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Mum diagnosed - best ways to offer support

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Re: Mum diagnosed - best ways to offer support

Mattbumping this up so you can see the replies.
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Re: Mum diagnosed - best ways to offer support

I am 65, with a wonderful supportive husband. Our only child (daughter) is 43 with her own family, but they live close to us. I kept her in the loop from the start and she has proved invaluable and supportive.

She has been my chemo buddy at each one of my sessions, taking a day off work to be with me and to give her dad a rest. (once every 3 weeks). My husband comes to all the other appointments - there are a lot of them!

She checks in with me every day, whether in person, by email or phone and this makes me feel wanted and loved, despite my bald head, red face, and pathetic weariness sometimes.

Just as importantly, she has Googled and read all the reputable websites about my particular type of breast cancer (there are hundreds), treatments, chemo side effects, and anything else she thought she needed to know. This has been great because she knows what I am going through without me having to tell her.

She has forewarned her work colleagues that she may have to take leave should I (or her dad) need her help.

There are loads of other things, too. This is what I call support, she is supporting both me and her dad.

Best wishes to you and your mum.
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Re: Mum diagnosed - best ways to offer support

Matt, I was 65 when diagnosed, my sons mid 30s, loving but getting on with their lives in London. Well, getting on with your life is what we bring you up to do!
Telling them was the absolute worst bit of the beginning, they have been great. They visited me in hospital (one) and at home just after (the other) and phoned and emailed more than they normally do.When I was on chemo, making an arrangement to meet up with them and girlfriends was the high spot of the month for me. They were really thrown when I pushed Chrsitmas to New Year as Christmas week was my vulnerable to infection week, I don't think they understood that and they have science degrees an all!
So as you can see it can make a big difference whether you live at home or not.
Communicate and don't wait to be told there is a problem if you live away, and be prepared to lend a hand or an ear if you are at home.
You sound a great son to have
Best wishes to you both
Lavender
xx

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Re: Mum diagnosed - best ways to offer support

Hi Matt,
I find myself in both your situation and your mum's. My mum was diagnosed in March and I was diagnosed in april April and I am not sure even now which is the most difficult. As a child I agree with all the previous posts. I have been to appointments with my mum and taken her out but also had chats with my dad as he is finding it really hard especially as he said "his two girls have it." My other half also does the man chats with him as they find themselves in the same situation.
My son's(21 and 19) were devastated but now they just want to be kept up to date on what is happening. I know they are worried, they chat to each other. They both work away all week so they are not about to help but to be honest I am happy for things to be as they are, I want normal. Normal keeps me sane. All I can say is just let your mum and dad know you are there for them both.
I really hope your mum's treatment goes ok
Sam x
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Re: Mum diagnosed - best ways to offer support

Hi Matt, I am 48 and my son is 19, I was very careful not to say too much incase it freaked him out, so at first played everything down. We lost an aunt to BC, hers was aggressive and there was negligence on her part and her GP, so no 2 cases are the same. I explained this to my son and once he knew our cases were different he casually said ' ok as long as you are ok and safe then I'm fine'... So we carried on as everything was ok, he didn't wash a cup lol and I recovered well... I had it all wrong, he broke down and cried (alcohol didn't help), he was petrified I was gonna die and he didn't want to be on his own, he was keepingeverything bottled up so not to alarm me or grandparents. After the tears and long chat he said he was relieved, 2 days later broke out in terrible rash which was caused by his nerves....
What I'm trying to say is that your mum will be lead by you, she will talk and discuss treatments if you want to, and she will take support when you offer.... Simple things like general housework will be a great help, as well as taking her shopping but you fetch and carry... Your mum will know that she can rely on you, just by coming onto this site you have demonstrated you have great love and respect for her.... You are doing great....
Hope mums treatment goes well, come back on here and let us know how you are all getting on.
Maggie x
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Re: Mum diagnosed - best ways to offer support

Hi Matt
I'm sorry to read of your mum's diagnosis. The fact that you're here shows what a caring son you are.
Rachel is right. Just be there and help,without being asked 🙂
After she's had her op she won't be able to lift or drive. So if you drive you can take her out, help her with shopping, take her to her appointments or just for a drive. Also heavy housework like hoovering, changing beds, anything that involves stretching like emptying the dishwasher etc.
Your Mum is very lucky to have a caring son like you but don't forget you need support too so please phone the helplines if you need a chat.
Take care and let us know how your mum gets on xx
Emma
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Re: Mum diagnosed - best ways to offer support

Hello Matt,
i am nearly 50 and my son is 21. I kept him informed from the beginning, finding the lump.
he has mostly ignored me since! However if someone else is in the house he listens when they ask me questions about treatment.
i have been in for two operations and he only visited me once in three weeks Yet works five minute walk from the hospital. He has been offered counselling by the Macmillan nurse but has refused. I am now on chemo and I have to constantly remind him of the importance of hygiene in the house! He doesn't really understand.
so my advice is this: tell her you want to support her. Tell her you will listen if she wants to talk. Offer to accompany her to at least one appointment if you can. Be useful. Make notes on what is said! Ask if she wants help around the house but also tell her to ask you if she needs help.
give your dad a man hug! Ask him if he needs to talk to you about it. Listen.
tell them you love them and tell them you want to help in any way you can.
bless you for being so caring
Kind regards, and all the best to you and your family
Rachel
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Mum diagnosed - best ways to offer support

Hi,
My mum (60) has just told me she has been diagnosed with type 2 ductal breast cancer. She had bc before about 15 years ago but didn't really tell her kids. She's having a mastectomy at end of june and then chemo she thinks.
I'm in shock but want to stay strong for her and my dad.
Any advice anyone can give on supporting sufferers and other family members?
Thanks.
Matt