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My mum has cancer brought on by complicated grief (lost son), advice please?

(8 Posts)
sunnysunnyshine Wed 20-Feb-13 16:28:47

My brother was suddenly killed just over a year ago and now my mum has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

It's not the more common hormonal type but a type that can be brought on by severe trauma, grief in this instance.

She's having a mastectomy next week then chemo. We have to wait to see what they find after surgery and hope it hasn't spread.

I'm obviously petrified and don't know what to do. I cannot cope with losing her, especially not after we have lost my brother.

Is anybody aware of the non hormonal type of cancer or have any advice or words of wisdom please? I know nobody can know the outcome but I'm in pieces and could really do with some help.

I cannot bear to think of life without her and to think of my ds and ds (due in 6 wks) missing out on knowing her.

She is being amazingly strong and positive although I don't know how much is an act. I know she needs us to be positive for her as this can help. It's just so hard.

Elibean Wed 20-Feb-13 16:55:32

What a shocking year you, and your family, have had - I'm so sorry Sunny sad

Do you know the actual name of your mother's type of BC? Might help to get info...

Either way, the ladies on the Tamoxifen thread would do all they could to help, I'm sure. Do try posting on there if you don't get what you need here xxx

l4k Wed 20-Feb-13 19:02:01

How horrible for your family.
Not much in the way of help but just wanted to say this is what we believe happened with my mil. Fil was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour and died 3 months later. Totally shocking. They were never apart, worked side by side all their lives and he was a really fit man in his 60's.
6 months later she found a large aggressive breast tumour.
I'm sure that wouldn't have happened.
She had about 1/3 of her breast removed, and was supposed to have chemo but her wound wouldn't heal so just had radio in the end. She's feels happy that it's behind her now and has not long been back from a holiday abroad so she's well on the road to recovery.
Hope this helps, I will ask about the stress induced breast cancer at her next check.
All my best wishes to you and your mum.

sunnysunnyshine Thu 21-Feb-13 19:53:13

Thanks both for replying.

Unfort I don't know the name of it yet, just that its the non hormonal type and that the usual drugs don't work on this one.

14, sorry to hear about your Fil. It's encouraging to hear that your mil is recovering well though - thank you for sharing that.

It's the waiting that's hard. Not knowing. I just know that I cannot lose her. It almost killed me losing my brother. My mum is my rock, I see her all the time and cannot begin to imagine life without her.

Elibean Thu 21-Feb-13 20:56:11

Waiting is always a nightmare, probably the worst part. I hope its not too long a wait now, Sunny.

I do know there are BCs that are not hormone receptive - if they are not oestrogen, progesterone or HER2 (?) positive, they are called 'triple negative' cancers. I also know there are people on the Tamoxifen thread who have had triple negatives, and are doing fine years later - FWIW I remember hearing triple negative BC, whilst initially a bit harder to treat, tends to not re-occur once patients get to five years. Which is a definite plus.

Do try posting on the Tamoxifen thread, really - the ladies there are so lovely, and are going to be far more useful in terms of info and hand holding than anyone else is likely to be smile

SizzleSazz Thu 21-Feb-13 21:06:45

My mum has had BC three time, lumpectomy followed by mastectomy & then second mastectomy. She has been clear for 20 years smile

She was treated with radiotherapy after the lumpectomy and then i think Tamoxifen after the second mastectomy, but i think the mastectomy removed it all so it was more precautionary.

Hope your mum has the same outcome as mine smile

snailsontour Tue 26-Feb-13 15:54:38

Sorry to hear about your mums diagnosis, you must all be feeling quite shocked.

As has been said, not all breast cancers are hormone driven, infact 25% are hormone negative. And between 15 -25% are HER2+ - this is a gene that over expresses. Only 15% are what they call triple negative - negative for hormone drivers and HER2 over amplification.

Most of what we read in the media about breast cancer centres around Tamoxifen which is used to treat hormone positive breast cancer, but it only relates to one set of characteristics - hormones.

Breast cancer is a myriad of diseases, most of us think of it as one disease - I did - until I got it.

You really won't know what you are facing until you have the full pathology results.

Yes this is hard, but it is all doable - you will hear that word many many times in relation to treatment for breast cancer.

Hugs, x

Aquelven Tue 26-Feb-13 21:21:55

I really wish her well & it is so good that she has you & your family to support her.
This happened to my SiL after my brother died very suddenly of a heart attack in his early forties. Unfortunately she told nobody, not friends or family & refused all treatment, she just didn't want help.

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