Male breast cancer

4x4_Welder

Active Member
Location
Twin Falls, ID
A bit of an odd topic, I know. Not one I ever put any thought into, most guys never think about it because breast cancer only happens to women, right? Well, this past year I found out otherwise. I found a lump in my chest, and after some convincing from my wife went and got it checked out. First to my general practitioner, then she referred me to a specialist who had some concerns over the lump, and ordered a biopsy. The biopsy sucked, I got stabbed up through the armpit by a very large needle that shot out and speared through the lump to remove chunks to examine. That was bad enough, but when my doctor called with the results I found out things were going to get worse. It turned out to be cancerous, invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common type of breast cancer.

The timing on this sucked. It was coming into the busiest season at work, and we got the results the same week we signed on a house. It took about three weeks to get my full range of motion back after the biopsy, but that was nothing compared to what was coming up. We met with the surgeon, and then the oncologist, and the best course of treatment was determined to be a mastectomy. Part of this surgery would be to biopsy the nearest lymph node, and test to see if the cancer had traveled.

I had my surgery the week before Christmas, and when I woke up my whole lymph node cluster in my armpit had been removed. Apparently the cancer had traveled a bit, and as a precaution they went further than originally was thought to be needed. Instead of just a cut on my chest, now I have one that goes all the way into my armpit. Beyond that I have a bunch of sutures inside my chest, and had a drain bottle sticking out of my side for the first week.

This has, of course, impacted my recovery somewhat. I wound up taking more time off work than I would have liked, and still have pretty limited strength and range of motion on the one side. I'm meeting with the oncologist again on Wednesday, to find out how bad it really was. That's the funny thing with this sort of cancer, they can't for sure say how bad it is until they cut it out and get a look at it.

I'll update this once there is more info, but until then I hope this helps people be more aware, and not ignore any potential problems.

I'm also running a GoFundMe campaign, to try and overcome some of the costs of missed work, and out of pocket expenses related to this. My health insurance has taken care of a good portion of this, but since this is the US I still have to pay some on top of that. Unfortunately I haven't been at my job long enough to get any kind of paid leave, either. The lost income wouldn't be such a big deal except that I'm the sole supporter for my family. My wife has problems with her ankles that she will be having surgery on later this month, but for the time being that keeps her from being able to work.
If you feel inclined to make a donation, the campaign can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/2whn6r-cancer-treatment-help&rcid=r01-154647277017-590d5f2f9d5648df&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w
 

Caleb

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Supporting Vendor
Location
Riverton
Thanks for posting this. As I was driving to the gun range today, I was thinking there should be a **** Cancer Day and then you go and post this. When we found out my wife had cancer a few years ago, it was a the worst feeling ever. A sense of helplessness, a big sense of why her, and then all the what-ifs start flowing through your head. Luckily we caught hers early enough, she actually has her two year follow-up tomorrow...here's hoping she's still clear.

I'll kick you some on your campaign and I'll also spread the word. Definitely keep us updated as things progress.
 

DaveB

Long Jeep Fan
Location
Holladay, Utah
Good luck with this. I have a co-worker that also got male breast cancer that they figure was caused by the Nevada nuclear tests. He grew up in south west Utah and male breast cancer was one of the down winder symptoms. My wife is also fighting the same thing, she is about 1/3 of the way through chemo and after seeing what she is going through I wish you the best.
 

Houndoc

Registered User
Location
Grantsville
One of my clients last week as telling me about his battle with breast cancer. More common than we may think.
 

MBCC

New Member
Good luck with this. I have a co-worker that also got male breast cancer that they figure was caused by the Nevada nuclear tests. He grew up in south west Utah and male breast cancer was one of the down winder symptoms. My wife is also fighting the same thing, she is about 1/3 of the way through chemo and after seeing what she is going through I wish you the best.
 

4x4_Welder

Active Member
Location
Twin Falls, ID
I met with the oncologist last week, and while there isn't any other place that obviously has cancer, with the amount that was in the lymph nodes they want to do chemo. I'm not looking forward to this. Four cycles of it, over a twelve week span. Hopefully this'll clear out anything that's left.
 

MBCC

New Member
Sending good wishes. If you would like to speak to some men who have in your shoes, just let me know. Wishing you all the best
 

moab_cj5

Well-Known Member
I met with the oncologist last week, and while there isn't any other place that obviously has cancer, with the amount that was in the lymph nodes they want to do chemo. I'm not looking forward to this. Four cycles of it, over a twelve week span. Hopefully this'll clear out anything that's left.
Im sorry. If there is anything the group can help with, please let us know.
 

DaveB

Long Jeep Fan
Location
Holladay, Utah
My wife had nothing in her lymph nodes and she's on a six cycle chemo treatment. I wish you the best and I hope they get it all. Did they do the tests for the genetic markers and the HER2 protein ? I know that changes the chemo and antibody regimen for women.
 

4x4_Welder

Active Member
Location
Twin Falls, ID
I did the full workup on the genetic testing, it all came back negative. I have the stuff on the HER2, I don't remember off hand. They are putting me on an estrogen blocker, so I guess I need to get out of touch with my feminine side. This seems to be one of those random cancers.
My boss has been pretty good about this. November to January is officially no time off allowed, but this got pushed through. I've been back for a couple weeks now, I still need to work on my range of motion, but it's getting better. I wish that some alternative medicines were available here, but Idaho is a bit- conservative in that regard. Oh well.
I did do an update on gofundme, I've had some questions about what stage it was and all that. With the modern medical advances, they've changed it, so now it is considered a stage 1B. If this had happened last year, it would have been called stage 3. It does surprise me how fast it grew, the sonogram said 12mm across by about 18mm long, what they pulled out was about a 25mm ball.
There is some good coming from this though, one of the semi drivers at work talked to his doctor about a similar lump now, and is getting scheduling in for testing pretty soon. Hopefully if it is anything, it's also been caught in time. Awareness that there is a potential is a big step towards preventing a bad outcome.
 

4x4_Welder

Active Member
Location
Twin Falls, ID
Ok, chemo officially sucks. Had my first round on Thursday, I couldn't get out of bed Sunday, and only was able to work three hours yesterday. No flavors, my hearing is weird, lights have color shifted a bit, and keeping hydrated is a huge challenge. It's really hard to eat when all you get from food is texture. Staying warm is nearly impossible, I got into bed with extra blankets and my thermals last night. Only have to this three more times.
 

Jesser04

Well-Known Member
Location
Kaysville Utah
I’m not sure your personal beliefs but my good friend just recently finished chemo for stage 4 colon cancer and marijuana really helped him.
 

DaveB

Long Jeep Fan
Location
Holladay, Utah
Ok, chemo officially sucks. Had my first round on Thursday, I couldn't get out of bed Sunday, and only was able to work three hours yesterday. No flavors, my hearing is weird, lights have color shifted a bit, and keeping hydrated is a huge challenge. It's really hard to eat when all you get from food is texture. Staying warm is nearly impossible, I got into bed with extra blankets and my thermals last night. Only have to this three more times.
Yes it does suck. My wife got so sick from chemo last week that she landed in the hospital for a week.
 

MBCC

New Member
Ok, chemo officially sucks. Had my first round on Thursday, I couldn't get out of bed Sunday, and only was able to work three hours yesterday. No flavors, my hearing is weird, lights have color shifted a bit, and keeping hydrated is a huge challenge. It's really hard to eat when all you get from food is texture. Staying warm is nearly impossible, I got into bed with extra blankets and my thermals last night. Only have to this three more times.
We have some men who tolerate and other who don’t. Be happy to connect you with a few
 

4x4_Welder

Active Member
Location
Twin Falls, ID
I wish Idaho would understand the medical benefits of marijuana. I spent years with severe back pain, got a medical card in WA, and within a year I was at 100%. There is such a negative "stoner" stigma around the stuff though. The ironic part is that I was using strains that didn't even get me high, just a little bit before bed a couple times a week, and the quality of life improvements were amazing. I'm theoretically subject to random drug testing at work, so I need to avoid it now.
 
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