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Topic: my wife has just been diagnosed

Forum: Diagnosed and Waiting for Test Results —

Share with and support others all waiting for test results from CAT scan, PET scan, Oncotype tests, Mammaprint, FISH, IHC, and other diagnostic tests.

Posted on: Mar 7, 2020 10:03AM

husbandofanangel wrote:

Hi all.

after 3 mamograms and 2 ultra sounds in may last year when my wife was told that she didn’t have cancer but had an aggravated cist - we had 2 ultra sounds 4 weeks ago along with blood tests, no cancer.

2 weeks ago, after another ultra sound and a biopsy, my wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer. we await the results of the lymph biopsy, next week we have an mri and pet scan.

my wife is 44 and naturally shes petrified. no history of breast cancer in her family.

as soon as you hear cancer, you think the worst.

im trying to be strong for her, internally im a wreck as she is my world. our 3 teenage children haven’t taken the news well at all.

how do you cope with the news?

how do you not think of the worst?

sorry, im a mess - just trying to understand whats been said to us!

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Mar 7, 2020 10:22AM Peregrinelady wrote:

You cope by taking it one step at a time and realizing that many women (and men) survive breast cancer. Do not google. Stick to sites like this and know that much of what is on the internet is misinformation or outdated. Ask your doctors lots of questions and get copies of her reports. Once she has a treatment plan, it will be much better. Best wishes and keep us posted.
Dx 4/24/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/18/2015 Mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2015 Liquid tamoxifen (Soltamox) Surgery 4/19/2016 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 7/20/2020 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 7, 2020 10:28AM husbandofanangel wrote:

Thanks so much Peregrinelady, now aware that Google and self diagnosis is the enemy!!


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Mar 7, 2020 11:06AM illimae wrote:

Take it day by day and don’t worry about thinking the worst, it can’t be helped. Be there for her and your family as best you can. This will be tough in the beginning but should normalize as you develop a new routine. Depending on test results and treatment plan, you may notice some unusual behaviors (emotional distance, irritability, stress, pain), try not to take it personally.

It’s difficult for all involved but the patient has a level of stress that you can’t imagine. Good luck to you all.

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 1/2/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 1/2/2017 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 10/20/2017 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 4/18/2018 External: Brain Radiation Therapy 5/23/2019 External: Brain Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 7, 2020 11:20AM bcincolorado wrote:

You try to cope by taking a moment to breathe. I was 49 when diagnosed.

You are panicked at the beginning and so much information can make your head swim. This site has a ton of reliable information and the support boards are good as well and well monitored. Safe places for express fears and worries. There are usually areas set up for people starting certain treatments certain months so those people can connect and see they are not alone in what they are experiencing and that can be comforting to them as well.

If you have children make sure to spend time with them so they do not panic either.

Be there for each other and be your own advocates in this decision making. Breast cancer is not like most medical issues where a doctor just writes a prescription and you are fixed fast. It is a LONG process through treatments. Take notes at appointments and ask questions you have. You have to trust your medical teams. Just be there for each other.

Best wishes for you both.

Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/7/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2010 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 1/30/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Mar 7, 2020 12:59PM smc123 wrote:

I was 44 when I was diagnosed too, no family history of BC...married and three teenage kids. I was very worried about my kids. What worked for our family was positive attitude and minimal change to the kids’ routine. My daughter commented on how I treated cancer like it was just an inconvenience. I was thrilled that was her perception. It was my attitude that set the tone for the house. Hang in there and take things one day at a time. You will get through this

Dx 2/1/2016, IDC, Left, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/23/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 8/1/2016 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 10/4/2016 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 4/3/2017 Reconstruction (left): Saline implant; Reconstruction (right): Saline implant
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Mar 7, 2020 01:20PM - edited Mar 7, 2020 01:22PM by KBL

I was diagnosed almost one year ago with Stage IV de novo, which means it had spread before we knew I had breast cancer. My husband's first thought was of losing me. I've had a very positive attitude throughout and feel decent, not too many side effects from the medication. Depending on her stage, treatment could be different. I also have no breast cancer in my family. My husband is scared and lets his feelings come out periodically. I live every day and don't dwell on the future. Time goes too fast for that. We'll be married 36 years in June. I know it's tough for you. Try to take care of you and your feelings as well. I know its really tough, especially since you're in the beginning phase

Dx 5/1/2019, ILC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/other, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 6/24/2019 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 6/24/2019 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Mar 7, 2020 03:16PM AliceBastable wrote:

Just be supportive without taking over. My husband seemed a little at loose ends even though he went to every appointment with me, so I handed over all the insurance and financial stuff to him. It gave him something practical and essential to do without just hovering and looking concerned.

Hubby and I did a lot of day trips and short vacations throughout the whole nasty medical half-year (I wound up with a re-excision and another unrelated surgery before radiation), plus as many local fun things as we could. It really helped us both mentally, and looking back, I remember those moments better than the cancer ones.

Oh, and I'd suggest less use of the "we" word when it comes to the medical procedures. Seriously. YOU aren't getting anything squished, scanned, or cut.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/28/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 7, 2020 04:52PM husbandofanangel wrote:

Thank you ALL for taking the time to reply with your experiences.

It helps so much, god bless you all

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Mar 7, 2020 04:58PM SondraF wrote:

You get up, you put on your clothes, and you put one foot in front of the other over and over. Then you do the same thing the next day, and the day after that. You show up and you get into the scanners, you get poked, you get prodded, and you give more blood than you probably have the rest of your life. But you just have to keep showing up. You don't get to quit this game - the only way out is through.

Im 42, in a 15 year relationship, no kids and living far from home working with a foreign medical system. No cancer history so to hear 'cancer' first of all was a lot to take in, but from that to 'treatable, not curable' was even worse. I can't change the diagnosis but what I can do is enjoy every day, and avoid thinking too far ahead or what ifs. I can manage how I share this information (uh, I don't) and what I choose to focus my time (work and hobbies). I can choose to be positive, although sure there are down days. Usually I can tell when its going to be a down day (due to tired, achy, hospital appointment stress) and warn partner accordingly so if I'm tearing up over something dumb, he knows to not be alarmed. He also won't let me dwell on things and let my mind go to dark places, and I make sure he gets out and spends time doing things he enjoys.

There are going to be a lot of tears and confusion at this point - accept it and try your best but know that once she gets a treatment plan it will start to get better. You may want to ask her how she would like to be supported - after the first few appointments I realized I didn't actually want my partner at my follow up appointments as there was no reason for him to necessarily be there and it just made everything more stressful. He comes if I feel I need him, but for the most part its easier for me to just take care of things myself.


Dx 9/27/2019, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 11/29/2019 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy 11/29/2019 Femara (letrozole), Zoladex (goserelin)
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Mar 7, 2020 06:20PM Spookiesmom wrote:

Agree with Alice, “we” aren’t the ones getting poked, prodded, tested 6 ways from Sunday. SHE is. YOU can be supporting.

Reoccurrence 3-19. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Mar 7, 2020 06:45PM pure0323 wrote:

Husband...just wanted to stop by and say I admire that you are here looking for info to help your dear wife. I was diagnosed at 40 with zero family history, I was definitely paralyzed with fear for a few days. It will get easier and I love the advice the ladies have given...keep her as busy as she can handle. It does help your mind to just take a short day trip. As for your teenagers, my daughter was 19 starting her second year of college and my son was 13. We just kept them on their busy schedules. My daughter was worried and thought she should take time off from school, but I told her my greatest joy was seeing her and her brother living their best lives. My daughter is now 28 educated and working a great job and my son is 21 and almost finished with college.

Dx 7/21/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/9/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 9/9/2011 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Mar 10, 2020 01:41AM prayingHard wrote:

I hear you... i am still awaiting results and I am 45 with 2cm lump. Donot know what results hold for me.

I breakdown sometimes, and my husbands picks me up. But when I am keeping chin up, i wonder what he is going through. He does not share, and always be there for me as a strong pillar. Like you are doing.

Find your outlets, here, friends, relatives...cry it out so u get it out of your system whenever needed, but for her, you are always there supporting her

Best wishes and prayers

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Mar 11, 2020 12:30AM nopink2019 wrote:

Your task is to help. Take notes at Dr visits and ask serious questions specific to her situation. Be ready to offer comfort. Offer your opinion then respect her decisions. Read some of these threads about sex during and after treatments. Field phone calls as she desires. Get help easing mundane tasks, like someone to clean or you take over making dinner and cleanup. Plan short visits or trips as she can handle. Understand that meltdowns will come, sometimes at unexpected times. Good luck.
Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx 2019, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/lungs, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy Kisqali
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Mar 11, 2020 03:43AM AliceBastable wrote:

As far as asking questions at the doctor's office - try to coordinate this with your wife before the appointment. The two of you can make a list of questions and divide them appropriately. If the question has to do with anything that affects your wife directly, SHE should ask that question. You can handle the more peripheral questions. And don't ever talk over your wife in an appointment. Has she joined this site yet? It's nice that you want to be as helpful as possible, but I, for one, would feel more comfortable talking directly to her. The last spouse who was on here asking questions turned it into an "all about him" crapfest. I don't think you're like him, but I hope you're not being her gateway to all information.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/28/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 11, 2020 10:39AM claireinaz wrote:

Hi husband,

I just want to tell you that we are here for you-and your wife will be okay. You might also find this discussion board helpful too, as you'll find other caregivers who have experience helping their loved one through a b.c. dx and tx, and can find support there too.

https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/16

Cyberhug,

Claire in AZ

9/29/11 ILC, 2 c. stage II grade 1, ER/PR+ HER2-, 6/11 nodes, lumpectomy, DDAC x 4, Taxol x 12, 33 rads, Tamoxifen/arimidex/aromasin, BMX/immed recon 7/3/13 "In the midst of winter, I found in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

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