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Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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  • Breast Cancer Diagnosis

    Last year I had bi-lateral hip replacements...Fri. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. July 5th I go for surgery. Most likley will end up with a mastectomy.

    I was hoping to enjoy this summer riding my horse. I am really discouraged. I wonder how long it will be before I can ride after a masectomy? I hope I have radiation VS. chemo.

    Now like last summer I am considering maybe having a horse is not realistic for me anymore.

    Has anyone gone through a masectomy and have any insight to share??


  • #2
    Been there; had a hip replaced about 7 years ago, spent a summer doing BC three years ago. Looking back, they are blips on the radar, but I remember both events being all-consuming at the time. Try to stay positive about the BC treatment. I was lucky, got by with a lumpectomy, but I did do both chemo and radiation. The supports for chemo, in terms of recovering your immune system and preventing nausea and related discomfort, are very good these days. It is not the horror that is often associated with it; I actually worked full time except for the week of infusions, when I missed the day of (Fridays for me) and the Mon and Tues following, half day on Wed. My infusions were three weeks apart. Yeah, you loose your hair, and that's a hard thing to deal with, but your horse, and those who love you, don't care . I actually told very few people I was going through it, and very few noticed the wigs. That said, how your body deals with chemo is very individual; hopefully, the fact that you are active and have horses to keep you going will stand you in good stead. Respect it, but don't allow it to rob you of who you are.

    I have my horses at home (two horses, two mini-donks, pasture w/ run-in situation), and I had a college student to help me the two or three days after each infusion that I felt really trashed. Otherwise, they were a reason to get up and move, which helps. Radiation was a lark after chemo. Take care of your skin, get a little extra rest, and the biggest inconvenience is taking a chunk out of your day to drive to the clinic, get zapped, and drive back to the office.

    Good luck; feel free to PM if you want to talk or have questions.
    "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

    Spay and neuter. Please.


    • #3
      Been there done that, actually 12 years ago yesterday was the day I received the very scary phone call. I forgot about it yesterday. My surgery was the 18th of June. I did not have horses at the time, but my daughter rode so I went to the barn on a regular basis just to groom.
      I had a mastectomy, chemo and no radiation. I was on tamoxifen for 5 years as well, gained weight, but have lost most of it now. I also had the 3 week apart infusions. I knew I was going to lose my hair, so had it shaved right after the first infusion, knowing it would fall before the second one. The hairdresser had ordered the wig with my same hairdo, so it was no big deal. I will always be grateful to my then 12 year old daughter and a friend who came with me to the hairdresser the day of the shave. It really allowed me to be comfortable w/o the wig at home.

      Before each infusion, I took Zofran (I think that's the name) and I was never sick, no throwing up ever. I was a bit tired, but I prepared the meal the day before the infusion so I could rest the day of. I work out of home so I kept my schedule. My lymphnodes were clear, so no need for radiation. I did not do reconstruction (at the time, it was not as easy as now) and I still wear a prosthesis (no biggie here either, but in the end it does cost money ie replacement of the prosthesis - although gov. plan pays for 1/2 every two years) and bras are more expensive (although 2/year are covered by my insurance). Also it limits the kind of dresses I can wear (no spaghetti straps for me, no strapless, etc.).

      Be positive, take care of yourself. At the time of my chemo, all patients were in chaises around a big room and some people were/looked very sick. I told myself every time that I was on the same river, but not in the same boat and my port of call was much closer than theirs. Do enjoy the horses, but be careful if you do have a drain (I only had one for a few days). You may not ride for a while, but you can still go and give them hugs and treats.

      Good luck.


      • #4
        My situation sounds like FalseImpression's, only it 10 years ago. Are you having reconstruction? That takes additional time for healing. Generally with a mastectomy, you'll have chemo but not the radiation. Give yourself time to heal. You may not ride much this year, but look forward to next year.


        • #5
          Thoughts and prayers and hugs and JINGLES & AO

          Thoughts and prayers and hugs

          and Jingles & AO ~
          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


          • #6
            I pm'd you.
            a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


            • #7
              Good luck !

              Riding after a mastectomie, your doctor will tell you when you can resume on your regular activity.

              As for chemo, it will all depend on your reaction to it, how you feel. Normally medical people will tell you not to touch any animal since you immune sustem is quite affect. Everybody gets a different respond to chemo; some barely feels the toxicity, others gets really sick.

              I was able to ride, especially the day of the chemo when all the drugs they give you gives an impression of great energy.
              Maybe if you read my story, this can help you. Riding will be different, you might have fear you did not know you had..

              It is a hard battle, lots of uncertainties. You have all my respect and my love !

              Fighting ovarian cancer ! 2013 huge turnaround as I am winning the battle !..


              • #8
                Dear Cfourhorses,

                I am very sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I am an ovarian cancer patient and can't advise on mastectomies and riding, but I would like to make you aware of a possibly helpful resource. It is an online support community and discussion board called Inspire. (National Alliance) I tried to find the link for you, but because I'm a member of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance I kept being sent to that discussion board.

                At least on the OVCA board, there are wonderfully helpful and knowledgeable women (even quite a few riders!) who can perhaps offer you insight and answer some questions you have about your treatment details.

                I wish you all the best in your journey and hoping for the best possible outcome of your treatment.
                "One person's side effect is another person's desired effect." -The Vice Guide to Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll


                • #9
                  C4 -

                  I am vounteering (and am a Chair) of the Ride for Life. We go donate to Johns Hopkins, so while we may be too far for them to actually help you, they have a great website and many helpful things.

                  The founder of the R4L is a survivor - if you go to www.pvdarideforlife.org and look her up, I am sure she would speak with you. She is a lovely kind woman and very dedicated.

                  I am going in Monday for diagnostic mamo as mine came back with "significant changes". I am worried, but if it has to happen, I am going into this with I have hated my saggy breasts and wish I had $$$ to make them perky (not bigger, just perkier). So IF IF IF this is not a good outcome - I am going to get a great, cute set of perky boobs!

                  Positive thoughts are always what the survivors talk about is what got them through the emotions. I will think about you and your sucess!


                  • Original Poster

                    Thank you EVERYONE...for your thoughtful replies!

                    Wow, so much to take in.... in a short amount of time.

                    Wed. I have an MRI of both breasts.

                    Friday I see two onoclogists. I will have many questions for them.

                    Thank you for the informative links!

                    I will keep my journey updated here.

                    I had a nice ride yesterday.

                    This is a road I wish I nor anyone would have to take!

                    Thank you all again for the support and encouragement!

                    Oopsie2 please keep me posted on your situation!

                    Leena, how do I find your story?

                    Last edited by Cfourhorses; Jun. 13, 2011, 09:50 PM.


                    • #11
                      Nothing but a lot of mental and spiritual support being sent your way, and prayers for an easy treatment of whatever you find is wrong!!!!!!
                      Little Star Chihuahua Rescue
                      The Barkalicious Bakery
                      On Facebook!!!


                      • #12
                        Leena's story is here: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=259284

                        She is quite the inspiration to us all.

                        Good luck this week, and keep us posted.


                        • #13
                          C4--any info from the MRI? You are in our thoughts--
                          "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                          Spay and neuter. Please.


                          • Original Poster

                            Had my MRI yesterday. Meet w/ the onocologists Fri. Having a second opinion farther away after hearing a couple scary stories about the surgeon I had planned to use.

                            Thank you all! Leena you are an inspiration!!



                            • #15
                              C4 - how goes it? Wishing you the best


                              • #16
                                I had a friend who had BC. Don't know if she had chemo - probably did, but she did have radiation. Lost all her hair. After radiation, it comes back all curly healthy thoughts for you.
                                Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                                Now apparently completely invisible!


                                • #17
                                  Hair loss is not caused by radiation (unless the radiation is on the head). It's chemo that causes hair loss, as it affects any system that has rapidly-dividing cells (including skin, and the lining of your stomach & intestines--tho the effect on these is not so obvious). It does come back once chemo ends, and it often does come back curly. Or, in my case, curly on the left side, relatively straight on the right . At that point, you're so glad to have it back, it could be pink with purple polka dots and it wouldn't matter .

                                  Anyhow, hope things are going okay for you, C4. We're thinking of you!
                                  "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                  Spay and neuter. Please.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Scary stuff...this cancer. Went 100 miles away last week for a 2nd opinion...going w/ the more experienced surgeon Fri. 7/1.

                                    Leave Thurs. Surgery Fri. & return home. Unless I hear different the surgeon will take 1/4 of my breast. Send tissue to pathology and go from there...hopefully I will have clear margins. Depending on many things may have to go back for a full masectomy...praying not!

                                    Biospy showed this is estorgen negative...not the best news.

                                    I had the kindest offer from the old owner of my horse. She is willing to take her to her farm and keep her for me if neccesary so I do not have to sell her

                                    Thank you everyone!!


                                    • #19
                                      I rode 5 days after my mastectomy, because I am hard headed and I w anted to. I rode all through out 4 months of chemo and 6 1/2 weeks of radiation, but some days I just walked and enjoyed being on my girl.
                                      Get an oncologist you like, no matter what.
                                      I also did not like my surgeon, very nice guy, but some confusing results, etc. so I didn't quite trust him.

                                      There are some yucky days, but nothing you can't handle. hair grows back and bald is rather liberating, shower and go! Just like a man
                                      Some good advice I was given, for the tests, waiting, etc when you get tense, imagine grooming your horse. I would go hug the Princess before I would leave, and then imagine brushing that shiny coat.
                                      Bless your heart and we are here for you.
                                      oopsie 2, hope you are well.


                                      • #20
                                        I'm sorry about your diagnosis, but am glad you're moving forward with the process.

                                        I was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago. I had a mastectomy. If you end up with a mastectomy and have questions, let me know. I will PM you.

                                        Hugs and prayers and healing thoughts coming your way!