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Jun 18, 2020 04:57PM
I'm so sorry. I was a bit older than you when my mother was diagnosed, but not that much. She waited years after she'd noticed the lump, and though she accepted conventional treatments after that, it was too late.
Some things that have helped comfort me:
1) I can't know that things would have turned out differently otherwise. One of our neighbors caught a stage 1 breast cancer just a couple of month's before my mother's stage 4, and died not long after she did. It's possible that my mother could have done everything 'right' and this still would have happened.
2) My mom was her own person. In so many ways, such an amazing person, and part of that package was the denial. Sometimes, denial can be an adaptive tool for survival. Other times, the opposite. But you can't take apart a person and only get the parts you like. She did things her way and she was always going to do things her way, because that's who she was.
Do you have access to a therapist of your own now? Can you get some kind of support? It may be more available than you realize. Watching something like this happening while being so helpless to do anything (because you really don't have power here) is excruciating and can lead to real trauma.
I hope that you won't blame yourself, because there is nothing to blame yourself for.
Knowing what I know now, the advice I would give to my younger self is to give up all thoughts of influencing her behavior and just do whatever I can to spend as much time with her as I could and make that time as enjoyable as possible - not arguing about what she should be doing or not doing, but just being with her. I don't know that I would have been capable of following that advice at the time. But that would be my advice.
Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9.
9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
10/17/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
11/1/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
12/3/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
12/18/2019 Fareston (toremifene)