I'm New and seeking insight, please read...

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/12/2007 3:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I'll give a little history first...

I am recently diagnosed - December 19th, 2006... after finding a lump in my right breast and another by my OBGYN. I had a mammogram and ultrasound. The mammogram came back clean and the ultrasound confirmed the two lumps. They scheduled the biopsy of my right breast. I waited 4 days to hear the results. I have two tumors, both have infiltrating ductal carcinoma and ductal carcinoma in-situ, one at 8 and another at 11 o'clock and 2.5 cm. I was referred to a surgeon the next day. After my exam, she was concerned about the left breast too, and ordered a MRI of my breasts, but I had to wait for my monthly cycle to start, stop and be 10 days out.(this was during Christmas and New Year's) The MRI showed something suspicious in my left breast and she has now scheduled an ultrasound for that breast which will be next Tuesday, results on Wednesday.

Only one person knows, my hubby, I haven't told my children... I just don't know how, my daughter is 15 and my son is 8. So far with each test, I have bought time, but my surgeon wants to go to surgery soon, she thinks on January 26th.

I need someone's insight, how do you tell your children what is happening without scaring them, yet being truthful. I mean my son is young and I don't think it will occur to him how sick mommy is, but my daughter I'm so scared this will affect her life deeply and with school, etc...

Plus I haven't told my sister, we had a falling out with the death of my husband's grandmother who raised him. I saw her during the holidays but felt no need or desire to tell her.

We plan to tell the children and his family and friends after we hear the results of the upcoming ultrasound.

Any inputs is greatly appreciated.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 1/13/2007 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed 2 yrs. ago when my daughter was 14 ,and my son was a little over a yr. We told my daughter before I went for surgery. We explained my diagnosis as truthfully , and honestly with her as we could. We also involved her in some of the Dr. appts. It was my belief that honesty was the best policy with her at her age, and I will admit it was a difficult and scary time for her. One of her concerns were if her chances now higher. I tried to talk to her as often as possible so she could express her concerns with me.There is no perfect answer your children are as unique as the next and your instincts will let you know what they can handle. Of course, because of the young age of my son, nephews, and neices we simply told them I was getting medicine to make me better. Recently my son looked at a pic of me in my bandana pointed to my head and said mommys hair is all better now? Your son may not be able to deal with total honesty at his age, and in my opinion I would just tell him your medicinces will cause side effects and thats how you will know they are working. Your children NEED TO KNOW there is much HOPE in your treatment. You do not need to go into the details and what ifs , only your diagnosis and treatment at this stage. Take each step as it comes, and talk to your children often. I hope this helps some, and I want you to know how much amazingly closer this may allow you to become with your children. Your daughter may not be able to talk to you when she needs to - so keep that door open by starting the conversation yourself.
Hang in there,
"There are two ways to live your life. One is though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."     -Albert Einstein

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 1/14/2007 11:23 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello! I am so sorry that you are having to go thru this but I am glad that you have found us. This is an amazing group of women on this board and you will find that the love and support will help you thru this journey.

I was diagnosed when I was 50. My dd's were in their 20's but I had one dd and her 2 young dd's living w/ me. I had basically raised my eldest granddaughter. She was 7 at the time. I told her that I had breast cancer. That I was going to have to have an operation to remove the breast and all of the bad cells. I also told her that I would be taking chemo, a med that would make me tired and probably make me lose my hair. She had questions, which sometimes blew me away, but I always tried to be honest w/ her. I will never forget after my first treatment, I began to lose my hair. I finally had my beautician shave my head..nice little buzz cut. I had a baseball cap on when my granddaughter came home from school. I showed her my head and asked her what she thought. She rubbed my head and said, "Nana, it's not to bad. Just wear your cap when my friends come over". She was wonderful. Of course, I have a rather warped sense of humor so we laughed about a lot of the things that happened during treatment.

I agree w/ what Michelle told you. Your daughter will be frightened. You might want to let her school counselor know what is happening so they can be there is she needs to talk. Also, if she has a close friend, talk to her mother. Just be honest. Remember that you are NOT super woman. Don't feel that you need to hide your emotions all of the time. Let your kids know that you will need some help from time to time but that their life's won't change too much. They will still be able to do the same activities, etc., that they are doing now.

Please let us know what we can do. Remember, you are not alone and this disease is NOT a death sentence but a managable disease now.



New Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/15/2007 6:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you both so much!

I plan to be honest and positive. Great minds must think alike I called my daughter's school last week and asked that all her teachers watch for signs of stress. I haven't done it for my son yet, I think because of his age, it won't affect him as deeply like it will my daughter. But I will mention something to his teacher and school soon.

My daughter has a couple of friends and one close friend, but she has never called our home or came over, mmm... that one will be tricky. Maybe the school can help me.

When I have the mastectomy or possible double mastectomy will I be able to drive after a couple of days? I'm self-employed and I take my children to and from school everyday. I'm not sure how this is going to go, especially with the chemotherapy.

I'm no sure how to tell hist family.. I think it's best in person but I might lose it or Maybe over the phone is safe for me. Or maybe I should let my hubby do it, but that is putting stress on him.
FYI: We see his family usually at holidays and special events, but not on a normal basis. He calls his mom about once a week, but his dad everyday since his operation. (They are divorced.)

I don't want people making me feel like a patient/victim or feel sorry for me. But I want support through this, I have acquaintances, my best friend is my dear hubby. Is there a guideline on Who do you tell? or chose to tell?

THANK YOU for the support, I really need it. :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 1/15/2007 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   

It sounds as though you are doing a great job in preparing your kids. I would contact your son's school. It may or may not bother him but at least his teacher can watch for any signs.

No, you will NOT be able to drive in a couple of days after the mastectomy. You will probably come home w/ some drains plus the stitches. You are going to have to be very careful about what you do and don't do for a couple of weeks. I would suggest that you try and find someone to take your kids to and from school. You need to view this time as a "vacation" from all domestic duties...cooking, cleaning..laundry, etc. You have to allow yourself time to heal both physically and mentally.

I don't believe that any of us has mentioned this but be sure and take a gown, robe, shirt, whatever that buttons down the front. You won't be able to lift your arm(s) for a few days.

 If you don't want to tell your dh family, then let him do it. He is much stronger than you are giving him credit for, I am sure. You are the only one that can decide who to tell and who not to tell. Word will get out so be prepared for calls. If you don't want to discuss it, then tell the person that. Many of your friends, your dh friends, etc. will call and ask if they can do anything to help you. Let them bring you some meals or do some shopping. Or if your kids need to go somewhere, ask if they can take them. Remember that your friends and family will need to take the lead from you. This will be one of the most difficult things that you will have to do...ask for help. It's just not in a mother/wife's nature. But don't be afraid to do so. It will make those that offer feel better.

You haven't told us where you are from. You said that you are self employed, what do you do?



Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 1/15/2007 9:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Im so sorry you had to come here for advice, but you came to a good place for it.

My girls were in 7th and 8th grades when I was diagnosed, and I chose to tell them about the possibility as soon as I got mammogram results back (which were normal, but the doctor insisted on a biopsy, anyway). I lost my mother to cancer when I was 7, and no one told me a darned thing. I knew my mom was sick, but until my grandmother told me "the angels came and took your mother to heaven last night," I had no clue that she wouldn't be getting better. I was totally unprepared, and knew what that felt like, and I didn't want to do that to my children. So they knew from the beginning of the whole thing. I also told their school, and they were very supportive of the girls. We were new to the area, and classmates told their parents, and parents made sure my daughers had invitations for after school while I was in the hospital and sent meals to the house for my family. It was very touching.

I just reassured my kids that, whatever happened, we would get through it as a family. They were very supportive and a big help in my recovery.

I, too, had two tumors, both infiltrating, ductal and lobular, and 3 positive nodes. That was 12 years ago. Both girls are finishing up their undergrad degrees now, getting geared up for grad school. I have a beautiful 5-year-old granddaughter, who is the light of my life, and I've remained NED (no evidence of disease) since surgery and chemo.

As for telling other family members, your sister does need to know, if nothing else, for her own health (she is now at greater risk). I told my step-mom and let her tell everyone else. My brother was upset that I didn't give him the news myself, but at that time, I had done all the sharing and crying with people I could handle, and I knew how crushed my brother would be. He was diagnosed a few years later with prostate cancer, and he, too, is still doing well.

Good luck to you. And please...tell your kids. You'll probably be surprised at how strong they can be!


New Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/15/2007 3:32 PM (GMT -7)   
To answer Deb, I live in Virginia and I turned 41 this past November. I have a bakery business that I just recently reopened again after helping my sister with her business for the past 2 years.

Thanks for all your inputs, its good to get some advice to what has been weighing on my mind.

Has anyone changed their diets? The cancer society booklet says to not eat sugar, which is fine by me. I have been reading on some internet sites not to eat animal meat, refined flour and all grains, and sugar. To watch fruits if they are high in natural sugar too.

Kimberly :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 1/15/2007 10:15 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Kimberly! Well, I live in Mo so that is a wee bit far for a quick visit. lol

I ate whatever tasted good to me. As some of the others have said, you will learn by trial and error. I read books and articles but I found that I ate what I craved or my stomach could handle. There were times that all I wanted was vegetables. Another time I couldn't get enough of Burger King Tacos. And fresh beef bologna. I did find that when you cook, use onions whenever possible. Dont' ask my why but it really helps make the food taste good. You may find that your tastebuds will change after a treatment or two. You may have a "metal" like taste in your mouth. I learned that I didn't drink anything that was in a can. I ate off of plastic forks and spoons. I had to change my brand of toothpaste several times before I found one that left a fresh taste in my mouth. Be sure and drink lots of water after your treatment. That will help flush the chemicals out quicker.

My onco chemo room had lots of blankets and afghans.You will probably sleep thru most of the treatment so don't fight it. Just do what feels right for you.

Sending positive thoughts and lots of smiles and prayers...Deb


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