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Topic: Nervous... need to tell my mom

Forum: Just Diagnosed — Discuss next steps, options, and resources.

Posted on: Sep 13, 2019 06:16PM

Eigna wrote:

So it’s time I tell my mom what’s happening to me. And I don’t know how to do it. I will break her heart. I had to hide it from her cuz she gets nervous and she worries so much. Plus she was planning to go on vacation so I didn’t want her to change her plans. She finally didn’t go and since my surgery date has been set I need to tell her now and I’m so nervous. I feel like saying it on the phone instead of going in person. I don’t know want to see her cry. I need to be strong. But I’m so nervous. What should I do? Any advice is welcomed.

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/17/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 13, 2019 06:49PM santabarbarian wrote:

Eigna,

I am sorry you have such a fragile mother!

As you clearly realize, she is likely to turn this into a crisis for HER regardless of the gentle/perfect way you tell her. Do it whatever way is easy on you. This is not about her it is about you being good to yourself and husbanding your energy and not wasting stress on adult babies. Sorry to be blunt but I have two adult babies for parents so I know the type. Meanwhile you are trying to defeat a serious illness and heal. So spend your energy on making sure *you* feel ok-- and let high maintenance people jump in a lake. If a phone call is easier, do that. Or drop it in a light way over a lunch in public when you both drove there separately. :-) Sometimes white lies are the best way. If you have no chemo she might never know. You have no obligation to go into her rigamarole.

Do what makes it the whole thing the easiest on you. (((hugs)))



pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 13, 2019 06:56PM Eigna wrote:

I am so happy you answered. I feel so alone in this. It is stressing me so much that I haven’t told her and I don’t know how she will react. I really feel like texting her and then if she wants we can talk on the phone. What can I say. And yes you are so right sometimes my mom does react like a baby. What can I say. I do need her to be there for me and my kids,to help me so I need to tell her. Do you think it’s unacceptable to text her?

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/17/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 13, 2019 07:09PM santabarbarian wrote:

Not at all. Be breezy like it's just not a biggie (hopefully that is the truth!). You could also delay until you have a clear treatment plan. It looks like an early cancer and not a big horror from your signature....?

Do you need chemo? If no chemo, I might be tempted to leave her in the dark and call it a 'growth they needed to remove' . My Lx was no biggie at all. If chemo, you will be less likely to be able to hide it if you see one another much.

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 13, 2019 07:21PM Hopeful82014 wrote:

Eigna, I didn't have the problem of worrying that my family would make it all about themselves - fortunately. However, my dad, while quite vigorous, was 90 at the time I was dx. and I dreaded having to bring him bad news. My husband and I set up a time to meet with him and my step-mom (fortunately a VERY down to earth woman). I told him, that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer AND that I had a good treatment plan in place and expected to do well.

I did NOT want to have to tell him, or my sister. We'd gone through another awful cancer with another sibling less than 2 years before and I knew this would be hard for them to hear. However, I think framing it in a way that said things were under control was very helpful for all of us. I thought out my words carefully and practiced them so that I could stay on message and not get emotional while talking with them.

If your mom gets emotional you might try telling her that you're still her daughter and you need for her to be there for you. Maybe suggest somethings she can do that will take her out of herself. Ask her how she would like to help you get through it. Be very matter of fact; it usually helps people calm down. Tell her that you understand that she's distressed for you and that's o.k. but that you expect to get through this fine and she can help.

I was fortunate in that Dad and my step-mom were rock solid, steady types who were a great source of strength during the next 2 years. I hope your mom will surprise you by stepping up to the plate. Good luck. These early days of diagnosis and treatment planning are really tough. Things WILL get better. (No, I didn't believe it either when I was told that but it's true. :) )

Dx IDC
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Sep 13, 2019 07:24PM SimoneRC wrote:

Hi Eigna!

So sorry you are needing to worry about your Mom, while worrying about yourself and your family. I can relate. I waited until after I had my diagnosis and treatment plan together. I then invited my Mom and 2 of her friends to lunch at a restaurant. That way I could give her the information and answer all of her questions. She had friends there who could hear and absorb the information as well. I had asked my Mom’s friends to drive her. That way I knew she would have people to vent to and who could comfort her on the way home and after, as that was not going to be my job!

Good luck with everything! Sending good karma your way!

ATM Gene Mutation, Deletion. IDC w/Lobular Features and Focal Mucinous Features. Pre Pectoral Reconstruction. Hysterectomy Surgery 4/6/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 5/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 7/3/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 8/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting
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Sep 13, 2019 07:33PM Eigna wrote:

Thank you Santabarbarian and Hopeful82014 for your advice. I’m so glad I found this site to talk about my feelings to people that have been through it. Much appreciated.

Well tonight for sure I won’t say anything but tomorrow is another day...sigh 😔

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/17/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 13, 2019 07:34PM Traii wrote:

Firstly, sorry you are in this situation no one wants to be in.

If your mum looks after your kids like my mum does just phone her and tell ask if she's doing anything on that date and tell her can you look after the kids as im going in for a procedure (providing you dont need your mum to take you in and you have someone else) see how she reacts.

Once you have a treatment plan it does get easier.

Fortunately my mum has been my go to person ever since my first diagnosis. My 2nd dx she had a holiday booked and wanted to cancel...told her NO otherwise she won't come to any other appts 🤣 she went!! Called everyday and comes to my appts now!

Good luck youre not alone here so vent away and im sure whatever way you tell your mum is whatever is best for YOU xx


Stage IV 2nd Jan 19 age 40 Dx 8/2012, IDC, 1cm, Grade 3, 2/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/5/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Surgery 9/23/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 10/30/2012 Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 1/1/2013 CMF Surgery 7/4/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 2/24/2019 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy Kisqali
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Sep 13, 2019 07:36PM Eigna wrote:

Thank you SimoneRC

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/17/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 13, 2019 07:41PM Eigna wrote:

Santabarbarian - don’t know if I will need chemo. It depends of my post surgery biopsy results I do need to tell her before surgery since she needs to help with the kids on surgery day

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/17/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 13, 2019 07:56PM santabarbarian wrote:

Unless you get a babysitter which might be easier?? Up to you. Lx or biopsy size surgery is outpatient and you will likely be gone ~4 hours.

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 13, 2019 08:38PM DorothyB wrote:

I opted not to tell my step-mom and brother. Both live out of town with my step-mom out of state. If I had done chemo, I would have had to tell at least my step-mom.


Diag. 4/19/2019 ER+ PR+ HER2 neg Lumpectomy 5/29/2019 IDC w/ DICS 2.0 cm Grade 3
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Sep 13, 2019 09:53PM AliceBastable wrote:

Eigna, I envy your dilemma. My mother died five months before I was diagnosed. I'm not sure how much I would have told her, but oh, how many times I wanted to hear her voice as I went through everything! Even at the ages we were (me 68 and her 97), I still sought her advice on some things, and she liked to tell me (and everyone else) what to do. One of my last memories of her is her telling DH and me what to get for lunch in the hospital cafeteria. She was right. I'll bet your Mom is tougher than you give her credit for, and just think how sad and upset she'll be afterward if she finds out and you didn't tell her. She might not trust you again.


Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 13, 2019 10:01PM Meow13 wrote:

I was 53 and my Mom 76 when I was diagnosed. I told her right away. She lives on the next street over so I can drop in everyday. She was so strong but kept saying she wished she had the cancer not me. Eight years later we are both ok. I didn't tell my father for 1 year, he lived on the east coast and I wanted to tell him when we knew how things were going. He was worried but when he saw me he felt like everything was ok. He died 2 years ago.

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Sep 13, 2019 10:08PM IBJUSTFINE67 wrote:

I think however you want to handle this is ok sweetie. I am 52 and dreaded telling my 80 year old parents. My dad cried but then crack some funny jokes. My mom was typically stoic and asking a lot of questions but I knew it killed her and even though I am doing so well now (4 weeks post surgery) she is still concerned but...guess what? I have kids too, 20 and 24. It kills me everytime when something is wrong with them. This is normal and I am so glad they tell me things even though it hurts. I called my mom because that's what I knew worked for us. YOU get to decide and texting is just fine. Wish I could do it for you:) Hang in there.

Colleen Shaw Dx 7/9/2019, IDC, Right, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 7/19/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 8/11/2019 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Sep 13, 2019 10:13PM Meow13 wrote:

I agree you know your Mom the best. Sometimes I think it is a bit easier when the details are known and treatment started. Do what you feel is best.

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Sep 13, 2019 10:35PM santabarbarian wrote:

Alice since you do not know the OPs mom I think it is really inappropriate to throw a guilt trip of her. She is dreading hurting her mom. She is a nice kid. The mom is a basket case. A cancer patient needs to be OFF THE HOOK of emotionally draining things like BSing ridiculous parents. Additionally a Mom's main role is to be the shelterER... not the shelter-EE.

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 13, 2019 10:37PM - edited Sep 13, 2019 10:55PM by SUPer52

I also dreaded telling my parents. They handled my news surprisingly well and were a great source of comfort, love, and strength, but I also know my mom has a tendency to make things about herself sometimes. I witnessed that when my sister was diagnosed 12 years ago. I recall that I almost went to my appointment for genetic testing alone, and at the last minute asked my mom to go with me because I felt guilty for excluding her. It turned out to be a wise decision because the genetics counselor asked many questions I would have answered incorrectly without my mom there, so I was very glad she had gone with me. Overall, however, you will know when (or if) and how much you decide to share. I shared most everything, but I left some things out, such as the fact that there were two areas of concern to be biopsied and that both turned out to be cancer. She didn't need to know that. As far as she knows, there was one small cancer and it's now gone. Best of luck, and don't feel guilty for putting yourself first as you deal with everything that goes with this diagnosis.

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, compassion, some humor, and some style." -Maya Angelou Dx 1/15/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 1/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 2/25/2019 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/7/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 5/10/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 14, 2019 01:25AM - edited Sep 14, 2019 01:27AM by Gudrun

santabarbarian, I wish I had read your words the moment my daughter got diagnosed. I was that kind of a babymother you are describing. Since I had been dx two years earlier I surely was of great help as for going straight away to the right place and get treatments etc. BUT with my uncontrolled behaviour, like crying, always telling her how much I love her etc I increased my daughter's fears and aroused her feelings of guilt, which I so very very much regret.

Eigna, you are an emotionally intelligent young woman, am glad you find wise help here and please receive my "bestest" :-) wishes. Gudrun


Myself: dx at 55 in 2013, ILC, stage IIa, G2, ER+/PR-/HER2-, KI67 20%, BMX, Letrozole 5.5 years. Daughter: dx at 28, stopped antihormonals after 2 years to have a baby and restart tx afterwards: Dx 8/2015, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): TUG flap
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Sep 14, 2019 03:16AM AliceBastable wrote:

Santabarbarian, guilt trip? Really? Merely giving another point of view to consider. My mother was frequently difficult and overbearing. What part of "I'm not sure how much I would have told her" did you fail to catch before you started banging on your keyboard?

Sorry for the tone, but I'm not feeling great today and it's one of those days I'd really like to hear my Mom's voice, but can't. Even when she was difficult and bossy, I still loved her and knew she loved me.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 14, 2019 05:52AM Eigna wrote:

SUPer52, I didn’t know you need to be with someone for the genetic testing. I was planning to go alone..

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/17/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 14, 2019 06:20AM Sjacobs146 wrote:

Eigna, I don't know your mom, so I have no advice here except to not do it by text. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I'm not a fan of having serious conversation via text.

I have a funny story though about when I told my mom that I thought I'd tell to lighten the mood. My mom lives in Florida and I'm in Massachusetts, so I had no choice but to tell her by phone. When I told her that I had been diagnosed with BC she said:'"You're kidding!" My dad must have been nearby, so I hear his voice in the background asking what was going on. When my mom tells him he says: "You're kidding!" Don't know why, but that struck me as being really funny. Who would joke about something like that? I still chuckle thinking about it.


Dx 8/26/2014, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/24/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/26/2015 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/17/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 14, 2019 06:43AM - edited Sep 14, 2019 07:10AM by SUPer52

Eigna, I had planned to go alone too since no one suggested I have someone with me. I thought the "counseling" would be more along the lines of what choices I would have should my results come back positive, but it really was more of creating a family map of who had had cancer, what kind, and at what age. That map was then used to consider which panel of tests to run. My mother provided information I never even knew about both her side of the family and my father's. The counselor asked questions that went into generations beyond my grandparents which I hadn't expected. I wouldn't say you need to have someone with you, but it may be helpful, depending on how well you know your family's history.

If you have told your mother by the time of your appointment, you might want to consider if she would be helpful to have along with you. I had my mom go to a few doctor appointments with me, and sometimes it stressed me out more to have her with me than to have gone alone or have my husband instead, but I was very glad to have had her at the genetics counseling one.

It sounds like you know that you will eventually have to share your news because you will rely on your mom for some help. What helped the most as far as my mom was concerned was that I realized this diagnosis affected her too and that she needed to do things to help her feel useful, so while I didn't have her go to my surgeries (my husband had that duty), I allowed her to dote on me afterwards which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. I did set a few loose boundaries. For example, I took the day after surgery to just rest and sleep and insisted I did not need her to come to my house, but the day after, when I was feeling better, she came and brought me homemade soup and we just had a nice afternoon watching old movies. I am sure that whenever my mom was with her "lady bird friends" as we refer to them, that she likely made it a little bit about herself, but in my presence, she was actually pretty good. My parents are in their 80's, and I was very worried about placing my burden on them, but they are stronger than I gave them credit for.

Just a note regarding surgery day....someone above suggested a babysitter if that works for you, estimating your time to be away approximately 4 hours. If you are having a sentinel node biopsy along with a lumpectomy, and if you will have localization wires placed, you could potentially be there much longer. My first surgery which included the sentinel node biopsy ended up being almost an entire day. First I checked in at the main hospital, then was sent to the attached breast cancer center where I received the injection of the tracer dye for the SNB and had the procedure to place the localization wires to guide the surgeon to the site that was biopsied. After that, I had a mammogram to make sure they were placed correctly. Then I returned to the surgical waiting area in the main hospital and waited to be called back. The surgery itself took about an hour and 45 minutes, but there was pre-op preparation and post-op recovery too. It also happened to be a busy day for surgeries that day. When it was all said and done, I had checked in at 7:30 AM and was sent home at 5:30 PM, so it was a long day.

You are in what was for me the most difficult phase. Once I woke up from my first surgery, I sensed immediately that much anxiety had left my mind, and then once my treatment plan was in place, I felt even better. Hang in there and even though as women it is in our nature to worry about everyone else, please take care of yourself too. Hugs to you!!!




"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, compassion, some humor, and some style." -Maya Angelou Dx 1/15/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 1/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 2/25/2019 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/7/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 5/10/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 14, 2019 07:23AM HopeWins wrote:

I hope all works out with you telling your Mom, Eigna. Just reading this thread makes me feel less guilty about keeping my mother at arms length through this. She's what some people might call an Energy Vampire. There is just so much drama with her and she only thinks about what she needs/wants. Support, attention, etc. The irony is, this level of concern about my wellbeing was never there when I was a child, so I find it all to be disingenuous when she turns into a puddle over my situation. Anyway, I didn't have the energy or desire to prop her up.

Despite being warned by my sister and me being very direct in telling her I might be ready for a hospital visit a day or two AFTER surgery, but she should check first before coming, she showed up on the day of my surgery in the waiting room. Planted herself next to DH and rocked back and forth and whimpered. My husband is not confrontational and is very kind, but he flat out sent her home (3 hours away).

Anyway, even though she ignored my sister about the hospital situation, my sister and brother did an excellent job of running interference with both of my parents in many other instances, so not sure if that's an option for you.

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Sep 14, 2019 07:27AM HopeWins wrote:

oh, and I should add that I did tell my mom over the phone and she just kept crying and saying she didn't understand.... so, I told her to call my sister if she had questions. It's nice to have a belly button to send people to when they want more than you can give.

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Sep 14, 2019 07:34AM SimoneRC wrote:

Hi Eigna,

For my actual genetic testing, the first time, I went into the lab and they took blood to test for breast cancer genetic mutations.

For my genetic counseling, after I had the results, I had to complete a large information package that included family history and mail that in before even scheduling the appointment. At that appointment they wanted to test for colorectal cancer genes. They collected saliva when I was there by having me spit in a tube.

You may want to double check about the details of your genetic testing appointment. If it was like mine, you will not need anyone with you for a simple blood draw or saliva sample.


ATM Gene Mutation, Deletion. IDC w/Lobular Features and Focal Mucinous Features. Pre Pectoral Reconstruction. Hysterectomy Surgery 4/6/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 5/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 7/3/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 8/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting
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Sep 14, 2019 07:56AM SUPer52 wrote:

It's so interesting how things are handled so differently at different places! I agree with Simone that you should ask what to expect. If your facility does it like hers does, then you won't need to worry about whether you should have someone with you. They did do my blood draw that day, but the panel of mutations they tested for with that blood sample was based on my history. When I returned for my results, my sister went with me as we decided that my results would impact her too, and she was wondering if she should be re-tested as she was tested 12 years ago.

Just another heads up...my facility required that results be given in person, regardless of whether or not they are positive. You might want to ask about that too. When I received the call that my results were in and I needed to schedule an appointment, I worried that that meant I had tested positive. Turns out I didn't. (well, except for two mutations of unknown clinical significance, so my results did not change my treatment plan...).

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, compassion, some humor, and some style." -Maya Angelou Dx 1/15/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 1/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 2/25/2019 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/7/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 5/10/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Sep 14, 2019 08:26AM SimoneRC wrote:

Yes SUPer52! We all can have such different experiences! Again, just in my experience, after I was diagnosed I met first with the Breast Surgeon. He ordered the genetic testing for the full panel of breast cancer genes. He set me up for the blood draw at the lab. Guessing Eigna can call or check her portal to see what they have her scheduled to do. So interesting that the path can vary so much.

Eigna, this must be a super stressful time, dealing with all of the unknowns and what ifs. As many have mentioned before, this stinks! Easier said than done but try to relax and have some fun with your family this weekend! If it is pretty, go outside and enjoy the late summer weather. Do something self indulgent that you love like a nice meal, massage, anything! You are exactly the same person as you were before your diagnosis. You just have more information. This is a marathon, not a sprint and if you can, take some time now for you to relax, feel good and exhale.


ATM Gene Mutation, Deletion. IDC w/Lobular Features and Focal Mucinous Features. Pre Pectoral Reconstruction. Hysterectomy Surgery 4/6/2018 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 5/6/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 7/3/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/30/2019 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 8/6/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting
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Sep 14, 2019 11:06AM Beesie wrote:

Eigna, my experience with genetic testing was that I had to submit a detailed family history - the first time I was asked to send it to them in advance, the second time I was just asked to bring it along with me. There was discussion about the family history, discussion about which genes to test for, discussion about the implications of the findings, whether positive or negative, and then I was asked if I wanted to go ahead. Both times I said "yes" and I had the blood draw done immediately. That was it. No need in my case for anyone else to be there, and frankly I wouldn't have wanted anyone else there. I'd suggest that even if you are not asked to bring along your family health history, talk to family members before hand come prepared with it.

As for telling your mother, you know her so you know what is best. I never told my parents; they were in their 80s and I was in Canada and they were 1500 miles away. Plus my mother had been diagnosed 6 months before me and my parents weren't over the shock of that yet. My mother actually would have been okay with the news, upset but it wouldn't linger with her. My father would have been devastated. I felt it would be too difficult on them to tell them without having them here to see that I was okay and to help. If we'd lived close, I certainly would have told them.

Since your mother helps with your kids, you of course do need to tell her. As SUPer52 mentioned, it's possible that your day surgery might be a long day, not the 4 hours that was mentioned earlier. And while your Oncotype score will hopefully be low and chemo won't be required, with your young age, the grade 3 tumor and with it being PR-, it is quite possible that chemo will be recommended. If you decide to go ahead, then you will certainly need your mother's assistance with your kids.

If you expect your mother to get upset and possibly cry, and if that will be difficult for you, I think your idea of telling her over the phone might make sense. You have enough on your plate without needing to be strong for her. And perhaps that's what you should tell her. Think about how you expect her to react, think about your own needs and what would bother you, and maybe preface your discussion by telling her that. If you say "I have news that I know is going to make you upset, and I will give you some time to process it, but when I next see you and over the next few months, I really need your support and your strength..." Those might not be the right words for you or your situation, but plan the discussion in advance so that you are explaining your needs and gently giving her the rules that you need her to follow over the next while so that she provides you with the support you need and doesn't cause more stress for you. You can be as direct about saying that if it works for your relationship with her. Once that's explained, it should be easier to remind her and refer back to the discussion if she starts to stress too much in your presence, causing more anxiety for you.

Good luck with the discussion!


“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke
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Sep 14, 2019 08:47PM Eigna wrote:

Thank you so much all of you for your advice, your personal experiences. It just proves to me how hard it is to tell a mom these bad news. So I finally told my mom part of the truth. I know how hard it will affect her. She’s 80 and taking care of my dad so I know she will be worried. I told her that they found something on my mammogram and it needs to be taken out and do biopsy. And I will know the results after surgery. I did it over the phone and she took it well and told me not to worry. But as the days progressed I could feel it in her voice that it did affect her. I’m sure she thought of the worst scenario but she doesn’t want to show it. For now her mind will try to make sense of all this. When I will get the post surgery biopsy results and I will have a plan in place and I will be able to tell her what’s the next step. That’s how I see it.

For the genetic testing, I was told that I will meet a genetic counselor and this person will evaluate what tests need to be done. I’m going alone as nobody told me that I need to be with someone.

Diagnosed at 43. Weakly ER+ Dx 8/20/2019, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/10/2019 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/17/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 14, 2019 11:42PM santabarbarian wrote:

Eigna, sounds like a good plan! Bravo.

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes

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