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JESSIG5's Photo JESSIG5 Posts: 2,418
5/22/12 7:05 P

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DP, I wish I could reach out and give you a hug. But since I can't hug you in person, please accept this one -- emoticon

Please don't give up on finding a loving partner who will accept you for who YOU are, I too am alone but I still have hope. My mother was born with a birthmark on her face and during her early 30s the doctors convinced her there were medical reasons for surgery followed by plastic surgery to remove the strawberry covered mark which covered the left side of her face. She had 17 operations in less than two years before she called it quits. She was left with many scars on her face and a ruined nose. I tell you this as a preliminary to telling you how much she was loved. At her 40th birthday in another town, she was surprised by 100 people showing up for a birthday party; these weren't relatives but many which she thought were casual acquaintances and many others sent gifts and cards to tell her how she had influenced them. She found a man who loved her very much in spite of her face and they married and were together until his death more than 20 years later. I know how much he loved her because after her death in December, I found the many letters he wrote to her during their marriage. They were almost like poetry. We never know when love will come to us. Even in her 70s, she had more male friends than I did at any time in my life; she just knew how to attract people of both sexes, friends who looked beyond her physical body to see her inner spirit.

On Spark, you are one of my inspirations. I always watch for your posts. I understand being brave for your sisters and children because I do the same with my family but here on Spark, I feel I can tell the truth sometimes and know that there are those who will understand, at least on this team. And this is the place you can come to be honest also. There is nothing to be humiliated about; your scars are a symbol of your courage.


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One day at a time; one pound at a time.

DRUIDPRINCESS's Photo DRUIDPRINCESS Posts: 6,049
5/22/12 6:10 P

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Hi everyone, I hope the new day finds everyone well!

I was diagnosed 8 years ago at age 41, stage 1, a 4cm and a 5cm in one breast, hormone receptive. As a single mum of 4, I opted for the most treatment they could hit me with, so I had a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation. At the end of my treatment they said the clearance from the ribs was .2 of a mm (ie sweet FA) and they said it would probably come back within 5 years and not be operable. (!!)

I started reconstruction of both breasts a year later, but because I had gone to the gym nearly every day through my treatment and was fairly slim, there was not enough tummy fat for two new boobs, so they decided on implants. What followed was four years of trouble, with the surgery site opening up and getting infected constantly, and repeated insertion then removal of the implants. Finally they left one implant in, and reconstructed one from my tummy.

The result is grotesque. A year ago, I said enough was enough. I was sick of having my life on hold because they wanted to have another go at making it look better.

In one way I guess I am very lucky that the first cancer is all gone, and none has come back. I have been on Tamoxifen and then Arimidex for 7 years, way over the usual time, but due to my exercise routine I have the bone density of a 25 year old! (And I am 50 next month!)

In another way I live under the shadow of the sadness, disgust and humiliation that I look like a mutant. I know you will say that people will love you no matter what your boobs look like, but I can't get past that, and have resigned myself to knowing that I will never have a loving relationship with a partner again.

I know I shouldn't waste even a moment thinking about what I have lost, but I am very sad and lonely and hate this horrible disease and what it has done to me.

When I am around my three children and my three sisters, I act super positive, to show them that (God forbid) if they were ever diagnosed with cancer, then they can still have an awesome life.

But I don't feel very awesome. I feel ugly and alone.

Make everywhere you go a little bit better than when you arrived...


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JESSIG5's Photo JESSIG5 Posts: 2,418
4/26/12 1:30 P

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emoticon emoticon The prospect is daunting but it can be done. I found that attitude and determination were key factors. It is natural to feel down at times and no one will fault you for that but just hold on to the thought that it will pass. There is daylight ahead in the tunnel. Keep us posted on how things go.

One day at a time; one pound at a time.

HEIDI_SEATTLE's Photo HEIDI_SEATTLE Posts: 108
4/26/12 11:54 A

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Hi all. I was diagnosed with a grade 8 IDC of roughly 2 cm. in August, 2011. Fortunately, the MRI indicated that it was still stage I, and I had a lumpectomy roughly two weeks later. Fall and early winter were devoted to chemo - cytoxan and taxotere, and then radiation started at the end of December.

Where I'm at now... I finished the radiation mid-February, and am past the worst of the side effects of that. Unfortunately, I have lymphedema issues in my arm because of the number of nodes removed, and had to go through a couple of months of compression bandaging on my legs as part of physical therapy. My doctors think that the chemo must have exacerbated or triggered an underlying condition.

Physical therapy has been hard, having gotten very debilitated. My other chronic health problems, including fibromyalgia, an auto-immune disorder, and low back pain have all contributed to it being an uphill struggle.

I'm currently on tamoxifen, and not loving it, but I see it as a necessary evil.

On the plus side, I've been attending a small group for women who have finished treatment, and it's been helpful. We've covered a pretty wide range of topics so far, with a couple more weeks to go.

Mostly, I'm pretty positive and optomistic. I was fortunate to have wonderful support from friends and family, which made a huge difference during treatment. I think it's mostly the prospect of the work required to regain my independence that has me down at the moment.

JESSIG5's Photo JESSIG5 Posts: 2,418
4/19/12 9:16 A

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emoticon emoticon emoticon The worst is over; now it is recovery all the way!!

One day at a time; one pound at a time.

FUJIIMAMA's Photo FUJIIMAMA Posts: 18
4/19/12 12:07 A

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Update: I have finished all my treatments. My oncologist had me do my survivor training, Yay! This weekend marks my Birthday and Cancerversary. I'm celebrating by doing a Komen 5k. One seroma turned into a hematoma, oh well! PS will take care of that in a year went I have the boobs in my belly lifted up to their new home.

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JESSIG5's Photo JESSIG5 Posts: 2,418
4/2/12 2:38 A

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HelenMC, I was reading the older post and I saw your story. It similar to my daughter's. She was diagnosed at age 32 just a month after getting married. She went to the doctor for a checkup because she wanted to have a child. She had a lumpectomy followed by six weeks of daily radiation and will be 10-year survivor this summer. She was never able to have a child because as soon as she finished with the Tamoxifen and was ready to try again, she had to have a hysterectomy.

One day at a time; one pound at a time.

SCRATCH55 Posts: 2
2/14/12 2:44 P

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The end of this month will be my 3 year anniversary of diagnoses of BC. I opted for a double mastectomy and had six months of chemotherapy. I feel fortunate that I felt well enough and worked full time through all the chemo!

Working on my bucket list!


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BRAVEONE92's Photo BRAVEONE92 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/29/11 12:03 A

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Welcome Fujimama to a very supportive team. We are sorry that
you have had a very difficult time. But that is what all of us go
through when we get breast cancer. Praying that God will
bless you as you continue with your treatment and healing.

"I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth."
Psalm 121: 1-2 (NIV)


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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
10/28/11 9:21 A

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Welcome Jen and Fujimama! So sorry that you both "qualify" to join this group, but it is a group filled with strong and supportive people! A lot of us have "been there, done that" so we can certainly empathize with what you're going through! Just makes your head spin sometimes, it can get very overwhelming!

Jen, as far as when you are considered a survivory, we just had a discussion on this very same topic (you might have seen that one) and my favorite theory was submitted by a member of this team:

"If you didn't drop dead when you heard the cancer diagnosis, then you're a survivor!"

I personally count from the date of my surgery, but any time in that first month works for me.....

Fujimama, you certainly have your hands full! Please post and vent, or ask, or whatever you need to do, we are all here for you!! Both of you!!

Looking forward to seeing lots of posts from you guys!

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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FUJIIMAMA's Photo FUJIIMAMA Posts: 18
10/27/11 8:48 P

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New to this group not SP. I've loved reading prior posts, especially from those of you who have years behind the beast. I found out in the spring (My biopsy was on my 37 b-day) that I had BC. No family history of BC. I was nursing my 5 month old at the time and had a bad case of mastitis. I had two kids already and new this was a bigger problem. I'd had an ultra-sound done in Jan. because I thought things just weren't right. The Jan. radiologist didn't want to do a biopsy because I was nursing and young. The April one said "I don't see anything conclusive, but a biopsy will tell us for sure." I am so glad he listened to me. I was dx with IDC 3cm stage II/III lymph involvement with a DCIS 7-10cm. They weren't sure on the DCIS since it didn't like to show up on imagining and lactation made it even harder to see. Now to today. I've gone through 6 rounds of chemo taxotere/carboplatin/herceptin August 24th was my last t/c. I had my bi-lateral done September 22, 2011. My breast tissue is very dense and they wanted me on 6 month mammogram for my "good" side. I said no thanks just take 'em all if you take one. Got my path back. right "naughty" side had scar tissue from the DCIS yep it was there. The IDC was multi-focal (only one was seen on mammogram and digital MRI) both spots were down to less than.1cm. 14 nodes taken only 2 tested positive for cancer. Now I'm just trying to heal from seromas. Tomorrow, I get to put drains back in (yuck) But with an almost 1 year old, 4 year old, and 7 year old, take it easy doesn't exists. My left side was cancer free, but the fat had a grainy texture. A part of me wonders if the other side was going to follow. I'll be doing rads as soon as the seromas are gone. This feels so good to vent with people who understand.

I gained 35 lbs. going through this. Much of it due to steroid induced feeding frenzies. I wasn't happy about this since I had just lost the baby weight.

I have lost 10 lbs. since my post surgery even though I'm stuck on my bottom. Recording my nutrition has done two things. #1 distracted from all of the cancer related issues #2 shown me where some of my pitfalls have been.

Edited by: FUJIIMAMA at: 10/27/2011 (21:14)
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JENBARRERA's Photo JENBARRERA Posts: 262
10/10/11 9:16 A

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Hi,
I'm going to post this to another thread as well. Forgive my redundancy.

My name is Jen and I was diagnosed with DCIS--stage 0 breast cancer--on Sep. 7. The confirmed DCIS is 6mm in diameter. The other breast, which is not confirmed DCIS, has a suspicious area 7 x 2 x 8 CENTIMETERS. I'm going in for a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction on Nov. 8. My prognosis is good. The cancer has been caught early and is non-invasive. They're doing a sentinel lymph node biopsy to confirm.

My prayer is to glorify God in my reaction to this experience and to encourage everyone I know to get their health screenings. My cancer was caught through a mammogram. They had been monitoring "suspicious" activity for a while and this time it changed.

At what point do I get to go from "breast cancer patient" to "breast cancer survivor"?


Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Phil. 4:13
I can do anything through HIM who strengthens me.

NO MORE:
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High cholesterol/med
Acid reflux/med
Sleep apnea/C-PAP

Reduced knee/joint pain


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BRAVEONE92's Photo BRAVEONE92 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/12/11 9:15 P

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emoticon Helen, to a great team. Thanks so much for sharing
your cancer story with us. We hope that you come back to post often,
so that we can get to know you better.

"I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth."
Psalm 121: 1-2 (NIV)


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HOPEISINTHEAIR Posts: 399
9/3/11 3:21 P

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Welcome to the group.. Even though you may feel a little like your story is somewhat different than ours. We are sisters. Sisters with hearts of hope for each other as well as hope & health for the future of our daughters and our sons.
We welcome you and I hope we can help you as much as possible.
Lore
emoticon

Edited by: HOPEISINTHEAIR at: 9/3/2011 (15:24)


Lore


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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
9/3/11 2:44 P

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Hi and welcome to the team! Congrats on being finished with treatment and moving on with your life, and on you road being more active and fit, lots of us join you on that road!!

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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CD10898414 Posts: 2
9/2/11 12:25 P

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Hi everyone!
I am new to sparkpeople.com but I just can't get enough of it. It is the balance I need to focus on nutrition, fitness, and inspiration! I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33 in June of 2009, just weeks after getting married in Vegas! It was been quite the struggle for our little family, but my husband, my 7 year old son, and myself are now all happy and healthy. And we want to stay that way! I finished treatment over a year ago, but finally feel I am back to my full energy and am able to manage a few lingering side effects of my tamoxifen, such as peripheral neuropathy and leg cramps. I am ready to lose some weight and start being more active.

STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
8/23/11 9:22 A

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Wow, let's see if I can address all these, lol!! I worked in the field for over 20 years before I was diagnosed, but with seeing how many women were coming in for breast cancer treatment, I was not all that shocked when I was diagnosed.....always figured it would happen at some point, not that I was being pessimistic, just realistic, after all, 1 in 8, right?

As far as additional radiation, it is not necessarily true that you can never have radiation again. First of all, it depends on the normal structures that are also irradiated due to being close to the area of treatment (not like chemo, where it affects your entire body, radiation is limited to the immediate area) If you had breast treatment and then, heaven forbid, you needed to have treatment to your pelvis, it would certainly be possible, because the pelvis area has never received any dose. Also, we have repeated treatment to an area because of recurrence, it just requires even more careful planning and attention to the critical structures. Usually with breast treatment, it is the lung and heart (if a left sided cancer, heart would not be a factor in treatment to the right unless your anatomy was backwards!) Some structures have a definite limit of the radiation that they can receive (ie spinal cord, but this is not an issue with breast treatment) and others it's more of a percentage of the dose and/or percentage of the organ receiving treatment (hoep this makes sense!!)

Different doctors have different opinions on radiation after lumpectomy, but when I was diagnosed, my opinion was that I wanted to hit it hard with everything we could initially, didn't want to be in a position years from now to be thinking, wow, I wish I had done that before.....but see what your doctor has to say. Some people cannot have radiation, there is a team member who cannot due to the location of a device in her chest, but when I am asked by friends, I would say to have the radiation, but a lot depends on your individual circumstances. Again, see what your doctor suggests

The only test I can think of that they do while you're on the table, is either to check lymph nodes (to see if they need to remove more than they already have, if it is suspicious for being in the lymph nodes) or to see if they have clean margins. If there are cancer cells too close to their surgical margin, they would want to remove more, to make sure thy have it all, and better to do it while you're still under anesthsia!! So yes, you are right about the clean margins. If they already have the diagnosis (from the biopsy), that part would not be an issue. The part that they send out to the lab would be to see whether you would benefit from chemo, depending on the resulfts of the oncotype test. (hormone receptors and her2 hopefully were determined at the biopsy also)

Hope this helps, let me know if there's anything else that I can offer some information on!!

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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_BACK2BASICS_'s Photo _BACK2BASICS_ Posts: 19,623
8/22/11 9:52 P

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Suzanne~
Thanks for the info. Did you work in Radiation Oncology before your dx, or is it a result of it? I have read that if you have radiation, you cannot have it again if let's say the cancer returns. Is that just where you had the radiation before, or is it in the one breast, the chest or anywhere on your body?
And what would qualify someone to safely not need radiation? The breast surgeon told me that treatment usually involves both a lumpectomy and radiation, but there is always a chance. Other than my refusal, are there certain parameters in which they would support no radiation at the present time.
And when they do the lumpectomy, I know they need to have some pathology results from the lab, but don't they also do some kind of a test while the surgeon has me on the table? To see what kind of cancer it is? Or, if because the biopsy has already determined the malignancy of the cells, is it just a matter of getting all of what they suspect, plus some clean margins surrounding it?
Or do I have too many questions (probably) many of which I have written down for both the surgeon and the radonc.,



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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
8/22/11 9:28 A

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Hey Maureen, welcome! I am an "almost" 4 year survivor, and sorry that you qualify to join this team, but you will find that it is an amazing group of strong, supportive women, and I'm sure you'll feel right at home.

I work in a Radiation Oncology Center, (Medical Dosimetrist, I do the treatment planning for patients receiving radiation) and went through 7 1/2 weeks of radiation, training for my first degree black belt in karate during it......so although exercise is not out, always good to check with the Rad Onc, and also, take it one day at a time and see how you feel. For me, chemo was by far the worst of the two, especially in side effects (I was training for a black belt in weapons and was very discouraged by how easily tired and out of breath I got.....but managed to get through it. Radiation didn't tire me out as easily, it seems that if you are already busy, ie working and have a regular daily schedule, it's just another appointment in your day......actually I found that after my treatments were completed, that I missed my 10 minute "rest" on the table!! But you'll have to see how it affects you.

Any specific questions about radiation, please feel free to ask, and I'll tell you what I can, many, many others have been through it as well and have personnal opinions and experiences to draw from as well......

Hope to see you post often!!

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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_BACK2BASICS_'s Photo _BACK2BASICS_ Posts: 19,623
8/21/11 7:50 A

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My intro:
Hi! My name is Maureen and a couple of weeks ago I was diagnosed with DCIS. I read some of the threads and was overwhelmed by some of the obstacles many of the women on this team have had to overcome and felt that I was "fortunate" with my diagnosis and not at the same level that many of you were. Can you believe I was feeling guilty for my diagnosis not being that bad? Anyway, I have since become more desensitized to the diagnosis, have become more informed and have become more empowered as I am becoming more educated about it.
My treatment is at the UVA Breast Care Center, a place which benefits from The Charlottesville Women's 4 Miler annually~ a race I have run for the last 6 years. This year we registered on 6/25/11 and it was on 07/29/11 that I received my diagnosis.
I have seen the breast surgeon once and will follow up with him after I see the radonc at the end of the month.
Presently I have a lumpectomy scheduled for September 15th. ( He wanted to schedule it on 09/01, but the race is on 09/03, so I asked for an alternative.) There is a high likelihood I will follow up with radiation therapy, about 4-6 weeks post surgery and of course depending upon the pathology. I am estrogen positive, so I guess there is also the chance of meds following, probably for the rest of my life.
I have a very loving and supportive husband. I have three teenage children, one of whom just went off to college last Saturday. I work part time, although it seems closer to full time despite the fact I have Fridays off.
Of course there are flurries of emotions which make there way in and out of my head many times a day. Right now I am upset with the lack of control I may have during the radiation treatment in terms of my current exercise.
I generally exercise 6-7 days a week and running is one of my "therapies". With radiation, from what I have read thus far, I may not be wearing tight fitting clothes, which means no running bra, which means no running.
I realize more of my questions will be answered when I see the radonc, and some of my concerns will be addressed so I am not in that ????? phase as much.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Some of you may be thinking I have only a glimpse of what I will be experiencing over the next couple of weeks and months. So, if there is one thing you wish you would have known before it all began, but after Dx, maybe you could let me know.
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AZGRANDMA6's Photo AZGRANDMA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/8/11 6:24 P

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Call that doctor's office - they owe you an explanation! We as patients have to be stay on top of what is happening in our own body.

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MDWNEWME's Photo MDWNEWME Posts: 29
6/8/11 5:58 P

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I had my 4th round of chemo this past Friday!!
Before I was done my doctors nurse calls me and tells me that my calcium level is high and my pth blood work is low. It's my parathyroid. The normal calcium is 8-10.6 mine is 11.4 and the normal pth is 15-65 and mine is 12. I need some help, has this happened to anybody else??
I don't have an appt with the specialist until June 30th, I don't want to wait that long!

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AZGRANDMA6's Photo AZGRANDMA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/17/10 5:06 P

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My therapist measured me on Fri and I am down quite a lot. Her plan is for therapy everyday again this week followed by wrapping my arm. The I should be ok with a sleeve & glove. I was lucky to get into therapy so quickly but I knew from before what I needed to do. It will be great to get my left hand back as it is awkward to type one handed.

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PEACEFUL-SPIRIT's Photo PEACEFUL-SPIRIT Posts: 16,620
10/17/10 10:24 A

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It truly is a challenge facing lymphadema, I hope the treatments can get the swelling down and keep it there. emoticon

Inga
Co-Leader of Breast Cancer Survivor's & Those Who Care. Days Go By...So Live Your Life.

Motivational Quote:
"You have within you a supply of energy limited only by your ability to discover and develop it. In body, mind and spirit, you are endowed with capabilities far greater than you know, keep reaching for your potential. "




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AZGRANDMA6's Photo AZGRANDMA6 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/9/10 9:59 A

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I have learned that after breast cancer nothing stays the same. I've been going along fine but the past few days thought my left arm was getting bigger then Thurs morning I woke up with a swollen left arm - I can't wear my watch and it has been loose. Lymphedema has struck again (2 1/2 yrs ago the first time). The therapist who helped me before will squeeze me in early Mon morning to check me out and get me started back on a program again. I will be back to wrapping my arm with a compression dressing and then using my sleeve and glove - at least we are going away from 100' days. I was told after surgery that i would be at risk to developing lymphedema for the rest of my life.

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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
4/10/10 8:38 A

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Welcome back Homebody! (although you've been here longer than I, so that sounds a little odd....) Congrats at being 2 years out and done with your reconstruction. I agree, it is hard to stay active after those surgeries, and by keeping "honest" on SP, hopefully you can find a happy medium and get rid of those extra pounds. I'm still working on getting rid of mine, reached my "goal weight" just about the time that I was diagnosed, but slowly it has crept back on me! Hopefully we can all encourage each other!!

Suzanne

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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HOMEBODY's Photo HOMEBODY Posts: 1,433
4/9/10 11:25 P

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I am a team member but have not been active in a while. I wanted to welcome Kate. I have been on Sparkpeople for more than 5 years and it works when you are faithful to it. I have lost weight when I am active on SP and started to gain it back when I get lax with keeping up with what I eat.
I have just started over again this past week, and hope to lose about 30 pounds. I found out 2 years ago Mother's Day weekend that I had breast cancer in my left breast and had a mastectomy 2 years ago in July, then had my final reconstructive surgery a year ago in June.
It's hard on your body and hard to stay active with just the surgeries. I was blessed not to have had chemo or radiation, but the surgeries seemed to take an awful lot out of me. I have arthritis that has become almost excruciating.
I also have fairly young children - 11 and 6, and work full-time, so I know how hard it is to take care of yourself and your family while you try to recover.
Welcome, Kate. Maybe we can help each other, and hello to all of you that I don't know yet. emoticon

"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying This is the way, walk ye in it..." Is. 30:21





Breast Cancer Survivor

www.pink-link.org


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PEACEFUL-SPIRIT's Photo PEACEFUL-SPIRIT Posts: 16,620
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Thanks for sharing your story. It is so wonderful to meet you, and I wish you all the best here at Spark People and as Breast cancer survivor. May good health be yours from now on. God Bless. emoticon

Inga
Co-Leader of Breast Cancer Survivor's & Those Who Care. Days Go By...So Live Your Life.

Motivational Quote:
"You have within you a supply of energy limited only by your ability to discover and develop it. In body, mind and spirit, you are endowed with capabilities far greater than you know, keep reaching for your potential. "




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PAT3ONTHEBACK's Photo PAT3ONTHEBACK Posts: 270
3/30/10 12:21 A

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Suzanne is correct --there is somehting heree for everyone and you will surely find it. Can't wait to check out your blog at the other web site.

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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
3/27/10 5:07 P

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Welcome to the team, Kate! You have certainly come to the right place for encouragement and support, we have a fantastic team that is just full of it!! (ha, ha, I couldn't resist that one....) And this website is an excellent place to start, just search around and find all the tools that are available to help you reach your goal, and be sure to post frequently so we can get to know you and cheer you on!!

Suzanne

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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KBURTON67 Posts: 3
3/27/10 12:58 P

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Here's my introduction.

My name is Kate and I am a breast cancer survivor.

Almost exactly four years ago I found a lump in my left breast. I attributed it to my pending menstrual cycle and left it alone. Well the period came and went and the lump was still there. I called my gyn and the process began. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and within 10 days of seeing my ob/gyn I was started on chemo therapy.

I was 38 years old, a wife, full time employee and the mother of two children age 5 and 17 months.

I had 12 rounds of chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy, oophorectomy, and 38 rounds of radiation. I was stage III. I am on Femara which has caused its own share of side effects.

The year after I finished treatment was incredibly difficult with the development of bilateral plantar fasciitis as well as tendonitis in both wrists. Any movement at all was painful and walking for more than a few feet at a time was excruciating.

I always said that when I was finished with cancer I was going to be a size 8 and have perky boobs. I have neither of those things.

One year ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when I requested that my vitamin D levels be checked. Vitamin D is fine but blood sugar, not so much.

I have considered surgery for my weight as well as reconstruction but at this time I can't imagine putting my family through any more images of me as a patient or in pain.

I joined Spark people about a week and a half ago and am hoping that is helps keep me motivated. I should lose about 100 pounds (to fit the weight chart numbers) but my goal at this around 60. Since I've never been successful at both losing weight AND keeping it off that seems like enough of a challenge. Now that I am both post menopausal and diabetic the challenge is even greater.

I'm a blogger as well and you can read my work at After Cancer, Now What?

So now the kids are 9 and 5. I've just celebrated my third year post treatment of clean scans.

www.aftercancernowwhat.com

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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
3/1/10 10:24 P

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Yes, sure am! I had been doing weight watchers (unofficially, just using their rules) when I was diagnosed, and reached my goal weight while on chemo. But then once food tasted good again.....I started to put the weight back on. And I used to train in karate several times a week, but due to arthritis issues, it was hurting more than helping, and the break from that vigorous exercise certainly didn't help! So now I am working out at the Y while my daughters have volleyball practice, and starting to feel like I'm making some progress. Long, long slow road, but you have to start somewhere, right?

Talk to you soon!
Suzanne

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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HARPER52 Posts: 15
3/1/10 11:35 A

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We are sisters in Christ and on the road to healing, take care and lets talk again about how we are doing on the health journey, are you trying to lose weight also?

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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
2/28/10 8:16 A

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Harper, I recently started taking the low dose aspirin as well, had an appointment with my oncologist and we both agreed that with minimal negative side effects, it was worth the try! And I also have upped my Vitamin D intake, one of the doctors that I work with suggested this and my oncologist also agreed to that. So it sounds like we are on the same path! I figure that I hit it hard when I was diagnosed, and there's no reason to back off now, I plan on doing everything that I can to see if I can avoid a recurrence, and leave the rest to God!!

Suzanne

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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PEACEFUL-SPIRIT's Photo PEACEFUL-SPIRIT Posts: 16,620
2/27/10 11:35 A

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emoticon for sharing that with us! emoticon All the emoticon to you!

Inga
Co-Leader of Breast Cancer Survivor's & Those Who Care. Days Go By...So Live Your Life.

Motivational Quote:
"You have within you a supply of energy limited only by your ability to discover and develop it. In body, mind and spirit, you are endowed with capabilities far greater than you know, keep reaching for your potential. "




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HARPER52 Posts: 15
2/27/10 11:26 A

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I am a 4 year BC survivor, had mastectomy on 8/2006, followed by 6 rounds of chemo. Took Tamoxifen for 3 years, stopped d/t side effects of power surges:) and the weight gain, my oncologist would never admit that the medication caused weight gain. Now I am vegetarian and doin Vegan also, my ex-husband and my cousin heard about the new study, linking aspirin use with a decrease in reoccurence, so I take one aspirin a day along with Vitamin D, I did have the vitamin D defiency, which also may have a impact on BC, would like others comments on my choices. emoticon

Edited by: HARPER52 at: 2/27/2010 (11:29)
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PEACEFUL-SPIRIT's Photo PEACEFUL-SPIRIT Posts: 16,620
2/21/10 12:55 P

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May God Bless all of you and emoticon for the courage in sharing your amazing stories. May good health and a lifetime of being cancer-free be yours. With all my love. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Inga
Co-Leader of Breast Cancer Survivor's & Those Who Care. Days Go By...So Live Your Life.

Motivational Quote:
"You have within you a supply of energy limited only by your ability to discover and develop it. In body, mind and spirit, you are endowed with capabilities far greater than you know, keep reaching for your potential. "




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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
1/28/10 1:39 P

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Amy, congratulations on the clean mammo and being done with treatments! And welcome to the team!! I was diagnosed in Nov 07 and had lumpectomy, chemo, radiation and herceptin. No Tamoxifen as I was hormone negative....but had a hysterectomy and I can certainly sympathize with you on the hot flashes!!

Congrats also on quitting smoking, that's great! And now it's just losing some weight? In the grand scheme of things, no problem!!

Talk to you soon-
Suzanne

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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SIUANE's Photo SIUANE Posts: 137
1/28/10 11:06 A

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Hello,

I was diagnosed in Jan. 08. I opted for a lumpectomy and then they had to remove all the lymphnodes under my right arm. Then had 6 chemo treatments and 7 weeks of radiation. I'm feeling pretty good now, just still a little of fatigue, hoping that will go away with the weight loss. The chemo treatment sent me into early menopause, so now the hot flashes can be horrible, and the Tamoxifen doesn't help.

I am trying to get healthy, as I have been overweight most of my adult life, and was also a smoker, until Oct 2007 (cheers for Chantix) it did wonders for me.

Just had my mammogram 2 weeks ago and they saw nothing but scar tissue. Yeah!!!

Amy

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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
1/10/10 8:56 A

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Johannah-

All I can say is WOW!! You have been through so much and I am so impressed by the progress that you have made, one step at a time!! Thanks for encouraging the rest of us, that no matter what our situation, we can accomplish anything with baby steps. Glad to hear you're going back to church as well, for me, that was at the core of how I got through my battle (though it hasn't been as long or as complicated as yours, that's for sure!!) Besides the chemo and such, the only other thing (besides weight loss of course) that we have in common is the port infection, I went through that also, after only 2 treatments out of 52, oh well! But my veins held up just fine.

Welcome to the team and hope to hear more from you soon!

Suzanne

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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JUST-ME39's Photo JUST-ME39 Posts: 267
1/9/10 6:20 P

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Hello Everyone,

I hope y'all enjoy reading because this post is going to be long. . .

My first diagnosis of breast cancer was on December 3, 1999. My left mastectomy was on December 9, 1999. I've had 3 recurrences of the primary cancer since with the most recent one being on September 25, 2008.

I need to kind of begin at the beginning and you'll wonder, initially, why I'm wandering off-topic. Well, it only seems that way. All this (in my mind) is truly interrelated to where I find myself today.

Around the time of my first cancer diagnosis, I'd been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, as well. Up until March 2007, I pretty much ignored that, too. I ignored a lot of things regarding my health. My cholesterol was way too high and my blood pressure was too high as well. I was 210 lbs in March 07 and wore a size 22. My waistline was over 47". I felt lousy all the time. My blood sugar was completely out of control and on top of all that I had struggled with bipolar disorder for over 30 years. Oh, and did I mention that I'd been a 1.5 to 2 pack a day smoker for almost 30 years as well?

My doctor had had many serious talks with me and they all just pretty much went ignored by me. I'm still not sure what got me to begin to turn my life around but I think her statement that she didn't think I'd live another 10 years really made an impact on me. I was 52 years old when she told me that bit of news. I'm 55 now.

The first thing I did was to get on the American Diabetes Association Website and began doing research on T2 diabetes. I read books and articles every chance I got. I began to make little changes in my diet. My doctor wanted me to start walking for 30 minutes 5 days a week. I told her she was out of her mind but I'd give her 3 days, instead. I hated every exercise step I took but I stuck with my commitment to her.

I'd pretty much decided that if I was going to stick to any kind of life changing program, I'd have to be making little, tiny, baby steps. If I made a dietary change, it was a small change and I'd stick with that for a week before changing something else. My doctor and I talked about diets and stuff and I'd done enough research on my own and felt most comfortable with the old exchange style "diet." I was careful about portion control and weighed and measured everything that went into my mouth. I began to learn how to cook. I found diabetic recipe groups on yahoo and began collecting easy, tasty diabetic friendly recipes that wouldn't bust our budget and that my husband could also eat and enjoy.

Eventually, I added more days and time to my exercise schedule as I became healthier and stronger. At the end of June 2007 I joined Weight Watchers and adjusted their Flex Points system to my diabetic needs. I tested my blood sugar often and kept lists of different foods that would cause a spike in my blood sugar levels and avoided those foods. Day in and day out, I did what I had to do. I stuck with it. I hung out on the ADA message boards and read and read and read and asked a gazillion questions. Most of those on the ADA forums were kind and very helpful and I learned a lot but there were also a few cold hearted mean people who discouraged me at times, too. Still, I stuck with my program even if I didn't hang out on the boards as often as I'd have liked (at the very least, I didn't announce my presence so often anymore).

Now here it is almost 3 years later and I have not had a cigarette since March 27, 2007 at approximately 11:00 AM. At my lowest sustained weight, I came in at 120 pounds. I'm no longer on diabetic meds, or statin drugs, or high blood pressure medication. I went from a size 22 to a size 3-4. The lady who at one time couldn't stand to walk across the parking lot to check the mail was, by August 2008, running 6 miles a day, 6 days a week and competing in races. I also made Lifetime Membership at Weight Watchers.

Probably the absolute worst thing I went through while trying to return to a healthy state of being was quitting smoking. I did not want to quit smoking. Ciggs were about the only "true" friends I had on earth and I just didn't want to give them up. Yet at the same time I hated the addiction. Right before I finally did put out that last cigarette, there had been an article that came out in our local paper. It reported that the tobacco companies had increased the nicotine content of their tobacco products by a whopping 11%! What that meant to me was that my addiction was made even worse by the fact that without smoking any more cigarettes, I was getting more nicotine anyway which increased my addiction making it all that much harder to quit.

Quite frankly, I got completely p*ss*d off and did what I had to in order to quit. I went on the generic nicotine patches. I bought a one week supply of max strength patches and wore one a day for 3 days and then just left the last one on until it fell off. We didn't have a whole lot of money and seven patches ran around $20. I'm still not sure why I didn't use the rest of those patches. I mean I could easily have used the entire week's worth before going "cold turkey." There were times when I wanted a cigg so badly I'd just cry and cry and cry. Sometimes I'd start on my way to the store to buy a pack only to turn around halfway there and return home without them. I read a lot. I spent a great deal of time taking baths and reading in the tub. I slept a lot, too. I prayed. I read my scriptures. It was not easy and it certainly wasn't fun but eventually I made it through one whole day maybe 12 weeks later where I never thought once about smoking a cigarette even once. I think it was at that point that I really began to heal from my addiction to nicotine.

At the same time I was going through all that, I was making small efforts to get my bs under control. My fasting sugars were always high (the highest they ever were was in the mid 250s). Then I discovered that depending on what I had to eat the night before had a dramatic impact on my fasting bg the following morning. More and more adjustments were made to my diet as I went along.

My numbers continue to be good. My A1Cs are all in the 5 range these days and my usual fbg in the mornings is usually in the mid 70s. An couple hours after eating my sugar is rarely above 110.

The other amazing thing that happened to me was that as I got healthy my need for medications decreased. I am bipolar and suffered miserably from severe mental illness with psychotic symptoms for the vast majority of my adult life. Even those medications were subsequently decreased to the point where I take no drugs today except for Depakote and that is required because I have seizures. I did further research and found there is a significant connection between brain chemistry, diet, and daily aerobic exercise. I've not been in a mental hospital in 4 years.

My journey to health is significant in that I was sure that with all my huge improvements in health that any further nightmares with cancer were long past.

In August 2008 I finally enrolled in college for the first time in my life. I finally healthy enough, both physically and mentally, to pursue my lifelong dream of graduating from college. I enrolled full-time and declared English Creative Writing as my major and planned on a minor in Journalism.

On September 25, I found a lump on one of my left ribs. Panic-stricken, I went in to see my oncologist on the following Monday (I discovered the lump on a Friday night). Tests later, I learned the cancer had returned and spread to the lymph nodes beneath my breast bone. The cancer previous to this one had been diagnosed in April 2004. In 2004 they said I wouldn't live to see my 50th birthday in December.

Another 6 months of weekly chemo with different drugs (new and improved!) was started in early October 2008. I was sicker from chemo than I could ever remember being in past treatments.

Completely shocked that the cancer had returned even after changing my life-habits, I began to study as much as I could on dietary means to enhance my ability to once again beat death at his own game. I found one book to be of invaluable assistance called, "Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients" by Russell L. Blaylock, M.D. The book showed me how to, with diet, minimize the side effects of chemo and radiation treatments, how to increase the benefits of my conventional treatment program, how to fortify through diet, my immune system, and how to maintain my strength and vitality throughout my treatment program.

I was declared in full remission as of March 2009.

I had enrolled in college, once again, for the spring 2009 semester (I'd had to drop classes in the Fall 2008 semester due to treatment) because my intense nausea was, by then, under really good control.

I also enrolled in summer classes and again this past Fall 2009. I'm an honor student with a 3.9 GPA.

I don't know what my future holds these days. I know I'm healthy currently and I consider life to be a truly wonderful prospect for me. I have spent the majority of my adult life in and out of psych hospitals for depression, mania, and/or psychosis. I've been on disability for many many years. Can you all just imagine how tickled I am now, at the age of 55, to finally have a chance to re-join and become a productive member of society contributing something of myself that is worthwhile and valuable? I tell you all: It is like being born again.

I realize that not everyone can do what I did. If I had done things differently, I may not have been able to either. For example, at 210 pounds I knew my knees would never have survived jogging let alone running at 6+ mph and sustaining that speed for 60 or more minutes at a time. I walked. I walked 3 days a week for weeks and then for months. I increased my walking speed and walking times. I walked as often as I could. And then when my weight got down to around 150 pounds I began to train my joints to handle the pounding of jogging and running by jogging for 1 minute and then walking swiftly for 5 minutes. I just kept it up and went really really slow.

I'm proud of myself and what I have done. My doctors are proud of me, too. I feel like I'm lucky. I feel like I turned my life around just in time. I hope my story inspires some of you who read this. Stick with your program no matter what.

In recent months, I'm once again finding myself spiritually and have started going to church. And I can honestly say, today, that I'm grateful for having cancer and diabetes in my life.

It took diabetes for me to discover that I could truly live life the way G-d intended life to be lived - fully alive and full of vigor. I can outrun most people half my age (unless they've been training for distance running) and I love to tell people that.

Most importantly, though, was that cancer has taught me to never take life for granted. It has taught me that I only have today in which to live and make a difference for just one other person in the world. Just today. I can't count on tomorrow anymore.

It is my daily goal to bring a smile to just one person in my daily walk. And I've found that making people smile is pretty easy. All I have to do really, is to genuinely smile at them and ask them about their day.

I apologize for the length of this post. I like to write (that's why I'm majoring in Creative Writing) and I hope I haven't worn y'all out too much by reading my novel-length post.

I had my port removed on Thursday because it was infected. I'm doing okay today. I go in for a PET scan in February to see if the cancer has showed up anywhere else. I'm just a wee bit nervous about that one. . .

I am here for all you women struggling with breast cancer. I ended up getting divorced last year and cancer was a big reason why. I'm living on my own now with 3 lovely (and lively) kitty cats named, Shadow, Millie, and Katie. I'm happy. I'm making friends at church. And I will continue with school at the end of this month.

Take care.
Johannah




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KIMMIE2420 Posts: 3
1/7/10 9:05 A

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Hi All,
Sorry I haven't been on for a while. Happy New Year to everyone.
Started logging on again Monday since it is the new year.
Have a good day.

STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
12/24/09 12:10 P

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Merry Christmas to you and wishes for a healthier new year!! I was in your situation 2 years ago, lumpectomy in November, started chemo in December.....but now I am cancer free and have a new and cool hairstyle (aka Jamie Lee Curtis). Just take it one day at a time, cut yourself a lot of slack, and you can do this! I found that by napping when I needed to, and keeping active I was able to keep up some energy. (I worked full time through treatments but it was computer work, not very physically taxing!)

Lots of love to you from a fellow breast cancer survivor!!

Suzanne

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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CHLOE044's Photo CHLOE044 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/24/09 11:45 A

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I was diagnosed two months ago with breast cancer after a biopsy. I had a lumpectomy in November, and started chemo last week. I have three more rounds to go, and then 33 days of radiation. I have energy to walk the dogs, cook, and do some stuff around the house. The steroids keep adding weight, but at least I am still intact physically, and mostly have good days! If anyone has any suggestions to get more energy, let me know!



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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
12/4/09 9:40 P

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Hey Maya, welcome to the team!! Thanks for sharing your story, you sound like a very strong women, but aren't we all? Have to be to fight as hard as we do!!

Suzanne

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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PEACEFUL-SPIRIT's Photo PEACEFUL-SPIRIT Posts: 16,620
12/4/09 5:52 P

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Hello Maya and welcome. Thanks for your courageous story, so nice to have you on the team! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Inga
Co-Leader of Breast Cancer Survivor's & Those Who Care. Days Go By...So Live Your Life.

Motivational Quote:
"You have within you a supply of energy limited only by your ability to discover and develop it. In body, mind and spirit, you are endowed with capabilities far greater than you know, keep reaching for your potential. "




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NEVIS2013's Photo NEVIS2013 Posts: 48
12/4/09 1:58 P

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I'm a 8 year breast cancer survivor. I joined SP just a little over two weeks ago.

Having a routine mammogram Jan. 31, 2001 my very clever, wonderful technician informed me that she had messed up and needed to redo my left breast. She laughed about how this time she would make sure she got the best picture and made sure she had as much breast as she could and even wanted the pectoral muscle to show. I laughed with her and said no problem go for it! Little did I know that she wanted the 'best picture' so they could really really see what she saw! The next day I got 'the call' to come to my doc's, he needed to talk. He suggested that this star like (clustered pleomorphis calcifications) looking stuff in my breast ( I'm looking at the photo as I write this)may be worth checking on and sent me to another doc. Had the Stereotactic needle biopsy but it could not be completed because the site was so close to the pectoral muscle and not adequately imaged. A couple of days later a surgical breast biopsy found I- TlaNOMO infirtrating ductal adenocarcinoma with associated DCSI. Doc told me I would be a good candidate for the University of Louisville Breast Cancer Sentinal Lymph Node Registry trial and I accepted. Best decision I made. It wasn't long after I was in the trial it became common to use the Sentinal lymph node. I also went for a second opinion that concured with the first opinion. Just before the second sugery they injected me with radioactive dye to tract the nodes. A segmental mastectomy was preformed and lymph nodes removed. After a time of recovery I had 38 radiation treatments ending Jun 14 2001 (my husbands 53rd birthday) I had driven myself 90 miles round trip to get treatments alone all those 37 treatments, on this last day we went together. There was severe burning of course and bouts of edema of the left breast. I have since had some slight lymphodemia in the left arm but I am fortunate not to have on going swelling.I am fortunate for excellent care from technicians, nurses, doctors and all other staff, a supportive family and co-workers (went to work every day) who made me laugh after every treatment to get me through the ordeal. Now I have to help myself to become healthier than I am and practice a lifestyle to keep me that way!

Edited by: NEVIS2013 at: 12/4/2009 (13:59)
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PEACEFUL-SPIRIT's Photo PEACEFUL-SPIRIT Posts: 16,620
11/14/09 3:46 P

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Hi Kimmie, nice to meet you, welcome and all the best as a strong and beautiful survivor! You won the battle, now be healthy and enjoy life! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Inga
Co-Leader of Breast Cancer Survivor's & Those Who Care. Days Go By...So Live Your Life.

Motivational Quote:
"You have within you a supply of energy limited only by your ability to discover and develop it. In body, mind and spirit, you are endowed with capabilities far greater than you know, keep reaching for your potential. "




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GRAMMYSKIDS58's Photo GRAMMYSKIDS58 Posts: 2,903
11/7/09 1:19 A

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Hey Kimmie!! Congrat on being a survivor!! You have made it through the hard part now it is time to move on, heal, and get healthy! We are here to help you along on your journey. We have "been there... done that" so we know what you are going through. Good luck on your journey and I am looking forward to getting to know you. I am a 10 yr survivor! My story is on my page if you want to read it.
HUGS, Kathy

Co-leader of Breast Cancer Survivors and Those Who Care



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STANNER3's Photo STANNER3 Posts: 2,459
11/2/09 10:51 P

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Welcome to the team Kimmie! Sounds like you're past the toughest part, and now on to the healing and recuperating! I'm sure you'll find that this is a very friendly, supportive and encouraging team, we have so much more in common than just the weight loss, we are in a much more crucial battle!

I was diagnosed in Nov. 07, chemo, radiation, lumpectomy and herceptin, also no family history, but since breast cancer effects 1 in 8 women, guess just being a woman is risk factor enough!

Hope to chat again soon!

Suzanne

Suzanne

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Winston Churchill

"Victory is not found in the ease of our circumstances, nor in the strength of our own resources, but in the presence of the Lord, who is with us" Roy Lessin


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