I'm glad that you feel a little better after our messages to each other.
I am currently going through my own treatment for Breast Cancer and I have just finished my fourth week of Radiation Therapy, 2 1/2 weeks to go.
I'm very lucky because my prognosis is very good, I found the tumour very early. The fact that I had been on my Dad's journey with him has helped me enormously. I have seen first hand the amazing medical professionals we have, and I was welcomed back to the same Radiation clinic that my Dad attended like I was an old friend returning, they have been wonderful to me.
I have also seen the other side of the coin now as my own children had to deal with their Mum being diagnosed with Breast Cancer, it was very traumatic for them, they have been there for me too and I'm very proud of them, they learnt from having Dad living with us as well.
Tell your Dad that Radiation Therapy isn't too bad, the worst part for me is I'm looking a bit sunburnt and some days a bit tired. Having to go everyday for 6 & 1/2 weeks seems huge but the time has passed quite quickly. Actually having to get up, get dressed and be somewhere everyday might be good for him, you see the same people most days and make new friends.
I think you are an amazing daughter to care so much for your Dad and I'm positive that you will be his shining light.
My love to you and your Dad, Leanne
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Your message struck a chord with me as I was my father's carer when he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer aboout 4 years ago.
My father was usually a very cheery person who looked on the bright side of things, he understandably was very upset and angry when he was given his diagnosis.
I remember going to see him and asking him how he was , he replied angrily "How do you think I am?" (Totally out of character for him to snap at me). He was sitting in his arm chair and I went over and sat on the arm of the chair and put my arm around him and said " I can't help you if you don't tell me what you're thinking, I promise I will be there for you at every appointment and I'll take care of you but you have to talk about it and tell me what you need."
After that Dad decided he would talk to everyone he met about what was going on and it truly seemed to help him. He made friends whilst having Chemo and when he was in hospital, sharing others stories seemed to help too.
I ended up leaving my job to become his fulltime carer and it was the best thing I could have done because it gave him peace of mind that he didn't have to worry about the day to day things and he was never alone as he moved in with us.
I was with him when he passed away, he was very peaceful and I'm sure he felt very loved and supported when he went. My advice is to love your Dad as much as you can whilst you have him and you won't regret it, he might take time to come around but don't give up on him.
Best wishes to you and your family,
I'm happy to help you if I can.
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Lovely to hear from you.
To answer your question about the decision to do a lumpectomy and radiation: The lump was only 6mm when I had the initial ultrasound and when it was removed the pathology stated it was only 9mm although 18mm of tissue was removed. (This was so the surgeon was sure that she had tissue containing no cancer cells right around the lump.) From what I gather the fact that it was so small (less than 1cm) and only in the very early stages, (Stage 1) was how the decision for lumpectomy was made. I was told on the day of diagnosis that this was "curable", a very comforting word I've got to say.
I also had 2 lymph nodes removed as a precaution to make sure the cancer had not spread. The results were that there was a clear perimeter around the lump with no cancer cells and the 2 lymph nodes were also clear. Chemotherapy was something I did not have to have. (Thankfully)
I also did not have to have the Hormone drug treatment (Tamoxifen), the Oncologist felt that my chances of the cancer returning were low and due to other medical conditions I have he recommended that I didn't need hormone treatment. (This would normally be taken for 5 years.)
The radiation was something I was very comfortable about doing as an "Insurance Policy" in case any cells were missed during surgery.
My father had Pancreatic Cancer and I was his Carer, when he went through his radiation treatment he tolerated it very well and the Radiation Oncology rooms are only a 15 minute drive from my home which makes it very easy to go every day. The staff are fantastic and they remembered me from 4 yrs ago when I was taking Dad.
I have 2 1/2 weeks of Radiation to go and I have been using a Homeopathic remedy and Aloe Vera Gel to help with the symptoms. So far the Oncologist thinks I'm going really well and he said to me this week that what ever I'm doing just keep doing it as he thought I might have had a burn wound by now. No signs of that happening at this stage !!!!
My tumour was Oestrogen and Progesterone positive which is obviously different to your diagnosis.
I hope this info helps you, are you having a lumpectomy or a mastectomy ?
Bye for now,
Keep your chin up and keep smiling at your gorgeous husband and children, it truly does help.
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Hello, I was inspired to register with this website after reading your blog. I am on the good side of my breast cancer diagnosis and feel compelled to write to you in the hope that you feel loved & supported and that you are not alone.
I found my lump myself quite by accident one morning as I was waking up, I tucked my left hand under my right arm as I turned over and there under the flat of my hand was the lump. I had a premonition about 6 weeks earlier and so when I found the lump I had it checked immediately. I am wondering if you have private health insurance ? My experience with having health insurance was that I was seen the very next day by the breast surgeon and had the biopsy the same day with diagnosis of stage one cancer the very next morning. Surgery was 5 days later.
I am told that all of the cancer was removed and the lymph nodes were clear also. I am now in my fourth week of radiation therapy and am coping well, skin has turned pink and have been more tired but otherwise coping well.
My overwhelming feeling for you is that you have a belief in yourself that you can get through this by being positive. A smile on your face makes you feel better and those around you also feel better. Each day at Radiation Oncology I meet people who are going through their own battles and I am amazed at their resillience and strength.
Is there anything I can help you with or that you would like to ask me ? I am a good listener and would gladly give you all the support I can, my best wishes and love to you and your family. Leanne
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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.