• One Year Anniversary

    Asked by Madonna on Friday, March 29, 2013

    One Year Anniversary

    A year ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a lumpectomy and 2 lymph nodes removed in May. Then four weeks of radiation. Came through it extremely well. Noticed a while back that what should be scar tissue seemed a little larger than should be plus the nipple was almost black and there was a tightness and seemingly, hardness on the other side of that breast. Saw my Oncologist last Weds. and she sent me for another mammagram and ultrasound today. The doctor today says it appears I might very well have cancer on this other side of my breast that works towards the skin - a different type than what I had on the other side of this breast. Scheduled for biopsies on the 12th. If it is cancer, they will remove the breast which I am all for. Has anyone else experienced this happening to them? A one year anniversary of a lumpectomy where all the cancer was removed, but now a different type of cancer on the opposite side? Was chemo a requirement after having a breast removed?

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Yes, but in my case it was 18 years between cancers. I had a lumpectomy with lymph node disection followed by radiation 20 years ago. A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). I had chemo before having a bilateral mastectomy and radiation following the surgeries.

      over 3 years ago
    • Madonna's Avatar

      Thanks Nancyjac. I was warned that I would probably have cancer again in about 20 years due to the radiation treatments, but I really didn't expect something this soon. Of course, the biopsies haven't been done yet, but the doctor seemed pretty confident. Hope you're doing well now.

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I am sending hugs and healing vibes. Best of luck with your surgery and biopsy, please keep us posted

      over 3 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      Madonna...I had bilat followed by chemo and radiation...so yes, chemo can be indicated following a mastectomy...it all depends on the cancer and what the oncologist thinks is the best protocol.....sorry that you are going down this journey again....

      over 3 years ago
    • Roses1018's Avatar

      Contact American cancer society, Susan Komen they have grants to help. Also look for a local breast cancer organization . Here in Kentucky we have the Pink Connection that will help. Also remember that hospitals will help with financing. If you go to a non-profit hospital they have programs to help you just have to ask them for it. If you have someone who can help you contact the organization or hospital even the doctors for discounts use them. As I know I was in no condition or had the strength to think straight at first.

      over 3 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I was agressive in the beginning and had a bilateral mastectomy. Yes, Chemo was required for me which consisted of 4 sessions of AC followed by 4 sessions of Taxol (2 weeks apart) -- then I had 35 sessions of Radiation. I am now on Arimidex for 5 years. Everyone is different so your Oncologist will prescribe a Treatment Plan Specifically for you. I wish you the very best. Please keep us updated.

      over 3 years ago
    • myb's Avatar


      over 3 years ago
    • smlisboa's Avatar

      Hi Madonna
      I truly believe it depends on your oncologist . Where I went for treatment initially and I still do......they tend to over medicate their patients. They take a more aggressive approach. But their success rate is very high. I was in the process of moving when all this was going on and I ended up with another oncologist and she was way on the other side of the spectrum. So I chose the middle. There are many reasons why ppl do chemo. Some do it just to make sure they get rid of any lingering cancer cells that we have no equipment to detect in your body. Some get chemo to live another 6 months. Typically and it makes sense to me.....if you find cancer cells in your lymph nodes....i wd do chemo for sure. There are so many variables to determine what is recommended .....but ultimately it's your decision. You need to be an advocate for yourself. Sorry you have to thru this again, but this website is great to get feedback , connect to ppl or just vent. God bless you and take care.

      over 3 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      In my case, it was DCIS, then lumpectomy, radiation & Tamoxifen then NINE YEARS LATER, IDC (a different type of cancer) in the SAME breast. I opted for bilateral mast, chemo and Herceptin (am HER2 +) this time as I'm done fooling around with the health of my breasts! (Besides, they are HIGHLY overrated!) Good luck with your treatment; will be thinking of you; let me know if I can be of more help. :-)

      over 3 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear Madonna,

      Hi. I'm Aliza, a Breast Cancer patient. I'm also a Medical Librarian who's retired but who practices her profession on this site by offering non medical advice, referrals, and research to those who need and want it.

      Let me say I was saddened by your news. I think what might help you in addition to some of the excellent suggestions you have gotten from other folks on the site is to contact CancerCare. The Social Workers there are specially and specifically trained to deal with only the issues facing Cancer patients and their caregivers. Talking with them isn't like "regular therapy". No one's interested in discussing your "toilet training" and no one is going to blame your mother"...;) It's all about helping you feel better so that you can make the best decisions possible during difficult times and they may be able to refer you to other resources as well. You can speak with a Social Worker either by phone or have an appointment in person (whatever you choose-whatever works best for you). They're very accommodating.

      I cannot answer your medical question re chemo. Chemo depends on many variables - the Stage of the cancer, whether it's spread to the lymph nodes and I don't know whether they take into consideration that you've already had breast cancer already (even though it may be a different kind plus other variables that I don't even know). Your breast surgeon and especially your oncologist would be the best people to speak with (better than people on this site). Everyone here has their own experiences, but we're not You! I, especially cannot offer medical advice because as a Librarian, it's against our code of ethics and technically, it's also illegal. It would be considered practicing medicine without a license, which I take seriously. I can tell you the variables that I know of that go into making such a decision, but even if I knew your specifics and knew the answer, it still would be illegal for me to say and it wouldn't be appropriate. Sometimes I worry that someone with a question such as yours is advised by someone on WhatNext of something that might be very upsetting to them and that person is all alone with no family to support them and cannot reach their friends. That's another reason why it's important to really find a physician you trust and stick close to her/him.

      It's also an excellent time if you belong to a religious community for you to contact your clergyperson and tell them what's happening with you. They are usually very warm and understanding and may be able to offer help in ways you didn't dream of. Some congregations have "sunshine committees" where members visit housebound or ill people to keep them company or drive them on errands. Most congregations have a discretionary fund if you need a small bit of money to tide you over with a bill, and your clergyperson can point you to contact a charitable agency in your faith like: The Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services, Catholic Charities, The United Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies.

      There are other sources for medications, one of them being www.needymeds.com. There are others, but they're not coming to mind at the moment. I'm sure someone else can fill them in. Let me know if you need more. You can also Google "Susan Komen" who offers grants.

      Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need further information. You can do so on the site or even email me. I'm sure you'll get through this. Just try to stay calm-easier said than done. You might try to look into different forms of meditation- Zen, Transcendental Meditation (Jerry Seinfeld endorses them now). There is a catalogue called Gaiam (www.gaiam.com) where you can probably order meditation background music.

      I wish you the best of luck in a difficult situation,

      over 3 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I was diagnosed with IDC-L in Jan 2012, had bilateral mastectomy in Feb 2012. I had chemo based on my Oncotype DX score. I was ER= and PR+ and followed chemo by 2 months of Tamoxifen. It should have been 5 years but I could not handle the side effects so I stopped it.

      over 3 years ago
    • Madonna's Avatar

      Thank you, everyone, for all the wonderful information you've given me. Now, I have some good news. I don't have cancer in that breast again. About a week ago I had the needle biopsy and there was a large pool of blood in there - right where the surgery was done for my lumpectomy. The results from the lab came in around Friday. No cancer. The doctor at the breast clinic at Wishard) said the skin thickening on the other side of the breast would have to have a skin biopsy (a punch type) done and they do that at the VA. Saw my Oncologist at the VA and she's pretty sure its just thickening due to the radiation treatments. She isn't going to do a biopsy right now, but keep a close eye on it with another ultrasound in two months. Then she asked me if I'd hurt myself on that breast, I'm sure she was thinking something like that happened because of a blow to that area. I assured her I hadn't and she wanted to know who the surgeon was that did the lumpectomy a year ago next month. When I told her the name, she told me no, that was another Oncologist, who was the surgeon. I couldn't believe it. I asked my husband later who the surgeon was and he told me the same name I gave my Oncologist. We were led to believe she was my surgeon and it appears we never met or was given the name of the surgeon. That's weird! Again, I appear to be fine since they drained the pool of blood out and I want to thank all the wonderful people on here who gave me information, hugs and good wishes. I'll check in every so often for updates.

      over 3 years ago

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