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Parent recently diagnosed - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 11:23 PM
Hello, my name is Tina, I'm 40 years old  and my mom is 60 years old recently diagnosed with stage 2 Breast cancer. She is on her 3rd treatment of the double medication, I forgot the name of her meds, I know one of them is called the red devil.

I just need to vent and get help on how to support my mom, she is really depresses and having thoughts of leaving this world, because she is unable to handle the side effects , hair loss, taste buds gone, loss of energy, loss of appetite, and just feeling sorry for herself

Thanks, Caring Daughter, Tina

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Re:Parent recently diagnosed - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 12:54 AM
Hi Tina, Although I was only a teenager when my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer over 40 years ago, I still remember how rough it was as a daughter. I think we cancer survivors tend to forget that our families are going through this with us and they need support as well. Thankfully this seems to be better recognized nowadays. Still that made me really sensitive to the fact that my husband and son needed support as well. By the way, the "red devil" is adriamycin. I had that too so I am guessing that she is having adriamycin/cytoxen. I think what you said about how you need to vent and get help on support for your mom is important. You can't help and support her unless you yourself have help and support. The place where I received treatment had a support group that was not only open to cancer patients but to their family members as well. It was very helpful for my husband and he also had support from a network of men at our church. Knowing that he had support actually helped me. I think the best thing you can do for your mom is simply love her. Even though she is sick and doesn't want to look at herself in a mirror, you are so thankful that you can see her, talk to her, hug her and just love on her. She needs to know that because truthfully, cancer is a very lonely place. Everywhere a cancer patient goes, they see a sad look come over people's faces and I know that made me feel even worse. When I was having treatment, I discovered that I craved human touch. It sent more of a message than words ever could. Even though I was "ugly", someone cared enough to gently touch me. Your mom needs to remember that although it seems like the side-effects are forever, they are not forever. I was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer in December 2007. I had dose dense chemo for 14 weeks and six and a half weeks of radiation and when I did, it seemed like it was lifetime but since that time, I have done a whole lot of living. In fact, I have held three newborn babies in my arms and I am looking forward to holding number 4 in my arms in December.
Diagnosed at age 47
DX: 12/13/07 IDC Stage IIa Grade 3 3.5 cm TN
Lumpectomy 1/30/08 SNB neg
Chemo-2/29/08: 4 A/C 4 Taxol-Done 6/6/08! NED!
33 Rads 7/7/08-8/20/08 Done!
12/10/09 Now Ruptured Brain Aneurysm Survivor!
Tricia Keegan

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Re:Parent recently diagnosed - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 12:41 PM
Hi Tina,

The red devil (or Adriamycin)is a very strong and toxic drug, I had it myself eleven years ago and many Onc's don't feel the need to use it these days.  I think if your Mom is really suffering she should talk to her Onc about it who may be able to switch her to a less toxic and easily tolerated drug regime.  I know it feel like this will never end but it does of course and for most of us it just becomes a bad memory as we pick on our life post cancer.  It may be helpful for your Mom to speak to a counsellor or support group, and you too, best wishes to you both as you get through this.
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

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Re:Parent recently diagnosed - Thursday, September 15, 2016 12:43 AM
I, too, had the "red devil". That was 11 years ago and I was older than your mom is. Yes, I lost my hair, and had terrible mouth sores. I also lost my sense of taste for a few days after each treatment (but that never stopped me from eating). I have never, ever for one moment regretted any of my treatments because I knew I was kicking the hell out of my cancer! The treatments and side effects only last a short time compared to all the years of life and time with my family and friends I have gained. There are meds that can be prescribed for depression. Let you mom know she can send me a private message if she wishes. There are so many reasons why it is a privilege to be treated for cancer in our era as compared to earlier times. This is all very doable.
Diagnosed in 2005 at age 69 Two Centimeter IDC, Stage 1, Grade 3, Lumpectomy, Dose dense chemo, radiation. No family history. Tested positive for BRCA2 in 2007 Who knew?

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Re:Parent recently diagnosed - Thursday, September 15, 2016 6:04 PM
Thanks you ladies, for the responses, very helpful, my mom is doing very well and feeling much better. we are both seeking help and Im searching for support groups, but we also have support from our family, friends and church

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