Hello as I join you on this new adventure!

LadyParvati
LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma at the very end of September--one tumor, 1.3 by 2 cm in the lower part of my right breast. I'm 57, have one son still living at home (moved back home) while attending college, and am in college myself working on a Ph.D.

After learning I have breast cancer, I have been doing a lot of research and reading and have interviewed three doctors. I finally chose one who was a) honest (first one wasn't) about my surgical options & outcomes and b) progressive, which seems to increase my options. I'm scheduled for a lumpectomy on Nov. 6.

So far I have been dealing with this big change in my life by reading & research. However, I know that at some point I am likely to react more emotionally. I've been told I'm "burying" the emotions so far and to prepare to deal with it sometime soon. In addition, my DH suffers from depression, so I can't depend upon him to cheer me up if I get down; he's more likely to get down himself. I'm the extravert; he's an introvert, so I've prepared for him getting down by contacting two of his good friends and asking them to check on him periodically when I'm going through treatment.

I also don't want to let my disease & treatment become a burden for my 20-year-old son at home or for my older sons or their wives. So I'm looking for ways of keeping myself as emotionally stable as I can while I work through the months ahead. So far, for myself, I'm reaching out to other survivors both locally and via the Internet. One of the suggestions was to join the ACS CSN, so here I am. Other suggestions would be very welcome!

Comments

  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
    Welcome, LadyParvati.
    Welcome, LadyPavarti. You've come to the right place to ask questions, vent, or simply enjoy the comraderie of fellow bc survivors. Everything we have to do to slay this beast is doable. There is support available 24/7. It's a great group of women and while we sorry for the reason you're here, welcome.
  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
    Welcome, Lady
    My journey is a little bit similar to yours so far: I had bilateral lumpectomies back in June. Chemo was an option I chose to take, and now I'm on to Tamoxifen and radiation.

    It pisses me off a little to hear that someone is telling you you're "burying your emotions." For heaven's sake, you're only a month out from your diagnosis and preparing for surgery -- of course you're focusing on gathering information, choosing your doctors, and getting ready! At this point, I was like you, just in moving-forward mode, and I don't see anything wrong with that.

    But you're also reaching out and building your support network, which I think is a great way to make sure you're taking care of yourself, and you're right -- you'll need a lot of support in the months ahead.

    So basically -- I THINK YOU'RE DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT! :-) So welcome, and feel free to ask any questions you have -- we're here to help each other.

    Traci
  • MAJW
    MAJW Member Posts: 2,510 Member
    Welcome....
    I also had invasive ductual bc....I'm 58...it's been a long 8 months, but I am at the end of treatment.....had lumpectomy, chemo, and have two radiation treatments left, out of 33....I'm ready to reclaim my life!

    Best advice I can give you......take one day at a time, or take it minute by minute if that's what it takes to get through this......it's a long journey to reclaiming our good health but we do it! Also don't be afraid to ask your physicians for help, most take something, Xanax, Valium,etc. I took the lowest dose of Valium for a few weeks.....it really helped take the edge off my emotions. And your emotions will be all over the place, more than likely....Don't take on to much, if possible.....you need your strength.......let anyone who wants to help, help you......time to be selfish..That's hard for women, especially mothers, to do... I too, did tons of research, but after a while, I went on information OVERLOAD! I just couldn't do anymore and put myself in the hands of my trusted physicians....the brain can only take so much and mine shut down on more than one occasion.....

    IT's a long journey, fighting this beast.....but you too will see light at the end of the tunnel.....again, take it one day at a time.....If I can help in anyway, I'd be glad to..this is a wonderful website.....we've all walked in your shoes, and sadly, many more will join us
    Prayers and best wishes...........Peace be with you.......
  • helen e
    helen e Member Posts: 223
    You're iin good company here!
    I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in September and had a lumpecctomy just 3 weeks ago. I had no (real) problem with the diagnosis or the idea of radiation and chemo. No tears, rants or anything else. I was even ok when they told me that I needed to have a mastectomy, until I received the info from the plastic surgeon. I have to say that I am beginning to fray at the edges. I can handle all of the important things fine but come to the cosmetic part and I'm falling apart. We all handle bad news in our own way and don't ever let someone tell that you are handling this wrong, there is no right or wrong way - just our own way. Believe me you are in the company of many great and courageous women on the site. We will all help you in any way we can.

    Helen
  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
    helen e said:

    You're iin good company here!
    I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in September and had a lumpecctomy just 3 weeks ago. I had no (real) problem with the diagnosis or the idea of radiation and chemo. No tears, rants or anything else. I was even ok when they told me that I needed to have a mastectomy, until I received the info from the plastic surgeon. I have to say that I am beginning to fray at the edges. I can handle all of the important things fine but come to the cosmetic part and I'm falling apart. We all handle bad news in our own way and don't ever let someone tell that you are handling this wrong, there is no right or wrong way - just our own way. Believe me you are in the company of many great and courageous women on the site. We will all help you in any way we can.

    Helen

    Thank you, All!
    It's good to hear that it's OK for me to be "where I am" emotionally--it's not like I can *make* myself get emotional right now! And I do have moments of distress, such as when I read of the cognitive effects of chemo. Thank you for the affirmation, TracilnLA!

    Helen, I can imagine what the plastic surgeon said that was distressing for you. The first surgeon with whom I spoke was really rosy about mastectomy--it was all wonderful and I'd get "perky new breasts!" I was really glad that others were more honest, and if I do have to have a mastectomy, at least I know what to expect. Still, it sure doesn't sound nearly as nice as that first doctor made it sound! If I had a magic wand, I'd wave it for you so you wouldn't have the consequences to deal with . . . but then I'd wave it for me and everyone else here as well! Guess we'll all have to be strong enough to deal with what we must.

    It sounds like you and MAJW are not far ahead of me on this new path, and obviously many of you have traveled this path ahead of us. I'm glad to know that I won't be traveling alone!
  • lanie940
    lanie940 Member Posts: 490
    I did my homework also when
    I did my homework also when I found out I had breast cancer in July. I was able to actually listen to and see the Dr. who I chose to be my oncology surgeon and also, my Medical oncologist.My oncology surgeon is well known in my area, so I was thrilled to have him, he is totally awesome. I also had to have a hernia operation this past October 8th, he recomended a very good general surgeon, so I'm on the mend from that. The lumpectomy was a piece of cake compared to the hernia!. I am doing my RADS now, and I am very pleased with my Radiology Dr. the hardest part so far is finding a place to park at the hospital! Thank heavens they have a little jintney that drives around the lots and picks you up and takes you to the entrance you want to go in!

    Are they going to do a sentinel node biopsy on you also? I had that done, my node was clear. I also had the oncotype dx test and my score was 21 in the low mid-range, so I opted to forgo Chemo since it would only decrease my odds by 2-3%. I wish you the best, keep us informed.
  • tjhay
    tjhay Member Posts: 655
    LadyPravati
    Welcome
    Welcome

    LadyPravati
    Welcome
    Welcome to a place full of Amazon Warriors, you will find this to be a place a wealth of information, compasion, understanding, and support. You will aslo find that each of us deal with the physical, emotional, and mental part of the battle at our own pace, so please dont let anyone convince you that you are stuffing your emotions in anyway. Your mind, heart, and spirit will deal with it all when it has processed according to how you function.
    I would like to remind you though at times in process of trying not to be a burden to our friends or family we have a tendency to withhold information, to shut them out of the decision process, and we deny them of doing what they want to do more then anything, and that is to help us. Please keep in mind that your sons and their familys your friends and even your DH is on this journey also. Keep them in the loop, let help where they can and lean on them when you need to. It is what love is about.
    As far as your new sisterhood here, you will find that you are surrounded by men and women who will sit up late talking to you, who will share there experince, who will offer different suggestion to help, nag you call your doctor, and then wait for you to post what the doctor said. We here virtualy reach out our hands to each other, to comfort, steady a wery warrior steps, to give a laugh when needed, and to cry with you when you dont know what else to do.

    Welcome
    tj
  • cindycflynn
    cindycflynn Member Posts: 1,132 Member
    Welcome Lady!
    I know you'll be glad you found this site, as we all are. Even if we're not happy about needing to find it, it is such a good thing that it's here for all of us.

    I'm not too far ahead of you. Was diagnosed with IDC on September 2nd and just had my lumpectomy on October 12th. I haven't met my medical oncologist, but know someone else who went to her so I feel good about my care. It has also been important to me to be as informed as possible. It think it gives us a sense of at least some control over the situation.

    Just go with the emotions as they come to you, and know that if they seem to overwhelm you, you now have a place you can ALWAYS turn to for support.

    Best of luck to you on your journey,
    Cindy
  • ppurdin
    ppurdin Member Posts: 1,181
    Welcome Lady Parvati
    Hi,Like Tracy ours is simular in what you are dealing with.You came to the right place for support.Good luck.Keep us posted on how your doing.Take care.(Pat).
  • marilyndbk
    marilyndbk Member Posts: 238 Member
    Welcome to this site. It has
    Welcome to this site. It has been a wealth of information. Sometimes it is good just to read and hear that some of what I am feeling is normal. Go easy on yourself. You are the best person to know your body and mind. This journey can be so long. We go from doing everything seeming to go along ok one day and wham our lives are changed for awhile. Hang in there and take care. Marilyn
  • Sunrae
    Sunrae Member Posts: 808

    Thank you, All!
    It's good to hear that it's OK for me to be "where I am" emotionally--it's not like I can *make* myself get emotional right now! And I do have moments of distress, such as when I read of the cognitive effects of chemo. Thank you for the affirmation, TracilnLA!

    Helen, I can imagine what the plastic surgeon said that was distressing for you. The first surgeon with whom I spoke was really rosy about mastectomy--it was all wonderful and I'd get "perky new breasts!" I was really glad that others were more honest, and if I do have to have a mastectomy, at least I know what to expect. Still, it sure doesn't sound nearly as nice as that first doctor made it sound! If I had a magic wand, I'd wave it for you so you wouldn't have the consequences to deal with . . . but then I'd wave it for me and everyone else here as well! Guess we'll all have to be strong enough to deal with what we must.

    It sounds like you and MAJW are not far ahead of me on this new path, and obviously many of you have traveled this path ahead of us. I'm glad to know that I won't be traveling alone!

    OK Where You Are!
    I'm in the same place you are as far as emotions. I was diagnosed the first week of September, but I'm still waiting for the go-ahead for surgery whenever the tumors have been reduced. Almost everyday someone asks me how I am and I say "Fine". I really think some people are waiting for me to fall apart, which I might in the future but for now I'm fine. One thing that did cause me a problem was researching all the facts and figures, treatments, etc. and I went into "information overload". Sometimes our minds can only take so much and it started keeping me awake, wondering if this or that would happen. So far now I am concentrating on looking forward to my next onc appt and hearing her say "It's working".
    Like you I went to a couple of drs. The first one scheduled me for a masectomy before I left his office even tho he knew I was going to another surgeon the next day. He hardly looked at my mammmograms and reports. He didn't even find the swollen lymph node under my arm. The surgeon I chose was very thorough and answered every question my husband and I asked, spent a lot of time with us, over an hour. Now its kind of up to the onc and surgeon to let me know when its time for the surgery. Seems like we're all in different stages of this but its such a comfort to be here with all of you. Lady, let us know how you're doing.
  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
    tjhay said:

    LadyPravati
    Welcome
    Welcome

    LadyPravati
    Welcome
    Welcome to a place full of Amazon Warriors, you will find this to be a place a wealth of information, compasion, understanding, and support. You will aslo find that each of us deal with the physical, emotional, and mental part of the battle at our own pace, so please dont let anyone convince you that you are stuffing your emotions in anyway. Your mind, heart, and spirit will deal with it all when it has processed according to how you function.
    I would like to remind you though at times in process of trying not to be a burden to our friends or family we have a tendency to withhold information, to shut them out of the decision process, and we deny them of doing what they want to do more then anything, and that is to help us. Please keep in mind that your sons and their familys your friends and even your DH is on this journey also. Keep them in the loop, let help where they can and lean on them when you need to. It is what love is about.
    As far as your new sisterhood here, you will find that you are surrounded by men and women who will sit up late talking to you, who will share there experince, who will offer different suggestion to help, nag you call your doctor, and then wait for you to post what the doctor said. We here virtualy reach out our hands to each other, to comfort, steady a wery warrior steps, to give a laugh when needed, and to cry with you when you dont know what else to do.

    Welcome
    tj

    Sharing the Journey
    TJ, thank you for the excellent and timely advice! I have kept my DH and sons and one friend in the loop, but not many others. I really need to tell others what's going to be happening when, and I need to meet with my doctoral committee to plan & implement a contingency plan for my dissertation work . . .

    Someone else mentioned the information overload--OMG, YES!! Every night I feel exhausted and have been going to bed early, but I'm keeping a notepad by the bed because I awaken in the wee hours thinking, "I have to remember to do ________!" or "I need to find out about _____!" Then my brain starts whirling and I can't get back to sleep.

    Oooops--oldest son is calling! Bye!
  • lynn1950
    lynn1950 Member Posts: 2,570

    Thank you, All!
    It's good to hear that it's OK for me to be "where I am" emotionally--it's not like I can *make* myself get emotional right now! And I do have moments of distress, such as when I read of the cognitive effects of chemo. Thank you for the affirmation, TracilnLA!

    Helen, I can imagine what the plastic surgeon said that was distressing for you. The first surgeon with whom I spoke was really rosy about mastectomy--it was all wonderful and I'd get "perky new breasts!" I was really glad that others were more honest, and if I do have to have a mastectomy, at least I know what to expect. Still, it sure doesn't sound nearly as nice as that first doctor made it sound! If I had a magic wand, I'd wave it for you so you wouldn't have the consequences to deal with . . . but then I'd wave it for me and everyone else here as well! Guess we'll all have to be strong enough to deal with what we must.

    It sounds like you and MAJW are not far ahead of me on this new path, and obviously many of you have traveled this path ahead of us. I'm glad to know that I won't be traveling alone!

    Ooh - I had a "perky"
    Ooh - I had a "perky" surgeon whose "don't worry, be happy" attitude (read condescending) and whose actual words were "It's NOTHING to worry about." Our relationship has changed over the year and a half of this sobering ordeal, which is good psychologically for both of us as she is an excellent surgeon (the best locally).

    This board has been a life saver for me. At the beginning, starting from diagnosis, I was stalwart and stoic, not wanting to rock anyone's boat. I really thought I was doing great and was self-righteously astounded at my seeming "courage and strength." But I believe that there is a grieving process in all of this that we must all eventually undergo. For some of us, IF we let it build up, it will cause us to "meltdown." That happened to me.

    Although I am fine now, I wouldn't wish the abyss on my worst enemy. Here's what finally helped me: drugs (antidepressants, Xanax, and, for a very short time, Abilify; finding the "right" therapist and psychiatrist; acupuncture, meditation and Yoga; becoming a member of CSN; and diet change. I highly recommend the book "Anti-Cancer." I don't think it was any one choice that helped my through, and I have a strong suspicion that the effect as a whole was synergistic.

    My best and take care, xoxoxoxoxo Lynn
  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
    lanie940 said:

    I did my homework also when
    I did my homework also when I found out I had breast cancer in July. I was able to actually listen to and see the Dr. who I chose to be my oncology surgeon and also, my Medical oncologist.My oncology surgeon is well known in my area, so I was thrilled to have him, he is totally awesome. I also had to have a hernia operation this past October 8th, he recomended a very good general surgeon, so I'm on the mend from that. The lumpectomy was a piece of cake compared to the hernia!. I am doing my RADS now, and I am very pleased with my Radiology Dr. the hardest part so far is finding a place to park at the hospital! Thank heavens they have a little jintney that drives around the lots and picks you up and takes you to the entrance you want to go in!

    Are they going to do a sentinel node biopsy on you also? I had that done, my node was clear. I also had the oncotype dx test and my score was 21 in the low mid-range, so I opted to forgo Chemo since it would only decrease my odds by 2-3%. I wish you the best, keep us informed.

    Sentinel node biopsy
    Yes, my surgeon will do the sentinel node biopsy. All three of the surgeons with whom I spoke do that routinely. I'm praying that my nodes are clear but recognizing that they very well may not be. I want an Oncotype DX done also.

    There are so many decisions to make! I always thought it was so simple--one of two possibilities for surgery (one decision), then chemo (no decisions) and radiation (no decisions). The more I find out, the more overwhelmed I feel. Today I feel especially overwhelmed, and having my extremely gregarious/extroverted oldest son & his wife here is NOT helping . . . fortunately, right now he's bending the ears of his youngest brother and wife in another room . . .
  • Tux
    Tux Member Posts: 544
    Welcome, Lady Parvati. I am
    Welcome, Lady Parvati. I am going along the lumpectomy, rads, & tamoxifen road. I have felt pretty positive throughout. The more I have learned about bc, the more confident that I am that I am in good hands.

    Another thing that has helped has been to set some goals--short term & long term, so that I have something to work toward. Good luck in your treatment.
  • roseann4
    roseann4 Member Posts: 992 Member
    Please don't go this alone.
    Welcome. You sound just like me. I went for my biopsy alone as well as my CAT Scan, Bone Scan and MRI. I told everyone I was fine and could handle it. I found out later that it actually created more stress for my family. They thought I wasn't telling them everything but I have always been the "strong" one and I hate to lean on others. If I had it to do over again, I would have had someone with me. My sister insisted she come with me to my oncologist appt. and I reluctantly agreed. I'm so glad I did. I didn't have to worry about remembering everything and she was able to reassure my family that I was fine. This is a lonely journey and I would take all the help I could get. You may be surprised at how nice it feels to be supported by others. You deserve it!

    Of course, we'll always be here for you as well but there is no substitute for a hug from someone who loves you.

    Keep us posted.

    Roseann
  • LadyParvati
    LadyParvati Member Posts: 328
    roseann4 said:

    Please don't go this alone.
    Welcome. You sound just like me. I went for my biopsy alone as well as my CAT Scan, Bone Scan and MRI. I told everyone I was fine and could handle it. I found out later that it actually created more stress for my family. They thought I wasn't telling them everything but I have always been the "strong" one and I hate to lean on others. If I had it to do over again, I would have had someone with me. My sister insisted she come with me to my oncologist appt. and I reluctantly agreed. I'm so glad I did. I didn't have to worry about remembering everything and she was able to reassure my family that I was fine. This is a lonely journey and I would take all the help I could get. You may be surprised at how nice it feels to be supported by others. You deserve it!

    Of course, we'll always be here for you as well but there is no substitute for a hug from someone who loves you.

    Keep us posted.

    Roseann

    We're Tough! (Sometimes)
    OK, Roseann--I'm going to try to take your advice to heart. In some ways, I know you're right and I am reaching out and asking for help--well, not help, but information. The hardest part is going to be asking for help for myself, especially around some people . . . and I don't want to ever FEEL helpless--I want to stay as strong as I can through all of this! (Of course, that's the clueless me speaking--from what I've been reading here and elsewhere, once I actually begin having chemo, I'll probably be thinking more about not throwing up!)