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  #151  
Old 11-12-2017, 05:53 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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It was quite the relief when my scans came back "unremarkable." Ivylad and I had quite the giggle over that.

I had the lumpectomy and had to go back in for a re-excision because, as my surgeon said, he doesn't have microscopes for eyeballs. Keep fighting the good fight.
Thanks. I'm looking forward to Tuesday being over, and dreading the results.
  #152  
Old 11-13-2017, 08:39 AM
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Thanks. I'm looking forward to Tuesday being over, and dreading the results.
Hugs, my dear. We're here.
  #153  
Old 11-13-2017, 02:25 PM
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For now, I'm going to avoid those "support" networks. The ones I've seen frighten me, and seem to be for people with advanced, relapsing, etc. disease. I don't need to see those stories right now.
This. First of all, all of my thoughts of healing and hopes for a positive outcome !!

I'm a 55 year old man- but the quote up there shook me hard for a moment. 30 years ago, deep in Infertility Nightmare, my Ex and I signed up for a weekend of workshops being given by what was at the time a large and well-known Infertility Support organization.

We sat through the first 1 hour "workshop" and walked out half way through the second. What we sought was information, not endless hours of witnessing the jagged sobbing-filled sharing of story after story after story. We were living it. We didn't need to be drowned in other people's similar ( and in some cases more brutal ) versions. It wasn't that we were insensitive to the people. It just gave us zero solace- and in fact was very upsetting- to bear witness to ad nauseum. YMMV.

You're a smart person. You'll know when to seek out support from groups of strangers opposed to family/ friends/ Dopers.
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  #154  
Old 11-14-2017, 08:50 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I got home from excision #2 a little over an hour ago. No nausea, not much pain, but this time I'm loopier than I was before. The surgeon also feels confident that it's probably all gone, but of course the pathologist will have the final say.

I saw the radiation oncologist yesterday, and she said that I appear to be a candidate for a 4-week radiation protocol - 16 treatments to the whole breast and surrounding tissue, which includes the underlying muscles, and 4 boost treatments at the end to the area with the cancer. I also have an appointment next week with the oncologist, and while of course we'll all have to have all the information first, it's looking unlikely that I'll need chemo. It does appear that I will probably take hormone blockers (which one remains to be seen) for at least 5 years.

So, that's my current status.
  #155  
Old 11-14-2017, 11:49 PM
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I'm glad you're through the excision. Hoping chemo isn't necessary.
  #156  
Old 11-15-2017, 01:48 AM
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Here's hoping the results come back "unremarkable".
  #157  
Old 11-15-2017, 09:04 AM
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All that sounds pretty standard. Which is good; it's double unfun to be the "special patient" with the "interesting case".

The fact you're eligible for the hormone blocker treatment is extra good news. Even if it's not exactly new news.

I don't recall how old you are or where you are vs. menopause, but if you're not naturally past that event already, you're about to get a crash engagement with "the change of life". Which isn't great fun, but is a lot more tolerable if you and any people close to you are expecting it. It may have you wanting to tear your hair out some days, but at least it won't be falling out.

Hugs.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 11-15-2017 at 09:04 AM.
  #158  
Old 11-15-2017, 12:14 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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This. First of all, all of my thoughts of healing and hopes for a positive outcome !!

I'm a 55 year old man- but the quote up there shook me hard for a moment. 30 years ago, deep in Infertility Nightmare, my Ex and I signed up for a weekend of workshops being given by what was at the time a large and well-known Infertility Support organization.

We sat through the first 1 hour "workshop" and walked out half way through the second. What we sought was information, not endless hours of witnessing the jagged sobbing-filled sharing of story after story after story. We were living it. We didn't need to be drowned in other people's similar ( and in some cases more brutal ) versions. It wasn't that we were insensitive to the people. It just gave us zero solace- and in fact was very upsetting- to bear witness to ad nauseum. YMMV.

You're a smart person. You'll know when to seek out support from groups of strangers opposed to family/ friends/ Dopers.
The most supportive and encouraging people I've encountered so far were not the ones who said "You'll be fine" although that's always nice to hear; they're the ones who have said, "It's OK to be angry and frustrated sometimes." As of now, I'm not interested in a separate support group but that might change later on.

I read somewhere a while back about a woman who, after giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome, went to a meeting of the local DS support group. Pretty much the first question she was asked when she walked in the door was, "Are you married?" She replied, "Yes" and the other people there said, "You won't be for long." Her thought was, "And this is a SUPPORT group?" Many years later, as she wrote that story, she and her husband were indeed still married. So much for that.

The one couple I can think of who had a DS child who split up almost immediately would have done so anyway; the husband was a rebound relationship and it was one of those cases where she finally realized, after firing multiple lawyers, that she eliminated any chance of getting a fair divorce settlement when she married the loser in the first place. One lawyer actually told her, "I'm not sure who's more retarded - your daughter, or you for marrying her father in the first place."

I'm using Tylenol and an ice pack for the pain, and look forward to this evening when I can shower and remove the bandages.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 11-15-2017 at 12:15 PM.
  #159  
Old 11-16-2017, 10:58 PM
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I decided to wait until this morning to remove my bandages. Things look MUCH better than they did last time, and honestly, I really don't care what my breast looks like as long as it has no cancer in it.

I meet with the oncologist next Wednesday.
  #160  
Old 11-16-2017, 11:23 PM
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How are you feeling?
  #161  
Old 11-16-2017, 11:34 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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MUCH less pain than before. I never even needed any Vicodin, and have been taking Tylenol and ibuprofen. He drained my seroma (a fluid buildup around the lymph node biopsy area) but unfortunately, it's come back although it's nowhere near as big as it was before. I had been putting heat on it even before Tuesday, and that helped a lot. I did put a cold pack on my breast until I removed the bandages, but I don't need that anymore either.
  #162  
Old 11-17-2017, 10:03 AM
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Excellent. I didn't take anything after surgery but lorazepam (a benzo that helps with jumpy muscles, which I had). Sorry about the seroma. I escaped that, but did have an undissolved suture abscess (more of a nuisance than anything else). Do resist the urge to start stretches and exercise until you're released to do this--even then, you may want to see a physical therapist to get a set of progressive exercises to restore range of motion gradually.
  #163  
Old 11-17-2017, 12:27 PM
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Before I had my first surgery, an occupational therapist came in and did some baseline measurements, and then gave me exercises to do, but told me not to do them until my surgeon approved me for them. I will be seeing him again at the end of the month.

Still don't have the results, but I wasn't expecting that for a few days anyway.
  #164  
Old 11-18-2017, 11:03 AM
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Great that you got baselines. I didn't, because I didn't know to ask and probably because my surgeon assumed that none of his patients ever get lymphedema.
  #165  
Old 11-20-2017, 01:16 PM
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The surgeon's office called a few minutes ago, and when I heard a female voice on the other end, I figured it would be good news.

AND IT WAS! The margins were clear this time.

YEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAA!
  #166  
Old 11-20-2017, 01:45 PM
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Yaay!!!! That's wonderful. Early Thanksgiving.
  #167  
Old 11-20-2017, 01:49 PM
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Great news! Very happy to hear this.
  #168  
Old 11-20-2017, 02:28 PM
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The surgeon's office called a few minutes ago, and when I heard a female voice on the other end, I figured it would be good news.

AND IT WAS! The margins were clear this time.

YEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAA!
Excellent news! Cancer-free boobies are the best kind of boobies.
  #169  
Old 11-21-2017, 03:34 AM
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Fantastic!
  #170  
Old 11-22-2017, 04:04 PM
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I met with the oncologist this morning. He's going to do Oncotype DX and determine further treatment from there.

http://www.oncotypeiq.com/en-US

To be honest, unless the score is extremely high, which is unlikely, I'll probably refuse chemotherapy. Of course, I'll make that decision if and when I get there. Most likely, I'll simply go raw vegan.

j/k

No, seriously, he prescribed tamoxifen, which is an estrogen blocker; I stopped by the pharmacy this afternoon and they had to get prior authorization first. It won't hurt me to wait a few days. Most likely, I'll be on it or a similar drug for the next 5 years.
  #171  
Old 11-24-2017, 09:29 PM
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It was worth the wait for the prior auth, because a month's supply cost me $5.
  #172  
Old 11-25-2017, 11:04 AM
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Heads up, according to my doctor, current medical studies show that you may be on Tamoxifen for life. Same with Letrozole, which my doctor switched me to.

I was on Tamoxifen for about eight years. About six years in, I suddenly started vaginal bleeding, which was worrying. My chemo doc sent me over to a lovely gyno, who scraped out benign cysts and thick endometrium linings for two years before she said "we're yanking the whole works." Turns out Tamoxifen is good for keeping cancer out of the girls but not so much the lady parts.

I don't tell you this to scare you. Your doctor is most likely aware of this and you will need to stay vigilant. If you have any sudden vaginal bleeding after being on the Tamoxifen get to your chemo doctor rather soon. Tamoxifen is the drug of choice for pre-menopausal women.
  #173  
Old 11-25-2017, 01:09 PM
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I've been following this thread and am so glad things are going well for you after diagnosis, nearwildheaven. Sounds like you have good docs who are on top of things!

Looks like I'm just starting the process myself. Back on the 12th I had my first mammogram in seven years (I know, I know, this is all my stupid fault--my then-doc said after that turned out normal I could wait until I was 50 as that was one of the newer recommendations and she preferred that protocol, and because I'm a chicken who prefers to procrastinate I decided I'd go with her recommendation).

Anyway, the next day after this new mammogram (a Saturday!) my GP called me and said the radiologist found a "queried mass" and wanted me to come back for a diagnostic mamm. and sonogram. She insisted I shouldn't be scared that she was calling me so fast, she was only following up that day because she was in the office and that's her day to do administrative stuff. Yeah right!

My breasts are incredibly lumpy so I've never been able to figure out what's a normal lump and what's not (or what's new).

I called the radiologist on Monday and the asst. said that actually, they wanted to see the previous mamm. results from 7 years ago if I could get them. (It was at a different hospital.) She added that if the thing is stable I wouldn't need the follow-up after all. So they contacted the other radiologists who were sending them in the mail.

Well, a little over a week later--the day before Thanksgiving--they still hadn't arrived, so I was like, fuck this, I'll make the follow-up appt. now anyway. So the mamm/sonogram appointment is on this Wednesday. When I spoke w/the radiologist's asst. again to let her know, she said that was fine, though she was expecting the old films (or whatever they call 'em) to arrive on Monday so it still might not be necessary.

Meanwhile I'm probably metastasizing away while I wait. I know supposedly "most" callbacks/follow-ups are benign, but obviously they're not considering how many women are in this thread here. Plus my sister was just diagnosed in April with breast cancer (treated w/lumpectomy, radiation & now hormone therapy) so I'm feeling pretty fatalistic. She said that the doctors would've had me come in right away rather than waiting for the old mamm. films if they were really worried, but I think she's just trying to make me calmer.

Supposedly this is a good practice (it's part of NY Weill/Cornell hospital) but I feel like the process should have gone faster, so maybe it's not? Ugh, if you can't tell, I'm a wreck.

All this is to say that I wish I could be as brave as you guys. I am pretty sure I'll collapse in on myself like a dying star when I get the dx once and for all. I'm not really a fighter. Plus I'm just so angry with myself for putting it off this long. I'm like the perfect bad example poster child for "This Is What Happens When You Don't Get Mammograms Regularly."

Last edited by choie; 11-25-2017 at 01:12 PM.
  #174  
Old 11-25-2017, 02:27 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Heads up, according to my doctor, current medical studies show that you may be on Tamoxifen for life. Same with Letrozole, which my doctor switched me to.

I was on Tamoxifen for about eight years. About six years in, I suddenly started vaginal bleeding, which was worrying. My chemo doc sent me over to a lovely gyno, who scraped out benign cysts and thick endometrium linings for two years before she said "we're yanking the whole works." Turns out Tamoxifen is good for keeping cancer out of the girls but not so much the lady parts.

I don't tell you this to scare you. Your doctor is most likely aware of this and you will need to stay vigilant. If you have any sudden vaginal bleeding after being on the Tamoxifen get to your chemo doctor rather soon. Tamoxifen is the drug of choice for pre-menopausal women.
The oncologist did tell me that tamoxifen causes, or at least precipitates, endometrial cancer in 1 woman in 300, over baseline. That's a risk I'm willing to take. The aromatase inhibitors, used by postmenopausal women, can cause very severe osteoporosis, which leads to its own set of issues.

I'm also on Paxil, an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and have been for about 20 years, for mild OCD. He wanted to switch me to Effexor but I put the ixnay on that. I have heard way too many horror stories about Effexor to want to touch that poison (I realize a lot of people hate Paxil too) but I decided to halve my Paxil dose and we'll see how that works. The reason is because Paxil inhibits the liver's conversion of tamoxifen into a more active form.

And keep us posted, Choie! You won't know for sure until you have the biopsy.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 11-25-2017 at 02:30 PM.
  #175  
Old 11-26-2017, 07:28 PM
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Choie, most lumps are benign so I wouldn't assume anything. But let me just say that since your first mammogram on the 12th, you should have gotten an answer by now. If this is an example of how slowly they operate, I'd switch to a different mammographer next time.
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  #176  
Old 11-26-2017, 07:51 PM
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Keep breathing, Choie!
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Meanwhile I'm probably metastasizing away while I wait.
Waiting is excruciating, but take some cold comfort in knowing that cancer doesn't grow that quickly. You might want to look at the "Not Diagnosed But Worried" forum at breastcancer.org for support while you wait.
Quote:
All this is to say that I wish I could be as brave as you guys. I am pretty sure I'll collapse in on myself like a dying star when I get the dx once and for all. I'm not really a fighter.
I think you'll find that you're as brave as you need to be.
Quote:
I'm like the perfect bad example poster child for "This Is What Happens When You Don't Get Mammograms Regularly."
Maybe, but I had my mammograms right on time and still turned out to have a tumor that didn't show up on mammograms. Fortunately, I had DCIS show up on mammogram, and when it was followed with a contralateral MRI, the worse tumor was detected.
  #177  
Old 11-26-2017, 09:52 PM
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Thank you so much for responding, nearwildheaven, PunditLisa and susan.

nearwildheaven--my sister had a similar issue with having to change from Paxil. She chose to switch to Celexa, which is also an SSRI. Thus far it's working well for her. Of course everyone's different. (I tried Effexor a couple of decades ago and my depression actually worsened on it; meanwhile, my other sister (I've got two) was on Effexor for fifteen years and it worked quite well. In her case, she only had bad side effects when she'd forget to take it or if she ran out for a day or two; eventually her doc moved her to Pristiq, which is a similar formulation to Effexor but had waaaay less of a bad "footprint.")

Anyway, I hope your own switchover goes well. God knows there are a lot of antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds to choose from, so you should find something that'll work!

PunditLisa, I agree re: the timing issue. It's been a rough couple of weeks. I'm sorta blaming the other hospital for taking forever to get the dang images sent. But maybe my current radiologist should've just told me to make the follow-up appt. right away rather than wait on the old images.

And susan, thank you for the "Not diagnosed but worried" resource! BTW I didn't mean to imply that only irresponsible twits like me would get The Diagnosis. I know that sadly, people can do everything right and cancer can still pop up its ugly head.

Sorry to piggyback on your thread, nearwildheaven. I really appreciate the support and this felt like a safe place.
  #178  
Old 11-26-2017, 11:56 PM
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No, Choie, you're very welcome here even if, and especially if, everything turns out OK.
  #179  
Old 11-27-2017, 08:21 AM
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The waiting followed by the sudden rush to do a bunch of stuff right now followed by waiting for weeks or months for the other (next?) shoe is a common, and miserable, part of the diagnosis and treatment process.

Know you're not alone.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 11-27-2017 at 08:21 AM.
  #180  
Old 11-27-2017, 08:48 AM
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Choie, most lumps are benign so I wouldn't assume anything. But let me just say that since your first mammogram on the 12th, you should have gotten an answer by now. If this is an example of how slowly they operate, I'd switch to a different mammographer next time.
Definitely. At the cancer treatment center where I go, after the mammogram, you sit there in your hospital gown and they come out within 10 minutes to tell you the results.

When I had the fateful one three-ish years ago, the radiologist came in and said, "We recommend you have a biopsy," which I did three weeks later. After the biopsy, I was asked to wait, and about 20 minutes later the doc came in and said, "I'm going to give you the news you don't want to hear." I had the lumpectomy two weeks after that. Very little time to sit around and fret.

I've had five mammograms since then and all have been handled speedily (and all have been clear, thank God). Not every place is the same. Don't be afraid to shop around, ask people, go to healthgrades.com and vitals.com and read up on your doctor(s).

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 11-27-2017 at 08:49 AM.
  #181  
Old 11-27-2017, 06:44 PM
choie choie is online now
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Hi guys and thanks to LSLguy and ThelmaLou for your thoughts and advice too.

I'm now really low. After your responses I feel less confidence in my radiologist/imaging place. I am surprised to hear that after a first screening mammogram one should expect to have the radiologist talk to you the same day.

Everything I'd read said not to anticipate getting to chat w/the radiologist, but rather that I'd get a call and/or letter saying whether the test results were normal or whether a follow-up was needed.

As it was, I thought it was pretty fast from the screening mammogram (Friday) to my GP calling me (Saturday) and then talking to the radiologist (Monday). The delay started because she thought it made sense to get the older images so they had something to compare this to. That's when stuff slowed down while waiting for the other hospital.

I thought it was during the follow-up diagnostic mammogram/sonogram when the radiologist usually will come in after to let you know.

Damn. This place (Iris Cantor Center for Women's Health) is supposed to be a Center of Excellence. I liked it because it's all part of the same hospital (New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell) where my GP and other doctors reside, so they all share the same records and stuff--I felt reassured by the interaction. But if this is subpar treatment I'll have to rethink this.

Thanks very much for helping me with your own experiences and what I should've expected. I really appreciate it! Even though now I'm feeling worse, heh. But forewarned is forearmed.
  #182  
Old 11-27-2017, 07:19 PM
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Hi guys and thanks to LSLguy and ThelmaLou for your thoughts and advice too.

I'm now really low. After your responses I feel less confidence in my radiologist/imaging place. I am surprised to hear that after a first screening mammogram one should expect to have the radiologist talk to you the same day.
I don't think this is common practice.

Quote:
Everything I'd read said not to anticipate getting to chat w/the radiologist, but rather that I'd get a call and/or letter saying whether the test results were normal or whether a follow-up was needed.
Most of my girlfriends wait for a letter or a phone call from the places they go to for mammograms.

When I used to go to a regular radiology practice, I got a letter a few days after. For my fateful mammogram, I went to a cancer treatment center, because the radiology practice I had been going to since 1973 had closed when the head of it retired. I met him at his ministorage and got the actual films for the past 40 years. The oldest ones were quite primitive--on xerox paper! I went to the cancer center for my mammogram because in my career as a grant proposal writer, I had worked on one of the grants that funded the center. So I knew about it that way.

When you talk to the radiologist or anyone else from your cancer center, you can question them and the way they do things. Don't hesitate to ask questions. You absolutely have that right and it's important for you to have confidence in your providers.

I know reading the breastcancer.org message board can be overwhelming. The board is NOT well-moderated and many threads can go on for thousands of posts. But perusing some of the discussions can help you get a sense of what exactly you want to know about YOUR situation. Besides the message boards, there are some informative articles there. You're in a new world with a new vocabulary, and a bunch of new acronyms.

I told myself that millions and millions of women have gotten through this, and if they can, I can. It's rare to die of breast cancer these days.
  #183  
Old 11-27-2017, 08:36 PM
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I will second ThelmaLou's comment that while-you-wait results are very untypical. Even at very high quality cost-is-no-object practices. If they're in the midst of further characterizing an already known bad diagnosis stuff moves in a day or two (net of weekends of course).

While they're still working on an ostensibly healthy person and gathering the rest of the story, things are slower.

For damn sure nothing is as frustrating as having an earlier medical practice foot-drag on delivering old records that may or may not end up being relevant. If it's practical for you to visit them face to face you can often hand carry the approval around and move your request to the top of a bulging stack of other requests.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 11-27-2017 at 08:36 PM.
  #184  
Old 11-27-2017, 11:21 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I knew my margins were clear the second time around. I had a follow-up appointment this afternoon with my surgeon, and he told me that the pathologist found NO cancer cells in the tissue he removed! Therefore, the procedure may not have been necessary but I sure am glad I had it. You can't be too careful with this sort of thing.

That's even better news than just "clear margins".

He also said that my healing is progressing normally, and wants to see me again in a month and that will probably be it for him.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 11-27-2017 at 11:22 PM.
  #185  
Old 11-28-2017, 02:33 AM
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I had a follow-up appointment this afternoon with my surgeon, and he told me that the pathologist found NO cancer cells in the tissue he removed!
My wife had no cancer cell in her lump as well. This was a couple of years ago. Both her sister and a cousin have had cancer so it was a matter of being more safe than sorry. My wife was pretty unhappy with having a scar, but that was IMHO a small price to pay. Of course, it's not my body with the scar.
  #186  
Old 11-28-2017, 08:20 AM
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...
I had a follow-up appointment this afternoon with my surgeon, and he told me that the pathologist found NO cancer cells in the tissue he removed!
...
Yaay!!

The game ain't over, but you probably have a long time-out where this can stop being front and center in your life.
  #187  
Old 12-09-2017, 06:39 PM
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That's fantastic news, nearwildheaven! I'm sorry I didn't get back to congratulate you on the follow-up. I've been tossed from pillar to post with various troubling medical crap and have been too distracted.

With me, I'm happy to say the diagnostic mamm. and ultrasound resulted in an 'all-clear' sign from the radiologist; just a cyst. Also good news is that I'm not "dense" (heh at least not in that way), but only scattered density and fat (yay for fat!), so my breastseses are easy to read--and since I will now get annual exams AS I SHOULD HAVE, that's good to know.

Hugs to all who go through this. And thanks again.
  #188  
Old 12-09-2017, 07:03 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Yaaayy!!! That's extra good news.

Remember this happy feeling when next year you're fishing for an excuse to procrastinate.
  #189  
Old 12-09-2017, 10:22 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by choie View Post
That's fantastic news, nearwildheaven! I'm sorry I didn't get back to congratulate you on the follow-up. I've been tossed from pillar to post with various troubling medical crap and have been too distracted.

With me, I'm happy to say the diagnostic mamm. and ultrasound resulted in an 'all-clear' sign from the radiologist; just a cyst. Also good news is that I'm not "dense" (heh at least not in that way), but only scattered density and fat (yay for fat!), so my breastseses are easy to read--and since I will now get annual exams AS I SHOULD HAVE, that's good to know.

Hugs to all who go through this. And thanks again.
Great news on this front!
  #190  
Old 12-13-2017, 11:36 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I had an appointment with the oncologist to discuss the Oncotype score, and when he walked into the room and told me that he had good news, that totally made my day. My score was 5, which is about as low as it can possibly go, and since it was below 18, I do not need and would not benefit from chemotherapy which is just about the best news I've had since all this started.



I'm still going to do radiation, although I suspect it will be a few weeks before they can do it because my breast isn't fully healed yet.

He wants to see me again in 3 months.
  #191  
Old 12-13-2017, 12:13 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Yaay! On my phone or I'd say more.
  #192  
Old 12-14-2017, 09:20 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Yesterday's xkcd is on point for all of us: https://xkcd.com/1928/
  #193  
Old 12-14-2017, 05:28 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by susan View Post
Great that you got baselines. I didn't, because I didn't know to ask and probably because my surgeon assumed that none of his patients ever get lymphedema.
The OT told me that he had been doing this since 1993, after encountering multiple patients with lymphedema who were suffering unnecessarily. He said that the chances I will get it are unlikely, because I didn't have the axillary lymph node packet removed, but I still need to monitor for it.

Also, the radiation oncologist's office called yesterday and said they can get me in tomorrow afternoon for a simulation; I will have a CAT scan that will be used for marking, and then a fake treatment, and she will tell me when I can start. A lady I volunteer with at the library said her husband had terrible nausea with his, but he had esophageal cancer (from which he is now in remission) and that makes sense, considering the area that's being irradiated.
  #194  
Old 12-14-2017, 05:30 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
Yesterday's xkcd is on point for all of us: https://xkcd.com/1928/
I love this, especially because I Saw The Eclipse and can't wait to do it again in 2024!
  #195  
Old 12-14-2017, 09:20 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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IME following people through BC radiation, it's like having a severe cold and a severe sunburn simultaneously.

Real low on energy and ambition, rather sore & tender where you're getting zapped, but otherwise systemically OK. Set very low goals for what you intend to accomplish in any day and it won't be too awful. Other than the logistical hassle of going there every day or every other day or whatever pattern for a few weeks. It certainly helps to have the radiation facility not too far from home.

Somebody who intends to work full time and take care of the kids and dogs and all the rest exactly as they were when not under treatment will be in for a rude awakening and a miserable, life-draining experience. Don't be that person if there is any alternative.

If you think there's no alternative, think again and recruit friends, family, or volunteers from the onco support crew to help. A tremendous amount of what most people believe they must do is far more optional than they tend to assume. Neighbors can feed dogs, kids can live on PB&J for a month, husbands can learn to bring home takeout or make burgers every night, whatever.

As the Orange Morons say on TV: "You can do it. We can help."

Last edited by LSLGuy; 12-14-2017 at 09:20 PM.
  #196  
Old 12-14-2017, 10:20 PM
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ThelmaLou ThelmaLou is offline
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I had NO side effects from my three weeks of radiation. People told me I'd feel fatigued, but I didn't. I don't know why, because I'm sort of a sissy snowflake (are we still allowed to say "sissy"?). When I was lying in the machine I could tell when they turned on the juice, and it was only for 60-90 seconds. I was in and out of the center in half an hour (not counting looking for a parking place).

I avoided all skin damage by following a regimen that someone else told me about. When I got home from radiation every day (except weekends), I sat on my bed with a bowl of water with ice cubes in it and soaked a washcloth in the icy bath. I wrung it out and held it on my boob until it warmed up to body temp. Then dunked again, wrung out, and did the same thing. I did this every day for about an hour. The doc and the radiation techs were amazed that I showed absolutely no burning, no skin damage, or even discoloration. I also used the lotion that the radiation oncologist gave me, but I think it was the hour-long ice baths after treatment that did the trick. Of course, I had my radiation treatments in Texas in July-- so icy washcloths were a treat. YMMV

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 12-14-2017 at 10:21 PM.
  #197  
Old 12-14-2017, 11:46 PM
Cartooniverse Cartooniverse is offline
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Burns keep burning.
ALL burns keep burning.
Why doctors and nurses do not share this information is a maddening mystery.

You got solid advice, so glad it delivered relief. Rock on !
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If you want to kiss the sky you'd better learn how to kneel.
  #198  
Old 12-15-2017, 12:08 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Everyone's different. I'm otherwise very healthy, and the rad onc said when I saw her before that she doesn't anticipate that I'll have any big issues with this.
  #199  
Old 12-15-2017, 07:58 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Awesome. Enough positive attitude to assume the best, but not so much that you blindly plow ahead beyond your actual ability as you discover whatever it turns out to be, is just about optimum.

Sounds like you've nailed that. Charge!!!

Last edited by LSLGuy; 12-15-2017 at 07:59 AM.
  #200  
Old 12-15-2017, 05:41 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
I had NO side effects from my three weeks of radiation. People told me I'd feel fatigued, but I didn't. I don't know why, because I'm sort of a sissy snowflake (are we still allowed to say "sissy"?). When I was lying in the machine I could tell when they turned on the juice, and it was only for 60-90 seconds. I was in and out of the center in half an hour (not counting looking for a parking place).

I avoided all skin damage by following a regimen that someone else told me about. When I got home from radiation every day (except weekends), I sat on my bed with a bowl of water with ice cubes in it and soaked a washcloth in the icy bath. I wrung it out and held it on my boob until it warmed up to body temp. Then dunked again, wrung out, and did the same thing. I did this every day for about an hour. The doc and the radiation techs were amazed that I showed absolutely no burning, no skin damage, or even discoloration. I also used the lotion that the radiation oncologist gave me, but I think it was the hour-long ice baths after treatment that did the trick. Of course, I had my radiation treatments in Texas in July-- so icy washcloths were a treat. YMMV
I had my CAT scan today and may be able to start treatments as early as Tuesday or Wednesday. If that's the case, they'll be spread out over 5 weeks, so it may not be as rough on me as they might if it was straight Monday through Friday. I did ask about the cold-water treatment, and she said, "No, no, no! Do not do that!" and instead recommended vitamin E oil. I'll get some next time I'm at a grocery store.
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