I have been on tamoxifen for just over two years with minimal side effects thus far thankfully. I am always nervous about the potential for endometrial cancer. Yesterday my new doctor (I moved) told he he wants to put me on Femara. No discussion about other alternatives. I read up on other peoples experiences with this drug and think I'm better off on the Tamoxifen in terms of the side effects for better quality of life. Anyone been on both that can provide some insight on the SE's?
I am 11 out of 15 nodes positive stage IIIc, had chemo and radiation, and a bilateral mastectomyView Thread
In short, visit CANCER101.ORG which is a nonprofit organization which provides cancer patients with planners (for $10 to cover shipping) to help you keep organized during this whole ordeal. They also have a list of participating hospitals in different states which will actually provide these to you for free so may sure to check this first.
Now why I'm posting this.....
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer I spent the next two weeks going through what everyone else did - I cried, said "why me?", researched, sat around a lot with a blank look on my face wondering why I should bother doing anything....I needed to talk to just anyone that would have some kind of idea what I was going through and spoke to a Breast Cancer Advocate at the hospital for some guidance. She was heaven sent as she voiced a lot of what I was feeling without me even telling her.
What she also did was provide me with tools to keep myself organized and with some sense of control of what was happening. She gave me a new CANCER101.ORG planner and CANCER101.ORG file portfolio. The planner helps me keep track of doctors phone numbers, upcoming appointments, medical history, medical bills, questions to ask, notes at each appointment, etc., all in one place to take with me to all appointments. The portfolio provides me with a place to put doctor bills, insurance paperwork, test results, etc., to keep things organized and readily accessible when a new doctor wants copies of previous test results. Because I understand I'll have to follow up with doctors for the rest of my life concerning my breast cancer and I can't rely on my memory due to chemo fog, I diligently keep these updated.
This may or may not be something some of you may do. I just wanted to pass along something that has helped me immensely throughout this whole process.View Thread
How long did you have to wait from the time you had your tissue expanders inserted to the April 12th surgery? My final surgery won't take place until the end of this year which will be a year and 3 months from my original surgery.View Thread
Just getting back on board again after about a week. My radiation oncologist took my picture before starting. Every time I go I have to confirm my picture and my name on the computer screen and initial on a sheet they have. IView Thread
Being there for your mom, as Rachael said, will be so precious and important to her now. Also, as Rachael said, many continue to lead full lives despite a Stage IV diagnosis. Both of you will have good and bad days with how you're handling the diagnosis and treatments. But it's important that you don't allow yourselves to dwell on the negative stuff for too long in order to avoid falling into a depression. If you or your mom find yourselves thinking too much for too long, try to refocus your thoughts on something else like new house projects, go out to lunch, go for a scenic walk, or read a book. Anything to refocus the negative thinking onto something more positive. Staying positive is difficult for anyone dealing with 'the beast'. But its better to work towards being positive when it can have a much better impact on one's health.View Thread
I'm glad to hear you were able to come to a decision. I'm sorry you are having to deal with so much right now with your stepmom besides dealing with your own issues.
Having your sister with you to help after the surgery will be wonderful. One of my sisters gave me a "babywipe bath" while I was still in the hospital. Another sister brought me home from the hospital and kept a log for me of the times I took my pain meds and antibiotics so that I could refer to it to see when my next dose was due. Since I was foggy from the pain meds, this kept me from taking meds too soon or often.
I hope during your recovery you think of us while you use the tips mentioned by all the girls. We'll be thinking of you!View Thread
Thankfully I had the tatooing and form done already in a previous visit. I was nervous about the tattoing at first because I thought it would be very noticeable. Thankfully the dots are smaller than a mole making them barely noticeable. So tomorrow will be strictly the treatment I'm assuming. Good to hear I'll spend more time undressing than the treatment itself. I do have some soft bras I bought when I transitioned from the surgical bra to sports bras after my surgery. I'll have to test those out to see how they feel. With my tissue expanders, I may be able to go braless but prefer not to. I like some support even if they stay up on their own but gravity still must have some effect, no?
I'll write back as I go along to let everyone know how it's going.
I had the bilateral mastectomy and opted for reconstruction (with tissue expanders) at the same time of the mastectomy surgery. I do have to have another surgery only because tissue expanders were used. However, there are many methods of reconstruction on which your breast surgeon and plastic surgeon could elaborate where only one surgery will be needed.
If your fear is about undergoing a separate surgery for reconstruction, talk to your breast surgeon because depending upon the type of reconstruction, the mastectomy and reconstruction could be completed all in one surgery. My breast surgeon and plastic surgeon coordinated their parts during my mastectomy surgery. Your breast surgeon will most likely work with a plastic surgeon he or she could recommend you could speak with to get a better understanding of the process.
Regarding the scars, I have a scar on each breast which is no more than a line. As one of the girls here mentioned, you can see pictures online if you research "bilateral mastectomy" or other similar searches which lead you to plastic surgery involving breast enhancements or breast reconstruction.
Good luck with your decision! It's a scary and overwhelming process to have to make such complicated decisions so quickly when it seems you haven't even had the opportunity to absorb even the initial diagnosis. Just make sure whatever you choose works for you and how you will reflect on it in the future.View Thread
Good to hear everything is going well! Can you give me some tips about the radiation? I just got the call today that I start tomorrow morning. Are you using anything for the redness and itching? Are you able to use a regular bra? What does your doctor recommend for the shooting pains? At what time of day do you do your radiation treatments? How long are they?
Sorry about all the questions just nervous about tomorrow....lollolView Thread