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Topic: Can I ask for this?

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: Feb 4, 2016 12:14PM

Iwannacookie wrote:

My mother was just diagnosed with breast cancer and is scheduled to have a double mastectomy on Monday. It hasn't been staged yet, but we do know that it's small but triple negative and close to her chest wall. Last year she had to see me through my own bc treatment. She's a real trooper--but I also think she's trying to appear strong for my and my sister's sake.

I now find myself crying several times a day over this reminder of her mortality...and then I also think of my dad's mortality. I'm very close to both of them, and I know I will be a complete basket case when they eventually depart this earth. So today, as I was driving and crying, a thought came to me. I would like to ask each parent to write something personal to me; impart some words of wisdom, and perhaps tell me to be strong, or happy or whatever. Although I know I am loved deeply, I would like to have a letter to read when I'm most sad.

I know it's not unusual for a person to write such a thing to their loved ones, but is it okay to ask someone else to do it?

What do you think?

TIA

Dx 7/7/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/24/2014 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Surgery 4/23/2015 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 1/20/2016 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 9/8/2016 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 8/10/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Feb 4, 2016 12:30PM MusicLover wrote:

Maybe write something to them and they will naturally write something back to you, maybe? But if they don't after a week or so goes by you can bring it up and ask them.

As per PET scan, 3 or 4 nodules in the right breast, 2 of which were actually in the middle of my chest, the other 2 were side by side in the breast. Also DCIS in the left breast. Dx 9/23/2013, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 1/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 10/9/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Feb 8, 2016 12:15PM - edited Feb 8, 2016 12:16PM by DivineMrsM

Yes, I think it's appropriate to ask for some written words from both of your parents. I would try to steer the topic of conversation in that direction when you have some uninterrupted time together, and say that you are wondering if they'd mind if you asked them something. You might say something like, I hope we have many, many more valuable times together, but say that the recent events got you to thinking and you were wondering if they wouldn't mind putting their thoughts and feelings towards you in writing. I actually think they would find it very meaningful that this is a fulfillment you would like to have. You could even ask them if you could get them each a small notebook to write their words in.

found lump 12-22-10—ilc—er+/pr+/her2—stage iv bone mets—chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex—March 2019-ibrance/aromasin* —Sept 2019-verzenio* —March 2020-xeloda*
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Feb 8, 2016 02:43PM Texasrose53 wrote:

Tia, I definitely think it is appropriate. I am doing just that for my 2 children. I am also video taping messages to each of them. I plan on buying cards for when my son buys his first home, gets married and has a child to be given to him at those important times in his life from me. My daughter is working towards her Masters Degree...she should complete by next December. I am also getting a card for her for that important date. Hoping I will be here...but if not I can give her a message of congratulations from me.

Mrs M has a great idea with the note book. I was given a note book by a friend of mine when I was originally diagnosed so I could write down my journey. I am now on my second note book. I only write in it on days I have chemo, but I write about the time between the chemo. It gives me something to do when I am having my infusion and it is something I can refer to when trying to remember a date that something happened and my family will have them after I am gone.

Julie

Living and loving life each day to the fullest! Dx 9/12/2013, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/22 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 10/22/2013 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/25/2013 TAC Radiation Therapy 4/9/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 2/26/2015 Dx 5/1/2015, 1cm, Stage IV, 2/0 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/22/2015 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 11/20/2015 CMF Chemotherapy 11/28/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine) Chemotherapy 2/21/2017 Halaven (eribulin) Chemotherapy 5/14/2017 Doxil (doxorubicin) Radiation Therapy 7/26/2017 External: Brain
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Feb 8, 2016 04:59PM Englishmummy wrote:

Tia,

I think you can definitely ask for it, I did a long time ago. I think it creates a beautiful memory not just for you but for future generations. My mum has done hers: I dare not read it.....yet - hoping mum has years to go as she is 68 years young. I got mine from the UK because my mum is 'Mum' not 'Mom'. lol

These books are available on Amazon, they are a great idea as they give prompts for those who get writers block, or maybe pen-shy but they can just give ideas for questions you may not have thought of....'What kind of house did you grow up in?' The book makes a nice gift in its self (IMO) - I just gave my mum the book and she thought it was such an amazing idea, I never had to verbalized what I wanted.The book did it all. It took her 5 years to complete it, as she kept remembering more and more. She has written extra notes on the covers and many extra pages in too. I know that my children will love it too. My mum felt it was one of the best gifts ever and I know that receiving back was definitely one of my best presents. I gave one to my FIL too, but he hasn't filled his out, he has had an amazing life as a younger man - he is now 86 and I know my children especially my son would love to have those stories but.....

I bet your folks would love them!

http://www.amazon.com/My-Mom-Her-Story-Words/dp/19...=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1DAXQXG6V05MR4M6VKGC

http://www.amazon.com/Tell-Your-Story-Memory-Journ...=pd_sim_14_25?ie=UTF8&dpID=61zd1s0jkRL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR121%2C160_&refRID=1HEZMVZAVQKFWWEVCSDS


http://www.amazon.com/My-Dad-His-Story-Words/dp/19...=pd_sim_14_17?ie=UTF8&dpID=411owhcKzZL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=0A7CV3RC8YC14D0Q236G

http://www.amazon.com/Dad-Share-Your-Life-Heirloom...=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454968000&sr=1-4&keywords=my+dad+his+stories+his+words

I am putting this down too, as it might be fun for others reading this. My daughter's (8 & 13) and I are doing these and I am looking for something similar for my son.

http://www.amazon.com/Just-Between-Us-No-Stress-No...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454967761&sr=1-1&keywords=just+between+us

http://www.amazon.com/Like-Mother-Daughter-Discove...=pd_sim_14_8?ie=UTF8&dpID=61KKBhEFTAL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR120%2C160_&refRID=0H8V2B9HGPRKQ9E0K6RV






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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Feb 9, 2016 04:03PM Iwannacookie wrote:

Thank all of you! Your affirmations and suggestions are just what I wanted to hear.

My mother had her double mastectomy yesterday. There were a few complications (nothing life-threatening), so the surgery ended up being 6 hours, and she has been in a lot of pain. But, she's alert and she looks beautiful. The doc did a wonderful job, and my mom is actually thrilled to be rid of her breasts. Flat is very becoming on her--seriously. She still has to get the results of the nodes biopsy, and she's doing chemo. But she has a great attitude.

When the time is right, I'm going to give her a notebook to write to me in, and I like the idea of videoing her too.

Thanks again!

(By the way--my name is Gabrielle. "TIA" was meant as "Thanks in advance" lol)

Dx 7/7/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/24/2014 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Surgery 4/23/2015 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 1/20/2016 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 9/8/2016 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 8/10/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Feb 9, 2016 04:38PM Englishmummy wrote:

Great news, Gabrielle. So sweet that you mention how beautiful your mom looks! I hope the pain disperses quickly and she heals wonderfully. She really sounds like a lovely lady and your writing shows your love and appreciation for her. She is both beautiful and lucky!

With kindest wishes, Laura x

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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Feb 17, 2016 08:57AM Iwannacookie wrote:

I visited my Dad last week and he asked about my mom (they've been divorced since I was a toddler). One word led to another, and I wound up unloading a lot of pent up emotions--fear and sadness, and got very teary. I have an exceptionally close relationship with my Dad, but I left feeling a bit embarrassed for being so emotional. Anyway, during the course of our conversation, I tearfully asked my Dad to write something to me. I said it doesn't have to be long, but that I wanted some of his words that I could read when I needed to. His response was great. He said, "Oh--don't worry. You're going to get more than you bargained for." I take that to mean that he has already written something, and it may be lengthy. That pleases me to no end.

So, later that day, I asked my husband to do the same, and I'm going to do so for him too, and for my sister, and all the other important people in my life.

I'm counting my blessings.

Gabrielle

Dx 7/7/2014, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/24/2014 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Surgery 4/23/2015 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 1/20/2016 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 9/8/2016 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 8/10/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant

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