Hi, I am a 45 year old husband and father. My son, now six, was only nine months old when my wife was first diagnosed with Her2 positive breast cancer in 2008. She quickly had a mastectomy, then chemo, followed by a year of Herceptin, then Tamoxifen. We had a few scares, but had five 'cancer free' years, to all intents and purposes. Then, after complaining of a sore back she had a CT scan in October which showed metastasis in one of her thoracic vertebrae. This was an absolute shock to our systems, as we had both just got to the stage where we were starting to think of cancer as a thing of the past. The last 2 months have been a whirlwind of emotion, ranging from hope to terror and back again. She has just undergone major fusion surgery to remove the damaged vertebrae and tumour and have titanium rods and screws put in to support the spine while the bone fusion takes hold. She has also been taken off tamoxifen, put back on a 3 weekly regime of Herceptin, this time for life, and a monthly Zoladex injection to stop her ovaries from working, and has just started taking Anastrozole, although she will have to have her ovaries removed early in the new year. She is also starting a two week course of radiation therapy on Monday, which is completely new territory for us. Anyway, that's the medical side, but I came across this site and thought it would be a good channel to share my fears and frustrations, and interact with people in similar situations. So hello, and all the best to everyone out there who is suffering from cancer or who has a loved one who is.
Your story is similar to mine, except my husband's original cancer was bladder cancer. He was diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer to the spine, pelvis and femur in September. We too are in shock still and don't know what the future holds.
I'm not finding this site all that 'interactive' just yet as there seem to be so many people out there with similar stories but its hard to connect with them when no one replies to your posts and blog? Maybe I'm too impatient or don't get on often enough.
Anyway, so sorry to hear your story. Our children are all grown and we have grandchildren older than your little one, so can't imagine how hard it would be to explain why mummy is so sick. Wishing you and your family all the best.
Hi AMCK, welcome.
I hope you and your wife are coping ok in what sounds like a really awful time. Is your son aware of what's happening? My 6 year old daughter (the middle child of my 3) has experienced the most anxiety of my kids since I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in July. We got on to a school social worker and she has worked with her every now and then. It is tough to undergo treatments and Chemo with young kids at home as life doesn't go on hold for them.
All the best for Radiation and surgery,
It is tough dealing with this with a young child. We are being as honest as we can with him about it, without going into details or discussing the potential life or death implications of the illness. He knows Mummy has cancer, and that's why she had to go to hospital to get her back fixed. He sometimes withdraws a bit, and when I asked him the other day, he said he was worried about Mummy, but I think this was because of her obvious post op pain and discomfort.
All the best to you both and your families. I hope you have as good a Christmas as you can under the circumstances. We're certainly going to!
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.