Hello Sisters!

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Sunrae
Sunrae Member Posts: 808
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I'm new here too, and just learning your language. Since being diagnosed a couple of months ago I joined you on the roller coaster ride. I have so many questions and so overloaded with info its hard to know where I'm at. I have a great support system in family and friends but I need your support since some of you have been there, done that. From reading a lot of the discussions I know where some of you are at. It doesn't look like I have a lot of fun ahead but its very encouraging to see so many of you are ahead of me and coming out of the valley of shadows into the sunlight, and that there is life after cancer. I've been diagnosed with invasive inductal carcinoma, right breast has 2 large tumors and 1 tiny one, also lymph node area. After many tests, looks like the cancer has not spread, slow growing, not genetic (even tho my mother had breast cancer) but is thriving on my estrogen. Surgeon wants tumors to be smaller before masectomy. Thought I would be having chemo but onc decided to put me on Femara to shrink the tumors. Was wondering if anyone else has had this kind of therapy before surgery or knows of it? Seems like I'm kind of in a honeymoon stage before reality sets in.

Comments

  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
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    Pre-surgical Chemo
    It's called neoadjuvant therapy. If you get _Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book_, she describes it in an easy-to-understand way on pp. 302-303. She states that a large-scale national study (NSABP) "found an 80 percent reduction in the tumor size, and in 36 percent of women the tumor completely disappeared," (p. 303); disappearance of one or two of your tumors might allow a lumpectomy if you wish to have one, depending upon the locations of the tumors.

    Good luck!
  • tjhay
    tjhay Member Posts: 655
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    Sunrae, welcome, I am sorry
    Sunrae, welcome, I am sorry that you had to seek us out, but very glad you found us. I have spent the last year doning chemo, rads, tomoxifin, and surgery. If you need assistance I am here for you, we all are please let us know how we can help. We are a wealth of information, compasion, and support
    tj
  • Sunrae
    Sunrae Member Posts: 808
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    Pre-surgical Chemo
    It's called neoadjuvant therapy. If you get _Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book_, she describes it in an easy-to-understand way on pp. 302-303. She states that a large-scale national study (NSABP) "found an 80 percent reduction in the tumor size, and in 36 percent of women the tumor completely disappeared," (p. 303); disappearance of one or two of your tumors might allow a lumpectomy if you wish to have one, depending upon the locations of the tumors.

    Good luck!

    WOW!
    Thanks for your quick response. That's why I chose this site to vent and find answers. I just finished Dr. Love's book, very good on this subject. I looked up the pages you suggested but couldn't find the statement. Someone lent me this book, 3rd Edition, copyright 2000. Do you have a later edition? This gives me hope that I may not have to have a masectomy. Thanks again, Lady.
  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
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    Welcome, Sunrae. I'm not in
    Welcome, Sunrae. I'm not in your same situation, I have had a lumpectomy, just finished chemo 2 weeks ago and am about to start radiation. I just wanted to welcome you to this site. It's full of caring, supportive and knowledgeable individuals. Someone will come along that can answer your question and do so with experience under their belt. Good luck to you and keep in touch.
  • Sunrae
    Sunrae Member Posts: 808
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    tjhay said:

    Sunrae, welcome, I am sorry
    Sunrae, welcome, I am sorry that you had to seek us out, but very glad you found us. I have spent the last year doning chemo, rads, tomoxifin, and surgery. If you need assistance I am here for you, we all are please let us know how we can help. We are a wealth of information, compasion, and support
    tj

    Amazing
    Sounds like you might be a "Pro", sorry for that. Knew I would find support and answers here. Its so amazing, I've only been online for about 10 minutes and you're there for me. Thank you and I'm sure that there is a wealth of all the above info here.
  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
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    Welcome, Sunrae
    My diagnosis was very different from yours, so I can't address your specific questions....but I just wanted to agree with what you said -- it IS like a whole different language you're learning, isn't it?

    But please believe, that's a GOOD thing! The women on this site really want themselves (and every other woman going on this journey) to understand and be proactive about their diagnoses and treatments and what's going on with their bodies -- so I thought that's the way all women were.

    But then I met women during chemo who had no idea what kind of breast cancer they had, or what chemo they were having, or why. While I respect any woman's decision about how to move through this in her own way, that really felt sad to me.

    So keep learning that language along with us, Sunrae!

    Traci
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
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    I had chemo of A/C 4 cycles
    I had chemo of A/C 4 cycles first before surgery. Had to shrink the very large 6 cm tumor and also had 3cm and a smaller one. I was a stage 3a. After surgery I was downsized to stage 2. Then had to have 4 more cycles of Taxotere. Then radiation. I had 2 of 15 lymph nodes involved even after the first 4 chemos. This was back in 2003/2004.
  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
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    Sunrae said:

    WOW!
    Thanks for your quick response. That's why I chose this site to vent and find answers. I just finished Dr. Love's book, very good on this subject. I looked up the pages you suggested but couldn't find the statement. Someone lent me this book, 3rd Edition, copyright 2000. Do you have a later edition? This gives me hope that I may not have to have a masectomy. Thanks again, Lady.

    Dr. Love's Breast Book
    I have the 4th edition, published in 2005. Maybe your local library has it or can get it through inter-library loan for you?

    I'm soooo glad you're conducting research for yourself--being an informed consumer of breast cancer care is critical IMHO. While you may still have to have a mastectomy, research the options and interview different doctors--implants are not the only possibility, and different surgeons offer different options. I ended up choosing to go to a doctor at a university medical research center rather than the doctor to whom I was sent first (at my local hospital) because the university doctor is more up-to-date on the latest techniques and offered me more options.

    Hang in there!
  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
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    the sisterhood
    This is one sisterhood that I wished none of us belonged to. Just wanted to tell you I am rooting for you. I have heard of your recommended therapy but don't know much about it. I was diagnosed in 1987 and, after a 22 year remission, just found out that I have rib metastasis. Everyone's story is a little different. I believe the main thing is to find a physician that you really can trust.
  • natly15
    natly15 Member Posts: 1,941
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    Welcome Sunrae to this
    Welcome Sunrae to this sisterhood of support and knowledge. I've learned so much from these gals. I'm fairly new on the site, and just completed my 2nd round of chemo yesterday. This is a roller coaster ride, so its great to have this website at my fingertips. I continue to say that cancer treatment is a crap shoot. Everyone is so different, and responses to the same meds are also so different. We've come a long way with treatment and still have a long way to go. Stick with this sight it is phenomonal.
  • Deb1969
    Deb1969 Member Posts: 165
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    natly15 said:

    Welcome Sunrae to this
    Welcome Sunrae to this sisterhood of support and knowledge. I've learned so much from these gals. I'm fairly new on the site, and just completed my 2nd round of chemo yesterday. This is a roller coaster ride, so its great to have this website at my fingertips. I continue to say that cancer treatment is a crap shoot. Everyone is so different, and responses to the same meds are also so different. We've come a long way with treatment and still have a long way to go. Stick with this sight it is phenomonal.

    Im just finished my third
    Im just finished my third chemo today, Im triple positive ER,PR and Her2. According to my breast MRI my lump measured 4 cm, Pet Scan says 10cm. I taking chemo first in order to shrink tumor before having surgery.
    Deb
  • cindycflynn
    cindycflynn Member Posts: 1,132 Member
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    Welcome Sunrae
    I did not have the treatment you're describing, but went right to my surgery (lumpectomy) first. I know I'll be looking at radiation, but don't know yet about the chemo, so I can't help you with your specific questions. One thing I do have in common with you is that my tumor was also thriving on estrogen, so I know I'll be looking at some form of estrogen therapy as well.

    I just wanted to welcome you to this wonderful community. You'll find support, laughter, and friendship here any time you need it.

    Take care,
    Cindy
  • always
    always Member Posts: 256
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    Welcome Sunrae
    I did not have the treatment you're describing, but went right to my surgery (lumpectomy) first. I know I'll be looking at radiation, but don't know yet about the chemo, so I can't help you with your specific questions. One thing I do have in common with you is that my tumor was also thriving on estrogen, so I know I'll be looking at some form of estrogen therapy as well.

    I just wanted to welcome you to this wonderful community. You'll find support, laughter, and friendship here any time you need it.

    Take care,
    Cindy

    Glad you find this site
    Sunrae glad you found this site. There is help here always. I am new but the support is tremendous. I see you are getting some answers and I am not in the same situation. I just wanted to say hi and let you know you are being lifted up in prayers continually. I hope you continue to search for information and answers. I will be praying you find them and peace along the way.

    becky
  • Sunrae
    Sunrae Member Posts: 808
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    Welcome Sunrae
    I did not have the treatment you're describing, but went right to my surgery (lumpectomy) first. I know I'll be looking at radiation, but don't know yet about the chemo, so I can't help you with your specific questions. One thing I do have in common with you is that my tumor was also thriving on estrogen, so I know I'll be looking at some form of estrogen therapy as well.

    I just wanted to welcome you to this wonderful community. You'll find support, laughter, and friendship here any time you need it.

    Take care,
    Cindy

    Whew!
    Thanks to all my sisters who responded to my post. You're all wonderful and caring to take on a newbie like me and make me feel welcome, even tho none of us want to be here. I've had a couple of meltdowns but settling now and just playing the waiting game for the time being. I can't give any of you much help other than to say I rejoice in all of your courage, love and support for each other. Each of you are so special and I look forward to the good news for each of you. Its so great to come here and be lifted up, even from those who are going thru such an ordeal. You'll be in my prayers from now on. Love to all of you!
  • ppurdin
    ppurdin Member Posts: 1,181 Member
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    Welcome Sunrae,
    Hi,welcome to this sight.You came to the right place for help and understanding.My Cancer is quit different then yours.I had a lumpectomy.I am doing Chemo and then I will be doing 6wks. of radiation.Their will be someone on this sight going thru the same and reply.Good luck to you .keep us posted on how your doing.(Pat).
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
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    Sunrae said:

    WOW!
    Thanks for your quick response. That's why I chose this site to vent and find answers. I just finished Dr. Love's book, very good on this subject. I looked up the pages you suggested but couldn't find the statement. Someone lent me this book, 3rd Edition, copyright 2000. Do you have a later edition? This gives me hope that I may not have to have a masectomy. Thanks again, Lady.

    Hi Sunrae and welcome to the
    Hi Sunrae and welcome to the board. As you can see, you will receive a wealth of information and support. Good luck to you!

    Leeza
  • survivorbc09
    survivorbc09 Member Posts: 4,374 Member
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    tjhay said:

    Sunrae, welcome, I am sorry
    Sunrae, welcome, I am sorry that you had to seek us out, but very glad you found us. I have spent the last year doning chemo, rads, tomoxifin, and surgery. If you need assistance I am here for you, we all are please let us know how we can help. We are a wealth of information, compasion, and support
    tj

    Welcoming you also Sunrae!
    Welcoming you also Sunrae! Sorry for the reason that you are here, but, you will meet amazing bc survivors along your journey here.

    HUGS
  • arkansasgirl
    arkansasgirl Member Posts: 84
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    DIABETES TYPE 2
    Hi Sunrae

    Well I've got such a rare type of BC, chemo and radiation has no effect. As far as my diabetes, I've had good A1C's and bad ones. I was on metformin but that med tore me
    up. I could not stay out of the bathroom. It was 500mg twice a day. I just moved
    south of Dallas in May 08 and got a new primary care doctor. She took me off of metformin
    and put me on Januvia 100mg once a day and it has been real good for me. I take it at
    night. I take Actos 30mg in the mornings. You know your liver makes sugar at night so
    when I take it at night, my readings are hopefully lower in the morning. When taking chemo
    I didnt eat as much and that really helped me get my A1C under control. I had both breast
    removed as soon as possible. I didn't want to take a chance the cancer going to the left
    side. I had 3 lymph nodes removed but they were ok. As far as reality, I'm still in the
    nightmare stage. I had a pet scan last week and I'm CANCER FREE, but the worry is still there. I'm going to M D ANDERSON in Houston sometime in late Feb or early March for a
    2nd opinion just to make sure my doctor has not missed anything.
    I hope for you the best and will keep you in my prayers. I have been saying this since
    day one - This cancer has won the 1st battle but now I won the 2nd and the war is far from
    over.
    Take care and let me know how your getting along.

    Arkansasgirl
  • Sunrae
    Sunrae Member Posts: 808
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    DIABETES TYPE 2
    Hi Sunrae

    Well I've got such a rare type of BC, chemo and radiation has no effect. As far as my diabetes, I've had good A1C's and bad ones. I was on metformin but that med tore me
    up. I could not stay out of the bathroom. It was 500mg twice a day. I just moved
    south of Dallas in May 08 and got a new primary care doctor. She took me off of metformin
    and put me on Januvia 100mg once a day and it has been real good for me. I take it at
    night. I take Actos 30mg in the mornings. You know your liver makes sugar at night so
    when I take it at night, my readings are hopefully lower in the morning. When taking chemo
    I didnt eat as much and that really helped me get my A1C under control. I had both breast
    removed as soon as possible. I didn't want to take a chance the cancer going to the left
    side. I had 3 lymph nodes removed but they were ok. As far as reality, I'm still in the
    nightmare stage. I had a pet scan last week and I'm CANCER FREE, but the worry is still there. I'm going to M D ANDERSON in Houston sometime in late Feb or early March for a
    2nd opinion just to make sure my doctor has not missed anything.
    I hope for you the best and will keep you in my prayers. I have been saying this since
    day one - This cancer has won the 1st battle but now I won the 2nd and the war is far from
    over.
    Take care and let me know how your getting along.

    Arkansasgirl

    Thanks for your input. Sent
    Thanks for your input. Sent you a private message today.