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Wed, Sep 9 11:15am · Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole in Breast Cancer

I agree with kathyomaha55 @kathyomaha55, LiveStrong at Y is excellent program. But due to COVID, not sure of current status,

LiveStrong info:

https://www.livestrong.org/what-we-do/program/livestrong-at-the-ymca

Laurie

Fri, Sep 4 6:33am · Anxiety due to Cancer in Cancer: Managing Symptoms

sqdncnws @sqdncnws
Sorry your going thru a rough time and feel alone.
Depending on your locations and where you are receiving your treatment, there may be multiple options for support.

Mayo site has some advice on support groups and dealing with stress: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/support-groups/art-20044655

American Cancer Society has info on support groups https://reach.cancer.org/?_ga=2.58049706.1226844383.1599218342-390726876.1599218342

Also, check into getting a therapist for someone to talk to during this difficult time. Let your oncologist know your having a tough time and he/she may be able to recommend someone.

Wishing you the best
Laurie

Fri, Aug 28 9:43pm · Newly diagnosed breast cancer: trying to decide where to get treatment in Breast Cancer

So sorry your having a rough time with your first treatment. Did you dr give you prescription for nausea. I took some drugs prior to chemo, others were given at chemo appt, and still more I had at home for after chemo. I only had minor nausea, but everyone is different. I did chemo in 2018, here are some drugs I used: Ondansetron HCL, Prochlorperazine, Dexamethasone and Aprepitant .

Laurie M

Fri, Aug 21 1:44am · Who Can Visit A Patient During Covid 19 Times? in Visiting Mayo Clinic

You did not mention which Mayo campus you will be visiting, The web page below has links to each location specific policy. In general, only one person is allowed in hospital on day of surgery or during visiting hours.

Hope everything goes well for your brother-in-law.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/covid-19

Laurie M

Fri, Aug 14 6:05am · Wigs: Prepping for hair loss due to chemo in Breast Cancer

Like @elizm , I thought wigs were the way to go. I got one and in ended up wearing only few times. Below are my experience with baldness and getting a wig at Mayo Clinic Store Flower of Hope in Rochester. This was in 2018 – 2019, pre COVID, so if plan on using Mayo Clinic Store you should check what services they are currently offering.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/patient-visitor-guide/minnesota/resources/shops-supplies/mayo-clinic-store-flower-hope

I was living and receiving treatment at Mayo Rochester when hair started falling out. I checked out the store and ladies there were wonderful. As soon as hair started falling out, I immediately had head shaved. If going to loss hair, I did not want it to drag out over weeks, so the store shaved for free and in private. I even took before and after pictures.

My oncologist wrote a prescription for wig that insurance covered. I had a consultation at store to try different styles and colors. They helped me determined the correct size and had many suggestion on how to wear and care for. Just like clothes, a large in one brand is not same as another. I went back for 2nd appointment with my sister to make final decision.

But in end, I only wore wig a few times. I found it easier to wear scarfs and hats. I am retired and during this time about the only place I went was Mayo for treatment, and seeing someone bald or having wearing a hair covering is not unusual in Rochester. First thing I learned is a MN winter is even colder without a hat. I bought some cute warm hats that I can use even with hair. I also found a variety of hair coverings on Amazon. And for fun, sometime I accessorize with pins. You can use head covering as your personal fashion statement.

When spring came, I had to remember to wear hats or sun tan lotion to keep from getting sun burn.

I did take a vacation in late spring to Hilton Head when hair was just fuzz and I was much more conscious of my baldness there. Like I said early, growing up and living in Rochester I guess I do not notice people with medical conditions as much as people in other locations might.

When people asked about hair loss, I would just joke about amount of money I was saving not having to color, cut or buy hair styling products. During last spring when hair salons were shut down and my hair looked terrible, I even used some of those scarfs to cover my head on bad hair days.

Good luck,

Laurie

Sat, Aug 8 8:46am · Zometa (Zoledronic acid), should I take if not on AIs? in Breast Cancer

Wondering if anyone with Stage 1 or Stage 2 breast cancer is taking Zometa or Reclast even if they are NOT using aromatase inhibitors (Ais)?

I have stopped taking AIs so at next oncology appointment there will be a discussion if I should also stop the Zometa IVs.

My layman's understanding of why to give Zoledronic acid to patients receiving AIs is that AIs reduces estrogen in body (to prevent recurrence of breast cancer) , but the decreased estrogen levels are associated with elevated rates of osteolysis and the resulting bone loss. Zoledronic acid belongs to a group of drugs called bisphosphonates and those drugs slow down or prevent bone damage.

There is also research that suggested that Zometa also might help stop breast cancer from spreading to the bones by making it harder for breast cancer cells to grow in bones. But my oncologist said it only reduced the risk of breast cancer cells in bone by 1-2% .

My treatment background:

After my treatment for breast cancer (lumpectomy, few positive lymph nodes removed, chemo and radiation) , my oncologist placed me on AIs and Zometa IV every 6 months for 3 years. AIs caused multiple side effects (discussed in other threads on Mayo Connect) so after a year I have stopped taking. So now the question is there a reason or benefit to continue with Zometa if not taking AIs. My next is infusion is due in Oct 2020.

Before making the decision, the dr decided to check my bone density. In 2018, after initial diagnosis and before any treatment a bone density was done. This week it was repeated. I was pleasantly surprised that I had slight improvement in bone density. For a 64 year old post-menopausal women who has undergone breast cancer treatment, anything that showed my bone density is not deteriorating is great news.

Any insight from others on Connect is appreciated.

Laurie

Tue, Jul 28 8:26am · Abnormal lumps on breast ultrasound in Breast Cancer

Did the dr giving you his opinion a radiologist, your primary dr or an oncologist?

If it was me, I would request 2nd opinion. At a minimum, I would ask for a biopsy to verify what it is. Then you would know for sure.

Laurie

Sat, Jul 25 3:01pm · Cancer medications yes or no? Tamoxifen as prevention? in Women's Health

There are many items that go into decision about taking AIs. Not everyone has adverse side effects so it is worth trying. If you have problems with one AI, your provider may suggest trying a different one. I tried 3 different ones over year and half and at end decided against taking AI.

Some of the factors effecting AI include:
– Type of breast cancer and if any lymph nodes were positive
– Age
– Treatments received (chemo and / or radiation)
– Side effects and do the side effects limit your quality of life
– And I am sure there are others

I discussed with my oncologist the survivor rate and recurrence rate with and without Ais.

Each person has to evaluate their situation and make decision.

Laurie