Waiting

Not sure this is the correct space to post this.

My partner has had normal mammograms for many years. She had a regularly scheduled one on 7-31-17 and got a call for a diagnostic mammo scheduled for today 8-3-17. We learned that she has a suspected fibrodonoma and will require a needle core biopsy on 8-9-17. The mass was not found again with 2nd mammo, but found and measured with ultrasound. I have to be strong for her.

I worry when there is nothing to worry about on a daily basis. She is the strong one. I know that this is not about me. It is about helping her get through the next week and then whatever may come.

We aren't tellingJust wanted to share. anyone until there is something to tell.

13 Replies

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  • You did post in the right place. I can relate to your situation in that I'm the patient and my husband is the worrier. I'm the one who is more stoic and display a positive attitude, trying to stay in that space to keep my sanity, while hubby raises all these "what if" situations that I don't want to hear-- I can cope when I'm in my "safe place" where I choose to be. If that sounds like you and your partner, then she likely needs you to hold her when she needs to be held, listen to her when she expresses her thoughts and needs, ask her what she would like you to do for her, and talk about your worries to a counselor. Perhaps there's a caretaker support group that meets right now in person at a local cancer institute or by phone through SHARE? Even a close friend who is good at listening without stoking your own fires flaming within you. I had to learn how to tell my husband to stop talking to me about his constant worries, and he had to learn to pay attention and stop the conversation when he brought his worries to me. I told him that I need every ounce of energy to cope with what I'm going through, and I can't spend any of my energy hearing unpleasant worries. But he has needs, too, and so do you, but please don't bring them to her. Please find a different outlet, learn how to otherwise cope with your worries through a professional, and follow her lead on what she needs right now. Diagnosis is one of the most difficult times to go through, and hopefully it'll be a good outcome. Once you know the outcome, you'll either celebrate, or have to make many decisions on treatment plans. She'll need your help on her terms, and you'll need to have the skills to handle your worries in a constructive manner. Good luck to both of you.

  • Thanks so much for your thoughts on this. We are only a day later, but she has told me, "It has to be OK, no matter what." I told her to tell me what she needs no matter when she needs it. We laughed a bit today and carried on like usual. I will repeat her phrase to her whenever I think she needs to hear it. We got this!

    Thanks again!

  • I know it's difficult but try not to worry until you know what it is. Even then, worrying doesn't do you any good, as my husband often tells me. (He's a 9/11 survivor, so I tend to listen to him--worrying didn't help him survive that day but thinking clearly did). That old saying "hope for the best but prepare for the worst" might be useful. Somehow, I was able to go on a 3 week vacation as planned with my family after I got a funky mammogram. It would have done no good to cancel--I had to wait for an appointment with a specialist that long anyway. I managed to have a memorable trip and the hugs and support of many friends. It turned out I did have breast cancer but I also had the good memories of that trip to help me through.

    I hope your partner gets good news. I wish you both the strength to deal with anything that comes your way. Remember, together, you're stronger.

  • Thanks for your kind words and thoughts. It is the time for me to be the rock. She usually provides that for me. No matter what, we will be OK. We have a day trip planned soon and we will still go.

    I am on a 3 week vacation from my work at a school for the summer. I am glad to have this time to spend with her. Just being present. I surprised her with take out breakfast from our favorite neighborhood bagel shop. She was surprised and we had a good morning.

    I will seek others to process with when I need it.

    Thanks again!

  • You're very welcome. Your note touched my heart. It sounds like you two compliment each other perfectly.

  • When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my husband handled it beautifully. He never expressed his own concerns--though I know he was very distressed. But he went with me to doctor's appointments, took notes, tried to help me make sense of the tidal wave of unfamiliar terminology that was washing over us, looked things up online when I was too scared to, made me nourishing meals, encouraged me to take long walks with him, went to movies with me to get our minds off cancer. He set a high bar, and I will always be grateful for the grace and generosity with which he handled a difficult situation. It actually makes my cancer experience something I look back on with (some) good feeling. Your partner may not need the same comforts that I did, but I'm sure you'll be able to dope out some of her needs and help satisfy them.

  • Thanks for your words of kindness. Waiting is hard. After only a week of knowing things need to be "investigated further" I am trying to balance between obsessed with Internet information and just being in her presence.

    We are hanging in there.

    Thanks again!

  • HI, I had a needle core biopsy a number of years ago. It was one of the easier procedures I've had, but that is looking back from the perspective of someone who has been living with this cancer for ovr 13 years and I do remember being nervous. There is sooo much waiting when we have to have tests. Your partner is fortunate to have you and you are doing just the right thing in telling her that you want her to tell you what she needs. I don't know what it is like for her, but it's been hard for me to ask for help--so used to being the strong independent woman who can get so much done...... I've had to work at asking for help when I need it and fortunately my husband has been great at being here for me! Going thru it all alone would be so much harder! I do hope your partner, and you, will get good results fromt the biopsy!

  • Thank you PJB.

    I keep repeating, "I can not calm this storm, but I can calm myself. This storm will pass." Biopsy is tomorrow at 930. I fluctuate between Internet detective and just remembering to breathe. More waiting ahead. But, we will know one way or another and do something about it, if needed.

    Take care!

  • UPDATE

    My partner went in for a CNB this morning. Turns out it was a fatty nodule upon further investigation. It was compressible and was able to be moved around. The doctor spent a great deal of time looking with US and is quite confident that she didn't need a biopsy at all.

    She was shown the door and will be scheduled for a mammogram in 6 months to be sure.

    A huge relief, but of course, I am still anxious. This is tough to come down from.

    Thank you to everyone for the encouraging and thoughtful words. It was difficult to compartmentalize this one. I am cautiously optimistic.

    Love and light to you all!!! 😇🌈

  • So, I'm nervous again. Today, after the non-biopsy, her doctor's office called and wanted to follow up with what the breast center had concluded.

    They were talking about the 6 month mammogram, which is what we expected. BUT, they also said that they want to make an appointment with a breast surgeon. What the hell? Why would they need to do this if they deemed the biopsy unnecessary?!?

    I am freaking out again. Trying to stay calm. I feel like yesterday we could breathe after a rough week and now my guts are in knots... AGAIN.

    Hoping for the best.

  • Hoping the doctor is just exercising an overabundance of caution. One positive aspect is that s/he is taking your partner's health seriously. Which is a good thing. Do let us know what the outcome is. Fingers crossed for the best.

  • We were told to come back in 6 months. A breast surgeon looked at mammograms and then did her own ultrasound. She said that she could recreate the shadow in many other places.

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