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roseguide posted 8/8/2014 20:42 PM


I had a mammogram. They found a lump. Said it's probably nothing let's do a second mammo and an ultrasound.

Had the 2nd and the US ..still probably nothing but there is a concern we should do a biopsy (local anesthesia, in & out in an hour).

Just got the biopsy results - it's probably not cancer but there were some atypical results that warrant further tests so we want to remove the lump and do a full biopsy.

I haven't spoken to the surgeon yet but according to my doc this will be a full fledged surgery with general anesthesia.

When do I tell my kids?
I never expected it to get this far so I haven't said a word. Didn't want to worry them. As a matter of fact I have only mentioned it on here and to one close friend. Haven't even told my sisters. I will not be telling my mother.

I am going to let my XSIL know on Sunday during our regular hike. She is still a close friend, has been through this with her best friend and it will likely interfere with upcoming plans that we have.

The biggest issue is two of my kids live with me, the other two are within two miles. normally I count this as lucky but if one finds out they will ALL know immediately.

Also the last couple of times I was ill I only told them because I had to let them know where I was and the one time they found out by accident. They were pretty angry at me for not saying something sooner but, seriously, I don't want to worry them.

Any suggestions?

Pentup posted 8/8/2014 20:57 PM

As a kid, tell them. You worry about them, they worry about you. That is love. Let them be there for you. WHEN it turns out to not be worrisome, you can all celebrate together as well.

travels posted 8/8/2014 21:09 PM

I've had two lumpectomies. General anesthesia and home the same day. I was a little loopy the first day and sore the following day. I only took one pain killer the first time and three the second time. You will need someone to drive you and bring you home.

You should tell your kids. There's no way you would be able to hide it from the kids who live with you.

These things turn out to be nothing most of the time.


[This message edited by travels at 9:09 PM, August 8th (Friday)]

roseguide posted 8/8/2014 21:32 PM

Thank you both so much!

Thank you travels. I have been looking for first hand accounts - that is so helpful to know what you are facing.

Amazonia posted 8/8/2014 23:30 PM

It's all in the delivery - you can completely downplay this. Just tell them you are having a minor surgery, nothing serious, will be in and out and home by supper, it's just removing some irregular cells they found that are NOTHING but they want to be sure they don't turn into anything.

That's exactly what I told my family when I had to have precancerous masses removed last winter. My mom is a nurse and she picked up on the vibe that it could have been a lot worse, but the rest of the family was just kind of like, "uh, okay, whatever"

fireproof posted 8/9/2014 06:07 AM

I would tell them but as AMA said downplay and say they are taking another look to make sure it isn't anything.

The reality is if it was for sure something more serious they would have told you so more than likely it is ok.

It is a day procedure but you will need a driver and the recovery is soreness.

Good luck and tell them more because they will worry and if it helps enjoy a nice dinner with them or do something light a few days before.

travels posted 8/9/2014 08:06 AM

Just wanted to add that the results of both of mine were negative. I'm thankful to have a surgeon who doesn't do the wait and see approach. Both times I had abnormal cells and she took no chances.

I told my elderly parents, but only because I lived with them at the time. I told them there were women in the surgeon's waiting room who were a lot worse off than my "abnormal cells." Then I added we always knew I was abnormal and this was just proof.

I think the worst part is the waiting. Waiting for appointments, waiting for results, waiting for the next appointment. It's the waiting that's the worst.

roseguide posted 8/9/2014 13:38 PM

Thanks everyone for the encouragement, kind words and great advice.

It's my understanding that good results are expected but, again, it makes a big difference hearing from someone who has been through this.

It's comforting and calming to hear -
"Been there, done that, kicked butt"

Luckily I'm very busy so I'm pretty distracted by work, vacation and family so the waiting is only bad in the quiet times.

gypsybird87 posted 8/9/2014 15:20 PM

I agree with the other posters to tell your kids but downplay so as not to cause panic. If the situation was reversed, you would want to be told, wouldn't you?

Also as someone else mentioned, the logistics of trying to keep this from kids who are living with you would be very difficult. You are coping with enough, don't add unnecessary stress by trying to keep such a secret.

Holding good thoughts for your procedure. I'm sure you'll come through with flying colors.

purplejacket4 posted 8/10/2014 15:10 PM

Rule of thumb: general anesthesia= telling family

inconnu posted 8/10/2014 15:18 PM

They were pretty angry at me for not saying something sooner but, seriously, I don't want to worry them.

My FOO has a history of not telling me about family members' health issues or other serious issues because they don't want me to worry or get upset. It really fucking sucks. And really, it's more about the other person wanting to protect themselves from whatever they think my reaction will be, and not about them not making me worry.

Don't let your kids find out from someone else, or after the fact. Trust, and love, them enough to be upfront with them. They deserve no less than that.

tushnurse posted 8/10/2014 18:52 PM

As a medical professional I say tell then and I wouldn't underplay it either. I would also recommend seeing a breast surgeon for this next part.
Even if it is a cancer (hoping and praying it's not) it's small enough it sounds to be totally treatable. And if it is you are going to have some treatment ahead and you want those wonderful people you raised to be your support.
The not knowing the what ifs period is worse than having a diagnosis.
My mom was diagnosed when I was 21. I was a new nurse and just married a few months prior. I was thrilled she told me we got her into specialists and second opinions quickly. The only crappy thing was she did call me at work when she got the official diagnosis of cancer. That was hard.
BTW she is 22+ years out. Had lumpectomy and radiation. Never another issue. Worked whole getting radiation and really made it look easy. She's tough but not superhuman.

Good luck and tell those kids.

roseguide posted 8/10/2014 19:47 PM

Thanks for the great advice everyone!

I told three of the four.

They were great, of course. I started bawling and they said "why are crying if it's not serious."

I was just crying because it's so hard for me to be a burden anyone. Even if they don't see it that way.

My D26 said "A burden shared is a burden halved"


Thanks again.

roseguide posted 8/10/2014 19:49 PM

There are no breast surgeons covered under my healthcare plan, only general surgeons.

I'll call the insurance company tomorrow to see if the that's incorrect.

Thanks for all the valuable info!

roseguide posted 8/11/2014 21:36 PM

Talked to my insurance company and found out I can go to any surgeon or hospital on their list.

Yay - I feel so much better, more comfortable.

Thank you tushnurse - you were the third person to suggest I actually should use an actual breast surgeon so that sort of pushed to look and not accept the first suggestion.

tushnurse posted 8/12/2014 09:58 AM

You are welcome.
When you are faced with anything serious, you always want to drill down to most specific specialist possible. Most insurers cover this stuff, unless you have a self funded plan that has a limited group of MD's.

Good Luck.

sparklezombie posted 8/12/2014 11:54 AM

Slightly off subject from prior posts, but before surgery please get a good power of attorney and advance healthcare directive (healthcare POA + living will) and possibly a Will (depending on assets). Those are crucial to have in the event that something happens to you. I've seen it happen countless times where people have a medical event with no planning done and it's a terrible burden on their family.

tushnurse posted 8/13/2014 07:59 AM

Great point Sparkle.
I also encourage my patients to take the time to at least fill out the Advanced Directive the Hospital system supplies. IT's legal, and it's pretty straight forward.
The thing about doing this is that GOD FORBID if anything happens you have what you want and don't want written down on paper. It takes the guilt of making the tough decisions away, it takes the questions of what would Mom really had wanted away.
I cant stress how that can ease the pain in unforeseen events.

roseguide posted 8/13/2014 18:20 PM

sparklezombie - that's actually extremely relevant . I didn't think about it at all. Thanks (tushnurse too)

BTW this -

You can't pick up a turd by the clean end. Time to flush the toilet.

made me lol

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