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Common Questions

  • Allison Mullen Profile

    Had a bilateral mastectomy with bilateral lymph node removal and immediate reconstruction 5/15/13. My pathology stated that 13 of 15 nodes removed have cancer.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 3C Patient
    almost 5 years 11 answers
    • View all 11 answers
    • sharon s Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yep. Hang in there. Read and eat good stuff and don't add to your receptors. I think that's about all we can do. We do the best we can.

      Wishing you a good team

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Put on those big girl panties and fight like hell. Hang in there darlin', you can do this.

      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My good friend has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. What can I do or say to help her through this?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Francine Williams Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hello my name is Francine and I was where ur friend is now all I wanted to here was that my family/friends were goin to be there for me every step of the way !!Assure ur friend that GoD Makes no Mistakes and there's a million and one prayers goin her way!!Take care and remember to always smile...

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      Hello my name is Francine and I was where ur friend is now all I wanted to here was that my family/friends were goin to be there for me every step of the way !!Assure ur friend that GoD Makes no Mistakes and there's a million and one prayers goin her way!!Take care and remember to always smile that is one thing Cancer can't take from u

      2 comments
    • Ali S Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Be there as often as you can. I remember it getting hard when ppl kept asking "how are you feeling?". Bc if I was honest I would have said I feel like crap, I'm scared, I feel sick, I'm afraid of dying, etc. So, get in the habit of saying: I hope you're feeling well today, or I was thinking of...

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      Be there as often as you can. I remember it getting hard when ppl kept asking "how are you feeling?". Bc if I was honest I would have said I feel like crap, I'm scared, I feel sick, I'm afraid of dying, etc. So, get in the habit of saying: I hope you're feeling well today, or I was thinking of you today. Also, don't say "let me know if there's something I can do" bc it puts the burden back on her and it's so hard to ask for help. Instead, ask when her appointments are and plan to go with her (if she has no one else that can go), stop by (call or text first) with a meal when she's sick from chemo and clean up a little while you're there. Bring funny movies or books ('the sh*t my dad says' is hilarious--someone gave it to me), bring gossip, distractions are good. Try not to probe by asking a ton of questions all the time, but let her know you're always there to listen. She'll start to open up when she wants. If she's sad, let her be. Be comforting but don't give advice. (like empathize and say you know it must be hard and scary, but don't say things like, look for the silver linking, or try to be positive...some days, she'll just be sad and angry will need a shoulder to cry on)

      When she's feeling well, keep her busy! If you aren't always free, create a calendar for friends/colleagues that can cook, visit, take her out, etc.

      If she plans on wearing a wig, offer to go with her to pick it out before her hair falls out. Then, when it starts to fall out, offer to shave it (my friend gave me a Mohawk).

      When her treatments are over, months from now, keep checking in...that's a tough time emotionally, even when hair starts to grow back. Breast cancer is life changing and we still think about it even post treatment.

      Of course, you can't do it all, but get your friends together to help with all of this.

      I've truly seen who my true friends are with how they've dealt with my diagnosis. I'm young(32), and I've read and agree that breast cancer is lonely for young women bc most of our peers have no idea what it's like. If your friend is young, help her check out programs for young women with BC

      best wishes

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    How soon after mastectomy is it ok to have intimate relations with your spouse?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    over 5 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Elaine Mills Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      I can't tell if you are the patient or the spouse, but I am a patient. I know that for us, "intimate" became something different than sex. He waited for me to initiate. Realize that there are so many emotions to deal with having had your breasts removed. Positioning, energy, everything about...

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      I can't tell if you are the patient or the spouse, but I am a patient. I know that for us, "intimate" became something different than sex. He waited for me to initiate. Realize that there are so many emotions to deal with having had your breasts removed. Positioning, energy, everything about our first, second ... 30th time is different than before. I am not in the mood in the same way. My heart is, but my body could care less most of the time. I want to let him know I love him and I feel allowing him some normalcy of a sexual release seems important for him, so I do what I can.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      As soon as you and your special other are comfortable . My husband was afraid I'd break. He got over it. :-)

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Is it ok to have alcohol while on Tamoxifen?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      The answer better be yes or I'm screwed. I'm a home brewer and just tried my hand a wine making for the first time. I do know for a fact a double shot of scotch makes shaving your head the first much easier.

      1 comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes it is fine to have alcohol while on tamoxifen and also while having chemo. My doc said try to keep your life as normal as possible, if you want to have a drink, have it. Sit back, have a drink and relax. Good luck.

      Comment
  • Deb  Liebzeit Profile

    PORTA-CATH PAIN. My PORTA-CATH was inserted 2 days ago and I have to say it actually hurts worse than my mastectomy. Anyone else experienced this? Cripes this is some damn ride I am on! ;-)

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    about 5 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I'm 2 years out. I hated the port every minute of every day that I had it. I hated the way it looked, the way it felt, and what it represented. I was, by the onc, told to keep it in at least 1 month after my last chemo. I jad mine out 1 month and 1 day after my last chemo. BUT, with time and...

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      I'm 2 years out. I hated the port every minute of every day that I had it. I hated the way it looked, the way it felt, and what it represented. I was, by the onc, told to keep it in at least 1 month after my last chemo. I jad mine out 1 month and 1 day after my last chemo. BUT, with time and distance it was the best thing I did for me and my treatment AND taking it OUT it put an !!!!!! to the end of chemo. I not only survived I won, and you will to. I chose to put 2 rose buds and a pink ribbion tattoo over my scar. It is my own personal badge of honor. God Bless your journey.

      Comment
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      My port surg too was more difficult than the double mass. Like Sarah said it was short lived discomfort, as the pros out weighed the cons. Got mine put in oct 2009 and it still remains in. I have been so blessed and not had any further problems with it since in the beginning. Good luck. N god...

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      My port surg too was more difficult than the double mass. Like Sarah said it was short lived discomfort, as the pros out weighed the cons. Got mine put in oct 2009 and it still remains in. I have been so blessed and not had any further problems with it since in the beginning. Good luck. N god bless.

      1 comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I am scheduling my biopsy. What should I know to ask a breast surgeon? Don't want to be awake during biopsy. Can they see what it is, and just do either Lumpectomy or Masectomy? Hubby not helpful, and no friends in the area....

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 5 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi there,

      First, I'm sorry you don't have the support you'd like from your husband. We all understand your fear and anxiety -- just know that there are a bunch of women who are here to give you the support you need.

      Second, you don't say what kind of biopsy you're having, but I suspect it...

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      Hi there,

      First, I'm sorry you don't have the support you'd like from your husband. We all understand your fear and anxiety -- just know that there are a bunch of women who are here to give you the support you need.

      Second, you don't say what kind of biopsy you're having, but I suspect it involves minor surgery. You don't really have to be awake, but you don't need general anesthesia either. What they can do is give you what they call "IV sedation" which really relaxes you. They may also throw some stuff in there so you don't remember the procedure at all. They will definitely make the entire biopsy area numb so you won't feel any pain. the biopsy doesn't take very long -- putting you under general anesthesia would probably take longer!

      Third, a diagnosis isn't a one-step process. We ALL want to know right away. A breast surgeon will have an idea once he/she sees the lump. But in my experience they don't usually do frozen sections (a quick look by a pathologist) during or immediately after a biopsy. They send the tissue to the pathologist so he/she can look at it carefully and make a proper diagnosis.

      If it's cancer, the doctor will want to talk to you about what type of cancer it is, along with a number of other things. Most importantly, he/she will discuss options with you. Ultimately it will be your decision, but as long as your doctor is a BOARD CERTIFIED surgeon who likely specializes in breast surgery, he/she will steer you in the right direction.

      Best of luck to you. Keep us posted!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Anonymous,
      There are decisions to be made from what is found by doing the biopsy. SInce you have not had one, a needle biopsy is not a "for sure" having breast cancer. Needle biopsy's are done awake. As awful as it sounds, it is a quick procedure and many times the doctor doing the biopsy...

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      Anonymous,
      There are decisions to be made from what is found by doing the biopsy. SInce you have not had one, a needle biopsy is not a "for sure" having breast cancer. Needle biopsy's are done awake. As awful as it sounds, it is a quick procedure and many times the doctor doing the biopsy has some information to share. A small area of the breast is numbed, and the needle used to take the sample, doesn't hurt, you just feel pressure. Again.... just because you are having a biopsy, certainly does not mean you have breast cancer. So many of my friends have had biopsy's and of all of them, I am the only one who turned up with breast cancer. Please take one thing at a time. If you have not had a biopsy and actually been told you have breast cancer assume you DON'T until the biopsy results are back. In the world of breast cancer.... there are a lot of testing, and decision making that goes into it even before you have surgery. One step at a time....
      You have the biopsy, in about a week, you get the results. Most of the time, there is nothing wrong and you just go on with your life. If you do have breast cancer, you will have a series of testing before you have surgery. After surgery, you will hear about the rest of your treatment. Every woman is treated as an individual. A diagnosis of breast cancer is NOT a death sentence! We, who have had breast cancer, will be your friends, and sisters in this journey. BUT FIRST.... you have to be diagnosed with breast cancer!
      Hang in there darlin' you may not join our Ya-Ya Sisterhood until you hear those lousy words.... "You have breast cancer...." Here is wishing you WON'T be one of the members!
      Hugs and caring, Sharon

      1 comment
  • Laura Gaspard Profile

    Are Mammograms Painful?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Juliette Zweig Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I just got one yesterday. I personally don’t find them painful, and not even that uncomfortable. My breasts are very tender and I have no problem. Plus, they are fairly quick. You’re out and about fast. Making the annual visit no big deal.

      Comment
    • Kim Flackey Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      No. I find them to be more uncomfortable than painful. It also depends on the time of the month. Your breasts are usually more tender right before your period. Try and schedule it after your period and this should help. Of all medical tests, this is the one I dread the least. It's no biggie.

      2 comments
  • Saana Malik Profile

    Are you able to have sex while getting chemo and/or radiation treatments?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I found during treatment that sex became more important than ever to me as some days it was the only way to feel good and I really enjoyed the closeness it gave us at a time that was very scary. I didn't feel attractive after surgery or without hair, but my husband embraced all these changes and...

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      I found during treatment that sex became more important than ever to me as some days it was the only way to feel good and I really enjoyed the closeness it gave us at a time that was very scary. I didn't feel attractive after surgery or without hair, but my husband embraced all these changes and made me feel beautiful at my lowest moments. After my lumpectomy, I was afraid at how my breast would look and how I would cope with this disfiguration. Sometimes at night when I was having a hard time, he would just reach over and hold my hand and i was amazed at how he was there for me when i was struggling. Cancer brought our sex life alive again. I was thrust into early menopause due to chemo and my oncologist prescribed the estring for lubrication. That has worked extremely well for me. It took a couple of weeks to get used to, but now I find it very comfortable and don't even know it's there. It turned out all the worries and insecurities I had about my body were erased with love from my husband.

      Comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      I agree with Marianne the only other advise I would give is to talk with your gyn as far as what are your options for birth control. They usually advise you not to get pregnant while going through breast cancer treatment. Some women also do egg retrieval prior to chemo depending on the chemo...

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      I agree with Marianne the only other advise I would give is to talk with your gyn as far as what are your options for birth control. They usually advise you not to get pregnant while going through breast cancer treatment. Some women also do egg retrieval prior to chemo depending on the chemo drugs used sometimes it makes it hard to conceive after chemo.

      Comment
  • Cynthia Flexen Profile

    I dont know whether I should have a Bilateral mastectomy or just single mastectomy? I have DCIS in my left breast. I do not have the BRCA1 or 2 gene so that is why I dont know what to do??? Any advice please?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 0 Patient
    over 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Cynthia, have you spoken to your Breast Surgeon about their opinion? That's very good news you don't have either of the BRACA genes. I will have my test performed this week. That's a tough decision, whether to remove both breasts. I have Stage IIIc IDC. It's a later stage plus my...

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      Hi Cynthia, have you spoken to your Breast Surgeon about their opinion? That's very good news you don't have either of the BRACA genes. I will have my test performed this week. That's a tough decision, whether to remove both breasts. I have Stage IIIc IDC. It's a later stage plus my non-cancerous breast has several calcifications and a fluid filled cyst. Trouble brewing there. So I've chosen to have both removed. It's such a personal choice I can only relate my story to you. A good medical site to go to with fact based research is breastcancer.org. Or the book "Dr Susan Love's Breast Book". both has so much helpful info. Thinking of you on your journey,

      Diana

      2 comments
    • Surf  Momma Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I just had a bilateral mastectomy one week ago. I have cancer in one breast only. I choose a bilateral because it made more sense to me to have two breasts that could look as similar as could be.

      Comment
  • Tracy Lewis Norman Profile

    What is the difference between the grades and stages of breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Tracy,
      Arrrgh... by the time you have completed your treatment, you will be an expert! So sorry it has to be an expert in breast cancer treatment. Have you heard what type of breast cancer you have yet? As several have said.... Stage is the size of the tumor and how much it has spread. My...

      more

      Tracy,
      Arrrgh... by the time you have completed your treatment, you will be an expert! So sorry it has to be an expert in breast cancer treatment. Have you heard what type of breast cancer you have yet? As several have said.... Stage is the size of the tumor and how much it has spread. My stage was was a 2B..... (a 2.3cm with 1 positive lymph node.) The grade is how agressive the cells are.... grade 1-relatively non-agressive, grade 2 - middle of the road. grade 3 more aggressive cells. Within the grade, there can be varying degrees of aggressiveness. You will also have a report on your cancer's sensitivety to hormones. It will be ER+ or - PR + or - and HER2 + or -
      Breast cancer is very individual to each person. You can have the same type of breast cancer as the next woman and that is where the similarities end. Your cells are unique to you. Your treatment will be developed because of the cells seen at your biopsy. You will wonder why your treatment is different from mine but it is because our breast cancer may be completely different on a cell level. It's confusing for sure. Each woman reaction to their treatments are all different too. Just as Jo says... bring every single itty bitty question to your interview. Best too, if you bring a friend who can either take really great notes or bring some kind of recorder with you. You are given a lot of information and you won't necessarily remember it all. We are always here for you as you go through your treatment. Hang in there.... there's a wonderful bunch of "sister's" out here to help. Take care, Sharon

      3 comments
    • Tracy Lewis Norman Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      i have grade 3 breast cancer but i dont understand that, im scared it is growing everywhere else. what does that mean?

      11 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    I was Reading my post operative pathology report and found out I jumped from grade 2 to grade 3. Feeling like it's no longer curable. How do you cope?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    almost 6 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I understand hoe you're feeling. I was diagnosed last year at 49 with stage 3C breast cancer. I was scared beyond belief. The cancer was also in my chest wall and 13 lymph nodes with some breaking outside the node. Went through 8 rounds of chemo then a bilateral mastectomy. They discovered that...

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      I understand hoe you're feeling. I was diagnosed last year at 49 with stage 3C breast cancer. I was scared beyond belief. The cancer was also in my chest wall and 13 lymph nodes with some breaking outside the node. Went through 8 rounds of chemo then a bilateral mastectomy. They discovered that chemo hadn't helped as much as they thought. So....I switched chemo drugs and had 8 more 3 weeks after my surgery. Then 33 radiation treatments. I'm on tamoxifen now and I'm happy to say I'm in remission!!! It wasn't easy. You just take it one day at a time. If that's too much....one hour at time. You'll get to the other side of all this. And we're cheering you on.....every step of the way!!!!!!

      2 comments
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I, too, had a disappointment in my post-op pathology report. After hearing from my surgeon right after my surgery that all 5 sentinel nodes were clear.... one came back positive in the pathology report. I know how you feel, as it is a huge let-down and you MOMENTARILY watch your life pass...

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      I, too, had a disappointment in my post-op pathology report. After hearing from my surgeon right after my surgery that all 5 sentinel nodes were clear.... one came back positive in the pathology report. I know how you feel, as it is a huge let-down and you MOMENTARILY watch your life pass before your eyes. You just get back up on the pony and keep on riding! The shock of this will pass.... you will get better, you will get well, you will be ok. You got through your treatment, and charge ahead with your life. This is just a piece of the puzzle of your disease. This is not charting your course of life. There are a vast majority of us who are alive and well years after beating breast cancer. You just work on being one of us. I swear a positive attitude will do more for you than 50 gallons of tears you could cry over this small fact. You reaction should be.... SO WHAT! Kick booty darlin' do not let this get you down. Fight like a girl and you will be a winner.
      Hang in there, much love and strength, take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Carla Victor-rawson Profile

    Just got my Oncotype test results back... It's a 5 . What does this mean to my prognosis? ILC stage 1b 0.3 cm grade 1 with LCIS had lumpectomy and 2 nodes removed 1 had a micro something in it doctor said he got good clean margins and no cancer left...

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I wasn't offered an oncotype test. How did you get one?

      2 comments
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Interestingly, I just went to my doctor for a 3-month check up and we were talking about oncotypes. I had Stage 2 invasive, and my oncotype was high so there was no question about chemo.
      However, a neighbor who is seeing the same doctor had DCIS with a high oncotype. When talking to my doctor...

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      Interestingly, I just went to my doctor for a 3-month check up and we were talking about oncotypes. I had Stage 2 invasive, and my oncotype was high so there was no question about chemo.
      However, a neighbor who is seeing the same doctor had DCIS with a high oncotype. When talking to my doctor about it today, he said that the oncotype for invasive vs. the oncotype for DCIS indicate different treatments. If it's high and invasive, the analysis is for chemo. If it's DCIS and high, the analysis is for radiation.
      Just an interesting tidbit I never knew. Either way you look at it though, a 5 is great. Best of luck to you!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I found a lump and had a mammogram and ultrasound, which were normal- but I still feel the lump and now I have pain under my arm when I raise my hand. My dr didn't seem too concerned, but I am. Cancer runs in my family. What should I do?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Becky G Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      I suggest getting a new doctor and demanding an MRI. I found my lump during a monthly self exam. I went to my gynecologist and then was referred to get a mammogram. My lump showed up a lot better on an MRI, then I got a biopsy on the mass. It was 5 cm!!! It was there for a very long time...

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      I suggest getting a new doctor and demanding an MRI. I found my lump during a monthly self exam. I went to my gynecologist and then was referred to get a mammogram. My lump showed up a lot better on an MRI, then I got a biopsy on the mass. It was 5 cm!!! It was there for a very long time before I even caught it. And, I don't have any family history...but, that doesn't seem to matter.
      I would keep pushing until you get some answers. It's sad but you do have to be your own health advocate. Do the research and find a doctor that will help you. You are worth it!!!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      If I were you, I would ask your doctor to order an MRI. Tell him you are still concerned and want to check this out further. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was shocked to see how the tumor showed up like a light bulb on an MRI. Good luck to you and please keep us posted.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I'm 23 year old. I have a lump in the upper outer quadrant of my right breast. I had it biopsied 5 months before... it's stage 2. I sometimes feel pain in that area not very often. Does it mean it has metastasized??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Connie Demarest Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      GET TREATMENT RIGHT AWAY!!!!!!!!

      2 comments
    • Tiffani Warila Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I would ask your doctor to be sure nothing has changed. Have you had surgery, chemo or radiation?

      5 comments
  • Lisa Doheny Profile

    Has anyone been on taxotere& cytoxan for chemo? I'm also taking steroid pills the day before, the day of, and the day after. Is this normal? Is this what makes you gain weight? Do I need the steroids? Very nervous, I start chemo tomorrow.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Hi Lisa,
      Try to think of the chemo as your path to getting back to a normal life and wiping out that nasty BC. You have a lot of company with your mix of chemo., and the combination of drugs is pretty common. Even though we may have diagnosis that sound the same, there are always differences in...

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      Hi Lisa,
      Try to think of the chemo as your path to getting back to a normal life and wiping out that nasty BC. You have a lot of company with your mix of chemo., and the combination of drugs is pretty common. Even though we may have diagnosis that sound the same, there are always differences in many components of individual cells. The steroids are used as a preventative to some reactions to the chemotherapy drugs. Steroids can cause weight gain but so will lack of normal exercise. You aren't on the steroids all that much. You only take them around and during your treatment. Did your oncologist have a port placed for the delivery of your treatments?
      I can only tell you of my experiences with chemotherapy. I started losing my hair about 2 weeks after the first treatment. I never had nausea but the first few days after my treatments, I felt very tired kind of like the flu. After about the 4th or 5th day, there was a big turn-around and I was back to normal. I was taking a different combination of drugs than you, but my taste changed. Before chemo, I LOVED coffee and chocolate. During chemo, I craved greens! I used to consume bags of spinach and salads. After chemo, back to the coffee and chocolate. I lost a little bit of weight.
      The time I spend in the place where the chemo is given was like a little party room. Much laughing, talking, and eating with the other patients. I loved the people and had a great time.... no kidding!
      I would take something to read, MP3, or other electronic thingy, or a crossword puzzle... anything that you enjoy. I always slept through part of my treatment which lasted about 1.5 to 2 hours. I ALWAYS asked questions and I think you should bring a list of things you want to ask for tomorrow. Be your own best advocate. If something doesn't seem right, speak up! Be polite, but be sure and check when that inner voice says "Something doesn't seem right." I always dealt with the entire breast cancer thing with a whole lot of humor. It seemed to take the place of my fear. Hang in there.... you will be ok. Tomorrow will be one treatment checked off on your road to recovery. BE SURE TO DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS! Take care, and God's blessings, Sharon

      4 comments
    • Kris Shortridge Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had both of those drugs. The steroid you are taking is to help with the nausea. It really worked for me. It kind of makes you wired fir a couple of days though. It did make me put on a little weight. If you feel well enough, walking might help with that. As forth drugs, the taxotere caused some...

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      I had both of those drugs. The steroid you are taking is to help with the nausea. It really worked for me. It kind of makes you wired fir a couple of days though. It did make me put on a little weight. If you feel well enough, walking might help with that. As forth drugs, the taxotere caused some numbness & tingling in my fingers &

      Comment
  • Betsy Chapin Profile

    I am struggling with how cancer consumes my everyday thoughts. This month is especially difficult when we are bombarded with pink everywhere. I finished treatment 7 months ago and I still have it on my mind everyday. When will it go away?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2010
    over 6 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Betsy, unfortunately I can't answer that. I often wonder the same. Will it ever end? I am still in the middle of my treatments. I finished my last chemo just a few weeks ago and will have a double mastectomy in less than two weeks. Then finally radiation. And you're right...pink is everywhere...

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      Hi Betsy, unfortunately I can't answer that. I often wonder the same. Will it ever end? I am still in the middle of my treatments. I finished my last chemo just a few weeks ago and will have a double mastectomy in less than two weeks. Then finally radiation. And you're right...pink is everywhere this month. Of course you and I...and all the other women

      Comment
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Thank you to each and every one of you for answering. You have really helped me become more optimistic about this and I know this all consuming breast cancer feeling shall pass. In most moments of the day, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life due to my cancer journey. Time shall heal and...

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      Thank you to each and every one of you for answering. You have really helped me become more optimistic about this and I know this all consuming breast cancer feeling shall pass. In most moments of the day, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life due to my cancer journey. Time shall heal and cancer will stay in the background of my life. Today is a good day!

      Comment
  • Rea Fielden Profile

    What is the life expectancy of Metastatic Breast Cancer which has metastasized to the spine and bones if left untreated?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 4 Patient
    over 5 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Rea,
      No one knows how long any of us will live. Even leaving a cancer untreated, no one actually knows. There isn't anything the the "direction book of life" that can be a predictor. I don't like when a doctor presents their guess and says to a patient.... "You have 6 months to live". I think...

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      Rea,
      No one knows how long any of us will live. Even leaving a cancer untreated, no one actually knows. There isn't anything the the "direction book of life" that can be a predictor. I don't like when a doctor presents their guess and says to a patient.... "You have 6 months to live". I think that sets up a negative mind-set in a persons thoughts. Doctor's aren't God, and as far as I am concerned HE is the only one who truly gets to play that role.
      I had a friend who had Stage 4 ILC with nearly all lymph nodes removed were found to be positive (19 out of 21). She quit her treatment but ended up living 5 years after surgery with no further treatment.
      It would be my thought gift to you, not to think of giving up but think of hope and the possibilities for the future.
      It is bad enough to be diagnosed with this creepy disease but we do NOT want to lose another one of our sister's to it. We really need you to keep up the good fight! I truly think of mets as a chronic condition. Hang in there darlin' take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      Rea I too am stage IV bc with mets to lungs. The time will come to do or not to do? I have chosen to begin a new journey at this time. We will see where this road will lead me. I always hope that the treatment I receive might help someone else on their journey. No one knows their life...

      more

      Rea I too am stage IV bc with mets to lungs. The time will come to do or not to do? I have chosen to begin a new journey at this time. We will see where this road will lead me. I always hope that the treatment I receive might help someone else on their journey. No one knows their life expectancy with or without cancer. I do know, from family history of cancer that it is not in our hands. I have had family members experience remission and fast growth after treatments have stopped. It is not for us to know. Sending gods blessings and prayers your way to live life to it's fullest one day at a time. Keep us posted.

      Comment
  • Susan Fox Profile

    What are the permanent effects of chemotherapy? Friends and I have experienced lasting changes in body systems and functions.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2008

      Wow! I just feel like there are so many.
      1. Joint pain and stiffness
      2. Loss of libido
      3. 50 point increase in cholesterol
      4. Severe pain with intercourse.
      5. Sweats - not night sweats. I get hot and sweat more easily now.

      5 comments
    • Mariah Mariah Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2008

      Thanks for sharing. I thought my doctor was just brushing me off when she told me it might be due to the chemo.

      2 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    Oncotype score: 8 - 2 lymph nodes positive - onco said: 92% of cancer not coming back no chemo, radiation, tamox -WAIT - other onco: nope need chemo and all the rest cancer will still come back at 20%

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2B Patient
    over 5 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Blair Greiner Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I say chemo if nodes were positive

      Comment
    • Lisa Doheny Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      My score was 12 with 1 node positive and I had 4 rounds of chemo & 5 years tamoxifen also with having a double mastectomy. I hope this helps you a little. Good luck to you & sending hugs your way

      Comment
  • Lisa Majka  Profile

    How many types of Breast Cancers are there? I'm also wondering if Inflammatory Breast Cancer is the worst one you can get?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    about 6 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      You also wanted to know how many types of breast cancer...Types of Breast Cancer

      Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ (DCIS)
      DCIS is a type of early breast cancer confined to the inside of the ductal system.

      Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
      IDC is the most common type of breast cancer representing 78%...

      more

      You also wanted to know how many types of breast cancer...Types of Breast Cancer

      Ductal Carcinoma In-Situ (DCIS)
      DCIS is a type of early breast cancer confined to the inside of the ductal system.

      Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC)
      IDC is the most common type of breast cancer representing 78% of all malignancies. These lesions appear as stellate (star like) or well-circumscribed (rounded) areas on mammograms. The stellate lesions generally have a poorer prognosis.

      Medullary Carcinoma
      Medullary carcinoma accounts for 15% of all breast cancer types. It most frequently occurs in women in their late 40s and 50s, presenting with cells that resemble the medulla (gray matter) of the brain.

      Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)
      Infiltrating lobular carcinoma is a type of breast cancer that usually appears as a subtle thickening in the upper-outer quadrant of the breast. This breast cancer type represents 5% of all diagnosis. Often positive for estrogen and progesterone receptors, these tumors respond well to hormone therapy.

      Tubular Carcinoma
      Making up about 2% of all breast cancer diagnosis, tubular carcinoma cells have a distinctive tubular structure when viewed under a microscope. Typically this type of breast cancer is found in women aged 50 and above. It has an excellent 10-year survival rate of 95%.

      Mucinous Carcinoma (Colloid)
      Mucinous carcinoma represents approximately 1% to 2% of all breast carcinoma. This type of breast cancer's main differentiating features are mucus production and cells that are poorly defined. It also has a favorable prognosis in most cases.

      Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)
      Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare and very aggressive type of breast cancer that causes the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast to become blocked. This type of breast cancer is called "inflammatory" because the breast often looks swollen and red, or "inflamed". IBC accounts for 1% to 5% of all breast cancer cases in the United States.
      Learn more

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Any type of breast cancer has the chances of containing aggressive cells. When diagnosed with breast cancer, there is the ability to look at individual cells and grade them for their aggressiveness. So many factors go into staging and grading breast cancer and then the treatment is...

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      Any type of breast cancer has the chances of containing aggressive cells. When diagnosed with breast cancer, there is the ability to look at individual cells and grade them for their aggressiveness. So many factors go into staging and grading breast cancer and then the treatment is individualized for the patient. Inflammatory breast cancer has the chances of being one of the more aggressive types but it is also one of the more rare diagnosed.

      Comment
  • deb s Profile

    My oncotype DX score was 60, very high! Has anyone else had scores this high??? Does a high score impact my overall prognosis and chance for recurrence or new cancer after chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2012
    about 6 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Hi Deb, I found a very good explanation about the reason for the Onco DX, and the theory behind it.
      http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/oncotype_dx.jsp

      As I understand it, the test helps women and their doctors predict whether their type of cancer, even though you are node...

      more

      Hi Deb, I found a very good explanation about the reason for the Onco DX, and the theory behind it.
      http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/oncotype_dx.jsp

      As I understand it, the test helps women and their doctors predict whether their type of cancer, even though you are node negative, is likely to reoccur. The tests that come back a high score are the types of breast cancer's where it would be advantagious to receive further treatment such as chemotherapy and/ or hormone therapy. You probably have an upcoming appointment with your oncologist to ask these questions. There is a website that is called Ajunctive Online or something similar. Your oncologist can plug in your type of cancer, staging, size, type and come up with your percentages. It will show your chances with chemotherapy and without. It was impressive and I went through chemotherapy and hormone therapy. If after you talk to your oncologist, and you still have questions, go for a second opinion. I would also advise you to bring along a friend, spouse, other family member who can take notes. You will probably need some help processing all the information. You will do fine. It's a big journey but your have a whole bunch of women who have been there.... done that. Healing hugs, Sharon

      Comment
    • nicole blagburn Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I would like to know the answer to this too. I found out my score next week.

      Comment
  • Patricia Carnell Profile

    Are there topical treatments to help with the burn from radiation. I was just diagnosed with Stage 0 dcis and had lumpectomy on Friday last week, surgeon is supposed to set up radiation with an oncologist soon

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 12 answers
    • View all 12 answers
    • Doreen Finley Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Can I please just say that I don't even have my full diagnosis or really any understanding of what's going on yet. I'm overwhelmed and scared. I know my breast cancer has spread to several areas. This week I began radiation on lesions of my brain. I believe they are still getting tests...

      more

      Can I please just say that I don't even have my full diagnosis or really any understanding of what's going on yet. I'm overwhelmed and scared. I know my breast cancer has spread to several areas. This week I began radiation on lesions of my brain. I believe they are still getting tests results and planning treatment. However, my radiation techs and nurses have been amazing. They told me of this app. I signed up and browsed questions and FOUND answers. You are all wonderful and I cannot believe how much better I feel in 2 days. Should have dr appt Monday. Already have my list of questions. Today I'm going out o get some creams that were suggested. Just wanted to share my gratitude already Thank you - dor

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Hi Patricia, my radiologist gave me Aquaphor. I didn't need it until my second week. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. I'm very fair but tolerated my 16 shots pretty well. Make a list of questions and don't be afraid to ask. Be sure to point out any concerns with your skin to the rad-techs....

      more

      Hi Patricia, my radiologist gave me Aquaphor. I didn't need it until my second week. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. I'm very fair but tolerated my 16 shots pretty well. Make a list of questions and don't be afraid to ask. Be sure to point out any concerns with your skin to the rad-techs. They'll help you when you need to see the radiologist . Mine were fabulous . My chest became an open book for all to read and I wanted it read WELL. :-D

      Comment
  • Sheryl Love Profile

    I am post surgery. A lumpectomy and one lymph node removed. What are other doing for shaving and using for deodorant. I read that razors are frowned upon due to the risk of cutting oneself, which can easily cause infection.

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 5 years 14 answers
    • View all 14 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I must confess that I didn't shave at all for weeks after my mastectomies. My armpits were completely numb and I was nervous about shaving near my lymph node scar. Also, i couldnt raise my arms fully. Once I got a bit of feeling back, I used an electric razor to minimize the chance of a nick. As...

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      I must confess that I didn't shave at all for weeks after my mastectomies. My armpits were completely numb and I was nervous about shaving near my lymph node scar. Also, i couldnt raise my arms fully. Once I got a bit of feeling back, I used an electric razor to minimize the chance of a nick. As far as deodorant, I switched to Tom's of Maine after my DX because of the questions associated with aluminum. Good luck to you!

      Comment
    • Jk Joyce Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I used Toms deodorant during radiation, making sure to wash it plus any lotions off before each treatment. I don't have any hair growth under my affected arm yet and I finished radiation in May. I got second degree burns under that arm so I guess it destroyed the hair follicles.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I have Stage 1 triple negative breast cancer. I have had my lifetime dose of adriamycin and was put on a regimen of Cytoxin and Taxotere. I had a moderately severe reaction to these drugs in my second treatment. What do I do next?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Sorry to hear about your reaction. When I was on the "cocktail" of Taxotere. My Onc prescribed steroid pills to take the night before and the morning of my chemo. Then of course....steroids and Benadryl via IV. She told me this was due to so many women having a reaction to the Taxotere. Was this...

      more

      Sorry to hear about your reaction. When I was on the "cocktail" of Taxotere. My Onc prescribed steroid pills to take the night before and the morning of my chemo. Then of course....steroids and Benadryl via IV. She told me this was due to so many women having a reaction to the Taxotere. Was this done by your Onc? If you are not able to tolerate those two drugs...not to worry. There are more chemo drugs used. I completed my rounds of Adriamycin, Cytoxin, and Taxotere and then had my surgery. Afterwards due to extensive lymph node involvement I am on chemo again using the drugs Carboplatin and Gemcitabine. These two chemo drugs are used for later stages of breast cancer as well as lung and ovaian cancer. Talk to your Onc about your different options. Best wishes and prayers to you in your fight!

      Comment
    • Lori S Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am stage 1 and will soon be on cytoxin and taxotere as well. What kind of reaction did you have? Did you lose any hair or has it thinned?

      2 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    Anyone having lower back pain while on tamoxifen?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 6 years 9 answers
    • View all 9 answers
    • R. SUTHERLAND Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      Yes!!

      Comment
    • Sandra Dakin Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yes. I am having an MRI next week to rule out disk issues. My Onco however did not think there was a correlation.

      1 comment

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