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16 year BC survivor and it has returned

carollynn's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2002

I have been so fortunate to have gone this long cancer free. I was 28 when I had my mastectomies I am now 45....with what little remaining breat tissue I have, I have developed BC again. I just can't believe it! I have had to have implant replacment surgeries 3 times, as recent as 2000 and no problems were noticed then. I am just freaked out that I have to endure this again. Anyone out there been in my shoes? Carol

Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

Hi, Carol, I am so sorry the "beast" is back. It is a rotten, unfair break. Have you taken any hormones? I am sure they have told you to stop if you have or are taking them. Maybe this has to do with activity surrounding menopause? Is is a new cancer or a metastasis, a new cancer is awful but your life expectancy is just as good as the first time. Keep us sisters posted, we all care and will help you all we can. God bless, Shirlann

Posts: 76
Joined: Nov 2001

Hi Carol,

I am so sorry about your news. I have been dealing with recurrent breast cancer/mets. Please know that there really seem to be new drugs everyday to help us. I have been blessed with wonderful doctors who are open to experimental treatments and surgery.

Although I am still in the middle of this fight, I feel better mentally right now at this point in my life than I have felt in years. Although there may be days when I am physically down, I really have learned to enjoy my life as it is. My husband and I have learned to celebrate life.

I am so sorry that you have to endure this again.

Love, hugs and prayers,


Posts: 173
Joined: Mar 2001

Hi Carol,

I didn't go as long as you cancer free, only 9 years, and mine did not return in my breast. I had a mastectomy of the right breast when I was 35, so was having regular mammograms on the left. So, no one was looking for the cancer in my chest. When we discovered it I was Stage IV, but 3 1/2 years later, I'm Still here and doing fine. Read some of the profiles on this site, especially that of Pam Twiggs. We give you hope. It is a "bummer" to have to go through treatment again, but you can do it. I remember how scared I was at the second diagnosis, especially since they weren't very positive, but then I took a few days, thought about it, and said, "No, I'm not going to let cancer defeat me". My husband and I joined forces and fought with all we had and won!! You can too. We are all here for you.

God Bless,

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

Dear Carol...I have a similar story. I was 33 when breast cancer diagnosed and I am now 47, with BC recurrance. I should have been 32 and 45, respectively, but doctors didn't think it was cancer either time...so we waited. This second time around was on the heels of my divorce (after 23 years of marriage to an alcoholic), my mother's suicide, and seemingly manly more tragedies during this 2 year period. During my chemo treatment, I faced some of the darkest moments of my life. I questioned whether or not to even put myself through it, but I put my whole soul into God's hands, and He helped me through it!
I am finishing my radiation in approximately one week. I am lacking my old energy, but the professionals tell me that it will be back in about 4-6 weeks. I can't wait! Overall, the hardest part of my treatment is my own mental depression, probably due to lack of energy. I miss the incredibly active woman that I was just 9 short months ago. I have almost constant joint & bone pain...I am not sure why. I will see a new Professor of Oncology on May 22 and will ask his opinion.

Carol, if you want some good reading, see "The Breast Book" by Dr. Susan Love. She also has a web-site "SusanLoveMD.com". It amazed me how common it is to get recurring breast cancer. Keep up the good work that you did for so long and let's talk again, O.K? Colleen from California

Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2002

Carollynn hi my name is veneasa I am a 14 year survivor and I was told I had breast cancer at the age of 26 I am now going to be 40 on may. No I haven't had it to come back but I am in your shoes age wise. I can only imagine. I am willing to talk and to listen my e-mail is mommylove1@hotmail.com please e-mail me if you want to talk or just for suport.. God Bless. Sister in Christ and Breast Cancer.. Veneasa

pamtriggs's picture
Posts: 407
Joined: Sep 2000

Hi CArol
Yes I am in your shoes. I was 19 years out from original BC & it returned. Devastating isn't it? But you do cope amazing though it sounds. I had right side mastectomy at age 34 in 1981 & I was Dx with recurrence in lungs & spine in 1999. I was put on Tamoxifen which did not work after a few months and am now on 2nd type of chemo. It seems to be working so hang on in there. Even the second time around it need not be a death sentence. My lung tumours seem to have cleared up & now it's just the bone ones to fight. Painful but I am determined they will not kill me yet. Find a good oncologist to work with you. If they mention palliative care fire them. You need active treatment. At your age there is a good prognosis. Also as it took so long to reappear it is a slow growing type like mine so do not give up hope you hear. There are many new treatments in the pipeline right now & about 6 different chemos available right now to fight this so you have a lng way to go. It won't be easy but know that we are all here for you with hope, love & sometimes answers.
Love & hugs

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

hey...i am sitting here in tears..this is my story..i was 32 at diagnosis and it was a routine exam..my doc found a lump did mamo and ultrasound.said it was suspicious.went to surgeon.we did a biopsy next day had to wait 5 days for result.went by myself to get my site aspirated and was told it was cancer.my doc gave me the dreaded options and i opted for a complete mastectomy with just a prophylactic on the non cancerous side.4 rounds of chemo as well.i also have 2 young daughters..well saturday i found a peasized lump in the so called good breast.is it my imagination or wasnt my chances very slim of getting cancer again?i keep trying to call my doc to see about a mammogram and so far no response...anyway i just keep crying..i hope everyhting goes ok with u..i will pray for you..

Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

>>with just a prophylactic on the non cancerous side

Hi Annie,

I don't quite understand what you mean with the above comment. As to your question about the non-cancerous breast - when one breast gets cancer, the other has an increased chance of also becoming cancerous. Doesn't seem fair, but that's the fact.

You did not say how long ago the first surgery took place. Just keep after the doctor or find another who's easier to get in touch with.

Try to relax until you know what's going on - I know that is hard to do. You will be in my thoughts and prayers - others here too will be thinking of you and wishing you good news.

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2002

HI, I am 29, and was diagnosised with bc last year. I had the mastectomy and chemo. Now that it is all over, everything is supposed to be good. Well.... I just found another lump, on the side of the mastectomy. So here I go again. All I can say is I wish the best for you. I guess there comes a time when we all have to decide how much more we can fight. I am afraid that I am close to the end of that. I feel if it does turn out to be cancer again. I really just need to live with it and make the best. I don't feel at this time that I can put myself or my family thru anymore. I hope that all goes well for you.

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi brendad,
I could have written your e-mail, it so sounds like what i feel. I was diagnosed at 24, battled through tratment. Now have reccurance at 27. Still 'very treatable" i'm told and 'think positively' etc. but i've truely had enough. fighting cancer seems to be the theme- but at what cost? I've refusing all treatment at the moment and would love to speak to someone who feels the same as me who is my age.

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