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My sister has breast cancer

(20 Posts)
goodasgold Wed 19-Aug-09 21:24:49

I can't believe it, and now I find I don't know what it means.

They told her it was grade three and that they want to book her in for a masectomy straight away, which sounds pretty bad to me.

She is 33 and has two dc 6 and 2.

I don't know what to do.

JeMenFous Wed 19-Aug-09 21:28:35

Sorry I don't have any answers for you but just bumping for someone elsesad

discombobulate Wed 19-Aug-09 21:28:38

Im so sorry to hear that, sorry can't offer much advice but I'm think of you and your sister and her family, keep strong


discombobulate Wed 19-Aug-09 21:28:59


Disenchanted3 Wed 19-Aug-09 21:29:51

Im so sorry, I have no idea what the medical terms mean but I sincerely hope she is in recovery soon x

Spidermama Wed 19-Aug-09 21:31:25

Sorry. You must be in shock.

I don't know what grade three is. My mum has breast cancer. It must be very shocking for you and worrying especially as she has little ones.

Do you live close by? She'll need someone to help out by taking her to appointments or looking after the kids.

Jumente Wed 19-Aug-09 21:31:51

Stage three do you mean? that would indicate the nodes are affected too. However breast cancer is ultimately much more curable than many other cancers...there are PLENTY of survivors, this is not necessarily terirble in that sense. They are also acting quickly which is good. They know what they're doing with BC. Hope she will be Ok xxxx

LittleMissNorty Wed 19-Aug-09 21:32:29

I'm so sorry....what horrible news sad

You need to look all easy reading but if it were me I'd need to know. She will have access to a specialist nurse who can also give out lots of information. Don't give up hope. These days, a diagnosis of breast cancer doesn't equal a death sentence.

All you can do is be there for her and her family.....

Hope all goes well with treatment


Jumente Wed 19-Aug-09 21:33:56

Ah no, sorry, just looked it up. It might NOT be in the nodes at all, grade three is to do with how aggressive it is.

Sorry to get muddled. Still - it may not have spread, that's good - I imagine removing the affected breast is to prevent this.

ThingOne Wed 19-Aug-09 21:34:12

I'm sorry to hear your news. Have you seen the cancerbackup site?

There's lots of reliable information on there.

Please don't automatically assume anything is a death sentence. If you can't find an answer on the cancerbackup site, they have nurses you can ring.

Also, somewhere on here is a breast cancer support thread. That might be a good place to find some knowledgeable people to chat to.

goodasgold Wed 19-Aug-09 21:34:59

I'm going to google it. I want to know what we are facing.

I wish I could have it for her.

corblimeymadam Wed 19-Aug-09 21:35:50

Message withdrawn

ThingOne Wed 19-Aug-09 21:38:30

Please don't google goodasgold. Many of the things you will find will not be relevant at all and will scare the pants of you. Many links may also be hopelessly out of date, despite an apparently recent update. Stick to places like cancerbackup.

Posey Wed 19-Aug-09 21:42:20

I've been in your position, so really do know what you're going through.
When I first found out about my sister (from my mum), I made sure I was composed before I rang my sister as I didn't want to start blubbing on her. I basically said I was available any time, day or night, as a shoulder to cry on, to listen, to hand hold (metaphorically as we don't live nearby). I also didn't shy away from asking questions so she knew right away I wanted to be as involved as possible and that she didn't need to protect me iyswim. For instance, when she started chemo, I opening asked about it, the side effects etc, which she was keen to tell me about. It really helped her to talk. I did say though that she never had to tell me, and if I was asking too much or whatever she could just tell me to get lost and I wouldn't take offence.
You aren't expected to have answers, just be there for her. If you're near enough and can, help wth practicalities like taking the children, doing some cooking, housework etc. Make sure her oldest dc has uniform and stuff ready for the new school term. Just take some of the day to day burden off her. And don't forget her dh/dp.

I hope that helps.

goodasgold Wed 19-Aug-09 22:15:45

Thank you all for your posts.

It is grade three which is the most aggressive type, I think it depends on whether it has spread on whether it becomes uncurable.

I only looked at Cancer Research, just information. I will check cancerbackup too, thank you for pointing me in the right direction.

I don't live very far from her, it's about two hours drive, but neither of us drive, and I have three small children and a full time job. But I will make sure that her dd has her new school uniform etc. Thank you for that Posey, and your other advice. I have read before that people get frustrated when they can't talk about things. She hasn't told me, my mum has, so I will wait for her to feel up to telling me. I know she won't want to upset me.

I am determined to do anything I can to help her through this. At best she has got a horrid op to get through.

Thanks again

whatmaisieknew Thu 20-Aug-09 18:55:22


Stick to factual parts of the site.

Read up a bit about what she'll be going through, in terms of surgery and whether or not she'll need chemo afterwards. Offer to listen while she talks.

Then be there for her and offer specific practical help as well as moral support.
eg "I can take the dcs to the zoo the day of your op and keep them overnight/have them at mine on x and y dates while you're recovering/buy dc1's school shoes/cook you 3 things for your freezer - what would you like ?"

I have breast cancer, recently diagnosed. i have no siblings but a core of amazing friends are giving me that sort of support.I am very lucky, as all of it is a huge help. if getting well again depended just on loving friendly support, I'd be through this nightmare and out the other side !

whatmaisieknew Thu 20-Aug-09 18:59:16

sorry - the site I mentioned is

I wouldnt wait for her, telling everyone is the hardest part and sometimes its easier that someone else has told them.
Practical help is best imo, making sure children are cared for, evening meals cooked, house clean and washing done, any of that is a blessing as trust me she wont be thinking about it.

I use which is part of macmillian but has forums for different cancers but also a chat board so you can always talk to anyone.

Also a girl called Chris is fighting BC at a young age and her blog is wonderful and loads of info here and she has stage 3 breast cancer

Hope this is helpful for you

Just one point, a lot of help tends to be in the first few weeks when everyone hears the news and tends to stop after, even though cancer battles are long and hard at different points, so might be worth sorting out friends to help reguardly.

kando Thu 20-Aug-09 19:10:55

Goodasgold, sorry to hear your news. Just to say that my sister was diagnosed aged 27 (with a 3 year old dd at the time) and had a very-soon-after-diagnosis mastectomy too. (I'm not sure of all the ins and outs of it as I live at the other end of the country from her, so I wasn't "involved" iyswim). She had a very aggressive form of cancer too but because they caught it very early for her (as it sounds they have done for your sis) things are looking hopeful for her - to the extent that she is ttc at the moment. It will be tough for your sister, esp during the chemo stage - my sister always says she was so grateful to my parents for having her dd during/after the chemo for her. Here's hoping for the best for your sister. Take care, both you and her. I'm sure she'll appreciate you just being at the end of the phone, even if there are no words, just tears (like me and my sis when she was first diagnosed sad ) lol xx

claireybee Thu 20-Aug-09 19:15:53

Another blog for you and your sister here

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