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Psychological Support
Questions about support for the mental aspects of breast cancer & treatement.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
4/23/2017PLEASE SEE THE QUESTION BELOW THAT I PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED TO YOU AND YOUR REPLY. Unfortunately, my mental state is not getting better. I do not cry every day but I sometimes just scream or beat on walls or throw things or curse God. I am scared of going in certain places in my home because I keep thinking my that room, etc., caused me to get this disease. I have had both the spit test and blood test and no gene has been found to cause this disease. However no one can tell why this happened and so I live in FEAR. I do not understand. I did everything that medical science said to do (No HRT, did not smoke or drink, went to GYN physician every year, had yearly mammogram) and yet I still had this disease. I just want my life back. I do not think that I will ever be normal again. I am tired of being told to try to move on. My life will never be the same. I have been taking Letrozole daily for two years but the best that I can determine is that no one really knows if this medicine is a complete prevention.
Doctors do not seem to be able to answer questions and just look at me like I am crazy because I want to know if I am cured. My records will forever label me as one of these patients. I was previously a fairly happy person and now I do not know what I am except I do not want anyone to know that I had this disease because people will never look at you the same. I want to be normal again.
PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED QUESTION:2/21/2016 Had mastectomy after diagnosis of lubinar cancer in right breast, stage 1A with no node involvement. Taking letrozole only treatment prescribed. But cannot stop crying. I want my life back. I did all the right things: no smoking, very little drinking (may two or three drinks per week if that), no hormone replacement treatment, yearly breast exams. I cannot understand why this happened except family history of this disease: Mother, Aunt, Cousin and sister. Yet doing everything did not help. How do I feel good again?
Replied JHU's Breast Center Reply
2/22/2016 so given your family history, there is likely a breast cancer gene at work within your family. this should be pursued as it impacts your health in other ways too.

You did do all of the right things to be healthy. this isn't your fault. DNA is DNA. and if not caused by a gene, keep in mind that 70% of people diagnosed have no known risk factors and only about 12% have any family history.

Time to embrace your life that was saved. make future plans regarding things you can look forward to doing. find something at the end of each day to feel a sense of gratitude for. There is also a good chance that your tears are associated with your estrogen levels now being suppressed. what we call chemical menopause due to taking the letrozole. this should level off over time. be well.
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
4/23/2017I am saddened that this is still holding you captive. glad you got the genetic testing done. likely given so many people in your family with several being first degree relatives having been diagnosed before you that you and your family still likely carry a gene mutation for which there is no test to confirm it yet. Today there isn't a way to do a blood test to determine if any cancer cells remain within someone's body who has been diagnosed in the past. research however is focused on exactly this type of test in the future. it will likely take a decade however before it will be available. In the meantime you cannot allow the fact that you HAD cancer still make you believe you HAVE breast cancer now. And as mentioned in my prior posting to you, 70% of women diagnosed have no known risk factors and only 12% have a family history so this means there are additional risk factors yet to be discovered. I am personally 25 years out from my first diagnosis. i was diagnosed again a few years later. I had no known risk factors and no family history. it still happened and i don't want to waste time trying to figure out why or how because it doesn't matter. it is in the past. over. done. i am living my life enjoying each day and thankful to be a survivor. i want you to join me. Consider seeing a psychotherapist who specializes in breast cancer survivors. if you live in the maryland area you can email me at shockli@jhmi.edu and i can provide you contact information for such a person in this region.

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