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General request for help. Wife just diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
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So about a month ago my wife found a lump in her breast and long story short after all the diagnostic testing we got the call from our doctor this past saturday letting us know she has breast cancer. Were both quite devastated by the whole thing and it just feels surreal most of the time. She's only 38 and what we know so far is that its grade 3 (super aggressive) her KI score is over 30% and she is triple negative on the hormone tests. So her options for treatment are first and foremost surgery and then possibly chemo and radiation. We meet with the surgeon this Thursday and our doctor has already prepped us that mastectomy is probably going to be the primary suggestion and due to her age and the aggressiveness of her cancer were expecting double to be added to that recommendation when we meet with the surgeon.

So i guess what I'm looking for would be any suggestions on books or resources for husbands to better support their wives. It seems like there are a few good ones out there but I'm just not sure and I don't feel like I have the time to spend reading a whole bunch of fluff when my wife needs me now.

Their is also not a whole lot out there in terms of younger women and breast cancer and so were just not finding a whole lot.

In short I feel utterly lost, i know I can't "fix" this so please don't tell me not to do that. I know this is her cancer and she has to battle it and that I can not begin to understand everything that is going through her head and body. I know she needs someone to listen to and to cry on and so far thats what I'm doing but...I don't know...I just love her so much and I'm scared and i really just don't know what to do.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

thanks

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God's in his heaven, alls right with the world -Nerv
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Re: General request for help. Wife just diagnosed with Breast Cancer. [suparuki] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Suparuki,

I'm sorry your wife has been disgnosed with breast cancer. My husband's family, both young and old, have gone through several cases of cancer in the last few years. Cancer is such an emotional disease, which fills us with so much fear and insecurity. All of a sudden life becomes so precious.

It sounds like you are supporting your wife perfectly: you're being available, patient, understanding and you love her very much.

What I've learnt is that cancer affects everyone differently. Some are able to shout "f**k cancer" and remain as positive as possible, others crumble and think the worse. However your wife is feeling she'll need support, understanding and patience, all of which you are doing anyway.

I will say one thing you should do though - don't forget to look after yourself. A lot will be asked of you in the coming months, try to get enough sleep and eat healthy.

I know this post might not be very helpful, but I hope it can give you a little reassurance that what you are doing to support her is enough.
Last edited by: Anna s: Aug 1, 17 1:04
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Re: General request for help. Wife just diagnosed with Breast Cancer. [suparuki] [ In reply to ]
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Sorry to hear this. I know that Livestrong has an extensive amount of information, a lot for care givers. You might start there.

clm
Nashville, TN
https://twitter.com/ironclm | http://ironclm.typepad.com
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Re: General request for help. Wife just diagnosed with Breast Cancer. [Anna s] [ In reply to ]
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Hi- I'm very sorry about your wife. Having had breast cancer several years ago, the best advice I can give you is to continue being as supportive as you are and let her be herself around you. The only other advice I can offer is to be her "ears" when you go to doctor/treatment appointments. Very often, the patient doesn't "hear' everything being thrown at her and it helps to have a somewhat objective other person in the room.

Try not to refer to her as "sick" - I hated that more than anything. I had a disease and was undergoing treatment - end of story.

It is a long and emotional road. If you have children, best to be honest with them as well.

All the very best to you and your wife. Keep us updated.
Martha
Last edited by: Princess: Aug 2, 17 13:46
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Re: General request for help. Wife just diagnosed with Breast Cancer. [suparuki] [ In reply to ]
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Don't wander through the forums much anymore but saw this and wanted to check in with you to see how you both are doing.

For any partner reading the future (or for you now if it remains helpful). Yes, as everyone else said - be supportive. But your question was what can you DO. Here are my thoughts:

Go to as many, if not all of the doctors appointments. Take notes, record them, process information. Your partner may not be ready to hear much of the information regarding treatment, after care, etc, but with your notes you can later and then together you can later. This is important. there is so much being said that can be missed.

Not to excess or highlighting the illness (i.e. don't change who you are), but enjoy each other. If you normally hike every weekend make that a priority, if you love dinners out - do it. Having normal touchstones through the process is nice. While at the same time honoring if she decides (not today).

While not an action: if she needs a just sit and be day - try your best to just do that all day. All humans sometimes just need a way, permission, time to get the emotions out. That may look like crying, yelling, walking, anxiety, etc.

know that you can help the process with maintaining/starting healthy habits (may not apply in this case, but still) - diet, exercise, mental health, etc have all been shown to help treatment.

I am going to hold in my mind that she is doing well - there is a long road to recovery after the initial fight. Know that there are providers: Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, etc that specialize in oncology; the care of fragile tissues, managing scars, managing possible side effects of radiation and surgery; managing return to intimacy. If you need help in this area, I can help find you some practitioners in your area.

That's the top of my head on an early morning. Sending you and your wife positive vibes.

Dana

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Don't Just Live, Thrive!
Thrive Kinematics Physical Therapy - http://www.facebook.com/...8178667572974?ref=hl
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Re: General request for help. Wife just diagnosed with Breast Cancer. [suparuki] [ In reply to ]
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This is a very sad story. Your continuous presence is something that your wife will surely appreciate. Spending more time with her and taking her to quite and peaceful place will somehow make her feel better.
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Re: General request for help. Wife just diagnosed with Breast Cancer. [suparuki] [ In reply to ]
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Thought i would post an update since i have gotten a few replies lately and its been a couple of months. A lot has happened some good some bad. When we met with the Surgeon she immediately referred us to the oncologist who had us start chemo the following day. That was a big of a punch to the gut to have things start so quickly. Neither of us felt real prepared for that. A few weeks later the fish test came back and she was Her2 positive so that was good but also changed the treatment plan. So here we are two months later. She has lost her hair and is mostly tired and sick a majority of the time. We have two more rounds of chemo that will finish up about mid November. Chemo sucks. It feels like its destroying her body more than the cancer is. About 3 weeks after her last chemo treatment she will go in for her double mastectomy which from all i can tell from reading and googling will be a small nightmare to live through and will take months when factoring in reconstruction. She will also continue to get herceptin through next august every three weeks at the infusion center. Oh she also got a port put in and due to her size (shes quite small) it protrudes quite a bit and gives her one more thing to be self-conscious about.

I mostly try to just be here for her and take as much of her normal home duties off of her plate. I go to all the appointments and try to be a sounding board for her as she tries to process and think through things.

In short its really hard. My wife is changing. She doesn’t feel like the girl i grew up with or the woman i married anymore. Im not surprised and i cant say that I would be handling things any different im just hoping that when this is all said and done that things are mostly like they were before but im not holding my breath. Cancer is always going to be apart of our lives now and thats the reality.

for any guys reading who are probably wondering intimacy was the first thing to go. Im not complaining she feels like crap all the time and between the port and losing her hair she doesn’t exactly feel real sexy or attractive.

So thats where im at. In short life totally sucks right now and will for the foreseeable future but were praying for success of chemo and surgery and that when we are done with this we are DONE with this and dont have to go through it again.

If anyone has any questions about the process im open to any of. Them.

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God's in his heaven, alls right with the world -Nerv
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