Does anyone want to discuss anything?

Teenagers!!! Hi Morag,

Teenagers - well I have 3 children. My son is now at University and is fine, although at the time of my diagnosis - although we played it down - he was doing his GCSE’s - he told me later that he walked out of his Psychology exam within minutes of reading the paper, because he couldn’t concentrate. My daughters however have had very different responses. My eldest - now 16 - pretty much ignored me at the time - or perhaps I should say didn’t really go out of her way to understand, particularly when I fell asleep in the middle of one of her relentlessly boring conversations about either boys or horses! Unforgiveable.! She is fine now with occasional blips. However my youngest daughter now aged 14 is proving a very ‘interesting’ challenge. We are not really a household too familiar with conflict so it is difficult to deal with her ‘rage’ without feeling a great sense that her presence is often difficult to deal with

Having said that she had taken away from her a certainty - her belief that her mother was immortal - not only that, but at the time of her life when she should be getting most attention she has been eclipsed by my illness. Teenagers are by definition self centred - we all were then, and certainly my daughter is very angry and really does not know why. some of that is hormonal, some of that is doubtless because she has been forced to confront a reality that no child should have to…the illness, particularly with the C word, of their parent. What I try to do every day, sometimes through the most tightly gritted teeth is get alongside her, stay calm, and give her opportunities to discuss things about her, whilst at the same time maintaining clear boundaries. Mostly I succeed, sometimes most definately not. We’ve talked about the cancer she doesn’t need to know anymore. In order for you to support her Morag, you are going to need lots of support yourself - don’t look to her for that - she needs her childhood. Have you got other support? I’m told when they come out the other end they bear an uncanny resemblance to a human being!

Thanks to everyone!! A big thankyou to everyone who replied to my post, its nice to know I’m not alone with my hormonal child. I made an appointment with her form teacher on Friday, and they have a few places they use for support for the kids, one being our Hospice. I had been at the hospice on thursday to the headstart day…(you learn to tie scarves and do makeup and really have a nice day) Anyway, one of the things I found out was that they have respite rooms where you can go for a day or a few days when things get too much. I was always under the assumption that the Hospice was the last place to be…kind of gods waiting room if you like, but seems I was totally wrong. and HC can go for the day too.theres all sorts of support there so we will give it a go over the xmas holidays. She did surprise me today though…her and her stepdad were playfighting and I told them to keep the noise down cos I had a headache…she did as she was told, in her words “cos my mum is ill”.I nearly fell off the chair cos she has never thought of cancer as being ill. Mind you her new nickname for me is Kiwi.cos my head feels like a kiwi fruit!! I suppose that does sound better than Baldie!!.LOL anyway I’ve rambled on enough now so everyone have as good a chrismas as you possibly can and keep posting!!

Love Morag XXX

A different angle My daughter, never particularly hormonal, was 18 and about to start her first term at uni when I was diagnosed. She was great in a practical sense - she came with me to the bone scan and liver ultrasound that I was dreading and took me shopping in town while the radioactive dye was doing its stuff.
However, I was very concerned about her because she wouldn’t talk about the diagnosis even to her 20 year old brother, and wouldn’t tell her friends from school, her tutor at uni or any of her new friends and I thought she was in denial, which might cause problems somewhere along the line.
A few months on I sat her down and asked her if she was OK, whether I was giving her too little or too much info in my weekly e-mails and why she didn’t want anyone to know. Much to my surprise, she said she hadn’t told anyone because she didn’t feel she could cope with ‘loads of mushy sympathy’. However her best friends from school found out because I told one’s mother (who must have regretted saying ‘How are you?’ that day!) and they didn’t react in that way - they were more curious about the treatment than anything else. Encouraged by that, she confided in a new friend at uni who had just lost his father to leukaemia.
So I would say that teenagers are scared by a cancer diagnosis, because unlike much younger children they are aware of the potential outcome, and they are also very unsure about the reaction of their contemporaries to the news, which can make them very defensive.

I am having difficulty using this new website… Hi Jane,

Like some other ladies I am finding this new website very difficult to use but hopefully, after weeks of trying to get to this stage I have found a way thru’!!!

I would like to ask if anyone is experiencing stomach problems caused by Arimidex. I started taking Tamoxifen in October 2002 after undergoing a lumpectomy, mastectomy, 6 months chemo. and 20 sessions of radiotherapy for stage 2 breast cancer. I experienced horrendous flushes and night sweats while on the Tamoxifen but otherwise, felt well however, my oncologist took me off Tamoxifen and swopped me to Arimidex just over two months ago - great I thought. How wrong can you be? I have been in agony with heartburn and indigestion, have felt really down and depressed (not usually like me) and burst into tears if anyone so much as looks at me.

Can anyone let me know if they are experiencing anything like this or is it just me. Should I come off the Arimidex and go back onto Tamoxifen or, should I stick it out and see if things will eventually improve as I now feel Tamoxifen would not give me the protection I need to stop this dreaded disease returning.

I would value anyones advice.