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New to this site

Posted by mekissa on Mar 12, 2019 6:27 pm

Hi my name is Michele you will see me  as Mekissa  I had a lumpectomy on Feb 14th 2019 I have found the waiting game stressful. I go Thursday to see the oncologist and radiologist  to get all the terms and how we are moving forward I was told they got all the cancer and my node was negative, but I will need radiation.

Re: New to this site

Posted by Brighty on Mar 12, 2019 6:48 pm

mekissa‍  welcome to the site.    I'm sorry for what brings you here.  I'm going to tag some wonderful  ladies into the conversation  who can help you.   Please meet cancertakesflight‍  ashcon‍   Lianne_adminCCS‍  Kims1961‍  Minus2‍  and LPPK‍  who will share experiences  with you.   

Re: New to this site

Posted by Kims1961 on Mar 12, 2019 7:35 pm

mekissa‍ Welcome to this awesome community and thank you Brighty‍ for the tag!

Michelle - you are so right about the waiting!!! Definitely one of the hardest parts of a cancer diagnosis.  I call it "limbo" - not really sure where you will go from her.  It certainly is sounding good that the nodes were negative and they got all the cancer.  Thankfully you are meeting this Thursday with the oncologist so you will get a sense of the treatment plan and time frame.  I started with surgery - then had to heal for chemo to start - which went on for 4 months.  I had a month rest and started radiation  - 25 treatments.

Let us know what the oncologist is suggesting.  Are you able to bring a support person with you to the appt?  A notebook is also handy.  Keep us posted.



Re: New to this site

Posted by Kay.C on Mar 12, 2019 8:21 pm

Welcome Mekissa to the community, we all wish it was under different circumstances I'm sure.

That's great news that your nodes are negative and they got all of the margins, but here is my question, why radiation if they got it all?
Maybe something you can ask at your appointment.
Great suggestion from kim1961 to bring a support person and to bring a notebook. I suggest writing down questions before hand so you don't forget to ask them, no question is dumb.
Knowledge is power, and with it you will be better equipped to make the right decision for YOU.
Good luck at your appointment and let us know how it goes.


Re: New to this site

Posted by LPPK on Mar 12, 2019 8:27 pm

Welcome mekissa‍  I have found this site to be such a wealth of information and support.  I had IDC in 2017 and like you there were good margins and no lymph node involvement.  I had 16 radiation treatments. I agree that the waiting game is stressful. I found that keeping busy with a variety of activities helped to keep my mind off the wait.
You might find a current thread in the Emotional Roller Coaster forum  Lowering anxiety to be helpful. 

Kims1961‍ offered some great suggestions for your upcoming appointments (notebook and support person).  I made a list of my questions before the appointments and handed it to the oncologists at the appointments. My husband and/or daughter, who accompanied me to the appointments, also had the list of questions and recorded the answers so that we could discuss them when we got home. I put these questions with their answers in my 'health binder'. 
Having company during the drives into/out of the city and at the appointments definitely helped to keep me calm.  If  wanted to talk during the drives I had someone to talk to, if I didn't I enjoyed their quiet company.

Wishing you well at your appointments on Thursday.  Keep us informed.

Re: New to this site

Posted by Minus2 on Mar 12, 2019 8:39 pm

 Thank you Brighty‍ for tagging me.

mekissa‍, welcome to the site.  I am very glad you have reached out and there are a number of women here who will share their experiences with you.  I had bilateral mastectomies followed by immediate reconstruction in May 2016, so it was a little while ago, but the waiting for information is something I recall only too well.  At this appointment with your oncologist you will receive your post surgical pathology report and they will explain it to you along with the timelines involved with your treatment plan.  Your mind will begin to settle as you receive information.  As Kims1961‍ aptly said, the waiting is like limbo and once you have information, the limbo changes to proactive strategies. Because I had mastectomies instead of lumpectomies, I didn't have radiation, so I'm not much help to you with that.  Of course, the girls were not very big to begin with  so a lumpectomy would have had the same effect as a mastectomy LOL!  Try to keep yourself busy and distracted - busy hands really do relieve an anxious mind - and of course Netflix is my favourite go to.  I think Downton Abbey was my saving grace while I was recovering from surgery and waiting.  Be sure to ask for a copy of your pathology report along with any other tests / scans you have had performed.  You may want to review it in the peace and quiet of your own home and it's handy to have the paper handy. Let us know how your appointment goes and ask anything that pops into your head.

Re: New to this site

Posted by cancertakesflight on Mar 12, 2019 11:04 pm

Welcome mekissa‍. There has been a wealth of great information from LPPKKims1961Minus2‍ and Kay.C‍. Thanks Brighty‍ for the tag. 

My cancer was diagnosed in 2011, so it was a while ago, but I still remember how much I hated waiting. I had heard about it before from other cancer patients, but I never appreciated what they were saying until I went through the cancer experience myself. As Minus2‍ says, once you have a plan of action, you actually feel better instead of worse. It's the unknown that caused churn in my life. Once I knew what I had to do to deal with my cancer, I had a sense of direction and my sense of chaos got much better. 

I had surgery, chemo and radiation. I had cancer in my sentinel nodes, so chemo was in the cards. The other 20 lymph nodes that were removed were clear. 

The only additional suggestion that I can make about what you can do to help you remember what to ask and the answers you receive is to ask your doctor to draw pictures for you to explain concepts that you may not understand. Visuals are great and once one doctor drew a picture for me, I wish I had asked for more pictures along the way. There is so much to learn in such a short period of time, a picture can make learning much easier. 

Try to take one day at a time. During my cancer journey, and even now, I try to believe that everything is okay until proven otherwise. Don't over-think things and try to stay away from what-if scenarios. LPPK‍'s suggestions for keeping busy and distracting yourself are essential. I used to go to bed a little late so that I would fall asleep right away. I did't want to have time to think before I fell asleep. 

Please keep us posted. 

cancertakesflight (Debbie)