Oncology appointment

My mum had her follow up appointment after initial tests.  She has lymp node positive involvement, a grade 3 invasive ductal cancer which is triple negative and 45%Ki67.

Recently had a CT scan and we have another consultant appointment on Tuesday.  Its terrifying! my mum is scared and vulnerable.  I don’t know what to say  I can’t offer any comfort.  Prognosis is uncertain but probably will have a better idea after Tuesday.  Can anyone offer any advice or glimmer of positivity.  So very sad and devastating

Hi just wanted to send You are all probably in shock and feel like you’ve been chucked out of a plane with no parachute, please remember your mums team have seen it all before and will know which treatment plan to put her on A book that helped me was surviving triple negative breast cancer by Patricia prijatel also I read up on robin Roberts and Joan lunden who are tnbc survivors And there are tnbc survivors here too See if there are any trials that your mum would be able to get on too Also md Anderson in Texas are good to keep eye on too for tnbc treatments that are available in USA so if you are in uk, you can discuss them too about availability in the uk at all When a treatment plan is in place, step by step you will all get through, pop on here and if your mum feels like reading the treatment threads, it can help a lot, it’s a safe place where everyone shares tip and tricks and love and laughter and the frustrations and everything that the journey can take you on Others will be on soon too :two_women_holding_hands: everyone here reaches out with kindness and support :two_hearts: :two_hearts: :sparkles: :sparkles: Shi xx

Hi Tina

You and your mum must be feeling very anxious right now - you’d have to be superhuman not to. But every prognosis is uncertain, from the initial diagnosis (mine changed four times) and at each stage of the treatments - simply because prognoses are based on statistics and we are not statistics. We are human beings. I hope by now, she has a clearer picture.

I too had stage 3 invasive ductal cancer. I also had stage 3 invasive lobular cancer (you have to wonder how I got a clear mammograms a few months before!!) and 19 of the 21 lymph nodes removed were positive for breast cancer. Doesn’t sound great does it? After surgery, I was cancer-free - all removed. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy did their best to kill off any b*****s that might have slipped through. My CT scan, my bone scan and 2 MRIs have all shown me to be clear of cancer.

Back to the prognosis. Statistically it wasn’t great yet, two years on, I’m still cancer-free. I hope I will be in 5, 10, 20 years’ time. There are no guarantees. But rather than looking at the statistics in terms of failure, look at the other side of it - if you are told there is a 60% chance of survival, don’t see that as a terrifying 40% dying. Your mum may well be in the 60% and never be bothered by breast cancer again. It’s very hard to get across how damaging statistics are because we are geared to focus on the negative and our oncology team is obliged to give us all the information, way more than we can possibly absorb and remain emotionally healthy. Your mum will have a breast care nurse. USE HER. The bc nurses are the very human side of breast cancer. Mine saved my sanity with her explanation of statistics. If you’d like me to pass on her wisdom, just PM me.

I wish your mum all the best for her treatment. But don’t get bogged down in the details. Stick with practicalities. She has breast cancer - move on and get the right treatment programme to make sure it goes away. And let her know that she doesn’t need to be strong - she just needs to be herself and get through it with as much support as possible. You can’t change things. You can’t protect her from unpleasantness. You can be accepting and a shoulder to cry on and you can organise the little practical things to make it easier for her to manage - making sure she’s eating well, doing her exercises, drinking plenty of fluids and practising relaxation techniques AND having some fun. Life doesn’t grind to a halt during all this.

Hope a bit of this helps - I do get carried away! Jan x