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2 different cancers at the same time
Chef
3 Posts

Where to start? What to do first? Diagnosed with 2 different cancers at the same time.

I have been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in November and now in January I have a second cancer to the pancreas. 2 different cancers. Supposed to have breast surgery in February. Late March will be the Pancreatic cancer and then treatment.

The waiting is like a lifetime in itself. Thanks for any advice.

14 Replies
Runner Girl
2894 Posts

Welcome @Chef

You've already started by joining us and making a brief introduction. If you're ready please share with us the cancer that you have and we can begin to support you appropriately.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. I have completed surgery and treatment.

Runner Girl

Whitelilies
2447 Posts

@Chef Hello and welcome to our warm community……Please know we will support you……you have already taken the first step/sometimes the hardest - you joined…you shared….now let us support you….

Perhaps….you can reach out, at the hospital where you were diagnosed….to the Oncology Social Worker; Great Place to start seeking further support…they are a wealth of knowledge….resources and more…perhaps they have a support group on line too…..my social worker helped me immensely.

Below, I will include a link (Breast), where you can read through, of others' experiences, perhaps similar to yours….feel free to reach out/'tag' anyone, if you wish; just type “@”screen name (no space after @) and a few names drop down; select name you wish; turns blue; they receive your message.

Please meet @supersu Thank you so much, if you could share your experiences (Breast) and uplifting words, here, to support our new member, on a similar path….I am hopeful to connect you both…..much appreciation.

Please meet @JustJan Thank you so much, if you could share your experiences here (Breast) as well as coping strategies for “more”/Ovarian….as our new member also received second diagnosis…..kindly, let's support our new member! thank you.

Are you about to start/started treatment?

Please post any question you have; we will respond….share feelings too….

Welcome Again

Whitelilies

#welcome #Newmember

Whitelilies
2447 Posts

@Chef Hello…..please meet another new member @Carbla (also from the East Coast)…..on a similar path as yourself/pancreatic….

Carbla, if you could share your experiences, here, as our new member, (@Chef ) presents with same, I am hopeful, to connect you both…..and let's support one another…..

Link below for Pancreatic

Whitelilies
2447 Posts

@Chef Hello……please meet @Skye2

Skye…..kindly, if you could share your words of wisdom/experiences, and more….on cancer x 2 (different times)….as our new member has this “both, here, and now”……I am hopeful to connect you both….thank you for support…..

Feel, that, we ,are, all, here to support you!!

Whitelilies

supersu
1297 Posts

@Chef

good morning chef and welcome here. you have found a great corner of the internet. this is a place for cancer patients and their caregivers to find information, community and support.

2 cancers at same time…oh my goodness…
that must almost too much to take in. indeed, I would be reeling.

I will hope with a handle like ‘chef’ you have lots of friends who can make you delicious & nutritious food while you work your way thru your complicated cancer story. for a foodie person, food really can be comforting, am I right??!!

you have been tagged to some members who have that kind of similar story to share. they, no doubt, can share their coping expertise with you.

I can/will send you all my positive vibes for the very best as you learn more about these diagnosis's. please let us know how things are moving along for you.

cheers/hugs
su

#concurrentcancers #newdiagnosis #welcomenewmembers #breastcancer #pancreaticcancer

JustJan
1728 Posts

@Chef welcome to the community. I’m sorry you find yourself here but I do hope that you will find it both helpful and supportive.

I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in January 2019 and just 4 months later with ovarian cancer. Both were primary cancers. I did have genetic testing and it turned out I was BRCA1 positive. Have you had genetic testing? If not, you may want to ask about it. There may be different treatment options available if there are genetic mutations identified.

The challenge I found with the two diagnoses was juggling multiple specialists. I found it really important to stay on top of tests, appointments, etc and coordinate it so I wasn’t doing multiple trips and repeats of things. My oncologists worked together to coordinate my care. You just may have to remind them from time to time that you have multiple things going on. On the whole it worked well for me. I used a binder with tabs for appointments, questions, test results, treatments, etc and took it to every appointment. It helped me keep organized. I did find at times I felt I was spinning trying to manage it all. But having some good tools helped.

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. I know how challenging this all can be.

Skye2
225 Posts

Wow! Yes, that’s a lot to take in…first - take a big breath and blow it out… we are all here for you!

you’re going to be in a medical whirlwind with tests and treatments, but we are here to keep you grounded and supported. …baby steps…

I think I fit every category here…I’m an OR nurse, have done cancer surgery for 35+ years, looked after cancer patients, and my Dad had kidney cancer, and I looked after him when I was a new nurse at 25 years old. My brother finished chemo and a stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma just before I started chemo, and I’ve had kidney cancer and breast cancer 10 months apart, and they were very different experiences. Both were a shock, but the kidney was so easy, just take it out and I was “done”.

The breast cancer journey is a whole other beast…. Invasive ductal carcinoma as well as Ductal carcinoma in situ - both breasts…Double mastectomy, lymph nodes removed (it had spread), chemo, more lymph nodes removed, and now radiation.

I am ER, PR+, HER2-, stage 1, but with lymph node involvement. They can’t figure out why it spread… I’m 60, and will start anti hormone medication soon.

Feel free to ask me anything and everything, if I can help, I’m here!!!

Carbla
24 Posts

Hi @Chef,

Welcome I have advanced stage pancreatic cancer with metastases to the liver.

I was officially diagnosed near the end of September and started my first chemo treatment October 14. Chemo has been a life changer in a good way for me. I am sure your head is spinning at the information you are being given and your options. Contact me through message anytime you want and I can tell you what I have gone through.

Puffin
50 Posts

Hi @Carbla do you mind explaining how chemo has been a life changer for you in a good way? Chemo is the last and final stop for me if the current Immunotherapy doesn't do the job with my also advanced cancer and I have some trepidation about it when I do think about it. Thanks.

Puffin

Cynthia Mac
3983 Posts
Hi, Chef‍ I’m glad you’ve found this site and have been able to use some of the tips others have already given you.

I was caregiver for my dad, and so I’ll offer a few tips that worked for us:

- while we were in the phase of waiting between diagnosis and treatment plan(s), I tried to get us organized. Dad had surgery, so we worked to get his house comfortable for him so that he wouldn’t be sitting around looking at cob webs when he was trying to recover. We made sure is smoke detectors were all working, and that things he would need in his kitchen would be comfortably placed (He had lung cancer, but the reaching thing would be equally applicable to breast cancer, too.) This can be a good way of burning some of that anxious energy.

- I created a book for him so that we (and anyone else who might need the information knew where to find contacts and medications lists, appointment date and and times, questions to ask, etc. Having all this information in one place really helped. We took that book to every appointment. You might want to create a section for each of your diagnoses.

- We arranged for him to get meals from the hospital - he started doing this after mom passed away so it was kind of already set up, as he was diagnosed just a couple months after she passed. Our local hospital makes pre-made meals, which gave him portion control and they could meet any changing dietary needs that might come up. There are many food service options out there that you might explore (but with your user name, you might already know that)

These ideas might also help.

Hi @Chef

I have been dealing with 4 separate primaries, 3 simultaneous, one a few months later.

strangely I’ve been doing really well after 4 surgeries despite the fact 3 cancers are considered rare n hard to treat. Trusting and good communication with your lead doctors in the various multidisciplinary cancer care teams is really important and I found it helpful to find out as much as possible about each cancer and to ask questions

. There is also the emotional rollercoaster of appointments, tests and waiting for results, but hang in there, it does get less turbulent.

@Chef

I know the two cancer feeling. Started off with a male breast cancer diagnosis. Pretty survivable. My brother had it too and he was ten years out. There would be surgery. The thought of coping with it sucked but oh well.

Then they did the work up to make sure the breast cancer hadn't metastasized and it hadn't but “oh by the way you have a primary lung cancer and 5% of folks diagnosed at your stage make it to five years.” That knocked me for an incredible loop.

What I can tell you is that the more lethal one will take priority for treatment. The situation will almost certainly go to the “tumour board” and you will get the best treatment plan that their minds can come up with. In your case I'm sure the pancreatic cancer will take precedence. Six months after my diagnosis, treatment and surgery, my wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and six weeks later she was dead. Complicated story and I'm vastly simplifying it.

Sometimes I think cancer should be called "waiting." It seems like that is all that we do. Did they give you staging and a treatment plan for the pancreatic cancer? It seems a little strange that the are doing the breast cancer surgery first?

Angus

Chef
3 Posts

Angus… they did not give me a stage for the pancreatic cancer. The only thing I know so far is that it is 4cm and in the tail of the pancreas. Hoping to have more answers this coming week

Carbla
24 Posts

@Puffin

Sorry I didn't see this post before. For me chemo was the only option as the is no immunotherapy for my type of cancer. It is shrinking mu Mets and tumor and I have been slowly getting more strength. I hope your therapy is working.

CarBla

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