Sue Yao was 11 years old when her mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Her mother, Hong, did not speak English, Sue and her father had to translate each appointment and scan. Sue’s family struggled to find information on HER2 positive breast cancer. If you are HER2 positive, please see this support group: http://her2support.org/vbulletin/. Sue, I hope your family is doing well–thank your volunteering with MBCN!
Originally posted on MBCNbuzz:
In 1999 my mother Hong was diagnosed with Stage II Her 2 positive breast cancer. In 2001 it returned and in 2009 after a long battle, my mother passed away. I am thankful I had such a courageous mother and of the many good moments we had in those years. However, as an immigrant family and as the caretakers of a patient who did not speak English fluently, we had difficulty navigating the labyrinth of metastatic breast cancer treatment and at times were incredibly confused and isolated.
I can only imagine now how incredibly scared my mother must have felt when she learned her cancer had returned at age 40, less than 2 years from when she was diagnosed. None of us knew that breast cancer could return or that when it did, it would no longer be curable. I can only imagine how she felt as my father reluctantly translated what her oncologist said: you now have mets to the spine, you are Stage IV and there is no cure for you. I was 11 and my brother was just 2.