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  #1   ^
Old Wed, Nov-22-17, 21:37
TucsonBill's Avatar
TucsonBill TucsonBill is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 339
 
Plan: ≤ 20 carbs & IF
Stats: 292/235/170 Male 72 Inches
BF:
Progress: 47%
Location: Tucson, AZ
Default My Wife Has Breast Cancer

I debated about sharing this information here but I need all the advice I can get.

I did share already in another thread that my wife's annual mammogram had turned up a large lump. It's at the top her right breast on her chest. The technician and our family doctor thought it was probably a fibroid tumor but we got the biopsy results finally on Monday and it "had cancer cells" so she is going in for an MRI next Monday and we meet with the surgeon next Friday on Dec 1st. She has two sisters who both survived breast cancer but both had mastectomies.

I love my wife very much and want to be as supportive as I can in any way I can. This is totally unfair. It should have been me. I have been abusing my body almost my entire life with my bad eating habits not to mention that I smoked for over 40 years between 1 and 3 packs a day at different times. She has always tried to eat healthy and has never drank, smoked, done drugs or anything. She has literally been "good" her whole life. (I don't even deserve her!). This should be me and not her.

Anyway, her emotions are all over the place, most of the time she is strong but I know she is scared. Today she called me after she got off work and was very upset - said she just wanted to cry - and had been shopping to buy greens for our bunny and could not remember her pin number at check out because she just can't think straight lately.

What can I do? I just tell her how much I love her with all my heart and how unfair this is and how I wish I could take her cancer and give it to myself. I don't know how I should support her emotionally. I just don't know...
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  #2   ^
Old Wed, Nov-22-17, 22:54
Verbena Verbena is offline
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Posts: 767
 
Plan: My own
Stats: 186/155/150 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 86%
Location: SW PNW
Default

Bill, my condolences to you and your wife. Cancer is horrible, and I am sending healing thoughts in your direction. My husband had cancer some years ago, and some very good advice that we got from others who had gone through it was that I should go with him to his appointments, and take notes. This was so very helpful, as he has no medical background, so even at the best of times (and these appointments were very definitely NOT the best of times) he doesn't always take in every little thing the doctor says, or remember every question he wants to ask. I was there, sitting in the corner with my notebook, not saying anything or getting in the way, but keeping track of all that was said, suggested, prescribed, etc., and then we could go over it again later, clear up misconceptions, get ready our questions for the next time around, and such. I kept a list of all the many different doctors he was seeing (he had 3 separate cancers concurrently, so saw a bunch of docs), kept track of all his medications, dosage, length of time taking that rx, etc. Also kept a running list of his appointments, and, for good measure, the miles of driving to get to some of them, for the taxes. We went regularly to Portland (3 hours), Medford (2 hours), and Eugene (1 hour); it added up.
As to emotional support, just be there for her. Let her howl and rave, and understand that she is howling at the disease, and not at you.
My very best wishes to you both.
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Nov-23-17, 02:38
zoogirl's Avatar
zoogirl zoogirl is offline
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Posts: 1,801
 
Plan: atkins 20
Stats: 127.6/106.2/110 Female 5' 2"
BF:
Progress: 122%
Location: Canada
Default

Good Morning Bill, thank you for sharing this very personal, sad news with us. Just like any other news we are her for you. Sad but true, horrible things happen to good people, this will require EVERY ounce of your inner strength, I believe that even tho you feel like you don't know how to support her, just being you and being there is all you need to do. She will understand that she is not alone, you are going thru this with her every step of the way. Unfortunately there are no magic words that I, or anyone else can say to make this OK. She will go thru enormous ups and downs, just be there, let her feel everything that you feel, just be there...

Prayers for you both as you start this journey, remember that people care...ttyl
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  #4   ^
Old Thu, Nov-23-17, 03:39
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cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Senior Member
Posts: 3,855
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 106%
Location: Vermont
Default

Bill I truly feel for you and your wife. Remember that beating yourself up about it is not going to help things. My granddaughter, who will be 16 on Sunday, is being treated for Ewings Sarcoma, a kind of children's bone cancer. When she was diagnosed last April one of my first thought was "I wish it had been me not her", but it is what it is and we figure out how to cope with the reality. It may not be what we want but it is, unfortunately, what we have. I am sure you are a wonderful and supportive husband to your wife and that's what's important now.

Jean
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  #5   ^
Old Thu, Nov-23-17, 03:49
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Senior Member
Posts: 3,855
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 106%
Location: Vermont
Default

Bill - I want to add that, although this may not be tops in your mind right now, if you can stick to your plan despite how difficult things are for you and your wife right now, you will only be helping yourself and her. In fact if she can embrace a ketogenic diet she may very well be helping herself. Check out this thread when you can: http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=478439

Jean
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  #6   ^
Old Thu, Nov-23-17, 03:55
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
To Good Health!
Posts: 9,957
 
Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
BF:45%/25.3%/24%
Progress: 96%
Location: NC
Default

Bill, I am so sorry to hear that your wife's biopsy has some cancer cells, but know this is the worse time in the whole journey, because you do not yet know what kind it is, what stage, what the plan should be, you are both reeling emotionally, etc. 11 years ago this weekend I was diagnosed with breast cancer and for weeks I researched every detail while my husband provided the emotional support to pull me back from the edge when thinking the worst.

Agree with all Verbena wrote about going to the appointments to take notes...or the new version...take a video or audio record the sessions with doctors with your phone. Take Home copies of all reports, get them before you leave an office, because (and this is highly recommended) you may want to get a second opinion.
Treatments are always changing, a lumpectomy with sentinel nodes checked, is often the first step unless the MRI is conclusive that it has spread. Different length, often shorter, protocols for radiation. Chemo therapy is not always required. Be prepared for the doctor to offer your wife options and make her own choices (this is what threw me the most!). Look for a center where the whole cancer team meets to discuss the case. At this point, after diagnosis, the surgeon is key, use one that specializes in breast surgery and has good reviews. Your thoughts about which doctor to use will also be helpful to her...why you need to meet them all.

Once the extent and kind of cancer is known, doctors selected, treatment protocols laid out...then it is just executing the plan. That is when you can be strong and focused, it is easier when this immediate uncertainty has been removed. It really does get better when you have a treatment plan in print, with a timeline, executed by docotors you trust.

The ASCO website for patients https://www.cancer.net has everything you need to understand the diagnosis, help you keep records of the medical visits, organize bills and insurance (you will get much help with this from hospital or doctor's office manager..donít worry about this aspect but donít lose the paperwork either) You can help her by digging into this site to understand the steps ahead. You can read about MRIs and ultrasound for breast cancer and be prepared for her next visit, know how they are read and what the next step may be. https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/breast-cancer You will find many other on-line resources for breast cancer, but this is one many oncologists use, ASCO brochures are often given out in the office...so you'll be a step ahead to read them here.

Also, there is much information in the Coping with Cancer section about how to be a good caregiver. Know that you will be great at it! https://www.cancer.net/coping-with-cancer

Wishing that you and your wife only hear the best of news along each step of this journey.

Last edited by JEY100 : Thu, Nov-23-17 at 06:55.
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  #7   ^
Old Thu, Nov-23-17, 10:34
TucsonBill's Avatar
TucsonBill TucsonBill is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 339
 
Plan: ≤ 20 carbs & IF
Stats: 292/235/170 Male 72 Inches
BF:
Progress: 47%
Location: Tucson, AZ
Default

Thank you all for your support and your suggestions. Keeping records of the meetings and keeping our own medical records of this event is a good idea I had not thought of.

The doctor that my PCP recommended seems to have pretty good credentials:

http://www.acssurgeons.com/doctors/...nessa-roeder-md

I have been reading about ketogenic diets and cancer, (she has been eating low carb with me now for over 2 months but not quite as strict as me). I will also ask the doctor about this as I do plan to be there.

Thanks again.
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  #8   ^
Old Thu, Nov-23-17, 10:36
TucsonBill's Avatar
TucsonBill TucsonBill is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 339
 
Plan: ≤ 20 carbs & IF
Stats: 292/235/170 Male 72 Inches
BF:
Progress: 47%
Location: Tucson, AZ
Default

One other question:

There are all these breast cancer organizations out there with millions of dollars pouring in. Does anyone know if any of these organizations actually provide financial assistance to to the victims? We're going to have huge bills after all this and it would be nice if some of the organizations out there actually help victims.
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  #9   ^
Old Thu, Nov-23-17, 15:34
dcc0455 dcc0455 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 114
 
Plan: LC / IF
Stats: 224/155/155 Male 67
BF:
Progress: 100%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TucsonBill
One other question:

There are all these breast cancer organizations out there with millions of dollars pouring in. Does anyone know if any of these organizations actually provide financial assistance to to the victims? We're going to have huge bills after all this and it would be nice if some of the organizations out there actually help victims.


My wife had a double mastectomy about 20 years ago. The combination of her medicare and my insurance from work pretty much covered all our expenses, so I can't speak to financial aid, but I can say there were a lot of really good organizations out there to provide advice and support. Even the hospital had a social worker. My guess is there are even more now. You may want to look into support forums, similar to this one, that focus on cancer.
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  #10   ^
Old Thu, Nov-23-17, 16:13
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
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Posts: 2,149
 
Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/160/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
BF:
Progress: 53%
Location: NE WA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TucsonBill
I don't know how I should support her emotionally. I just don't know...


Exactly what you're doing. Being there for her, listening to her. And as Jean said, take care of yourself. That will give you the strength to be strong for her when she needs you.

As for low carb helping with cancer, I haven't made up my mind if that actually works. But I did decide that should I get cancer, I'm going to go zero carb. Even if it doesn't help with the cancer, it would help me feel like I'm doing something positive to fight it. All the medical things that fight cancer are provided by others & can make you feel helpless. Doing something - anything - can help you feel more positive.
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  #11   ^
Old Thu, Nov-23-17, 21:08
Zuleikaa Zuleikaa is online now
Posts: 16,654
 
Plan: Mishmash
Stats: 365/350.4/160 Female 67
BF:
Progress: 7%
Location: Maryland, US
Default

I lost my post.

I concur with the advice everyone has given. And hope for the best prognosis for your wife.

Have you had your wife's vitamin D3 levels tested? Vitamin D deficiency has severe implications for over 30 types of cancers.

I heard of a women who cured her breast cancer by injecting very large amounts of D3 into her breasts on a weekly basis.

Doctors have patented hundreds of D3 derivatives for the treatment of various cancers.

Having your wife attain/maintain optimal vitamin D3 levels couldn't hurt and might have positive impact on her treatment and health after treatment.

http://www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors/low_vit_d

https://breastcancerconqueror.com/v...-breast-health/

https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/...in-d-metastasis

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed...cholecalciferol breast cancer
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  #12   ^
Old Fri, Nov-24-17, 03:28
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
To Good Health!
Posts: 9,957
 
Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
BF:45%/25.3%/24%
Progress: 96%
Location: NC
Default

There are organizations to help with expenses, but you mentioned before you have insurance, and this is the situation where it will work well. As dcc wrote, the hospital financial consultant, office insurance manager, company case worker, everyone will work together to accept the allowed charges and minimize your cost. Assuming your insurance renews on Jan 1, you might discuss the treatment schedules in view of yearly deductibles and co-pay limits but it will work out. Donít worry about this now.

I am impressed by the surgeon 1. she is a breast disease specialist and 2. she is a center for SAVI. Not that I knew what it was until followed the links. SAVI is a new version of balloon catheter brachytherapy. 11 years ago I had the Mammosite version of same procedure. Even if your wife doesnít have it, this surgeon keeps up with the latest developments and provides her patients cutting edge options for reduced radiation (if cancer cells have not spread). And my personal view... women make better breast surgeons opting for conserving incisions, clear margins but not excessive tumor removal, willing to learn the complex and finely detailed techniques for brachytherapy, more attention to the cosmetic outcome, etc. In the end, it comes down feeling comfortable with her solution for your wifeís situation. That ASCO site has more questions to ask, on how to choose doctors. https://www.cancer.net/navigating-c...ancer-care-team

New Book on Keto for Cancer. Highly recommended. You can start with the food list on her website, there are other tabs there on basic info how sugar can fuel growth (not as simple as sugar feeds cancer) good references to more info.
http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=478439

Last edited by JEY100 : Fri, Nov-24-17 at 07:35.
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  #13   ^
Old Fri, Nov-24-17, 07:05
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 2,086
 
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
Default

Bill - my thoughts are with you and your wife.
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  #14   ^
Old Fri, Nov-24-17, 07:17
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JLx JLx is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,887
 
Plan: Winging it
Stats: 000/000/000 Female 66
BF:High wt, 276, 255
Progress: 16%
Location: Michigan U.P., USA
Default

There's an enormous amount of stress involved in a cancer diagnosis/treatment (been there); make sure you address this for you both. Some light exercise, funny movies, extra magnesium (Epsom salt baths are good); whatever you can.

Back when I had cancer, one of the worst things was feeling that I never got away from it. Some of it was by necessity because there is info to be gathered, decisions to be made, treatment, etc. but it was such a relief if someone could distract me with inconsequential chatter, make me laugh or just anything to get away from "IT".
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  #15   ^
Old Fri, Nov-24-17, 10:52
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Mama Sebo Mama Sebo is offline
Posts: 4,976
 
Plan: lc, highish fat,
Stats: 224/151/124 Female 64 inches
BF:44%/29%/20%
Progress: 73%
Location: Gaborone, Botswana
Default

Thanks for sharing Bill -- all this GREAT information for you and the rest of us! What a gift it has been for me- so thanks again. You and your wife are certainly in my thoughts.
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