my mom has breast cancer

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-01-2007
my mom has breast cancer
2
Fri, 03-29-2013 - 10:10pm

Hello,

My mom was recently diagnosed with breast cancer (in February) and had the mass removed last Thursday.  Apparently it was a stage 1 cancer, but the lymph node biopsy showed that 2 of the 3 lymph nodes had cancer too, moving it to stage 2.  They'll do further testing (petscan) to see if it spread further, doctors advised another surgery (to remove more lymph nodes) and she'll undergo chemo, radiation, etc.

On top of it all, she's struggling with a language barrier.  Her english is poor, and I translate for her.  I won't always be able to go with her though (have school and work).  Doctor did mention a translating service over the phone, which will definetely help.

I just came from a long day at the hospital.  My mom seems like she's in denial about it, and hasn't fully processed the information.  She says she would have been better off not having a mammogram - that way she can live in peace without knowing and be happy.  My mom is 59 and hasn't had a mammogram for 10 years prior to this recent one.  Although it's upsetting she didn't get herself tested for this long, there's no reason to mention it now.  Obviously she knows and already feels bad about it. 

It's a start of a long journey.  I don't know who to share this with.  My mom doesn't want me telling others about it.  Or at least not in much detail.  I talk to my sister about it.  She lives in another state, but we talk on the phone.

Anyone else out there with similar situation?  Any feedback/comments/suggestions/etc will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Samantha

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-02-2008
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 10:10am

Hi Samantha,

Your mother may not want anyone to know because she is afraid and doesn't want to feel "sick". One of my aunts had breast cancer and none of us even knew at first. She was a very active woman who took pride in being healthy and she took her diagnosis of Breast Cancer as a deep personal insult. Once she realized that she could beat it, her competetive instinct took over and she was very proactive in fighting it. Give your mother time and be there for her. Actively listen to what she has to say and be supportive of her decisions.

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2013
Mon, 06-17-2013 - 6:54pm

I agree!  Support is key.  One of my best friends beat it about 4-5 years ago.  We went through it all - chemo, radiation, double mastectomy, hair loss, reconstruction, and complete hysterectomy.  Not in that order.  She was in her early 40s and had two grade-school children at the time.  Now they're about to start junior high and high school.  Her mom had lost her own battle with breast cancer at a young age, so the news was not easy.  She decided to approach cancer as a challenge to be beaten, and she has never looked back.  Throughout the whole process, she was just bound and determined to literally BEAT CANCER!  She had a great support network of friends, but also made great friends of fellow survivors.