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Adult daughter with breast cancer in another city

I am posting this on behalf of @DS51 from their blog so more members will see it and be able to respond. Please tag them with your responses:

Hello - I have a 40 year old daughter who has stage 2 HERS2 negative breast cancer that was in 3 of 15 lymph nodes. She lives near Boston
and I am out west. She has gone through 6 months of chemo, had
a double mastectomy and five weeks of radiation. Now on hormonal
pills, etc. Is there anyone who has a daughter in mid life struggling with a similar diagnosis. I am having difficulty with this reality, especially
from afar, and wondered if anyone would like to share, support or provide
insight or help if they are a parent in a similar situation. Thank you.

6 Replies
Trillium
2127 Posts

@DS51 - I want to offer you a warm welcome although I wish you did not have a need to be here.

I have been the caregiver for my son who was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the beginning of the pandemic. He was the same age. I knew much more about breasts than testicles because I only have breasts. A bit of a learning curve for me because I was his sole caregiver. We made it through all of the treatment as you both have as well.

It’s not easy watching or listening to them go through all of that even though they are adults. Others will be along soon to support you and hopefully there will be another mom you can connect with.

Below is the CCS guide to caregiving and it is very well written. If you scroll just a little you will find a small section on supporting someone from a distance.

You have found a great support site here. I hope it helps you as much as it did me.

Welcome hugs

Trillium

https://cancer.ca/en/living-with-cancer/helping-someone-with-cancer/caregiving

Essjay
2051 Posts

@DS51 welcome to this community.

im sorry to hear about your daughter’s diagnosis. It sounds like she has had good treatment. I was 49 at diagnosis with triple negative breast cancer four years ago, and I went through surgery chemo and radiation treatment, now cancer free.

Im going to suggest a couple of forums for you to dip into:

this is the caregiver forum where you can see posts by other caregivers or family members of cancer patients - youll find people dealing with similar issues to you.

And the breast cancer forum, one of the busiest on this site because breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and one in eight will get breast cancer in their lifetime (men get it to, but in much smaller numbers).

I hope these are useful and you can find some of the information you seek, or you can ask the questions that are bothering you.

is there anything in particular we can help with today?

best wishes, Essjay


@DS51 As a mother, I can understand how difficult it is to be away from a sick child. Even though I have dealt with cancer as a patient, I sometimes say that the caregivers may have just as difficult a time, if not more, than the patient. I'm assuming that the feeling of helplessness may seem overwhelming. It's hard enough to know what to say to anyone when they have cancer and even harder when even just sitting with them (not having to say a word) is not an option.

Having said that, please find distractions for yourself. You can't support your daughter if you get sick as well. I'm sure that your daughter knows that you love her and are their for her.

It's great that you have taken the time to post on this site. You can honestly say that you are doing everything you can to support you.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. My diagnosis was very similar to your daughter's. I had surgery, chemo, radiation, and I took Tamoxifen for 7 years to minimize the risk of my cancer returning. I hope it gives you some small comfort to know that with a similar diagnosis, I'm still standing.

As @Essjay asked, are there any particular questions that you or your daughter may have. We want to help you in any way that we can. You have received some great links and documentation to review.

Hang in there. Take a deep breath. You are not alone. Share with us as much or as little as you want.

cancertakesflight

#parent #Breastcancer #distant

Cupcakes
203 Posts

Hi @DS51 welcome to our community here. Sorry for your news. I am not a parent so I could certainly never imagine what that awful feeling is like. I just wanted to say hi to you. (I am a patient) I could offer you from this point of view. What has been nice for me is the regular check ins. The thinking about you’s. Someone sending me an encouraging little video. Or a fun memory to remember and laugh at. Just knowing someone is there whether I want to talk about “it” or anything but “it”. Encouragement and hope are great sentiments. And sometimes just saying nothing or having a good cry. Sending love to you and your daughter. I hope things start to get better ❤️

DS51
4 Posts

@cancertakesflight @Essjay
Thank you for your reply. This is very overwhelming and I have learned that there are so many types and variables with breast cancer. Did you have any lymph nodes that had cancer? My daughter had three. The surgery went well but she has a high chance of the cancer returning - perhaps because her Residual Cancer Burden was level 111. Did you have any similar result from your surgery outcome? Just wondering. Still looking for some clarification on issues and how to move forward. Again thank you.

@DS51 I had two lymph nodes that were cancerous. They were my sentinel nodes, which were tested while I was having my mastectomy. They also 20 other nodes from under my arm, but they were all negative for cancer.

I totally understand how overwhelming this is. There is so much to learn in such a short period of time. There are so many terms that you have never heard before and there are so many decisions to make. Until you have been in that situation, it's hard for anyone else to understand. It does get a little easier as time goes on, but you can only process so much at a time.

This is where one day at a time comes in. It could be one hour at a time, or even less. Only process and think about what you can handle without being overwhelmed. Sometimes you will be able to handle more than others and other days will be more difficult. Just remember, you are not alone and you are providing a lot of support just by trying to find out everything you can in an effort to help in anyway that you can.

cancertakesflight

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