IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer)

has anyone had any experience, know anyone who was diagnosed with this type of breast cancer? it is supposedly a rare form of breast cancer. My mother was diagnosed with it on August 12 (my birthday, of all days) and she starts chemo tomorrow.

it is suspected that the mysterious spot on her last mamogram was no just scar tissue but in fact, cancer.

i’m not sure i have an actual question here. i’ve been trying to deal with this, suck it up, etc., but now i think i just need to hear about experiences.
thank you so much for sharing.

I don’t know anything about IBC - I hope someone else will post with some useful info there - but I was diagnosed with ductal breast cancer (the most common type) four months ago. I’m happy to share my chemo experiences with you.

First thing to remember is, chemo is not as horrible as it sounds. Most of the time while on chemo you feel perfectly normal and can go about your normal life. It’s just right after the infusions that she’s going to feel bad - and even that doesn’t start out really bad. For me, the four days following each infusion I felt like I had a stomach flu. But each one builds on the last, so the final infusion was really nasty (again, for about four days).

Exercise is also really important. Daily exercise eases the symptoms of chemo and improves your immunity. The healthier the person is, the easier time they have.

There are lots of support resources out there. Look around for one that will supply her with a wig (assuming she’s going to lose her hair - not all chemo drugs have that side effect). I have a wig, but I usually only wear it for work - the rest of the time I wear hats. A good supply of hats is essential in my opinion.

Also I had a lot of fun in the weeks before my hair fell out: I got a radical hair cut and dye job. Even if it had turned out horrible, it would all be gone soon anyway. It also eased the pain of losing my hair, because it wasn’t really “mine” - it was such a departure already from what I was used to.

I’ve also found that support groups are really great. You should definitely encourage your mother to find one - and if the first one doesn’t “click”, there are others. Having a group of friends who are going through the same thing (as in empathy not sympathy) is invaluable.

It’s scary. But I find that after the initial “what’s going on?” period I settled into more of an “Okay, what’s next?” attitude. Cancer is a part of my life, and will be for several more months. Annoying, but so is paying the mortgage and doing yardwork. :wink: