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Anxious hubby looking for some advice/reassurance

Anxioushubby123
Anxioushubby123 Member Posts: 11
edited January 2022 in Not Diagnosed But Worried

hello all, hope you are doing well.


so about 2 weeks back, my wife who is 28 and has no family history of cancer began to show changes in her right breast only. Her breast were tender and a long dent started to form. From the top of the breast towards her nipple. We immediately made an appt for her GP, and after visiting, the doctor told her she had some lumps under her breast. He gave her an appt to do an ultrasound.

Fast forward to today, we did the ultrasound, and the doctor was perplexed. He could feel the lumps and see the dent but nothing showed up on the ultrasound. No cysts, no masses, nothing.

Afterwards, we went to go see the breast specialist, he reviewed the ultrasound and said he was a bit concerned about the “fat placement” in the breast. After visibly inspecting and feeling the area, he decided that we should do an MRI. He did rule out, in his medical opinion, IBC which is a relief. Moreover he mentioned there was no swelling in the lymph nodes. He did also say that breast cancer is rare for someone in their late 20s, but without the MRI, if there was cancer, he couldn’t tell if it could be stage 1-3.

honestly, my wife is so strong and positive. But I’m such a negative anxious pessimistic person and I’m weighing her down, I’m panicking and I’m trying my best to not talk about it, google it, or show any negative emotions around her. So I found this forum! Thankfully. I’m just here to vent and see if I can get some opinions or just positive words on our situation.


thank you for taking the time to read this! Our MRI is in a week, so I’ll update when the time comes

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Comments

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,888

    Anxioushubby123, we're sorry you are here and worried for your wife's breast changes, but wanted to say welcome! We know it is hard not to imagine the worst case scenario, but breast changes at her age are really common, and the vast majority of breast lumps turn out to be a benign a condition. If you can, try to keep yourself distracted the next few days, to keep your mind off the waiting, and we hope that will also help her. Good luck with MRI! Please keep us posted!

    The Mods

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605

    If your anxiety is weighing her down, it sounds like you need to get help with that. SHE is the one dealing with a cancer scare, she does not need to deal with your anxiety too. Especially if it does turn out to be cancer: you're going to need to get support from someone other than her.

    Hopefully it turns out to be nothing!

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,676

    Anxioushubby123, I’m sorry you’re so anxious. Try to take cues from her and be there for her. It may be hard for her to process if she’s worried about you. Try to take one day at a time and just be there for each other.

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,938

    Although it's good that you're supportive, SHE had the ultrasound. SHE will get the MRI. Please do not use "we." And I hope YOU get help for your anxiety.

  • Anxioushubby123
    Anxioushubby123 Member Posts: 11

    thanks for all the reply! Yes yes anxiety’s a pain in the butt, which is why I’m posting on the forum so I don’t need to talk to her about it. I’m well aware that she’s the one going through it, however it affects more than her right? I’m just doing the best I can day by day.

  • pattik
    pattik Member Posts: 5

    Hi Anxioushubby123. It's especially tough early on not having a lot of information and waiting on results too. Once things start to pick up speed, it got easier because the focus was on solutions.

    There's a book out there my husband read called Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) through Diagnosis, Treatment, and Beyond. You may find it useful.

  • Anxioushubby123
    Anxioushubby123 Member Posts: 11

    thank you so much. I’ll pick it up today. I want to do everything I can to not stress her oi

  • typhoon
    typhoon Member Posts: 59

    The husband of a member of this forum created a website for partners of people with BC. Though your wife hasn't been diagnosed (and I'm hoping she won't be!!) you might find this helpful.
    https://thereforher.com/

  • Anxioushubby123
    Anxioushubby123 Member Posts: 11

    thank you so much. I’m hoping for the best as well. I’ll check out the website tonight!

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,261

    I just want to say that when my mother got terminal cancer many years ago (not breast cancer), my father went to all of her appointments with her and "managed" a lot of the situation. He usually used the term "we" and my mother didn't care at all. I did mention it once, because he commented that "they" needed to get her bladder under control, and I thought that idea was comical and said something about it being her bladder and that there was no way "they" could get "her" bladder under control. He said they were a team and that this was a "we" issue, and again, it worked for my mother. I have seen where other husbands on here also consider this a team effort and a "we" operation. How couples choose to deal with this issue is very personal and unique to each couple, so I think they should just be left to use whatever terminology works for them.

  • pattik
    pattik Member Posts: 5

    I completely agree ThreeTree. Very similar, my husband has never missed an appointment, and spends more time researching and studying breast cancer than I ever care to. He knows more about the specifics of my cancer than I do. My MO laughingly called him "doctor" when he asked some questions that he probably doesn't get from non-medical people. Emotionally this has been very difficult for him as well. I like him using "we". That's my call to make.

  • mountainmia
    mountainmia Member Posts: 857

    pattik, yes, YOUR call. The patient should choose tthat, not the support person. Thanks for chiming in.

  • harley07
    harley07 Member Posts: 270

    Oh for heavens sake! Stop the hating on the ‘we’ pronoun. In the 18 months I’ve read this forum I have seen too many spouses, kids and concerned others pushed off this forum. BCO offers valuable resources for dealing with breast cancer. I’d hate see this forum become the domain of a only a few.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,676

    Well said, Threetree and Harley07. When a woman has cancer, her spouse is also going through cancer. My husband will be left without me, so he's definitely going through it with me.

  • dres123
    dres123 Member Posts: 45

    Totally agree. Not sure why there’s so much push back here on using terms like “we.” It’s very frustrating and insulting to be 100% honest. My wife is going through treatment but it affects the whole family, including raising our four year old. We say “we” because we are a family. We rise together and we work through tough times together. Don’t let anyone disempower you from that or make you feel bad for being an amazing supportive husban. In fact, talk to your oncologist and medical team, they absolutely welcome husbands and spouses to be involved.

    OP—feel free to DM me if you need additional support or someone to talk to who’s a husband along for the journey

  • dres123
    dres123 Member Posts: 45

    To add color, when my wife was first diagnosed, I got berated here for saying “we” as well. I quit the site but had no where else to go, and came back under a different username.

    Please let’s all be supportive of everyone her

  • Anxioushubby123
    Anxioushubby123 Member Posts: 11

    thank you so much. I completely understand that she’s the one going through it. I’m supposed to be the support, bottom line. But I’m there, I’m driving, I’m waiting in the office with her, I’m by her side through it all. But I need to do better in staying calm and just being the support.

  • Anxioushubby123
    Anxioushubby123 Member Posts: 11

    thank you Dres, I appreciate the extended offer!!

  • lillyishere
    lillyishere Member Posts: 770

    Anxioushubby123, your wife is lucky to have a husband who cares so much. Many women want and need their spouses' support during these times and only a few get it. I think, for now, just listening to what she wants to say would be very helpful. Hopefully, she gets all good results and this will be just a bump on your road that will create a better bond between you two. Best of luck to both of you.

  • dres123
    dres123 Member Posts: 45

    As a husband here’s how I like to think about it. The buck stops with you. It’s a stressful and anxious situation for everyone, but try to not reflect or project that stress. It’s easier said than done, but to the extent you can absorb it and find outlets to talk about it, that could help. I know our culture can have weird expectations around masculinity and sharing emotions, but please find a way to do that. Otherwise it will pile up and spill over when you need to be a rock for your wife.

  • mountainmia
    mountainmia Member Posts: 857

    Okay, I want to say how much I appreciate the spouses, family members, dear friends, and paid workers who care for us. Some of them go above and beyond, and literally make the difference in our lives, helping to the other side of treatment where that is true, or helping us to move toward death when that is the case. My husband was (always has been) my rock. I can't tell you how much he did to support me through diagnosis, treatment, and aftermath.

    BUT. I am the one who was diagnosed with cancer. I am the one who had tests and surgery and chemo and rads. I am the one who has the scars, who lost my hair, who couldn't walk to the mail box to bring in the mail. I am the one who still doesn't have hair the length it was when I was diagnosed. I am the one who has follow-up appointments. While WE went through the process together, WE did not have cancer and surgery and chemo and rads. And frankly, I am offended by that notion.

    And since some of us obviously get offended by the WE pronoun in terms our OUR cancer, OUR MRI, and some of us do not, maybe we should let the patient be the one to decide. Not the caregiver.

    If these caregivers are working with and/or loving on a patient who agrees with the WE pronoun, have at it!! I sure don't care. But when they award it to themselves, I think that's offensive. Let the patient decide.

  • mountainmia
    mountainmia Member Posts: 857

    And anxioushubby, I am sorry for hijacking your thread. I truly do wish the best for your partner and for you.

  • tb90
    tb90 Member Posts: 279

    Anxioushubby, thank you so much for coming here for support. That is exactly what we are supposed to be here for. You are trying to receive support and a place to express your fears and address your anxiety and therefore be stronger for your partner. Wish everyone had this level of insight and motivation. At this stage in your wife’s diagnosis, whether benign or other, you should not need to worry about political correctness and your wording. I am embarrassed and mortified over some of the reactions here. You reached out for support and this needs to be about you. “We” is an indication that you too feel that you are going through this. And you are. “We” better support you or rethink why we are here. I cannot express my sadness for the reaction you received. Perhaps start another thread and let us do much better. Hugs to you and your partner. There are so many explanations yet for what is going on. There is so much reason to hope for benign. Hang on. Distract yourself. Do whatever you can to not show your anxiety in front of her. But also, do not minimize her fears. It’s a delicate balance that no one should be expected to master at this point. If you have not lost all faith here, let us guide and support you. Hugs to you both

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769

    Anxioushubby - I hope everything comes out in your wife's favor. Be strong!

    Dres123 - Your wife is lucky to have you!

  • Anxioushubby123
    Anxioushubby123 Member Posts: 11

    TB90, thank you those kind words. It really does mean a lot. My caring wife actually bought me an anxiety book/journal, so I've been reading that, and staying off google. When I'm online I just come back to this forum and read some reassuring things. Looks like there's an amazing amount of support here. Wether is for the patient or their supporting cast, it means alot and is appreciated. I know I can ask a million questions and bombard myself with a thousand “what if" scenarios, but at the end of the day, I'm just glad she's here next to me TODAY. She's been getting random breast pains here and there, and it may itch now and again. The indentation hasn't changed, and at least the doctor did mention it wasn't IBC.

    I've visited the thereforher website, and went out and bought her some flowers and made dinner.

    My fingers are crossed. 5 more days. The doctor did mention that if the MRI shows nothing, he still wouldn't be fully satisfied as his visual inspection hinted to him that there indeed something going on. He said if that was the case, than a MRI/Ultrasound should be done every few months to monitor.

    Now if there IS something there, Is a biopsy recommended or necessary? Or can they tell what it is just through the MRI results?


    thank you to everyone who repliedagain!

  • alicebastable
    alicebastable Member Posts: 1,938

    I'm all for supportive spouses! My husband was there every step of the way, at every appointment, test, surgery, and procedure, and at all 33 radiation sessions. He was as supportive as it is humanly possible to be. But he did NOT have my cancers or any of the tests and surgeries I had. Just like I do not say "WE have pins in our leg" because my husband is the one who had the bad break and repair surgery, he does not say OUR mammogram or OUR ultrasound or OUR CT or OUR lumpectomy (and certainly not OUR hysterectomy!). I'm sorry if that distinction offends some of you. As MountainMia said, if a patient wants to use the plural term, that's up to them. But I don't think it's for the spouse/caregiver/support person to do it.

  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605

    The MRI can tell them a lot but the biopsy it what really confirms it. And if it is cancerous, the biopsy gives them a lot more useful details about it, like what type of cancer and its characteristics.

  • kbl
    kbl Member Posts: 2,676

    Dres123, I'm so glad you decided to come back. What a great support you are.

    I understand where others are coming from, and I know we all think differently. That's what being human is about. I, for one, and only one, will be commenting on your questions from now on and not the I/we discussion. I am here for support. Hugs to you and your wife, and I hope you feel that you are supported, as well as Dres123.

  • threetree
    threetree Member Posts: 1,261

    I'd just like to underscore KBL's comments about how nice it is that Dres123 came back. I don't know that many would do the same. I have often thought that the "we" thing scared a lot of husbands away (maybe others too), so good for Dres123 for coming back. Yes, Anxioushubby and Dres123's issues are with their wives cancer and their need to deal with it as couples, not pronouns, etc, so I think we should all support them as much as possible in that regard.

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769

    Completely agree with both ThreeTree and KBL. I'm more than willing to help uplift, support and share my experiences and knowledge with anyone needing it. I stopped visiting the site during my first diagnosis as I felt unwelcome. It was difficult as I really needed the support. I decided to come back when I was diagnosed with a recurrence and just do not interact with certain members. I have found it so helpful emotionally, the second time around having others to discuss and share not only the bad, but the good as well.