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All of the above

SawsanNSawsanN Member Posts: 3
edited October 2016 in Newly diagnosed

Hello Ladies,

I don't know how to describe my feelings right now: Angry? Depressed? Disappointed? Lonely? Scared? Confused? Sad?  Maybe all of the above. But mostly scared, becasue I have no friends or family members to help me or support me. I just cry every day when I am alone, and pray to be able to take care of my 9 month old baby as much as I can.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer last may and had a lumpectomy and 2 nodes removed. I had 6 week radiation with all the pain and burns and blisters that come with. Luckily no chemotherapy was recommended to me, but I just started with tamoxifen 3 days ago. I am worried about the side effects of that drug. I am worried to get too tired or too sore to take care of my baby.  I know that every woman is different and react differently to the medicine, but I need to have an idea of what I should expect. I am premenopausal. Am I going to lose my period? Am I going to be tired? Am I going to gain weight?  Am I going to get joint pain? When would the side effects start showing? when would they settle? I am sorry for having too many questions, but I really feel lonely and scared.

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Comments

  • CarolCarol Member Posts: 150
    edited March 2015
    We all fear the unknown.

    Being so much younger than me I can appreciate your concerns. I also wondered if I would see my sons complete their education (they both are qualified teachers now) one is married and I fully expect to be a grandma at some point. i already am a fluffy grandma to 12 beautiful Japanese Spitz puppies.

    Just because I or someone had this or that side effect does not mean you will. You may sail through it all being young with a low grade cancer no chemo like the majority of women young and old.

    Your doctors and medical team will provide guidance. I
    know of women who had chemo and went on to have children. Some went into temporary chemically induced menopause.

    Believe me most of us are just happy to survive our journey on the cancer train and emerge as the new butterfly at the other end so much stronger than before. For me at 50 menopause was a blessing after years of chronic migraines and other menstrual issues and I had completed my family with 1 son already at uni.

    I would suggest you join a group for young women. There are several around. BCNA even has separate sesions for them. Young women used to be pre menopause, now I notice the sydney seminar in october is for 45 or younger. Maybe due to city numbers. Certainly those with young children or no family yet have different issues to those of us with high school or uni age students .

    Hope this helps, thinking of you
    Your pink sister,
    Carol
  • TonyaMTonyaM Member Posts: 2,725
    edited March 2015

    Welcome to this network where you won't feel so lonely.It must be hard for you to be on your own, caring for a baby and getting through breast cancer .Did you get some help with your little one during treatments?Sounds like you had a difficult time with radiation. I have been taking Tamoxifen for 3 years now and it's sort of tolerable.I've had bc twice and the first I was 47 years old- I tried to take Tamoxifen and I got alot of side effects.I was perimenopausal and this drug just made my cycle a little more irregular.It gave me hot flushes,low mood,and problems sleeping.After many months I stopped it.My friend,however,had no side effects at all. With my second bout of bc,I was 54 years old and past menopause and this time Tamoxifen wasn't too bad. This drug has been around a long time and is fairly safe to take.The most common side effects are  hot flushes and perhaps disturbed sleep but this doesn't mean you will get them.When I first started Tamoxifen,my oncologist told me to take half a tablet a day for the first week to get used to it and then increase it to full tablet.You are unlikely to get joint pain with this drug but there could  be a little when you first start.It doesn't make you tired unless you have problems sleeping at night. If you do have side effects then there are other medications you can take which will help. You won't necessarily gain weight but I would say it's hard to lose weight-  for me anyway.You can only give Tamoxifen a go and see what happens.You might feel fine like my friend. Blog back here anytime for support. Sending hugs, Tonya xx

  • TonyaMTonyaM Member Posts: 2,725
    edited March 2015

    Welcome to this network where you won't feel so lonely.It must be hard for you to be on your own, caring for a baby and getting through breast cancer .Did you get some help with your little one during treatments?Sounds like you had a difficult time with radiation. I have been taking Tamoxifen for 3 years now and it's sort of tolerable.I've had bc twice and the first I was 47 years old- I tried to take Tamoxifen and I got alot of side effects.I was perimenopausal and this drug just made my cycle a little more irregular.It gave me hot flushes,low mood,and problems sleeping.After many months I stopped it.My friend,however,had no side effects at all. With my second bout of bc,I was 54 years old and past menopause and this time Tamoxifen wasn't too bad. This drug has been around a long time and is fairly safe to take.The most common side effects are  hot flushes and perhaps disturbed sleep but this doesn't mean you will get them.When I first started Tamoxifen,my oncologist told me to take half a tablet a day for the first week to get used to it and then increase it to full tablet.You are unlikely to get joint pain with this drug but there could  be a little when you first start.It doesn't make you tired unless you have problems sleeping at night. If you do have side effects then there are other medications you can take which will help. You won't necessarily gain weight but I would say it's hard to lose weight-  for me anyway.You can only give Tamoxifen a go and see what happens.You might feel fine like my friend. Blog back here anytime for support. Sending hugs, Tonya xx

  • VivWVivW Member Posts: 266
    edited March 2015

    My bc sounds similar to yours, lumpectomy no chemo, 6 weeks radiation. Started tamoxifen in June, 3 weeks into radiation . Its been ok nothing to complain about. Have had leg cramps but it is all do able.  I have continued to have my regular periods up until now.  Not sure if it is stress that has stopped it as I have had another lump which has turned out to be a seroma.  I was excited that this was going to be my last period as I am having a total hysterectomy with ovaries removed in 3 weeks.  I am 49 and no signs of menopause, runs late in my family.  BC was ER+ & PR+ Her2 neg. Clear margins with no lymph node involvement.

    Yes we all have the feelings that you are experiencing, you are not alone.

    I hope you can find some support, you don't have to go through this on your own. Talk to your doctors, do you have a good GP and breast care nurse, they may be able to put you into contact with support people.

    I also want to say that you are going to be ok. You have a team of specialists looking after you.

    Thinking of you and your baby.

    Viv

     

  • adeanadean Member Posts: 1,036
    edited March 2015
    Hi ,yes we all worry no matter if alone or not! Even if you have family honestly the last thing they want to hear is am I going to live,which is our normal reaction, we all want to see our kids grow or see them married or see them have children, you never stop being the mum. So what happens is we all share our thoughts here, and you get great answers from great people its acyually people whove been thereYou have your baby and that's your family,it's do able believe me and I'm sure most of the ladies will say you have good days and crap days but you do get there, it's ok to be scared and angry we all are at some time. Regards adean
  • Julia44Julia44 Member Posts: 361
    edited March 2015

    Hi SawsanN,

    It may be good for you to seek out a support group in your area so you could get to know in person some others on this journey with us.  There is a space on this site for support group information but otherwise you can ring up or also talk to the cancer council.

    BCNA is also running some groups coming up in various places- more information on the main page

    Hope you feel better soon,

    Julia

  • jandy23jandy23 Member Posts: 234
    edited March 2015

    Just thought I'd add my experience with tamoxifen. I was diagnosed last year, had 4 rounds of chemo, 6 weeks of radiation followed by tamoxifen which I've been taking for about 9 months. I had one period in between finishing chemo and starting tamoxifen but haven't had one since. I am 47 though so close to menopause age anyway. I think many woman, especially if much younger, still do get their period.

    Tamoxifen has not made me gain weight although I am quite careful to exercise regularly and eat healthily most of the time. I'd like to lose a couple of kilos but I've found that difficult. But then I've always found losing weight difficult and I'm only a tiny bit overweight anyway.

    I get mild hot flushes from time to time, particularly at night but they seem to be easing and haven't been a major problem. My biggest concern is that I think it sometimes interferes with my sleeping. I have a tendency to wake up very very early - 4.30 or even earlier sometimes. I have recently started taking melatonin some nights which I got online  and which seems to help. (I haven't mentioned it to my doctor yet so not sure what she will say.) I also try to avoid caffeine late in the day and I rarely drink alcohol now as that makes everything - hot flushes, insomnia - worse. I think getting some exercise during the day helps too. All in all, tamoxifen hasn't been as bad as I'd feared but I do worry a little about the long term risks - uterine/endometrial cancer.  I plan to get myself checked in a year or two even though my oncologist says its a waste of money.

    Good luck. I hope you can connect with some other young women in your situation. It must be tough going through all this on your own and with a small baby. Take care, Janet. 

  • jandy23jandy23 Member Posts: 234
    edited March 2015

    Just thought I'd add my experience with tamoxifen. I was diagnosed last year, had 4 rounds of chemo, 6 weeks of radiation followed by tamoxifen which I've been taking for about 9 months. I had one period in between finishing chemo and starting tamoxifen but haven't had one since. I am 47 though so close to menopause age anyway. I think many woman, especially if much younger, still do get their period.

    Tamoxifen has not made me gain weight although I am quite careful to exercise regularly and eat healthily most of the time. I'd like to lose a couple of kilos but I've found that difficult. But then I've always found losing weight difficult and I'm only a tiny bit overweight anyway.

    I get mild hot flushes from time to time, particularly at night but they seem to be easing and haven't been a major problem. My biggest concern is that I think it sometimes interferes with my sleeping. I have a tendency to wake up very very early - 4.30 or even earlier sometimes. I have recently started taking melatonin some nights which I got online  and which seems to help. (I haven't mentioned it to my doctor yet so not sure what she will say.) I also try to avoid caffeine late in the day and I rarely drink alcohol now as that makes everything - hot flushes, insomnia - worse. I think getting some exercise during the day helps too. All in all, tamoxifen hasn't been as bad as I'd feared but I do worry a little about the long term risks - uterine/endometrial cancer.  I plan to get myself checked in a year or two even though my oncologist says its a waste of money.

    Good luck. I hope you can connect with some other young women in your situation. It must be tough going through all this on your own and with a small baby. Take care, Janet. 

  • SawsanNSawsanN Member Posts: 3
    edited March 2015

    Dear All,

    Thank you very much for all your replies, concerns and advices. I haven't imagined that I would get so much attention and care. I already feel much better knowing that there are people who care and are there for me, even for a chat.  That is more than enough for me. I am not that young by the way, I am in the late 40s, approaching menopause, and yes I have a little one. That is another story of my life. A good story though.  I do have a caring husband, but sometimes I feel he needs support more than I do, and he worries about me and the baby more than I do. So, it is difficult to open up to him or to rely on his support. It is always easier to open up to a friend or even a stranger, than to a close family member.  Again, thank you for all your comments and the information you sent me. I will contact a support group, and I will try to take it easy, one step at a time.

    With all the best of luck to you all,

    Sawsan

     

  • SawsanNSawsanN Member Posts: 3
    edited March 2015

    Dear All,

    Thank you very much for all your replies, concerns and advices. I haven't imagined that I would get so much attention and care. I already feel much better knowing that there are people who care and are there for me, even for a chat.  That is more than enough for me. I am not that young by the way, I am in the late 40s, approaching menopause, and yes I have a little one. That is another story of my life. A good story though.  I do have a caring husband, but sometimes I feel he needs support more than I do, and he worries about me and the baby more than I do. So, it is difficult to open up to him or to rely on his support. It is always easier to open up to a friend or even a stranger, than to a close family member.  Again, thank you for all your comments and the information you sent me. I will contact a support group, and I will try to take it easy, one step at a time.

    With all the best of luck to you all,

    Sawsan

     

  • mona63mona63 Member Posts: 237
    edited March 2015

    Your exeperience is similiar to mine with similar test results.Im about to start radiation in a few weeks time and meds after that

    im curious about hysterectomy as ive only had one appt with my oncologist but he did indicate with a wave of hand in the general ovarian direction that that might need 'thinking'--

    was your hysterectomy to do with the breast ca?

  • mona63mona63 Member Posts: 237
    edited March 2015

    Its good you get some comfort here.  I think i can relate to most of what people write about. I do find it useful to talk about what is going on with my husband--almost every day; but ive had to coach him not to fix or advise or minimalise..and i find this helpful--not to too long or drawn out but just a quick check up what it is like for me to be going through this

    and sometimes we even talk about what it is like for him!

    Feelings do pass ..and then come back again....i enjoy having a few hours where i forget ive even got radiation up ahead or anything is going on..but i do need rest and quiet reflection time too

    best wishes

  • CarolCarol Member Posts: 150
    edited March 2015
    Wow your family has had it all and still you are smiling.
    My Mum and I also had beast cancer and told just bad luck. I do not have the Gene nor does my sister.

    My sons were 17 & 19 at my diagnosis a year after Mum had died aged 78 . i was 50 and peri menopausal with triple positive cancer. Mum had been 52 and gone through menopause at her diagnosis

    But to have your daughter diagnosed with such a young family and to go through so much and have her now 5 month old wow. Btw she was operated on my 57th birthday. My heart goes out to you & your family. she is lucky to have a good medical team and your support.
    Next year there will be a new pink butterfly.
    Let us know how it all goes,

    Your pink sister,

    Carol
  • VivWVivW Member Posts: 266
    edited March 2015

    Hi Mona, I have sent you a private message about my hysterectomy choice, thought I was doing this but my message came into this blog??  It may appear in both not sure? I am not very good at this whole blogg thing, lol.

     

    Cheers Viv

  • TonyaMTonyaM Member Posts: 2,725
    edited March 2015

    You and your daughter both get breast cancer and it's just bad luck!! I am filled with sorrow but also admiration for you both. No young mum should have to endure bc treatments.It's so unfair- your daughter should have been enjoying the birth of her second bub.Sounds like you are a wonderful support for her and you are both amazing women.    Hugs to you both, Tonya xx

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