just had partial mastectomy

Posted by lovethedesert @lovethedesert, Nov 18, 2020

A large mass was removed, including all margins, and lymph nodes are clear. They call it Stage 1. This was 4 weeks ago. I JUST spoke to assigned oncologist, whom I "felt" was reading rote, from a brochure. Threw out Chemo, radiation, criticized surgeon for not doing a radical mastectomy! Then stated I am estrogen receptor positive (these are ALL NEW terms to me!) He then threw out all sorts of drugs which I couldn't write fast enuff, only one I remember is tamoxofin, I'm 79, know my natural life expectancy is not huge, I'm very much into "quality" of life. Not married, no kids, but amazing friends and support group. But again, really want to know what group thinks. BTW, would like to date and even find a soul mate, I'm not overweight very active with work and community, and definitely don't look 79. This is such a labyrinth I'm scared but grounded. Thanks to all you amazing Warriors.

@lovethedesert
You certainly have had a crash course in breast cancer… and your head must be spinning. If I were you, I would call the oncologist's office, let his nurse or nurse practitioner know that you need a copy of his notes from that meeting… that you were'nt able to take it all in, and you'd like an opportunity to consider his recommendations. In addition, if you don't feel as though you can have a good relationship (as in communications, answered questions, accessability) with this oncologist, you might consider asking your surgeon, PCP, and breast cancer survivor peers for their best recommendations on oncologists in the area. Good luck, and do keep us posted.

REPLY

I 2nd @lovethedesert comment about talking to another dr. Your oncologist does not sound like he even considered your opinion. He should of explained options and you should reach decision together.

Good luck
Laurie

REPLY
@elizm

@lovethedesert
You certainly have had a crash course in breast cancer… and your head must be spinning. If I were you, I would call the oncologist's office, let his nurse or nurse practitioner know that you need a copy of his notes from that meeting… that you were'nt able to take it all in, and you'd like an opportunity to consider his recommendations. In addition, if you don't feel as though you can have a good relationship (as in communications, answered questions, accessability) with this oncologist, you might consider asking your surgeon, PCP, and breast cancer survivor peers for their best recommendations on oncologists in the area. Good luck, and do keep us posted.

Jump to this post

you are so right, they discovered my mass at my annual mammogram. It was like it truly appeared suddenly. Sadly I am HMO so my drs are chosen for me, I will indeed look for a more empathetic Oncologist, that can care about ME! I have so many breast cancer Warriors out there that have given me hours of information and encouragement. I'm now on the next step that of therapy and I am listening to all input. Thank you for your kind words!

REPLY
@roch

I 2nd @lovethedesert comment about talking to another dr. Your oncologist does not sound like he even considered your opinion. He should of explained options and you should reach decision together.

Good luck
Laurie

Jump to this post

Thanks Laurie, I so agree with you about the approach of the oncologist, it truly is a labyrinth, but I'm not giving up. Thank you for your encouragement.

REPLY

@lovethedesert, I'd like to add my welcome. At the risk of repeating what @elizm and @roch have already said, I also urge you to insist on better communication. You might find out if your cancer center has oncology nurses and if one is assigned to you. They can often be so helpful in taking the time to explain what the oncologist said (or didn't say).

That's great news that the cancer was found at an early stage. You'll want to discuss carefully with your care team what treatment options are right for you. Not everyone with stage 1 breast cancer has chemo and radiation. Ask about your risk factors. Your team may suggest the Oncotype DX test which can "help doctors figure out a woman’s risk of early-stage, estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer coming back (recurrence), as well as how likely she is to benefit from chemotherapy after breast cancer surgery"
– Oncotype DX Test https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/oncotype_dx

Being estrogen receptor positive (often shortened to ER+) is also good to know. This type of breast cancer is often treated with an aromatase inhibitor (AI) or a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). Those were all the drug names that the oncologist rhymed off faster than you could write them down, like:
– Arimidex (anastrozole)
– Aromasin (exemestane)
– Femara (letrozole)
– tamoxifen
– Evista (raloxifene)
– Fareston (toremifene)

Here's more information:
– Aromatase Inhibitors https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/hormonal/aromatase_inhibitors
– Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/hormonal/serms

Keep asking question @lovethedesert. We can also help with preparing you to know what questions to ask your care team. But my big question right now is … What is your favorite desert? (I love your username.)

REPLY

I would seek a new oncologist immediately, the one you described appears to have no bedside manner. Good Communication is key to wellness. Lack of good communications causes stress and anxiety and you don’t need that.

REPLY
@colleenyoung

@lovethedesert, I'd like to add my welcome. At the risk of repeating what @elizm and @roch have already said, I also urge you to insist on better communication. You might find out if your cancer center has oncology nurses and if one is assigned to you. They can often be so helpful in taking the time to explain what the oncologist said (or didn't say).

That's great news that the cancer was found at an early stage. You'll want to discuss carefully with your care team what treatment options are right for you. Not everyone with stage 1 breast cancer has chemo and radiation. Ask about your risk factors. Your team may suggest the Oncotype DX test which can "help doctors figure out a woman’s risk of early-stage, estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer coming back (recurrence), as well as how likely she is to benefit from chemotherapy after breast cancer surgery"
– Oncotype DX Test https://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/oncotype_dx

Being estrogen receptor positive (often shortened to ER+) is also good to know. This type of breast cancer is often treated with an aromatase inhibitor (AI) or a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). Those were all the drug names that the oncologist rhymed off faster than you could write them down, like:
– Arimidex (anastrozole)
– Aromasin (exemestane)
– Femara (letrozole)
– tamoxifen
– Evista (raloxifene)
– Fareston (toremifene)

Here's more information:
– Aromatase Inhibitors https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/hormonal/aromatase_inhibitors
– Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/hormonal/serms

Keep asking question @lovethedesert. We can also help with preparing you to know what questions to ask your care team. But my big question right now is … What is your favorite desert? (I love your username.)

Jump to this post

Thank you so much for your kind reply. I'm candidly still leaning to not taking on any therapy or drugs. I read the side effects and they scare me worse than the possibility of recurrence. I'm working hard with my surgeon and primary to find a caring/good oncologist. Fired 2 so far, just not going to "settle', because I'm "old"! Good grief! I really appreciate all your links, everything is so helpful. Each day is a gift for sure. Ha, thanks for liking my username, hard these days to be imaginative! I love Palm Desert, (except for the 120F heat in the summer-THAT is daunting!) But the people and topography are so beautiful, and I can drive literally 20 minutes up the mountain behind my place and be up in trees and even snow. Great place to meditate. See attached foto with my Best Friend! She's 15 1/2 and goes everywhere with me.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment