Topic: ​When the breast surgeon gets breast cancer

Forum: Who or What Inspires You? — Share your personal story, diagnosis, and treatment path, and stories of survival, hope, and success to encourage and inspire others!

Posted on: Feb 13, 2018 03:41PM

Posted on: Feb 13, 2018 03:41PM

traveltext wrote:


An interesting article:

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/02...


NED breast and prostate cancer. Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin. Chemotherapy 3/6/2014 Other Chemotherapy 3/6/2014 AC + T (Taxotere) Chemotherapy 3/10/2014 FAC Hormonal Therapy 4/16/2014 Surgery 7/1/2014 Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy (Left) Surgery 7/23/2014 Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 8/8/2014 Whole breast: Left breast, Lymph nodes Radiation Therapy 8/22/2014 Whole breast: Left breast, Chest wall, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 10/24/2014 Liquid tamoxifen (Soltamox) Hormonal Therapy 10/30/2014 Hormonal Therapy 11/1/2014 Surgery 5/8/2022 Radiation Therapy Surgery Surgery Surgery Hormonal Therapy Surgery Hormonal Therapy Surgery Surgery Surgery Surgery
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Feb 15, 2018 11:35AM Outfield wrote:

TWills, keep in mind "she got the all clear" are the author's words, not necessarily the surgeon's. I can't imagine a breast surgeon having an understanding of "the cancer is gone" after the treatment described. It sounds like, by her 10 year prognosis, she was probably diagnosed at stage III, and I can't imagine any doctor who required chemo for a solid tumor (as opposed to something like lymphoma) believing that it could be said with certainty "the cancer is gone."

That's the whole struggle of moving on. Even 7 years after finishing treatment, I struggle with making plans for the future any further away than a couple years. I don't want to let myself dream of things like grandkids or retirement too much, because I've got that risk of not making it that's higher than the average woman my age. I would love for my oncologist to look me in the eye and say, "Cured!" but both he and I know it wouldn't be honest and I wouldn't believe it.

ksusan, the time and training a therapist would have for talking with someone about breast cancer is really different from the time available to a surgeon, who also would not have the same kind of training to do it. I think a lot of people feel cut-off or dismissed when their physicians won't get deep into discussions of emotions or experience, but in this medical culture it's just not their role. I'm not a surgeon - I have much more time with people - but there's still the same pressure to deal with the issues of the body before the next person is due in the room. I think we know patients want us to be therapists sometimes, but it's just not possible. The closest I can think of to helping someone explore their emotions and values is a "goals of care" discussion, which can be complicated approaching end of life, but is usually pretty simple for cancer because the choices aren't limitless. If the person can't make up their mind easily, not because they don't understand the options but because one choice isn't clearly better when considering what they value in life, my hope for surgeons is that they at least recognize the situation, but most of the time, if they do, they'll just say "Think about it" rather than try to get to an end. Maybe delegate if the resources are there, but they usually aren't. It's the horrid, paternalistic ones who say "You would be happier with X" - like the surgeons who purposefully leave extra skin "just in case" when a woman says she will not be getting reconstruction. But yeah, I would definitely not want to see a therapist who had also dealt with breast cancer. I think people have a strong need to have their choices validated, and one way to experience that is to see other people make the same choice. I am very, very conscious of watching my words when I am speaking with another breast cancer patient, but I'm sure I'm not perfectly non-judgemental. The last thing I'd want as a patient would be a therapist who had been through the very same thing, faced the same choices, and had a niggling, but very human, need to be validated.



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Feb 15, 2018 12:40PM ksusan wrote:

I imagine that some clients would want a disclosure and some would not, and like all identity issues, there's probably a need for a range of therapist disclosure levels. Where I get perplexed in thinking this through is that with the frequency of people who get breast cancer, I'm not sure I can actually think of any therapist I know over 55 or so who hasn't at least had a close relative or friend with breast cancer, so it's in their lives and relationships with clients whether they disclose it or not. I'm interested in the meaning of the disclosure for potential clients.

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Radiation Therapy Whole breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Feb 17, 2018 07:00AM - edited Feb 17, 2018 07:29AM by wildplaces

This Post was deleted by wildplaces.
Dx 8/5/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/11/2016 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 9/11/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 2/21/2017 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 17, 2018 04:40PM edwards750 wrote:

My sister’s BS died from it.

Diane

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