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Old 10-19-2007, 07:41 AM   #41
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I hated the tubes by the way. That was the worst part of everything! Even the chemo didn't seem as bad as those horrible tubes. I shudder just thinking about it!
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Old 10-19-2007, 08:32 AM   #42
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((Sammie))
Can't say you didn't warn them about the vomit!
Glad your dd will be there soon~~

Stay ahead of the pain with the meds if you can.... I hope each day is better.
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Old 10-19-2007, 08:42 AM   #43
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Hi Sammie,

I'm so sorry you had such a hard time with the surgery. I can't believe they didn't give you anti nausea meds as it's pretty common to be sick after surgery. You've received some good advice about the pain meds....keep on them and don't compare yourself to anyone else. We're all different and all that matters right now is that you are comfortable. *Hugs*
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:50 PM   #44
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Just checking on you today--I hope that you rested well last night and are feeling a little better. Oh--and that you are having a good visit with your DD!

{{{hugs}}}

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Old 10-19-2007, 08:52 PM   #45
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I am slowly coming out of the fog and the pain is starting to ease. I can move my right arm almost to the shoulder level. I have been anxiously waiting for the pathology report.

I finally got some of my pathology results back from the nurse today and my surgeon just called me (Friday night at 9:30).


1. There were NO lymph nodes involved
2. The margins were clear around the tumor


He said that even though the cancer biopsies came out a Grade 2, mine was now a Grade 3. There are only three grades. I finally get a perfect score in something and it is for the wrong thing. Grade 3 cancer is the aggressive kind. He said the size of the cancer was a lot larger than he had thought. It was 4 ˝ centimeters. He was still in a little shock by the size as it felt so much smaller to him and the echo showed it to be a lot smaller. A mastectomy was the only choice for this type, size and grade so I am glad I made the right decision. He said he couldn’t have got it all doing a lumpectomy.

I see the 2 surgeons on Monday and I am to make the app’t then to see the oncologist. They want me to heal first and he said my best odds for survival would be to take chemo and they would go over the recurrence and mortality rates. . So that is what I will do. My best guess is that I will start sometime before mid November. The oncologist will have a port placed into my chest. My sons-in-law said they will shave their heads if I lose my hair.


What a Bummer.
But the NO lymph node involvement is really good news.


Thank you again for the thoughts, beautiful cards and just caring. You are keeping my spirits up.

Lov and HUGS to all of you.
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:00 PM   #46
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Big hugs Sammie! I'm amazed everyday at the strength of the women I have met on this board. So sorry about your recovery experience. I also got extremely sick after throat surgery and my mom couldn't believe how difficult it was to convince the doctors to give me anti-naseous meds. I also was given oral pain meds - didn't work so well.

Best wishes.
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:07 PM   #47
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Sammie,

I don't know if it helps to hear others stories or not but thought I'd share in case it does.

My lump was about 2 cm when I found it and quickly grew to 7 cm in 3 weeks. My doctors started chemo first and shrunk the tumor to nothing.....they couldn't find it to even mark it for surgery. They did a mastectomy anyway because the tumor was so big. The did a sentinal node biopsy at the same time that showed no node involvment but they still classed me at stage 3 because I'd already had chemo and the tumor was so big. I did half my chemo (2 months), then surgery, then finished my chemo (2 more months) followed by 7 weeks of radiation and a year of Herceptin (I was HER2 positive). It's been 2 years this month since I found that lump and sometimes I can't believe I made it through! The support of my friends and family and the comedy relief of my kids pulled me through.


Take things a day at a time. sending you strength and healing thoughts.

-Joyce
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:26 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samantha View Post
I am slowly coming out of the fog and the pain is starting to ease. I can move my right arm almost to the shoulder level. I have been anxiously waiting for the pathology report.

I finally got some of my pathology results back from the nurse today and my surgeon just called me (Friday night at 9:30).


1. There were NO lymph nodes involved
2. The margins were clear around the tumor


He said that even though the cancer biopsies came out a Grade 2, mine was now a Grade 3. There are only three grades. I finally get a perfect score in something and it is for the wrong thing. Grade 3 cancer is the aggressive kind. He said the size of the cancer was a lot larger than he had thought. It was 4 ˝ centimeters. He was still in a little shock by the size as it felt so much smaller to him and the echo showed it to be a lot smaller. A mastectomy was the only choice for this type, size and grade so I am glad I made the right decision. He said he couldn’t have got it all doing a lumpectomy.

I see the 2 surgeons on Monday and I am to make the app’t then to see the oncologist. They want me to heal first and he said my best odds for survival would be to take chemo and they would go over the recurrence and mortality rates. . So that is what I will do. My best guess is that I will start sometime before mid November. The oncologist will have a port placed into my chest. My sons-in-law said they will shave their heads if I lose my hair.


What a Bummer.
But the NO lymph node involvement is really good news.


Thank you again for the thoughts, beautiful cards and just caring. You are keeping my spirits up.

Lov and HUGS to all of you.
I'm so glad the margins were clear and the lymph nodes were not involved. Sorry you have to go thru chemo, but glad you're getting the absolute best chance to stay cancer-free.

Your sons-in-law are very sweet

I'm SOOOO glad the pain management is better.

Take care and (((hugs))) -
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Old 10-20-2007, 12:00 AM   #49
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I'm glad that you have some goofy family members to keep your spirits up! I have the same kind of family. I think it would be horrible to be surrounded by dour faces!

And again - appreciate the updates here.

((hugs))
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:37 PM   #50
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How are you doing Sammie? How did Monday go?
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:09 PM   #51
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How are you doing Sammie? How did Monday go?
Hi Karen,

On Monday I saw the 2 surgeons and they couldn't remove the big draining tube because I am still bleeding. So I go again next Monday. I have an app't with the oncologist on Nov. 15th to set up the chemo regiment. My surgeon said on Monday that he would probably be inserting a port into my chest. I have to have time to heal inside before they start the chemo though. The DR showed me the mortally rates over 10 years with the aggressive kind of cancer that I have. When all of my specifics were put into it, I would have an increased 50% chance of living 10 years if I take chemo. I am a little scared of the chemo as I have watched DH go through this. But I also want to live long enough to see the grand kids grow up, so I will make myself be strong.

I am really tired and hurting from the mastectomy and that darn big tube hurts that comes out about 6 inches from under the arm pit. I have been doing arm exercises to keep my range of motion in the arm. I have about a 5 inch scar on my chest and then a 3 inch one in my arm pit. Nice stitching "in the ditch" if he were a quilt maker.

It is very strange. I have no breast on one side. I knew it was coming (or going) but I awaken each day with pain as a reminder, but I go and look under the bandages just to see the scar. I have to put an anti-biotic cream on 3 times a day so how can I forget anyway?

I asked what happened in recovery that I was there for 9 hours. I guess my heart went into a bad rhythm and that affected my breathing which became too shallow. Then my blood sugar spiked and I was given insulin all night. I have never had a diabetes problem before. They said everything that could go wrong - did.

Karen, thank you so very much for the weekly cards. They are beautiful and encouraging. Also, I have the basket full of goodies you sent on the fire place hearth so I can look in it and at it every day. You make me smile and I thank you for that.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:18 PM   #52
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((Hugs)) It takes a very courageous person to do what is best (whatever that may be). And sometimes that means crying too - don't feel like you have to "get through this" without showing pain and hurt. I hope your body continues to heal so you can move on with treatment.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:34 PM   #53
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Wow, Sammie--so much to think about and adjust to. It does sound like chemo is the best way to go, but that really bites, doesn't it?

{{{hugs}}} I hope that you can have a good, restful weekend.

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Old 10-26-2007, 04:39 PM   #54
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Hi Karen,

On Monday I saw the 2 surgeons and they couldn't remove the big draining tube because I am still bleeding. So I go again next Monday. I have an app't with the oncologist on Nov. 15th to set up the chemo regiment. My surgeon said on Monday that he would probably be inserting a port into my chest. I have to have time to heal inside before they start the chemo though. The DR showed me the mortally rates over 10 years with the aggressive kind of cancer that I have. When all of my specifics were put into it, I would have an increased 50% chance of living 10 years if I take chemo. I am a little scared of the chemo as I have watched DH go through this. But I also want to live long enough to see the grand kids grow up, so I will make myself be strong.

I am really tired and hurting from the mastectomy and that darn big tube hurts that comes out about 6 inches from under the arm pit. I have been doing arm exercises to keep my range of motion in the arm. I have about a 5 inch scar on my chest and then a 3 inch one in my arm pit. Nice stitching "in the ditch" if he were a quilt maker.

It is very strange. I have no breast on one side. I knew it was coming (or going) but I awaken each day with pain as a reminder, but I go and look under the bandages just to see the scar. I have to put an anti-biotic cream on 3 times a day so how can I forget anyway?

I asked what happened in recovery that I was there for 9 hours. I guess my heart went into a bad rhythm and that affected my breathing which became too shallow. Then my blood sugar spiked and I was given insulin all night. I have never had a diabetes problem before. They said everything that could go wrong - did.

Karen, thank you so very much for the weekly cards. They are beautiful and encouraging. Also, I have the basket full of goodies you sent on the fire place hearth so I can look in it and at it every day. You make me smile and I thank you for that.
Sammie, courage my friend. Some day soon, when you wake up, the pain will be gone. I will be thinking of you and I am sending you all of the cyber strength that I can. Hugs.

Julie
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:25 PM   #55
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I found another lump about 4 days ago on the same side the mastectomy was done on 3 1/2 weeks ago. It's right at the base where the breast would have started on the arm pit side. It feels exactly like the last one and it is only about an inch from where the last one was. I think I have handled things fairly calm and cool, but if he let this lymph node get by I think I may be upset. Mark and I are a bit scared and frustrated. We are hoping it is an infection in one of the nodes because the tube had to be very close to that spot. There is an area on that side of my chest where any light touch or cloth is so very painful. The swelling finally went down everywhere and then I feel the lump. They pulled the tube out and I really swelled up with a back up of blood and liquid.

I saw my surgeon and after about 50 minutes and an ultra sound that he did himself, he said that because I will be starting chemo soon, that if it is anything the chemo will take care of any errant cancer spots. But he also said that it could be lymph nodes that are just reacting to the tubes that were in or the expander that is still in my chest. He said I many just need more recovery time if it is a swollen node. He did spend a lot of time reassuring us that we shouldn't worry about anything right now and to let the oncologist handle it. I see the oncologist on Thursday and the surgeon said that he (the oncologist) would also check the lump out and give his opinion too. So I guess I won't worry about it right now. Worrying takes too much energy.

I still have a lot of pain and am frustrated about that. They had to cut a lot of skin out that they hadn’t planned on doing because the cancer was so much larger than they thought. I didn’t have that much skin to begin with. So the incision area is still in the stages of trying to heal. The surgeon said he literally scraped the underneath of the skin left in and went all the way to the sternum and scraped that. Thee skin is very thin and he actually thought I would need more surgery just to replace the incision area. But I think it is healing well considering what he did and then the lupus doesn’t help either.

I guess I will go into the holiday season with no hair. Actually that is not that big of a deal with me. I love my hair, but I think I will love surviving a lot more.
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:17 PM   #56
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Samantha, I have not even been to the group in some time, but started reading your thread and just wanted to tell you that I pray for you to get better. There is much power in prayer and having your friends send up petitions of help for you. I admire your courage and will be thinking of you often and checking back in to see you progress. I just know that though this surgery and chemo is awful, that HE will comfort you.
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:24 PM   #57
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Sammie, I truly hope the new lump is nothing serious. Don't worry about your hair - the hats in your goodie box are pretty enough no one will notice

(((Big but gentle Hugs)))
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:33 PM   #58
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Lots of cyber hugs and strength coming your way, Sammie. I've been thinking about you often. Thanks for taking the time to update us.

Get some good rest, my friend!
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:12 PM   #59
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*BIG BIG, BUT GENTLE, HUGS*
I'm so sorry to hear that you're not doing so well, Sammie.
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Old 11-10-2007, 06:55 PM   #60
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We're all thinking positive thoughts for you, girl. I hope you can "feel" some of our hugs!!

Thanks for taking time to update.
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Old 11-10-2007, 07:19 PM   #61
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Sammie, I truly hope the new lump is nothing serious. Don't worry about your hair - the hats in your goodie box are pretty enough no one will notice

(((Big but gentle Hugs)))
I am not worrying too much about my hair. The shaving off part might bring a few tears. I love the little hats you sent me. I actually pushed all my hair into one to see what I would look like with no hair. I looked OK. The hats are so cute.

I had my hair cut a bit shorter before the main surgery to get used to real short hair. My friend who cut my hair told me that the American Cancer Society gives out a free wig made of human hair to women with cancer who will lose their hair. I'll see about that when the time comes. She said she would cut it any way I liked.

I am hanging in there..... Could be by only a thread, but I am not a quitter.
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Old 11-10-2007, 07:25 PM   #62
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Thanks for all the ((((((HUGS)))))). It makes me stronger feeling the support and caring especially for someone you don't know but through SCS.
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Old 11-10-2007, 07:28 PM   #63
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Sammie,

I'm sorry you are still having so much pain and that you have found another lump. Please let us know what the oncologist has to say on Thursday.

Warm hugs to you, my friend.

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Old 11-10-2007, 08:13 PM   #64
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Here are some more hugs from WI!! Keep strong, we are here for you!!

Hugs!!
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:46 AM   #65
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Oh Sammie, you are in my thoughts, girl! Warm, balmy hugs from SW FL!
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:58 AM   #66
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Love and hugs to you, Sammie.
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:18 AM   #67
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Sammie, So sorry that you found another lump. Let us know what happens.
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:14 PM   #68
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Positive thoughts Hang in there and keep us updated!
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:55 PM   #69
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I was just thinking about you this week, and wondering how you were doing.

Yikes! I know I would've been a little (well, maybe a lot!) freaked out to find another lump. Just what you did not need while you are busy trying to heal (I just cringed reading about what your surgeon had to do). Here is hoping that it is just an infected node.

I admire your strength and spirit through all of this.

Sending more big, gentle {{{HUGS}}} your way.

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Old 11-13-2007, 07:34 PM   #70
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Just checking in and wanted you to know that you are cared for.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:45 PM   #71
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Sending warm wishes and positive thoughts from England. I'm sorry about the pain and the new lump but hang in there; it sounds like you're in good hands.
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Old 11-14-2007, 06:38 AM   #72
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My aunt had pancreatic cancer surgery, and did radiation and chemo. She said that someone advised her NOT to shave her head, because when the hair did fall out, it would be tiny, prickly hairs instead of longer ones. Just a thought.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:26 PM   #73
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I went through some of what you are three years ago. I had neg. Mams in Jan then found the lump in June. I didn't go to the doc until August. Had MRI's and the tumor was large. Had chemo to reduce the size. No lymph node involvement. Was told it was a stage 3 due to size but she said since no lymph node involvement made it a stage 2 A. I cut my hair short then when it started falling our had it shaved and had no problems with the stubs. Had a wig for church but I always wore hats, and scarves. I also learned how to make a turban type hat out of the lower part of a man's t-shirt. so I went to the goodwill and bought t-shirts in different colors to wear. It was great since it was during the winter. After all my treatment surgery and radiation my hair started growing back. It came in thick and curly(normally thin and straight. And no gray! It lasted for about 6 months then went back to the norm!. I have now been 3 years and don't know where the time went. You will think back to it all and wonder how you did it. My prayers are with you for a quick recovery.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:10 PM   #74
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I e-amiled this message to friends and just copied and pasted it here as I am too tired to start over:

Well I saw the oncologist today for the 1st time today. He said he has to treat it aggressively with 4-6 months of chemo because it is a nasty and ulgy kind of cancer. The chemo is divided into 2 parts. Each being about 2-3 months long each. I would get the chemo once every 2 weeks via a port that will be put into my chest for the chemo and blood work that goes along with it.

He said that I may need my chest wall radiated because of the size of the tumor even though the Sentinel lymph node was clean. When he did the physical he asked if my eyes were always the way they are now. Not until about 6 months ago. One eye lid is closed more than the other and the pupil in one is dilated. He said there is a slight chance it could be brain cancer as that is one of the symptoms. OK….that is when my heart skipped a beat.

I will be in Madison almost every day next week for tests. Thanksgiving day is the only day we will be home. One is called a MUGA scan of the heart. In the first round of chemo, there are 3 different medications given (TAC). The A part can damage the heart. So they need to do a scan to make sure my heart is OK and takes about an hour. Then I have a CAT scan for my head to make sure my brain is OK. I can’t have a MRI right now as I have a piece of metal in my chest. But he said this would be just as good as seeing a tumor. Then I need a ton of blood work done.

He said I would lose my hair at week 3 of chemo. So I guess I need to seriously check into getting a wig and turbans. I see him again a week from Monday to go over all of the test results, arrange the surgery for the port and set up the beginning of the chemo regime.

If the cancer is not in my brain and I make it through the chemo, statically there will be a 28% chance of recurrence. That means a 72% chance it won’t.

That’s where I am tonight: kind of bummed out and kind of just wanting to get this over with. Others have done it and I need to think that I can too.

Thanks for all the support.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:12 PM   #75
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Sammie, I am without words except to say, if I could reach out and hug you, I would.

Much love

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Old 11-15-2007, 06:29 PM   #76
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Bump
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:33 PM   #77
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sammie,
hugs to you and yours.

you are in my thoughts.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:36 PM   #78
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Sammie, just read your entire thread. I am so sorry you are having to go through this.

Warm hugs & kisses from FL.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:36 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samantha View Post
I need to think that I can too.[/FONT]

Thanks for all the support.
Of course you can! Dont' even harbor the thought that you can't!

you have all the love and support, prayers, good thoughts, well wishes that we can toss your way.

(and btw, I think you have an awesome friend in Rainsong. I suspect she cares for you more than you realize. hold on to that thought when you are feeling down!)

if you need to vent, my pm's always open. I'll be thinking good thoughts for ya!
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:49 PM   #80
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Sammie, we don't have a relationshi here but I see your sweet kitty avatar here and there. I have been reading your thread and keeping you in my thoughts. I have walked in the Avaon Walk for Breast Cancer when my son was just one. I will again after baby on the way is born. It would be an honor to have your name in the list of who I walk for.

Keep up the good fight. Use the support resources you have through your doctor, your community and here(we'll call that one Rainsong).

Thank you for being kind enough to share your story with us so we all may learn and be touched by you. You speak eloquently and heartfelt and that is a gift.

As others have said please feel free to pm me if you need and ear or shoulder. I am a SAHM show should be available most readily.

Hugs to you and your family.
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