New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

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RobSilvansson
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New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby RobSilvansson » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:02 pm

Hi there, my name is Roberto and I'm 36 from Rome, Italy. I've been reading this forum for years now, since my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014 (a low risk stage 2 found during screening at age 69), and I think it's a great place with great people and a lot of useful infos. I decided to join because I'm scared, confused and I need someone to talk to... I'm scared because today my mom was diagnosed with ANOTHER cancer, a breast cancer this time, and I feel like I'm going crazy thinking how is it possible to have two different cancers in such a short lapse? Or rather, I know it is possible, but damn it's so hard, so cruel! There's nothing I fear most than cancer, and now the person I love more in my life has TWO of them! Life can be taunting sometimes... :( I spent the last month and a 1/2 (after the lump in her breast was found during the follow-up for cc, and waiting for the tests to be done) in a nervous wreck, and in the next days I will go to a doctor to have some meds for the anxiety and depression that this situation has put me in. Otherwise I think I can't endure the double stress and the double fears this crazy thing will cause...
Well, sorry if my English is not perfect and sorry if this first post is somehow confused, but reality is I myself am confused and upset, and just needed to talk with some friends... Thank you.
Mum dx 05/14 stage 2a colon cancer (screen detected) at 69
06/14 splenic flexure colectomy
No chemo needed; integrative oncology supplements (curcumin, polydatin, lactoferrin, etc.)
NED at follow-ups
02/17 lump in breast biopsy
03/17 dx breast cancer

daisydaisy
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Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:19 pm

Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby daisydaisy » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:26 pm

Hi, Roberto. Your mom's story is similar to my mom's - colon cancer in 2013 and breast cancer in 2015. I understand your feelings. Hopefully, your mom's cancer is cautght early. If she is 69, she might have hormonal therapy only (if her cancer is hormone positive). I hope she goes through treatment as easy as possible. I know how you are feeling and still have no advice. Just keep going through this, your mom needs you very much, don't let her down. Wishing you the best!

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ANDRETEXAS
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Location: Austin, Texas

Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby ANDRETEXAS » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:28 pm

Hi Roberto: Welcome to the forum. I am sorry you and your mother are going through this. I was diagnosed with prostate and colon cancer five years apart, so I have an idea of what you're going through, although I know, no one does. What was your mother's treatment for the colon cancer, and how is she doing?
I guess you will have to wait to determine an exact diagnosis of her breast cancer. As you know, the unknown is the worst. I hope a plan is in place soon, so you and your mother can concentrate on the plan instead of the unknown aspects. Please keep us posted. It sounds like your mother is in good hands, but your help will be more effective if you don't let yourself get caught up in the worry. Worry is wasted energy, and you both need to concentrate on the plan of attack with her medical team once you know more. Wishing you and your mother the best..... Andre
2014
2/10 - Colon resect
2/13 - DX- Stg IIIb
3/7 - Port placed
3/11 - FOLFOX (12 rds w/full oxi)
8/14 - Chemo finish
8/25 - CT- Inc
9/5 - clean PET
12/10- clean CT
2015
3/2 - Colonoscopy & port removed
3/4- clean CT
9/21- clean CT
2016
3/23- clean CT
2017
2/22- clean CT

ONE DAY AT A TIME !

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RobSilvansson
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Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby RobSilvansson » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:05 pm

daisydaisy wrote:Hi, Roberto. Your mom's story is similar to my mom's - colon cancer in 2013 and breast cancer in 2015. I understand your feelings. Hopefully, your mom's cancer is cautght early. If she is 69, she might have hormonal therapy only (if her cancer is hormone positive). I hope she goes through treatment as easy as possible. I know how you are feeling and still have no advice. Just keep going through this, your mom needs you very much, don't let her down. Wishing you the best!


Hi Daisy and thanks for your words. My mom is 72 now, and according to her breast surgeon the path results are very good (slow growing, not aggressive cancer, highly responsive to hormones). He says she'll probably need just limited surgery and hormonal therapy plus possible radiation, and this is what we are focusing on now to stay positive. The fact is, we still don't have a complete stadiation (even though her recent total body CT scan for colon follow-up was clear except for the breast lump and CEA levels are within the range), and it's not even clear if the lump they biopsied is a lymph node with metastatic cells from an occult breast primary (nothing is seen on mammo, US and CT scan... probably they will try an mri too) or a nodule (that is, a primary lesion without visible abnormal nodes), and that of course would change (not too much, I hope) both her prognosis and treatment.
Another strange thing is that this lump was present on her CT scans since the beginning (2014) BUT only the last radiologist noticed it in the CT report (!!!), and it has remained substantially the same size (around 3 cm) during all this time. So, be it a nodule or a lymph node, either way it looks a very very indolent thing, and I hope this is a good sign too...
Anyway, now she is referrend to a breast unit to decide the next steps. Fingers crossed!
Mum dx 05/14 stage 2a colon cancer (screen detected) at 69
06/14 splenic flexure colectomy
No chemo needed; integrative oncology supplements (curcumin, polydatin, lactoferrin, etc.)
NED at follow-ups
02/17 lump in breast biopsy
03/17 dx breast cancer

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RobSilvansson
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Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby RobSilvansson » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:13 pm

ANDRETEXAS wrote:Hi Roberto: Welcome to the forum. I am sorry you and your mother are going through this. I was diagnosed with prostate and colon cancer five years apart, so I have an idea of what you're going through, although I know, no one does. What was your mother's treatment for the colon cancer, and how is she doing?
I guess you will have to wait to determine an exact diagnosis of her breast cancer. As you know, the unknown is the worst. I hope a plan is in place soon, so you and your mother can concentrate on the plan instead of the unknown aspects. Please keep us posted. It sounds like your mother is in good hands, but your help will be more effective if you don't let yourself get caught up in the worry. Worry is wasted energy, and you both need to concentrate on the plan of attack with her medical team once you know more. Wishing you and your mother the best..... Andre


Thank you so much Andre. Sorry to hear of your double diagnosis, but it's encouraging to see this can be beaten not just once but multiple times!
My mom didn't have any treatment for cc except surgery, because she was a stage 2 without risk factors and is doing quite fine, but she took integrative supplements (curcumin, resveratrol etc.) as directed by a research oncologist I found for her.
Now we'll see what the next steps will be according the breast unit...
Mum dx 05/14 stage 2a colon cancer (screen detected) at 69
06/14 splenic flexure colectomy
No chemo needed; integrative oncology supplements (curcumin, polydatin, lactoferrin, etc.)
NED at follow-ups
02/17 lump in breast biopsy
03/17 dx breast cancer

PainInTheAss
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Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:08 am

Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby PainInTheAss » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:20 am

I'm so sorry you and your mom are going through this.

There is another poster on here who had breast cancer with a double mastectomy, then malenoma later that year and then a colorectal cancer diagnosis about a year after the breast cancer diagnosis. It's been about 3 years and she is doing well. Yes, your mom can beat multiple cancers. And, yes, life is unfair. My brother is an ER doc and he has seen more than one patient with three different primaries. One cancer is enough for anyone.
47yo single mom of 4 (24, 21, 18, 16) at Dx
6/13 - RC T4b IIIc 5LNs on PET CEA 5.4
8/13 - Finish chemorad
10/13 - APR/hyst+ovaries/perm colostomy 2/12 nodes+
6/14 - Finish Xelox 6 rds
1/15 - CT clear CEA 0.2
10/15 - CT/MRI clear CEA 0.7
4/16 - CT clear
10/16 - CT/MRI clear CEA 0.6

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RobSilvansson
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Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby RobSilvansson » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:38 pm

PainInTheAss wrote:I'm so sorry you and your mom are going through this.

There is another poster on here who had breast cancer with a double mastectomy, then malenoma later that year and then a colorectal cancer diagnosis about a year after the breast cancer diagnosis. It's been about 3 years and she is doing well. Yes, your mom can beat multiple cancers. And, yes, life is unfair. My brother is an ER doc and he has seen more than one patient with three different primaries. One cancer is enough for anyone.


Thank you. So it looks like it's not an exception, unfortunately... :( I know Ed Yakacki too (from the 2016 Colondar) is fighting the third cancer in his life after surviving stage IV colon. What a ride!
Mum dx 05/14 stage 2a colon cancer (screen detected) at 69
06/14 splenic flexure colectomy
No chemo needed; integrative oncology supplements (curcumin, polydatin, lactoferrin, etc.)
NED at follow-ups
02/17 lump in breast biopsy
03/17 dx breast cancer

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RobSilvansson
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Location: Rome, Italy

Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby RobSilvansson » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:50 pm

Today we went to an endocrinologist to check some nodules that were found (as if it wasn't enough!) on her thyroid during the last ultrasound done to assess the breast lump, Of course my anxiety level rose up again to the max, and I was so afraid those could be mets from breast (I know it's rare but can happen...) but thank God it's just thyroiditis! Pheew... Now I can breathe again... Relax tonight!
Mum dx 05/14 stage 2a colon cancer (screen detected) at 69
06/14 splenic flexure colectomy
No chemo needed; integrative oncology supplements (curcumin, polydatin, lactoferrin, etc.)
NED at follow-ups
02/17 lump in breast biopsy
03/17 dx breast cancer

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dianetavegia
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Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby dianetavegia » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:24 pm

It sounds like your mom has
Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of cancer forms in the lining of a milk duct within your breast. The ducts carry breast milk from the lobules, where it's made, to the nipple. Ductal carcinoma can remain within the ducts as a noninvasive cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ) or it can sometimes break out of the ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma).


That would be really good news because it can easily be removed and seldom spreads out of the milk duct. Wishing her the best and hoping you can get some medication to help you relax. Believe me, anxiety is well known among cancer patients and family members!
Stage IIIB cc surgery 1/7/09. 5/17 nodes. 12 tx FOLFOX
Stage IVa 2/15/12. CEA 6.4 PET = 1.5cm liver met. HR 4/11/12 No chemo

NED April 2017 Eight yrs, 3 months since original dx. Five yrs. NED post liver resection.
“O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.” Psalms 30:2

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RobSilvansson
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Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby RobSilvansson » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:52 pm

dianetavegia wrote:It sounds like your mom has
Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of cancer forms in the lining of a milk duct within your breast. The ducts carry breast milk from the lobules, where it's made, to the nipple. Ductal carcinoma can remain within the ducts as a noninvasive cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ) or it can sometimes break out of the ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma).


That would be really good news because it can easily be removed and seldom spreads out of the milk duct. Wishing her the best and hoping you can get some medication to help you relax. Believe me, anxiety is well known among cancer patients and family members!


Thanks for your encouragement Diane. As for now we don't know what kind of BC it is, and we don't even know if the lump is the primary BC itself or a metastatic lymph node from an occult primary (rare but can happen). The breast surgeon thinks it could be both because of its position (between the breast and the axilla) and is inclined to consider it a lymph node because pathology report speaks of lymphocytes together with cancerous cells, but searching online I found that often even primary breast cancers can contain lymphocytes (maybe because the immune system is trying to kill them). What we know for sure is that it's a slow-growing (in fact it stayed the same size for over 2.5 years...) and not aggressive cancer, that it responds very well to hormonal therapy and that nearby lymph nodes seem normal from ultrasound. Three good things, and I want to focus on them with hope.
Yes, anxiety is an issue... :( I've always been anxious and these last 3 years took quite a toll on me... But reading your stories and talking to you makes me feel better :)
Mum dx 05/14 stage 2a colon cancer (screen detected) at 69
06/14 splenic flexure colectomy
No chemo needed; integrative oncology supplements (curcumin, polydatin, lactoferrin, etc.)
NED at follow-ups
02/17 lump in breast biopsy
03/17 dx breast cancer

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dianetavegia
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Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby dianetavegia » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:21 pm

I'm glad I could be of help, Rob!
Anytime!
Diane
Stage IIIB cc surgery 1/7/09. 5/17 nodes. 12 tx FOLFOX
Stage IVa 2/15/12. CEA 6.4 PET = 1.5cm liver met. HR 4/11/12 No chemo

NED April 2017 Eight yrs, 3 months since original dx. Five yrs. NED post liver resection.
“O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me.” Psalms 30:2

mtipte
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Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby mtipte » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:22 pm

Hi Rob,

I can relate to you as the onc suspected my mum had some malignant nodules in her breast because they showed up in the scans, but then after more ultrasound and rays they happened to be benign. All this is a rollercoaster and what I can advise you to help her is good nutrition, be positive, pray and read a lot (sound information or from valid resources), the more knowledgeable we are the better. This forum has been a great help for me. Cancer is beatable.

Che tutto riesca bene il mio amico.

Pace.

Mario
I'm a caregiver of my mother 60 y/o
dx 09/16 RC III CEA 9
Chemo/rad 28 from 10/16 till 12/16
Xeloda
multiple lymph nodes
Adenocarcinoma low grade invasive

Now 2000 mg Xeloda for 2 weeks as maint. before surg.
24/01/17 CEA 4,9
APR surgery permanent colostomy :( 24/03/17
3/26 nodes involved - clean margins
Staged after surgery: T3N1Mx
Waiting for adyuvant chemo.
Infection due to bladder problems. Slow recovery.

God is faithful. Only Jesus.

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RobSilvansson
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Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby RobSilvansson » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:17 am

mtipte wrote:Hi Rob,

I can relate to you as the onc suspected my mum had some malignant nodules in her breast because they showed up in the scans, but then after more ultrasound and rays they happened to be benign. All this is a rollercoaster and what I can advise you to help her is good nutrition, be positive, pray and read a lot (sound information or from valid resources), the more knowledgeable we are the better. This forum has been a great help for me. Cancer is beatable.

Che tutto riesca bene il mio amico.

Pace.

Mario


Thanks Mario.
Our next step will be an mri to better assess her breast, then they will decide the most appropriate surgery and treatment.
Yes, nutrition is very important, and concerning prayer in 2014 I began to attend a wonderful Trappist Abbey here in Rome where I can find some deep peace and for sure that helps a lot... Being positive, on the other hand, is not my greatest strenght at the moment, but I'm working on that...
Mum dx 05/14 stage 2a colon cancer (screen detected) at 69
06/14 splenic flexure colectomy
No chemo needed; integrative oncology supplements (curcumin, polydatin, lactoferrin, etc.)
NED at follow-ups
02/17 lump in breast biopsy
03/17 dx breast cancer

mct
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:08 pm

Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby mct » Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:23 pm

Hi Rob
Unfortunately, it's not that uncommon to have different cancers hit the same person. I'm 51 and had breast cancer at 44 and was more recently diagnosed with rectal cancer. I just had surgery a week ago, and my hospital 'roommate' (aged 52) had a mastectomy for a recurrence of breast cancer, and half her kidney removed for a new primary cancer found while doing tests pre-surgery. By age 50, my mom also had 2 different cancers...she's 75 now and doing great. I'm sharing this so that you know you're not alone....these things happen. it sounds like your mom's BC is very slow growing so that's great news.

Perhaps you could ask your doctor to prescribe something for your anxiety. She needs you to be a strong support system for her. When I was diagnosed this most recent time, my husband's anxiety was off the chart....he was so scared...and it really freaked me out and was making me feel anxious. He got some temporary meds and was a different person.
Diagnosed rectal cancer Nov 2016, T3N0M0
28 days rads/Xeloda - finished Jan 19 2017
Surgery mid Mar 2017

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RobSilvansson
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Re: New and freaked out for my mom (double cancer)

Postby RobSilvansson » Sat Mar 25, 2017 5:27 pm

mct wrote:Hi Rob
Unfortunately, it's not that uncommon to have different cancers hit the same person. I'm 51 and had breast cancer at 44 and was more recently diagnosed with rectal cancer. I just had surgery a week ago, and my hospital 'roommate' (aged 52) had a mastectomy for a recurrence of breast cancer, and half her kidney removed for a new primary cancer found while doing tests pre-surgery. By age 50, my mom also had 2 different cancers...she's 75 now and doing great. I'm sharing this so that you know you're not alone....these things happen. it sounds like your mom's BC is very slow growing so that's great news.

Perhaps you could ask your doctor to prescribe something for your anxiety. She needs you to be a strong support system for her. When I was diagnosed this most recent time, my husband's anxiety was off the chart....he was so scared...and it really freaked me out and was making me feel anxious. He got some temporary meds and was a different person.


Hi and thanks for your encouragement. Sorry for your personal story but it's great that both you and your mom are doing well!
I've started taking anxiety pills as prescribed by my family doctor and I feel better, but on monday I'll fix an appointment with a psychotherapist to deal with my depression too.
Mum dx 05/14 stage 2a colon cancer (screen detected) at 69
06/14 splenic flexure colectomy
No chemo needed; integrative oncology supplements (curcumin, polydatin, lactoferrin, etc.)
NED at follow-ups
02/17 lump in breast biopsy
03/17 dx breast cancer


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