Posted by Minus2 on Jun 15, 2019 9:32 am
You have had some great advice from the other ladies on site. I was diagnosed with IDC, Stage 1A, Grade 1 in May 2016. The largest tumour was 2.0 cm. Both breasts also had DCIS, extensive on the right side where the IDC tumours were. So, I was recommended right at the start for a double mastectomy followed by immediate reconstruction and I followed the surgeon's advice. Like you I am a worrier and as ashcon said, your decision will really come down to what you can live with - not just in the physical sense, but how you will function every day. I have not looked back and most days, I feel like me again, but it was a process. Just being given the diagnosis is life changing but the impact of the treatments just adds another layer. In the end, ask all the questions you need to, make a decision you feel will best support your physical and emotional goals and needs, and then advocate firmly, consistently, and persistently. Be sure to ask questions about the risks associated with treatments beyond surgery as those factors may also impact your decision.
As for your children, you will be surprised at what they can do independently and how much support they can offer you. I know as a mother, all we want to do is look after our children and do things for them, but when we can't it becomes crystal clear that our real purpose is to help them grow into independent and resilient adults who can handle whatever life throws at them. And that other people can do things for them and other people can help them - it does not always have to be me. Nothing does that better than necessity. When my children were only 12 and 13 my dad became very ill and as an only child, I had to spend a lot of time at my parent's home. My children stepped up; my daughter took over meal planning and cooking and my son took over the weekly laundry - and they both managed their dad LOL! When my mom became ill 3 years later and I moved in with her for the last weeks of her life to provide care, they stepped it up a notch again. And then when I was diagnosed, they were 22 and 23 and accepting responsibility and acting as caregivers in small doses came very naturally. Who knew?!? Like I said, when given the chance to be independent, they surprise us.
All the best as you research and discern........Minus2
Posted by JustJan on Jun 15, 2019 9:41 am
Posted by Kims1961 on Jun 15, 2019 11:12 am
Another place for support I found was with my Cancer Centre. Some have social workers attached who can help with the emotional journey we are on but also maybe able to problem solve some support services in your area and/or financial resources.
A friend who is also going through treatment - a single mother on a very tight budget - used her community of family/friends/neighbours - she came up with a list of things that the family could use help with - maybe a meal? - maybe yard work? - maybe some child care - or maybe just a break - so when people asked - if there is anything you need - you can add them to this list and they can check off something they could help with. Often others want to help but are not sure what is needed - sometimes we can't think of anything either - but this might be an idea if things get very busy for you or you just need some time to take a nap. She had the list on her computer and shared via email with everyone who offered, so they could see what was being offered and what is still needed. She called it Meal Train ?
As others have mentioned, our children can surprise us with their resiliency during difficult times. In fact, it also helps them to find strategies and be part of the family, when they can help and feel part of your care. This will help them prepare for their journey through adulthood. When my husband was ill and my children were little , I tried to include them in easy parts of his care. Did I make mistakes as a Mom? you betcha - but that is also part of life - we do the best we can.
So glad you posted! Kim
Posted by Sh0384 on Jun 21, 2019 6:51 am
thank u minus2! I'm glad to hear u feel like yourself again. I cant wait for that. Your children sound lovely as well. You're a lucky mama ❤
so I met with the surgeon. They are sending me for an MRI on monday to confirm size of the one tumor because it looks to be over 5. She said if it is I will need around 4 months of chemo, surgery then possibly radiation. She said a mastectomy of my one breast but supported a double mastectomy for a few reasons. That was nice to hear. She said it before I even said I wanted one. I meet with the oncologist today. I have a bone scan Tuesday. Then the following monday I see the surgeon again to discuss my MRI results and Tuesday to see radiation onc. It doesnt look like its spread to my lympnodes tho so that was some good news! She did say if it was surgery first it would be done within a few weeks and if its chemo also within a few weeks. It's crazy how fast it goes. It feels like u wait forever for the results. She asked me if I was willing to take part in a study that's for women under 40 with breast cancer. I said absolutely. I was also sent for genetic testing because I'm so young to have a late stage breast cancer. She said it probably started a few years ago which is crazy to think.
now my kids. My oldest who is 12 is not taking it well. Hes holding a lot in. He was acting out at school. The principal was very understanding because he knows.whats going on. We decided it was best I pulled him from school for the rest of the year(only a week). My 9, 7,6 boys are scared. Thanks to movies. They just recently watched guardians of the galaxy 2. Well I guess the mom gets cancer and dies. So they are associating cancer with death. I have reassured them over and over I'm not going anywhere. They say they understand but wont leave my side right now. Even sleeping in bed eith me. So right now I'm just doing fun stuff with them and keeping them close with constant reassurance. A piece of lettuce got stuck in my throat and I gagged a little bit. My 9 and 7 year old ran to my side and they looked scared. It's like they look at me like im going to go at anytime. It breaks my heart. I'm not crying in front of them and staying positive lots of laughs I. Hope's they arent so scared.
Posted by ACH2015 on Jun 21, 2019 7:26 am
Lots on your plate.
I want to share a resource from the Canadian Cancer Society that deals with talking about cancer with your children:
Also, along with the counselors in the school, social workers in the hospital you are being treated at may have access to therapist that deal specifically with children dealing with a parent's diagnosis.
We can't do everything ourselves as patients, and seeking assistance helps all concerned to reduce stress and move forward as best we can.
ACH2015 - Andy.
Posted by Kims1961 on Jun 22, 2019 10:52 am
There are some excellent children's books on cancer - i'll include a list - as well as another pamphlet which includes resources and children's books.
Thinking of you. Kim