Breast Cancer Surprise

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

First of all I think it’s sweet of you to genuinely want her to feel beautiful 🙂


So, I don’t have much advice about before or during the wedding, since she will be recovering from pretty major surgery, but what about having professional hair and make-up for her?  A mani-pedi just for pampering?


As for after, well… if she does have chemo and loses her hair, I’m sure it will be very hard on her.  My own aunt went through all of that when I was in high school, and every few weeks or so the family would all get together and go out to eat.  Each of us would wear a crazy hat or funky wig just for fun.  She wasn’t the only one with a hat or wig or scarf, ya know?  Even my 6’2 brother wore a long, blonde, Rapunzel wig every time.  Some of my favorite memories of her are from this time, with everyone just being really goofy and having fun together.

By the way, my aunt has been in remission for over a decade now 🙂  

Sending positive, healing thoughts to your FMIL!

Post # 5
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@keembeen:  Number 1 thank goodness they caught it in Stage 2 so she has a high rate of survival.  It’s disappointing that she will likely get a double mastectomy but it should reduce the chances of the cancer reoccuring.  I like the idea of dressing up before her surgery but only if it’s something she wants.

Post # 7
567 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I like the professional hair, makeup, mani, and pedi idea someone else posted. If she feels up for it, some pampering might be nice.

Post # 8
80 posts
Worker bee

My thoughts are definitely with you. I like the idea of taking pictures or something ahead of time so she feels included when her strength is at its best. Maybe she would even have a suggestion of what she’s worried about missing/not being able to do the most so you can figure out an alternative.

As for advice, my mom was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer 2 years ago, luckily only needing radiation and minor surgery. At first, it was the elephant in the room that no one brought up, and she often talked to an old friend who had been diagnosed maybe a year or so before her. It was only after the fact that she told me she’d wished people had asked her questions and talked to her about it. Cancer survivors and their family become a community of sorts, and at least for her, she wanted to feel comfortable talking about that challenging part of her life.

The good news is they’ve made so many advances in medicine, and the doctors are often very understanding and helpful!

Post # 9
2139 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@keembeen:  I’m so sorry to hear about your FMIL! The only thing I wanted to add, and I don’t know how true this would be for breast cancer…but my dad had brain cancer and they had to wait six weeks after surgery to start chemo…he had two surgeries and did chemo after both. But anyway the six weeks is for the wound to heal because chemo doesn’t let you heal properly. So, if this is true for breast cancer then she probably won’t have to worry about feeling crappy from the chemo during your wedding. I actually think her surgery might be at a really good time…she’ll have the surgery pretty soon after finding out about the cancer, but she’ll have enough time after surgery to be back on her feet before the wedding, so she can really be involved. I wish her the best!

Post # 10
7030 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@keembeen:  I had a family member undergoing chemo at the time of our wedding, including a round of dosage that very weekend. You can’t tell in the photos.

I think you and your FI should tell your FMIL to have treatment when the doctors recommend, and tell her that you forbid her from delaying it just for your wedding photos! The effect on the photos will be minimal, but the effect on her health could be great. I wish her all the best.

Post # 12
2062 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 1987

I was diagnosed with BC over 11 years ago and went through all the treatment.

My advice would be to stick around and just be a good friend.  

The experience of cancer is that some friends can’t cope and just disappear.  Others show just what good friends they really are.

I don’t know how long you have known your FMIL but the chances are that for as long as you’ve known her she has has had BC (albeit undiagnoed).  Now for the first time she doesn’t have it anymore.  This is something to say to her.

Treatment tends to attack femininity.  Get her a really pretty necklace.  Or an outrageous scarf.  Hire a fast sports car for a day and take her for a drive with the top down.  Have a little bit of fun with the emphasis on life affirming stuff.

But most of all just be there.

Post # 13
30284 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and I’ll never forget the day she told my sister and me.  It was so scary!  But boy was my mom a trooper through all of the treatments and chemo, and all the other complications she had after the chemo.  Retail therapy really helped my mom whenever she was feeling down – there were many purchases of necklaces and scarves. 🙂

Post # 14
227 posts
Helper bee

I think you’ve already made her feel special by going to her doctor with her. Just knowing that you are there for her is comforting Im sure . As hard as it is and will be for you as well, That is a wonderful thing that you are doing for her.  

She probably wont have chemo until 6 weeks after her surgery. I think a double masectomy is a little easier in the long run especially if she large busted. Its devastating either way. I think being treated normal is the best thing, Sometime it can be overwhelming when everyone around you is treating you differently because of a cancer diagnosis. Its scary enough to have to think about your body betraying you and then all of your family and friends babying you or acting weird.

There are great strids being made with breat cancer so hopefully she will do really well. My mother have a masectomy , chemo and radiation,, it was very upsetting to us as well but we were actually glad she had the treatments because it just seemed like an extra precaution or extra to save her life,

My sister is a hairdresser so she had a wig come in and styled to match my mothers own hair before she even started chemo. The very first treatment she had her hair came out. She found that part very hard,, even years later she says it was the hard part for her. Maybe you could privately speak to her about her options so that she is prepared in case that does happen.. 

Breast cancer is rampant in my family, we are all tested regularly, and with both your FMIL and her sister having it, it may be something the rest of your fiances family will have to be very pro active about ,,men can get breat cancer as well. Best of luck to you ,,take care.


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