woman who was treated successfully for bc several years before and knew what I was going through. . She called and visited me when things became overwhelming. I found her through a local support group. I also talked to another patient treated by my oncologist. Maybe you could ask the oncologist if you could talk to any former patients for support. I wish I could offer more advice. I can only offer my own story as an example.

    Michele
  • SweetSue
    SweetSue Member Posts: 217
    I'm no doctor, but my cancer site was 3.5 cm and yours is 2.7cm.......so it seems to me since I plan on living another 30 years, u should live another 35.
    Live in the NOW...that's all any person living has....past is not real anymore and the future isn't real. When u think of scary thoughts, start praying.
    Take care,
    Sue
  • mc2001
    mc2001 Member Posts: 343
    Hi Frog,
    You know what? Nobody can predict when a person will die. The important thing to keep your mind on is your doctors instruction, taking your medicines, and keeping up with your treatment. Be pro-active, ask questions, if not happy with answer, get a second or third opinion, demand to be comfortable, there are many good medicines for pain and nausea, there is no reason one should suffer needlessly. Keep up to date of your progress, and learn all your options. And remember, ultimately, YOU have the final decision for your treatment. By taking this approach you have some control over what happens. You are right, cancer is aggressive and that is why you have to jump into action. Also, when needed, allow those around you to help you, with chores, cooking, cleaning, etc. Remeber that everyone is different. Everyone reacts differently to treatments. Here is a little FYI, for whatever it means...... When I ended up at UCSF Cancer Center for treament, they diagnosed my leukemia and gave me about less than a week to live. Well, .. that was 8 years ago! Take care. Fight! Give yourself room to feel sad, or whatever, you are only human. Get it out of your system, then jump back into action and Beat this Cancer!!! You CAN fight! You have choices!! Have faith in God, and have faith in yourself!! God bless.
    -Michael
    leukemia survivor
  • maggs
    maggs Member Posts: 164
    I too had a large lump and many lymph nodes(13) involved but five years later I am still working part-time and able to mow the lawn--I enjoy it! I had a hysterectomy because of severe endometriosis. The "aggressive" cancer is now considered to be "slow growing" --thank God! I had only some chemo--couldn't take it--and then Tamoxifen and now Femara. Strongly estrogen positive and even more strongly progesterone positive! I thought I was gonna die right away but as you can see, I didn't! Praise God! My biggest problem at the moment is discerning what direction to go in careerwise! Hang in there! Everyone's experiences are different, but in my case it seems removing the estrogen-producing tissues really slowed the cancer down and maybe even my reaction to chemo had a positive side--I know God wanted me to want to live! And it sounds like you want to live, too!
  • Snookums
    Snookums Member Posts: 148
    That was my first fear/question when my ob/gyn called me with my bio results. (surgeon was out of town, he wanted me to know asap) NO- don't think the worst right now, you will not die right now- so fight. Pray and do everything you can to fight this beast. I am going to pray for you. Keep working everyday on positive thoughts and pushing forward. This site is a true wealth of knowledge and truth of feelings so use it! Blessings-Candy
  • hummingbyrd
    hummingbyrd Member Posts: 950 Member
    Know how you feel frog! I was having a biopsy under local when they told me it was cancer. They asked me if I wanted a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. All I could say was, "No, no, my God, my children." The surgeon quickly put me to sleep. When I woke up it was like a bad dream washing over me, so I just hit the demerol button. I had a 4cm tumor, 13 out of 27+ lymph nodes and an 'aggressive tumor'. That was 3 years ago and 2 bone mets and another lumpectomy from the opposite breast. I'm 41 now and praise God for everyday. My boys are 14 and 11 and my greatest desire, besides serving the Lord, is to see them grow up.
    I've learned the question is not are we going to die, but when are we going to die? Answer, who knows? The key is to realize you never knew. It's just that after 'the diagnosis' you think about it. It's tough not knowing if you'll be here to see your children grow up. I still battle with that one. My strength comes from my faith in God. I know whatever happens to me as much as I love my boys God loves them more. He will provide for them. I pray you find the same peace of mind.
    I think you'll find this site to be a great source of support.
    May God bless you with complete healing. hummingbyrd
  • marytres
    marytres Member Posts: 144
    Who says your going to die? You just do what you have to and fight it like all of us. Just like my friends posted you already, we all can live long lives. Michael got it right, look at him!!! He's one of those people who give me so much courage and strength. You just hang in there and when you get discouraged, just pray like it was already mentioned to you and if you need to talk or a friend, you'll find lots of us here. Hugs, Marie
  • rizzo15
    rizzo15 Member Posts: 153 Member
    You know what is interesting about "aggressive" cancer? I have found from my experience (3 cm tumor, 7 of 13 nodes positive) that this aggressive kind of cancer is really stupid and just sucks up that chemo just as aggressively and it dies off as quickly it was formerly growing! I had A/C chemo before surgery, so we could really feel the cancer lump under my skin responding to the chemo. Even after 1 chemo session, the doctor was having a hard time determining the size of the tumor because it had shrunk so dramatically. So, I'd say you should be positive about the outcome of all this. Even though I am ER/PR negative and was feeling depressed because hormone therapy won't work on me, I am Her2/neu overexpressed. It is kind of unusual to be able to speak directly to the head of pathology, but he went over my pathology reports with me over the phone. He said that I should have hope, even if the cancer spreads to my chest wall. Right now Herceptin is approved for everyone at that stage and it will just melt the cancer away--it is EXTREMELY effective. So, now every morning when I wake up asking the same question, Am I going to die? I answer myself, Yes, but not today. Good luck to you frog08. There are lots of people who write into this discussion page who probably have a similar or identical diagnosis as you. We have the advantage here of hearing about how doctors from all over the country treat their patients. Probably our network is a lot stronger than the one the doctors themselves have!
  • martyzl
    martyzl Member Posts: 196
    Ahhhh Frog, KNOW that you will be fine. Believe it, realize it. You are getting excellent advice here. *hugs*
    I had a similar circumstance last year. 37yrs, no family history though... a lump which didn't show on mammo., did show on ultrasound. 2.5cm, "aggressive", her2neu strong, estrogen/prog. neg.
    Demanded a mastectomy against Dr's advice. Second tumour found (1.5cm) which had not shown on mammo or ultrasound, 3 of 23 (was it?!, egad, I love that I cannot remember now!), one which had turned into a 1cm tumour.
    Babette, my Tramflap reconstruction just turned one on 7/22/03!
    Chemo was wild. Finished in Dec. and have hair again. Menopause and hotflashes are a trip... but nothing I cannot handle... the chemical suspension of my ovaries didn't work. *shrugs*
    Life goes on.
    Read our web pages... well, mine is a book now. *laughing* May it grow on for years and years!!!
    You will make it. You do what you can. Read, research, learn... empower yourself. Find your strength.
    Know we are here for you, anytime you need us. Truly.
    Are you going to die? Yes, one day, when it is time. We all will, eventually.
    Live to get past this fear and pain. Believe me, it is worth it. You go into the fire one person and you emerge stronger, wiser, more vibrant and compassionate.
    Life is good!
    If you'd like to write (as I am far, far too busy in my new world to get back in here as often as I'd like!) please feel free to write! [email protected]

    BE WELL!!!!
    *tight hugs* pssssst, keep us up to date on how things are going, eh? *smiles*
    ~Marty
  • DeeNY711
    DeeNY711 Member Posts: 476 Member
    I had mammograms every six months for the past four years, and when a lump developed a year and a half ago, the radiologist and gynecologist thought that it was from a nasty fall I took off of an exercise machine since nothing unusual showed on the mammogram films. In January, I could tell the lump wasn't going away and opted for an ultrasound, which was also negative. I hear from so many other people recently about tumors that were "invisible" to mammography and ultrasound. I had five positive nodes and was told that the magic number is generally considered to be 4. 4 or less is much happier a thing than 5 or more. Try to find the good news within your own details and hang onto it. We are all here for you. Love, Denise
  • jake10
    jake10 Member Posts: 202
    You came to the right place. We've all been where you are. Some of us more serious some less, but we all heard that word cancer. Try to absorb the positives. It will take some time to get over that blinding fear and the repeating question "Am I going to die". There are so many survivors today of BC you are in excellent company. Learn everything you can about the disease, your pathology, treatment options and then act. After that get back to living. You will laugh again, I promise. You are in my prayers. Beth
  • smvargo
    smvargo Member Posts: 39
    Frog,
    Of course you are wondering if you are going to die. What a healthy and appropriate reaction to the news you have received. You are not alone. As time goes on you will gain wisdom and a philosophy of life and survival. This diagnosis puts everyone into emotional crisis. Please take to heart all the advise and encouragement you have received. I entered therapy with a therapist who works with cancer survivors. What a life saver. You will go through this emotional process and you will emerge over time. Truly, it will take time and gathering the knowledge and support you need. My heart breaks for you because I have had so many moments with the same fear. Hearing the stories of the women in this discussion has made me realize that the odds for survival are great. Sounds like everyone around you is panicking. You might want to get some second opinions. The fact that my treatment team gave me clear answers (especially about margins) and kept cool and confident really helped---because I was going bonkers. My thoughts are with you. You will get through the crisis emotionally. Give it time.
    Stephanie
  • Rosaliesgirl
    Rosaliesgirl Member Posts: 1
    Hi my Dear, We all will pass eventually, but I feel it is something for you to think of all the blessings you currently have. Often I, too wonder, will I die? Eww! I remember my Grama Ryan told me, the best way to deal with fear is to face it and walk straight through it. I will be praying foryou
    . My Mom had a mastectomy yesterday.I am learning of cancer, and wishing to be helpful to those who have this. God Bless you.
  • isaiah4031
    isaiah4031 Member Posts: 240
    One thing I have learned from this site, is that so many women have survived incredible odds! They beat this horrible disease! You can too! Cancer is no longer the death sentence it used to be. Do your homework, research the treatments and seek wise counsel about the treatments. Be active in your care and lean heavily on those around you who love and care for you. You are not alone. We are here for you also...to be a listening ear, to offer support and advice. You can beat this!!! Keeping you in my prayers.
    Love, Jayne
  • bunnie
    bunnie Member Posts: 233
    Hi our thoughts and prayers are with you.Just think positive.I had a Mastecomy in Jan of 2003 no nodes involved but mine also was very aggasive they couldnt belive how big it got from the time the discovered it and till surgery.I have been done with chemo since Apirl and have not had my first check up yet but husband is helping me think positve that it is all gone.so keep your chin up and think positve we will all be thinking positive for you.Amy
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hi Frog:

    Fear is a very normal and appropriate reaction to the news you've received. Trust me, it will pass.
    You will, as someone else stated, learn a new philosophy and approach to living. It can actually be a wonderful and amazing experience, in that particular regard.

    Yes, we all ARE going to die. I think you realize this as much as any of us do and I beleive you pose the question in the sense of wondering whether your pathology means you're going to die soon from the bc? The answer, based on how many of us are here at this site, is not any time soon! Here's something my doctor told me, early on, which was quite helpful to me: "No one dies of breast cancer". Even in the case of mets or recurrence, the odds are on your side that it will be successfully treatable. I know that your fear must be overwhelming right now, but if you'll examine my doctors statement carefully and think about it, he was absolutely right.

    My experience was a 1cm tumor, Her2 positive and very aggressive. Hormone neg. Lumpectomy followed by AC chemo and radiation. That was all completed in October or 2001. This Fall I will be 3 years out of successful treatment. I was surprised by finding an inexhaustible core of strength which was always there, no matter how miserable I was or how afraid I felt. You too have far more strength than you might now imagine and you will also rely upon it often. It can stem from your own positive attitude, caring, loving family and friends, your faith in your care team, your own effors or your particular religious belief system. It doesn't matter because YOU CAN DO THIS! No matter how you're feeling today, tomorrow's another day and although each day can bring new challenges, it can also bring new awareness, new information and new thinking, all of which equal greater strength. All you must do is look for these things in each day, while realizing the true value of life is in its quality, not necessarily quantity. When we realize this, we find that no matter what each day brings, it will find us there, standing up to it in our own particular fashion. Our children are one of our very best insipirations. Love is an incredible force!

    Be kind to yourself and amidst the fear, make room for positive thinking. Get good solid info about breast cancer and survivorship and continue to share your feelings here, and anywhere you find positive thinking/responding people.

    Treatment modlaities, decisions and getting info, take time and you must give yourself time to recover somewhat from this shock and begin moving forward with your thinking and your treatment plan. You may want to visit: www.nci.nih.gov You'll find solid info there which may be very helpful. The more info you have and understand, the better, prior to making your treatment decisions. And don't hesitate to make a list of qquestions for your doctor(s). They should be comfortable answering any and all questions you may have.

    Wishing you good luck!

    Love, light and laughter,
    Ink
  • joules112
    joules112 Member Posts: 23
    First I'm 14 years out! Was diagnosed stage 4a with 11 positive nodes and much metatasis. Was diagnosed on Monday - surgery on Thursday. Doubled in size every 5 days. Aggressive chemo - 24 doses! It was rough but I'm still here! And you will be too! You have to fight! Keep a positive attitude and know that you want to be here for your kids. My son (2 at the time) was my reason to fight thru the pain, the nausea, the fear. You can do it.
  • marilynlandon
    marilynlandon Member Posts: 4
    martyzl said:

    Ahhhh Frog, KNOW that you will be fine. Believe it, realize it. You are getting excellent advice here. *hugs*
    I had a similar circumstance last year. 37yrs, no family history though... a lump which didn't show on mammo., did show on ultrasound. 2.5cm, "aggressive", her2neu strong, estrogen/prog. neg.
    Demanded a mastectomy against Dr's advice. Second tumour found (1.5cm) which had not shown on mammo or ultrasound, 3 of 23 (was it?!, egad, I love that I cannot remember now!), one which had turned into a 1cm tumour.
    Babette, my Tramflap reconstruction just turned one on 7/22/03!
    Chemo was wild. Finished in Dec. and have hair again. Menopause and hotflashes are a trip... but nothing I cannot handle... the chemical suspension of my ovaries didn't work. *shrugs*
    Life goes on.
    Read our web pages... well, mine is a book now. *laughing* May it grow on for years and years!!!
    You will make it. You do what you can. Read, research, learn... empower yourself. Find your strength.
    Know we are here for you, anytime you need us. Truly.
    Are you going to die? Yes, one day, when it is time. We all will, eventually.
    Live to get past this fear and pain. Believe me, it is worth it. You go into the fire one person and you emerge stronger, wiser, more vibrant and compassionate.
    Life is good!
    If you'd like to write (as I am far, far too busy in my new world to get back in here as often as I'd like!) please feel free to write! [email protected]

    BE WELL!!!!
    *tight hugs* pssssst, keep us up to date on how things are going, eh? *smiles*
    ~Marty

    What a lovely reply to Frog. You said all the right words. My hot flashes/sweats were out of control. I was on 25mg of Effexor. New doctor raised it to 150mg. I haven't had a hot flash since. I'm on Arimidex. Do you have any experience with it? Does anyone?
  • joules112
    joules112 Member Posts: 23
    Just checking back to see how you are holding up? Are you feeling any better? Still remembering you in my prayers. (hugs)
  • dustyrose
    dustyrose Member Posts: 1
    Am I going to die
    I HOPE MY STORY MIGHT HELP YOU I WAS DIAGNOSED IN 2001. MY TUMOR WAS YES THIS IS CORRECT 16 BY 15 CENTIMETERS ALL BUT 3 LYMPH NODES WERE CANCER. IT HAS BEEN 7 YRS I AM STILL HERE I THANK GOD EVERY DAY MY DAUGHTER WENT TO HER DOCTOR LAST MONTH SHE TOLD HIM ABOUT MY CANCER AND HOW HUGE IT WAS HE ASKED HER WHEN DID SHE DIE SHE TOLD HIM THAT I WAS STILL ALIVE HIS REPLY TO HER WAS HOLY SH-- HE COLD NOT BELIEVE IT. ALSO I HAD ONLY THE MASS AND NODES REMOVED . I WAS ALWAYS POSITIVE ABOUT IT I KNEW THAT THIS STUPID DISEASE WAS NOT GOING TO GET ME .I MADE DRAWINGS AND NOTES ALL OVER THE HOUSE NO THO 7 YRS LATER MY TUMOR MARKERS ARE GOING UP TO 99. SO FAR NO SIGN OF A TUMOR. BUT I AM STILL CONCERNED JUST KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE