I am now a stage 1 breast cancer survivor since fall 2012, ER/PR positive (95%), Her2 negative, oncotype score 12. Tumor 1.4 cm, no nodes or LVI, ki67 4%. I had a bilateral mastectomy and now just hormonals. I feel this great anticlimax that my treatments are basically over except for taking hormone therapy.
Doctors and 3 second opinions tell me i am low risk and i was not offered chemo by any. I am premenopausal, mid 50s. i didn't have radiation because i had a mastectomy. The problem is I don't feel low risk. I have an 8% chance of recurrence over 10 years and I don't know what to make of these numbers. It certainly seem high enough to me. No one offered me chemo, but i almost wish i had done it because it feels like i am missing out on a treatment that saves a lot of lives. It is very hard to move forward with this fear and uncertainty. I just feel like other women are getting all the treatments thrown at them and I am getting the minimum like how they treated women years ago. But stage 1 recurs too and I just wish there was more I could do.
Posted: 08 Feb 2013 11:01 AM Originally Posted: 08 Feb 2013 10:59 AM
Your anxieties about treatment are shared by many women. Statistics can be unsettling. How the numbers are presented may be part of the problem. In your case, there is an 8% chance of recurrence within ten years. That means that there is a 92% of no recurrence within ten years. That sounds much better!Though we are discussing cancer, there are other statistics to think about as well. Heart disease is the number one killer of women. In these modern times, treatment is very individual. Apparently, the medical team felt that your treatment was optimum for you. Fears about recurrence are normal but it becomes a question of degree. How much is recurrence worry impacting the quality of life? Taking action is a solution. Being pro-active rather than being passive, frightened or feeling victimized. Cancer survivor can do many things to improve their health.
-Maintain annual medical exams with your primary physician.
-Maintain regular follow up with the oncology team
-Eat healthy. We know some things are not good for us and we know there are many things that are good for us.Eating healthy works.
-Exercise. Avoid the couch potato life. Use muscles, improve breathing and gain energy.Try anything from stationary bikes to yoga classes. Find what works for you!
-Learn about stress reduction techniques. Stress is in our everyday world but it takes its’ toll on our bodies, minds, emotions and spirits. Each of us needs to find a way to minimize the damage from stress.
-Enjoy life and find your passions. Go beyond the groceries, cooking, cleaning and errand running. Find what makes you come alive, be creative and enjoy fully. Laugh often and laugh loud!
-Ask others how they are doing. We can become focused on our cancer journey and forget that there are others in the world. Isolation is negative. Being with others is healing.
-Look for three things in each day which bring meaning to you.