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Topic: Mother just diagnosed with breast cancer

Forum: For Caregivers, Family, Friends and Supporters —

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 23, 2018 07:18PM

rpreston133 wrote:

Hi All,

I'm fairly new to this and I'm trying to figure out what to expect in the coming weeks / months as this is the first family member I've known who has dealt with cancer. My mother had surgery a few weeks ago to remove lymph nodes from around her breast. After a scan today, it turns out she has cancerous tumors in both breasts. Future results will show if the cancer has spread elsewhere. I know this forum won't give me answers but I'm finding it hard to function with fear of the unknown. She showed no symptoms up to this point and took our whole family by surprise. Has anyone else experienced something similar?

Best,
RobbiePreston

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Jan 23, 2018 09:02PM Trishyla wrote:

RobbiePreston,

I know the waiting for more info is really hard. Especially when it is someone you love.

Just wanted to chime in and let you know it is possible to have breast cancer in both breasts, and not be stage 4. I had four different types of cancer with 7 distinct tumors spread across both breasts. So far, I'm still considered stage 2a. That could change, but I'm going with what I know now.

This is a great place for support. Please keep us informed about your Mom. I'm hoping for great results for her. Sending virtual hugs to both of you.

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
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Jan 24, 2018 08:39AM - edited Jan 24, 2018 08:39AM by dtad

Hi Robbie...so sorry you and mom are going through this .She is lucky to have you. The beginning of this journey is very scary. You guys will definitely feel better once you have all the details and a treatment plan in place. May I suggest she gets treated at a major university teaching hospital? I know you will find this forum full of knowledge and also very comforting. We are all here for you. Keep us posted.

Dx 3/20/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 4/10/2015, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/21/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Jan 29, 2018 06:35PM rpreston133 wrote:

I just received notice that they performed an MRI today on my mother and that they found little or no active tumors in her breasts but that there is something there. They biopsied what they think may be an active area but the real tests will come on Wednesday with the PET scan of the body. Is this normal? She had a mammogram in November that showed two tumors that they called cancerous and now saying she has no tumor in her right breast and a small area in her left breast that may or may not be active. I'm confused by this change of events and what it could potentially mean? Does cancer disappear? Has it moved to other areas of the body instead? I'm so confused.

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Jan 29, 2018 07:48PM Georgia1 wrote:

Hi there Robbie and thanks for helping your mom. This can all be very confusing and upsetting - especially at first. I have a few questions if you don't mind.

After the mammogram in November, did she have suspicious areas in either breast removed? Or just the lymph nodes? Usually all of that would be done at one time and your mom would get pathology reports telling her what was found.

If the MRI found only one suspicious area in one breast that is good news.

No, cancer does not move, disappearing in one spot and moving to another. It is possible, however, that in addition to breast cancer she has cancer somewhere else as well. I pray that's not true for your mom, but the PET scan will tell you soon.

One concrete step you could take is to help her request copies of all of the reports from all of these tests.

Cancer touched my breast so I kicked its ass. Dx 9/3/2017, ILC/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/9/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 10/10/2017, LCIS, Right, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 11/26/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jan 29, 2018 07:57PM rpreston133 wrote:

Thanks for your note, Georgia1.

After her November mammogram, they saw something suspicious and about 1 month ago, they removed lymph nodes from her arm / side of her left breast. These lymph nodes, we are told, had cancer cells present. She did not have any areas in either breast removed. She was transitioning during this time from a local hospital to Sloan Kettering in NJ, however (where she is now being treated). This may be why we are getting conflicting reports? I do not know. I am just confused and would like to understand what the cancerous cells in the lymph nodes could potentially mean given the information provided to us today through the MRI.

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Jan 29, 2018 08:11PM Georgia1 wrote:

Thanks, Robbie. Lymph node involvement means the cancer may spread (or may already have spread), which is why they did the MRI and the PET scan. And I would guess (tho it is only a guess) that the biopsy done today will come back showing there is a small spot of cancer in one breast that will need to be removed. But it's good that the MRI shows it to be small.

And I'm so glad her treatment has been switched to Sloan Kettering. You will want to ask them how many of her lymph nodes came back positive for cancer; if it was only one that is better than if there were several. But please know that breast cancer is very treatable, and your mom has several options to remove whatever may be present, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Perhaps you or another family member can go with her to her next appointment and ask about the confusing reports.

Cancer touched my breast so I kicked its ass. Dx 9/3/2017, ILC/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/9/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx 10/10/2017, LCIS, Right, 0/1 nodes Radiation Therapy 11/26/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 2, 2018 12:17PM rpreston133 wrote:

My mom just left Sloan Kettering. It would seem that there are two small shaded areas that showed up in the PET scan in her mid back and her neck. My father, per the doctors, tells me that this could be the presence of bone cancer. So the cancer, it seems, has spread from the breast to the back area. I presume this would be stage IV cancer? If so, does anyone know the expectancy of someone who is diagnosed with these types of cancer? Everyone hates to lose loved ones but I'm just sad and looking for insight if anyone has ever been through something similar? Thank you all for your support,

God Bless,

Robbie

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Feb 2, 2018 05:45PM edwards750 wrote:

Robbie - so sorry for your Mom. Idk what the life expectancy is but there is a group on this website reserved for Stage IV patients only.

The doctors suspect but have not confirmed it is cancer and has spread so unless and until they do I would wait and then address what to do next.

Just so you know there are a number of Stage IV ladies who are still here multiple years after their DX.

So keep the faith and keep us posted.

Diane

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Jun 23, 2018 03:32PM Kerry454 wrote:

hi. I’m new to all of this. My mom was diagnosed last Wednesday with breast cancer. I’m absolutely devastated. She is my best friend and I can’t fix this. Turnout 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.8 found behind her nipple. ER + PR + HER2 +. And Luminal B (not sure what that means as I see conflicting things in google) I’m trying to stay as informed as possible but I have realized this cancer thing chances all the time. We saw the breast specialist on Friday, oncologist on Monday, plastic surgeon Thursday And breast surgeon Friday. It’s been a whirlwind. She’s had bloods done and CT scan done on Friday so when we saw the specialist he seemed a bit concerned. Nothing hd spread to the lungs that he could see from the report (he didn’t have the scan) only the report. But said that something seem unusual in her chest and not something that was associated with the spread of breast cancer. We are going crazy trying to understand what’s this could mean? Something about glands in The chest and it wasnt usual thing so was going to discuss it with the team on Monday. Has anyone had anything show up inbox the chest area?

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Jun 26, 2018 08:02PM edwards750 wrote:

So sorry Kerry for you and your Mom.

I’m sorry I haven’t experienced anything like what you described in the chest area. Your post said you were meeting with the medical team yesterday. What did you find out?

It is a lot to deal with but at least the process is moving forward.

This website is a great tool to help you and your mom with any help or support you need. I can tell you it has been my lifeline from the getgo. Just so you know I am 7 years out in August.

So take a deep breath, keep the faith and keep us posted.

Diane

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