Newly Diagnosed!

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Wendy Joy
Wendy Joy Member Posts: 51
Hi everyone, I am going to be 38 on Wednesday and just found out that I have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Life has become a whirlwind and out of nowhere the world of breast cancer has entered my life. I have my first meeting with an oncologist on Tuesday and the surgeon. I am so anxious to find out what the next step is for me. I was expecting surgery, but have been reading a lot about chemo being first, then surgery. Any experiences or opinions about this please share. I'm sure it is circumstantial. My mass is 2.3 centimeters. I don't have any more information yet. My regular doctor is setting up an MRI for me, which I assume will help lead to that decision as well. Thank GOD for the internet, as I never would have guessed a dimple/indentation in the breast was a sign of breast cancer! First day back to work tomorrow and will start telling co-workers, not looking forward to the look of pity that I will be getting, but need to begin to share.
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  • littlebe
    littlebe Member Posts: 18
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    diagnosed
    So sorry! There are good people here and everyone will be sending positive thoughts and prayers.I never heard about chemo first before surgery, but this was a whirlwind for me also.Like so many I didn't give cancer a lot of thought even tho both my sisters were diagnosed many years ago.

    God Bless you and hang in there

    tharon
  • alexcc
    alexcc Member Posts: 19
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    I was diagnosed a year ago
    I was diagnosed a year ago this month. Same cancer. I had chemo prior to my surgery which was on September 2nd. Physically doing great now. They wanted to shrink my tumor prior to surgery, which it did, but they found more in the same breast. I opted for bilateral mastectomy since my other breast was very dense and had lots of calcifications and begnign tumors. Don't regret the decision at all. Prayers your way! Stay strong.
  • alexcc
    alexcc Member Posts: 19
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    I was diagnosed a year ago
    I was diagnosed a year ago this month. Same cancer. I had chemo prior to my surgery which was on September 2nd. Physically doing great now. They wanted to shrink my tumor prior to surgery, which it did, but they found more in the same breast. I opted for bilateral mastectomy since my other breast was very dense and had lots of calcifications and begnign tumors. Don't regret the decision at all. Prayers your way! Stay strong.
  • Wendy Joy
    Wendy Joy Member Posts: 51
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    alexcc said:

    I was diagnosed a year ago
    I was diagnosed a year ago this month. Same cancer. I had chemo prior to my surgery which was on September 2nd. Physically doing great now. They wanted to shrink my tumor prior to surgery, which it did, but they found more in the same breast. I opted for bilateral mastectomy since my other breast was very dense and had lots of calcifications and begnign tumors. Don't regret the decision at all. Prayers your way! Stay strong.

    Thank you. I am hoping for
    Thank you. I am hoping for chemo first, but will do whatever the docs say and fight it! I am much more nervous about the surgery than chemo. Not that I think chemo will be easy, I know it will be a rocky road for me no matter what!
  • alexcc
    alexcc Member Posts: 19
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    Wendy Joy said:

    Thank you. I am hoping for
    Thank you. I am hoping for chemo first, but will do whatever the docs say and fight it! I am much more nervous about the surgery than chemo. Not that I think chemo will be easy, I know it will be a rocky road for me no matter what!

    I worried about the surgery
    I worried about the surgery until I had my chemo. After chemo I figured I could handle ANYTHING! The surgery went well and I was back at work in a week and a half. (I should have rested longer) I really just tried to take everything one day at a time, educated myself on my cancer, and decided I wasn't going to let it beat me. I lost my sister to breast cancer and I wasn't going to let my parents lose their only other child to this beast! Remeber you have a say in your treatment options. I am a big believer in being pro active in your options.
  • MAJW
    MAJW Member Posts: 2,510 Member
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    littlebe said:

    diagnosed
    So sorry! There are good people here and everyone will be sending positive thoughts and prayers.I never heard about chemo first before surgery, but this was a whirlwind for me also.Like so many I didn't give cancer a lot of thought even tho both my sisters were diagnosed many years ago.

    God Bless you and hang in there

    tharon

    Welcome..
    Glad you found us but I HATE the reason..I, too, was diagnosed with invasive ductal breast cancer in 2009....I had a lumpectomy, 2.2 cm tumor stage IIa, with no lymph node involvement...diagnosed as triple negative...an aggressive form....following the lumpectomy I had 4 rounds of chemo....
    Taxotere and Cytoxan...followed by 33 radiation treatments.....I found the lump less than 3 months following a clean mammo and ultrasound...

    As a rule, chemo BEFORE surgery, is for those who have a much larger tumor than mine or your's...to shrink the tumor to make it smaller and easier to remove...most cases, chemo follows a lumpectomy or mastectomy where the tumor is much smaller....My lumpectomy, for me, wasn't bad at all, but we're all different...had it at 1:00 PM and was home resting very comfortably by 4:15 PM.... took pain meds that day and the next day switched to Advil...no real pain, per se, more discomfort...I had 3 lymph nodes removed, that gave me more discomfort and sensitivity than the incision above my nipple.....recovery, for me, was fairly quick..

    Chemo is no day at the beach but very doable...EVERYONE is terrified of it at the start....fear of the unknown...it is nothing like it was years ago...they have great meds to prevent nausea...I never had the first wave of nausea...I took the anti nausea meds religiously ! Yes, more than likely you will lose your hair...it can be traumatic but remember....it will grow back....

    It's important to take someone with you to EVERY doctor's appointment !!!!! Two sets of ears to listen and take notes...you maybe overcome with information...brain overload...it happened to me twice...thankfully my husband as with me....start now writing down anything and everything you can think of, to ask the surgeon and oncologist...no question is to small to ask...and don't be afraid to ask them anything...be your on advocate. know your stage, type of bc..etc

    My heart aches for you..you're my daughter's age...but you can get through this..and the women on this site are wonderful and full of personal experiences and information and will help in any way we can....but always keep in mind, we are all different, respond to the same things differently and each of our breast cancer is as unique to each as our DNA....

    Ask us anything...someone will try to help...vent, rant, whatever helps you..we'll understand as we have or are walking the same path....no question is out of bounds!

    Keep us posted....we care
    Hugs, Nancy
  • Wendy Joy
    Wendy Joy Member Posts: 51
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    MAJW said:

    Welcome..
    Glad you found us but I HATE the reason..I, too, was diagnosed with invasive ductal breast cancer in 2009....I had a lumpectomy, 2.2 cm tumor stage IIa, with no lymph node involvement...diagnosed as triple negative...an aggressive form....following the lumpectomy I had 4 rounds of chemo....
    Taxotere and Cytoxan...followed by 33 radiation treatments.....I found the lump less than 3 months following a clean mammo and ultrasound...

    As a rule, chemo BEFORE surgery, is for those who have a much larger tumor than mine or your's...to shrink the tumor to make it smaller and easier to remove...most cases, chemo follows a lumpectomy or mastectomy where the tumor is much smaller....My lumpectomy, for me, wasn't bad at all, but we're all different...had it at 1:00 PM and was home resting very comfortably by 4:15 PM.... took pain meds that day and the next day switched to Advil...no real pain, per se, more discomfort...I had 3 lymph nodes removed, that gave me more discomfort and sensitivity than the incision above my nipple.....recovery, for me, was fairly quick..

    Chemo is no day at the beach but very doable...EVERYONE is terrified of it at the start....fear of the unknown...it is nothing like it was years ago...they have great meds to prevent nausea...I never had the first wave of nausea...I took the anti nausea meds religiously ! Yes, more than likely you will lose your hair...it can be traumatic but remember....it will grow back....

    It's important to take someone with you to EVERY doctor's appointment !!!!! Two sets of ears to listen and take notes...you maybe overcome with information...brain overload...it happened to me twice...thankfully my husband as with me....start now writing down anything and everything you can think of, to ask the surgeon and oncologist...no question is to small to ask...and don't be afraid to ask them anything...be your on advocate. know your stage, type of bc..etc

    My heart aches for you..you're my daughter's age...but you can get through this..and the women on this site are wonderful and full of personal experiences and information and will help in any way we can....but always keep in mind, we are all different, respond to the same things differently and each of our breast cancer is as unique to each as our DNA....

    Ask us anything...someone will try to help...vent, rant, whatever helps you..we'll understand as we have or are walking the same path....no question is out of bounds!

    Keep us posted....we care
    Hugs, Nancy

    Thank you, Nancy. Your words
    Thank you, Nancy. Your words mean so much. I am so sad and angry that my life is being disrupted like this. It is devastating. But I am someone who needs to understand everything, be organized, obsessively plan and fight....so hopefully that will work to my advantage. I worry about work and paying the bills. Everyone keeps telling me not to worry about that, but is so important. Also, I am a social worker and my job is such a huge part of my life. I am praying for strength to get through each phase of this as quickly and smoothly as possible, but I know I will have to let go of some of that control. Thank you for telling me about the tumor size, lumpectomy, then chemo, that is good to know. Anxious to get to Tuesday and find out what is in store for me. I cut my hair short yesterday hoping for low maintenance through the upcoming insanity and less drastic of a loss with chemo. It felt good to physically do something. Tired of sitting around waiting.
  • CypressCynthia
    CypressCynthia Member Posts: 4,014 Member
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    Welcome to the club no one
    Welcome to the club no one wants to join, but we are glad that you found us. You will find so many here eager to help and provide support. Just wanted to share my story to give you hope. I was 33 when I was diagnosed with 3A IDC (large tumor, 4 nodes). I had chemo, mastectomy, radiation and tamoxifen. This year is my 25 th cancer anniversary. I am still fighting but I am still here! I will be 59 in March :-)
  • GMcD
    GMcD Member Posts: 134
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    alexcc said:

    I worried about the surgery
    I worried about the surgery until I had my chemo. After chemo I figured I could handle ANYTHING! The surgery went well and I was back at work in a week and a half. (I should have rested longer) I really just tried to take everything one day at a time, educated myself on my cancer, and decided I wasn't going to let it beat me. I lost my sister to breast cancer and I wasn't going to let my parents lose their only other child to this beast! Remeber you have a say in your treatment options. I am a big believer in being pro active in your options.

    I was diagnosed 2yrs ago
    I was diagnosed 2yrs ago just before Christmas. I know you must have a million questions rollong through your head. Holiday time is when a lot of doctors are closed and things got crazier for me as I was anxious to get moving. Anyway, you'll get your questions answered soon and will know more about your treatment plan. I was one of the terrified pre chemo and the support on this site got me through that and all my concerns no matter how small. Hang in and visit here often, you'll get through slso. Warmest thoughts and Best wishes to you.
  • AMomNETN
    AMomNETN Member Posts: 242
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    Welcome to the club no one
    Welcome to the club no one wants to join, but we are glad that you found us. You will find so many here eager to help and provide support. Just wanted to share my story to give you hope. I was 33 when I was diagnosed with 3A IDC (large tumor, 4 nodes). I had chemo, mastectomy, radiation and tamoxifen. This year is my 25 th cancer anniversary. I am still fighting but I am still here! I will be 59 in March :-)

    Our Club
    As Cindy said this isn't a club we chose to be in but the women on this board are wonderful. Each of use have had different but similar experiences. It was around this time 2 yrs. ago that I was first diagnoised. I had surgery Mar. 16th 2010 with expanders placed. I had a bilateral. I had chemo about 3 weeks after surgery. The bilateral mastecomy was my choice. I didn't want to go through it all again in a couple of yrs. in the other breast. My tumor was 2cm but because of the type I couldn't opt for a lumpetcomy. I had 6 chemo treatments, implants by the end of 2010. Just listen and take someone with you. They hear a lot more that you do. My mind kept saying cancer, no not me, not chemo. etc. I didn't have radition. Hope this helps but as I said everyone on hear is wonderful to share their experiences. As you can see by the responses we are each similar but different.

    Janie
  • sunnyaz
    sunnyaz Member Posts: 582
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    Welcome to the club no one
    Welcome to the club no one wants to join, but we are glad that you found us. You will find so many here eager to help and provide support. Just wanted to share my story to give you hope. I was 33 when I was diagnosed with 3A IDC (large tumor, 4 nodes). I had chemo, mastectomy, radiation and tamoxifen. This year is my 25 th cancer anniversary. I am still fighting but I am still here! I will be 59 in March :-)

    Congrats Cindy
    You are an inspiration to me and I am sure everyone on this site. Thanks for sharing, I needed to read your post today.
  • Nashville5
    Nashville5 Member Posts: 6
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    Chemo first
    I had chemo first. My tumor was 5 cm. I can't say that I wish I had surgery first because this is just my journey. I just finished my chemo Dec. 15 and have to wait until the end of Jan. for surgery.

    The sweet lady earlier is right - take a second set of ears with u to your dr visits. And don't be afraid to ask questions.

    Prayers for your journey and wisdom and peace as you proceed.

    In His hands,
    Darlene
  • Nashville5
    Nashville5 Member Posts: 6
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    Chemo first
    I had chemo first. My tumor was 5 cm. I can't say that I wish I had surgery first because this is just my journey. I just finished my chemo Dec. 15 and have to wait until the end of Jan. for surgery.

    The sweet lady earlier is right - take a second set of ears with u to your dr visits. And don't be afraid to ask questions.

    Prayers for your journey and wisdom and peace as you proceed.

    In His hands,
    Darlene
  • Kat11
    Kat11 Member Posts: 1,931 Member
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    Chemo first
    I had chemo first. My tumor was 5 cm. I can't say that I wish I had surgery first because this is just my journey. I just finished my chemo Dec. 15 and have to wait until the end of Jan. for surgery.

    The sweet lady earlier is right - take a second set of ears with u to your dr visits. And don't be afraid to ask questions.

    Prayers for your journey and wisdom and peace as you proceed.

    In His hands,
    Darlene

    Same Cancer
    Dx in 2009 I had to do the package deal. Surgery lumpectomy, Chemo, Rads and I am Her 2 Er/PR Positive so I had to do a drug call herceptin for 1 year as well. I know your scared. We all have been were you are right now. What I can tell you is that. I can't take your fear away, but we can help you through it. Make sure, this is very important you trust you doctors and understand them somewhat. Take someone with you so they can take notes or listen at you appointments. Your not going to understand everything, just you have to trust in your doctors and if you don't, find one you do.Its a journey Were here all the way. Night and Day. Its all doable. Hugs
    Kathy
  • lulu1010
    lulu1010 Member Posts: 367
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    Kat11 said:

    Same Cancer
    Dx in 2009 I had to do the package deal. Surgery lumpectomy, Chemo, Rads and I am Her 2 Er/PR Positive so I had to do a drug call herceptin for 1 year as well. I know your scared. We all have been were you are right now. What I can tell you is that. I can't take your fear away, but we can help you through it. Make sure, this is very important you trust you doctors and understand them somewhat. Take someone with you so they can take notes or listen at you appointments. Your not going to understand everything, just you have to trust in your doctors and if you don't, find one you do.Its a journey Were here all the way. Night and Day. Its all doable. Hugs
    Kathy

    to those of you who had mastectomies....
    I am an ovarian cancer patient who is BRCA2 positive and planning double mastectomy in late Jan. I was wondering if you all chose to have imlants over the tram flap surgery and if so if you are happy with the results. My plastic surgeon suggests I will like the flap but my oncologist/surgeon thinks I should have the implants as they are a shorter surgery and recovery. Just wondering about your experience.
  • Cinkal
    Cinkal Member Posts: 161
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    Hi Wendy! Welcome to this
    Hi Wendy! Welcome to this site. I am sure you will find it very helpful and supportive. I was 39 when diagnosed. I was diagnosed last January with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma , triple negative, stage 2a, no lymph node involvement. Triple negative means that the cancer was not triggered by hormones , so there is no medication to take after treatment to try and keep it from returning. It is also aggressive.
    My tumor was 2.5 centimeters and I have large breast, so I was given the option of lumpectomy or mastectomy. I chose lumpectomy and had surgery first. Chemo followed, 4 treatments of adramyacin/cytoxin, every two weeks and four treatments of Taxol. I had radiation after chemo. I finished chemo July 7th and radiation the middle of September.
    The phase you are at now, with waiting for diagnosis and treatment options is very agonizing. That was one of the worse parts of the entire process for me. The fear of the unknown. Once I had my surgery and first treatment, the anxiety level went down some. I realized that chemo was not as bad as I had anticipated. I have two children, age 10 and 8 at the time. I was worried about how the cancer would affect them. Chemo was tough, but "doable". I didn't miss any of the kid's activities and managed to keep there lives fairly normal. Losing my hair was not fun either, but we do what it takes to fight this beast.
    It has been a year since my diagnosis, and I feel great. I go to the gym 5 times a week and have gained my strength and muscles back. I tried to do moderate exercise during treatment, and I think that helped. My hair is coming in nicely. I stopped wearing the hats about a month ago.
    My advise to you is to keep a positive attitude, try to stay as active as possible, drink lots of water during treatment, get plenty of rest, and accept help when offered. I know it is scary, but you CAN get through this.
    Good luck to you .
    Prayers and positive thoughts coming your way,

    Cindy
  • Wendy Joy
    Wendy Joy Member Posts: 51
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    Cinkal said:

    Hi Wendy! Welcome to this
    Hi Wendy! Welcome to this site. I am sure you will find it very helpful and supportive. I was 39 when diagnosed. I was diagnosed last January with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma , triple negative, stage 2a, no lymph node involvement. Triple negative means that the cancer was not triggered by hormones , so there is no medication to take after treatment to try and keep it from returning. It is also aggressive.
    My tumor was 2.5 centimeters and I have large breast, so I was given the option of lumpectomy or mastectomy. I chose lumpectomy and had surgery first. Chemo followed, 4 treatments of adramyacin/cytoxin, every two weeks and four treatments of Taxol. I had radiation after chemo. I finished chemo July 7th and radiation the middle of September.
    The phase you are at now, with waiting for diagnosis and treatment options is very agonizing. That was one of the worse parts of the entire process for me. The fear of the unknown. Once I had my surgery and first treatment, the anxiety level went down some. I realized that chemo was not as bad as I had anticipated. I have two children, age 10 and 8 at the time. I was worried about how the cancer would affect them. Chemo was tough, but "doable". I didn't miss any of the kid's activities and managed to keep there lives fairly normal. Losing my hair was not fun either, but we do what it takes to fight this beast.
    It has been a year since my diagnosis, and I feel great. I go to the gym 5 times a week and have gained my strength and muscles back. I tried to do moderate exercise during treatment, and I think that helped. My hair is coming in nicely. I stopped wearing the hats about a month ago.
    My advise to you is to keep a positive attitude, try to stay as active as possible, drink lots of water during treatment, get plenty of rest, and accept help when offered. I know it is scary, but you CAN get through this.
    Good luck to you .
    Prayers and positive thoughts coming your way,

    Cindy

    Thank you Cindy. I really
    Thank you Cindy. I really needed this message today. I am back to work today and being very strong. I am scared. I will know tomorrow what the plan is and what options I have. My daughter is 7 and does know anything. I have been reading a little bit about what to tell her, but can you share a little bit on how you talked to your children about your experience. It was suggested I share with her through each phase and as I know what is going to happen, keeping their routine the same, reminding her it is not her fault and not contagious. Any other tips. I am hoping her life can remain relatively normal. Again, thank you for responding and sharing with me. This site has been so reassuring for me. I know we are all different, but I want to be on this site in 2 years telling others it will be ok too.
  • Chickadee1955
    Chickadee1955 Member Posts: 355 Member
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    Wendy Joy said:

    Thank you Cindy. I really
    Thank you Cindy. I really needed this message today. I am back to work today and being very strong. I am scared. I will know tomorrow what the plan is and what options I have. My daughter is 7 and does know anything. I have been reading a little bit about what to tell her, but can you share a little bit on how you talked to your children about your experience. It was suggested I share with her through each phase and as I know what is going to happen, keeping their routine the same, reminding her it is not her fault and not contagious. Any other tips. I am hoping her life can remain relatively normal. Again, thank you for responding and sharing with me. This site has been so reassuring for me. I know we are all different, but I want to be on this site in 2 years telling others it will be ok too.

    Welcome Wendy. This site is
    Welcome Wendy. This site is a God-send. Its open 24/7/365 and you'll always find someone who has been wherever you happen to be at any given moment. Wonderful Women and Men here are happy to support and encourage. You will be here in 2 years telling others how to cope and that it will be okay!

    No advice on presenting this to your daughter; my children were all adults when I was diagnosed. I'm sure you'll get some help, though, as several of the Women on this board have younger kids.

    My diagnosis was March 2010; also IDC with small tumor. I had surgery, then chemo, delayed reconstruction(I opted for bilateral mastectomy). I'm doing great and pray the same for you. Life will never be quite the same, but you know, life is never the same from one day to the next. I've always told my daughters that no matter if they love something or hate it, just wait 5 minutes and it will change!

    Best wishes.

    Chickadee
  • Frankie Shannon
    Frankie Shannon Member Posts: 457
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    Hi Wendy i was diagnosed in
    Hi Wendy i was diagnosed in May of 2010 i had ER positive but because of my age i chose bilateral mastectomy with no reconstruction and do not regret my decision i was 67 at the time, as young as you are i,m sure one of the other options would be good for you.I have heard of chemo before surgery but when you see your DR.you all will come up with the best plane for you.As some of the ladies have said we are all different,please wright down all your questions so you don,t forget what you want to ask your DR.as you will have allot to take in and make sure you take some one with you to help remember what the DR. have told you.I can't tell you about telling your children as mine are all grown but i live with two of my Grandchildren and my daughter told them the whole truth about what was going to happen they where 9 and 11 and where a really big help they would come down stairs every day to see what i needed or what they could do to help me.Just remember Strength,Courage and love gores along way but most of all a great attitude which you seem to have.Hugs Frankie
  • Angie2U
    Angie2U Member Posts: 2,991
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    Wendy Joy said:

    Thank you, Nancy. Your words
    Thank you, Nancy. Your words mean so much. I am so sad and angry that my life is being disrupted like this. It is devastating. But I am someone who needs to understand everything, be organized, obsessively plan and fight....so hopefully that will work to my advantage. I worry about work and paying the bills. Everyone keeps telling me not to worry about that, but is so important. Also, I am a social worker and my job is such a huge part of my life. I am praying for strength to get through each phase of this as quickly and smoothly as possible, but I know I will have to let go of some of that control. Thank you for telling me about the tumor size, lumpectomy, then chemo, that is good to know. Anxious to get to Tuesday and find out what is in store for me. I cut my hair short yesterday hoping for low maintenance through the upcoming insanity and less drastic of a loss with chemo. It felt good to physically do something. Tired of sitting around waiting.

    Welcoming you Wendy to a
    Welcoming you Wendy to a supportive and great site! Someone is always here, so, please post anything, anytime and we'll help you however we can.


    Hugs, Angie