Hello ladies, thanks so much for your comments....it's all very much appreciated...
Em, SO sorry you lost a friend to this horrible disease, some women are unfortunate but thanks to research in to bc, women are living a lot longer now.
Mary grace, you are right, none of us will ever get the all clear but with all the treatments we have , we have a very good chance of beating the b?????d...
Samlee, i don't think that the scans can pick up microscopic cancer cells. I don't think there is anything that can pick them up until they have grown..if that makes any sense.
KB, First of all it is excellent news that your CT scans are clear. CT and MRI are the best scans and show up absolutely everything, even microscopic bits and pieces so the fact that yours are clear mean that at the time you have no cancer cells.
Radiotherapy is generally just to zap the whole side where the cancer was and then the last few sessions are booster sessions which zap where the surgery takes place just to double zap any cells which may have been left behind, but again if you path report and surgeon tell you that they got clear margins, again that means nothing left.
My onc also used the phrase belt and braces which just means that they are giving you the whole range of treatment available (chemo to treat your whole body, surgery for the actual lump, radio for the surgey site and in your case (and mine) Herceptin because of the HER2+).
I know its easy to say but you have every cause to relax a bit now and not over-think things too much.
I have just passed my 2 year anniversary of being diagnosed and have just been signed off for another year following my annual memmo, ultrasound and mri. It does get easier.
Hi Karen, Glad to hear that chemo wasn't as bad as it might have been. I am no expert but my understanding is that some treatments are to treat all of you (like chemo might mop up any stray cells), rads is localised zapping in the area of the original bc or affected nodes, treatments such as herceptiin for her+ or tamoxifen etc for hormone + also work for the whole body and are designed as prevention to reduce the chances of anything coming back or of another primary. So I guess that having surgery to get rid of anything affected, plus chemo to mop up anything stray, plus rads to extra zap the area where the bc was, plus some kind of systemic prevention like herceptin is about as "belt and braces" ie: giving you the best chance of staying clear of bc in the future as you can get.
Being NED know is great, I guess none of us can say for sure that we won't get a recurrence but the combination of treatments is to give you the best chance that that will be the case.
Karen, no I was diagnosed in April but didn't have any scans then, just ultrasound and mammo. I had chemo first (May-Aug) to shrink my tumour which was largish one, then i had mx and nodes removed in Sept (6 out of 17 affected) and will be having 15x rads later this month. I think it was my node involvement which prompted my surgeon to request the scans (which made me feel totally paranoid that there was something awful in my pathology results that they weren't telling me!!!). my BCN was fantastic as reassuring me that the scans were 'routine' but it didn't feel routine to me. I lost a friend to BC this week so have been feeling very down and anxious so she very kindly rang the results through today even though she wasn't meant to tell me over the phone! It's all such a roller coaster of emotions, isnt it and I thinks we all 'over think' everything at times so you are not alone!! Xx
Hi Karen, the scan being clear is VERY good news as it means there is/was no evidence of any secondary cancer at the time the scan took place. Radiotherepy as I understand it is to zap the area where the original tumour was (usually breast and lymph nodes) to ensure that any remaining cancer cells are destroyed in that area only. There are no guarantees of course with this crappy disease and we just have to hope that all the treatment, chemo, rads, herceptin, tamoxifen etc. has killed off those little blighters or will at least keep them at bay for as long as possible. I have just heard that my bone and CT sclear were clear which has been a HUGE relief!! I know things can change but for now it's the best news I could have had. Take care hun, Em X
just a concern..i have just been sat here thinking about this..however..although some of us have had clear CT scans is that actually good news? i am wondering what the point is in having a scan if it can't detect the microscopic cancer cells.If the cancer has spread then the treatment plan is no different than what it would be is it hadn't.
Also when we have radiotherapy how do they know what they are zapping since as far as they are concerned there is NED because CT scan was clear.I am totally lost with all this cancer stuff. One minute i feel happy that i have sailed through chemo etc and that everything is going according to plan and that they are pleased with my progress. ive been examined and no recurrence as yet, but then another minute i start thinking stupid things like the above..ermmm.. am i over thinking too much?..
PS.. i wanted to start a fresh title but it's not letting me...SO annoying..lol..
Hiya Smudge, Well tbh i could have found out weeks ago but i didnt want to know the results as i was scared it would be bad news but my new oncologist decided she was going to tell me regardless...I do hope your results are clear too and remember i had all those nodes involved so if mine is clear, im sure yours will be.. i know its blooming awful waiting for results..itsa horrible feeling...good luck with your results xx
So pleased for you :))))))))))) xx the waiting is horrid, hope my results are as good as yours, been two weeks since scan guess you know how it is, need to know v don't want to know. much love and good news is always lovely to hear xx
I have to be at the unit for 9.30andbe tHere till late afternoon as they have to do a loading dose of the herceptin to monitor the heart and then as an added treat later the tax andcheck no allergic reactions, but hopefully the steroids will stop that as well as me sleeping llol.... Good luck with your second and I'll try and post tomorrow night xxxx
Thanks ladies and thanks Lulu....i know im not out of the woods yet but its still set my mind at rest.i had a new oncollgist today and she had every intention of telling the results even though i didnt want to know them..thank goodness it was clear..
Thank you so, so, so very much ladies. its bad enough discovering you have cancer and everything we have to go through. it is really horrible, its like one hurdle after another. Us ladies are very strong and yes we will beat this nasty disease.
Kittyqueen, good luck with the Tax and the herceptin, please let me know how you get on. I have my second fec tomorrow,at 11.30..well thats assuming my bloods are ok. i havent heard anything so hopefully i will be having my cocktail lol.. what time you having yours?
Am over the moon for you, what brilliant news xxxxxxxx
I am pretty much same as you HER2+ 4 x EC and 4 x Tax plus Herceptin er pretty much minus. I've had the first 4 EC and am starting Tax plus Herceptin tomorrow, so we'll both be having treats the same day.
All the best to you hun, we will win this fight xxx
Thanks so much guys ,although i dont see myself out of the woods yet and ive still got a long way to go and we all know how sneaky cancer can be, but it sure is nice to know that it hasnt spread...it's just a weight off my mind now. I just want to put across to anyone with heavy lympth nodes involvement does not mean its spread..omg im obsessing about blooming lympth nodes...they are taking over my life lol...
i would just like to share this news with you all, after been told that ALL 25 nodes were involved( as you all know made me freak out) so today when i went to see a new Onc for my reveiw,she told me that my CT scan was clear....OMG i could have kissed her. I am so pleased..all i can say is that my nodes did a blooming good job....so the aggressive chemo and radiotherpay plus the wonderful drug Herceptin will hopefully mop up any little demons that might be lurking about..H0wever i am not going to get too complacent about this as i know there are chances of recurrance etc, etc specially the fact i am er negative...
I will sleep better at night now....