Jan 6, 2019 04:09PM Salamandra wrote:
peppermintpattie65, sending so many good thoughts!!
HER2+ does often mean adding chemo. But it also generally means an *improved* prognosis. Don't look at the older material - there have been major game changer new medications in the last decade that are NOT reflected in older survival rates. Under the new staging guidelines, being HER2+ will often move you to a *lower* stage. If you had a good prognosis before, you probably have an even better prognosis now. The bad news is that you will need more chemical/medical treatment. The good news is that the treatment they have works really really well.
It is weird to be diagnosed with breast cancer when you are feeling perfectly healthy - that's how it was for me - and now I feel incapacitated from the radiation treatment. It's a whole mental and emotional thing to wrap your head around, and try to give yourself as much of a break as you can. It doesn't have to be made sense of right away.
The one thing I wish I had done differently would be to have been more assertive with my doctors and take off of work earlier than I did. Forcing myself to keep going to work when my head and heart were so consumed by the cancer was very bad for my mental health, and it's making it harder for me to go back to work now. It's ok not to be emotionally strong all the time. Listen to your body and take care of yourself as much as your resources allow you to.
Especially since your husband is struggling, now is a great time to reach out to friends. You will be surprised how many people you know either have experienced cancer themselves or close at hand. There are also lots of organizations with social workers you can speak with, and I found that very helpful.
You *can* manage treatment and you *will* manage treatment. In the end, it will be just one day at a time, the same as anything else. It might be hellish or it might be a lot better than you imagine (look through some postings here, some women do much better on chemo than they expected), but it will still be one day at a time.
Hang in there. This is a very difficult thing emotionally. These boards are great and I hope you will find lots of support. Look for threads that match diagnosis - I'm not sure if you are triple positive or ER+/PR-/Her+, but either way there are threads for that. Some partners find help and support here too, so encourage your husband to join if you think that might be useful for him.
You will manage this