Joined the club today - I am also new

JoyD
JoyD Member Posts: 81
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I have read the posts of Verlina and Jumperlady9 who are both new to Breast Cancer. I have been diagnosed on Jan 13 and will undergo radical masectomy on the left breast this Thurs February 26. Just like the other 2 ladies/sisters, I am scared of the unknown. They found the cancer cells in my lymph nodes before they were able to find the origin. For now the Doctor had told me Stage 3 but the final determination of the stage would be once they open me up and examine the breast. I am scared of this because most of the people that I talked or read about had only Stage 1 or 2. I try to be as positive as I could be because some people say it helps battle the disease. There are other times that I just cry and breakdown. Its a mixed feeling at this time. Also for those who had masectomy, can I asked you a question? When you had surgery did they start reconstructing the breast too? I have a co-worker who was able to do that but as far as my Dr goes, he did not give me that option and he just said that the recontruction can happen after radiation or a year from now. Any comments on this? Thanks.

Comments

  • Moopy23
    Moopy23 Member Posts: 1,751 Member
    Hello, Joy
    Hi, Joy, I am so sorry to hear of your diagnosis but welcome you to a wonderful, extraordinary group of survivors. I was diagnosed in November 2008 with Stage IIIA. Large tumor and 6 of 15 lymphnodes. Had modified radical mastectomy on left breast. Now I am midway through 6 chemo treatments to be followed by radiation. There are others here w/ Stage III also.

    At first, I was sent to a plastic surgeon because the biopsy appeared to show no lymphnode involvement and a smaller tumor, so doing both shortly was an option. After the mastectomy, the reconstruction was put off. In my case, then, the pre-operation thoughts were more optimistic, which left me unprepared for the worser case w/ size and nodes. For you, it sounds like more is known early. I will be praying for you. You will find wonderful support from other women here also. Please don't hesitate to write anytime. All the feeings you are having, we all have experienced and will be glad to help you.
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Welcome, Joy
    Moopy already gave a good introduction, and yes there are women here who are at every stage of this disease. Don't worry, you are not alone. I had a lumpectomy, so I don't have much to contribute about reconstruction, but there are many, many women here who can give you advice on that. As for positive thinking, I think that sometimes this can be an added pressure that you don't need. You are still beginning this process and have much to think about and consider. I don't think it helps to chastise yourself for feeling many of the things that are perfectly normal and that all of us on this board have felt. In fact, I think what really helps is to express your emotions. This board is a safe place to do so. One thing I can say is that you will make it through this -- just like the many, many women who have come before you and will come after you. One step at at time and post anything that occurs to you here.

    Mimi
  • Derbygirl
    Derbygirl Member Posts: 198
    Your positive attitude will
    Your positive attitude will be so very helpful during the coming months. The diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer is frightening, but this network is full of survivors who will share experiences with you and provide support 24/7. Hope you'll visit often. I chose a lumpectomy in 2008 so I can't offer anything about a mastectomy, but I'm sure other survivors will share their experiences. I can reassure you that the emotional and physical aspects are to be expected and are part of the healing process. Look forward to hearing from you after surgery. Good luck!
  • Moopy23
    Moopy23 Member Posts: 1,751 Member
    mimivac said:

    Welcome, Joy
    Moopy already gave a good introduction, and yes there are women here who are at every stage of this disease. Don't worry, you are not alone. I had a lumpectomy, so I don't have much to contribute about reconstruction, but there are many, many women here who can give you advice on that. As for positive thinking, I think that sometimes this can be an added pressure that you don't need. You are still beginning this process and have much to think about and consider. I don't think it helps to chastise yourself for feeling many of the things that are perfectly normal and that all of us on this board have felt. In fact, I think what really helps is to express your emotions. This board is a safe place to do so. One thing I can say is that you will make it through this -- just like the many, many women who have come before you and will come after you. One step at at time and post anything that occurs to you here.

    Mimi

    Amen, Mimi!
    The pressure to appear positive is an added pressure that we really don't need. How can you be cheerful and positive all the time when you're fighting something as terrible as this? Not to mention the idea that your prognosis somehow depends on how happy you are. Don't get me wrong. Maintaining an overall positive outlook is important. You have to look ahead to life after cancer. But you're not obligated to be positive all the time.
  • tommaseena
    tommaseena Member Posts: 1,769
    Derbygirl said:

    Your positive attitude will
    Your positive attitude will be so very helpful during the coming months. The diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer is frightening, but this network is full of survivors who will share experiences with you and provide support 24/7. Hope you'll visit often. I chose a lumpectomy in 2008 so I can't offer anything about a mastectomy, but I'm sure other survivors will share their experiences. I can reassure you that the emotional and physical aspects are to be expected and are part of the healing process. Look forward to hearing from you after surgery. Good luck!

    JoyD
    I am stage 1 no lymph node involvement but I opted to have a double mastectomy on 2/2/09 with tissue expanders put in place at that time. I will not be receiving radiation but I will be on chemo treatments starting 3/10/09. I had the first fill(120 cc) at the time of surgery and then two weeks after surgery I had another fill(90 cc) and will get weekly fills starting next week.

    This is a wonderful site and have found that these other ladies and caregivers are always there 24/7 with answers to our questions.

    Thoughts and prayers will be with you.
    Margo
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member
    Dear Joy
    I also had modified left breast masectomy Dec.2nd 08 and 6 pos. lymph nodes. Stage 3. Can't say this doesn't turn your world upside down. The fear, depression and anger at the beast that has stolen so much from us is certainly understandable. Just try to take baby steps and get through one thing at a time. It is so overwhelming....you have a battle in front of you that we all have faced. Keep your eye on the light at the end..there are many survivors out there..and so many on this board who have become a strong support and lifeline for me. Keep posting with all of your concerns and let us know how you are doing. We will be here with you to help however we can. This is an amazing group of sisters all fighting for the same cause.
    My surgeon thought maybe a year or two before. reconstruction. I will first have to do radiation..and that is my next hurdle after the chemo is finished. You are in my prayers. Please keep us posted and God Bless.
    Jackie
  • JoyD
    JoyD Member Posts: 81
    rjjj said:

    Dear Joy
    I also had modified left breast masectomy Dec.2nd 08 and 6 pos. lymph nodes. Stage 3. Can't say this doesn't turn your world upside down. The fear, depression and anger at the beast that has stolen so much from us is certainly understandable. Just try to take baby steps and get through one thing at a time. It is so overwhelming....you have a battle in front of you that we all have faced. Keep your eye on the light at the end..there are many survivors out there..and so many on this board who have become a strong support and lifeline for me. Keep posting with all of your concerns and let us know how you are doing. We will be here with you to help however we can. This is an amazing group of sisters all fighting for the same cause.
    My surgeon thought maybe a year or two before. reconstruction. I will first have to do radiation..and that is my next hurdle after the chemo is finished. You are in my prayers. Please keep us posted and God Bless.
    Jackie

    Thank you
    Jackie: Thanks for sharing your experience with me. I need your support now. I feel we are in a similar situation. Your opinion and comments are what I need at this time. I will let you know the outcome of my surgery.

    Thanks to all my sisters who had posted their comments and encouraging words. I am glad that I decided to join this group. May GOD bless us all!

    Joy
  • EveningStar2
    EveningStar2 Member Posts: 491 Member
    JoyD said:

    Thank you
    Jackie: Thanks for sharing your experience with me. I need your support now. I feel we are in a similar situation. Your opinion and comments are what I need at this time. I will let you know the outcome of my surgery.

    Thanks to all my sisters who had posted their comments and encouraging words. I am glad that I decided to join this group. May GOD bless us all!

    Joy

    Hi

    Every situation is different but this board is a great place. No one understands like our sisters in pink.

    Maureen
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    me too
    I was a stage 3a also. My tumors were large-6cm,3cm, and another that was smaller. I had to have 4 cycles of chemo before surgery to shrink them. Then a Modified radical mastectomy on the right side. 4 more cycles of chemo and 6 weeks of radiation. I had two lymph nodes with cancer even after the first four cycles of chemo. My surgeon also told me I'd have to wait till after radiation for reconstruction which I haven't had. I was diagnosed in 2003.
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    Welcome Joy to the club no
    Welcome Joy to the club no one wants to join. I'm sorry you're here because it means that you too are fighting the beast, but I am very glad you did find us. You will find a great group of women and men here on the site that are battling the beast or are caregivers. I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma on June 1, 2007. I had had a mammogram on January 24th, and nothing was detected, but I felt a lump on May 5, 2007. (These dates will be forever engraved in my mind just like the birth of my kids). I was scheduled for an ultrasound and from there things spiraled into a frenzy of doctor appointments and surgery. When the biopsy results came back on June 1st, they found vascular invasion (found in the blood vessels in the breast) because we didn't know how aggressive the tumor was I opted for a radical modified mastectomy but didn't have time to find a plastic surgeon within the short period of time because I was scheduled for the mastectomy on June 7th. My pathology report came back with a Grade 3 tumor which makes it very aggressive so I was glad that I went down the path I chose. I then went through 8 rounds of chemo (adriamycin, cytoxan and 5FU) but didn't need to have radiation. I started looking for a plastic surgeon November 2007 after I finished with the chemo and had a tram flap reconstruction on February 4th 2008. Basically from start to finish it could take up to 2 years and though it may seem like a long time to you right now, it does go by quickly. Before I had the reconstruction, I had a prosthesis and with clothes you couldn't tell the difference. (Another story when you are buck naked). Others, have had the reconstruction right away, but if you need to have radiation, I would wait because the radiation can make your skin pucker up and then you would need to have that fixed again. If you have further questions, you can send me a private message or post your question here on the board and I will answer you. Best of luck and hugs, Lili
  • tasha_111
    tasha_111 Member Posts: 2,072

    Welcome Joy to the club no
    Welcome Joy to the club no one wants to join. I'm sorry you're here because it means that you too are fighting the beast, but I am very glad you did find us. You will find a great group of women and men here on the site that are battling the beast or are caregivers. I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma on June 1, 2007. I had had a mammogram on January 24th, and nothing was detected, but I felt a lump on May 5, 2007. (These dates will be forever engraved in my mind just like the birth of my kids). I was scheduled for an ultrasound and from there things spiraled into a frenzy of doctor appointments and surgery. When the biopsy results came back on June 1st, they found vascular invasion (found in the blood vessels in the breast) because we didn't know how aggressive the tumor was I opted for a radical modified mastectomy but didn't have time to find a plastic surgeon within the short period of time because I was scheduled for the mastectomy on June 7th. My pathology report came back with a Grade 3 tumor which makes it very aggressive so I was glad that I went down the path I chose. I then went through 8 rounds of chemo (adriamycin, cytoxan and 5FU) but didn't need to have radiation. I started looking for a plastic surgeon November 2007 after I finished with the chemo and had a tram flap reconstruction on February 4th 2008. Basically from start to finish it could take up to 2 years and though it may seem like a long time to you right now, it does go by quickly. Before I had the reconstruction, I had a prosthesis and with clothes you couldn't tell the difference. (Another story when you are buck naked). Others, have had the reconstruction right away, but if you need to have radiation, I would wait because the radiation can make your skin pucker up and then you would need to have that fixed again. If you have further questions, you can send me a private message or post your question here on the board and I will answer you. Best of luck and hugs, Lili

    Welcome Joy
    Hi, welcome and good luck. Jxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Joycelouise
    Joycelouise Member Posts: 482
    My name is JOYce, so we have
    My name is JOYce, so we have that in common. I barely made it into stage two with a big tumor and two nodes positive. Had a mas. They didn't even tell me about the possibility of recon. during mas. They knew I was headed for rads. (Which aren't that bad, by the way) Anyway, I had to wait at least six months after rads because the rads compromise the tissue's ability to heal and stretch. My calender of fun included the mas, then six months of treatment, then six months of healing (while taking herceptin for her2 pos. which is nothing but an inconvenience) Meanwhile my hair grew back. Then, a year after mas. I had an expander put in and now I am going through months of slowly swelling the implant with weekly fluid injections (ah, more needles!) It will be a while before I get the expander out and the squishy implant put in which is yet another surgery (ah, more needles!).
    I kind of hesitate to write all this because it can look pretty gross all laid out. But day by day I got through it. Mind you some of those days I cried, pouted and cursed. Now, things are getting much easier. REally. So glad you found this site. Count on me for anything I can help you with. INcluding more infor about after rads. recon. You can also do a recon. using your own tissue which is more of a one time deal but you have to have a fair amount of body fat to do that and I am a bit of a stick so wasn't a candidate.
    Courage sweetie, and know you are among friends and supporters.
    By the way, I have grown A LOT as a person through this ordeal. It is kind of like a door prize. Love, Joyce