your wife finally made the move to join us, thus forum has been a godsend to me since my diagnosis 2 years ago. You can post any question no matter how silly we think it us and someone will have already been through the same scenario. hope all goes well for the op.
It is great to see that you are receiving so much informationa and support here, I hope that it helps you and your wife through the treatment journey ahead.
We have a great free support service at Breast Cancer Care, Someone Like Me. Please do get in touch where they will be able to match you with a partner who has been in a similar situation as you are now. The feedback from people who use this service is excellent.
Everyone is different and as such no two people will have the exact same experiences, but your medical team will ensure that the treatment plan they devise for your wife, will be for her exact needs. Reactions to treatment and possible side effects are also very much individual and no one can predict how your wife will react to any treatment she follows. It can be useful to be prepared for possible side effects, but hopefully she will have minimal adverse effects and cope very well.
Please do not hesitate to contact our Helpline 0808 800 6000 who are able to offer free specialist support and information for everyone affected by breast cancer, whether the person diagnosed or a supporter of a loved one diagnosed.
Digital Community Officer
Boogi so sorry to hear about your wife's diagnosis. I know my husband thought about the worst case/potentially being a lonely old man because he told me! Very important you keep talking to each other. It was funny, but I didn't feel like that & once surgery had got rid of the mutant boob alien, I found myself a lot calmer & went into ' just got to get on with it' mode. One thing that helped me was to eat more healthily, drink green smoothies & green tea, because I felt I was doing my bit to help stop it coming back, as well as what the medical lot were doing with the chemo, radiotherapy, tamoxifen & Herceptin. We don't all go mad & get fat on tamoxifen, so don't start worrying about all that😀. Take each stage at a time. With every part of treatment we are all different & different stuff happens to each of us. This was particularly striking on chemo, as Sue says. My husband tried to be superman & I could not fault the amount of effort he put into supporting me, but I just wanted him to take a break from cancer & go & play golf or tennis. It's hard to be the carer, working as well, watching your wife suffer, when you're used to being the bloke that fixes stuff for her. I would say the whole experience was mentally harder on him than me. We're out the other side now & I'm feeling happy, fit & healthy ... I had the works treatment wise & I'm back to playing tennis for 2 hours & doing 18 holes of golf & I'm not even at my 12 month anniversary yet. So you might feel life will never be the same again, but you will be surprised. It will. You will both find the strength from somewhere to get through it & come out the other side. I think we're closer now than we ever were as a couple. I wish you both all the best. You can do it. x
So glad we can help - and oh yes - I once went pillion on a Triumph Sprint across the Pyrenees -
Tattoo should be ok at the moment and really glad you are taking advice from the surgeon, too on this one!
Pity the holiday has had to be cancelled, but wise - and the big treat at the end of it all will be fabulous for all of you - a HUGE reward for all of you - and you will grow together as a family even much more.
OK, back to practicalities, lol -
Yes, the more you can find to occuy your wife's mind outside of the stuff she will be dealing with over the cancer, the better for her self esteem and mental ability to deal with all. But remember,never to put her under any kind of pressure, she might not be able to cope with that on top of everything else.
The more actice your lady is, the better - it helps the mind and body - simply taking to bed - should only happpen when really unwell and exhausted and fatigued. Fatigue cannot be alieviated by sleep, unfortunately - and it can be debilitating, but now all of us get it that badly - again it is a very individual thing.
So after the op - however/whatever - she is likely going to be a bit more tired.
Chemo - reactions are so very individual - I am currenly going mid cycle on my first round - and am absolutely fine, whilst others are having unpleasant side effects. It will depend on the type of Chemo, her general state of health and mind, etc., etc. BUT they will tailor it to her - and should side effects not be manageable - they can and will adjust medication around that, so it will support and make it easier.
Right - your short/long term worry - She is still with you now and should certainly be for a while yet!
Once the pathology results are in, the oncologist will be able to use a calculator to demonstrate to you and your wife what percentage of survival your wife has over a 10 year period.
It will take ALL of the information into account - and give you percentages of - operation only, operation and chemo, operation+chemo+radiotherapy and operation+chemo+radiotherapy+hormone therapy - as each will improve the survival percentage.
Now these percentages HAVE to be seen in context - i.e. out of 1,000 people of age group 30 - 50 how many % will die because of something in the next 10 years? - So no one really has a 100% survival rate over a 10 year period. Of course, when looking at the percentages of BC sufferers this number changes a little bit, as we have a pre existing condition - and until after the op, you will simply not know. Sorry I cannot eliviate that worry for you - so a little more patience and waiting time, before more planing for you begins. Take each day at a time - I know it is not easy for a man - wanting to make sure all will be ok - but you can manage and as time moves on you will more and more see, that you can and all will be well, albeit with some adjustments.
Wow........ Thanks ladies, you seem to have the measure of me already. I'm the logical one, I want facts and to know where I stand although I have already figured out Google us best avoided as a research tool. Peterborough city hospital have been outstanding so far, very impressed with them, as am I with this forum. For all the medical advise in the world, speaking to people who have been through this is very helpfull.
i am trying t find things to occupy my wife, so the do I don't I for a tattoo for my wife has now been booked pending the surgeons authority, obligatory pink ribbon tattoo,
kids have been told, I have been honest with them, my eldest who is 9 is very intelligent, I promised her. I Would neve lie to her so I have answered all of her questions. Insurance polices are sorted, car insurance have been notified, Holiday cancelled boooooooo....(Disney land as a treat instead when we get through this)
ofe has has started planning for extension, I know on occasion sh is probably going t be too ill t get out of bed but at least she will have something to focus on when she is well.
lack of fertility is not an issue(easy for me to say I know, may effect her more) as we have to monsters already
I can't help worrying about the worst case scenario and I feel bad for thinking it, how can I hold a job down with two young girls aged 5 and 9. I know it won't come to this but I feel bad for thinking the worst.
thanks to all of you for your detailed and caring replies. I'll do my bit, biking lands end to John o groats this year, so plenty of sponsorship money heading toward pink ribbon.
Just wanted to welcome you aboard the forums. Loads of us here who are happy to emotionally support you and your wife during her RECOVERY and treatment. I want to reiterate what a few others have said below...your wife's medical results are so individual to her....and you need to make full use of those medical professionals who are close to her. Her breast cancer nurse can and will become a strong mediator in the scenario you find yourself in, she will build a relationship with your wife and support her in a way that is appropriate for her ( and you). Let's not forget it is so hard on the partners and family as well! So, be careful about doing too much reading and gaining advice on her medical scenario, her treatment plan will be based on her own very individual BC, personality, age, medical history etc. What we are good at on here, is sharing experiences every step of the way, there will always be someone who is going through the same and can provide encouragement.
Hi Boogi, welcome to the forum, you will get a lot of support but sorry you and your wife find yourselves here. I understand that with most critical illness insurance policies they will pay out for an invasive cancer which this is but you'd have to check the wording on your policy and give them a ring - you probably have by now. In terms of diagnosis, I would just say the results of the biopsy are often not fully accurate as they sample such a small slice of tissue and the size on the scans can differ to the actual tumour size, this is nothing to worry about, my tumour was smaller than they initially thought. Your wife may or may not have scans, all hospital trusts do things differently, I've never had a scan and I was diagnosed 4 years ago. I would also say chemo will probably be recommended due to your wife's age and the the grade of the cancer. My cancer was a small grade 2 and it was recommended to me due to my age, my daughter was 4 when I was diagnosed and I undertook multiple surgeries, chemo and radio, whilst continuing to work, chemo is doable, even though unpleasant. Take care
Hi Haz, I had 2 nodes removed but some have 1 or 3 , it depends on where your tumour is as different parts of your breast will drain to different nodes which is why they inject the dye near your tumour and then remove the nodes that turn blue as that's the most likely path any cancer cells would take if they have escaped, try not to worry it's all standard with a lumpectomy, all the very best for Thursday Xx Jo
So sorry to read about your situation. I can only imagine what you are going through.
The best people to ask for medical advice is the doctors and nurses working with your wife because they are medically qualified to answer them. Your wife should have an allocated breast cancer nurse who can answer all her questions in a way that she can understand. That is part of their job and they do it all the time ... As individuals we cannot generalise based on our own experiences. Everyone's treatment plan is different and although I am sure it is well meant not all the information below is accurate. Also as we don't know your wife we cannot comment on what is best for her in terms of information and it is up to your wife to decide, some people only want to know what the next step will be, others want as much information as possible. I don't know how old your wife is is but women of all ages use this forum and many of us have children and families so know how difficult it is so she might find it helpful to join us.
I had 3 lymph nodes removed on Wednesday same time as my lumpectomy. Asked my Surgeon "Why 3?" after my surgery and she said they removed the ones that were "blue" from the dye?
Get my results on Thursday.
Sorry Sue hope you don't mind but can I correct you...
An snb or sentinel node biopsy is when the nearest lymph node to the tumour is tested, they usually inject with blue dye that's radioactive near the tumour site so that they can find the first node (sometimes there's more than one). The operation where nodes are taken from the armpit is known as an axillary clearance.
Ive had both, they sometimes test the sentinel node in theatre when performing the lumpectomy/mastectomy and if it's positive for cancer they then go on & do the axillary clearance. In my case the guy that does the test wasn't there, the surgeon thought it looked normal unfortunately a week later the path report showed cancer in the sentinel node so I had to go back in for the axillary clearance where 11 nodes were taken from my armpit and thankfully they all tested negative.
Will do my best and also refer you to further literature that may assist, too - after all few of us on here are particularly medical - and as it it you, by all accounts a man, who wants to know what he is dealing with - I shall be as open as possible.
Usually this amount of information is not told in a single hit - as it it so much to take in. And you are right - it does all look positive at them moment.
I presume you may accompany her to the various appointments. Make yourself a list of all the questions you may want to ask - and write down the answer. Make good use of the breast cancer nurse, which will be assigned to her, too.
But please be aware of following -
a) all cases are different as a cancer can be as individual as the person, who has it.
b)Diagnosis will go in stages - only the fitnal pathology results after the scan can really decide on grade, extent, etc and will be the basis for the further treatment
c) different NHS areas may havea different processes, but they ought to adhere to NICE guidelines in respect of timings
d) It is exceedingly important that your wife is drip fed information regards her diagnosis, etc, so she can come to terms with what is happening one stage at a time This is a booklet re ductal carcinoma in situ - which will give you the basic answer of what it is.
As it is invasive - your wife is likely to have an MRI before surgery, so the surgeon can hopefully see how far the 'tentacles' have spread. Invasive means it grows cell strands out from the primary site - kind of like spiders legs. Hence also that their may be further surgery, if the cell strands are too small to see on the MRI. Pathology results should show whether there is enough clear margin and whether or not further surgery is required on the initial breast.
The MRI might also show whether there is a spread to the lymph nodes. Hopefully it will show not - but again the final result will be given after pathology results are in, as they will do a sentinal lymph node biopsy, i.e removing a number of lymph nodes from under the arm.
The operation will depend on your wife's size of breast and whether the surgeon thinks he can get clear margin with a lumpectomy - lump taken out and gap will be filled often with own body fat - when treatments are completed. Should he decide for a mastectomy - don't panic - again it will be possible to re-construct with mostly fantastic results. Recovery from operation to go back to semi normal is about two weeks and the healing process about 6. Your wife will feel more tired as her body is fighting hard to heal itself.
It is good that it is HER2 negative. ER Positive 8 and PR positive means that the cancer receptors, which makes it grow - or single cancer cells will grow when exposed to Estrogen and Progesterone. This will mean, that once all treatment is over - your wife will have to take hormone hormone treatment for a minimum of 5, sometimes 10 years, which will stop these hormones from being produced in her body. Unfortunately this will mean that you may need to consider fertility advise, if you want children - and I would seriously suggest you discuss this with the BC nurse perhaps in absence to your wife, so she does not get to distressed about this. Hormone therapy introduces early menopause - which CANNOT be mitigated by HRT or natural hormone mimicking supplements. After the operation it is likely that your wife will have a CT scan, due to her grade of cancer, to ensure there are no metastases elswhere.
Chemo is doeable - once prescribed.
The clincial genetics are also very important, as it will tell her whether she has a specific gene and what the effect of this is for her future.
In general I would suggest you follow this link to find the relevant, downloadable publications
https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/publications/browse-order - they will help your understanding.
MOST IMPORTANTLY - your wife now needs your support, more than she has ever done before. She will doubt who she is, blame herself, be frightened whether she will survive (she will), feel unfeminine, unwanted, irritated and feel she has lost her life and future - hate herself and much, much more. PLEASE look after her, forgive her for appearing illogical - logic and reasoning just simply does not work with us in this case -
This is not a case of fixing something, like a car or a motorbike, this is something, which is with us for the rest of our lives. It takes us a long time to understand that we are now different, but also still the same, too - I know sounds illogical - but is true for us women, lol.
I suppose in some way for you to get close to the stuff, which goes on inside- imagine how you would feel, think, react if you had testicular cancer of a similar grade......Although it must be said - imagining it and having it - asre wo very different pair of shoes.
MOST IMPORTANLY - please talk to your Breast cancer nurse to get specialist counselling - it will be invaluable for both of you.
You will get through this - yes it will be a very challenging year, but you will be so much stronger for it.
Please feel free to pm me, if I can be of anymore help
Ok so the results are in grade 3 invasive ductal caricinoma measuring 15mm , er positive 8 pr positive 8 and her2 negative, treatable with surgery, removal of lump, and radio , 10% chance of further surgery required, ceamo a distinct possibility , referral to clinical genetics in brew of age.
can anybody translate, all seems positive to me apart from being grade 3
Hi Haz, If you have critical illness as part of your insurance you can make a claim, I looked in to it with mine but although I have several insurance policies I don't have critical illness with any of them unfortunately! I have been able to claim back through my private medical insurance though as I went via NHS for my treatment so they will pay me for not using them!! Xx
Sorry to hear of your wife's diagnosis.
Your question about Critical Illness claim has got me thinking.
I have a life insurance policy as part of an endowment policy, do I have to inform them that I have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer?
Any info or advice would be much appreciated.
Hi, I'm sorry your wife has been diagnosed and I do hope she feels up to joining us here too as you will both get plenty of support, My understanding is that you can claim against critical illness cover with a cancer diagnosis regardless of its type or severity, there have been a few ladies here that have had theirs pay out so hopefully someone will come along to confirm this for you, anything you would like to ask then please feel free, nothing is out of bounds here! X
my wife had a suspected cyst two weeks ago, the local gp said it felt like a cyst bur wanted her to go to the breast unit to be sure. Two weeks later we met our doctor who had a feel but suspected it was a cyst, we were relieved and happy, he said he wanted to to a mammogram , ultrasound, to be sure.
they would not let me in with her and an hour later she came out in tears, they had done both tests and then a biopsy but the x rayer said he was concerned, the doctor also confirmed he suspected cancer, we felt we had been hit by a lorry.
we went back last Friday for the results and he comfirmed invasive ductal carcinoma, with no signs of infection of the lymp, she is booked in on the 7th to have the lump removed and to have a test lymph removed.
we have got over the initial shock and now we have to deal with it, we have two young girls aged 5 and 8. We have explained to,them the basics.
i have asked her to join this group and I think she will soon., I do have one question,is this cancer likely to be a successful critical illness claim with Legal and general, it is a ten year old policy.
it will take a lot of pressure of us if accepted, thanks and look out for Michelle when she joins, I will be on with more questions later 🙂