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2 Mos to early retire and wife diagnosed with breast cancer, we
Old 08-02-2013, 01:20 AM   #1
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2 Mos to early retire and wife diagnosed with breast cancer, we

shut down the firm immediately. Now we have to fight the cancer. It is 3 cm, stage 2, triple negative and an MRI shows that the lymph nodes look clear. She is only 45 and this is devastating.

We live in AZ and are going to MD Anderson Cancer Hospital and a second consult at University of AZ (It is a National Institute of Health Cancer Center) next week.

We are scared and overwhelmed. We will go anywhere in the U.S. to get the best treatment. Would appreciate any advice!!

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Old 08-02-2013, 02:25 AM   #2
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Damn! So sorry to hear this! I can relate because I myself got seriously sick after stopping my part-time work for just 6 months.

In the Phoenix area, there's also Ironwood Cancer Research Center. They have some state-of-the-art radiation equipment. That may be usable on only some types of cancer, I do not know, but it's something closer to home for you to check out.

I wish you both the very best.

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Old 08-02-2013, 06:01 AM   #3
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So sorry to hear about your wife's condition.

My wife and I decided to "change lanes" since our last child graduated from high school this year. We both quit our jobs, though my employer allowed me to work remotely till the end of the year, and we moved to NW Arkansas, closer to where the 2 kids are going to school and in the same city as her parents. It all looked perfect.

The same week we moved into our house my wife's mother found out she had breast cancer, can't recite the specifics, and chose to have a single mastectomy. We feel blessed to have been able to be close to them to support them in her recovery. So far, due to early detection, and other than losing part of her body, things look very positive for her future, she in in her 70's.

I am sure you already know this but your support and encouragement will be important in your wife's acceptance and recovery. Finding a new normal as soon as possible and staying positive will aid in her recovery.

Sounds like you are able to access the best treatment available and as such have the best chance for a good result. You both can beat this, really.

Please keep us updated on how the both of you are doing.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:06 AM   #4
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Our hearts are with you as you both confront this. MD Anderson is one the of the best, and that makes a difference.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:14 AM   #5
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My prayers go out to you and your wife. We went through this in the 80's and my wife is a survivor. I retired about the time wife was going through recovery so we've celebrated 25 years of retirement and cancer free state.
Best wishes to you and yours.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:33 AM   #6
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I'm afraid I have nothing to contribute, other than to say "Fight it - don't give up".

Good luck!
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:11 AM   #7
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According to the US News rankings MD Anderson is the best - U.S. News Best Hospitals: Cancer

As I'm sure you know, the Mayo Clinic has an outlet in Arizona which could be an option.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:11 AM   #8
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Sis had it. She had a lump but ignored it. By the time she went to the doc, it was ginger than a baseball...her doc sent her to Anderson, she had chemo to reduce the size, full mastectomy to remove it, and radiation later to kill any leftovers. Her treatment was radical due to the size and stage, and she had problems with the reconstruct due to the radiation burns. That was 4 years ago, and she is doing fine now. She is much more diligent about her follow-up, and so far no recurrence. Given what MD Andersen was able to do for her, I would think they would be a great choice for your DW, given what seems to me to be earlier detection and no lymph involvement.

Hope that helps.

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Old 08-02-2013, 07:22 AM   #9
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It is good that you could go ahead and retire, with more time to address this head-on and get that important rest.

A very dear friend of mine is a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed at age 41. This was about 25 years ago.

She told me, years later, that listening to positive affirmations (probably on cassettes back then) as she went to sleep helped her more than anything else. Maybe something worth looking into once the shock of the diagnosis has worn off. She also told me how she "interviewed" three oncologists for her treatment. One of them (well-known oncologist in Arkansas, probably the one I would have wanted) got huffy with her and told her something along the lines of, "I will not be interviewed by a patient." She immediately scratched him off the list.

Hope your wife and you plan some real fun for after the treatment. Stay positive!
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:50 AM   #10
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IMHO, you can't do better than MD Anderson in Houston. I have no information about MDA in Phoenix. I hope they are as good.

No lymph node presence is very good. Be encouraged.

DW is a survivor as is her sister and mine, as well as friends. It can be beat. Fight hard. Remember, the issue is survival. ALL other issues are secondary. Educate yourselves, however.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:33 AM   #11
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So sorry to hear of your family's travails. I hope she does well - many patients with her staging details do very well.

FWIW, like many others, I had to deal with health issues starting a year or so after I retired and I was never more glad to be retired. Having the time and emotional energy to invest in my family and in myself was priceless.
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:19 PM   #12
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Best wishes for a full recovery !
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:54 PM   #13
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Our prayers are with you and your family.

I've seen miracles with cancer. I pray your family sees one.

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Old 08-02-2013, 04:33 PM   #14
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Although cancer at any time sucks, having the ability to pull the plug early and focus on her health is a tremendous blessing. MD Anderson is terrific.

There are good organizations in many cities that help people with cancer through peer support, exercise programs, etc. One place to start is

Best wishes for successful treatment and recovery and a long retirement together.
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:00 PM   #15
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No good advice but best wishes forrecovery.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:05 PM   #16
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I have not had to face breast cancer, but I do know what it's like to have a spouse diagnosed with cancer. Patience, knowledge and taking it one day at a time is the best advice I can give.

I wish you both well.
There's no need to complicate, our time is short..
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:17 PM   #17
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DW is a breast cancer survivor going on 7 years now. I'm a two-time survivor myself. Cancer is a frightening diagnosis of course. Treatment has progressed so much in the last few years that cancer is...treatable, and then life goes on.
I wish you and your wife all the best.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:31 PM   #18
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Sorry to read this. Best wishes. Take care.
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:52 PM   #19
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Though I'm not in a medical profession, the prognosis sounds promising. I'd certainly try to find the best in care, though being close to home might prove to be an advantage, if a suitable care center can be found.

Wishing the best outcome possible!
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:54 PM   #20
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Hang in there. Clear lymph nodes are a really good sign. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, she's at 7 years now. Her mom and her sister weren't as lucky, but I think it really shows the huge strides they've made in breast cancer treatment in the years since they passed.

I hadn't heard of using an MRI for checking the lymph nodes, I'll have to look into that.

There will probably be different opinions on how to fight it. My mom went super aggressive with chemo and radiation, even though the surgery to remove the cancer went well, and it didn't look like there was any spreading. The doctor highly advised against a full mastectomy though. It's tough to make these decisions.

I'm relieved that you were able to shut your practice down early and concentrate on beating the cancer. As tough as it will be for you, worrying about a job on top of it is so much worse. You'll be in my thoughts.

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