Topic: Anxious hubby looking for some advice/reassurance

Forum: Not Diagnosed But Worried — For those who are experiencing symptoms or received concerning test results, but haven't been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Posted on: Jan 13, 2022 07:10AM

Posted on: Jan 13, 2022 07:10AM

Anxioushubby123 wrote:

hello all, hope you are doing well.

so about 2 weeks back, my wife who is 28 and has no family history of cancer began to show changes in her right breast only. Her breast were tender and a long dent started to form. From the top of the breast towards her nipple. We immediately made an appt for her GP, and after visiting, the doctor told her she had some lumps under her breast. He gave her an appt to do an ultrasound.

Fast forward to today, we did the ultrasound, and the doctor was perplexed. He could feel the lumps and see the dent but nothing showed up on the ultrasound. No cysts, no masses, nothing.

Afterwards, we went to go see the breast specialist, he reviewed the ultrasound and said he was a bit concerned about the “fat placement” in the breast. After visibly inspecting and feeling the area, he decided that we should do an MRI. He did rule out, in his medical opinion, IBC which is a relief. Moreover he mentioned there was no swelling in the lymph nodes. He did also say that breast cancer is rare for someone in their late 20s, but without the MRI, if there was cancer, he couldn’t tell if it could be stage 1-3.

honestly, my wife is so strong and positive. But I’m such a negative anxious pessimistic person and I’m weighing her down, I’m panicking and I’m trying my best to not talk about it, google it, or show any negative emotions around her. So I found this forum! Thankfully. I’m just here to vent and see if I can get some opinions or just positive words on our situation.

thank you for taking the time to read this! Our MRI is in a week, so I’ll update when the time comes

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Jan 14, 2022 01:56PM parakeetsrule wrote:

I hope what's going on with your wife turns out to be nothing but if it is cancer, this part of the forum might be helpful for you: Lurking and reading may be useful now though!

Stage 2 at 37, Stage 4 at 41. Cancer is dumb. Cookies are good. Dx 3/21/2017, IDC, Left, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/15/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 12/8/2021 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 12/13/2021 Piqray (alpelisib) Dx IDC, Other, Stage IV, ER+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jan 14, 2022 02:17PM threetree wrote:

Glad you came back too, Serendipity!

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Jan 14, 2022 02:35PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Clearly, the choice of pronouns is individual. I applaud and admire all partners who offer unconditional support to a significant other with bc. However, I am one of those folks who would be upset if my SO or close supporter said , We are having a lumpectomy or chemo, etc. For me, it’s simple. As the patient, only I went through surgery and treatment. Support is essential IMO, but no matter how much someone loves and cares for me, they will not be undergoing surgery or treatment. Again, the use of “we” doesn’t bother everyone but I personally would have been super upset if an SO said, “ We are having surgery, a scan, chemo, etc. “ . For me, that is not supportive, that’s presumptive. Again, this shouldn’t dissuade SO’s from posting, although we do have a caregivers forum, but they should be aware that there are varying attitudes about the use of a plural pronoun when in reality only the person with bc is actually undergoing treatment.

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 14, 2022 02:44PM wrenn wrote:

Given that we die alone and a cancer diagnosis is seen as a potential death threat I can see not wanting to include those supporting the person going through it. It is a scary experience to deal with a loved one facing possible death but the experience for supporters is very different.

I love to see people searching for answers to help their loved ones so they can be the best support and hopefully supporters continue to come back to this site. I think most people using "we" mean to show that they are in it whole heartedly and that is very generous.

Hoping for a benign result for this scary time for your wife and you Anxioushubby. Take care.

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Jan 14, 2022 04:21PM threetree wrote:

I know this is only belaboring the issue (that can be seen as petty, except that it has scared people away), but I want to say that when my father saw himself and my mother as a team and used the term "we" frequently when she was battling a different kind of cancer many years ago, he never said anything like "we are getting chemo" or "we are getting an IV today", etc. He would say things like, "We need to tackle this problem." "We need to find out when her next appointment is." "We need to talk to the radiologist next week", and so forth. That is what I also see with the husbands and other support people on here. They don't say, "We are getting a scan." "We are having surgery." "We are having our port removed today." They say things like "We need more detail about what kind of breast cancer this is." "We are asking questions about chemo." I don't think it is common at all for the husbands and other supporters I see on here to act like they are the one getting needles stuck in them. It's just that they see it as a united, team effort, and they are very affected by it themselves, as they are facing the possibility of losing their spouse. They are doing what they believe a spouse or significant other would/should do in a case like this, presumably with their spouse's approval and appreciation.

Personally, I would have loved to have been part of "we" when I was first diagnosed and initially traumatized by the whole thing. Three years on, I 'd still like to be part of a "team" that saw this as "we". I haven't been married for years now, but I would have loved to have had someone like the caring and supportive husbands I see here, helping me out with everything. I would have loved to have had a husband by my side looking at this issue as a "we" sort of thing; a team. I'd still like to have that in my life if possible. Likewise, if I had a current spouse who was in a bad situation like this, I can only imagine that I would get very involved and start looking at forums like this one, read everything I could about whatever their condition was, and go to appointments with them, etc., presuming that's what they would like. If they said they'd rather manage it all on their own, I would go with that request, but I would like to think they'd welcome and appreciate the team effort, since we would be a "we" in that case.

Interesting, when I had my kids back in the 1980's I remember hearing many other expectant couples saying "We're having a baby!". I couldn't help but note those comments and think about how it would be the mother who actually "had" the baby, but I could tell that they were also trying to say that for them this was very much a couple's experience and that the father's inclusion in all of the goings on was important to them. I actually heard primarily women saying this, "We're pregnant!" kid of stuff. I don't think I ever heard one of the father's to be say it. I don't think any of the expectant father's thought for one minute that "they" were actually physically going to be having the baby. They were just wanting to be a big and helpful part of the whole experience. I think that's how it is for the husbands on here too.

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Jan 14, 2022 04:35PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

three tree,

I don’t want to belabor the point either as I can see both sides of the issue. I think we just need to remember that pronoun usage appears to be a matter of personal preference. The patient should determine what they prefer. Beyond that, we simply need to understand that what works for some may not work for others

Many years ago I had major abdominal surgery. My ex often spoke about how tired he was and that the recovery was longer than “we” expected. Given that he hadn’t actually had surgery, I was pretty steamed but that’s just me. Others may find the “we” comforting and as much as that doesn’t work for me, I understand that it does for others.

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 14, 2022 05:46PM threetree wrote:

exbrnxgrl - I basically agree with what you are saying. It's just when I see husbands on here using "we", I presume not only do they care and are trying to help, but that they and their spouses are in this together and presumably agree on what terms are being used. When someone posts on here about their spouse, we can hardly know what the non posting spouse is thinking about terminology, so we have to presume that the poster is well intentioned and doing a good thing, no matter what term they use.

Maybe there is something about exes too. I don't think my former spouse would have been all that attentive, and might have had similar feelings as yours about just wanting the whole thing over sooner than it actually took. But then, they are exes ...

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Jan 14, 2022 05:54PM wrote:

ThreeTree, every example of the use of the word "we" that you mentioned in your post is absolutely fine. All those examples are great in fact, since they show a supportive, involved and caring partner.

I have never seen anyone on this site complain or raise concern about any uses of the word "we" similar to your examples. I have only ever seen the issue raised in cases where a SO does in fact say "We are getting a scan." or "We are having surgery." or "We'll be getting the IV next week." or "Our diagnosis is..." or "Our treatment plan includes..." or "At our appointment with our surgeon, he said...".

If every supportive spouse made the distinctions that you mention, this issue would never come up. Yet it comes up fairly often.

I don't frequent discussion boards for male cancers, but I doubt we'd ever see a female partner saying "We're having our next prostate exam on Tuesday."

All that said, I applaud spouses who are involved their wive's care and appreciate those who come here for information and support.

Anxioushubby, good luck to your wife with her MRI. I hope that this turns out to be a false alarm and your time here is short, but if that's not the case, I hope you feel welcome here and I hope you get all the support you need.

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Jan 14, 2022 05:58PM exbrnxgrl wrote:


A bit off topic and not quite the same but this reminds me of the choice to use Mrs. George Smith when one marries as opposed to using ones own name. Each couple has to decide what works for them. My former MIL, may she Rest In Peace, never forgave mefor not wanting to be addressed as Mrs, George Smith. She thought it was disrespectful of me to want to be addressed as Ms. Jane Nelson Smith! For professional reasons that is my legal name to this day. To each his own!

Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 14, 2022 06:32PM threetree wrote:

Beesie - Thanks. I absolutely get what you are saying. I also wish Anxioushubby and his wife the best of luck with the MRI. Really hoping it is the "false alarm" that you mentioned it could be.

Exbrnxgrl - Yes, this is off topic or very distantly related, but my mother-in-law (was still such when she died) told me I should "never" lose my own name. I had taken my husband's last name, as I always thought it made for "family convenience" if nothing else. It was interesting that it was she who made a strong case that I at least use my given name sometimes, or it could be "lost" altogether. She used her husband's last name, however.

Also, when my husband and I got divorced I hadn't really thought about my name one way or the other, but he had it in his legal paperwork that my name should revert back to my maiden name! There's one about "since when does he decide?!" I do use my maiden name now, but because I want to, not because he wanted me to!

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