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Wife Is Beating Breast Cancer (1 Viewer)

Chadstroma

Footballguy
Much appreciated guys. I needed to "hear" a lot of those messages sent.

I am still in "overwhelmed" mode processing it mentally and emotionally but I am not stuck dwelling on the worst case scenario like I was when I wrote this yesterday.

We carried on with everything normal yesterday... she did her full day of work. (A big difference between us... I would have been like "peace out, I need the rest of the day"). Her sister happens to be in town and I dropped my son off for football practice and went to catch the end of my nieces basketball game and then my daughters (conveniently they were back to back) where her sisters were. She met us there. After, we went to my in laws for a family dinner and after a little bit, I took the kids home so she could tell her brother and sisters (one brother was not there). She was in good spirits and it would have been impossible to determine anything was wrong at all through the dinner etc.

If I didn't know her, I would wonder if she was in denial but she is just strong. Infinitely more than I am.
 

Uruk-Hai

Footballguy
Hoping for the best of outcomes, Chad.

As others have said, use this place as your venting space when you feel the need. It's certainly helped me in the past.
 

DJackson10

Footballguy
Yes, I know there are tons of cancer threads. I hope you guys will indulge me of one more as my wife is very private and I am the opposite. So, I can't verbally throw up on other people but feel like I need an outlet. She would not be happy if she knew about this thread but it is somewhat anonymous and I am not going to tell her about it. I need to vent.


My wife felt a lump on her breast. The frustrating thing for me right now is that this was a while ago. She had a hard time with Doctors and appointments for a while.... and I am pissed off at myself right now because I didn't push harder to get the right tests done quicker. I can't even say why I didn't... maybe denial? Well, she had the mammogram and they sent her for a biopsy Thursday saying that it looked like cancer. She had it done and got the results back today saying that it was positive.


We have an appointment Tuesday with a surgeon who is suppose to be highly regarded. They don't know much of any info and apparently will not until they do the surgery. The plan of treatment right now is the surgery and then chemo.


My wife is a trooper. I am a wreck. Besides the prospect of losing my wife, the idea of my children losing their mother is just destroying me. If there was one of us that had to go.... 1,000% it would be better for me than her. She is an amazing woman, amazing mother and she would be able to soldier on through without me and likely even flourish. Me? I fear I would fold and fail my kids. I can't lose her. My kids can't lose her.


I am trying to be positive. I am trying to hold it together right now. She is at work still and carrying on like no big deal (though I know it isn't easy). We are not telling the kids anything other than Mom has to go to another surgery (she had one a few months back for her galbladder) and will decide what to say once we have more info. Her parents know and we are telling her siblings tonight at a family dinner.


The doctor told her that treatment has come a long way and survivability rates are high now so I am praying and hoping right now. I would appreciate all prayers for her.

This hits close to home. Do you know anything of what type of cancer or how far it spread? My mom works at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Long Story short 7 yrs ago she got diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I think my reaction was more subtle then anything since she works in the field of pediatric cancer. Fortunately for her she is friends with a lot of DRs and HUP AKA University of Penn Hospital is right there next to CHOP. They did the surgery no chemo. Anyway forget why but Surgery a second time to clean up and they did a breast augmentation for her. My mom is doing great since then.

Treatment has come a long way since you were young trust me I might be one of the few people in this thread besides drs and anyone else who survived cancer or knows someone who has on here as my mom works with it daily.

My suggestion to you is just ask questions to the drs. Push for answers and something can't be done quickly enough exhaust your options to get those results. BTW my mom didn't do Chemo either. Just opted for surgery.
 

Keerock

Caveman
T&P GB... My wife is an almost 10 year survivor. Lumpectomy, partial mastectomy and radiation. Be her strength when she can't be. If she's anything like my wife, it will feel like it's way harder on you, but it's not. Take other burdens away from her while she recovers. You will all (you, your wife, your kids) emerge stronger and closer.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
One thing with my wife is I have hack to tell if she was really upset, mad or worried. When she is really emotional like that she doesn't eat. Last Thursday when we had the biopsy (and she was told that they thought it was cancer already) afterwards we went out to breakfast and she ate normal. Since we got the call Wed, she has been eating normal.

She amazes me.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
The doctor told her that treatment has come a long way and survivability rates are high now
This is good advice. At this point, it sounds like you don’t even know the extent of the tumor. A significant proportion of breast cancers are resectable, which is curative, if it hasn’t spread beyond the primary tumor. But even if it has, contemporary management of cancer is pretty amazing.

The most common procedure is a lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node biopsy (to check for microscopic spread), followed by local radiation. They’ll also measure hormone receptors and other markers of disease progression. If those tests are positive, she may be given the option to take pills to eradicate any residual cancer/lessen the risk of recurrence. Only more widespread disease would require chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy - these are the areas where dramatic improvement have been made in recent years.

But really no need to get ahead of oneself. Find a breast surgeon and oncologist you trust, preferably at a multidisciplinary cancer center. Most importantly, do everything you can to support your wife. Cancer is always a dreaded diagnosis, and because of their association with gender and sexuality, cancer of the breasts is especially troubling to women. Even if she appears stoic, you wife needs you to lean on. Don’t focus on delays in the diagnosis, but channel your energy towards her treatment and recovery. Good luck.

ETA My wife had localized breast cancer diagnosed almost a decade ago. She had the tumor removed, followed by elective mastectomy of both breasts. She never needed chemo or radiation. It wasn’t easy at the time, but she remains disease-free to this day, with no evidence of cancer other than breast implants, which aren’t a terrible consolation prize.
Tuesday we have the consult with the Doctor who is suppose to be highly respected in UofChicago and Silver Cross Hospital. She was told that they wouldn't know the extent etc until they went in for the surgery which I am taking is the lumpectomy. I believe that is scheduled for the following week.
 

STEADYMOBBIN 22

Footballguy
One thing with my wife is I have hack to tell if she was really upset, mad or worried. When she is really emotional like that she doesn't eat. Last Thursday when we had the biopsy (and she was told that they thought it was cancer already) afterwards we went out to breakfast and she ate normal. Since we got the call Wed, she has been eating normal.

She amazes me.
Savage. I like her already!
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
My wife is a trooper. I am a wreck. Besides the prospect of losing my wife, the idea of my children losing their mother is just destroying me. If there was one of us that had to go.... 1,000% it would be better for me than her. She is an amazing woman, amazing mother and she would be able to soldier on through without me and likely even flourish. Me? I fear I would fold and fail my kids. I can't lose her. My kids can't lose her.


I am trying to be positive. I am trying to hold it together right now. She is at work still and carrying on like no big deal (though I know it isn't easy). We are not telling the kids anything other than Mom has to go to another surgery (she had one a few months back for her galbladder) and will decide what to say once we have more info. Her parents know and we are telling her siblings tonight at a family dinner.


The doctor told her that treatment has come a long way and survivability rates are high now so I am praying and hoping right now. I would appreciate all prayers for her.
Don't dwell on the first bolded. As your doctor points out in the 3rd bolded, there is much reason for optimism here. Be supportive. Be strong. Be whatever your wife needs. FWIW, my wife decided to treat it very aggressively with the hopes of being done with it forever. My wife is 4 yrs removed from her treatment...chemo, double mastectomy (even though only one breast was affected at the time), radiation... so far clear ever since. There is a high probability of a positive outcome for many cancers these days. Discuss the outlook with your doctors and trust the process once you commit to a course of action.

On the second bolded item, I am sure you know your kids best. I am not sure how old they are, so that factors into decisions as well. I will just share that we informed our children when my wife was diagnosed. They were in 9th and 10th grade at the time. I am grateful that we did. We talked about it openly and I think that helped them deal with things. I know my oldest son ended up writing about his perspective for his senior narrative and college essays as it is something that influenced and shaped who he is. My daughter had a little rougher time dealing with it especially since my brother in law was dealing with glioblastoma at the same time. He was literally given only a only a couple of months to live when my wife's news struck. It was a lot to absorb, but kids are pretty resilient.

If you ever need to chat about things, feel free to hit me up. Good luck.
My daughter is 11, sons are 9 and almost 7 (in two months). My wife made the decision to not tell them anything now and then when we get more info then figure out what we do with them. I am good with that because telling them anything now would put undue stress and worry on them when we don't have a clear picture of what to expect. Once we do, we will revisit what to tell them for sure.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
Hang in there Chad.

treatment has come a LOOOOOOOONG way. This is far from a death sentence. My wife’s mom died of breast cancer, so we are all over it. Went through a lumpectomy, which ended up benign. My sister in law had it And caught it fairly early. She chose double mastectomy, with new boobs. Controversial, but it’s how she decided to handle it. She is totally fine.

You ever need to chat, just call.

and F the donkeys. 😜
You forgot the Chefs and Dolts.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
Yes, I know there are tons of cancer threads. I hope you guys will indulge me of one more as my wife is very private and I am the opposite. So, I can't verbally throw up on other people but feel like I need an outlet. She would not be happy if she knew about this thread but it is somewhat anonymous and I am not going to tell her about it. I need to vent.


My wife felt a lump on her breast. The frustrating thing for me right now is that this was a while ago. She had a hard time with Doctors and appointments for a while.... and I am pissed off at myself right now because I didn't push harder to get the right tests done quicker. I can't even say why I didn't... maybe denial? Well, she had the mammogram and they sent her for a biopsy Thursday saying that it looked like cancer. She had it done and got the results back today saying that it was positive.


We have an appointment Tuesday with a surgeon who is suppose to be highly regarded. They don't know much of any info and apparently will not until they do the surgery. The plan of treatment right now is the surgery and then chemo.


My wife is a trooper. I am a wreck. Besides the prospect of losing my wife, the idea of my children losing their mother is just destroying me. If there was one of us that had to go.... 1,000% it would be better for me than her. She is an amazing woman, amazing mother and she would be able to soldier on through without me and likely even flourish. Me? I fear I would fold and fail my kids. I can't lose her. My kids can't lose her.


I am trying to be positive. I am trying to hold it together right now. She is at work still and carrying on like no big deal (though I know it isn't easy). We are not telling the kids anything other than Mom has to go to another surgery (she had one a few months back for her galbladder) and will decide what to say once we have more info. Her parents know and we are telling her siblings tonight at a family dinner.


The doctor told her that treatment has come a long way and survivability rates are high now so I am praying and hoping right now. I would appreciate all prayers for her.
You will not fold and you will not fail your family. Even though it feels like you will. Even though it feels like you can't handle this. You can. And you will.

You will find strength and grace that you didn't know existed inside you. You will find friends and resources and help in places you didn't expect to find them. You will find peace in the middle of a ****storm of worry, and an opportunity to deepen love and intimacy with your family in ways you never dreamed.

I'm sorry that you and yours are going through this. Take hope in the doctor's words- treatment has come a long way and survivability is high. Be present for your family. Just be there, be available, and you'll know what to do. Come here and vent when you feel like you can't handle it, or feel overwhelmed.

If you need somebody to talk to, one on one, feel free to PM me. Prayers for your family, brother.
Damn it. I can't read your post without crying. I tried. Three times. I ain't afraid to admit it.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
The Wahington Post has a firewall, so i copied this advice from Carolyn Hax's column from it:


Hi Carolyn: I found out three days ago that I have cancer. (God that is scary just typing it.) I have a consult on Monday with an oncologist and a surgeon. So far I’ve been managing to keep busy at work and keep myself from freaking out now because I just don’t know enough yet.


As the consult gets closer I’m having more trouble controlling my emotions. How do I get through the weekend to Monday morning? I’m feeling my heart start to race just typing this.

— Scared
Scared:
Oh, ugh, I’m sorry. Bad news is bad enough without added suspense.
The way you get through the weekend is to … get through. Seriously. I think we all got some unwelcome practice at this during the worst of the pandemic, and its lessons apply in this context:

First, you figure out what you need to do — like work, bills, chores, though streamlining is fine, too, if it helps. People prefer different things here, and this is as personal as it gets.



Next, you see what time you have left to fill after the requirements. Then you fill it with your most reliable distractions and, if possible, deliver a hit of optimism to help keep you afloat.
The go-tos for most are art and nature — nothing like streaming a great show or getting outside — but emotional transcendence is, again, maybe the most personal thing about us, so I won’t pretend to know what will work for you. Getting outside yourself can help, too — giving to others in some way.

Or, this is going to sound the opposite of soothing, but if you have clutter at home, hit it now so you don’t have to look at it when you feel your sickest.
Take a deep breath and give yourself what you need, without apology.
Regardless of what you do, Monday will come. I hope it comes with the best possible news.
Readers’ thoughts:
· I’ve been there. You get through it one task, one day, one hour or even one minute at a time.
· Speaking as someone who’s wrestled two types of C to a draw: Remind yourself that it isn’t a definite death sentence. While waiting for action orders I turned on Motown and cleaned my refrigerator, buried myself in Amelia Peabody books, and watched the original BBC Poirot series.

· Depending on your treatment, your taste buds might get a bit off-kilter for a while. So this might be a weekend to revel in favorite flavors. Also, if there are any places where the scent is important to you — mountains, seashore, flowers in — take them in, if you have the energy. Sending love and good thoughts your way whether you do this or stay in bed with Netflix all weekend. You can’t go wrong.
· I learned (by doing it wrong, obviously) the importance of picking the right people to talk to about it. I had people totally blow it off or make thoughtless comments, which made me feel worse-er. I wish I’d chosen based on their own emotional makeup.



· Visit cancersupportcommunity.org right now and take a look at the resources. They are especially good for people like you who have just been diagnosed and don’t know where to turn. They also have a 7-day-a-week helpline staffed by real people who will be happy to talk to you and help you this time and beyond. CSC has programs for every stage of diagnosis and treatment and is for patients, caregivers and families. Good luck.

A lot of this applies to you, not just to your wife. Take care of yourself, not just her. You do need someplace to talk, and this is a good place for it. It's not as if we will run into her in the grocery store, or something. Her privacy is pretty much guraranteed this way, and you get a place to dump what you need to. So go ahead. We don't mind at all.

Best wishes for both of you.
I seem to go straight to the darkest dark place and then climb my way out.
Last week, that is what I did when she told me that the mammogram looked like cancer and needed to get the biopsy. It wasn't nearly the same level as when you hear confirmation that it is cancer but same thing.

My wife is more focused on life as usual and doing the things we normally do. When she told me about needing the biopsy she said "life goes on" and we made our plans with our friends to go Apple Picking (which is funny because it is basically an annual event with our friends that we have done 4 or 5 times and we have yet actually picked apples on the trips) and went and did it.

My wife is normally as a matter of day to day life before an excellent mother but I can see her interactions with our kids are that much more... I don't know... in the moment. Like helping them with homework before was helping them with homework and now it is more like spending time with them helping them with homework.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
My wife was diagnosed a little over 13 months ago. My mom was diagnosed 2 days after my wife. So this is still pretty fresh to me. Wife was able to get past with the lumpectomy, mom had to go mastectomy. Both are now in the less-active treatment/monitor phase. Everyone's experience and stories will be different. There is a spectrum of outcomes.

The advice up here is solid. I'll add:
  • Take it day by day, moment by moment.
  • Make sure to go to the appointments w/your wife. Mine, normally an acute listener, wasn't taking in all details very well. It can be difficult when you are the one receiving the news. I was there to catch things that might have missed.
  • Lots of people will be willing to help. It became overwhelming/humbling for us. We used lotsahelping hands to create a "We need help on" calendar. We used it to get meals on appointment days. We learned we had no will left for cooking meals on those days. ie: We ate an overwhelming amount of take out and having people bring meals one or twice a week was a massive help that I am grateful for. Help calendars can help answer the question "how can I help?!"
  • Take out meals lead to: Take care of yourself too. My doctor is pissed at me cause I didn't do a great job of this. If you can't take care of yourself, you can't take care of her.
  • The breast cancer treatment center handed us a bag of stuff on our first appointment. Mostly stuff for her, but I was given a book. I am pretty sure this was it. It was helpful, stark at times, but it helped frame things for me. https://www.amazon.com/Bme. reast-Cancer-Husband-Diagnosis-Treatment/dp/1579548334 I'd go get my copy to be sure, but I found it so valuable, I passed it on to a friend who followed us down this path.
Good luck.
I am usually a wuss when it comes to hospitals/medical stuff.
Seriously... to a ridiculous level.
It was not that long ago that I actually would get physically sick just walking into a hospital. Nasea, light headed, dizzy, etc. When my wife gave birth to my daughter, every single time a nurse or someone came in the first thing they would do was check on me, asking if I was ok- lol. I almost passed out years before visiting my grandfather- the room went spinning and I ended on the ground. It is/was psychological of course rooted in having my little sister born with a heart defect, spending most of her life in hospitals and then passing as a baby. (my 2nd grade year)

I have got better and am capable of being in a hospital now but I am still very squeamish about medical stuff.

My wife, of course, knows this and offered for me not go with her but that isn't an option. I am not not going to be there with/for her.
 

jvdesigns2002

Footballguy
I somehow missed seeing this thread until now. Just wanted to send all of my deepest thoughts, prayers, and positive vibes to you and your family. Cancer is a battle that requires massive support and positivity to overcome. I know it’s not easy—but try to be as strong as you can and as positive as you can for your wife and family. The battle against cancer is not just a physical one—it’s also a mental one. Hang in there GB.
 

IrishTwinkie

Footballguy
Another piece of advice. This via my mom, from someone fighting brain cancer. This woman was amazingly zen. People would remark “how can you be so calm?” Her reply was amazing to me. “I don’t need to figure out this problem, that is their job (referring to the various docs). I just have to show up to the appointments.”

It is your wife’s journey. You are there to help her walk it. It is ok to feel all sorts of emotions. Lots of people have walked similar paths, but none have walked hers. Let yourself feel the emotions, it’s human.
 
Last edited:

Shula-holic

Footballguy
Yes, I know there are tons of cancer threads. I hope you guys will indulge me of one more as my wife is very private and I am the opposite. So, I can't verbally throw up on other people but feel like I need an outlet. She would not be happy if she knew about this thread but it is somewhat anonymous and I am not going to tell her about it. I need to vent.


My wife felt a lump on her breast. The frustrating thing for me right now is that this was a while ago. She had a hard time with Doctors and appointments for a while.... and I am pissed off at myself right now because I didn't push harder to get the right tests done quicker. I can't even say why I didn't... maybe denial? Well, she had the mammogram and they sent her for a biopsy Thursday saying that it looked like cancer. She had it done and got the results back today saying that it was positive.


We have an appointment Tuesday with a surgeon who is suppose to be highly regarded. They don't know much of any info and apparently will not until they do the surgery. The plan of treatment right now is the surgery and then chemo.


My wife is a trooper. I am a wreck. Besides the prospect of losing my wife, the idea of my children losing their mother is just destroying me. If there was one of us that had to go.... 1,000% it would be better for me than her. She is an amazing woman, amazing mother and she would be able to soldier on through without me and likely even flourish. Me? I fear I would fold and fail my kids. I can't lose her. My kids can't lose her.


I am trying to be positive. I am trying to hold it together right now. She is at work still and carrying on like no big deal (though I know it isn't easy). We are not telling the kids anything other than Mom has to go to another surgery (she had one a few months back for her galbladder) and will decide what to say once we have more info. Her parents know and we are telling her siblings tonight at a family dinner.


The doctor told her that treatment has come a long way and survivability rates are high now so I am praying and hoping right now. I would appreciate all prayers for her.
Sorry to hear this Chad. My mom first had breast cancer way back in 1997. She had a mastectomy and survived it. I remember living 4 hours away from her and working my first job out of college. She too was a private person, so I knew when that phone call woke me up on a Saturday morning it had to be bad. Back then, they didn't do double mastectomies and she ended up having a second round of it about 12 years later. The second time the treatments were way better and I'm sure have advanced way beyond that by now. I know it's a helpless feeling, will be praying for you.
 

cudjoekey10

Footballguy
Another piece of advice. This via my mom, from someone fighting brain cancer. This woman was amazingly zen. People would remark “how can you be so calm?” Her reply was amazing to me. “I don’t need to figure out this problem, that is their job (referring to the various docs). I just have to show up to the appointments.”

It is your wife’s journey. You are there to help her walk it. It is ok to feel all sorts of emotions. Lots of people have walked similar paths, but none have walked hers. Let yourself feel the emotions, it’s human.
This is excellent advice. I've beaten colon cancer twice, once in my early 20's and again recently in my early 50's. I have had multiple stays in the hospital for as long as two weeks and have endured treatments and procedures that could be described as torture. Have had 5 NG tubes put in while awake, just horrible. Not to mention chemo, radiation, and useful body parts cut out to prevent future cancer.

As IT noted, your wife will feel all kinds of emotions and it's ok to feel bad occasionally. Hopefully she'll take this opportunity to even more appreciate the beauty that is life and once she comes out the other side and is healthy, she may find herself appreciating you, her kids, her life overall much more acutely than she had in the past.

As most of advised here, be supportive, be strong, be a shoulder to cry on, be understanding, but be positive and allow yourself time to grieve a bit as well.

You guys got this!
 

Mrs. Rannous

Footballguy
Everyone reacts differently. My MIL was a circle the wagons kind of person. Having everyoe show up at the hospital for whatever seemed to help her. I would want my effing space.

Fortunately, Mr R turns into Mr Spock during these times. Very focused and businesslike. He keeps apologizing for it, but I love it. Weeping and wailing would drive me nuts.

I guess what I'm saying is you can both work through it in your own way as a team. Give her a hug.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
Yes, I know there are tons of cancer threads. I hope you guys will indulge me of one more as my wife is very private and I am the opposite. So, I can't verbally throw up on other people but feel like I need an outlet. She would not be happy if she knew about this thread but it is somewhat anonymous and I am not going to tell her about it. I need to vent.


My wife felt a lump on her breast. The frustrating thing for me right now is that this was a while ago. She had a hard time with Doctors and appointments for a while.... and I am pissed off at myself right now because I didn't push harder to get the right tests done quicker. I can't even say why I didn't... maybe denial? Well, she had the mammogram and they sent her for a biopsy Thursday saying that it looked like cancer. She had it done and got the results back today saying that it was positive.


We have an appointment Tuesday with a surgeon who is suppose to be highly regarded. They don't know much of any info and apparently will not until they do the surgery. The plan of treatment right now is the surgery and then chemo.


My wife is a trooper. I am a wreck. Besides the prospect of losing my wife, the idea of my children losing their mother is just destroying me. If there was one of us that had to go.... 1,000% it would be better for me than her. She is an amazing woman, amazing mother and she would be able to soldier on through without me and likely even flourish. Me? I fear I would fold and fail my kids. I can't lose her. My kids can't lose her.


I am trying to be positive. I am trying to hold it together right now. She is at work still and carrying on like no big deal (though I know it isn't easy). We are not telling the kids anything other than Mom has to go to another surgery (she had one a few months back for her galbladder) and will decide what to say once we have more info. Her parents know and we are telling her siblings tonight at a family dinner.


The doctor told her that treatment has come a long way and survivability rates are high now so I am praying and hoping right now. I would appreciate all prayers for her.
Chad my wife sounds remarkably like yours. Almost the same story as far as her neglecting to go to her mammograms. Thank God her Dr.called me when she missed the last one. So I had him reschedule and I hand delivered her there. It saved her life as far as I am concerned. She was diagnosed a little over 2 years ago. She is now cancer free.

The biggest thing you can do is always be positive and be a support system for her,never be negative around her. Even when she may be down herself. The radiation treatments will take a toll but support her the best you can.

Treatments have come along way my wife did not have to take intravenous chemo but she will be on a form hormone treatment for most of her life.

Stay positive and God bless your wife you and your family. Lori and I will pray for your wife and your family. If you ever need to vent or have questions for my wife feel free to PM me
The thing that is bugging me right now is in some feedback of not having to do chemo but she was already told that she would do chemo. I don't know if that means from the mamo they saw it more significant that it needs it or what. It is nagging at me. I am just trying to push negative feelings or fear out and get to Tuesday where I can get a better picture of where we are and where we are going directly from the Doctor.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
Everyone reacts differently. My MIL was a circle the wagons kind of person. Having everyoe show up at the hospital for whatever seemed to help her. I would want my effing space.

Fortunately, Mr R turns into Mr Spock during these times. Very focused and businesslike. He keeps apologizing for it, but I love it. Weeping and wailing would drive me nuts.

I guess what I'm saying is you can both work through it in your own way as a team. Give her a hug.
I went to give her a hug last night.... she backed up and said I stink. :sadbanana:
 

Alex P Keaton

Footballguy
Much appreciated guys. I needed to "hear" a lot of those messages sent.

I am still in "overwhelmed" mode processing it mentally and emotionally but I am not stuck dwelling on the worst case scenario like I was when I wrote this yesterday.

We carried on with everything normal yesterday... she did her full day of work. (A big difference between us... I would have been like "peace out, I need the rest of the day"). Her sister happens to be in town and I dropped my son off for football practice and went to catch the end of my nieces basketball game and then my daughters (conveniently they were back to back) where her sisters were. She met us there. After, we went to my in laws for a family dinner and after a little bit, I took the kids home so she could tell her brother and sisters (one brother was not there). She was in good spirits and it would have been impossible to determine anything was wrong at all through the dinner etc.

If I didn't know her, I would wonder if she was in denial but she is just strong. Infinitely more than I am.
Chad - very sorry that your wife, you, and the whole family are facing cancer. No words of advice here. You are a great guy and you both chose each other as partners for a reason. Medicine and science have advanced incredibly far in treating breast cancer. You all will be in my prayers man.
 

rustycolts

Footballguy
Yes, I know there are tons of cancer threads. I hope you guys will indulge me of one more as my wife is very private and I am the opposite. So, I can't verbally throw up on other people but feel like I need an outlet. She would not be happy if she knew about this thread but it is somewhat anonymous and I am not going to tell her about it. I need to vent.


My wife felt a lump on her breast. The frustrating thing for me right now is that this was a while ago. She had a hard time with Doctors and appointments for a while.... and I am pissed off at myself right now because I didn't push harder to get the right tests done quicker. I can't even say why I didn't... maybe denial? Well, she had the mammogram and they sent her for a biopsy Thursday saying that it looked like cancer. She had it done and got the results back today saying that it was positive.


We have an appointment Tuesday with a surgeon who is suppose to be highly regarded. They don't know much of any info and apparently will not until they do the surgery. The plan of treatment right now is the surgery and then chemo.


My wife is a trooper. I am a wreck. Besides the prospect of losing my wife, the idea of my children losing their mother is just destroying me. If there was one of us that had to go.... 1,000% it would be better for me than her. She is an amazing woman, amazing mother and she would be able to soldier on through without me and likely even flourish. Me? I fear I would fold and fail my kids. I can't lose her. My kids can't lose her.


I am trying to be positive. I am trying to hold it together right now. She is at work still and carrying on like no big deal (though I know it isn't easy). We are not telling the kids anything other than Mom has to go to another surgery (she had one a few months back for her galbladder) and will decide what to say once we have more info. Her parents know and we are telling her siblings tonight at a family dinner.


The doctor told her that treatment has come a long way and survivability rates are high now so I am praying and hoping right now. I would appreciate all prayers for her.
Chad my wife sounds remarkably like yours. Almost the same story as far as her neglecting to go to her mammograms. Thank God her Dr.called me when she missed the last one. So I had him reschedule and I hand delivered her there. It saved her life as far as I am concerned. She was diagnosed a little over 2 years ago. She is now cancer free.

The biggest thing you can do is always be positive and be a support system for her,never be negative around her. Even when she may be down herself. The radiation treatments will take a toll but support her the best you can.

Treatments have come along way my wife did not have to take intravenous chemo but she will be on a form hormone treatment for most of her life.

Stay positive and God bless your wife you and your family. Lori and I will pray for your wife and your family. If you ever need to vent or have questions for my wife feel free to PM me
The thing that is bugging me right now is in some feedback of not having to do chemo but she was already told that she would do chemo. I don't know if that means from the mamo they saw it more significant that it needs it or what. It is nagging at me. I am just trying to push negative feelings or fear out and get to Tuesday where I can get a better picture of where we are and where we are going directly from the Doctor.
Sometimes it has to do with her age and type. My wife was 60 when she was diagnosed so she was post menopause. I wish I knew more so I could be more helpful.

There is a poster I can't remember her handle but she was very helpful to us even spoke to my wife over the phone. She is very knowledgeable and is also a survivor. @CurlyNight I'm pretty sure. She is really nice person and will answer any questions she can.
 

Mrs. Rannous

Footballguy
The thing that is bugging me right now is in some feedback of not having to do chemo but she was already told that she would do chemo. I don't know if that means from the mamo they saw it more significant that it needs it or what. It is nagging at me. I am just trying to push negative feelings or fear out and get to Tuesday where I can get a better picture of where we are and where we are going directly from the Doctor.
You don't have the info yet, so the choices are very unclear. It's no fun to have to wait, but I guess that's part of the process.

Have a shower, stinky person.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
The thing that is bugging me right now is in some feedback of not having to do chemo but she was already told that she would do chemo. I don't know if that means from the mamo they saw it more significant that it needs it or what. It is nagging at me. I am just trying to push negative feelings or fear out and get to Tuesday where I can get a better picture of where we are and where we are going directly from the Doctor.
You don't have the info yet, so the choices are very unclear. It's no fun to have to wait, but I guess that's part of the process.

Have a shower, stinky person.
I don't stink! It is her way to get out of a hug.
 

IrishTwinkie

Footballguy
The thing that is bugging me right now is in some feedback of not having to do chemo but she was already told that she would do chemo. I don't know if that means from the mamo they saw it more significant that it needs it or what. It is nagging at me. I am just trying to push negative feelings or fear out and get to Tuesday where I can get a better picture of where we are and where we are going directly from the Doctor.
I’m not a doctor, nor did I stay at a holiday inn last night. (Actually, I did, but I am still a dumb ***.) That all said, I don’t understand how they can be definitively ruling in chemo. In my experience, the initial biopsy can be used to set general direction, but until they have the full mass, it is difficult to tell. For my wife, they pushed chemo from the middle of the table to the side. (It’s never fully off the table). After the lumpectomy, it got put back square in middle of table. Due to careful listening (I can tell that story later.) we asked enough questions from surgeon and uncovered a second path. The oncotype testing of the mass indicated that chemo wasn’t going to be particularly effective, so we were able to avoid it. Best 2k I ever spent.

So I’d suggest checking to see if oncotype testing is an option. You might need to pay extra, but it can lead to more actionable data.
 

Phil Elliott

Footballguy
Best of luck with well wishes coming every day!!! The first few weeks can be a roller coaster of tests/treatment thoughts. I have a relative that is a 10 year survivor and in the past year found out there is a very rate malignant tumor on the brain stem (not related to previous cancer) Just the unlucky who had a mutant gene. Had a few different opinions and started radiation. Can only try to control it but can't eliminate it. Sounds like you all are going to beat this!!!
 

krista4

Footballguy
There are a lot of people here with words of wisdom and amazing advice. I hope you can lean on them, or just on this place in general as a caring community to which you can vent. You are a fantastic person, so I have to think your wife is even more incredible, given that FBG always outkick their coverage. ;) Sending lots of love and healing thoughts from the PNW.
 

James Bond

Footballguy
Sorry to see this. My family has been through something similar. It sucks. She sounds strong. That makes a difference. Praying for you both.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
After trying not to think about it for the last few days... I am going to be prepping for the meeting tomorrow with the doctor.

Does anyone have any feedback, suggestions etc on questions to ask? I am about to jump into Google land to come up with things... I know there are a few things I want to ask like are there any foods to avoid/target in diet, vitamins/supplements avoid/target, exercise, vaccinations (flu, covid, etc) for her and family and when with procedures etc.... not sure what else....
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
The thing that is bugging me right now is in some feedback of not having to do chemo but she was already told that she would do chemo. I don't know if that means from the mamo they saw it more significant that it needs it or what. It is nagging at me. I am just trying to push negative feelings or fear out and get to Tuesday where I can get a better picture of where we are and where we are going directly from the Doctor.
I’m not a doctor, nor did I stay at a holiday inn last night. (Actually, I did, but I am still a dumb ***.) That all said, I don’t understand how they can be definitively ruling in chemo. In my experience, the initial biopsy can be used to set general direction, but until they have the full mass, it is difficult to tell. For my wife, they pushed chemo from the middle of the table to the side. (It’s never fully off the table). After the lumpectomy, it got put back square in middle of table. Due to careful listening (I can tell that story later.) we asked enough questions from surgeon and uncovered a second path. The oncotype testing of the mass indicated that chemo wasn’t going to be particularly effective, so we were able to avoid it. Best 2k I ever spent.

So I’d suggest checking to see if oncotype testing is an option. You might need to pay extra, but it can lead to more actionable data.
Some of that may be playing the telephone game with a woman who was just told that she had cancer so.... it is possible that they didn't say that that was the course but possible course.... I am actually kind of betting on it as I would think that that isn't the call of whomever she was talking to and it is something the doctor tomorrow would shed light on.
 

Chadstroma

Footballguy
There are a lot of people here with words of wisdom and amazing advice. I hope you can lean on them, or just on this place in general as a caring community to which you can vent. You are a fantastic person, so I have to think your wife is even more incredible, given that FBG always outkick their coverage. ;) Sending lots of love and healing thoughts from the PNW.
That is exceedingly kind of you to say of me but you are soooo right about her. I have no idea why she settled for me but I am very happy she did.
 

IrishTwinkie

Footballguy
After trying not to think about it for the last few days... I am going to be prepping for the meeting tomorrow with the doctor.

Does anyone have any feedback, suggestions etc on questions to ask? I am about to jump into Google land to come up with things... I know there are a few things I want to ask like are there any foods to avoid/target in diet, vitamins/supplements avoid/target, exercise, vaccinations (flu, covid, etc) for her and family and when with procedures etc.... not sure what else....
Some information that can help you understand the path ahead (usual disclaimers apply):

  • What type of tumor is it? Breast cancers seem to fall into two major groups Ductile or Lobular. Ductile is more contained and can lead towards a lumpectomy. Lobular is more spidery and can be more difficult to get clear margins during the lumpectomy, thus leading towards a mastectomy.
  • Is it invasive. IE: If ductile has it broken through the duct wall?
  • Mass stats: How many are there and tumor size. Smaller is better for both of these.
  • If they haven't done a biopsy, when is it?
  • If they have,
    • what is the score? They'll give two numbers. Stage and Aggressiveness. Stage is obvious, the earlier it is caught the better. The aggressiveness is an assessment. It is scored out of 3. 1 is slow growing, 2 is normal and 3 is aggressive.
    • Is it HER positive or negative. This can indicate if hormone therapy can help or not.
    • They'll likely put this all into a risk chart to gauge recurrence.
  • The general course of treatment seems to be Surgery, Chemo, Radiation, Hormone Therapy. The first three are the active portions of treatment. The last, assuming the tumor is susceptible, helps prevent recurrence and is longer term. It seems to me any of the of last three are "optional". Meaning they are case by case. It depends on the details. For example, my wife first tended towards no chemo, then swerved hard back towards chemo and finally went back to no chemo after the oncotype test results came in.
  • During the surgery, they'll almost certainly take a number of lymph nodes. This is to make sure the cancer isn't spreading through the lymphatic system. This, in turn, will increase the chances of lymphedema. In our experience, various doctors put different levels of risk on this. Sometimes the doctors were contradictory. Either way you'll want to understand the implications and ways to reduce this risk.
As I said earlier, there are a spectrum of possibilities. My wife was, luckily, on the "good" side of things. If there can be such a thing here. We know people who were on the other side of the spectrum and had much more difficult paths.

The biggest question I'd ask is not of your wife's doctor(s). I'd ask your wife if she was/is comfortable with the treatment she is getting and how she feels around the doctor(s) and surgeons. If she isn't comfortable, find another one. This is going to be fairly invasive and she needs to be comfortable with the people who are helping her. There will be a lot of poking and prodding and if she isn't comfortable with the pokers and prodders, it will only make it more difficult. Breast cancer gives an extra kick in the pants compared to other cancers. This can attack a sense of self and identity and will be something she'll need to deal with. For example, with a mastectomy, is your wife interested in a reconstruction. There are pluses and minuses to either answer.

Best of luck today. Try not to look too far down the road. Get through today first.
 

Keerock

Caveman
@IrishTwinkie provided an awesome list.

One question that we always asked once the treatment plan is laid out... "what other plans are there and what are the pros/cons of those vs what you are recommending?"

After my several experiences with cancer treatments, I tend to distrust doctors more than I used to. Some, not all, but some, may choose a treatment that is better for them/their practice/the hospital than what is better for you. I think it's just smart to know what your options are so you can do your own research and make your own decisions. Breast cancer probably more than any other has a proven path that is successful, but I'm still in the camp of knowing is better than not.
 

DA RAIDERS

willy t flyers
keerock hit an important point. do your own research and make sure that you, your wife and your dr have explored all options. drs don't know everything and will often take the path they are the most familiar with. not necessarily bad or wrong, just what they're used to doing. you being as knowledgeable as possible is always a good thing.

as i said before, my SIL opted to go double mastectomy, with new bewbs. this was a much more aggressive treatment than her dr initially advised. but it's what she wanted to do. she's had zero issues :shrug:

kc and denver lost this week. stupid dolts won. but the raiders didn't lose!!! :pickle:
 

Mrs. Rannous

Footballguy
After trying not to think about it for the last few days... I am going to be prepping for the meeting tomorrow with the doctor.

Does anyone have any feedback, suggestions etc on questions to ask? I am about to jump into Google land to come up with things... I know there are a few things I want to ask like are there any foods to avoid/target in diet, vitamins/supplements avoid/target, exercise, vaccinations (flu, covid, etc) for her and family and when with procedures etc.... not sure what else....
I'm guessing you've already been to see the doc, but you might want to ask what questions your wife has. All of this seems overwhelming for a first appointment.
 

Keerock

Caveman
keerock hit an important point. do your own research and make sure that you, your wife and your dr have explored all options. drs don't know everything and will often take the path they are the most familiar with. not necessarily bad or wrong, just what they're used to doing. you being as knowledgeable as possible is always a good thing.

as i said before, my SIL opted to go double mastectomy, with new bewbs. this was a much more aggressive treatment than her dr initially advised. but it's what she wanted to do. she's had zero issues :shrug:

kc and denver lost this week. stupid dolts won. but the raiders didn't lose!!! :pickle:
When we would question treatments or ask for options the answer we would get was "That's what we do here". We chalked it up to UofM arrogance and it was frustrating as hell.
 

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