• carebear55's Avatar

    carebear55 wrote on Sparkplug's wall

    Sparkplug (love the name). First of all I am so sorry that you are going through this and having your world turned upside down. I thought your question was interesting. I was diagnosed with breast cancer Jan. 2016. I had a Lumpectomy with Chemo and Radiation. I didn't find or was told a lot about radiation. I remember walking down the long hall with caution and do not enter signs all around me. The biggest part of how radiation affected me was being so tired. It literally drained me. As far as your heart. I went into congestive heart failure July 3, 2017. It was then I found out that only half my heart worked, it was because of chemo not radiation.

    I didn't bounce back after chemo and radiation. I had to stop chemo early because of the side effects it was causing. There was quite a few.

    I now have a heart Dr. and am on 22 different medications as of today. The medications at the beginning did not work the way the Dr.'s were hoping so on Nov. 7, 2018 I had a difibrillator put in. I also have a heart monitor by my bed. If I travel I take it with me.

    I am not going to lie....when I found out about my heart I was devastated. It really did something to my mindset. Were talking about your heart.....if it goes your dead. It took me a long time to come to terms with my heart condition, but here it is Feb. 19, 2019 and I am starting to get my life back. I have more energy, I'm not as tired and I find I want to make goals again or do things I love to do, like sewing and decorating my house.

    When you asked if anyone has not had radiation because it can cause heart problems. It really isn't going to matter what someone tells you, because it is a personal decision. It is your life.

    Just going through what we are going through is scary enough. I will never be the same person again. I found it was like facing death everyday. It change every aspect of my life.

    When you talk about the choices that are put in front of you....either way there could be health problems. If you do not do radiation will you beat yourself up if cancer comes back. If you do radiation will you beat yourself up because you got heart damage.

    Either way it's about saving your life. There are things they can do for your heart. There are things they can do for your cancer. There is no guarantee.

    I am so sorry the anguish you are feeling and have to make decisions that you never thought you would have to do. Bottom line it doesn't matter what anyone says....it's your decision and you have to live with your choices.

    I have a bad heart and other complications because of cancer treatment. I know if I get cancer again I won't be able to have chemo so it will be a death sentence for me. But if I didn't have the treatments it could have been a death sentence.

    When I hear that someone has been diagnosed with cancer I tell them to kick, scream, cry, yell do what you have to do to deal with it but always pick yourself up and face it again. Life is not over.

    I love you and your strong spirit. Live each day as if it is brand new, and be thankful for the medical technology we have today, it is not a perfect science but better than it was 5 years ago.

    Prayers are with you ..... Carebear

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  • Sparkplug's Avatar

    Sparkplug asked a questionBreast Cancer


    11 answers
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar

      P.S. Cancer is a serious disease, so it's best to do what your doctor recommends. If you have financial or other concerns, there's lots of help, so let us know.

      about 1 hour ago
    • Sparkplug's Avatar

      Thank you everyone. I’m a chicken over all of this. I didn’t want surgery, but it turned out just fine. Then I didn’t want chemo, but I didn’t want to die either. So I did the chemo. It turned out fine. I don’t want blood drawn from my veins because I don’t have any more to see but the nurse told me I have to to to prevent infection. I thought that was part of the reason to get a port. The last time I had blood drawn from my vein it took 3 nurses to find it. It’s been 7 months since then and I still have a bruise from it. Now the radiation. And I’m scared of it. I most certainly don’t act like a warrior. I just do what I have to do to live.

      36 minutes ago
    • Bug's Avatar

      I didn't act like a warrior either. And that's okay. I did what I felt I needed to do and so are you. Actually, it sounds to me like you are being very brave. Very best wishes to you, Sparkplug.

      20 minutes ago
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    Question: Radiation

  • Sparkplug's Avatar

    Sparkplug asked a questionBreast Cancer

    Lymph nodes and blood

    7 answers
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar

      po18guy, the link you posted confirms that "targeted" (aka biologic) therapies are only for HER2+ breast cancers--and not necessarily only metastatic ones. (Your error is understandable, as "breast cancer" is not one single cancer but a constellation of different cellular types of cancer, with lots of permutations & combinations when it comes to sites of origin--e.g., lobes vs. ducts--receptors and aggressiveness).

      Breast cancer is not considered "metastatic" until evidence is found of spread of the same type of breast cancer to distant organs: most commonly--depending on type of breast cancer--bone, liver, brain, lungs. Tumors that have had cells migrate to lymph nodes have an increased chance to become metastatic, but until they show up in distant organs they are not yet metastatic. (Even Stage IIIA is sometimes called "early").

      9 days ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      Good to know. As with so many other cancers, sadly there are many varieties. I enjoy being right, but I learn when I am wrong. I will have to read up a bit. As I understood it, the normal way that cancer would metastasize is via blood or lymph - other than direct tissue invasion such as anaplastic thyroid cancer.

      9 days ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar

      That is correct: breast cancer spreads via either the lymph nodes or bloodstream. "Luminal A," the least aggressive subtype (Grade 1 or 2, low mitotic rate, estrogen/progesterone-receptor+ and HER2-), almost always recurs given enough time (often, decades) if the patient doesn't die first of other causes, because its micromets usually "seed" and lie dormant long before a tumor can be diagnosed, and evolve to be able to synthesize their own estrogen supply--"outwitting" years of estrogen-depleting therapy.

      Those micromets can be so subtle that "sentinel" lymph nodes can nonetheless test "clear" at biopsy performed during lumpectomy or mastectomy surgery.

      8 days ago
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