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newly diagnosed partner... tips as we start this care journey?

landybear Member Posts: 2

I am caregiver and partner of my life partner diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, unilateral, grade 2, stage to be determined at surgery time in March 2021. She went through and survived an ovarian cancer, total hysterectomy and bilateral tubes and ovaries cut out, back in 2015, with chemo following surgery, and here we are again, an unrelated cancer. Looking for tips on best practices. We now await FISH for HER-2 receptors to determine course of treatment.... had core biopsy so far, but looking at surgery, radiation, possible chemo depending on HER-2 status (now showing as equivocal). Positive estrogen/progesterone. Suggestions? Landybear


  • bakerstreet
    bakerstreet Member Posts: 4

    Welcome landybear! It might feel like a very uncertain period with all the tests and protocols. I was in your place 18 months ago.

    My suggestions regarding the treatment process:

    Make sure you get a second opinion if you are unsure about anything. In our case, it made a huge difference in the type of surgery.

    The biopsy report might be a little different after the surgery path report. It might not be as well, but be prepared at least you, yourself.

    One day at a time; it is a process and it ends eventually. It might be very challenging to be a caretaker sometimes because you keep your feelings to yourself but find yourself your own support system and share some of the daily tasks with her support circle as well.

    It helped my partner to walk in between chemo sessions. She had less side effects and also doctors told her not to be too bold about not taking certain medicines, like acid reflux prevention med etc. She didn't listen but we learned the tough way that meds are prescribed to prevent certain side effects so listen to the medical team.

    The nutrition part is tough because treatments change taste buds but try to switch to a healthier diet bit by bit. Also, they should eat whatever they can handle during treatment.(it might be a burger)

    Last thing, once again: be ready to be the recipient of a lot of changing emotions. My therapist helped me a lot on this. These boards helped us a lot with every type of worry and question. She doesn't want to read about her illness online but I was the bridge to tell her all the great stories I read here.

  • melissadallas
    melissadallas Member Posts: 929

    landybear, has she had genetic testing? Since ovarian and breast cancer are both linked to BRCA mutations, as well as other cancer gene syndromes, I would want thatdone before I made surgery or even treatment decisions.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,283

    Welcome, Landybear. We're so glad you've joined us and reached out for support and advice - you are in the right place. We're here for you and your partner as you begin down this road together.

    The Mods

  • landybear
    landybear Member Posts: 2

    yes, BRCA and a host of other genetic testing done at ovarian cancer time... HER-2 also, but they are testing for the HER-2 now again by FISH, and genetic counsel is set for next week to find out more....

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,946


    Welcome. When you say "caregiver," does that mean your partner requires full or part-time care before this diagnosis? Because that could make quite a difference in how her medical team would approach surgery and post-surgical treatments.

  • vidal1993
    vidal1993 Member Posts: 60

    Hi LandyBear. It sounds like you have already had a taste of cancer caregiving, with your partner having had ovarian cancer back in 2015. I could write a lot, but all I can think of right now is brace yourself. I was a husband and father of 2 young girls when my wife was diagnosed in June 2019 with Stage 2A lymph positive ER/PR positive Her2 negative. She has had 2 surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and now hormone therapy but she is a survivor. Remember to take care of yourself every now and then. Take a night out. Call an old friend. Or you will become depressed and angry. Try to find your "safe-space", when she lashes out at you. Things are much better now, but there were some dark moments. I will think of more to say.