Welcome! forum: Introduce yourself!

 
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Imagecritterologist
Feb 8, 2011 9:52 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
Let's get to know each other! Breast cancer may be something we have to deal with, but we're individuals, not statistics.

Reminder: This is a publicly viewable forum. Don't post your full name, address, phone number, or other identity information, especially if you are being private about your status as a cancer survivor.
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Imagecritterologist
Feb 8, 2011 10:07 PM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
I'm Jill, but a lot of folks on Dave's Garden and here on Cubits know me as "Critter."

In addition to gardening, I love "crafty" things, reading, music, and cooking. I tend to have too many projects going at once, but I'm never bored. I have a wonderful husband, Jim, and an amazing daughter, Joyanna. She's a year and a half old this month, and she's our Sunshine Girl!

I was diagnosed with breast cancer last spring and spent a lot of 2010 in treatment -- first chemotherapy, then a mastectomy, then radiation. The treatment was rough on me but harder on the cancer, and hopefully we'll never have to deal with it again.


Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Imagevic
Feb 9, 2011 4:07 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
WOW! What a wonderful Cubit! Can't wait to look around!

I'm Vicki but my friends call me vic.

I will be a 14 year survivor in July.

I had a lumpectomy and 34 treatments of radiation.

I love animals, gardening, reading, music.

We have been married 41 years and have 3 children, 3 wonderful son-in-laws, and 3 beautiful grandchildren!

vic
Imagehaighr
Feb 9, 2011 6:39 AM CST
Name: Candee Gaye
Western Maryland
Been there, Done that!
Welcome Vic, I know you from around the site and I believe DG as well? Nice that you found us.
Wow, a 14 year survivor, I am working toward that number, it will be 1 year the end of March. I had the same lumpectomy and 35 radiation.

Jill, Chris and I are all survivors as you might imagine. I am sure they will both be in here to introduce themselves shortly although you likely are familiar with both of them as well from DG.

Nice to have you here!
Candee
Put your hands to work in these cubits: Arrangements 101 and/or Hands at Work
Share your travels with us at: Travel Junction - Contest
[Last edited Feb 9, 2011 7:04 AM CST]
Quote | Post #558775 (4)
ImageLadygardener1
Feb 9, 2011 7:04 AM CST
Name: Chris
NW Pa, Near Lake Erie
Hi, and welcome everyone. My name is Chris, but many of you know me as Ladygardener1.
I live with my HD of 38 years, 2 Brussles Griffons, Penny and Mary Chris and Fred the cat. I have one Daughter, Janet and a wonderful Son in Law, Mark. I love to garden, and still hold a part time job, at a dental office as receptionist and computer whiz.
I have stage 4 BC with met to bone and liver. First diagnosed in 2006, with no met at that time. I went through chemo, total right mastectomy and radiation. I am now on my 3rd IV chemo.
I am proud to be a part of this cubit, and working with Jill and Candee has been a great experience.
Imagevic
Feb 9, 2011 7:07 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Good Morning Candee!

Yes, we've run across each other for years over at DG and I've visited your Travel Junction Cubit many times Thumbs up Great Cubit, by the way.

No, I have no pain or numbness at the surgical site. A friend of mine that is a TWENTY YEAR survivor Hurray! , does have numbness. I seem to remember reading or hearing over the years that if certain nerves or muscles are severed during surgery that you will in fact have some pain and numbness. I'm wondering if something along the lines of acupuncture would help?

I'm so sorry you're having pain and I hope that at some point, it will go away or heal.

Thanks again for this wonderful Cubit. It is a great resource for many!

vic
Imagesunfarm
Feb 9, 2011 8:51 AM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Hi Everyone,
I am a retired concrete technologist, married, with three adult children. After many years of city living we moved to a very rural area in Kentucky, where I expected to spend my time with hobbies such as weather-watching, needlework, and birdwatching. I also had the task of making a 150+ year old house liveable.
After a "routine" mammogram in June, 2009, where a plum-sized lump was discovered in my left breast, I elected to have a mastectomy rather than lumpectomy. All lymph nodes were clear, but chemo was to follow either surgical choice, so I had 4 treatments of Cytoxan and Taxotere. They were really rough.

My hair and strength came back by spring of 2010, so when I started having hip pain in late summer, I presumed it was osteoarthritis, as I has been diagnosed in both knees in 1998. My blood work had all been clear, so it was devastating to learn that a tumor had taken over the entire top of my left thigh bone. I had the tumor removed surgically and a "locked nail" implanted from hip joint to knee through the center of the bone. I still cannot bear full weight on that leg. After the surgery I had three weeks of daily radiation.

Since my breast cancer is "triple negative" I am not a candidate for drug therapies such as Herceptin or Tamoxifen. My oncologist suggested that I might be a candidate for a clinical trial for a PARP inhibitor, which has shown promise in treating triple negative tumors from regrouping. Providentially, one of the trial sites is about 10 miles from where my son lives in the greater Cincinnati area.

I have been in the trial since mid-November, spending about half my time at my son's house during the "active" phase of my treatments, then going home (about 120 miles south) for the rest of the treatment cycle when no drugs are administered. I receive chemo by IV (Carboplatin and Gemzar) weekly, along with the study drug twice a week. Scans at the end of January showed no evidence of malignancy in my thigh, though there are a couple of tiny spots (not big enough to be classed as tumors) on my lumbar spine and in my lungs that are being watched. I'd love to share my experiences with others, especially those with triple negative breast cancer.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageLadygardener1
Feb 9, 2011 9:14 AM CST
Name: Chris
NW Pa, Near Lake Erie
Welcome Sally,
Thank you for joining us.
I'm not sure about my status as far as the triple negative but I do know that the anti- hormonal therapy does not work for me. I have been on Tamoxifen, and Femara. The only thing that works is the IV chemo.
I am a bit confused is our hip breast cancer in the bone or just a different cancer?
I travel 75+ miles for my treatments. All that traveling can wear you down at times. Good that you were excepted in the trial, hoping good things come out of it for you.
Imagevic
Feb 9, 2011 9:46 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
I don't know what triple negative is Confused I've never heard that term.

When my surgeon released me to my radiation oncologist, she also said I had to go to a "regular" oncologist for a consult. and she also said - if they tell you that you need chemo, I want you to get a second opinion because based on your pathology and clear lymph nodes, in my opinion, you don't need chemo.

She gave me 3 oncologist names and fortunately, I have a dear friend that is an oncology nurse and asked her which one of them I should consult with first. He examined me from head to toe and said, based on your pathology, you don't need chemo.

My surgeon gave all her breast cancer patients a book written by Dr. Susan Love and that book said if cancer comes back, it's still breast cancer even if it's somewhere else in your body. Of course this was '97 so I don't know if that is still the case or not.

vic
Imagecritterologist
Feb 9, 2011 10:30 AM CST
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD
Yes, if the breast cancer cells metasticize and move away from the breast area to another part of the body, it's still breast cancer even if it's in your hip or your liver. It's not impossible that somebody could have breast cancer and then get another type of cancer (sure would seem extra unfair, though).

Good to see you here, Sally & Vic -- welcome!

My cancer tested "positive" for estrogen and progesterone receptors (which is why I'm now taking tamoxifen) and "negative" for the HER2/nu protein receptor. In "triple negative" breast cancer, none of those 3 receptors are abundantly present ("over-expressed"). That means that the drugs that are helpful in treating & preventing recurrence for patients whose cancers test "postitive" for those receptors do not help for those with "triple negative" cancer. (This would be a good discussion for the hormonal therapy forum, or maybe we need an "understanding that pathology report" thread in the surgery forum.)
Circles of Support for Breast Cancer
I'm learning to dance in the rain! Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Imagesunfarm
Feb 9, 2011 1:21 PM CST
Name: Sally
East Central Kentucky
Thanks, Critter, You did an excellent job of describing how it is still breast cancer despite appearing elsewhere in the body, and also what "triple negative" means. Haven't we learned more than we ever wanted to know about things we previously had no interest in? One of my frustrations is the lack of resources for breast cancer patients in my area. The nearest support group is 40 miles away and meets in evening hours, both deterrents for someone who no longer drives after dark. I hope this cubit can give help to those of us who do not have local support.
Living sustainably comes with learning to see the world in a new way.
ImageLadygardener1
Feb 9, 2011 1:45 PM CST
Name: Chris
NW Pa, Near Lake Erie
Sally, I know what you mean about not have Support Groups accessible. I refrain from driving at night also, especially in the snow belt area. And when you are in treatment, who wants to get up and get dressed to go out again. The internet has seen me through many of the down times. And you can visit anytime of the day.
Imagehaighr
Feb 9, 2011 4:01 PM CST
Name: Candee Gaye
Western Maryland
Been there, Done that!
Sally, nice to meet you. I have just learned more since you have posted here as I had never heard of Triple negative either.
I had a test done called an Oncotype which showed that my chances of recurrence were within a range that would warrant opting to not have chemo. I was borderline because of the size of my tumor, but I discussed my options with 2 oncologists and decided that the side effects of receiving chemo were more of a risk than not. I also opted to not take any other cancer drugs although I was advised not to take that choice. I have vascular disease and cannot take the tamoxifin and other drugs increase the risk of osteoporosis and I am already in the beginning stages so I just "said no".

Steve and I have 4 children - a son and daughter in California who are deaf. A daughter on the eastern shore, a son in Ohio. Our daughters are married and one son married and we have 2 granddaughters age 4 and one grandson age 2.

I just retired last week and am absolutely thrilled that I can be home with Steve and have time to do what we want to do.

I am fortunate to part of a local breast cancer group that meets once a month. Also, three of my closest friends have breast cancer. One of them has metastasized cancer and is on ongoing chemo, another had a mastectomy and is currently suffering with lymphadema and the third had a lumpectomy and is a 15 year survivor. I hope that you find solace and answers here in this cubit.

Vic, thanks for your response on the pain after surgery. I went in and deleted that portion of my original post, so that I would not lead anyone off track on this welcome thread. I am sure you are correct when you mention the location of the surgery and the muscles, etc. that were cut. Thanks again.
Put your hands to work in these cubits: Arrangements 101 and/or Hands at Work
Share your travels with us at: Travel Junction - Contest
[Last edited Feb 9, 2011 4:07 PM CST]
Quote | Post #559170 (13)
Imagesallyg
Feb 23, 2011 1:58 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
I feel like a little mouse among lionesses. I so admire the positive attitude I've seen displayed by cancer survivors- especially the two I know best right now, Chris and Jill.
Hurray!

I am only here to say Hi, and great job with this Cubit. I now know where I'll turn if I ever need to.
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagevic
Feb 23, 2011 2:34 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Hi Sally Smiling

I believe I speak for all of us when I say we hope you NEVER have to Smiling

vic
Imagehaighr
Feb 23, 2011 4:38 PM CST
Name: Candee Gaye
Western Maryland
Been there, Done that!
I hope you never have to as well! But if you ever do, we are all survivors and dang proud of it!
Put your hands to work in these cubits: Arrangements 101 and/or Hands at Work
Share your travels with us at: Travel Junction - Contest
Imagesallyg
Feb 24, 2011 7:35 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
thanks, Survivors!
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
ImageLadygardener1
Feb 24, 2011 11:12 AM CST
Name: Chris
NW Pa, Near Lake Erie
There is strength in numbers. Thumbs up Glad you stopped by Sallg. Even our "not touched by BC" friends are welcome to chime in. We are woman hear me roar!
Imagesallyg
Feb 24, 2011 1:15 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland
slef employed writier
I know you will give great comfort to the newcomers to 'the club'
"If you bring joy and enthusiasm to everything you do, people will think you're crazy" W. Haelfeli, New Yorker cartoon
Imagesheryl
Feb 28, 2011 2:25 PM CST
Name: Sheryl
Middle Tennessee, 6b
Hi everyone!

Congrats to the 3 admins, you all are providing excellent information in a localized source. When I had my lumpectomy I looked all over for info on scar massage, lymphedema and that awful feeling in the back of my arm (due to the node removal). I don't think I ever found scar massage.

Anywho, I'd like to put a quick plug in for the Army of Women, started by Dr. Susan Love, supported by Avon and currently 350,000 members strong. What they do is put out alerts for studies and research being done on breast cancer to all of us "foot soldiers" - oftentimes it is a need for survivors, sometimes folks who haven't had anything, sometimes for people with certain factors - race, age, even one for women who had worked night shift. Even if you don't fall into the category, you might know someone who does, so I encourage you to put yourself on their mailing list.

http://www.armyofwomen.org/

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