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Topic: The sandwiched patients...

Forum: "Middle Age" 40-60(ish) Years Old With Breast Cancer —

Meet others in this age-range who share similar life issues.

Posted on: Apr 6, 2021 08:14AM

saltmarsh wrote:

We are the sandwiched group of patients. With responsibilities in two directions. Some of us have kids and/or aging parents, and partners. We aren't kids with cancer, but we are kinda "young" compared to who is expected with breast cancer. Who else is walking this line right now? What have you found are the hardest parts? What about silver linings?

My dad watched my mom die from the same kind of cancer I have. She caught it much later, so hopefully I'll do better than she did. But the look on my dad's face when I told him I had cancer nearly broke me. Trying to homeschool my kid while school is closed, and get my dad and stepmom COVID appointments, and stay on track myself is challenge. And I haven't hit the hard stuff yet, as so many of you have. None of my friends have gone through this. My mom did, but she shut everyone out and didn't share her process. So I wonder what's to come.

Dx 3/8/2021. LCIS, ILC. Surgery 4/19/2021 mastectomy, right
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Apr 6, 2021 08:25AM - edited Apr 6, 2021 08:26AM by illimae

I'm 46 now, diagnosed stage IV from the beginning at 41. I'm in this group but have no children and my parents are doing well on their own, so no issues there. The hardest part has been accepting that I won't have the expected retirement and growing old with my husband. Fortunately, I had great employment benefits and medically retired early. So, now I'm living that life and doing well. It's unlikely that I'll make it to 50 but I am making the best of every day I have.

Diagnosed at 41 Stage IV De Novo Dx 11/16/2016, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 1/1/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 1/1/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/1/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 6/26/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 8/10/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 10/5/2017, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain, Grade 3, 3/13 nodes, ER+, HER2+ (IHC) Radiation Therapy 10/19/2017 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 4/18/2018 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 5/22/2019 External: Brain Surgery 1/21/2020 Radiation Therapy 2/16/2020 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 7/20/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 12/4/2020 External: Brain Targeted Therapy Tukysa (tucatinib) Chemotherapy Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 6, 2021 08:30AM - edited Apr 6, 2021 08:31AM by moth

dealing with it in 2018 just meant that my standards about many things were lowered. Other than my treatment, most other things only needed a "good enough" standard

My parents live on their own and didn't need much from me, my kids were old enough to manage. (I had homeschooled my kids btw but they were finished by then) I just coasted for 8 months of treatment and then I got back to life as if the break hadn't happened. It was like a reallly bad sabbatical

Figure out what's necessary and what's optional, what you have to do and what you can delegate & be ruthless with cutting things that you hate or that drain you. It will be be finished before you know it.

I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/13/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/18/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/25/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/8/2020 External Dx 12/9/2020, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Hormonal Therapy 12/15/2020 Femara (letrozole) Dx 1/28/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone Radiation Therapy 3/2/2021 External: Bone
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Apr 6, 2021 09:59AM Sadiesservant wrote:

Hi Saltmarsh,

Interesting topic. I was originally diagnosed at 38 and to be honest, at that point I wasn't pulled in 100 directions like I am today. I don't have children so I was able to focus on my treatment and continued to work full time throughout. As moth indicated, you will get through this period of upheaval but you may need to set boundaries and think about what takes priority.

Things are a bit different for me now. I'm just shy of 59 and live with my mother who recently turned 90 and is in declining slowly health. Between work, my house (including trying desperately to downsize the various collections/family stuff), my dog and my mom, I'm finding it all a bit of a challenge. In particular, I worry about my mom if, god forbid, I should go first. I know she would never be able to cope. I also find it a bit tricky managing my mother's angst regarding the aches and pains that come with aging. (Sympathy can sometimes be in short supply when your liver is sending you shots to remind you there is a tumor behaving badly.) And like illimae, I do mourn the fact that retirement is unlikely. I'm scaling back now so perhaps I can take a page from her book and experience it a bit early!

Hope you are able to find some balance Saltmarsh. I know you will find lots of support here on BCO.

Dx 4/2001, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/10 nodes, ER+ Surgery 5/10/2001 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 6/7/2001 CEF Radiation Therapy 12/17/2001 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/20/2001 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2007 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/22/2007 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 1/3/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/lungs, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/27/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 3/28/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Targeted Therapy 4/20/2017 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 10/12/2017, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to other Chemotherapy 10/20/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 11/15/2017 External: Bone Hormonal Therapy 1/18/2018 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Radiation Therapy 8/2/2018 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 11/5/2018 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 10/9/2019 Verzenio Radiation Therapy 11/3/2020 External: Bone Dx 1/22/2021, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/4/2021 Xeloda (capecitabine)

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