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Old 21st November 2018, 06:10 PM   #11
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Best wishes for both of you.
Thanks for the detailed and well explained information; have not needed to use something similar so far, but it always comes handy, "you never know" .
FWIW I might someday become the subject of caregiving, so itīs good to previously have a general awareness of what to expect, on both sides.
Wish/hope your Spouseīs treatment will do fine, and achieves expected results
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Old 21st November 2018, 06:30 PM   #12
tsmith1315 is online now tsmith1315  United States
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BTW, when dealing with breast cancer 15 years ago, my mother bought a wig early on just in case she needed it. She took it to her hairstylist who colored and styled the wig to match her natural hair.

It looked so natural that I never knew my own mother wore a wig during her chemo. She never told anyone, and no one ever knew the difference. She only told me last year when she thought I might want to do the same.
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Old 21st November 2018, 06:44 PM   #13
TheGimp is offline TheGimp  United States
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DPH, biopsy followed by genetic and hormone receptor testing.

ER+
HR+
Braka 2+
and HER2+

along with Ashkenazi positive genetics.

Oncologist recommended THCP treatment followed by surgery, and then radiation and continued treatment with herceptin for several years.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 12:28 AM   #14
PRR is offline PRR  United States
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My gal had a breast tumor cut, chemo, and radiation, about 1991.

The radiation was the worst, we had a feeling it was over-done, and she skipped the last couple treatments. (With my agreement, since "chemo brain" is a real thing, and she knew she was not thinking clearly.) Minor fun includes nausea and vomiting, nose-bleeds, hair thinning, and fatigue.

She recovered completely. She gets the mammograms, she worries about thorns and vibration on the arm with lymph surgery, but does about anything she wants.

The others have described support details. Feed her. But what may be most important: she is NOT going to die!! (Now.) Get that thought out of your head, because she can sense it.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 12:59 AM   #15
DPH is online now DPH  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGimp View Post
DPH, biopsy followed by genetic and hormone receptor testing.

ER+
HR+
Braka 2+
and HER2+

along with Ashkenazi positive genetics.

Oncologist recommended THCP treatment followed by surgery, and then radiation and continued treatment with herceptin for several years.
Triple positive--the opposite of the worst case (triple negative), but obviously nothing one should take lightly. ER, HR and HER2 are hormone receptors, so the plan is long-term hormone therapy after resection and adjuvant radiation. TCHP is in there for neoadjuvant therapy, before surgery to reduce size of the tumor (cleaner resection). This may be the hardest part of the whole thing, in terms of immediate side-effects. Hopefully they do a better job targeting the radiation than what PRR's belle experienced!

In the grand scheme of horrible things oncologists can do to you, this is on the less-damaging side, or at least we hope. There's still the universal recommendation to try to adopt healthy habits before surgery/radiation to help with resilience and general setbacks. The healthier one goes in, the better one can take the medicine. (but alls you can do is alls you can do, so no beating yourself up about it!)

BRCA2 is a DNA double-strand break repair protein (happens during cell division sometimes), and a mutation in this gene is a common risk factor for breast cancer, but also a number of other cancers.

Also, sending my best to all of you either experiencing cancer or serving as caretakers.
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Last edited by DPH; 22nd November 2018 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 02:59 AM   #16
TheGimp is offline TheGimp  United States
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My older brother had cancer about five years ago. Surgery, followed by chemo.

Then about three years ago he had throat cancer. Chemo, Surgery, radiation.

He seems to be doing fairly well although he lost probably 40% of his weight and is no longer my "Big Brother". He also has Parkinson's which is a whole nother issue.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 03:20 AM   #17
TheGimp is offline TheGimp  United States
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She has a dual port inserted in her chest above one breast. The chemo is introduced through the port directly into the heart where there is the most blood to dilute it and send it to the rest of the body.

The first series of Chemo took from 8am till 4:30 PM. That was 6 days ago.

Right now I will feed her anything she will eat.

She complains of a raw throat, and sore tongue.

I ran some well cooked pork loin through a food processor to puree it and served it over rice and gravy which she ate about 6-8 oz of. She wouldn't eat the green beans.

I made rice pudding which she requested, and she ate about 4oz of it.


Thanks to all for sharing with me.

This truly helps.

She has started experiencing nose bleeds, which upset her.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 03:30 AM   #18
Duke58 is offline Duke58  United States
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I wish I could say that I know nothing about cancer and cancer treatment- but I can't.

All I can say is that I wish those who are going through the chemo and radiation treatment, that the treatments are all successful and that your suffering is as minimal as possible. I truly wish you all the best. Happy Thanksgiving to all.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 05:48 AM   #19
tapestryofsound is offline tapestryofsound  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGimp View Post
She has a dual port inserted in her chest above one breast. The chemo is introduced through the port directly into the heart where there is the most blood to dilute it and send it to the rest of the body.

The first series of Chemo took from 8am till 4:30 PM. That was 6 days ago.

Right now I will feed her anything she will eat.

She complains of a raw throat, and sore tongue.

I ran some well cooked pork loin through a food processor to puree it and served it over rice and gravy which she ate about 6-8 oz of. She wouldn't eat the green beans.

I made rice pudding which she requested, and she ate about 4oz of it.

Thanks to all for sharing with me.

This truly helps.

She has started experiencing nose bleeds, which upset her.
Hello TheGimp,

I am relieved to see that you are getting lots of help here. Me and my wife are still right in the very thick of it, and as cancer affects in ways unique to each and every one of us, I will keep to practical generalities. Alright?

Your wife is going to lose all of her hair - all of it, even her eyebrows and eyelashes. She doesn't have to wear a wig if she doesn't want to. She can go 'au-naturel' and still look gorgeous. But it can and will be distressing for her. If she wants to wear a wig, get her the very best that money can buy and have it styled. Make sure her clothes are always spotlessly clean and colour coordinated, like as if everyday is a special occasion, because it is. I cannot emphasise this enough.

During the course of her chemotherapy, your wife is most probably going to lose all of her finger nails and toenails. That's OK, it is what happens. Inspect her hands and feet everyday for cracks or bleeding. Get some nitrile gloves, emery boards, nail scissors, prescribed emmoliant, and just be very careful with her. A pedicure and a manicure can and will become like an act of worship.

Her brain is going to be affected by the chemotherapy in ways that are unique and specific to her. Let's put it this way, your wife is on a very special journey to recover her health and vitality, and she will need a map. So get her a journal for writing down her thoughts every few days or so. Believe me, this will really help her (and you!) keep a sense of perspective. Your wife is the one in control of her own destiny, so make sure it is bright pink! Every day is a special day, and deserves a journal entry to make it so. No need for undue pressure, just keep it near her at all times.

Throughout my wife's chemotherapy, I took pictures of her using both of our iPads. We happen to be photographers, and so it was (and still is) quite natural for us to do this. As it helps us, it may in fact help you in the months to come and years ahead.

Now, let's take a look at - you - the caregiver. I'm not going to proselytise, so let's just talk about the day to day stuff. Your own health is of absolute paramount importance. You are in this for the long haul, and so long as you eat, sleep and exercise properly, you will be able to keep going almost indefinitely. Lose or gain weight if you need to, get fit if you have to. Eat like a soldier, and sleep like a baby. Take time out for yourself, because you are really going to need it. She is going to live, and you are going to win. It is not a fight, it is a journey, and believe it or not, it can be downright fun with lots of happiness along the way for both of you.

OK, this part is brutal. Be expected and prepared to entertain curious well wishers of all kinds with your 'cancer sob story'. I have to do this all the time. I hated it at first, but I've gotten really good at it. The story changes from day to day, and people by and large do mean well - even though it can be intrusive at times. Your job as caregiver is one of endurance, and your 'story' is there to help you get through all of this. I know this isn't easy, but you will have to deal with this aspect of the job the best you can. Remember, you are not a saint, and there will be days when you will really feel like kicking off with people - don't - just take a deep breath, keep calm, and carry on.

Because you are going to need to talk to other people, your friends, family and loved ones, and endless health care professionals. Maybe get some pastoral counselling - I do, and it helps me a lot. The help is out there - reach for it. There will be times when you may not feel it, but you are a lot braver than you think. We all are. Our capacity for suffering is infinite, and you will get used to it.

There, I've done my best. It's the middle of the night and I cannot sleep. I cannot think of everything, so I will write again tomorrow.

Good luck, and take each day as it comes.

tapestryofsound

Last edited by tapestryofsound; 22nd November 2018 at 05:58 AM. Reason: because I had to
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Old 22nd November 2018, 10:31 AM   #20
jfetter is offline jfetter  Costa Rica
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My concern here is water quality. We have 28 deep wells here in our planned community. Three years ago our local "leaders" agreed to shut down the wells and use surface water from a lake containing large ammounts of RoundUp type chemicals. Our bill doubled as we must also pay for the pipeline. The chlorene levels are at maximun allowed and the sediment is unacceptable. No washing the autos! The water damaged the clearcoat on my new vehicle.

We are at full retirement and must now move. Its digusting, the levels of corruption within local and state goverment.
The water meets EPA water 'quality standards'. So the corruption goes up to the federal crooks too.
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