diagnosed one week ago.....

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lksdgrl101
lksdgrl101 Member Posts: 12
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I was just diagnosed a week ago monday, and what a whirlwind, had first oncology appt yesterday, and was so overwhelmed by all the diagrams,flowcharts, and all the what ifs, etc. I don't know if I am coming or going.....next appt is June 11, I guess there will be a clearer battle plan of treatment at that time....any suggestions/advice.....I have a disabled son and husband, so I have to get through this.....thanks
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  • lksdgrl101
    lksdgrl101 Member Posts: 12
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    chemo question
    my doctor wants to do chemo before surgery to try and reduce the tumor size (2 cm), I guess because I don't have much to begin with 34 B, so there will be less deformity(her words) I don't really care about breast conservation, never had much to worry about, is it worth doing the chemo before hand, I really want to get this show on the road....get this surgery done and am no really sure if doing chemo before hand seems worth it
  • TraciInLA
    TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
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    chemo question
    my doctor wants to do chemo before surgery to try and reduce the tumor size (2 cm), I guess because I don't have much to begin with 34 B, so there will be less deformity(her words) I don't really care about breast conservation, never had much to worry about, is it worth doing the chemo before hand, I really want to get this show on the road....get this surgery done and am no really sure if doing chemo before hand seems worth it

    Welcome, lksdgrl
    Of course you're feeling overwhelmed right now....the first few weeks after hearing those words are just so overwhelming. Take it slow, one step at a time, and all the new terminology and decisions will start to make sense, I promise. Be sure to take someone with you to all your appointments, because -- no matter how hard you try -- you're only going to hear only about 50% of what's said right now.

    I know how much you want to get going on treatment, but please don't let anyone rush you into any decisions -- including yourself! Give yourself time to really make the best decisions for YOU.

    I didn't have chemo before surgery (called neoadjuvant chemo), but there are definitely women here who have, and I know they'll be along soon to share their experiences with you.

    Please come back here as often as you like, and ask all your questions -- you won't find better companions for this journey than the women and men here.

    Traci
  • Miss Murphy
    Miss Murphy Member Posts: 302
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    chemo question
    my doctor wants to do chemo before surgery to try and reduce the tumor size (2 cm), I guess because I don't have much to begin with 34 B, so there will be less deformity(her words) I don't really care about breast conservation, never had much to worry about, is it worth doing the chemo before hand, I really want to get this show on the road....get this surgery done and am no really sure if doing chemo before hand seems worth it

    Take a Deep Breath!
    You have come to a good place altho it's not a place any of us expected to be. You will find lots of good info and all are willing to be helpful in any way. I was about your size but a smaller tumor. My surgeon said that I could do a lumpectomy but because I was small to begin with, there would not be much left so he reccommended the masectomy (like that is so much more attractive!) I was nearly 58 when dx and just decided to have the masectomy with no reconstruction. I just wanted to get on with my life and not have to deal with more surgeries and doctor visits. I don't regret my decision altho I know there are lots of other who have had reconstruction and are happy with their decision - my point is take your time and get all the info you can and do what YOU feel comfortable with. I was lucky and didn't need any chemo or radiation but I am on Tamoxifen (started on Femara but couldn't tolerate those type drugs. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. We're here for you. Hugs, Sally
  • Miss Murphy
    Miss Murphy Member Posts: 302
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    chemo question
    my doctor wants to do chemo before surgery to try and reduce the tumor size (2 cm), I guess because I don't have much to begin with 34 B, so there will be less deformity(her words) I don't really care about breast conservation, never had much to worry about, is it worth doing the chemo before hand, I really want to get this show on the road....get this surgery done and am no really sure if doing chemo before hand seems worth it

    Take a Deep Breath!
    You have come to a good place altho it's not a place any of us expected to be. You will find lots of good info and all are willing to be helpful in any way. I was about your size but a smaller tumor. My surgeon said that I could do a lumpectomy but because I was small to begin with, there would not be much left so he reccommended the masectomy (like that is so much more attractive!) I was nearly 58 when dx and just decided to have the masectomy with no reconstruction. I just wanted to get on with my life and not have to deal with more surgeries and doctor visits. I don't regret my decision altho I know there are lots of other who have had reconstruction and are happy with their decision - my point is take your time and get all the info you can and do what YOU feel comfortable with. I was lucky and didn't need any chemo or radiation but I am on Tamoxifen (started on Femara but couldn't tolerate those type drugs. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. We're here for you. Hugs, Sally
  • 2Floridiansisters
    2Floridiansisters Member Posts: 384 Member
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    Take a deep breath
    Slow down and take it one day at a time, you have a lot going on and it's scary. What type of cancer did they say you have? I'm new here myself, just diagnosed on May 14th, I have Invasive Lobular Carcinoma and Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, 2 at once, but I'll get through this and so will you.

    Now remember deep breaths,

    Ronda
  • Marsha Mulvey
    Marsha Mulvey Member Posts: 597 Member
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    Take a Deep Breath!
    You have come to a good place altho it's not a place any of us expected to be. You will find lots of good info and all are willing to be helpful in any way. I was about your size but a smaller tumor. My surgeon said that I could do a lumpectomy but because I was small to begin with, there would not be much left so he reccommended the masectomy (like that is so much more attractive!) I was nearly 58 when dx and just decided to have the masectomy with no reconstruction. I just wanted to get on with my life and not have to deal with more surgeries and doctor visits. I don't regret my decision altho I know there are lots of other who have had reconstruction and are happy with their decision - my point is take your time and get all the info you can and do what YOU feel comfortable with. I was lucky and didn't need any chemo or radiation but I am on Tamoxifen (started on Femara but couldn't tolerate those type drugs. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. We're here for you. Hugs, Sally

    Chemo First
    Though fairly new to this myself, I am a proponent for chemo. I will not be able to have surgery but the chemo worked wonders on the size of my tumors in more places than one!

    The first 2 weeks after diagnosis certainly was, as you said a whirlwind. But then the treatment starts and suddenly you feel relief because instead of being on the defense, you're on the ATTACK. You're the aggressor.

    Don't be afraid to ask questions, not only about your condition but also the treatment plan. If at any time you doubt the decisions your doctor is making, get another opinion. This is going to require strength. Not only physically but mentally. You must BELIEVE.

    Best wishes to you, your husband, and your son. Your plate is full. Stay strong through the highs and lows.
  • MichPro
    MichPro Member Posts: 19
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    Help
    One thing that I have learned in the past few months since diagnosis is that a lot of people in your life really do care about you and want to help you. LET THEM. Believe me, now is the time to call in the village. It blesses them and they bless you. You are in my prayers. Like everyone else says, take it slowly, minute by minute, piece of info by piece of info. It all gets layered in and you learn to handle whole days at a time. That's all I know for now. Next year at this time I hope to on the other side cheering newbies like us on.
  • Boppy_of_6
    Boppy_of_6 Member Posts: 1,138
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    Hello and Welcome
    I was just diagnosed in Jan. I did not need to do chemo first. My tumor was small so lumpectomy. now doing chemo. As people have said take someone with you to the appts. They give you so much info all at once it is hard to keep track. I take notes too. I am in the middle of my chemo now it is not fun but not near as bad as I had thought. I have not been sick at all just tired for a few days, as everyone says it is doable.
    It is so overwhelming at first way to much to deal with, you will do it though. You have found a GREAT support place here. keep us posted God Bless
    (((Hugs))) Janice
  • bluwillo
    bluwillo Member Posts: 113
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    chemo question
    my doctor wants to do chemo before surgery to try and reduce the tumor size (2 cm), I guess because I don't have much to begin with 34 B, so there will be less deformity(her words) I don't really care about breast conservation, never had much to worry about, is it worth doing the chemo before hand, I really want to get this show on the road....get this surgery done and am no really sure if doing chemo before hand seems worth it

    Welcome lksdgrl!
    So sorry you had to join us, but as long as you're here....

    My situation (dx, lumpectomy, mastectomy, chemo, rads) is different that yours. But, I do share your attitude of "OK, let's get this show on the road! I want this carp outta me NOW!" That's what I was saying to the world, while inside I was totally freaking out. But, being the wife, mom and grandma, I kept my freak-outs to myself. I figured my family was scared enough, no need to let them know that the strongest woman they know is considering a life in her bedroom, phones and tv's disconnected, just spending my days playing Camille.

    So, in order to "be the boss of cancer", I had to have a plan. It sounds like you and your med team are getting one togther. It will help you greatly to have goals to attain. Each treatment, each appointment is one step closer to you getting your "normal" back.

    Mostly, what I want to tell you is this: Be not afraid. No matter what happens, you still have every second of today. Try not to waste those seconds worrying about things over which you have no control. And don't beat yourself up when you can't keep the fear at bay. I literally wore a path in our carpet and yard last summer, pacing while saying the rosary. It was like meditating on wheels....while my mind was concentrating on the prayers and avoiding the doggy do in the backyard, my body was "chillin", allowing my stress levels to go down.

    This is a fabulous board that I wish I had allowed myself to join last year upon my diagnosis. Sadly, I went to another one, spent one whole night there reading and scaring myself silly! I am an internet junkie, a college student, and a gramma who "knows everything", so it was very hard, at first, to stay away from other people's cancer stories. Now, reading here, I see that I may have done some things differently. I know for DARN sure my onc is going to hear a few things from my during my check up in August!

    Just remember: Be not afraid. Do not allow the fear to rule your life. When you're having a freak-out, come here. I'll put on my red cowboy boots, and, since it's summer, I might even try on some Daisy Dukes, I'll do anything for a laugh!!
  • kederrick
    kederrick Member Posts: 7
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    your not alone.
    I undersand the way that you feel. I had my surgery before any type of treatments. I do recommend that no matter what you get a second opinion. The first doc I saw told me "if you were my wife you would be doing this tomorrow". Not much time to think. I already had an appoint with a second doctor and I was thankful that I did that. I would also want to know why so long between appoints and do you know what type of breast cancer it is? IDC, Hormones receptors, etc. These are all things you need to know. Please feel free to contact me anytime.
    Karon
  • GrandmaJ
    GrandmaJ Member Posts: 209
    Options

    chemo question
    my doctor wants to do chemo before surgery to try and reduce the tumor size (2 cm), I guess because I don't have much to begin with 34 B, so there will be less deformity(her words) I don't really care about breast conservation, never had much to worry about, is it worth doing the chemo before hand, I really want to get this show on the road....get this surgery done and am no really sure if doing chemo before hand seems worth it

    chemo
    I am sure you are feeling frightened and confused. We all felt that way when first diagnosed. But once you start treatment, you will feel better. My tumor was about the same size as yours. I had chemo first. The way my oncologist explained it was that if they took out the tumor first and surrounding tissue to make sure they got it all, there would be very little left of the breast. My doctor never suggested a mastectomy. My tumor shrunk in half, then I had the lumpectomy and am left with just the incision on the side of the breast. I trusted my doctors that they knew the best treatment plan for me and the type of tumor I had.

    Judy
  • Cat64
    Cat64 Member Posts: 1,192
    Options

    chemo question
    my doctor wants to do chemo before surgery to try and reduce the tumor size (2 cm), I guess because I don't have much to begin with 34 B, so there will be less deformity(her words) I don't really care about breast conservation, never had much to worry about, is it worth doing the chemo before hand, I really want to get this show on the road....get this surgery done and am no really sure if doing chemo before hand seems worth it

    lks
    First of all Welcome! So sorry for the reason you are here, but you have found the right place to be during your journey.
    I, like you, am rather small chested. I personally, at what I consider to be a young age(44)at the time, wasn't ready to lose my breast. My Surgeon was ready to do whatever "I" chose. I found it helpful to gather all the info I could before I rushed into a decision. I chose to have neo-adjuvant therapy before a Lumpectomy. My tumor was 3cm and it only took 2 rounds of Taxotere/Carboplatin to significantly reduce the size to where my Surgeon was utterly amazed at the difference when I went back to see him. Couldn't tell you by how much, but a very noticable difference! Now, mind you, in my experience, those 2 rounds kicked my butt, but it was worth the results of my surgery. My surgeon surprised me by going in through the areola and there is no scar to be seen. I love it when I get "examined" and the docs are searching around for the scar & finally resort to asking me where it is?! The only downfall was having to do more 4 more rounds of Chemo after the fact. I'm not sure what type of BC you have, but find out all you can, consider what your docs say, weigh the options, and trust that you also know what's best for you. I know how you feel just wanting to get it all over with! It seems never ending once you begin treatment.
    Keep in Touch
    Prayers & Hugz,
    Cat
  • cavediver
    cavediver Member Posts: 607
    Options

    chemo question
    my doctor wants to do chemo before surgery to try and reduce the tumor size (2 cm), I guess because I don't have much to begin with 34 B, so there will be less deformity(her words) I don't really care about breast conservation, never had much to worry about, is it worth doing the chemo before hand, I really want to get this show on the road....get this surgery done and am no really sure if doing chemo before hand seems worth it

    pre-surgery chemo
    the pre-surgery chemo is a plan to shrink the tumor...so when they do the surgery and remove surrounding tissue, you have a better chance that they will get it all and the margins will be clear. my mammo suggested 2cm tumor, but the MRI showed 8.6 !!! So shrinking that bad boy was very important....and I did 3-pre surgery chemo cycles and it worked....tumor shrank to almost non existent. Don't be afraid of chemo....I know that sounds easy to say for others...I was scared to death in the beginning, but it was not as bad as I had imagined and it did work for me. Imho pre-surgery chemo cannot hurt..it can only help............ but ask questions of your docs, etc...and then make a decision for yourself. I chose to pretty much follow the advice of my oncologist.... but I sure do have a lot more knowledge now just from reading posts here! Good luck...we are all here for you!
  • SamuraiMom
    SamuraiMom Member Posts: 295
    Options
    hi
    I was diagnosed July 2009. I remember my first week. It felt surreal. Keep coming to the discussion board here. It was the best resource to keep me sane!

    I started a website out of my journey that may help you...
    www.mymastectomyonline.com

    XXOO,
    SamuraiMom
  • fino11298
    fino11298 Member Posts: 7
    Options
    bluwillo said:

    Welcome lksdgrl!
    So sorry you had to join us, but as long as you're here....

    My situation (dx, lumpectomy, mastectomy, chemo, rads) is different that yours. But, I do share your attitude of "OK, let's get this show on the road! I want this carp outta me NOW!" That's what I was saying to the world, while inside I was totally freaking out. But, being the wife, mom and grandma, I kept my freak-outs to myself. I figured my family was scared enough, no need to let them know that the strongest woman they know is considering a life in her bedroom, phones and tv's disconnected, just spending my days playing Camille.

    So, in order to "be the boss of cancer", I had to have a plan. It sounds like you and your med team are getting one togther. It will help you greatly to have goals to attain. Each treatment, each appointment is one step closer to you getting your "normal" back.

    Mostly, what I want to tell you is this: Be not afraid. No matter what happens, you still have every second of today. Try not to waste those seconds worrying about things over which you have no control. And don't beat yourself up when you can't keep the fear at bay. I literally wore a path in our carpet and yard last summer, pacing while saying the rosary. It was like meditating on wheels....while my mind was concentrating on the prayers and avoiding the doggy do in the backyard, my body was "chillin", allowing my stress levels to go down.

    This is a fabulous board that I wish I had allowed myself to join last year upon my diagnosis. Sadly, I went to another one, spent one whole night there reading and scaring myself silly! I am an internet junkie, a college student, and a gramma who "knows everything", so it was very hard, at first, to stay away from other people's cancer stories. Now, reading here, I see that I may have done some things differently. I know for DARN sure my onc is going to hear a few things from my during my check up in August!

    Just remember: Be not afraid. Do not allow the fear to rule your life. When you're having a freak-out, come here. I'll put on my red cowboy boots, and, since it's summer, I might even try on some Daisy Dukes, I'll do anything for a laugh!!

    greatful for your words
    I am going for my first chemo treatment tomorrow and jumped on the board to find out what I might experience. Your words were very consoling to me and helped me believe that I am doing the right thing by taking this direction of treatment. God Bless you. Susie
  • Katz77
    Katz77 Member Posts: 598
    Options

    Chemo First
    Though fairly new to this myself, I am a proponent for chemo. I will not be able to have surgery but the chemo worked wonders on the size of my tumors in more places than one!

    The first 2 weeks after diagnosis certainly was, as you said a whirlwind. But then the treatment starts and suddenly you feel relief because instead of being on the defense, you're on the ATTACK. You're the aggressor.

    Don't be afraid to ask questions, not only about your condition but also the treatment plan. If at any time you doubt the decisions your doctor is making, get another opinion. This is going to require strength. Not only physically but mentally. You must BELIEVE.

    Best wishes to you, your husband, and your son. Your plate is full. Stay strong through the highs and lows.

    How come you can't have
    How come you can't have sugery? Just wondering.
  • chihai
    chihai Member Posts: 8
    Options
    It will be ok!!
    I'm new to this board, but would like to offer my support to you. I remember well when I was told that dreaded "C" word. So I can totally relate to how you must be feeling.

    Please know that you are not alone in this battle. There are wonderful people to help you through this if you let us. Just hang tough and kick this cancer butt.

    Deep down we're all stronger than we think. Just focus on you right now. You will get through this. Don't think about the what ifs. Just breathe.

    Be sure to ask lots of questions. The doctors will have to answer you. The more information you know, the better for you to make the decisions about your body.

    Be sure to accept help when you can. You will need it physically and emotionally.

    Be strong.

    Trang
  • Hope 2010
    Hope 2010 Member Posts: 62
    Options
    It is a whirlwind
    I was also recently dx on 5/26/10. It is scary, but this board has helped me out a lot. Just reading and seeing opinions helped. Everyone here has been helpful and very nice. We'll get through this. ((hugs))
  • Marsha Mulvey
    Marsha Mulvey Member Posts: 597 Member
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    Katz77 said:

    How come you can't have
    How come you can't have sugery? Just wondering.

    Katz77
    My cancer is Stage IV having metastasized to the lymph nodes, liver, bones, and skin. The largest individual tumor was 6 cm (over 2 inches in size). For now, with what's going on in the liver, surgery is not even in the picture. I also have Her2neu cancer with HER2 receptors, not estrogen or progesterone.

    So...with all that, I have to trust in chemo and targeted therapy treatments to keep it in check. Those meds have been Taxol, Herceptin, and Zometa. To this point I have shown good progress in the reduction in size of all existing tumors and "spots" of cancer.

    This is why I consider myself a proponent of chemo.

    Hope this answers your question. If you have comments or more questions, I'd like to hear (or see) them. CELEBRATE COURAGE MM
  • Katz77
    Katz77 Member Posts: 598
    Options

    Katz77
    My cancer is Stage IV having metastasized to the lymph nodes, liver, bones, and skin. The largest individual tumor was 6 cm (over 2 inches in size). For now, with what's going on in the liver, surgery is not even in the picture. I also have Her2neu cancer with HER2 receptors, not estrogen or progesterone.

    So...with all that, I have to trust in chemo and targeted therapy treatments to keep it in check. Those meds have been Taxol, Herceptin, and Zometa. To this point I have shown good progress in the reduction in size of all existing tumors and "spots" of cancer.

    This is why I consider myself a proponent of chemo.

    Hope this answers your question. If you have comments or more questions, I'd like to hear (or see) them. CELEBRATE COURAGE MM

    Dear courage
    I two had a lg tumor,5.3cm,IDC, HER+,ER+,PR+,18 of 20lymphs cancerous. Oh, stage3c. Getting ready to celerate 1 yr since dx. Guess a load of tests coming my way. Had AC,cytotoxinTaxol andalmost done w Herceptin. Also 33 " hits" of rads. I had implnts when I was 41ish. Was able to leave implant in the right breast. removed all (Ihope) brst tissue from r side. Decided to keep implant to use as a expander, so to speak. I'm fairly even.
    So are our cancers different? They sound the same. I don't know how to do private messaging, or e-mail on this site. Help will be neeed. lol Don't even know if you'll see this. Katz