9 years ago today, I had my WE op. 9 years! I can hardly believe it.
Still taking the Tamoxifen, until next year - unless by then they've decided to extend it again: I was initially only taking it for 5 years. On the advice of my oncologist, I take calcium and vitamin D tablets (cheap supermarket one a day type) because the combination of hormone treatments made my nails so fragile. They help a bit: I can tell the difference if I've not taken them for a few days. She also suggested tonic water to prevent cramps - another Tamoxifen side-effect. I drink a glassful once or twice a week and, again, it seems to help. Otherwise, I just try to eat a sensible, balanced diet.... and try to enjoy my food and not stress about it, as that does more harm than good.
I put a fitness app, on my phone, because the swimming pool is currently closed and I wanted to still get a reasonable amount of exercise. I've challenged myself to do 5000 steps a day. I find it motivates me to get off my a**e and move every so often, and I've achieved at least that many steps every day for over 100 days now. (And a daily average of at least that since installing the app last July) I've no idea whether it helps protect me against recurrence but it certainly benefits my mental health - especially during lockdown. Sometimes, especially when it's icy outside, the steps have been accumulated to dancing to music on the radio, in the kitchen, whilst preparing dinner; every little helps?! 😁
Spring is on its way. Here is a photo, taken in my garden, to cheer up anyone who needs it. 💐 My favourite shade of purple! 💜
Hi, I didn’t really change my lifestyle much at all. I took up yoga, but I remember when I asked the Oncologist, what I should do to improve my chances she told me to stay slim (as apparently we store some oestrogen in our fatty cells) don’t drink too much alcohol and take vitamin D. To help with joint aches & pains she suggested a once a day turmeric supplement & calcium & vitamin D. The only blip I have had was polyps in my womb as a side effect of Tamoxifen . Bleeding told me that something was wrong though and a small op removed them and I transferred to Letrozole. Moving on and wish everyone all the best in their recovery.
JCJ - That's a GREAT post from you, dating back to Nov 2020. Hope you are still keeping well. I'm so sorry about your husband having Parkinsons. It's a very little understood disease
I'm with you, on the fact that human's naturally have "canine" teeth - so are "meant" to have meat in their diet, as well as veges. Sadly though, meat is so "played around with" these days, with hormones/chemicals etc. even milk and water, it isn't surprising that more and more people are turning Veggie, is it !! I read an article, years ago, about a guy who worked on a chicken farm, and started developing "boobs"!!!
Lots of love to everyone, Delly xxXxx
Louise, 9 years, you are doing great. Really wonderful. Any tips with regards to your diet, supplements and life style changes?
I have just posted on a different post so similar subject but wanted to add on this one that 9 years down the road from diagnosis, I am (touch wood!) healthy and happy and have just stopped taking Letrozole this week ... I fell and broke my collarbone, so that may have swung it and I have to have another bone density scan but am pleased to be looking forward. The worry will still stay with me , however I’m determined to live a full and healthy life for as long as I can. Take care everyone.
Hi Dd61 - Are you asking ME those questions, or another on here?
My 1st was only 1cm, but Grade 3, invasive Lobular, Oestrogen +ve. All I remember about the 2nd, was it was totally different cancer cells, therefore a completely new Primary, and another Grade 3. Didn't take any notice of ANYthing else said, to be honest, just wanted "it" (the bleepin thing) removed!! ❤️ So both were fortunately caught VERY early. Had full ANC with both, as was standard practice then with masts, and NO, no node involvement, hence no Chemo. But . . . that doesn't mean it can't by-pass nodes and spread or metastasise, lodge itself elsewhere and lie dormant for years, does it? It's always a possibility. Another But . . . I'm not gonna live or spend my life worrying about it. My Mother's best friend took Tamoxifen for 5 yrs after her BC. After she'd finished, she was found to have developed secondary BC in her spine, long bones, liver and brain > > terminal. So it had kept her clear for 5 yrs??
Hope you're doing okay with it all, Dd61?
thanks for sharing your story. It’s really inspiring!!!
if you don’t mind me asking what kind of cancer was it, how big and was it in the nodes?
I'd always consciously eaten healthily (had studied nutrition), no processed, not a sweet tooth, moderated alcohol couple o' glasses a week. Swam 3 x a week, + walked most w'ends, i.e. serious rambling/fell walking. Very fit, healthy, slim.
None of above stopped a small BC tumour developing, and found 2006. Put it down to either a previous physical trauma/bash to boob, or stress from a series of major life changing circs, and death/grief from Dad's death. Stress can be a "silent" killer.
Chose a mast over lumpectomy and rads. Full Axillary Node clearance was "standard" with a mast in 2006/07. No chemo required, may have been different if had needed. Amazed everyone, even myself, how quickly I bounced back, both in healing and mentally wise. Had thoughts to have delayed recon, as was still single and conscious of body. But didn't even get chance to, as at time of my 1st years check up, now 2007, I'd found something else, the OTHER side, to need checking.
This was dismissed by ultrasound doctor as a "just a group of (harmless) cysts". Consultants conscientiousness however, proved differently. Found another tumour under this group of "harmless" cysts. Another PRIMARY! Different type of cancer cells to the first! What are the chances of that??! So again, I opted for a mast, over lumpectomy and rads, plus full ANC. Again, caught VERY early, and no chemo required, so was very lucky in that respect, compared to many others.
It makes a huge difference when you still have one left, Have read and heard others say the same. When just picking myself up from 1st - blam, a second one, not even a year later?? Really smashed me up that second time though. Think it a main factor in me developing Bipolar, at the time undiagnosed.
I certainly don't dwell on BC. But throughout all these years, if I just get ANYthing weird, body or illness wise, I get it checked out immediately, rather than "worry". Have a brill GP who's also BC conscious for me, so reacts quickly if he's too a bit dubious as to what something may be.
I've often spouted this before:- Always be sensibly "vigilant", but NOT "paranoid".
As from the beginning of my post? - It would seem however healthy your diet, how much you exercise and keep yourself fit, it ain't necessarily going to stop this bleepin disease!!! I'm still here 14 and 13 years later, so BC can go bogoff. But . . . I currently have a more life threatening disorder than BC ever has been to me. That of Bipolar. Which makes me rather blasee about BC and myself. I stress, that's with ME personally, not towards anyone else diagnosed with BC. I have the utmost empathy towards and with anyone else diagnosed and coping with the vagaries of it.
Lotsa love to everyone, DellybogoffBC xxxxxxxxx
I don't quite qualify for 10 years+ as it will be 9 years, in February, since my dx in 2012. However, as I was one of the unlucky people who was borderline for chemo and therefore had to make the decision myself whether or not to have it (I don't recommend living with THAT dilemma!). I thought my story might be helpful.
I declined chemo, for many reasons but mainly because I feel strongly about quality of life rather than quantity. Don't get me wrong; if the 'team' had said I'd definitely benefit from chemo, I would have had it, but the fact they were undecided whether the benefits would outweigh the risks made it easier to say "No thank you" and move on to RT and the rest of my life.
Obviously, I've had moments when I wondered if that was the right decision, (especially when I had a gallstone in 2015 and the symptoms were similar to those of someone with secondary liver cancer and I had to have a series of scans! Scary times, but a simple op. sorted it!) but the more time passes, the more I'm convinced it was the right decision.
How have I moved on? I try to take time to appreciate little things more now: the birds - in my garden, or singing in the hedgerows, trees, flowers, a sunny day - or even a spectacularly cloudy one! I make birthday and Christmas cards, knit items to sell for charity and do cross stitch and embroidery, to be creative as that definitely helps my mental health. I try to exercise regularly, but not excessively, by swimming (when the pool isn't closed due to Covid-19!) once ot twice a week and walking instead of driving whenever practical (not always possible as OH is not very mobile!). A walk in the fresh air almost always makes me feel better.
As to food, I've always tried to have a sensible, balanced diet including the recommended 5 portions of fruit and vegetables but also including some meat, fish and dairy (we have evolved to be omnivores after all, as our teeth prove!) The gallstone forced me to drastically reduce my fat intake and, even though it has been removed - along with my gallbladder - I still have to be careful not to eat too much fat. Recent environmental concerns have meant that I try to buy less meat and to chose that which is sustainably sourced, and I've never eaten very much processed food anyway.
I'm now retired - since July (mainly due to OH being already retired for 15 years and having Parkinson's) - but in the last few years at work I took on a less stressful role, with less pay, because I wanted to ensure a better quality of life.
I still, occasionally, get anxious that the cancer will/has return(ed), especially as the lumpy bumpy scar tissue from my op and RT make it hard to know if there's a new lump and I still get odd pains in that breast, from time to time, caused by nerve damage, apparently, (even the specialists don't know why that comes and goes, but it's a common phenomenon!) My dx was after a routine mammo, so I make sure I keep my appointments for those... and get nervous for the results!... I'm hoping the one I was due for in October won't be Covid-19-delayed too much longer!
I've rambled on for far too long, but I hope some of the above helps someone!
Be kind to yourselves and do what's right for you. Don't 'Google' too much: there's a lot of misinformation out there!!
You are so inspiring! 30 years It is great that you commented, because it gives hope to many of us. Wonderful to know that you are doing very well.
Like you, I could not come to terms with it after the diagnose. I could not plan and see anything long term beyond a year. Everything is short term as I am not sure if I would be around that long. But believe me, you will get stronger emotionally as time goes by. Now I am perfectly fine to talk about it and you need to be good to yourself, look after your current health, eat & live healthily, exercises, read many updates on foods and supplements that control the cancer.
I've held back commenting, because it feels weird to call myself a long-term survivor while I'm facing a new, recent diagnosis! But yes, I suppose I am. I was first treated for cancer 30 years ago, 20 years ago for the first breast cancer. So it is survivable!
Not sure I did anything special. Mainly, just tried to live my life as normally and as well as I could. That said, another (new) diagnosis did shake me and make me wonder if I should have tried harder with exercise and healthy eating. I think balance is key, though - no point in making yourself miserable.
Would love to see more responses here as I for one haven’t been able to come to terms ( physically & mentally ) about my breast cancer.
It’s 2yrs since I was diagnosed & still feel not much further on in any way.
Thank you for your post and starting a new thread.
I am hoping my response will help our members to see your post and share their experience and tips.
Sending you our best wishes,
Calling fellow survivors, anyone there doing well after 10 years of more? Come and share your stories. Give us your tips and advice what works for you. Did you change your diet, what supplements do you take now, are you more spiritual or anything else. We want some encouragements and shares tips with those who are newly affected.
As we all know being diagnosed with the cancer certainly impacted upon our mental and physical well being, the trauma & the stress. Most of us soldiered on with the treatments and the harsh side effects and hoped for the best. Time went on, tears dried and wound healed. Many of us are still here today.
My cancer was first diagnosed in July 2008, 12 years ago. I remember the shock and the tears, not knowing what would happen to me as I lost some friends to similar thing. The waiting time for the biopsy result and the delayed operation is tormenting.
Life moved on after the surgery, full of positivity until 2014, 6 years ago when I had the recurrence. The shock and the trauma on this second episode is more frightening, I did not know how long I would have left. It was stage 3. More surgery and harsh chemotherapy regime that punished my body to an unbelievable level, I thought that I wouldn't survive it. Time moved on again, tears dried, my body healed, I saw my daughter got married and a lovely grandson was born. I am so grateful each day.
I would like to share what I am doing. Everyone is different, I read a lot of interesting scientific health issues now from reliable websites like PubMed, Medscape, etc. What have changed? My diet, now mostly vegan, wholesome, but still eat occasional organic eggs and wild caught fish, lots of fresh and organic vegetables, pulses whole grains and a many cups of teapigs green tea every day. Items that I delete from my diet: meat, dairy, sugar, processed food, preservatives, chemicals. I like green or carrot juices. Supplements that help me: Vit D3, sublingual Vit B12, liposomal Vit C, Omega3, Magnesium, Vit K2, CoQ10, probiotics, minerals without iron. Herbs? Trans resveratrol, high bioavailability curcumin, sulforaphane. I am grateful everyday single day and I am forgiving. Life is precious.
What are your tips?