Thank you all again for your support. The lesson for us is that we will never be out of danger and the next time bad news comes our way, we will just take it one day at a time. Love to you all.
Great news Mike. I'm so pleased for both you and Gayle. She's a very lucky lady to have such a lovely OH.
Oh Mike that is utterly brilliant fantastic news. I am so pleased for you. You mustn't know what to do with yourselves, you must be so relieved. I hope you've had a fabulous weekend of celebrating.
Glad we were able to offer some support in your hour of need. Hope we never see you again (in the nicest possible way!)
very best wishes to you and Gayle
Well last week was a BEAR! The realization of such a thing as Secondary Breast Cancer was a real eye opener. We had several sleepless nights and tears of frustration, anger and sadness as well. We went to see our onc surgeon and after his physical exam and his looking over Gayle's CAT SCAN, he could not feel anything. A mass of one the size on the image of the scan could have been felt. He believes that her intestine had flopped over her bladder and that is what we saw on the CAT SCAN as a mass. We also believe that her pain was and is from endometriosis. Gayle has a history of cists.
I feel like we dodged a bullet and I want to thank you all for the love and support you shared with me when my brain was trying to sort this whole thing out.
My love to you all.
You've come to the right place to get support and ask questions. I was dx with secondary breast cancer in my hip in April this year. I had not suspected a thing and it was a routine mammogram that picked up a small lump where the scar from my lumpectomy is. This lead to CT and bone scans which showed an area on my hip. It is devastating to find out that the cancer has spread but I found this fantastic site after a few days of shock. It has been a great source of information, support, advice and most importantly inspiration from all the fantastic ladies already dealing with secondary BC.
I hope that the scans don't show anything out of the ordinary but if they do it will be a very difficult time for you both. I know what you mean about talking to family - it can be so draining and I found emailing information was the best way for me. Everyone on here does know what it's like to either have a primary or secondary diagnosis so can offer some valuable advice and support. You also will probably need good support in place as it's very difficult for the husband or partner to deal with everything as well as having to be strong for their wife or girlfriend. Although my husband seems to be coping OK one of my teenage daughters has just asked for some counselling and my BC nurses have recommended telephone support from this site and other people have recommended MacMillan.
The waiting for appointments and results is terrible but once I knew what I was dealing with it did help me focus on what was going to happen and I was able to ask lots of questions I had not even considered after reading various threads on here. It is very tempting to read information on the web but until you know what you're dealing with it can be frightening and not specific to what's happening to your wife. Again, I found websites much better when I knew what I had to deal with.
I wish you and Gayle good luck and hope the waiting until your appointment isn't too horrible. A view I hold, and some other ladies on here have said, is that nothing is going to change between the scan and the results so if possible try to get on with things you enjoy as M-L says. Having said that I was always a bundle of nerves whenever I had to see a consultant so I know it's not easy.
I think the waiting for results is almost the hardest part as you and Gayle really don't know what Gayle is going to have to deal with (thankfully though with your support), so the mind has a habit of racing on too far. Hopefully the onc on Wed can give you a better idea of what is going on and then that will be confirmed by the PET etc. Currently you are both in that horrible place "limbo land" where you can't make any plans for even next week - a horrible feeling of being completely out of control.
My primary dx was nearly 6 years ago and then last June a PET CT showed up liver mets. Had various treatments since then but am doing pretty well - still working 4 days a week at quite a challenging job and have done for most of the last year. My hubby is pretty supportive too and is getting used to doing more of the cooking etc so that I can continue working and still have the energy to enjoy many other things as well. And there are many ladies on here who have had a secondary dx for many years which certainly gives me hope.
One way that has helped both me and my hubby cope better has been to build in "treats" on a regular basis - doesn't have to be much but just knowing that we're going to go out for dinner or away for the night or even for a bit of a walk, helps us feel life hasn't been completely taken over by treatments and appointments. So once you know what you are dealing with, would recommend this. And lots of laughter whenever you can - we have developed a bit of a black sense of humour though!
Families can be really stressful can't they? My parents and parents-in-law are all in their 80s and live at a distance, but my p-i-l in particular seem to think we ought to be going to see them on a very regular basis because they "worry about us otherwise"! The fact it takes 3 1/2 hours to get to them (so effectively 2 days out of our "free" time) doesn't seem to enter into it (and both my sisters-in-law live close to them so I do know that they are getting the help/support they need). And I certainly feel I need to come across as coping well with everything so I don't worry them.
My sister has been a great support though - but she also lives several hundred miles away. In fact none of my family live close which maybe simplifies things! Perhaps you need to be really firm and specific with them (another role for you?) about what you and Gayle need - sometimes I think people do the wrong thing just because they want to help but have no idea what you need. Not sure whether you were suggesting keeping it from them altogether - that could be very difficult if treatment is on-going unless you really hardly ever see them.
Sorry - long reply. Let us know how you and Gayle get on and then when you know the results, hopefully things will become clearer. There will be lots of people ready to help if you need questions answered about specific treatments as well.
So sorry you find yourself here - and full of admiration for your wholehearted support and involvement with your wife/best friend. It's incredibly heartwarming even reading your unthinking use of 'we' when discussing what you are both facing; you sound a really special guy.
I sympathise with your unwillingness to involve extended family - some are great and some can be incredibly draining and painful, and it's pretty impossible to be selective about who you choose to tell. This site is a tremendous source of support and comfort - and you don't have to tidy up after we leave, and you can choose when to be fussed over.
I'm in the early stages of being treated for primary bc myself so can't offer any intelligent comment, but the scans should fill you in - and then you'll be in the hands of the experts. In the meantime, if you are being strong for Gayle (lucky lass) the best thing is to keep her mind open to other things - lots of conversation about things you enjoy, lots of simple excursions that you both like, lots and lots of cuddles. Laughter if you can manage it. Keeping her occupied will keep you occupied as well. She is quite likely doing, & trying to do, the same for you.
My heart goes out to you both - and you sound so very, very lucky in each other. Wishing you all the very best now and in the future.
I'm Mike and my wife (Best friend on the planet) may have some sort of Secondary Breast Cancer.
Gayle and I have been friends since she was 15 and have been married for 12 years. She has a long family history of Breast and Ovarian Cancer and she was diagnosed three years ago with Breast Cancer.
Prior to this, she had a full Historectomy due to her family history and reocurring endromitriosis. Two years later, Gayle was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of Breast Cancer. She went from nothing to a 4mm lump in the matter of a couple of weeks. She then had a bilatteral massoctomy, and reconsructive surgry.
She went through the treatments finished up right before Christmas 2006. Gayle had a semi-annual check up with her onc and all was fine and clear. Gayle is very...VERY active and she thought she had pulled a mussle or bumped into something as she was having a pain in her side. She contacted her onc and he sent her in for a CAT scan to be safe.
We thought we were through the cancer thing but the scan showed that there IS something in her abdominal area. We are going to see an onc surgen on Wednesday and he will look at her CAT images and then going to do a P.E.T. scan next week Thursday. Then perhaps a CAT scan guided Biopsy as well to see what it is for sure. I am a little (A LOT) freaked out but I can not let her see me this way as I have to be strong for her. I am the support system.
I do not want to go to family about this because they cause so much stress. It seems like they want to help but really want to do whatever it is they feel like, even though it is more work and stress for Gayle and myself putting the house back right or being fussed over. So, here I am...Mike