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How do I help my husband and mother in law she was just diagnosed with interductal carcinoma insitu

Hugsandkisses
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2012

My husband is extremely close with his mother she is a HUGE part of his and our life and as I'm sure with everyone hearing the word cancer just scares the bejesus out of us and my husband is terrified as I'm sure my mother in law is she doesn't know which treatment option is best and has two opinions and my husband is scared and I can see it in his eyes that he's feeling helpless and broken up how do I help or be there for the both of them please help he as well as his mother are the absolute most generously loving individuals and would as the cliche goes give the short off their backs for anyone and in times actually have what can I do

sdukowitz
Posts: 250
Joined: Nov 2011

First of all, remember to breathe .... I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ ( dcis ) and at first was paniced also ... start making a list of questions for your drs .... in situ means it is contained in one spot ...you will know more specifics after the biopsy and the hardest part is the initial shock of the word cancer and the waiting is the worst part .... I had a lumpectomy to remove mine and then radiation.... most of the time no pain or even symptoms ... so try to relax for Thanksgiving and start making a question list ... sending hope and prayers your way from Alaska to wherever you live ... keep us posted ... lots of support on this forum ... Sue D

salls41's picture
salls41
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2012

First, I am sorry that your MIL has to go through this and I am sorry for you and your hubby as well, but you have come to the right place for support and answers! I was dx the day before Thanksgiving last year and my world flipped upside down! I am happy to tell you that it is almost right side up now and I have no evidence of cancer today. I had chemo, then a bi lateral mastectomy. It was a long tough year but I made it and so will your MIL. You can be there to listen when she wants to talk, and you can be there to listen when your hubby expresses fears. He will go through the fear of her dying and so will she. You will learn what to say, but my advice is never say "I know" because you don't. And try not to say "You will be fine" too often. Sometimes, I just needed to feel bad for myself and be afraid and express my fears without someone patting my hand and making it seem like the disease is not a killer. We all think we might die when we are first diagnosed..... then we get pissed off and get treatment started and get sick and get weak and get depressed and we think we are beat this monster no matter what! There will be some very tough days ahead for all of you if she has chemo. Help your MIL with her housework when she is weak, fix her food when she can eat, make sure she stays well hydrated and gets all of the fluids she needs. But most important, listen, listen, listen. Go with her to doc appointments and take notes for her. Sometimes we can't take all that information in! Don't read too much info on the internet. Don't let your hubby read too much info on the internet.
You will get through this and your MIL is very lucky to have you!!
Good luck to you!
Sandy

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3873
Joined: Oct 2009

You are the sweetest wife and daughter-in-law to come on this MB and ask. Kudos to you for being so incredibly sensitive and thoughtful! Everyone here has different opinions, but I am happy to share mine.

First, I can tell you what I didn't like:
1) People crying or feeling sorry for me. I wanted cheerleaders telling me I could make it.
2) My pet peeve is the person who loves to share with you the horror stories. Now, I never mind hearing from any cancer patient (no matter what stage), but it is creepy when a healthy neighbor or family member starts telling you about so and so who had your cancer and how horrible they are doing. I swear there are people who do this!

Now, what was most helpful are those folks that brought meals, offered encouraging words, offered transportation--did the little practical things that are so helpful. My mother-in-law took me to a salon that makes wigs that look like your hair BEFORE I lost my hair. I thought that was very sweet.

Most of all, let both your husband and mother-in-law know that this is not necessarily a death sentence. Everyone was pessimistic when I was diagnosed because I was Stage 3 and very young, but, 25 years later, I am still here. Many are living longer and longer times.
Good luck and please let us know how you are all doing. Feel free to come back anytime!!!

P.S. One more thing, laughter has always been very important to me throughout. A good joke, funny story or just making light of the situation helps me tremendously. My spouse is always saying things to crack me up and I love it!

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2116
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi,

You already have some great ideas from the other posters. I went through my treatments alone except with my 14 year old son. My oldest was in college a few states away as well as all my family. I did work through it all and that helped me not to dwell on it.

Little things help, if she is tired, help out with meals, grocery shopping, cleaning if possible. Listen to her express her fears and etc.

If your mother-in-law wants additional information, a good basic guide is Dr. Susan Loves breast book. It's a good guide for you and your husband. The book is dated but I still believe it's a good basic book to learn all about breast cancer. There are more treatments available today than in 2005 when the book was published, so in that way, it is out of date. Your mother-in-law might not want the information. I could only read the chapters that explain what I was going through at that moment. I read about bone scan when I was schedule to have one the next day. In due time, I got over it and read the entire book and every book that came out.

The ladies here are wonderful in helping newbies with answers to their questions. Keep us posted.

Wishing you all my very best,

Doris

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