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Old 05-24-2005, 07:37 PM   #1
4boysmom
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[attachmentid=20]I am 38 years old, happily married and the mother of 4 little boys , ages 10, 7, 5, and 2. I have been a registered nurse for 15 years. I discovered a lump in my right breast (rather large) which seemed to have appeared overnite, and immediately called by doctor. On March 14th, 2005, I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. I was told that I was HER2NEU +3, hormone receptor -, my tumor was high grade and tumor size 5-6 cms.
I am presently in a Herceptin study at Dana Farber and receive herceptin weekly with Carboplatin/Taxotere every 3 weeks. I am having difficulty with the side effects (mostly fatigue) and chasing around these rather busy boys. I am receiving my chemo then having a mastectomy in July, with adriamycin/cytoxin to follow. (Not how I planned on spending 2005).
I find this to be the most difficult thing I have ever dealt with. As a nurse, I studied about cancer and chemo in nursing school, but only now do I really understand as I 'walk the walk'. I really fear reoccurance and don't know if I could do all this again in the future. My sentinal node biopsy was -., so that is a good thing. I have lost all my hair, but I'd rather have hair loss than the loss of strength. I am glad that I stumbled on this website, and I know that I am not alone.
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Old 05-25-2005, 05:22 PM   #2
joy
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Hey Janet, you are in the right place. You'll find the best information exchanges and offerings here. I work in the cancer-field and have stage IV (37 years old, 2 girls-9 & 6). Personally and professionally this is my favorite site out there. We are here with you and I know how motivational your boys will be. You can do this. My chiropractor and long time wise woman friend said to me today, as i fell inot tears for fear of brain mets, "It is not an option. It is not an option that you won't be here where you are needed." So there you have it Janet, "It is not an option".
Love, Joy
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Old 05-25-2005, 11:20 PM   #3
michele u
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Hi Janet,
Your story sounds sooo much like mine. I'm a nurse also, was dx at age 39 and have 3 children. I'm 18 months out now. My tumor was only 1 cm but i had 34 pos nodes. Go figue that! I was wondering why they are doing AC after surgery? That sounds different to me
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Old 06-04-2005, 03:17 PM   #4
*_Tami_*
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4 boys- wow and I thought my house was loud and wild with 3 boys. They are 16, 13 and soon to be 10 and I am forever telling family and friends that I live in a frat house. Everyone keeps telling me there is a special place in heaven (although I am not in any rush to find out) for moms of boys. I stumbled onto this site a few weeks before I started chemo in May '04 and feel that it may have saved my life - time will tell. Based on the information and strength I gained from reading this website I was able to insist that I get herceptin even though my tumor was 1.4 cm, sentinal node had only one micromet and all other nodes were negative, but her 2+++. The women here have helped to me realize that it was up to me to take charge of my medical and health destiny. I was very tired during chemo and radiation but am completely back to normal. During treatment I accepted alot of help from family and friends and even friends of friends who wanted to help. It has been a humbling experience for sure. I have reqained my energy and am working out again in an attempt to lose the 25 pounds I somehow gained from the streiods and lack of exercise. I am playing full out with my kids - skiing, riding bikes, basketball and soon to be swimming. It has been 15 months since I started down this path and when I was diagnosed (at 44) I couldn't believe my doctor when she told me treatment would take at least a year. Surprisingly the year has passed rather quickly - life marches on. I will be on herceptin until August and then in September I will do all the scans and if all is well I will have my mediport removed. The fear of reoccurance is still there and when I finished chemo I remember thinking that if this comes back there is no way I am doing chemo ever again. Well 6 months later I find that the grind of chemo is a distant memory and if I need chemo again in the future than so be it because I can do it if I have to - there is just too much living I still need to do.

I will be thinking of your regained health, vitality and energy throughout this summer-
Tami
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Old 06-06-2005, 06:23 AM   #5
Pat
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Janet,
I am receiving my treatment at DFCI as well. I was diagnosed at 38 (2004) right before my 39th birthday. I am stage II, HER2 3+. ER+, PR+, and grade 3. I had two tumors and one lymph node affected. After 3 surgeries I received AC and Taxol then radiation finishing in April. I just started Herceptin last Wednesday - every 3 weeks. My hair is growing back (an ugly color but I'll take it).

I had really great experiences at DFCI - the radiation department is the best - the receptionists, nurses,therapists, and my doc were so supportive. Just wonderful! I have had similar experiences on Dana 10 as well.

I live out in Upton MA. I wonder how much help you have with your kids. I have a 9 and 8 year old and we moved here from PA without any family in the area. My husband, neighbors and friends really helped me - I would love to extend some help to you if needed! Especially with the summer coming and the kids being out of school. You must be stressed and just exhausted!

Good luck with all of your treatments and surgeries! Don't let this break your spirit. Feed off the love around you and you will grow strong!

I will send you a personal note with my email information. I met so many older women that meeting someone my age with similiar struggles would help me too.

Positive thoughts and prayers-
Pat
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Old 07-07-2005, 11:03 AM   #6
Randi
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Janet,

Your story sounds somewhat similar to mine. DX this May at the age of 41, ER/PR + and Her2neu +. I am being treated at Mass General, so we are close. I live in Lowell. I wish you well. Don't worry about mets, now, you are getting herceptin, as I will be and from what I hear that is the miricle drug. Take care of you now, I pray you have help with the boys.

Take Care
Randi
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:53 PM   #7
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Hi Janet do you remember me? This is Lorri from Mem also. I worked resp therapy in the NICU. I just came upon your profile and want to wish you love and prayers with your upcoming surgery. I also am her2+, hormone neg, my tumor was 5cm and also seemed to appear overnite. I was diag Aug 2003. I received A/C first to shrink the tumor f/b mast, then Taxol and radiation- not the way I wanted to spend the next 8 months either. BUT YOU DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO! I guess you can say we're part of the sisterhood! Your boys are BEAUTIFUL AND THEY WILL BECOME YOUR STRENGTH TO FIGHT! This is a wonderful site with very informed and knowledgable people. My advice- stay informed and be your own advocate, try to have a sense of humor, be positive and only hang with positive people and eat healthy and excercise. Y ou are lucky to be receiving the Herceptin initially to prevent an occurence. I didn't plan my BC to well. Herceptin used before a reoccurence is fairly recent. l should have pushed for it in Feb 2004 when I recieved Taxol. At that time part of me felt I should save my bullets. I am doing great now-on Herceptin and Navelbine with great response sinc Oct 2004. If I can be of any help please let me know. I live in Worc. My e-mail lorrimanz@AOL.COM
love to you and your family, Lorri
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Old 07-13-2005, 09:24 PM   #8
al from canada
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Hi Janet,
The one thing I would like to echo (our guest's comment) to be your own advocate or just as good and sometimes better: get an advocate, your husband, a close friend, your mom, sister. etc. The bottom line is: YOU NEED AN ADVOCATE!! This will be a tough haul for you and your family; you will need the support. This site is second to none in support as all the ladies (and men) on it are all here for the same reason: to promote life, research and awarness for HER2 breast cancers. You won't find a better place in cyber space to hang your hat.
Regards,
Al
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