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Psychological Support
Questions about support for the mental aspects of breast cancer & treatement.
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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
8/1/2017I was diagnosed with Stage 1A in December 2014/January 2015. I had complete mastectomy of my right breast in January 2015. There was no limp nodes involved. Since I was 69 at the time and I was put on Letrozole 2.5 mg daily. While the hot flashes and trouble sleeping have decreased. I have developed overwhelming OCD and depression. The general consensus is that Letrozole does not create the OCD. I want to know why this happened to me. I followed all the recommended preventive measures. Now I have a mother, maternal aunt, maternal cousin and sister who have also experienced this disease. So I have both the spit test and blood test and each result stated that I had no gene for this disease. Yet no one can tell why it happened. I see women who drink, smoke and are enormously over weight and they do not get this disease. Not knowing the reason is driving me crazy. If you do not know what caused the problem, then you cannot prevent it again. I just want my life back - I don't know what I did to cause this disease. Everyone (including counselor that I am seeing) keeps saying to me that I just have to accept it but I cannot accept it. I HATE being around normal women. I keep covering up my body because I do not want anyone to know that I now feeling like a freak. I HATE, HATE being called a breast disease patient. I just want to be me. I stopped going to specialists associated with this disease because I want to be considered normal. I do take letrozole (out of fear), have a breast check twice a year, and annual mammogram. As you can see, my life is a mess. Do you think that having my other breast removed as a precaution would help ease my mind? Do you still have to take Letrozole if you have other breast removed. I just want my life back and I need a "reboot" button so I can go back to being me. I do not want to be a breast disease person - I want my life back.
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
8/1/2017Your family history is significant and though you tested negative for any of the known genes, you and your family still may carry a gene mutation that there is no way to test for yet. that said, don't allow this experience to paralyze you from having joy in your life. you are not a patient. you are a survivor. you are who you are in all respects-- what kind of work you do, what you enjoy, where you live, etc. And even if you don't have a gene, 70% of women diagnosed have no known risk factors. you have family history which is a significant risk factor. get out and enjoy your life. stop looking backwards.

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