Yes I agree about this thread its useful to get views from others of a similiar age.
I had my Mx in March this year and now finished all my active treatment. I haven't been referred to a Plastic Surgeon yet and I will push for this now I am feeling so much better.
I am two minds regarding re construction - do I or don't I? Part of me thinks don't bother - luckily I have a wonderful supportive husband who is not bothered at all about my 'one breast' and to be honest its not bothering me that much - i seem to get along with my prothesis and manage ok. I don't really want more surgery and I believe that reconstuction is quite intrusive and i will be off work for a while recovering. Also the fact it 'might come back' and then I have spent some of my 'good' time being in hospital and going through nasty treatment etc etc.
The other part of me, feels I would love not to have to think prothesis again, be able to wear normal bra's and tops and generally not feel self conscious when going to Gym or swimming or on holiday. I also feel it would almost 'draw a line' under my BC, whilst I will never ever forgot what I have gone through I think it will help me move on.
For younger women its probably a no brainer in that they want reconstruction asap - but at my age is it a good idea. I would welcome the views of more mature ladies on this, especially those who have made the decision already.
I am so pleased you have started this thread Janet- I had thought of doing something similar myself but had decided that there just weren't many of we oldies out there on the forums. I think the responses so far have shown that there are a number of us who are computer literate even though we are sooooooo......old!
One of the things that has emerged is that quite a few people are on their own; although it is infinitely worse for young women, with or without children, to be diagnosed with BC , there are other issues that we older women have to face - and hopefully we can offer support to one another here.
I do belong to a local BC support group and enjoy the meetings - but mostly they are about probs after mx (bra & prosthesis fittings) or they are on topics such as make-up, hairdoos etc and just generally 'social'. I rather enjoy some of the more in-depth issues that are sometimes covered on the forums - eg that we don't all go for the 'Pink' campaigns or we don't all have the same views re routine screening- or the research issues - or how we are treated by the medical profession- to name but a few!
I saw the title and knew I would belong. I am 63 with a son and a daughter in their 30s, divorced and live alone but have a supportive friend/partner. I was diagnosed in Mar 09 with IDC 6cm,grade 3, triple negative, no nodes. Had mx as day surgery (my daughter took annual leave to come and stay for a week), chemo and rads.
I finished treatment exactly a year ago (being TN there's nothing else available) and decided to retire. My focus now is to stay as fit and active as I can and make the most of feeling well.
Best wishes to all
My darling daughter (aged 44) gave me a shopping bag with the slogan 'I AM NOT AN OLD BAG'. Having given birth to her at age 17 I am quite happy to have the p**s taken out of me and use my bag with great amusement to everyone I meet.
I was 59 when I was diagnosed; I had gratefully used hormone replacement therapy; smoked until the age of fifty and am over-fond of a 'tipple' or two... and I also had a much-loved sister who was diagnosed with BC at 42years old and died at age 52. So... I was a prime candidate for BC... probably all my own fault.
I had a WLE and full axillary clearance, followed by revisionary surgery to clear margins. I then had 25 sessions of radiotherapy and have five years of Tamox. I am now aged 62.
I have two daughters - the one who bought me the 'OLD BAG' bag and another aged 40.
I had genetic counselling because of my sister but the conclusion was that the disease was NOT genetic. So again... probably MY FAULT!
But... here we are...
Welecome to the new thread. Hope that you had a good holiday and are now ready for action!My results will have been just under 3 weeks. That is if I get them on Wednesday - the BCN is phoning me up on Tuesday afternoon to tell me if I have to go in on Wednesday - no sleep on Tuesday night then! I go from wanting to know what is in store to absolute terror but I expect this is quite normal.It is difficult to discuss my feelings with the family as they all say to wait for the results and then deal with it - probably a defence mechanism on their part. Oh well the waiting will soon be over
Best wishes to everyone
Public transport is always possible in most urban areas but some women live in more rural situations.... and don't drive.
Also, I was very glad of the company when I was crying after results, treatments etc.
Sobbing on public transport is not ok!
Taxis were the only option! (expensive!)
Coping with any condition on your own without friends or family is horrid. It adds another complete layer of worry.
One situation I would never like to repeat.
BC was a shock but with expert care women can feel so supported at hospital etc but at home alone, whether that be physical isolation or emotional, recuperation is lonely....
That's why I applauded this particular initiative where women could request assisted travel.
Obviously having your nearest and dearest with you will always be the optimum choice.
That's why this forum and help line is so wonderfully supportive.
I only found this site six months after dx.
I am so grateful I did. The generosity and kindness of the support found here has saved me so many times.
Thank you to all those wonderful women.
Hello again Janet-
I seem to be following you on several different threads. What a good idea of yours to create this one too.
I am 62 diagnosed end of September and will be going to the Marsden for WLE and Axillary clearance on Dec 3rd. Delay because of long planned (and paid for) holiday of two weeks in November. I live alone but have a daughter and her family 30 minutes away. My son lives in Australia which is where I was living until Feb this year. To say the least this has been a "Life changing" year- the move- new grandmother - and now BC. I have been following people through the forum and have found it invaluable and very supportive. I have been started on Tamoxifen, not Letrazole, because I have Osteopaenia in my lower back. I take calcium and Vit D supplements and have had a bone density scan. I am "looking forward" to getting started. Dec can't come soon enough.
Janet-How long does it take before you will get your results - all the best for it
Welsh girl- coping on your own -do you really need to be driven to and from appointments? Is it do-able on public transport- haven't developed a big friend base here yet.
All the best to all - Diana
I think this thread is a good idea.I was diagnosed at the age of 58 two years ago, invasive lobular & triple neg. 11/11 lymph nodes affected plus lymph node by collar bone. Had chemo, mx, & 6 wks rads.
I am married with 3 children and 2 grandchildren.
I was diagnosed at the age of 55, in April 2007. It was found at my 2nd routine mammogram and was too deep to be palpable. Grade 3, 1.2 cm, ER/PR/HER2 positive, no nodes. I had a WLE, chemo, rads and Herceptin. Had about 2 years on Arimidex which caused awful joint pain then changed to Aromasin and have been much better with that.
I am married with 2 adult daughters. My husband and daughters were wonderful throughout the treatment. I also discovered that I had fantastic neighbours in my village as they organised a rota to take me to daily rads for 6 weeks. It must be very difficult for those of you living alone.
I returned to work after finishing rads but couldn't ever get back to working (very) full time in a very stressful job, so reduced my hours to 3 days per week and then took early retirement in May this year. This has made such a difference as I spend 2 hours a day at the gym and have lost 3 and half stones! I feel very well, much fitter than ever before, probably.
My mother had breast cancer too, diagnosed at age 57 and sadly died 5 years later, over 20 years ago now. But they say that I can't be tested for hereditary cancer as there are only the two of us in the family - although I have few female relatives anyway.
I also saw the One Show and did feel sorry for the man's wife.
All the best
Thank you for the replies.I am sure that we will have a lot to talk about in the coming weeks or months. Everyone has their own problems but you seem to be coping very well. I am still in the waiting time - I think that I will get my results and treatment plan next week and although I am dreading it I think it will be better to know what is ahead of me
I didn't see the piece on the One Show but rather feel for the wife if she isn't too happy with the idea!
I am on my own too and it may be difficult but it is doable if you drive or have excellent transport links or suitably located friends. The evening before my surgery I drove over to a friend. She then took me to the hospital the next day and came back for me just over 24hrs later. I had to take quite a bit of stuff with me because I didn't know if I'd be staying 1 night or 3 and wouldn't be getting any visitors to bring me extra things. I then stayed with my friend for a week and a bit until I was ready to drive myself home. I could have done it on train and bus but it was much nicer staying with a friend and fortunately she was about the same distance from the hospital as I am but in the other direction.
For rads I was offered hospital transport because of not having someone to drive me (and because you can't get to that hospital from here by public transport) but using that would have meant I couldn't get to work. So I opted to have late afternoon appointments so I could go to work, then on to rads. Most evenings I then had my evening meal in the hospital canteen and then drove home and fell into bed.
I was dx at 57 and have had wle with snb followed by mx, chemo,rads and now arimidex this year. I took early retirement at Easter. I am divorced with three grown up children who have flown the nest and one grandchild. I hadn't gone through the menopause because I was on HRT following a hysterectomy in my early forties.
I saw the item on the one show. What a fantastic idea but I did feel sorry for the wife as she clearly did not want to sell up and live in a two bed apartment! Getting to and fro from surgery, chemo and rads was a real issue for me. Employers are not keen to give time off work for employees to look after children let alone their mother! Rads and chemo were not too bad to organise because at least I had dates (but really agree with what Welsh girl says about the list) but coming home from surgery was much more difficult as it depended on what was said at the ward round that morning. Luckily it was a weekend and my son could do the 140 mile trip.
Have a good weekend everyone.
I must watch this on i-player as I did have to go through the whole process on my own!
Having to arrange escorts for every single appointment was a real burden on top of the reality that each visit might bring bad news!
Having to negotiate with friends first felt so degrading!
You just had to have a list of drivers and proceed down it when your best choice couldn't accompany you.
This sort of service 'could' be a wonderful aid to people on their own for whatever reason...
Hello I'm grateful for this thread too - am 62, diagnosed Jan this year , 2010, just about to start rads after WLE, SNB, chemo and now rads. oh and also had Femara for several months to start with, and restart that next week for 5 years.
Feel "lucky" to have a good prognosis and try not think that someone, that could be me, has to be in the minority of my sub group that get it again. but its always there, that thought, lurking to catch you out in low times.
No kids and therefore no grandchildren who must be a wonderful distraction from health concerns. Have great hubby close friends who have been superb support. Feel this health problem is something of a wake up call for me - to make the most of each day and get on with things we want to do.
I also think how I would have managed - or not - without my OH, doesnt bear thinking about , but there must be lots of ladies out there, single or widowed. Just hope they get lots of support.
Did anyone see The One Show ? very rich guy is selling his massive home to start a charity to provide a service for ladies with BC, to provide transport from their home to chemo or rads, AND STAY WITH THEM during treatment, take them home, then stay with them making them cup a tea . For ladies on their own that would be brilliant - but will take much organising , safety issues etc. No wonder he is spending millions on it. I reckon the health outcome for those ladies could well be better given that sort of support - without it much stress. Maybe he could build in a Study to prove it ?
AND ELTON JOHN was also on the show and talking about his support for people with BC too - I didnt know that - seems he knows a few people who are BC survivors. Always did like him !
I was 51 at dx, which was 2 years ago next week, and just post menopausal. Picked up on my first routine mammogram, which was a bit of a shock. Had WLE & SNB, rads and then tamoxifen, switched to exemestane about 2 weeks ago. I have also been through genetic testing due to family history but no BRCA 1 or 2 mutation was found and I had my last appointment with the genetic counsellor this afternoon. No children but I do have niece and nephews.
Lovely idea, Janet, thanks. You are so right; we have different issues to those of the younger women.
Think we are about the same age topsymo I am 67 diagnosed in July invasive lobular and LCIS grade 2 no nodes involved had mx 18th August start rads next Tuesday Arimadex for 5 years, I am married, 1 Son 1 Daughter and 3 Grandaughters, thanks for starting this thread Janet a good idea,
Looks like I'm the oldest here so far! I think this thread for oldies is a great idea.
I was diagnosed 30 months ago when I was 65 . Picked up on routine mammo with no palpable lump but found to be Grade 3, Stage 3 with one node involved. Had WLE, axillary clearance , chemo, rads and now on Arimidex for nearly 2 years.
I have a strong, supportive husband and 4 adult children 39, 40, 43 & 44. Two are married with 2 children each.
In 2002 our younger daughter was diagnosed with BC at the age of 32 (and again in her other breast when she was 36) Up until then we had been a strictly non-cancer family with 'long livers' on both sides.
Our children had all done well, my husband had just retired from a very good job and I was about to retire from social-work. Life was good and I guess we were even a bit smug- but the day our daughter was diagnosed our lives and our 'certainties' changed for ever.. Our daughter is doing well and I am OK as far as I know - but each day is now something to be valued as one more day of good health and one more day that my small grandchildren have a healthy mother.
I was 56 at dx with a grade 3, 3 cm tumour and 3 out of 24 nodes involved. WLE, chemo (Tact 2 trial), rads and femara followed. After taking early retirement last year I'm finally enjoying life, although BC rears its head now and again.
I have 3 children, 4 step-children plus 17 grandchildren. Xmas is mad at our house!!
Good luck to all of us.
Hello Everyone, I am 60, married, 2 daughters, no grandchildren. I was 39 when first diagnosed, had chemo, mastectomy with LD Flap. Was ok for 10 years, then aged 49 I found out that the cancer had spread to my bones. I take lots of medication, and have had 2 separate courses of chemo. I gave up work when I got bone mets. I feel pretty well at the moment and am just back from a wee break in France. Life is good again, but there have been some difficult times too. I think it is a great idea to have a thread for us older ladies and I think there is a need for such a thread. Thank you Janet for suggesting it. Val
I am 63 and just recovering from my 3rd recurrence. I was only 38 back in 1986 when I had my first bc diagnoses, my children were young and it was much harder than now. I went for 20 years without any problems and never thought it would come back but it did in 2005 when I had mastectomy with LD reconstruction, further recurrence last year and again now. I have been lucky in as much as it has been caught before affecting other parts of my body, which now by the way looks like a patchwork quilt.
I was diagnosed with invasive lobular cancer in Feb 2008 when I was 58 and had a mastectomy of my left breast plus full clearance of the axillar as some of my lymph nodes had cancerous cells.
Endured 6 TAC chemo sessions and radiotherapy finishing treatment in Nov 08. Am now taking Arimidex.
I had a reconstruction in March this year. Had LD flap recon with expander implant plus an implant to my right breast.
I was a 36a before and am now a very pert 38c so have the breasts of a 25 year old but sadly not a face to match.
I do worry about all the young women with BC. Bad enough for us.
I am 56 definately post menopausal and yes there are a lot of younger women on here I think thats probably becuase maybe younger women are more IT literate than us oldies!!
Whilst the BC diagnosis is horrid at any age - I am somewhat relived that I did not get the diagnosis when I was younger when I read the posts and the difficulties faced juggling childcare responsibilities along with everything else.
I have had Masectomy (right side) Anx clearance, Chemotherapy and finished my Radiotheropy on 27 September at the moment I am on Arimidex and just about coping with the SE - joint problems are the main issue for me - however its difficult to distinguish this between 'old' bones and the hormone treatment! I have a follow up appt with the Onc in early November and will ask about bone density scans etc etc. I will be on Arimidex for 7 years.
I am also looking at re construction - I think its what I want but want to explore the options first (I couldn't have immediate reconstrucion due to having to have radiotheropy). I am also having genetic screening as BC is in the family and when I get these reslts it may mean I need to have my overies removed too - not a big deal at my age however.
It is a horrid disease and the support, advice and general friendship of women of all ages is so valuable and I really feel has helped me get through this horrible period of my life and I am feeling so much better now and hope I can continue to support those who are at the begining of their treatment.
Take care xx
Hi Janet, what a good idea. I was diagnosed 4 years ago at age 62. Had single mx followed by chemo, Tamoxifen, and am now on Arimidex. I am married with 3 sons, 2 grandsons aged 21& 19 and 1 granddaughter aged 17. Sorry you've had to join us all on here but you'll find plenty of lovely ladies to help you through this rotten time.
I was wondering if anyone would join me in a thread for ‘more mature (post menopausal)’ women? A lot of the postings are from younger women and I am in awe of their courage coping with small children and sometimes with pregnancy.
However I do feel that older women have their own set of problems and sometimes very different responsibilities to cope with.
I am 64 years old , married with 2 children and 4 fabulous grandchildren and have had a single MX and am waiting for the dreaded results. I would love to communicate with other women in my age group, either farther along the ‘journey’ or just starting off. This does not mean that I am not interested in all the women on this forum and would not read and answer their postings but it would be very helpful to have input from people in my own age group with similar problems to me
I am going to put it in the ‘Undergoing treatment for breast cancer’ as ‘more mature (post menopausal)’ women