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Her2 + breast cancer

Roundhouse1
Posted by

Hi 

I have a family member who has been diagnosed with the above and is petrified. This was picked up on a routine mammogram and we have been told it’s 2  lesions 7mm and 11mm and from ultrasound not in lymph. 

Mri scan has been done and we are waiting for the results. We have been told this is treatable but said family member is in a terrible state thinking the worst. I feel helpless as my reassurance isn’t sinking in. What can I do to support that will help? 

Does anyone have experience of the above? Told treatment will probably Be mastectomy and chemo + herceptin? 

Thanks 

rily
Posted by

Hi and welcome to the community, although sorry to hear about your family member and the way they are feeling. Any cancer diagnosis is scary and affects not only the patient , but family and friends as well. The waiting for results is always the worst time. It is the not knowing and uncertainty which puts our minds in to overdrive. We have a very friendly and active Breast Group here. Click the link to get to the group. If you post your concerns there, you will find people with lots of experience in this area and can offer advice and support, and will be able to answer any questions. There is also another group you may like to look at, Family and Friends . There you will find others supporting loved ones. I hope all goes well. Best wishes.  

Best wishes to All,   rily.  What is a Community Champion ?
Leolady56
Posted by

Welcome in a warm but equally sad way.

And yes I was HER2+++ - first time I've ever got top marks in a test! Wry smile from me. You note I used the past tense as this was diagnosed 11 months ago and I am still standing and getting on with life, even at the ripe age of 62.

Support can come in all shapes and sizes, but is as you are no doubt aware dependent on the person accepting it. You don't say how you are related to the person and that may help with further advice. Partner, parent or extended family. For me help was needed to go to appointments so we had 2 pairs of ears listening in. Also for a few of my chemo sessions, for company and help (I NEEDED Costa coffee) Hubby did appts with me and still does. Youngest daughter came to chemo. I did some of my radiotherapy on my own. Then again hubby, daughter and sister pitched in. Hubby enjoys cooking so that helped. And has improved his ironing skills.

Here has been for a massive area of support, as I can share all my angst and worries. I can rant, rave and cry. No one judges my emotional state as we all know that this poop that is cancer is .............. insert swear word of choice

The site itself has help in many areas, booklets of advice, a telephone line 0808 808 00 00 open week days.

Not having node involvement is good, finding it early is good. Today having breast cancer is a very different story. In fact each day new meds, ways to diagnose, treatments and after care change. Chemo is and will always be a big issue. Now there are people on here who have sailed through it and others who it hits like a sledge hammer, then there are all those places in between for the vast majority of people. For me chemo had to be stopped as I reacted badly. So be it I got to hit the cancer with some doses. The good thing is professionals listen and find every med or support they can to help your family member through it.

Herceptin too is doable and no doubt another drug/med will be added. All have side effects and again that will be different for each and every one of us.

It is scary. It is hard at times. IT IS DOABLE.

Now I will shut up. Allow you to absorb this and put a few links to help

Main BC Group

Carers Group

Family and friends

Keep posting Roundhouse. No need to be coy we don't bite

Take care and be gentle with yourself

Leolady56

 What is a Community Champion? How to add to you profile Life is like a boxing match, defeat is declared not when you fall ..... But when you refuse to stand up again ....... So, I get knocked down but I get up again. x

jowoomot
Posted by

Hello

Mine was the same but also ER+. The fact there appears to be no traces in the lymph nodes is good, but when she has the mastectomy they will remove the sentinel node/nodes (everyone has between 1 and 5) and these will be tested to make sure. Further treatment will depend on this test. Depending on the grade/lymph nodes etc, will depend on what chemo she is offered, if it is all good and lower grade (1 or 2) she will probably be offered Paclitaxol every week for 12 weeks. You have to have chemotherapy if you are having Herceptin as this helps the Herceptin work by damaging the cancer cells and allowing the Herceptin into the cells to do its work. Herceptin is a fantastically good drug which works extremely well, and since this has come along patients who are HER2+ have a much greater chance of being "cured" than before. Tell her not to look at any statistics on the internet, they are invariably out of date and many will be from before Herceptin was available.

With the mastectomy there are lots of choices of reconstruction, or some women decide to remain flat, it just depends on someones personal view really. I was in just overnight from my mastectomy (i had an immediate implant reconstruction) and was pretty much okay straight away once I had got over the anaesthetic, and once the drains were out (they are gross) I recovered really well.

Herceptin itself is not a chemotherapy drug, I had no effects from it except a drippy nose, I did from the chemotherapy but that is inevitable, but the whole treatment is do-able. I was diagnosed pretty much 2 years ago to the day and life goes on, not the same as before as mentally I think everyone who has a cancer diagnosis takes a hit.

She will be in shock still at the moment, it is a very weird feeling when you actually aren't ill, but have something potentially life-threatening happening to you.

Leolady has already replied, and you will find many other women who have the same diagnosis as your relative, she is really not on her own.

Jo x

Roundhouse1
Posted by

Hi Leolady56 

Thank you for responding. I’d locked myself out of my account and have only just been able to get back in. 

The family member is my mother who is 61. I feel so helpless as she’s frightened to death of what may be even though I’m trying to be super positive. Results of mri should be back this week so at least we know what we’re dealing with. 

Mum is worried that it will have spread in a short space of time and she is worried and having dark thoughts which is awful to see and upsetting. I know it must be hard for her and I can’t imaging how she feels, I just need to get her through it.. 

At the min she can’t face any forums because she is scared of reading something she won’t like. I personally have found this really helpful and positive. Here she will see other ladies & gents in the same boat as she’s in and are doing ok. I think she’s concerned it’s all doom and & gloom and it’s really not. 

I just hope that the mri hasn’t picked up anything else or that it’s in lymph as this may send her over the edge. At least we don’t have long to wait. Xx

Roundhouse1
Posted by

Hi Jo 

thank you for taking the time to reply to me. Everyone’s comments are helpful and offer some reassurance. The family member is my mum and she  is still up and down and thinking the worst which is upsetting. She will get her mri results this week so I’m hoping once she has a plan she will start to face things rather than being scared and thinking she can’t cope. 

Ive found this forum really helpful and I’m hoping one day Mum will be able to look and use it as an outlet to chat to others in the same boat. 

I just wish she wouldn’t think the worst but it’s scary for anyone. Speaking with ladies like yourself who have or are experiencing this is a great help. Xx