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Old 08-03-2011, 09:41 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Manila, PHL
Posts: 24
Lightbulb rambling thoughts and what I vow

Ever since my diagnosis with breast cancer, I have gone and still am on one heck of a roller coaster ride...literal ups and downs, corkscrews and twists. Ironic that I love thrill rides but this is one that I would rather have not gotten on to.

Physically, I had to say good bye to my boobies and each day I am torn between the extreme sadness for having lost parts of me that nurtured and nourished my babies but at the same time relieved that where my cancer grew has been removed and if losing them will help me to see what becomes of my children when they grow up then so be it. I am truly blessed to have a husband whose eyes and overwhelming affection shows me that he loves me no matter what.

Mentally, it has been a drain. I guess like anyone else with this diagnosis, I was driven to find out as much as I could. Big mistake. As a neonatologist, I bounce around figures quite a bit when talking to families of really sick babies. My training is staunchly based on what the 'evidence shows'. The numbers I read up on weren't so reassuring and just scared myself out of my wits. Instead of stopping, I zealously searched for more, for something that will dispel what scared me. Then I remembered a miracle I had witnessed. A 24 week old GA neonate weighing a little over 500 grams with the most horrendous entry into this earth... a full on code and more. Grave concern was aired about how she would do if she survived. She not only survived. She is a healthy, happy and beautiful girl who's 5 years old this year. I certainly cannot deny myself the possibility of a miracle...I have seen it happen. I know better now. I am not a statistic. I am unique and these numbers do not define me.

Emotionally, there are no words to describe what I am going through. There is the fear of the unknown. Will I be around long enough to cherish more milestones in life? Will I ever get the chance to fully realize the dreams and goals I had planned on? Meet my husband again at the altar for our 50th wedding anniversary? And then I realized, all of us really are stamped with an expiration date but those without this disease can carry on with life treading lightly. For me, the reality of my mortality has been made quite clear. Will I then go day by day scurrying and afraid? Then it hit me...I am blessed. For I will make sure that every day counts, every moment. And if the Good Lord wills for me to be around for much longer then I would have served Him well by living my life better and making myself a testimony of His power and love.

Spiritually, I was in a rut. Now, I declare unabashedly that I have truly found my faith again. When I 'came out' with my diagnosis, family and friends poured in with their love, support and prayers. What was heavy was made light. I admit that I still have my low moments when all the figures and research come racing to my head and I frighten my own self. But I believe that I am not the one in control now, He is. It is hard to let go of being in control. So I figure, it'll be this way... I will do what is humanly possible but I accept that I am in His hands completely.

I went to church today. In the first reading, God had asked for 12 Israelites to canvass Canaan, the land of milk and honey...their promised land. Upon their return to the desert, 10 had reported that indeed the land was rich but already populated by big and fierce people, so no way could that be The promised land. They doubted the Lord. The same Lord who had delivered them from slavery in Egypt and parted the Red Sea to lead them to safety.

Tears filled my eyes. I will not doubt. His power is far greater than anything in this earth. I will submit unto Him all that I am and He will take care of the rest.
Hold on to trust and faith,
Donna =)

Diagnosed at age 38 with IDC (T1, N0, M0)
6/22/2011: Excision biopsy, right breast, 1.9cm tumor,
ER-/PR-/HER2+++, grade 3
7/12/2011: MRM, right; elective mastectomy, left
ALL residual breast tissue and 19/19 lymph nodes NEGATIVE for tumor...yay!!
8/18/2011: port placement, start AC, cycle 1
10/23/2011: end AC cycle 4
12/12/2011: TH cycle 2 done
1/17/2012: Taxotere 3 done, on herceptin holiday due to arrhythmia..

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Old 08-03-2011, 11:55 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: El Paso ,Tx
Posts: 436
Re: rambling thoughts and what I vow

Your post says it all. I too went through that stats phase, but realized that I am not a number. God has a plan for me, it is not for me to know but I have to live it to fill it. So live I will!
dx: DCIS 6/8/10, HER 2+ 7/26/10; Stage I Age 41
Double mast w reconstruction
6 TCH w 1yr herceptin
25 radiation tx
Removal of expander on L due to infection. Tried to save it had 3 bouts of antibiotics and went to see plastic surgeon 2-3x wk to get drained. Saving it was my idea not his. But lost it anyway.
Reconstruction set for December 21st,2011
Finished chemo 12/2010
Finished Herceptin 8/26/11
Reconstruction 12/21/11
Expanders exchanged for silicon 3/19/12
Nipple reconstruction 5/18/12
Nipple tatooing- 7/9/12- All done yay!
11/22/12-Went back to get scar tissue stretched to even the outside of breast, didn't work due to it being radiated skin.
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:41 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: "Love never fails."
Posts: 5,809
Re: rambling thoughts and what I vow

Well said!

Was just reading the quote by Dr. Hans Selye (M.D.) at the beginning of his book entitled 'The stress of life':

"... dedicated to those who are not afraid to enjoy the stress of a full life, nor so naive as to think that they can do so without intellectual effort."

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Everything you've said will certainly benefit someone on this Board. I know it has spoken to my heart...

ps. Remember to read the new research about Her2 stats posted by Lani not long ago: http://her2support.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=50781

Erythema Nodosum 85
Life-long Central Neurocytoma 4x5x6.5 cm 23 hrs 62090 semi-coma 10 d PT OT ST 30 d
3 Infertility tmts 99 > 3 u. fibroids > Pills
CN 3 GKRS 52301
IDC 1.2 cm Her2 +++ ER 5% R. Lmptmy SLNB+1 71703 6 FEC 33 R Tamoxifen
Recc IIB 2.5 cm Bi-L Mast 61407 2/9 nds PET
6 TCH Cellulitis - Lymphedema - compression sleeve & glove
H w x 4 MUGA 51 D, J 49 M
Diastasis recti
Tamoxifen B. scan
Irrtbl bowel 1'09
Colonoscopy 313
BRCA1 V1247I
hptc hemangioma
GI - > yogurt
hysterectomy/oophorectomy 011410
Exemestane 25 mg tab 102912 ~ 101016 stopped due to r. hip/l.thigh pain after long walk
DEXA 1/13
1-2016 lesions in liver largest 9mm & 1.3 cm onco. says not cancer.
3-11 Appendectomy - visually O.K., a lot of puss. Final path result - not cancer.
Start Vitamin D3 and Calcium supplement (600mg x2)
10-10 Stopped Exemestane due to r. hip/l.thigh pain OKed by Onco 11-08-2016
7-23-2018 9 mm groundglass nodule within the right lower lobe with indolent behavior. Due to possible adenocarcinoma, Recommend annual surveilence.
7-10-2019 CT to check lung nodule.
1-10-2020 8mm stable nodule on R Lung, two 6mm new ones on L Lung, a possible lymph node involvement in inter fissule.

Advocacy is a passion .. not a pastime - Joe

Last edited by Jackie07; 08-04-2011 at 05:49 PM..
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:29 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 510
Re: rambling thoughts and what I vow

Thank you for your beautiful post, Pinay88! Your words rang so true to me.
ER+ (30%)/PR-/HER-2+, stage 3

Diagnosed on 02/18/09 at 38 with a huge 12x10 cm tumor, after a 6 month delay. Told I was too young and had no risk factors. Found swollen node during breastfeeding.
March-August 09: neo-adjuvant chemo, part of a trial at Stanford (4 DD A/C, 4 Taxotere with daily Tykerb), loading dose of Herceptin
08/12/09 - bye bye boobies (bilateral mastectomy)
08/24/09 - path report shows 100 % success in breast tissue (no cancer there, yay!), 98 % success in lymphatic invasion, and even though 11/13 nodes were still positive, > 95 % of the tumor in them was killed. Hoping for the best!
September-October 09: rads with daily Xeloda
02/25/10 - Cholecystectomy
05/27/10 - Bone scan clear
06/14/10 - CT scan clear, ovarian cyst found
07/27/10 - Done with Herceptin!
02/15/11 - MVA-BN HER-2 vaccine trial
03/15/11 - First CA 15-3: 12.7 and normal, yay!
10/01/11 - Bone scan and CT scan clear, fatty liver found
now on Tamoxifen and Aspirin

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Old 08-05-2011, 06:11 AM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Doylestown, ohio
Posts: 334
Re: rambling thoughts and what I vow

Beautifully said. I see that your are just starting chemo. With your attitude you will sail thru it. Gold bless you. Stay strong. Darlene
DX Sept 30 2010 at the age of 49. Oh crap! 1.5 cm idc, stage 1 grade 3 er/pr+, her2+ no lymph nodes, mastectomy Oct/10. Started 6 rounds of TCH Dec/10 and will continue herceptin until Nov /11 and just started femara.
Stray kitten found my lump while I was playing with it. It is now my pet and my dog is not real happy about that.
Mammo good
last herceptin 11/21/11 YAY
reconstruction 12/09/11
Chapter closed 12/10/11, hopefully, fingers crossed
Bone scan, chest xray, clear
04/27/12 Expander removed, implant put in, ahh sigh of relief, much more comfortable
Sept 30, 2014, 4 years NED
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:34 PM   #6
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Manila, PHL
Posts: 24
Re: rambling thoughts and what I vow

Thanks Writing this was hard but I really needed to channel my thoughts and feelings. I am glad that we all find comfort in this solidarity and know that we really are not alone in these emotions/experiences.
Darlene, yes, I am just going to start chemo. Thanks for your encouraging words.
Will keep you all posted.
God's blessings to us all.
Hold on to trust and faith,
Donna =)

Diagnosed at age 38 with IDC (T1, N0, M0)
6/22/2011: Excision biopsy, right breast, 1.9cm tumor,
ER-/PR-/HER2+++, grade 3
7/12/2011: MRM, right; elective mastectomy, left
ALL residual breast tissue and 19/19 lymph nodes NEGATIVE for tumor...yay!!
8/18/2011: port placement, start AC, cycle 1
10/23/2011: end AC cycle 4
12/12/2011: TH cycle 2 done
1/17/2012: Taxotere 3 done, on herceptin holiday due to arrhythmia..

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