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Topic: Caretaker for 88yo mother Stage IV

Forum: Caring for Someone with Stage IV or Mets —

A place where family members, caregivers, and loved ones of people having a Stage IV (metastatic) diagnosis can share, discuss, and support one another through the tough times unique to this diagnosis.

Posted on: Nov 10, 2019 05:40PM

drdaughter wrote:

I am the caretaker for my 88 yo mother with Stage IV to pleura and liver now on Kisqali and Fluvestrant

I'm not sure how many others are out there caring for an older parent. Even without this diagnosis there are matters to attend to when advocating for and protecting an elderly parent. This has been a whirlwind of a month starting with the diagnosis of Stage IV breast cancer that presented as shortness of breath from a large pleural effusion. My mother's oncologist was not available to the hospital physician and my brother and I decided to change her oncology doctor to one recommended as he was attentive, and more conveniently located. She had an indwelling pleural drain placed after her return to the ER in 14 days for reaccumulation of the pleural fluid. We now are performing the drainage ever other day and helping her as she suffers through gastritis (blood in emesis) and nausea/vomiting from her Kisqali that started towards the end of her third week.

She had been living independently until this recurrence and was still driving to the grocery store.

I guess from this forum I hope to help others in this situation and get any advice on helping my sweet mom cope though this.

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Nov 11, 2019 11:59AM edwards750 wrote:

I helped care for my mother when she was in her 80’s but her issues were mostly results of aging. I can imagine how difficult it must be for you. You feel so helpless but you have to realize you are doing all you can and your mother is blessed to have a daughter like you. So sorry for you and your mother


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Jul 10, 2020 06:40AM zeek_mama wrote:

How are you and your mom doing? I hope you are both ok. I am new to this forum with a very similar story, my mom just presented with pleural effusions as the main symptom and on PETscan has Stave IV mets all over. It's been a crazy 7 weeks since we first met with an oncologist and she's been through so much and had major ordeals with hospitalization. She's only 75 and her oncologist said that she could be expected to live her "normal" lifespan on various combos of treatments for this (so another 6-8 years). But she's gotten so weak, can't eat, so frail, lost weight. SO many struggles. I just want to do the best I can for her and help her be as healthy as she can. We are now aiming to drink 2-3 Boost or Ensure meal replacement drinks per day to keep her nutrition up after weeks of not eating making her much sicker. ANd she's started IBRANCE, just finished the week off from the first cycle and about to start second cycle.

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Jul 10, 2020 07:03AM Moderators wrote:

draughtier and zeek_mama - We're sorry that you have to be here for your mom's diagnosis, but glad you found us and decided to reach out to our members! We hope you find the support and information you're seeking here!

Please let us know if we can be of any assistance!

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Jul 10, 2020 09:23AM moth wrote:

I'm not currently caring for a stage iv relative but have some exp with other similar situations with relatives

one thing that can be difficult to arrange but is IMO absolutely necessary is the patient must have opportunity to speak alone with the MO, a social worker/psychologist, & if part of their life, a spiritual advisor at least once but preferably on a regular basis. With family/ caregivers always present it can be difficult for the pt to express what their wishes are regarding treaatment and evolving end of life decisions.

Secondly, caregivers, look after your own mental health! Support groups, psychologist, psychiatrist should be part of *your* team (different ones than the pt sees)

Best wishes to you all

I take weekends off

Initial dx at 50. Seriously?? “Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely and we’re left with only the choice of what to do next." blog: Never Tell Me the Odds

Dx 12/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 12/12/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 2/13/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/13/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/18/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Immunotherapy 3/18/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/25/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/8/2020 External Dx 12/9/2020, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Hormonal Therapy 12/15/2020 Femara (letrozole) Dx 1/28/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone Radiation Therapy 3/2/2021 External: Bone

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