My girlfriend was diagnosed and I don't know what to do.

She's 29 and so beautiful.

She's been diagnosed with breast cancer. I didn't even think this could happen to her. I saw her in pain and all I could think of was stress and PMS -what an idiot.

They say it's early enough to get it all out, but she's scared and I'm a man, I don't know how I would feel if they had to remove a body part that makes me feel like a man. What can I say to make her feel better?

I told her she'll be beautiful no matter what, that I'll shave my head too, leave the hiking and biking. But she's so sad and scared and I have to be the man, right? I have to stand up and be there for her, so how can I admit I'm terrified too?

I don't know how we'll get through this. Her aunt died of cancer and her mom past away real young. She didn't even know her that much.

I was going to propose on her 30th birthday, now ...I just don't know what to do.

All I can think of, is we really need to make this matter to men too. I wish I had felt up a signal, I could've done something, I don't know.

Comments

  • 16 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Be supportive. That means being sensitive. I had a surgery that left my leg disfigured and I'm still self concious about it over a year later. My husband tells me all the time that it doesn't matter, that he's just happy I'm here, but it's still hard to deal with. We've all been told for years what it means to be beautiful and it doesn't quite jive with what's in the mirror. Keep reassuring her and loving her because it is all so new and completely terrifying. The fact that you're posting here speaks volumes and I love the first sentence of your post. :)
  • I am sorry to hear about your girlfriends diagnosis. I don't know if there is much to say to her about what she will be going through. I am a breast cancer survivor, and know first hand about losing a part of what makes you a woman. What I can tell you is continue to make her feel beautiful, because there may be days where she won't feel it at all or the image she sees in the mirror will only make her cry. Try not to ignore the fact that she had surgery and may have scars, but help her learn to accept her new body image, when she is ready too. I know for myself I handled it okay as I looked at it as the cancer has been cut off, for my husband it took alot longer to get used to my new body and that is okay. The key was that he always let me know he loved me, and was just happy I was still here with him and our girls. He made me laugh alot but also let me have my sad and angry days too.
    I commend you for seeking advice and help with this whole situation. It really does suck, but it is great to have found this site. It has helped my immensely through this last year, but the support of my spouse is what got me through it. I wish you both luck with it all! It can be beat, I know as I am here today getting ready to have my first cancerversary tomm!!
  • Thank you

    Let her have her sad and angry days. I get that, I keep trying to cheer her up, but she seems to need the space.

    I just want to be there for her. This is not going to change how I feel about her.

    Thank you.
  • My boyfriend was diagnosed feb 2011 with cancer, he just turned 27 when he found out. i really don't know if theres much advice i can give you, seeing how every person is different on how they react to it. you just need to be strong for her and be there for her like you have never done before, shes going to through every type of emotion you can possibly think of and you have to prepare yourself for that. I never thought my life was going to turn out like this but it did and theres nothing that i can do to change it. i had to adapt to it. you will make it through this together, there was several times over the past year that i thought we weren't going to make it but i love him so much i would rather be with him being a grumpy son of a bitch than not be with him at all. i think the most simpliest thing you can do is love, laugh and be there. also there was nothing that you could have done to have prevented this. it took me a long time to realize that.

    keep your head up and if you need anything or someone to talk to we are here.

    Nicole
  • Wow Nicole, thank you. I'm glad you've both survived so far, it gives me hope.

    She's been really upset lately, keeps looking at baby stuff online.
    She always wanted to have children but we didn't feel like we had enough money yet to marry and do the family thing. I still feel I should've noticed something. Anything.

    And everyone who's replied you all have no idea what it means to me you just took the time...Thanks!
    I tried dinner on the 25th, not terribly bad, soft foods: chicken and some vegetables. Let's just say -I'm glad there are so many things you can just buy pre-cut at the grocery store, one finger sliced 9 more to go!

    I also got us an old cat. I'm taking care of the litter box and stuff, she finds the cat soothing. I know it's not a baby, but it can be ours until we can have one of our own.

    I read about it here: http://www.caring4cancer.com/go/cancer/wellbeing/emotional-wellbeing/the-power-of-pets.htm

    And thought it might help, he's old, I named him Napoleon, because he looks all imperial.

    My friend Lara is a cat trainer and this one couldn't find a home because his old, so I guess we lucked out -anyone keeping pets to help the cheer levels?
  • First, stop blaming yourself for not knowing she had breast cancer. You're not her doctor and I'll assume you don't have x-ray vision. Release the guilt, cast it aside and move forward from it.

    Research her meds, doctors, proceedures, etc., with her. Just the other day my husband noticed and pointed out another drug side effect kicking in and I was floored that he knew as much as he did about the drug. He then told me he's been doing research when I'm not around to make sure I'm getting the best care possible. My only regret is that he didn't tell me sooner (we could have researched together). I was so touched that he did that on his own. It's also cute when he reminds me what time it is and asks if I've taken my medicine.

    Be honest with her about your worries and concerns. Sure you need to be her support, but if you feel like you want to cry with her, cry with her. Strong, silent type doesn't work for me personally in this situation - it makes me feel isolated and alone - but we're all different. Ask her what she needs from you. Just lay it out there.

    Cancer doesn't mean her hopes and dreams of having children end or can't be possible. Have you discussed fertility concerns with her docs?
  • animals help so much in my opinion, there always there, and love you no matter what..makes you feel good.

    I no what made me the happiest was when my boyfriend would come in to visit me (i stayed in the hospital for my treatment) and bring me in some of my favorite foods and drinks and we would watch movies and eat dinner and laugh. Just hanging out and not ignoring that i have cancer but putting it on the back burner and remembering we have a relationship was so nice.

    Just listen to her when she wants to rant and rave, and if you have concerns about anything voice them..and if you want to be sad let her know. If you were going to propose on her 30th birthday you still should do it because thats how you feel and cancer doesnt change that. dont feel guilty either, my boyfriend went thru that and there is honestly no way you couldve known so stop saying you shouldve seen something, you shouldnt have, there is no way you could have.

    The best thing you can do is too really be there. Dont let cancer get in the way of everything you guys have.
  • Thank you guys. I had not really considered looking into the meds and side effects. That makes a lot of sense I will do that.
    She's concerned about breastfeeding. But her doctor says she should be fine, but not to focus on that right now because we're not even done with the treatment.

    Her 30th birthday is in January, I am going to do it.

    We are storing some eggs based on her doctor's recommendations. Should I look at second opinions? She feels very confident with this doctor, but I think we should have a back up. Do you guys have more than one oncologist?
  • I have a fertility doctor because i am only 20 and wanted to know about preserving fertility. He told me about storing eggs but also told me how hard it is to do so. Not so much the procedure but the eggs dont always survive the process. Sperm can be frozen and unfrozen and be fine, but eggs are delicate and have a hard time surviving being frozen and then thawed out to use. He told me not to save the eggs and after treatment and when im ready to do IVF. That was the recommendation i got. But always go with what you feel most comfortable with. I never once got a second opinion on anything becuse i felt comfortable with everythign that was being said. If your girlfriend likes the doctor and agrees with there opinions then stick with them. As long as she feels that the doctor has her best interest at heart then thats the doctor you want to listen to. But thats just my opinion.
  • Just stay by her side, and leave if she needs you to! If she gets angry, know it's not at you it's at the situation.
  • Thanks Bree, I think we might try to do both -just in case.

    I found this blog and I think this might be good for all of us facing this process:
    http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/20...er/#more-35721

    A doctor's wife was recently diagnosed also with breast cancer, this also happened in december and they're going to document their process. I think it will be interesting how they debate over the choices and the steps in the process because as a doctor, he'll be able to see things we don't.

    I'm going to follow him and hope he helps others out there! Just wanted to share.
  • Michael Williams;5956 said:
    We are storing some eggs based on her doctor's recommendations. Should I look at second opinions? She feels very confident with this doctor, but I think we should have a back up. Do you guys have more than one oncologist?

    Good for you guys for taking charge of your fertility in this situation! Personally, I have one oncologist, one fertility doc, one genetics doc (since my issues stem from genetic mutation) and one internist/gastro. They communicate, especially the oncologist and fertility docs. Who doesn't love that?!

    I believe in second and third opinions but at the end of the day, if they all agree with one another and I feel comfortable in my own research (yes, we need to be our own advocates and research is a big part of it - thank God for the internet!), I go with the doc I'm most comfortable and confident with, who values my questions, takes them seriously and looks into whatever I ask them to look into (within reason of course - I can't expect to be their only patient but I want a doc that's accessible and attentive). One oncologist and one fertility doc, once you decide who you like best, is fine in my personal and humble opinion.
  • I'll be posting soon.
    Fertility clinic this week. They say it should be quick and mostly painless.
    I'm a little scared with these 2 procedures so close together.

    I'm already getting worried financially. I hope we can make it.

    Thanks everyone I hope this year is just better than the last.
  • hey mike
    if you wanna get a second opinion get one. thank god my boyfriend did because he was diagnosed with the wrong cancer originallly. and the whole baby thing isn't off the table. go to the fertility clinic, freeze some eggs and once shes better explore that option.

    good luck this week
  • Ok, that is scary.

    We did not get a second opinion, they ended up having to remove much more than they originally anticipated but hopefully they won't have to do a double mastectomy.

    We're going full into the treatment next.

    Actually came here to share something good: She said yes!

    Well, at first she said no but I convinced her she's no burden. I'm happy even if this is happening. Thanks!
    Not her birthday, but I am glad I did it.