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Topic: Changes to family dynamic after diagnosis

Forum: Share Your Experiences Of Life After A Breast Cancer Diagnosis —

Share your experiences of life after a breast cancer diagnosis and offer advice on how you cope with life's daily challenges, including how you develop a new daily/weekly routine while you deal with breast cancer.

Posted on: Oct 29, 2020 07:09AM - edited Oct 29, 2020 07:10AM by 3bears

3bears wrote:

Anyone experience a change in the family after being diagnosed? My teens were 14 and 16 when I was diagnosed 4 years ago. Our normally happy family began to have teenage trouble. I now have 2 kids that don't speak and seem to have much anger directed toward us. I feel like maybe it was the breast cancer diagnosis after all that started it all. Maybe they were afraid that I was going to die. I was an excellent mother and I can't figure any other reason for these difficulties . Anyone else

Dx at 47 ---found the lump on my own. Ready to survive another 40 years!đź’Ş Dx 11/11/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/14/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 9/7/2017 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 2/8/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Oct 29, 2020 12:19PM WC3 wrote:

3bears:

I'm not a parent but have you sat down and tried to discuss this with them?

Pathologic complete response (pCR) to chemotherapy. Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy 5/31/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/14/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Oct 29, 2020 12:21PM MinusTwo wrote:

3bears. I'm sure they were afraid and supposed it's possible that's the source of their 'anger. I'm sure others with teens & young adults will weigh in.

I just wanted to say 18-21 is when my relationship with my own mother became strained. There were no health issues. She just wanted me to be the same as I used to be - and I was growing up. I no longer wanted to share everything in my life with her and I started forming some of my own opinions on the world. She just couldn't let go. Sadly our relationship continued to deteriorate as I kept pushing harder to move further away. Just a thought.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Oct 29, 2020 01:57PM - edited Oct 29, 2020 01:57PM by Trishyla

I had a similar experience with my adult son. He was (is) angry at me for being sick. I have always been the strong one, handling the "emotional health" of our family. He couldn't deal with the thought that there was something that hit me so hard. Not only was he afraid of losing me, he couldn't stand to see me weak and hurting.

Did your kids express any concern that you might not make it, leaving them? That can cause kids to pull away in self protection. Also, if they took on more responsibilities when you were sick, that could cause them to want to continue to be more independent.

Can you schedule an appointment (virtually or in person) with a family therapist? They can help you get to the bottom of what's going on with your kids.

Good luck. I hope everything works out for you in the best possible way.

Trish


Dx 8/30/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/30/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 9/6/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/28/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/4/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 8/4/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Oct 30, 2020 01:31AM FindingOptimism wrote:

FWIW, I think what you are seeing is very common in that age range. I have a friend who calls it the teenage tunnel. In my case my daughters emerged about age 21 and,at 25, my oldest is now a pleasure. I would not have said that 6 years ago. I do think the diagnosis exacerbates the problem, but there is also the need to find their own space and when this conflicts with you needing them, it can be a combustible mixture

Dx 8/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Hormonal Therapy 12/12/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Oct 30, 2020 02:17AM MelissaDallas wrote:

You do not recover from believing your mother (or father) is hopelessly stupid until you are sometime between 25-30, even when they don’t have cancer, at which time they magically become wise again. You also tend to believe this of your previously beloved siblings..

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor. Dx 5/20/2012, LCIS, Stage 0, 0/0 nodes
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Oct 31, 2020 11:21AM LillyIsHere wrote:

My kids were 15 and just turned 12 when I was diagnosed last year. I told them 3 weeks after my diagnoses and I simplified as much as I could but my youngest was very emotional and scared she will be without a mom. She is 13 now and totally different personality. Both kids are still close to me and I don't think it has anything to do with my diagnoses. Just teenage years are crazy years. My friend calls these age as "temporary insanity" :).

MinusTwo has a good point and I can see how they want to be independent.

“Within five years, cancer will have been removed from the list of fatal maladies.” That was the optimistic promise to U.S. President William Howard Taft in 1910 when he visited Buffalo’s Gratwick Laboratory, “What’s taking so long?” Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IIA, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/19/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 11/30/2019 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy
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Oct 31, 2020 01:03PM MountainMia wrote:

Yes, I do think the family dynamic can change a lot. My son was 30 when I was diagnosed in early 2019. He and his new wife were facing a lot of stresses of their own (newly married, about to have a baby, about to move across the country away from her family... ) and did not have energy or room in their hearts for me or my husband and what we were going through. Things seem to be improving now. What I have determined is that the issues are theirs, primarily, and they need to mature and resolve some of their own problems. It has been very hard for my husband and me, but we are trying to be open and compassionate and ready to be part of their lives again, when they are capable.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Oct 31, 2020 01:45PM MinusTwo wrote:

Lily - I love that "temporary insanity".

MountainMia - my son was just over 40 and hadn't lived at home since 18. Because I live alone, he was my rock through surgeries. But we only co-existed well for three-four days, then he went home to another state. The long term result is he really doesn't want to hear much about medical "stuff", but I know he would be here in a heartbeat if I really needed him.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014

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