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Mum has breast cancer, looking for advice how to support her

11 Sep 2019 18:14

Hi everyone,

I found out 2 days ago that my mum has breast cancer and will have surgery in 2 weeks. She chose to have a full masectomy and I think she will opt for no reconstruction (although she hasn't decided 100% yet). She will then have radiotherapy after. I live in another country so will be flying home soon to be there with her during and after the surgery (probably for about 2-3 weeks). When I talked to her on the phone she seemed positive and said that she feels calm. I do worry about her though and I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice how I can support her? Also, I know it's not the main concern at the moment, but are there any special bras I could buy for my mum in the UK to ensure she feels comfortable after the surgery? 

Thank you!

S

Mum has breast cancer, looking for advice how to support her

11 Sep 2019 19:32 in response to susannochka

Hi.  I supported my mum when she had BC 5 years ago, I’m now going through treatment myself! Positivity is great for your mum, she will also be worried about you. While you are with her, just spend time with her and allow her to speak openly! Go to apppiintments and ask as many questions as you can do that you know exactly what’s happening! If she is into social media, help her find online support groups, there are loads out there and I’ve found found them brilliant! 

Your mum may prefer to speak to others going through the same thing, don’t be offended.  Ask her treatment centre about groups or McMillan support. I find FaceTime etc brilliant for keeping in touch with those who can’t be here with me. It allows you to laugh together (and you will) and cry together (you definitely will).

With regard to bras, many shops do excellent mastectomy bras and will measure and fit your mum! Some will keep her details on record so to you can buy more later as gifts (no VAT on mastectomy bras).

sorry I can’t be more helpful but everyone is different!  I hope your mums treatment goes well x

 

Mum has breast cancer, looking for advice how to support her

11 Sep 2019 19:48 in response to Fightingeveryday

Hi!

Thank you so much for your reply! This was very helpful. I know there is a lot of groups and support you can get here in the UK, but not sure if it's that common where my mum is from, but I'll definitely ask her doctor when I'm there. 

I already found some websites where they sell mastectomy bras and it's amazing that there is such a great selection of styles! Not sure what to do about the size, but will do more research.

I hope you don't mind me asking, but since you mentioned that you are also going through the treatment now, I was wondering if you were monitored by the doctors more closely after your mum's diagnosis?

They are going to do a DNA test for my mum to see if she has the gene and honestly, I feel very nervous about it. I understand that I am most likely at high risk but not sure what to do about it really. Sorry if I am being insensitive for asking this, I'm still trying to figure out how to talk about this without being impolite.

Again thank you so much for your advice and best of luck with your treatment!

Anna

Mum has breast cancer, looking for advice how to support her

11 Sep 2019 19:57 in response to susannochka

Hi 

Yes I was monitored, but I was gene tested 20 years ago after my mum had ovarian cancer (as did her mum and sister) so I had yearly screening.  It was my annual MRI that showed up my current BC.

if you have a few close relatives who have had BC or ovarian, ask your GP to refer you to a genetisist!

If you don’t have more than two or three, they may not refer you but you can be extra vigilant! Sign up to coppafeel, they send you funny text reminders every month to remind you to check yourself!

Feel free to ask anything! 

X

Mum has breast cancer, looking for advice how to support her

11 Sep 2019 20:26 in response to Fightingeveryday

thank you so much, all this is very helpful! x

Mum has breast cancer, looking for advice how to support her

11 Sep 2019 20:41 in response to susannochka

Hi there ..

Just wanted to add, asda do really good night time masectomy bras ... they are lacey and feminine... just what I needed after total right masectomy... deff get ones with NO under wire .. we need comfort after .. your mum if having lymph nodes taken,  that arm will ache more then the scar ... and it takes a long time to get full strength back ..  that arm may always be weaker ..  

I found looking at my scar was o.k .. and I was quite scared to look for the first time .. I found there was minimal pain from full masectomy... which surprised me... but others said the same ... wearing loose clothing after is good, like a man's shirt .. is comfy and loose .. what a lovely daughter you are ...

Chrissie x

Mum has breast cancer, looking for advice how to support her

11 Sep 2019 21:12 in response to Chriss

Thank you so much Chrissie! It's a relief to know that there shouldn't be much pain from the mastectomy. She will have lymph nodes taken out, yes, hopefully they'll give her some good painkillers for that...

How long did it take to recover enough to be able to leave the house and go for a walk, shopping etc?

Thank you xx

Anna

Mum has breast cancer, looking for advice how to support her

11 Sep 2019 21:19 in response to susannochka

We were able to take mum out of the hospital for a a few hours each day within 48 hours of her op. Hospital gave us extra padding and gauze in case of leaks (and we needed them) We took her back every evening. 

These days they like to get people up and about as fast as possible, it will be down to how soon your mum feels ready and how well her op goes 

x

Mum has breast cancer, looking for advice how to support her

11 Sep 2019 21:38 in response to Fightingeveryday

Thank you! x