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Topic: Wife just diagnosed yesterday - crushed

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: Mar 23, 2019 09:08AM

dadof3ohio wrote:

Biopsy results revealed breast cancer in a 12 cm section of dense breast tissue and also in one lymph node that showed up on MRI. We don't have staging yet but we assume we're stage 3 based on size and at least one lympth node that came back with cancer as well (only one that looked "questionable on MRI). Really moved by the amount of support on this board for women and trying to stay in my lane as a male and husband. I just don't know where to turn. I've had a lot of questions related to christian faith before this and this episode is currently not helping. My kids are 12, 10, and 2. I'm trying to keep it together for them but I'm in a fog on day 2 and just want to be hopeful and to provide encouragement to my amazing wife. She got diagnosed on the 19th anniversary of my proposal to her. She's 41 and just as beautiful today as she was when we met. Amazing woman, wife, person, etc. It's not fair and I"m angry, mad at myself for not pushing for more imaging last y ear when we had three doctors say its just density. The MRI should have happened last year. I know I can't stay in this place of would have should have but it's really tough. I appreciate any advice and support anyone has to give. We get more information on staging this week.

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Mar 23, 2019 11:56AM - edited Mar 23, 2019 11:57AM by vlnrph

First of all, thank you for being a concerned and faithful husband/father. There are many women whose partners abandon them upon diagnosis, during treatment, or afterward.

The fog will lift and a path through this crisis become more clear as details are confirmed and a plan is put in place. Therapies available today are excellent and the data obtained from historic cases is not always accurate for those diagnosed in 2019. So, if you look at stage lll survival statistics, keep that in mind. Even with metastatic disease, lots of us are living long and productive lives.

Finally, is there a church or pastor to whom you can turn? Some congregations have trained Stephen Ministers whose role is to come alongside, not to give advice or take the place of a counselor, but to just be there.

IDC too! 🎻💊👪🐩 🇫🇮 🌹🦋 Rt MX+DIEP 4-2011; ALND 5-2011 d/t micromets; TC X 4; tamoxifen; lymphedema 9-2011; switch to letrozole 3-2014 for 1 yr; bone mets 8-2018: Zometa, rads to spine, Faslodex/Versenio Dx 3/7/2011, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 23, 2019 07:47PM Denise-G wrote:

dadof3ohio - your wife is fortunate to have you and your kids as you all begin this arduous time Things will get better and your head will clear after you have a treatment plan in place for your wife. There is a good website which will help with you and your wife.

It is so hard because of your wife's young age, however, that is in her favor as younger women as a rule bounce back more quickly. The fear of death is so huge, it is hard to think of anything else but the what ifs. That will subside as survival mode will kick into place with a great determination after that plan is in place.

As for your Christian faith, during my hard times when myself, my mom and sister were all diagnosed with breast cancer within 3 years, I could only envision Christ sitting in my rocking chair next to me lying on my couch, crying with us, comforting us, and consoling us. I couldn't pray, I couldn't ask questions, I couldn't be angry, I just know He was there. That got me through. There are many miracles that happen during cancer treatment mostly in the form of other people.

One last thing - if you live near Ohio State or Cleveland Clinic, always wise to get a second opinion at those great facilities. I am in NW Ohio and we all went to the University of Michigan. my BC Blog with over 200 informative posts about all aspects of BC - stop by! Myself, my mom, and sister were all diagnosed with BC within 3 years. What a ride! Dx 10/10/2011, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/22/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/26/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/27/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 10/10/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 23, 2019 09:13PM dadof3ohio wrote:

Thank you for the replies. They are very helpful and comforting at this time. We are fortunate that after last year's mamogram we went right to Ohio State's James Comprehensive Breast Clinic for ultrasounds and a second opinion. In august they said they agreed it was just density. This year, there was a slightly inverted nipple on physical exam and more density so they asked for an MRI. After the MRI, they went with the biopsy which confirmed the cancer. Now we will have a call on Monday to schedule a meeting to learn more about any additional testing and get a game plan going. We are staying with Ohio State exclusively unless we find somehow that they aren't meeting our needs. So far they've been amazing.

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Mar 23, 2019 11:26PM Denise-G wrote:

dadof3ohio - oh terrific. I only hear wonderful things about James Comprehensive Breast Clinic - I know many people who have gone there. Your wife is in good hands! my BC Blog with over 200 informative posts about all aspects of BC - stop by! Myself, my mom, and sister were all diagnosed with BC within 3 years. What a ride! Dx 10/10/2011, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/22/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/26/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/27/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 10/10/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Mar 25, 2019 09:14AM - edited Mar 25, 2019 09:20AM by JAG19

I feel your pain brother. I was there on Feb 11 of this year when my wife was diagnosed as well. So a couple of things that i've processed and how things have gone so far for us.

One. on the statement about faith, not everyone would probably agree with me and this can be a deep deep conversation all by itself but here is how I believe. For one, credit where credit is due...God didn't create cancer...God doesn't cause death and suffering. That is just a fundamental belief i've settled a long time ago about God. There are two forces at work in the world and one brings about death and destruction, but thats not God. Again this can get really deep but if I can encourage anything at this time it would be that even though we don't understand, don't abandon whatever level of faith you have..not now when you're in crisis mode. I also wouldn't ever begin to tell someone that God is the answer to fix it. True faith in God isn't like that. He's not a vending just isn't that simple. I do believe he "can" heal and does sometimes but He also can help you weather the storm and come out with a deeper faith in him which ultimately is the best thing for us. Our time on this earth is not all there is...which is another fundamental belief i've settled. I'm not some naive "holy roller" type guy. I just trust in God and His word and in my relationship with Him. His word tells us that "In this life you will have trouble but take heart I have over come the world". It also says Isaiah 41:10 Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Two. Try to stay as positive and as hard as this is...and I KNOW...we are in it. Let the test results come when they come and try not to think the worst. My wife also has a cancer mass and cancer in one lymph node which after her PET scan was changed to two lymph nodes. But in the bad news we have good news also which is that the cancer is no where else so far. She has a brain MRI tomorrow which will be the final piece to her diagnosis. The point is, try not to assume the worst. it could very well be that there is positive news yet to come.

We have had one chemo treatment so far. its been tough on her but she is doing ok. its a journey and you and I and our wives have to walk it. There are really amazing treatments for breast cancer these days. My wife's cancer is aggressive with HER2 positive..but even in that, treatments are very effective.

Be sure you are comfortable with your chosen medical facility an the doctors you will work with. If you aren't get a second opinion and settle on someone you like, has good credentials and is a specialist.

As a husband, be positive, be helpful, be strong. she needs your calm strong spirit. that will give her some peace.

just one guys opinion.

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Mar 25, 2019 09:37AM Salamandra wrote:

On the faith end of the question, you may want to research "theodicy" plus the name of your religion or denomination. The problem of how to reconcile the evil/tragedy we see and experience in the world with a belief in an essentially good God is one that goes back thousands years. Theologians and philosophers from all faiths and creeds have struggled with it and written about it. You don't have to start from square 0. You may find an approach from your faith background that resonates for you.

Or you may not. Some of us don't. It's possible you may not need to work things out logically for yourself but still be part of a faith community that is supportive and meaningful. Or it's possible you'll find your way somewhere you wouldn't have predicted. Be gentle with yourself during this time. Focus on taking care of yourself and your family. I think that can be considered Godly work no matter what one might internally feel or believe in the moment. The rest will work itself out.

Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9. Dx 9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/18/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 12/3/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/19/2019 Fareston (toremifene)
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Mar 25, 2019 09:38AM B-A-P wrote:


As a young woman myself (31) I can tell you I completely understand the feelings you have regarding being dismissed last year. My dx took two years because of my age and despite the glaringly issues with my breast , it took a lot of time and drs to finally get diagnosed. As you can see from my signature , I’m fairly advanced stage. I was frustrated for a very long time because I would sit there and say “if only they listened to ME, we could have caught this earlier, I would have a better chance” but after time, I realized that I couldn’t hold on to it for the aake of my health. No sitting there and being angry was going to change the past, I had to focus on what was ahead . None of this is fair, but I promise in time the dust will settle and you’ll get through it.

Be there for her but also be there for you too. I’ve seen the toll it has taken on my husband to bear the load of taking care of me when I was going through treatment , and taking care of our son, while feeling a lot about the whole thing , and not processing. I’ve encouraged him to have time to do things he likes to do and to seek counselling if he felt like he needed it.

Dx 8/17/2018, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 9/18/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil) Surgery 2/26/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 4/29/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Dx IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Mar 25, 2019 11:03AM Beaverntx wrote:

dadof3ohio, were I still living in the Dayton area, I would have headed for Ohio State!

Re faith, When our son was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma nearly 30 years ago I found that, for me, praying that it not be was no comfort but praying for strength and help through the process provided great comfort. Even a quick prayer of "please don't let me cry" when tearing up as I was sharing with friends helped. He's still going strong, raising five children and working at a job he loves. Without faith I don't know where we would be by now! Same prayers last year, give me strength.

My husband's first words to me after my diagnosis were "We're in this together". It sounds like you are living that for your wife. That was the most important thing for me, knowing that he was there for what I needed whether it was fixing dinner, going with me to appointments, doing the grocery shopping, etc. or simply being by my side with a gentle hug!

Hang in there, you are dealing with the hardest part just now. Once you have a treatment plan you will have something more structured to deal with rather than the many unknowns you have had to deal with recently. Remember, the past is past and cannot be changed, the future is unknown, but we can deal with the now. Takes a lot less energy to focus on only one of the three!

Sending (((hugs))) to the 5 of you!

Diagnosed at age 77-- Oncotype 17, dealing with this bump in the road of life!!🎆 Dx 1/24/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 1/30/2018, DCIS, Right, <1cm, Stage 0 Surgery 1/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/11/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Surgery 6/15/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Mar 25, 2019 07:53PM AliceBastable wrote:

Dadof3ohio, you sound wonderfully supportive. My hubby was too, at my side through the entire experience. But I'll tell ya, if just once he had said "we" in reference to appointments, tests, or anything else, I'd have punched his face. If your wife is okay with it, great, but just make sure you're not stepping over a boundary she needs.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Hope it stays that way. Dx 5/2018, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 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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