• Just learned I have breast cancer, Stage 1,Grade 3. Scheduled for lumpectomy next week, with chemo afterward and then radiation. Very scared and worried about results of lymph node biopsy. I am 66 yrs. old and have always been in excellent health- finding

    Asked by sadie on Saturday, March 3, 2012

    Just learned I have breast cancer, Stage 1,Grade 3. Scheduled for lumpectomy next week, with chemo afterward and then radiation. Very scared and worried about results of lymph node biopsy. I am 66 yrs. old and have always been in excellent health- finding

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    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Well, I haven't had breast cancer, but I have had two different types of cancer 3 times. I know it's scary, but just please know that you can beat it, I am proof. Look at the up side of your diagnoses, stage one is better than 2, 3 or 4. Have faith, keep a positive attitude. You should do great!! Good luck in your journey, wishing you the best!!

      over 4 years ago
    • blndescorpio49's Avatar

      I was diagnosed with infiltrating ductal breast cancer 7/10 at 60. stage II HER2 +, ER+, PR-. I had a lumpectomy, 4 rounds of AC, 12 rounds of Taxol plus Herceptin, 6 1/2 weeks of radiation and Herceptin alone until 10/11. My sentinel node biopsy was initially said to be clean, however, after further disection they found a microscopic cancer. Still treated as clean no further surgery.

      I had some nausea with chemo but never threw up. Had lots of other side effects but tolerable. The worst for me was the fatigue and I did have low red blood cell counts a couple of times that resulted in blood transfusions. Radiation was a cake walk by comparison. I hated losing my eyelashes but the hair loss was tolerable. Wore a wig for 7 months and as soon as my hair was 1/4-1/2 inch long sported a GI Jane haircut and never looked back.

      I had breast reduction surgery in 12/11 on the opposite side so I am approximately the same size now. Then lumpectomy took me down 2 cup sizes. (I was wearing a G cup pre surgery). I am taking tamoxifen and will be for another 1 1/2 years then arimidex for 2 1/2 years. Had a recent post menopausal spotting episode and a D & C but everything was benign.

      When I started this journey I was scared, too. My onc said I was a very healthy person who happened to get cancer. My attitude was "let's get on with the treatment and then on with life". It wasn't easy there were some dark times but I've come out the other side in to the light. I've had two post treatment mammograms that are clear and my check ups with my onc have been great. I do still have fears and they creep up on me once and awhile but mostly I don't dwell on it. I intend to live another 25-30 years and see my 5 grandchildren grow up.

      Faith, prayer and friends helped me get through this and continue to support me. Don't be afraid to reach out for what you need, stay positive and live each day to the fullest. I wish you well on your journey and say a prayer for your complete recovery.

      over 4 years ago
    • MichaelV's Avatar

      I recently reread Suzanne Sommers book called "Knockout". You might want to check it out. I changed my mind about the treatments I'm getting for stage 4 prostrate cancer.

      over 4 years ago
    • copland16's Avatar

      Hi sadie!
      Welcome to whatnext. I remember that I was scared and overwhelmed with all of the medical information in the beginning. Know that it will be OK. Rely on your family and friends to support you in whatever way is best for you.
      It's easier said than done but convince yourself that the one thing you can control right now is your reaction. Be positive. Worrying about the lymph-node biopsy won't change anything. I became a realistic optimist throughout my journey and this approach worked for me.
      Know that we are here for you if you need us.

      over 4 years ago
    • PinkD's Avatar

      I, too, was pretty healthy prior to my breast cancer diagnosis. My oncologist told me his goal was to get me back to being medically boring! (And it appears that we were successful :) ) I can recommend a lot of books that I wish I'd had during treatment--like Praying through Cancer by Susan Sorenson and Laura Geist...

      over 4 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      Hi Sadie -- You are going through the toughest part of the journey right now. Once you embark on your course of battle, you will gain hope and strength. I have put some very detailed posts on my wall about my journey including each chemo session. You may find them helpful. There are a lot of wonderful people on this site who truly understand because they have been there -- your new family!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • MySongToSing's Avatar

      Hi Sadie, JennyMiller is so right! This is the toughest part of your journey. Personally, I believe breast cancer was a blessing for me. Because of the pre-surgery tests I learned that I also had a kidney that only functioned at 18 percent and a tumor (approximately the size of a teen's fist) displacing my esophagus, both of which had to be removed. There were sooo many praying for me and I knew (after the initial trauma) that I would survive without a doubt. A lumpectomy, so now 4 chemo treatments with very few side effects, only one day of nausea and fatigue on the 2nd day after the 3rd treatment, hair loss of course, nothing tasted very good (bland foods and plastic utensils were the best) and to this day the skin on my fingertips and toes is VERY dry. I was told my hair would grow back in curly and Yes it did but as it has grown out it is returning to the way it was before chemo. The funniest part was the hair on my arms grew out kinky, yes kinky. I was driving one day with one hand on the top of the steering wheel and noticed the sun shining on my arm. Sitting there by myself, I burst out laughing when I noticed the hair. And when I thought about it. That was my saving grace, laughter. Having a lumpectomy on my right breast and my right kidney removed, I told my coworkers since I was now lighter on that side, if I started walking in circles to the right just give me a shove back in the right direction. I could laugh at my quirky new self. 4 chemo and 33 radiation treatments and I am a Survivor and proud. I have met Survivors of all ages. including one in her 80's. So know that, with friends, family, laughter, and prayer you too, will complete this part of your journey and learn to treasure the journey to come. Love and prayers to you.

      over 4 years ago
    • annemarie's Avatar

      With all due respect to Michael, I would suggest you do not touch anything Suzanne Somers has written unless you speak to your doctors. If your cancer is fueled by estrogen, you will be doing lots of potential harm to your body. I think SS is great, she looks great but hormones are the biggest enemy for many breast cancer patients. I wrote a blog about celebrity advice a few months ago. Just my opinion here:

      Sadie.... You are on the part of the journey I refer to as the runaway train. Every time you turn around it seems another decision is being thrown at you. I hope you have someone accompanying you on the appointments. Keep good notes. I volunteer at the hospital and am available to speak one on one to any patient during any phase of their treatment. You are wrapping your brain around, "You Have Cancer" and then trying to make educated, sound treatment choices. It's very scary. And, being unnerved over the lymph node results..... nothing is going to make that fear diminish. Life is different after cancer. You DO get used to it and seek support wherever you can.... You started in a great place----by writing your concerns here.

      Hang in there,

      over 4 years ago
    • sadie's Avatar

      Thank all of you for your words of support. I have been to our local Breast Cancer Awareness group and talked at length with some of the survivors. They gave me some very helpful books which explain so many issues...I plan to start attending their support group next week. The mind-numbing fear is not as overwhelming and I feel some of my positive attitude returning although it feels fragile. I keep repeating the words of a 16th century nun, "From moment to moment one can bear much." I have a wonderful husband and family as well as a close support group of friends and pastor so I feel blessed in that respect. AnneMarie, I appreciate your comment that you do get used to life after cancer...at this point I feel sad that my previously peaceful life is gone. I know that a positive attitude is crucial to the success of treatment and I plan to to do everything possible to achieve that. Surgery is tomorrow at 8am- right now I feel calm and hopeful.

      over 4 years ago
    • teddyfuzz's Avatar

      Hi Sadie. I hope your surgery went well. Keep feeling calm and hopeful. But don't beat yourself up for having bad days. We all do. You are going through the scariest part right now - the "not knowing" and waiting part. Try not to let your mind wander too often into the worst-case scenarios. It doesn't do any good and will only upset you (yeah, this coming from someone who still does that every once in a while).

      Hang in there Sadie! I'll be praying for you:)

      over 4 years ago
    • Lori928's Avatar

      The good news is that you are healthy, it will get you through the surgery and treatments easily. I too was/am very healthy, eat well exercised the whole bit, it helped me greatly in the end. Try and take it step by step, it is a lot of information to absorb, you will handle it in small doses. In the early days of diagnosis, I found having small doses of xanex helped me get through the days. I read a book that a Dr. wrote from MSKCC when she was diagnosed. Her son was doing a school report on birds and he was overwhelmed by the amount of information...She told him take it "bird by bird"...Keep your chin up...xo

      over 4 years ago

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