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Topic: Feeling very inadequate

Forum: Stage III Breast Cancer — You are not alone. Meet others who have Stage III breast cancer.

Posted on: Nov 12, 2017 04:25AM - edited Nov 12, 2017 04:29AM by happy12day

happy12day wrote:

i went out last night with a group of my husband's friends. One of the women had a top that revealed so much Breast and cleavage; I saw my husband looking at her chest a couple of times. I felt like running from the room crying ( as I do writing this post). In my husband's defence her boobs were so in your face!

I stated to my husband this morning how revealing her top was and that I'd seen him looking at her chest. He told me what else was he to do, they were in his face. But you are the one I love.

I tried to explain how I felt, that I'd had a mastectomy, that I'm scared and will never look like her. It was a conversation that ended in "me needing to move on", said my husband.

I am very unhappy. I don't know how to deal with this.

Any ideas or words of wisdom?

One final thing, I feel like there's an attraction there?


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Nov 12, 2017 08:51AM reflect wrote:

I am sending a great big hug to you. I'm not sure what to suggest except maybe doing a little couples counseling to help you both through this difficult time? It is painful and will get better.

Hormonal Therapy 9/19/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/30/2015 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 2/3/2016, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 7/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/24/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/13/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary
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Nov 12, 2017 10:50AM hopefour wrote:

So sorry for your pain. I have had a double mastectomy with no reconstruction. ...not easy and one day may do a small reconstruction. Your husband my of had a moment of lust...but, its you he loves! It takes such courage to not get pulled under the sorrow of it all. This journey is so full of emotions and still at 6 years out it can be overwhelming! I used breast cancer to become my best...went from a size 14 to 4, exercise everyday, and so on. You will too...you'll become your best through this sorrow and your husband will fall all the more in love with you as he sees the courage, love and strength you have grown in. And you with him as you receive his love, support and encouragement.

Dx 5/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 4/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 12, 2017 11:24AM - edited Nov 12, 2017 11:36AM by Wildplaces

You are going to master ALL the strength you have and be the leader in this...if she makes a play for your husband make what she perceives an asset unimportant. I mean REALLY are a pair of huge boobs that hot, think of the back problems she will have in the future, the little areas of sweat and redness under them as they droop later in life...well you get the picture.😉

Your goal is to focus on all that is good between the two of you.

You can do it - look at this forum...you have us all in your pocket, holding each other.

Your husband came home with YOU and told YOU he loves you.

Please don't think I am underestimating your grief (or mine when I lost them - mastectomy, no recon) - just keep focusing on all the great things about YOU that YOUR husband fell in love with.

In the mean time know that on some level we all have been there - terrified,it's the pits, but you are alive and he is your husband!!

(())

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: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic ovary removal 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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Nov 12, 2017 10:27PM Outfield wrote:

happy12, do you know about Flat&Fabulous? It's a Facebook group for women who have undergone mastectomy but not reconstruction, or for whom reconstruction has failed. They're a really wonderful resource.

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Nov 13, 2017 01:04AM - edited Nov 13, 2017 01:05AM by Icietla

happy12day, I am so sorry you are in this pain. You are good enough. You are just as much a woman as any other. You are beautiful. You are The One he loves.

I think probably most of us mastectomees who are sighted tend to notice breasts -- breasts, breasts all over, all the time, everywhere we go, everywhere we look, breasts and more breasts. Somehow our not having them can make them conspicuous as they never were to us when we had our own.

I am wondering about this group of your husband's friends -- are they close enough friends of your husband that they are aware that you have had mastectomy? Without embarrassing your husband by making reference to his having looked, you might tell the one/s among them closest to you two about the insensitivity and discomfort of that scene -- that what could have been an enjoyable get-together was a very difficult time for you because of that woman's insensitivity and conduct. Respectful, caring persons, once enlightened about your situation and your suffering in that scene, would be thoughtful enough to use influence and/or exclusion (of that woman) to keep that from happening again.

We have a great supportive Community of "flat" members right here on BCO, in the Living Without Reconstruction After A Mastectomy forum section__

https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/82

(((Hugs)))

Dx 2/12/2016, ILC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/19/2016 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2016 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/25/2016 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Nov 13, 2017 11:05AM NotVeryBrave wrote:

I feel very sorry for you. I don't know that I have any words of wisdom, but I do have a couple of observations that might help.

I think it's very difficult for most women to lose their breast(s). Yes - they do not "define" us and of course we are more than our breasts. But still ... it's a part of you. I recently considered that it's kind of like an amputation. No, not nearly as serious or obvious or life-altering as losing an arm or a leg. But it is a loss. And there is grief and adjustment.

Men are very visual creatures. For many - breasts are pretty exciting and it's hard to not look when they're put on display. I find that I notice breasts WAY more than I ever did before all of this. I've even felt jealous of my teenage daughter!

The "moving on" comment comes from someone who is ready to move on himself. I don't think that anyone else can really understand what we go through. I'm sure he wishes that you could move on. Perhaps counseling (together or separately) would be helpful. Certainly explaining why that comment is hurtful is a good step.

Please don't feel inadequate. Concentrate on all the positives you have going for you and don't let this instance bring you down.


TCHP x 6 rounds - Complete Pathological Response! Still have to finish the year of Herceptin ... Dx 11/21/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 12/19/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/19/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 12/19/2016 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 5/9/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 9/9/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 13, 2017 11:20AM pupmom wrote:

Happy12day, seems most are assuming you won't have reconstruction. But I did not read that in your post. I had a lumpectomy, and definitely felt mutilated and freakish until I got reconstruction. Not saying that fixes everything, but at least for me, it helped with my self-esteem (guess I am petty, but trying to be honest here). Of course, breasts do not define us, but it takes awhile to get past a lifetime of programming about this body part, IF you are not having reconstruction.

And, as an aside, when we age most of us have insecurities about younger women. A caring and committed husband will not do any more than look, if that. They are also getting older and have their own insecurities. Sounds like that's the kind of guy you have! Me too, btw!

Life is what happens while we're making other plans. Dx 10/18/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 13, 2017 12:50PM NotVeryBrave wrote:

My comments are coming from a place of having had a BMX with immediate implant reconstruction. I'm sure it's much easier for me since I do have "breasts" of a sort. But I still miss my own (that I never thought much about while I had them) and still don't feel "normal" - whatever that is!

And it's human nature to compare, I think.


TCHP x 6 rounds - Complete Pathological Response! Still have to finish the year of Herceptin ... Dx 11/21/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 12/19/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/19/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 12/19/2016 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 5/9/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 9/9/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 14, 2017 10:54AM amygil81 wrote:

happy12day, can I ask how long it's been since you had your mastectomy? How has he been in dealing with your newly altered body since then?

Osteosarcoma in left leg at age 13. DCIS in left breast at 33. IDC recurrence in left chest wall at 42. Dx 12/2000, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/9/2000 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx 12/2009, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIB, 3/10 nodes Surgery 12/17/2009 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 1/10/2010 CMF Chemotherapy 5/30/2010 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/30/2010 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Nov 14, 2017 01:32PM MmeJ wrote:

His looking obviously doesn't make you feel very good now, but as a matter of perspective to perhaps help you feel better:

Would he have looked before?

(Would you?)

DX 07/2010, L ILC, 10cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 1, 15/15 nodes. R IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes. Both ER+PR+ HER2-. TX R SLNB / Neoadj TAC*6 / L Mast+ALND, TE+implant recon / R Lump+Lift / Bilat rads / Tamoxifen
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Nov 14, 2017 05:01PM sbelizabeth wrote:

My hubs and I have been married 40 years. Both of us look--we always have. If there's something particularly view-worthy, we'll mention it to one another. "Hey...look over there, it's really something..." An attractive rack, killer shoes, muscled legs, unbelievable bikini, strange hat--the sight is worth sharing.

This didn't change when I had only one breast, or when I had new belly-fat breasts. More so than women, men are visual, and unless a man is ogling or leering, a look is just a look.

pinkribbonandwheels.wordpress.... Dx 10/20/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/21/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/15/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap

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