Marla, I just found your post on Club Tropicana thread and replied! Hope you are doing well. xx
Hi Clairebear, it won't change from *grade* 2 as that is your "type" - it's what your body made. The *staging* is the bit that can change but it happens slower than our minds think. That is the hard thing to get your head around and reassurance doesn't always help when the negative committee in your head won't shut up. I imaged every cell in my body changing with every breath in and every heart beat but that's just the journey of the mind of course, not a reality. I found keeping my mind distracted and busy was effective. I got busy on nutrition which is a positive distraction rather than a negative distraction. You have to work through a lot of emotions before you find peace of mind and that is ongoing. xxxx
I know it's irritating, but just attach an innocuous (innocent) explanation to it, as opposed to a "threatening/danger" explanation to it. It's interesting because I work with a lot of panic sufferers and health anxiety patients and what we know about these problems is that the pain is real-the problem is the meaning you attach to it.
Immediately following my own BC diagnosis, I was noticing every little pain (in my back, breast/chest area) and trust me when I say that I had to do some hard core CBT on myself, i.e., "don't be ridiculous Marla-they've reassured you that it has not spread".
It *is* important to gain confirmation of the facts of your own particular case, i.e., has it spread, and if yes, where to, etc. If you've not had that confirmed yet (I can't recall which scans you've had and what they've told you), then yes, the waiting and uncertainty can really cause you to jump to the worst conclusions.
For the sake of your own mental health though, until you have good reason to believe it has spread, i.e., doctors tell you it has....please assume it hasn't. I know-easier said than done. :). We're all here for you!
Don't panic! :). It's all very normal what you feel, and then what you think. I'm a CBT therapist when I'm not a breast cancer patient and what you're doing is called catastrophizing....thinking the pain near your armpit means it has spread. It's very normal to be hyper-alert to twinges and pains.....these things you may not have paid much attention to pre-cancer diagnosis but now that you have this diagnosis, you are imagining everything is linked, and in all likelihood it isn't. Try and stop yourself from jumping to the worst conclusions by seeking out evidence....if you have no evidence from your medical team that it has spread then assume it hasn't. We have so much to deal with, with what *is* true, that we don't need to make ourselves crazy over what isn't true. Again, it's perfectly normal to feel these pains but don't let your thoughts go down the catastrophe route, i.e., by attaching a "danger" meaning to the symptoms.
Clairebear and Hopeful....it's great that you have each other to go through the journey with and good that you have much in common too. I have spoken to many women who used to cold cap and most say it's tolerable. It sounds like you are both in good hands....I'm sending much love and healing vibes to both of you.
I'm somewhere in the middle:). Diagnosed in August with Invasive Ductal with lobular features-Grade 2, ER +, Her2 -. I was planning for a mastectomy for next week but had some strong doubts about the op and having spoken to a Macmillan nurse for an hour last week, decided that it's not my time for the op. Saw my surgeon the following day and she agreed. I'm safe to give the hormone therapy Letrozole a go at shrinking the cancer and seeing then, what my options are. I may not be able to avoid mastectomy down the road if the cancer does not shrink the way we want it to (it's 5cm) but I want to give the Letrozole a chance before having a mastectomy. Unlike many women, having the cancer in me does not scare me or worry me. My consultant as well as a second opinion consultant at the Royal Marsden have both reassured me that whilst on Letrozole I am not putting myself a risk-the Letrozole will stop the cancer from growing and will then start to shrink it. So it's a wait and see game. I see my consultant in 2 weeks for a physical exam (just to check) and an MRI in 3 months to see how I am responding to Letrozole.
I'm really pleased for you Clairebear85-you sound positive and in good spirits re-the chemo and I agree, at each session you will enjoy the feeling of knowing you're saying "bye-bye" to the cancer.
For what it's worth, I believe that some surgeons recommend chemo (or hormone therapy) first, because this gives you the best chance of having a lumpectomy (as opposed to mastectomy)-the cancer will shrink, whether you have chemo or hormone therapy. I think for Estrogen + cancers, the hormone therapies do what chemo does for non estrogen + cancers. I happen to have ER + and Her2 - Invasive Ductal with lobular features and my surgeon actually explained that the hormone therapy is more important in saving me, than the surgery. The hormone therapy stops the cancer from growing (surgery removes the existing cancer but does not stop cancer cells from growing) and so I made the decision to defer surgery and see how much my cancer shrinks from the hormone therapy. Again and to reiterate: you may have a different type of cancer to me, but for hormone sensitive cancer, it is not unusual to first start with hormone treatment, and so my best guess is that this is the same for non-hormone type cancers (Estrogen - cancers) and chemo.
I'm not a doctor though but this is what I'm thinking.
I also had the same diagnosis as you just over a year ago. Like bazzies I joined the Optima trial & my tumour was tested and the results showed I didn't need chemotherapy.
I have just had my first mammogram and annual check with the surgeon and received the all clear
Just saw your post and my Bc is same oestrogen positive nodes involved stage 2 HER negative, ive had mx and lymph clearance with recon I’m now 6 wks post op. I was offered the Optima trial which I agreed to. I will now be going straight to rads and hormone therapy. fingers crossed I made the right decision all we can do is go with the information we are given and then make our choices. As I keep saying to myself unfortunately none of us would choose to be taking this journey......in life there are no guarantees. I’m quite fortunate in that my children are grown up, I have 11 grandchildren that I would like to enjoy. Fingers crossed your journey is as smooth as possible, keep in touch x x
Hi Clairbear and HaylsLou, I too was invasive ductal hormone positive, 90mm diffuse tumour, 9/12 lymph nodes affected and here I am still here after 8 rounds of chemo, surgery and radiotherapy. I just want you to know you can get through this. Its mentally very hard on you and your mind spirals out of control in the early days but it gets easier. If you have a read of my blog, you'll see you are not alone with your thoughts and feelings, you might find a few useful tips in there too: http://lifeafterlola.com
Once your treatment plan is in place, you can chat with others going through the same on the "going through treatment" thread. I found this really helpful and still keep in touch with my chemo buddies. xx
It's Emily here from Breast Cancer Care.
I just wanted to let you know that we have volunteers who have had a similar experience to yours, who'd be happy to talk to you too if this would be helpful.
One of them is Karen (her profile is here) who can be contacted by email: email@example.com.
Or we can put you in touch with someone by phone. Feel free to drop me a private message on the forum if you think this would be helpful.
Best wishes in the meantime.
Emily at Breast Cancer Care
I see you have had some lovely support already from our ladies, you are never alone on this forum 😊
Its an awful shock to be diagnosed and especially at your age with such a young family but we are seeing this more and more so you will certainly come across ladies here going through the same.
These early days are pretty brutal, and what you are describing is completely normal but I assure you It does settle down. The shakes, the anxiety, the gut wrenching fear that you won't survive this, not sleeping or eating the list is endless!
You are in shock and our brains don't know how to deal with so much uncertainty, answers are the key and over the coming weeks that is what will help you settle and come to terms with things, once you have a definite treatment plan and know the way forward you will start to feel better 😊
I completely understand your fears after losing a friend to BC, My mum died from it and a few weeks before my diagnosis we buried a close friend of mine who had BC but died from Ovarian, my brain was fried!
But you soon learn that you cant compare yourself, we all respond differently and thankfully the majority of us go on to be just fine after treatment, I was diagnosed in March 2015 at 46 and am doing great now.
One thing for certain is no amount of stress and panic will change things, if I could go back and tell my newly diagnosed self anything it would be that, You will cope with things it just takes time Xx Jo
waiting for results is a killer. I was recalled after my MRI of other breast and then had to wait for biopsy and CT results. Got myself into a right state about the CT results, but they were fine after all that. I'm the opposite, I eat chocolate when stressed and am trying not to put back on the 4 stone I lost with alot of effort last year!