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Topic: Parents of older women

Forum: Older Than 60 Years Old With Breast Cancer —

Meet other women who are similar in age and dealing with age-appropriate issues.

Posted on: Mar 3, 2009 06:16PM

Northstar wrote:

Hi, all,

Just got home after a long day of work, pottery, and a meeting at night and found that we have our own forum!   Moderators, thanks so much for seeing this need and making it available to everyone.

I see a lot of us are not only dealing with bc, but with our older parents.  Mine are now 94 (Dad) and 97 (Mom).    They have been through some medical issues, but are in general in pretty good health.  My mom was diagnosed with bc at the age of 90, but never thought to ask the doctor for a pathology report, or find out much about it.   They did a lumpectomy, she took Arimedex, and that was that.   I guess it's a little bit the generational thing--I ask a lot of questions, do a lot of research, etc., but they take what the doctor says as revealed Truth.    They are really doing fine, living in a reitrement community on their own in a small house, and are very sharp.    I hope I can be available to them when they do start to decline more.    My dad had myasthenia gravis, which is in remission with the rather incredible drug, cell-cept, now. 

DX 8/15/08, ILC, 5.1 cm, Stage IIb, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, Oncotype DX 11.
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Mar 4, 2009 06:54AM NancyD wrote:

I'm living with my 90 year old father. The problem I have is I can't talk to him about ANYTHING related to my bc. He's always got to start up with everything that's wrong with him. And he expects me to be "over" my illness by now.

Before I was diagnosed (a year ago), I was pretty much the one who kept on top of him, made sure he had taken his meds. He's been pretty good up to now about making and keeping his own dr appts. But I've had so many of my own to make and keep track of this year that I've had to back off and I just hope he's been keeping up to date. 

At your mother's age, she probably didn't care what the path report was. I know my father has a "touch" of prostate cancer, gets a Lupron shot every three months and he's fine with that. I don't think he knows anything more—or cares—the dr said he'd probably die of something else, so he lost interest in it.

So given their overall health and age, I can understand why she may appear to be not too concerned. She might have a greater fear of something else. 

Life is good. It's not perfect. but it's good. Dx 2/22/2008, IDC, Left, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/21/2008 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/10/2008 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 8/31/2008 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 9/4/2008 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 1/27/2010 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Mar 16, 2009 04:51PM lemonjello wrote:

I have to laugh.  My mom is 87 and she is in total denial and that keeps her alive.  Knock on wood.  My aunt died last year at 88 from a broken hip.  She survived cancer twice, at 43, at 64, and lost both breasts.  She told me she never thought about it.  If she were alive today, she would advise me to get my lumpectomy, do the rad, keep going and smile.  My radiologist today told me to stay off the internet for awhile and have cancer free days.  Everyone has their advice and we find our own path, don't you think?  At 65, I gave it thought.  I worry about dying and leaving my daughter and husband and my two dogs.  But then I thought, I just got a stent put in my heart in August.  I could have died from heart disease and yet may still have a heart attack before cancer kills me.  So maybe I just need to chill out as the younger people put it.  My girlfriends had bc too.  We need to have a little fun to get our minds off this challenge. 

Dx 1/22/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 31, 2009 05:57AM annie-2 wrote:


 I haven't posted on here yet, but most of you will probably know me from other posts. I mentioned this on our original big thread.

I took care of my mother who passed away w/ Alz. in 94. --- and have been taking care of my father since then. He has always been a dependent person. (Mother did everything for him) Since her death - I did everything for him - cooking, cleaning, etc. After my surgery - he expected me to continue and it almost got me down.

Long story short - he broke his foot and had to go to rehab. When they evaluated him they said he could not live alone any more..... and knowing my health problems...... told me that I could not care for him in my home (which is what he wanted.) He went to assisted living - then to the rest home part of the facility. This is going into his fourth year and he is failing. White blood count up/ has a cancer on his hand (going to specialist Friday)/ dementia worse/ some kind of infection in his kidneys. Very angry at me for not bringing him to my house (This man weighs 280 pounds and has not walked for 2 years) I am an only child - and he thinks I need to be there 24/7. I go often and yesterday he called me 7 times with nothing to say - just sits on the phone and yells at me to say something! LOL

I am ok with all this and came to terms with it a long time ago. So what I am saying here - is be VERY VERY THANKFUL FOR ALL YOUR OLDER SASSY PARENTS THAT ARE STILL DOING FOR THEMSELVES! My Dad sat down when he retired at 62 (younger than I am now) and stopped doing anything --- and that is the reason for a lot of his problems now.

I would appreciate prayers for strength for me and my husband (who is a jewel, btw) and some peace for my Dad. He doesn't and has never coped well with anything. Actually, I have an 86 yr. old baby that I can't spank!  LOL LOL


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Feb 9, 2019 08:45AM BatyaD wrote:

I was diagnosed in December; lumpectomy and Sentinel Node dissection Jan. 23. Am looking at starting local radiation soon; then Herceptin and Taxol, then AIs. Triple Positive (though HER2+ is just over the line).

My parents are 89 and 90. Dad has some sort of dementia, though not Alzheimer's and is at the beginning of it. Mom is making herself sick through anxiety and over-focusing on Dad. I live 3 minutes away, in the same retirement community. They are, thank goodness, still mostly functional on their own.

I'm not telling them (or other relatives who would spill the beans). They have enough to worry about with each other and there's nothing they can do to help me anyway. Also, Mom is an iota-manager (more intense than micro-manager) and she would try to be in every decision I make, go to every appointment with me (or get pissed if I tell her after the appointments), and second-guess absolutely every thing I do or decide. Neither they nor I would be better off with them knowing.

I'll be using the cold-cap during Taxol/Herceptin treatments and hopefully won't lose my hair. If it thins, I have a good excuse: my neighbor lost her hair due to meds for her thyroid. I'll pretend it's that.

But as they age over the next year, I'm worried if I'll be able to help them enough. And hopefully be able to continue to go to their doctor appointments with them. Drive them places. Will I have enough energy to keep up with myself (I live alone) AND with their increasing needs? Obviously, I can't know these things beforehand, but it's an extra added stress.

Dx 12/5/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy

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