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Here's my question...I just turned 33, found out last night that I will have a bilateral and chemo can anyone help me out on what to expect as far as the chemo and reconstruction or any other helpful information?

anonymous Profile
Asked by

anonymous

Patient over 6 years
 
  • Sharon Danielson Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2007
    Anonymous, I know we are all so sorry to hear at such a young age, you have breast cancer. Every woman's breast cancer is different on a cellular level. There are many factors and findings that go into the decision how your treatment will go. It depends on what type of breast cancer you have, the stage, the grade, and your age. You are in limbo right now because you are still being tested. Once your team have your treatment schedule set, your life will settle down. I can tell you, where you are right now is lousy. We really don't know what your treatment will be. As far as chemotherapy, everybody handles it differently. Some people it is tough, other people, like myself, it was relatively easy. They have very good druges to keep you from getting nauseated. You WILL lose your hair. That is a --for sure--. It starts to drop out at about 2 weeks after your first treatment. I did not have reconstruction but usually if you have a mastectomy and you are going to have reconstruction, they place tissue expanders to make a pocket for implants. There are other types of reconstruction and that will be discussed with you depending on your specific circumstance. A suggestion for you while you are going through this diagnosis phase, take a spouse, relative and good friend to take notes and listen to what is being said. I did not remember a third of what was said. Thankfully, my husband and best friend came along to help me through this tough time. You have got to be your own best advocate. You have got to speak up, ask questions, and make sure you are getting the correct medication. Every woman's treatment will be different because it is not individualized for each woman. It is a long journey, but you will come out the other side a much stronger woman. Breast cancer treatment ain't for wimps! Hang in there.... you WILL make it! Take care, Sharon
    over 6 years Flag
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Thanks Sharon!! This helps a bunch!! Right now, I feel like I'm in a bad dream and just waiting on someone to wake me up.....but it's okay I'm not trying to throw myself a pity party or anything... My mother is a breast cancer survivor (twice) she...

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      Thanks Sharon!! This helps a bunch!! Right now, I feel like I'm in a bad dream and just waiting on someone to wake me up.....but it's okay I'm not trying to throw myself a pity party or anything... My mother is a breast cancer survivor (twice) she was first diagnosed at the same age I am and then again 9 years later...i do realize it takes a very strong person to go through this, my mom is one of the strongest women i know and I'm glad she will be by my side to knock some sense into me when i get a lil emotional

      over 6 years Flag
    • Traciann brundage Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Sharon you have been amazing you gave me a bunch of new questions to ask

      over 6 years Flag
  • sandra hayley Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and had a mastectomy and chemo in 2006, had breast cancer again in 2011, had surgery and radiation. Think positive! You can beat this! I also found out I have the brca2 gene(breast cancer gene) I am now 41 and trying to stay positive and eat healthy and exercise regularly.
    over 6 years Flag
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hey, Sandra, me too! BRCA2 positive, first cancer at 44, second at 56 (last year, early this year). Staying positive is key, as is exercise and a good diet (although I do love my Doritos every now and again!). You can't dwell on the "what if's"...

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      Hey, Sandra, me too! BRCA2 positive, first cancer at 44, second at 56 (last year, early this year). Staying positive is key, as is exercise and a good diet (although I do love my Doritos every now and again!). You can't dwell on the "what if's" because it is what it is. Get the right treatment -- get more opinions if you want to -- and just go through it. The alternative is unacceptable. Good luck!!

      over 6 years Flag
  • blair greiner Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I am 33 also. I had a bilateral, chemo and will have radiation. Take it ONE STEP at a time. Breathe. Ask for Ativan if you feel too overwhelmed. You WILL be ok. You CAN do this! There is sooo much to write based on your question. Try to think of some more specific things you are curious or unsure about. We would love to help.
    over 6 years Flag
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Blair, what a great answer! I was 44 the first time and I thought I was young! I totally agree with the Ativan. In fact, throughout treatment, I believed in "better living through chemistry" -- there's a medicine for everything, and I took...

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      Blair, what a great answer! I was 44 the first time and I thought I was young! I totally agree with the Ativan. In fact, throughout treatment, I believed in "better living through chemistry" -- there's a medicine for everything, and I took advantage of it all.
      There are so many questions and so many answers, and plenty of women who are here and waiting to help you. This is an incredibly weird and scary time for you. Just try to take it step by step, as Blair says. Don't get ahead of yourself.

      over 6 years Flag
  • julie s Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 2A Patient
    I'm 38 and was dx Triple negative IDC May 24th. 3.5 cm tumor, stage 2 grade 3. BRCA negative. I opted for neoadjuvant chemo (before surgery) to try to shrink to an operable size. If I had tested positive for BRCa or had family history I probably would have gone for double mastectomy. I' have my 4th of 6 chem treatments tomorrow.. So maybe I can help a little with that. I remember the anxiety and fear of not knowing what to expect... And as the others have said everyone reacts differently. My oncologist gave me some scripts to fill in advance... A steroid I take 2 times a day the day before, the day of and the day after chemo, and a couple of anti nausea meds. The day before chemo I had a port placed... It was an outpatient procedure and it makes it much easier to get chemo and blood draws and it protects my veins from the chemo. My first chemo treatment was the worst (for me)... What I learned was how important it is to stay hydrated, and to take meds as prescribed... If you wait until you need them, it's too late! I had a variety of side effects (not to say you will...) I had nausea, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, mouth sores, body aches , fatigue, etc. days 3,4,5 are usually the worst for me. The hot flashes have been increasing and are probably one of the most annoying side effects. I also get a neulesta shot the day after chemo that causes bone aches. When I go in for that I get an I'VE bag of fluids that helps A LOT. My hair did fall out, as yours most likely will. I got my [long] hair cut short in anticipation but it was still incredibly traumatic even though I knew it was coming. When it really started coming out I got it buzzed and then shaved it completely. I got a wig but I've only worn it once do far ( too hot in AZ!) I wear a lot of scarves and lately just rock the bald look a lot... Bald is beautiful and a badge of courage. You'll get through this! We are here to support you and answer any questions we can!
    over 6 years Comment Flag
  • julie s Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 2A Patient
    I'm 38 and was dx Triple negative IDC May 24th. 3.5 cm tumor, stage 2 grade 3. BRCA negative. I opted for neoadjuvant chemo (before surgery) to try to shrink to an operable size. If I had tested positive for BRCa or had family history I probably would have gone for double mastectomy. I' have my 4th of 6 chem treatments tomorrow.. So maybe I can help a little with that. I remember the anxiety and fear of not knowing what to expect... And as the others have said everyone reacts differently. My oncologist gave me some scripts to fill in advance... A steroid I take 2 times a day the day before, the day of and the day after chemo, and a couple of anti nausea meds. The day before chemo I had a port placed... It was an outpatient procedure and it makes it much easier to get chemo and blood draws and it protects my veins from the chemo. My first chemo treatment was the worst (for me)... What I learned was how important it is to stay hydrated, and to take meds as prescribed... If you wait until you need them, it's too late! I had a variety of side effects (not to say you will...) I had nausea, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, mouth sores, body aches , fatigue, etc. days 3,4,5 are usually the worst for me. The hot flashes have been increasing and are probably one of the most annoying side effects. I also get a neulesta shot the day after chemo that causes bone aches. When I go in for that I get an I'VE bag of fluids that helps A LOT. My hair did fall out, as yours most likely will. I got my [long] hair cut short in anticipation but it was still incredibly traumatic even though I knew it was coming. When it really started coming out I got it buzzed and then shaved it completely. I got a wig but I've only worn it once do far ( too hot in AZ!) I wear a lot of scarves and lately just rock the bald look a lot... Bald is beautiful and a badge of courage. You'll get through this! We are here to support you and answer any questions we can!
    over 6 years Comment Flag
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