My breast cancer journey begins

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by kath, Nov 10, 2020.

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  1. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    May He who blessed our ancestors bless and heal you and return you to health.
     
  2. Katamarino

    Katamarino Cleared for Takeoff

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    Best wishes, Kath.
     
  3. A Martin

    A Martin Pre-Flight

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    Best wishes Kath .... the "bright side" is that you found it early , it sounds treatable , and modern medicine has come ahead in leaps and bounds.

    I am 69 and survived cancer (bladder) ... chemo was mild , no hair or weight loss , no pain , just some fatigue etc.

    I share your frustrations about all the testing they do , seems endless , wish they would just do it all in one day but that is not how the system works because there are multiple specialists each with their own schedules.

    My doctor gave me 2 pieces of advice ... first he said that stress and worry take an extreme toll on our bodies (even for healthy people) ... he said his greatest success was with folks who did not get stressed out .... I was able to it ... I quit worrying about jobs , family , my responsibilities , and it worked. Previous to that I had been creating monsters in my mind about every little thing.

    Here is what I found most interesting ..... when we survive cancer it is our own immune system that does it . The surgeries and treatments remove the physical tumors and many of the cancer cells which gives our bodies a fighting chance to finish it off so try to eat good nutritious food. Avoid the mythical herbal remedies . They are mostly a scam and if they do contain vitamins it comes from the same nutritious foods we already eat

    ps: In 1986 my "healthy" wife gave birth to a healthy baby. During her final post-partum checkup the doctor took a few minutes to show her how to check for lumps in her breast during the years ahead. To his surprise he found a lump , they did an exploratory but found it had spread to her lymph nodes and liver and there was nothing they could do. She was gone in 6 months.

    Finding it early is the key , sounds like you have , best wishes and keep a bright outlook. I will pray for you too.
     
  4. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In 1986 they were still using leeches for treatment, weren't they?
     
  5. PaulS

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    Best wishes and prayers for a speedy recovery Kath.
     
  6. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Kath, with the right attitude I'm sure you'll beat this. I'll echo the previous comments about trying to keep stress down. Obviously easier said than done when dealing with something that sounds as scary as cancer, but stress is bad for everyone. Focus on you and what you need first and foremost. We'll be here for you.
     
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  7. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    Thanks everyone for the kind words, and especially to the Survivors for being an inspiration. Looking forward to counting myself as one!
     
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  8. Lowflynjack

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    @kath I'm sorry I'm just now seeing this!! You'll be fine and I have no doubts on that. I was diagnosed with kidney cancer over 11 years ago and told it was bad and my odds were not good. The doctor was shocked when I started laughing and told him to get out of the room before I stuck his head through the wall. To be fair, I was on doped up pain meds because they thought they were about to wheel me in for an appendectomy... he literally told me the news by saying, "The good news is your appendix is fine. The bad news is you have kidney cancer and it doesn't look good." BS. cancer picked the wrong person to mess with then and it did now.

    I went to Johns Hopkins for treatment and was really feeling sorry for myself. I was there for testing all day... over eight hours of walking from one end of the hospital to the other, back and forth. Needles and scans, more needles, more scans... now we need some blood... I was miserable. Why me? Then I looked up when walking to another test and there was a little girl in a wheelchair with an IV bag attached, she had no hair and looked so small in her hospital gown. She smiled and waved at me. I turned the corner and cried. At that moment, my attitude changed. Why not me? That was the question that got me through from then on. I wasn't special.

    Lastly a friend of mine told me a few days ago that he has stage 3 in his hip, stage 4 in his back. He's already survived throat cancer, so this time he was ready to give up. I can't share the text I sent him... I was not nice. My special way of motivation was to call him names and demand that I'm the one who will take him to his chemo treatments. He's ready to fight now.

    Keep your head up. I already know you're strong! Keep us updated as you beat cancer's ass!
     
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  9. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    ^^^ This. So very much this.
     
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  10. frfly172

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    Hoping all goes well in your treatment and you have a quick recovery. Hang in there you can handle this. Remember your health is your priority at this time.
     
  11. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I feel for you. Both my sister and my mother survived breast cancer.
     
  12. A Martin

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    Hi John ..... you may have an idea there ...... haa ..... as a helicopter pilot pretending to be a cancer researcher I would attach a leach to a tumor and let it suck out the cancerous cells , that way the cancer cannot spread to the body.

    Stranger things have happened . Even in my case they used an accidental discovery from 1956. A starving lab worker in an old building was dedicated to studying tuberculosis , which was still a big problem in that era.

    During his experiments he noticed that TB cells would penetrate cancer cells and made a note of it. For the cancer researchers this was a big deal and they developed a treatment for bladder cancer from it which is still used today. (used on me)

    They flood my bladder with a live TB bacterium .... it invades the cancer cells .... my immune system thinks it has just caught a massive dose of TB and it goes into overdrive to cast out the TB cells and takes the cancer cells with it. Just that simple.

    The modern day surgery is amazing .... they send a man with a flashlight and camera up my pee pee to cut out the tumor (helicopter words hehe) ....... they put me to sleep and a thin tube goes into my bladder and the doctor does everything by remote control watching a TV screen ... I wake up , no pain , no stitches , and could walk out and go home except they keep you there for 24 hours to overcome the anesthesia effects.
     
  13. PeterNSteinmetz

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    Hoping for the best outcome, which as other have noted seems very likely.

    What you say above was of course the argument against having these types of things available on patient portals prior to the appropriate doctor visit. Sorry it was a restless time. I know how uncertainty like that can eat at you.
     
  14. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    I was actually reading something that they're required by law to post things to the patient portal immediately. So I can't really blame anyone. And if given the choice, I still would have chosen to read and know immediately. I'd rather be freaking out from knowledge of something, than freaking out waiting and having naught but uncertainty.

    Chemo starts Thursday. I tried counting the number of different drugs I'll be on, and lost count at seven. I also lost count of all the potential side effects; no way to really know how it'll go until we jump in and find out. The "briefer" told me I would most likely lose my hair... it was interesting how she rolled that out with the tone of voice that implied this was the worst possible of all the side effects, and then the palpable relief in her entire demeanor when I shrugged that off with a "pshaw". I plan to wear the scars from this experience, I said. That's great, she said, Keep that attitude, and it'll make a big difference.
     
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  15. PaulS

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    Stop reading about the side effects, those are usually every possible thing that most people don't experience, just ask your doc what to look for. Other than that, I have nothing. I wish you well and will say a prayer for you. You've got this.
     
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  16. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    My son in law has a kidney transplant, he takes 11 different drugs twice a day.

    You can do this.. it ain't easy but you can do this.

    I take 4 pills, high blood pressure, high sugar.

    You do what it takes. You can do this.
     
  17. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Pills suck. Going to see MDs sucks. Dying sucks more than all those things. Be complaint, stay focused, do great Physics.
     
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  18. MacFly

    MacFly Line Up and Wait

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    I’m not aware of any state where releasing biopsy information immediately is a law, but it’s possible. Not in this state, however. Usually that kind of information isn’t available in the patient portal until released by the physician. Other lab tests usually are, however. Visit notes, likewise...consultations, usually not.

    Those decisions as to when to release records to the patient portals are usually done on an institution-by-institution basis. It’s something that many hospital systems wrestle with these days.
     
  19. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That may be a state by state thing. Our system doesn't automatically release the path reports to the patient portal. I leave it to the patients primary physician to notify them about the results. If that doesn't happen for some reason (the main reason being 'friday'), I am the one talking to them.

    The temporary hair loss is almost universal.
    -Hair is made by skin cells.
    -Breast cancer is made by skin cells.
    -Chemo stops skin cells from replicating
    ---> temporary hair loss.

    Dont get too hung up on the long list of potential side effects. You'll have a contact in the cancer center talk to her if you notice anything.
     
  20. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Ball is beautiful,,, believe me :) I wish Mine was temporary
     
  21. Matt C

    Matt C Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi Kath. I haven't been moved to post in a long time but I want you to know that I'll be thinking of you often and sending well wishes. My beloved mother survived decades longer than was expected and her mother before her. My mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer in the early 80's and decided that it wasn't her time. I hope that your next 30 years are as well spent as hers were.
     
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  22. German guy

    German guy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Kath, you are a tough girl! I have not doubt that you will come out on the other side even stronger! :)
     
  23. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Most chemotherapeutics work by inducing DNA damage. Most of your cells don't replicate, so it really doesn't matter to them. Cancer cells do replicate, the DNA damage induces DNA damage checkpoint proteins like p53, which destroy the cancer cells via apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

    The one rub is stem cells do divide in adult humans. Hair has stem cells and suffers badly. Gatrointestinal cells have them as well, as do other parts the body.
     
  24. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    Know that you are in a lot of folk's thoughts and prayers, Kath.
     
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  25. AdamZ

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    YO Kath! Sorry for your Dx but I recall you and Toby coming to the first flybq and what a great positive can do person you were. Harness that attitude, accept help from others, You don't have to do this alone and I have great hopes for a great result. I will take the fact that your mom beat it 45 years ago is a positive sign. FIGHT ON KATH!
     
  26. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    When my mom had chemo for breast cancer she only lost some hair on her head (thinned out but never went bald). But she lost her underarm and leg hair, which never grew back. The only person I know to have had positive side effects from chemotherapy.

    I’d also agree to not read the side effects and just get the list of things to expect from the doc. My mom went into her doctors office crying over all the “new life restrictions” and side effects listed in her cancer book. The doc tore the page out of the book and threw it in the trash, then said “Almost none of this applies to you, that’s for people with much more severe cases.”

    If you need hair, I’ve got some extra you can have. :)
     
  27. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I don't.:(
     
  28. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Offer not applicable to certified pre-bald men. Restrictions may apply. Not valid where prohibited by law. Your mileage may vary. Offer cannot be combined with any other offers.
     
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  29. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Reported for gender discrimination.

    Violates forum ROC regarding inclusion by unfairly excluding follically impaired males.
     
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  30. keen9

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    Per all the various -isms, there is no such thing as discrimination against the majority.
     
  31. Half Fast

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    I must have missed that part of the ROC.....
     
  32. jason

    jason Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Crap. So sorry to hear that, Kath. Fight hard and focus on balance in life. Find somebody that understands what you’re going through and lean on them. Get healthy...then worry about the rest.

    We’re here if you just need to unload.
     
  33. bbchien

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    Today the theme is Gratitude. Gratitude that clockwise is still clockwise, and that we are able to face whatever appears before us.....and that we have yet another chance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
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  34. MuseChaser

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    Wise words from a wise man. Thanks, Bruce. Regardless of life's challenges, and none of us really knows what struggles those around us face or what burdens they bear in secret, we all have much to be grateful for and should constantly strive to focus on those things.
     
  35. danhagan

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    Best paragraph I've read in a long time Jack. My SIL saw identical type child at MD Anderson while she was in an experimental trial for inflammatory breast cancer. She's doing great and is now 9 years post detection - her type is extremely aggressive and was listing a 3% survival rate at one year by previous 1980's literature as it isn't very common.
     
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  36. tmyers

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    Hey Kath,

    Hang tough, you can win this battle. You and your hubby will be in our thoughts and prayers. I remember when my wife had the scare, we were lucky and it turned out to be nothing, but I remember the feeling still.

    2020 has truely sucked hasn't it.

    Sent from my SM-N970U using Tapatalk
     
  37. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    Kath, I'm sending you energy. I know that sounds silly, but I truly believe we are able to direct power to others, in this case to help you heal. I will keep you in my thoughts, you're not alone.
     
  38. Sac Arrow

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    Bro do you even lift
    Oh wow, I just saw this now. I have a good friend of mine who was exactly in your situation roughly... fifteen years ago. It spread to the lymph nodes. Maybe. They were taken out as a precaution. She got through it and has been cancer free since. The stuff they have these days is really effective.
     
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  39. Rushie

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    So sorry about your diagnosis. I agree with you 100% about preferring to read it immediately. I would want to know ASAP not only because not knowing is worse (for me) but because I would rather know before talking to the doctor so I have a chance to first, absorb the shock (and not waste both our time with that part) and second, research and gather knowledge and compose my thoughts so I can have good questions when I finally talk to him.

    Good attitude about the hair. My daughter had chemo at 23 and lost her hair. It’s temporary. She’s got it all back now, long and beautiful.
     
  40. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    Except D. If you don’t spend time in the sun, take D3. Important for immune function and you are right, it seems they are finding that cancer is more about immune system failing to target abnormal cells than about all the various contributing causes of those cells going wild.

    Wow, so sorry, that must have been devastating.
     
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