Got the news last night

Hi Everyone,

New to all this and not sure if I have posted this in the right place.

My mother-in-law was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last night, she went for a routine mammogram a couple of weeks ago and was called back for further tests including a biopsy. I think we were all expecting the worst but it has still come as a shock. There is only myself and my husband really and we live next door to her so we are here to look after her. She is going into hospital on Monday to have the lump removed, I just feel so awful for her she has been through so much and only lost her husband a few years ago to cancer, he was only 59 when he died.

I think the worse thing is that the consultant said we wouldn’t know if it had spread etc until after Christmas, it just feels like its a constant wait. I had 3 breast operations this year to have my milk ducts removed, I am 26 but feel I was really lucky. I feel sorry for my husband, he’s the who is always there for everyone and I worry how he is really coping.

Hi Leajem

So sorry to hear the news about your mother in law. You have to concentrate on the fact that they found the lump and are now dealing with it. The waiting for results will as you say be the worst part, especially with xmas coming up.
You sound very supportive of your mother in law, and fortunately you are close enough to be there physically too. With regard to your husband, I think you have to try to get him to talk (not aways easy I know) - or just let him know that you are there for him.

I hope everything goes ok - please keep us posted

Margaret x

Hi Leajam

Welcome to the forums, I am sorry to read that you Mother in law has been diagnosed with breast cancer. If you or your family need to talk things through you are welcome to call our confidential helpline for support, information and a ‘listening ear’. The helpline is run by specialist breast care nurses and people who have had experience of breast cancer themselves so will have some understanding of how you are all feeling right now.

We have published a range of information to help people better understand their diagnosis and treatments, if you feel your Mother in Law would benefit from any please do ask our helpliners for more information.

The helpline number is 0808 800 6000 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and Sat 9am-2pm.

Best wishes

Hi Margaret,

Thanks for your reply. I have got to say reading everyone’s posts on these forums is fantastic support, knowing that people are going through the same thing makes it seem better somehow. I have told her that as hard as it is she should get through the opertation and then enjoy christmas. If she’s not going to get her results until after Christmas I want her to have the best possible time. I know thats easy for me to say though!

Thanks again,

Leanne xx

You sound like a very caring daughter in law Leanne.

Yes, It is easy for you to say, but at least you’re aware of that. Yes your MIL wil be worried of course she will but I am sure you will still be able to help her enjoy her christmas. The very fact that you came here to look for advice and support is the first step. The people on here are very good, as are the helplines.

All the very best to all of you

Margaret xx

Thanks Margaret, she is definitely going in for surgery on Monday it has all been sorted out today. I am going with her tomorrow for some pre-op tests. I am off work myself at the moment, I have just had an operation on my shoulder - I am not able to drive at the moment but at least I can be there for support.

She has started to read through all the info that she was given last night at the hospital and got quite upset at the thought of radiotherapy and chemo. One step at a time though.

Leanne xx

Give her my best wishes for Monday Leanne. Have they indicated yet what treatment she will have to have, or will they decide that after they have removed the lump? Perhaps she may not need to have ‘everything’ thrown at it? Fingers crossed.

You are right though - one step at a time is the best way to go. My treatment plan involves 3 months of chemo, 4 weeks of radiotherapy and a further three months of chemo, followed by a year of herceptin - when I first heard I was getting really het up about all of it - then realised I just couldn’t possibly deal with all of that at one time - it would make me sicker than I already was!! So now, I’m just dealing with this batch of chemo - I’ll think about the rest when I get there!!

Margaret x

I hope all your treatment goes well, please do keep me posted throughout.

They haven’t really said much to my mother in law apart from the fact that she may need radio, chemo and medication. I think we will know more when the results come back after Christmas.

I am trying to stay optimistic, I think it is the only way to be until we know more.

Leanne xx

Thanks Leanne - after having the mastectomy - which I had imagined would be the worst part - I thought the rest of the treatment would be easy…think the word I needed was do-able rather than easy lol - but I’ll get there!. Optimism is good - even when you do know more.

Margaret x

Dear Leanne

First of all I wanted to say what a fantastic support you are for your Mother In Law. That will mean a great deal to her over the period she will be having treatment.

There are so many lovely people going through the same thing on this site and if you can encourage her to read some of the messages I’m sure it will really help her. Like Margaret, I have so far had chemo and mastectomy, I’m not due any more chemo but next is radiotherapy and Tamoxifen (pills to block oestrogen). And also like Margaret none of it has been as bad as my imagination would have had me believe!

Just be there for her, my friends and family have really got me through this and I have managed to stay relatively active too.

Wishing you and your husband and Mother In Law all the best.

Cecelia. x

Thank you both for your advice and comments, I am just looking into getting my Mother-In-Law a laptop and broadband because I really think the forums would help her! It will also give her something to do to pass the time whilst she isn’t feeling too good.

You don’t realise how many people are going through this every single day and coming on here makes you feel so much better. Just having someone else to talk to outside of my family is a fantastic help. I don’t want to keep bringing the subject up with my husband, he is dealing with it in his own way. I like to talk a lot and he doesn’t!!

I have taken my Mother-in-Law to the hospital today for some pre-op tests before she goes in on Monday, she has decided to go private and we had a little look round the hospital too which was good because I had never been there before. She should hopefully be home on Wednesday and then should be feeling a bit better by Christmas.

The only thing that is worrying me a little is the fact that it might of spread. Although the cancer was picked up on a routine mammogram, my mother-in-law did say that she had felt a lump for a while but it was right by a cyst she has had for a long time and thought it was the same thing.

Leanne xx

Hi Leanne

I know just what you mean about coming on here. My husband, whilst he has been a great support to me, is also not a talker, and to some extent wouldn’t understand some of what I go on about anyway lol - so I find it nice to come on here and talk to people who have either been through the same thing, or are facing it.

Once your MIL gets the op over with, and the surgeons have a better idea of what they are dealing with, I am sure they will discuss with her the likelihood of spread etc and the various treatments that she will require if any.

Please try not to worry too much. I know this is easier to say than do - been there got the t-shirt as they say! - I was fortunate (if that is the right word!) in that prior to my mastectomy I had already been sent for liver/lung/bone scans so to some extent knew what was being dealt with (these were all clear by the way).
I was sent for them before the op because of the size of the lump and the fact that the surgeon was pretty certain it had spread to my lymph nodes (which it had). I too had had my lump for some time before my diagnosis, but ignored it - assuming it was fatty tissue that would go away !

Just try and concentrate on the info you have already regarding immediate treatment - you will hopefully be worrying about nothing - and you already have enough on your plate without the extra worry!

Margaret x

Hi Margaret,

Yes you are right, no point in worrying about something else before we know what we are dealing with.

I am so glad that your liver/lung/bone scans were all clear x

I am going shopping tomorrow with my MIL to get some bits for the hospital, can’t quite believe we are going to brave the shops this time of year! I think getting some new PJ’s will make her feel better though!

My husband has opened up a bit to me today, he has said that he doesn’t want to worry at the moment, as long as they think they can treat it he is going to stay positive.

Leanne x

Hi Leanne

You can’t beat a bit a retail therapy - I must admit I haven’t braved the shops this xmas - too busy for me, and I’m at my lowest ebb in terms of blood count at the moment (gone from 9.6 to 0.6 !!) so I’m trying to avoid coughing, sneezing, wheezing people !
I have however spent an absolute fortune on internet shopping for xmas - I’d have been lost without it lol - in fact the last two weeks I’ve even had tesco’s deliver my food shopping - very indulgent of me!!

Glad you’re hubby has talked with you - he’s taking the right attitude - worry when you have to worry - until then stay positive!

Believe it or not I’m going to spend tomorrow sanding and waxing the window in my dining room - at least that’s the plan at the moment - will see what tomorrow brings. Will have to get my xmas tree up too - haven’t done it yet!

Have a good day shopping!!

Margaret x

Hi Margaret,

Sounds like you have been having a busy day then! Shopping wasn’t too bad, we got there early so we managed to park and not get caught in a stamped! My MIL managed to get all she wanted and I helped her with her hospital forms when we got back. We then spent the next hour watching old family videos and laughing about old times! It turned out to be quite a good day in the end really.

You are right to stay out of the shops though, we wouldn’t of been anywhere near them if it hadn’t of been for the hospital on Monday. There were people coughing and sneezing everywhere!! I got us some of that alcohol gel hand wash and we were applying it every 10 minutes!

Hope you got on ok with your sanding & waxing!

Take Care,

Leanne xx

Hi Leanne

Glad you had a good day. I have felt absolutely brilliant today - got my windows sanded and waxed, painteed my dining room and two walls of my living room, hoovered and tidied up ready for putting the decorations and tree up tomorrow - I’m now collapsed in a chair with a glass of orange juice!!

Best day I’ve had since I started my chemo - I assume that’s more down to the antibiotics than anything else - hey ho!

take care

Margaret x

Hi Margaret!

Sounds like you got lots of jobs done!!!

I had, or should I say we had some good news today - I am pregnant! Only about a month gone but we are thrilled! My MIL was over the moon when we told her this morning, something for her to get better for.

I am a bit worried about something though, I’m not sure if I am right in thinking this but would it be dangerous to see my MIL if she needs radiotherapy?
Not sure if you would know or not?

Take care,

Leanne xx

Hi Leajem,

Sorry to but in on this thread but firstly CONGRATULATIONS that is wonderful news and probably the best thing for your MIL what an incentive to be ok for. I think that you will not have to worry at all about her having rads but get her to chk with her onc and maybe if still in the first trimester maybe don’t take her to oncology much but I really don’t think their is anything to worry about, what I would say is that you will not be able to have close contact the day of her bone scan if she is having one as the inj you with a radioactive substance, I was told not to touch or sleep with my babies so I would maybe stay clear on that day. Anyway sorry to but in but you sound like a really lovely DIL I hope my 2 little ones grow up and meet someone like you.

With love


Hi C,

Thanks for that! I think it is only just starting to sink in about being pregnant, so much other stuff going on! I am so happy though, I think it has come just at the right time for all of us. We really needed some good news! Its still early days in my pregnancy but fingers crossed everything will be OK!

I’m not even sure what her treatment plan is yet, she is going into hospital tomorrow to have the lump and some lymph nodes removed and I think we won’t find out until after Christmas about the rest of the treatment etc.

I am finding these forums fantastic support though, its nice to be able to speak to someone out of the family.

Thanks for your advice.

Take care,

Leanne xx

Oh Leanne I am soooooo pleased for you - Congratulations !!!

Oh I can just picture your MIL’s face - omg I bet she was so excited, and what a great boost for both of you.

I can only repeat what zjlove has said with regard to the radiation - you would be best to get MIL to check with onc

All the very best to her for tomorrow - I hope all goes well.

take care - all three of you !!

Margaret x