Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Breast Cancer

Thank you to Sandy for her comment on my last post.  As my post occurred on a holiday (in the States) weekend, I forget that people might not see my blog till later in the week or it might get crushed with all the other updates people get.  So to Sandy's point, a little more color, but first, apologies for the reiteration, but here's the details I posted previously.


(repeat from prior post - new information below)


My cousin was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, has had a tumor removed and is now facing chemotherapy. And is scared shitless!
She's 54, the tumor was about 3cm, upon removal they were able to identify trace amounts of the cancer in the lymph nodes. She's scheduled to get TC in four cycles (I believe). But she's scared of the chemotherapy and not thinking of what could happen if she didn't get the chemo. On a scale of 1-50 she's a score of 23, so about halfway. She has cancelled one appointment and I've not yet heard if she's gotten a second yet. In prep for her first round they had her on dexamethazone and failed to warn her of the effects. She took it at 1630 and was on the phone with me flipping out at 0230. Had she known what to expect she could have been prepped for a "speedy" night but not knowing, her only focus was the chemo and what could go wrong. She ended up canceling her appointment the next day.

Now this blog has been mostly about MM but being scared of chemo knows no borders - just some chemo is more of an annoyance than others. What I'm looking for is examples, feedback or words of wisdom I can pass back to my cousin. Whether it be about chemo, breast cancer or anything else relevant, please post a comment so I can pass them along to her. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



(more details)


Sandy brought up a point that my cousin may be in denial (most definitely) while also being scared of the drugs, their effect, etc.  She can't take tylenol/codeine without feeling like she's on a 70's acid trip.  But again, I think that's being more scared than anything else.  Regarding Sandy's comment about getting online and taking control - well that's a bit of a problem as, until 2 weeks ago, she didn't have an email address.  She's sent me one email (the night the Dex hit her!) and she's not yet responded - most likely due to the fact she doesn't know how!  She does have a son and daughter that can assist with email but I need to call her to get her more info.  Regarding family, her sister is a nurse (oncology I believe) so she has resources but she follows the clan with her stubbornness!  At some point she'll read this and probably hate me but I'm hoping the information I get from my blog readers is such that she'll thank me in the long run!


If you have any feedback (Sandy, thanks for the start) I'd much appreciate it.  Please leave a comment and let me know.  Again, thanks for reading!


Bill

1 comment:

feresaknit said...

I've always been really open with everyone about my MM and they don't feel asking me how I am is going to be a traumatic question and awkward plus they know where everything is up to. We discuss everything except long term prognosis - which is something I never ask because no-one else knows why should I work to a specific timetable when I could get hit by a bus when I go shopping later. A friend whose sister has MM is the opposite, it's almost like if she doesn't talk about it it isn't happening and that's how she deals with it however the friend has said this leaves them worrying more about how things really are.

Does the hospital or a nearby support group have any of those patients that do one to one 'I've been there' support?

As for the treatment - as you know everyone is different and other than my SCT I've been 'fortunate' enough to feel ill before starting both lots of treatment and would anticipate that it's hard to go from feeling well even though you have cancer to feeling ill on the treatment. I personally prefer to meet things head on and not prolong the agony. The sooner treatment starts the sooner it's finished. And of course it's better than the alternative.

Gosh, went on a bit there hope something in there is some help. Best wishes P :D