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Old 06-21-2010, 10:25 PM   #1
simonew
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Help I am a nurse and know too much

My daughter inlaw who is more like a good friend has been diagnosed with Her 2 with meds to the liver. She is
doing herceptin,carboplatium and taxel.

As a Critical Care Nurse and 15 year ago Oncology Nurse I am extremely nervious about a good prognosis.

The breast tumor is shrinking and seems to responding to the treatment. She will have a CT Scan of the liver this week.

The whole family is optomistic. I should be as her husband our son is a Testicular cancer suvivor.

Am I wrong to be overly distressed and not share my concerns I so want to be wrong in my thoughts.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:57 AM   #2
ElaineM
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Wink Re: Help I am a nurse and know too much

You are not wrong to be stressed about your daughter in law's diagnosis. You are normal to be concerned about her welfare. As a nurse you are expected to be professional with your patients. Your daughter in law is not your patient. She is your family member and it is normal to be concerned about family members with serious health problems.
It is good news that her breast tumor is shrinking. Hopefully the scan will show shrinkage in her liver too.
All the best to both of you. Take good care of yourself.
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:03 AM   #3
simonew
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Re: Help I am a nurse and know too much

Thank you so much for your kind words and good wishes.
I wish the very best for you

Simone
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:43 PM   #4
chrisy
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Re: Help I am a nurse and know too much

Of course your are nervous about your daughter in law's prognosis. Having a medical background you are well acquainted with the statistics (although for Her2+ breast cancer they have changed quite a bit in the last 15 years).

However, you also know that while the disease is not yet curable, it IS treatable and that response and prognosis is a very individual thing, not a statistical thing. This is what I was told by my 2 OUTSTANDING oncologists.

As a person living with stage iv breast cancer (and initial mets diagnosis of extensive liver mets), I also sometimes feel like I "know too much", yet I also feel that part of surviving and living with this disease is maintaining hope.

I have had great doctors, I mean REALLY great oncologists - people who definitely know more than I do.

One of the greatest gifts they've given me is permission to have hope. If not for a cure, at least hope that there are treatments that can work well and for a long time. Maybe long enough for the cure that I increasingly hear top researchers talking about - right out loud.

It's ok to have hope. Doctors and nurses sometimes worry about giving "false hope". But even worse is "false despair". There is reason to have hope - the treatment plan she is on is a great one, and there are lots more weapons in the arsenal. Look at my signature, or even better, StephN's. There is hope.

Expecting to live forever is not realistic. Expecting the current treatment to work and to have the possibility of many good years ahead is realistic. And who know what the future may bring.

I would be happy to talk with her or help in any way.

Hang in there
Chris
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Chris in Scotts Valley
June 2002 extensive hi grade DCIS (pre-cancer-stage 0, clean sentinal node) Mastectomy/implant - no chemo, rads. "cured?"
9/2004 Diag: Stage IV extensive liver mets (!) ER/PR- Her2+++
10/04-3/05 Weekly Taxol/Carboplatin/Herceptin , complete response!
04/05 - 4/07 Herception every 3 wks, Continue NED
04/07 - recurrence to liver - 2 spots, starting tykerb/avastin trial
06/07 8/07 10/07 Scans show stable, continue on Tykerb/Avastin
01/08 Progression in liver
02/08 Begin (TDM1) trial
08/08 NED! It's Working! Continue on TDM1
02/09 Continue NED
02/10 Continue NED. 5/10 9/10 Scans NED 10/10 Scans NED
12/10 Scans not clear....4/11 Scans suggest progression 6/11 progression confirmed in liver
07/11 - 11/11 Herceptin/Xeloda -not working:(
12/11 Begin MM302 Phase I trial - bust:(
03/12 3rd times the charm? AKT trial

5/12 Scan shows reduction! 7/12 More reduction!!!!
8/12 Whoops...progression...trying for Perjeta/Herceptin (plus some more nasty chemo!)
9/12 Start Perjeta/Herceptin, chemo on hold due to infection/wound in leg, added on cycle 2 &3
11/12 Poops! progression in liver, Stop Perjeta/Taxo/Herc
11/12 Navelbine/Herce[ptin - try for a 3 cycles, no go.
2/13 Gemzar/Carbo/Herceptin - no go.
3/13 TACE procedure
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:35 PM   #5
simonew
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Re: Help I am a nurse and know too much

Chris I have been so blessed to have found this site. I never expected to receive such wonderful support from Cancer suvivors like yourself.

Keep up the fight! This world needs special people like you give us hope.

Simone
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:22 PM   #6
chrisy
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Re: Help I am a nurse and know too much

Simone,
One thing you will learn is that this particular forum is very much like family to many of us. We are here together to exchange information, share our good news and bad, and even laugh.

Just a suggestion, if you post on the main forum more people may see your post and chime in.

We're here to support you as well as your daugher in law.
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Chris in Scotts Valley
June 2002 extensive hi grade DCIS (pre-cancer-stage 0, clean sentinal node) Mastectomy/implant - no chemo, rads. "cured?"
9/2004 Diag: Stage IV extensive liver mets (!) ER/PR- Her2+++
10/04-3/05 Weekly Taxol/Carboplatin/Herceptin , complete response!
04/05 - 4/07 Herception every 3 wks, Continue NED
04/07 - recurrence to liver - 2 spots, starting tykerb/avastin trial
06/07 8/07 10/07 Scans show stable, continue on Tykerb/Avastin
01/08 Progression in liver
02/08 Begin (TDM1) trial
08/08 NED! It's Working! Continue on TDM1
02/09 Continue NED
02/10 Continue NED. 5/10 9/10 Scans NED 10/10 Scans NED
12/10 Scans not clear....4/11 Scans suggest progression 6/11 progression confirmed in liver
07/11 - 11/11 Herceptin/Xeloda -not working:(
12/11 Begin MM302 Phase I trial - bust:(
03/12 3rd times the charm? AKT trial

5/12 Scan shows reduction! 7/12 More reduction!!!!
8/12 Whoops...progression...trying for Perjeta/Herceptin (plus some more nasty chemo!)
9/12 Start Perjeta/Herceptin, chemo on hold due to infection/wound in leg, added on cycle 2 &3
11/12 Poops! progression in liver, Stop Perjeta/Taxo/Herc
11/12 Navelbine/Herce[ptin - try for a 3 cycles, no go.
2/13 Gemzar/Carbo/Herceptin - no go.
3/13 TACE procedure
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:28 PM   #7
Whonoze
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Re: Help I am a nurse and know too much

I am another Stage IVer withmets to liver and bones, still going strong after 31/2 years and plan on being around for many, many more.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:01 AM   #8
simonew
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Re: Help I am a nurse and know too much

Thanks to all of you I slept for 10 straight hours with out waking up 5 times a night mind wondering about what ifs. You all are special gifts send to me.

Simone
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:02 AM   #9
simonew
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Re: Help I am a nurse and know too much

Whonoze hang strong we all need you

Simone
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:56 AM   #10
Jackie07
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Re: Help I am a nurse and know too much

What a wonderful Mother-in-law!

You reminds me of my late Mother-in-law who had cared for me during my brain tumor surgery (unrelated to Breast Cancer) 20 years ago. She did not forget to sell a little bit Avon to the receptionists and some of the nurses while she was visiting me in the hospital (I stayed there 40 days after a 23-hour surgery resecting a 4x5x6.5 cm solid tumor with calcification.)

Her2 breast cancer used to be a very bad diagnosis because it is fast growing and chemotherapy did not seem to make much difference.

It had all changed ever since Herceptin was 'discovered'. If you read the introduction of this Website, you will find information about Her2 breast cancer. The story of Dr. Slamon was made into a TV movie entitled 'Living proof' played by Harry Connie Jr.

After Herceptin was 'invented', many other meds and combinations have been developed. Tykerb has been very successful in treating mets to the central nervous system because of its small molecule size.

Your daughter-in-law needs your support and encouragement. I am a strong believer of 'endorphen', a brain hormone which increases our cancer-fighting ability by improving our immune system.

Prayer also works wonders.
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:29 AM   #11
simonew
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Re: Help I am a nurse and know too much

Thank you so much Jackie for taking the time to respond. Today we got the ct scan no visible cancer in the breast chest wall lymph notes the two liver tumors have reduced by 50%.

Thanks be to God man and medicine but thank you to all the special ladies out there who give us caregivers the courage to hope

Simone
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:11 AM   #12
norkdo
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Re: Help I am a nurse and know too much

What she needs most now you are brilliant at giving. Your feelings about her, your worry, and shock at the new situation, your devotion. Wow, I am almost (!) envious of her. The people in my life, too, have been loving and supportive.

You too are also going through some shock and needing and wanting info, etc. Please feel free on this site to express your fears and feelings and ask whatever questions you want.

We don't shock easily!

Good luck,
Nora
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fall 2008: mammo of rt breast worrisome so am asked to redo mammo and have ultrasound of rt breast.I delay it til january 2009 and the results are "no cancer in rt breast. phew."
found plum sized lump in right breast the day before my dad died: April 17th 2011. saw it in mirror, while i was wearing a top, examining my figure after losing 10 lbs on dr. bernstein diet.
diagnosed may 10 2011

mast/lymphectomy: june 7 2011, 5/20 cancerous nodes. stage 3a before radiation oncologist during our first mtg on july 15th says he found cancer on the lymph node of my breast bone. Now stage 3b.
her2+++, EN-, PN-. Rt brst tumors:3 at onset, 4.5 cm was the big one
chemos: 3fec's followed by 3 taxotere, total of 18 wks chemo. sept: halfway thru chemo the mastectomy scar decides to open and ooze pus. (not healed before chemo) eventually with canasten powder sent by friend in ny (illegal in canada) it heals.
radiations:although scheduled to begin 25 january 2012, I am so terrified by it (rads cause other cancers) I don't start til february, miss a bunch, reschedule them all and finally finish 35 rads mid april. reason for 7 extra atop the 28 scheduled is that when i first met my rads oncologist he said he saw a tumor on the lymph node of my breastbone. extra 7 are special kind of beam used for that lymphnode. rads onc tells me nobody ever took so long to do rads so he cannot speak for effectiveness. trials had been done only on consecutive days so......we'll see.....
10 mos of herceptin started 6 wks into chemo. canadian onc says 10 mos is just as effective as the full yr recommended by dr. slamon......so we'll see..completed july 2012.
Sept 18 2012: reconstruction and 3 drains. fails. i wear antibiotic pouch on my job for two months and have 60 consecutive days visiting a nursing centre where they apply burn victims' silver paper and clean the oozing infection daily. silicone leaks out daily. plastic surgeon in caribbean. emergency dept wont remove "his" work. He finally appears and orders me in into an emergency removal of implant. I make him promise no drains and I get my way. No infection as a result. Chest looks like a map of Brazil. Had a perfectly good left breast on Sept 17th but surgeon wanted to "save another woman an operation" ? so he had crashed two operations together on my left breast, foregoing the intermediary operation where you install an expander. the first surgeon a year earlier had flat out refused to waste five hours on his feet taking both boobs. flat out refusal. between the canadian health system saving money and both these asses, I got screwed. who knows when i can next get enough time off work (i work for myself and have no substitute when my husband is on contract) to get boobs again. arrrgh.


I have a blog where I document this trip and vent.
www.nora'scancerblog.blogspot.com . I stopped the blog before radiation. I think the steroids made me more angry and depressed and i just hated reading it anymore
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