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Fmssam View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun 25 2012 at 2:23am
Hello all! 

I am new to this forum...or any forum for that matter Smile

I am a 34 y/o mother of 3. Divorced in 2011 now engaged. I was engaged 5 days before my dxn on May 9th. I have stage IIb idc tn of course. I had a BMX on June 6. They only did the sentinel node and it was positive for micro mets. I  will be starting dd A/C for 8 weeks then weekly Taxol. 

I found my lump myself. I start chemo tomorrow and to be honest  I am scared to death. First of all I have HORRIBLE veins and my port won't be put in until July 5th. Also, my mother and I cared for my father in my home until he died this past September from Melanoma. I saw the effects it had on him and his was not nearly as strong as what I understand that all of ours is. I am afraid that I won't be much of a mother for the next few months and after what my kids just went through watching my Dad die I am so sad for them. 

Sorry for the ramble. I am really excited that I found this site where everyone is just like me and I don't have to explain the difference of being TN. 

Love and hugs 
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123Donna View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2012 at 8:09am
Welcome Fmssam,

I had typed this long post and lost it.  I hate when that happens.  Good luck with chemo today.  Make sure you drink lots of water.  Staying hydrated is very important.  There is a link to some chemo tips.


Let your friends and family know what they can do to help you.  There will be some days where you'll need some extra help with childcare, cooking (bringing your family a meal), running errands etc.  Sometimes people don't know what to do and may seem distant.  Letting them know what you need, will help you and them.

There is a resource that will help clean your house while going through treatment.


Have you had your Vitamin D level checked?  Most of us with TNBC have extremely low levels of Vitamin D.



Also, there is a great program by the ACS called Look Good Feel Better:


Please stay in touch and let us know how your first treatment goes.

Donna
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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kirby View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kirby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2012 at 10:23am
welcome Fss,
 
I hope chemo goes well for you today. I was in similar shoes when I was dx, although that was almost 12 years ago now. I was a single parent of 2 daughters. They were aged 9 & 13. I was dx 2 weeks after my mother passed from ovarian cancer. We had watched her battle it for 3 1/2 years. I wasn't sure how my daughters would take the news. My oldest had already did a report for school on ovarian cancer so to my surprise she was somewhat familiar with statistics. Her response was " if you've got cancer, at least this one is better to have." I kept things as normal as possible while undergoing tx. I was able to remain working as well. I don't feel my kids were that affected ! LOL. Sometimes I've almost felt sorry for myself that they've seemed that unaffected ! At times, now if I have a dr. appt. they will ask, with a little hesitation what it is for. Good luck with today's tx. I hope all goes well. Keep us informed. This site is good for venting and knowing you are not alone.
kirby

dx Feb. 2001. Age 44
Lumpectomy

2cm. no nodes stage 1 grade 3

4 rnds AC, 35 rads
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Kathy G View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kathy G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 25 2012 at 5:37pm
I can relate to your fears.  I was diagnosed in January after a routine mamagram w/ TN invasive lobular carcinoma.  Scary words to hear.  Something I never expected to deal w/ since we have no history of BC in the family.  I had a lumpectomy in February. I also had  micro mets in one sentinel node. I started chemo in March.  It sounds like the same regimen you will be on. 
I was so scared before starting chemo! I thought I'd never feel well again- at least not until it was over.  I'm single & didn't know how I was going to do this on my own- even though my sis is nearby, it's not the same as having someone with you all the time.  I envisioned being sick & nausated all the time.  You also have a picture in your head of what "cancer pateint" looks like & all I thought was I don't want to be that person.  They tell you all the bad side effects you might experience & its just scary.  However, my doctor was very clear that I shouldn't have nausea or pain- they have meds to combat that.  I'm being treated @ Seattle Cancer Care Alliance & can't say enough good about the Drs. & nurses there!!  I haven't had one bit of nausea- even though they sent me home w/ 3 different meds to take in case I got any- I haven't had to take any!!  I kept working, although I have taken the 2nd day off after chemo to rest ( I was fortunate to have plenty of sick leave). 
The A/C was harsher & knocked me down for about 2 days.   I had a loss of appetite at first, some intestinal distress, headache, & lots of dryness in the skin, eyes, nose etc.  Fatigue is the main side effect.  Taxol has been easier.  Fatigue is less, & the tummy has settled down.  Every once in a while I get a bit of tingling in my fingers or toes but it doesn't last.  I'm taking glutamine & Vit B6 & 12 to help w/ that.
As weird as it is you will get into a routine w/ your chemo.  I try to stay very forward thinking & celebrate each little milestone- end of the A/C, halfway through Taxol, knocking each one down one by one!! I only have 6 more left!  Of course there is radiation afterwards but I'll deal w/ that when it comes.  I rely on my faith & surround myself w/ positive msgs.  Family & friends have been great stepping up to help.  I probably don't ask enough for specific things- its kind of hard for me to do that.  But I have been very touched but all the help & support I've received.  It would be nice for people to make some meals for your family (even being single, meals were nice because you often don't feel like cooking) & to help out w/ childcare, so I hope you are able to have a support system around you. Your hospital/treatment center likely has a resource center too, where you might get some brochures about helping kids cope when someone they love has cancer etc.   Or check out the Am. Cancer Society website.
One other thing I did which has been helpful is that I had a wig made out of my own hair.  I was lucky to find Anton's Hair in Bellevue, WA.  They make the wig in one day!  Yes it was expensive, but I found I was able to include it in medical deductions on my taxes.  Plus when you figure in the savings you get from not going to the salon for a year, it becomes more reasonable.  I work in an elementary school & the cool thing is kids (& most adults) didn't have a clue about my hair!  All the kids know was I was out for awhile due to some surgery. When I put my hair on- I still feel like me. :)  Even if you can't use your own hair, there are lots of cute wigs out there.  Maybe I've done a good job of covering up but people have consistantly told me that I look great & my energy seems good - nice words to hear!  I did go to one of the Look Good, Feel Better classes- you do get a nice goodie bag full of useful cosmetics!   I also went on a little getaway a few wknds ago & did a zipline tour!  Tons of fun!! :)
So stay strong!  Although everyone is different in how they react to chemo, you will be surprised what you can do!  Keep a good attitude & surround yourself only w/ positive people & msgs.  Be sure to communicate any problems to your dr.
Kathy G
 
 
 
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BethP View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BethP Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 29 2012 at 3:04pm
Fmssam,

I had TAC every three weeks, and as Kathy G said, I did get into a routine with it. The first week after was difficult, and sometimes I would get angry (from the steroids: "roid rage"), but the next two weeks were better and I would be able to do most of my normal routine. 

I'm so sorry about your father. You've had a difficult year. I hope chemo goes well. 

One thing my husband and I did that was helpful was to sign up for My Lifeline. Among other things, you can post events on a calendar (such as your chemo treatments) and people can come to see you or bring food. Though you may find that it's easier not to have to chat with people during chemo. Sometimes it was nice to have company and sometimes it wasn't. j

Beth
Dx November 21, 2011: IDC, not staged; Gr. 2 nodes, largest 2.6 cm; Gr. 3 breast 1.2 cm; neo-adjuvant TAC; lump. + 16 nodes PCR
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Grateful for today View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Grateful for today Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 09 2012 at 1:24am
Hi Fmssam,

Just sending some "Thinking of you thoughts" after your 1st chemo.   
Everyone is different on how their body reacts to chemo.
So, after the 1st chemo, be sure to let your providers know know how it went when you got home.
If needed, there's many ways the post chemo meds can be adjusted and tweaked.
Think you were to have a port placed July 5th......hope that went OK.

With caring and positive thoughts,
Grateful for today..............Judy

========================================================

Kathy G,

What a great and informative post you wrote for Fmssam.
Wishing you well on your taxol part of your chemo plan.

With caring and positive thoughts,
Grateful for today.

=================================================

Fmssam and Kathy G,

I finished my treatment plan about 21 months ago........Yes, one does finally finish the
treatment plan.

You will see on the forums that VIt D and BRCA testing is frequently mentioned.
Donna already posted some Vit D links above.....will repeat.....
      http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/cancer/
      http://forum.tnbcfoundation.org/vitamin-d3_topic5338_page30.html
              (see especially page 26)
   If you already know your Vitamin D level, great.
   If not, have your physician check your Vit D3 level.   If it should be low, you and your
      physician can make a plan for supplementation ( with Vit D3 ) to raise it.
Link for the BRCA testing:
       http://forum.tnbcfoundation.org/very-important-news-re-tnbc-brca-testing_topic8458.html?KW=BRCA
There is also a thread on a gene study:
           http://forum.tnbcfoundation.org/important-tnbc-studyking-lab_topic9642.html
              
Grateful for today.................Judy

=============================

Beth P,

Think you posted on another thread that you start radiation this coming week.
Good wishes for your last part of the treatment plan.

With caring and positive thoughts,
Grateful for today..............Judy


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