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Topic: daughter with breast cancer

Forum: Caring for Someone with Breast cancer —

A place to share your struggles and concerns about supporting and caring for a person you love diagnosed with breast cancer with others who understand.

Posted on: Jan 25, 2016 10:36AM

kaylevy wrote:

I have a 40 year old daughter with stage 3 breast cancer. How do I help her? What do I say that doesn't sound superficial. I see the fear in her eyes and hear it in her voice. Don't know what to do.

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Jan 25, 2016 11:01AM Englishmummy wrote:

Hello Kay,

Are you close enough to just hold her? I say that because my mother lives in Spain, I'm in the U.S. She always stroked my hair when I had my head in her lap as a little girl and was upset....she couldn't get here when I was first dx, but she told my husband to comfort me like that, I was 41. The power of human touch is amazing. She would talk to me for hours on the phone or Skype but she only listened to what I would tell her about dx/treatment/surgery. She never made me any promises or even that it would be ok, she only told me I was the strongest person she knew and how much she loved me. Later, she told me positive stories of women she knows who went through this in their forties, these women are now 68+. Even though she is far away, we are very close - this has bought us closer.

Without knowing your daughter, or her circumstances it is hard to say how to help but, but if she's open to it ask how she'd like to be helped? Cleaning house, cooking meals, taking the children, walking the dog, holding hands whilst drink tea together, researching for her, taking her to appointments and taking notes, crying with her through the fear. Be honest: Let her know you don't know what to say and you are concerned about seeming superficial, that you understand this is scary and huge. I am sure she'll cue you in on how you can assist her through this. I know this happening to me was more devastating for my mother than if it were herself (which as a mum, I understand). There are many positive stage 3 stories here, but try as hard as it is, try to keep her off 'Dr' Google, those stats are often outdated and treatments have changed. Here's a stage 3 thread https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/67/topics...

I wish your daughter all the very best. My best advice is love her, anyway you can just show her love. Xx

Dx 5/22/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 5/22/2015, IDC: Tubular, Left, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/9/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 7/21/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 25, 2016 01:40PM littleblueflowers wrote:

You sound like a wonderful mother. My mom took care of me thru my treatment last year, and she was wonderful. You don't have to say anything, just that you will be there and love her no matter what. She will need you in a lot of ways. She may feel very scared and insecure. Just be real with her, but also be strong- this is your chance to be a mom again! Much love-

If it stops the nightmares, it probably won't kill me Surgery 3/8/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 3/9/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 2/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Jan 25, 2016 04:10PM EstelaLorca wrote:

Hi Kaylevy,

First of all she is very lucky to have such a wonderful and caring mother like yourself. When going through something like this, all you want is your mother. I too was very fortunate to have my mother by my side through this very difficult time.

I obviously don't know your daughter and everyone is different, but I can share with you the things my mother did for me that helped me get through it.

My mother never gave up on me, even when I tried to push her away. She wouldn't take no for an answer. She'd distract me with stories from the past, her youth, real things, sometimes funny stories, when I was anxiously waiting for the doctor in waiting rooms. She would try to take me out when I was feeling better, get me out of the house for some fresh air. Or she just sit with me at home, and watch movies....saying nothing at all. She calls and texts everyday, and takes me to all my appointments (she is retired mind you).

For me, distractions and trying enjoy life when I can helped. I don't always want to talk about my cancer, talking about other things was welcomed. But when I needed to talk, I would talk to my mom.

Just love her, be with her, and be strong for her.

I wish you and your daughter the best, xoxo

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Jan 25, 2016 04:49PM gracie22 wrote:

Agree with all of the above. I am older than your daughter (56) but my mother, who has her own health issues, has been such a key part of my life that I felt the need to respond. I am not doing the recommended chemo treatments, and one of the few people who understands that is my mom, the one person who knows me better than anyone else in the world. What she has offered, which no one else can, is her simple acceptance of me and my choices. So just do that. You know this person; you know when she needs a push to act, or simply needs the space to do something that is right for her, but not necessarily for others. Only a mother has this knowledge. I cannot say how much my mother's acceptance of my situation and my choices has meant to me over the last year. Just be that for her. From the time I was a little kid, my mom would know something was wrong. "What's the trouble, bubble?" was something she would ask when she (only she) intuited a problem. I still well up when I hear those words, because that was always my mom, scoping out a problem and trying to make it better. You know your girl in a way no one else does. Hold her, ask her what she wants you to do, and it will all flow from there.

Dx IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant

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