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Topic: Christmas Gift Ideas

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 29, 2021 02:43PM

Nett_Schwester8 wrote:

I’ve read a lot here but never posted. A little background before I get to my rather trite (all things considered) question.

My sister (51) was diagnosed with Stage IV in Summer 2020. Cancer had already moved to bone (hip/leg). Pin and plate put in. Lumpectomy preformed. Was put on Ibrance, Arimidex and Zometa. Things were good for a year. Scans were clean until August 2021 & scan suddenly showed a lot of progression. Spots on liver (biopsied) spots on cervix (was actually ovary which was removed) and recurrence in same breast. Oncologist determined her cancer gene had mutated to PIK3.

Drug protocol change, naturally. She’s now on Piqray, Faslodex and Zometa. It’s only been 1.5 months so hopefully we are on the right track and hopefully these drugs will work for a long time. Prayers are definitely a big part of our lives.

My sister often tasks me with research. I don’t mind. I’d rather read for her; she tends to find the worst thing and focuses on that. I know the big concern with Piqray is triggering diabetes. So did get a glucose monitor immediately. She’s hovering but holding at just below a pre diabetic number. Other than that, tolerating all the drugs well. Has changed her lifestyle since initial diagnosis. No alcohol, strict diet, no alcohol, lots of exercise, etc. We’re still working on stress; she has a very stressful job. When she was moved to Piqray, I did research on changing the already strict diet. We looked into Keto but ultimately are going with a very low carb diet (pre diabetic) 100 grams carbs/day as opposed to Keto’s 30-40 grams carbs/day. This has all been overseen and okayed by her oncologist as well as a consulting oncologist from MSK who is doing dietary trials on Piqray patients. He said Keto was showing promise but they have only done trials on mice. He hesitated to suggest Keto because it drains so much energy out of — even a healthy person.

So that’s my long introduction to get to a fairly simple question. I didn’t want people to think I was here trying to sell technology or apps. Which brings me to the question: What do I get her for Christmas? I started thinking about an Apple Watch. I know the Apple Watch cannot monitor glucose levels which is kinda what I wanted. Is there any 3rd party app that does that? I don’t own an Apple Watch so I don’t know what they can do in terms of health monitoring. Does anyone here use one of recommend one for a mets patient? And/or are there any apps that work in conjunction with the iPhone/Apple Watch that would be beneficial? I like technology but this is such a specific question…that’s why I posted in here.

Lastly, is this a stupid idea for a Christmas gift? Will it just be a constant reminder that she’s sick? I don’t want to do that but she does want to exercise, eat right, monitor whatever needs monitored, etc. She wants the best chance at living the longest life possible. So I’m trying to think of things that might help. Every doctor I see lately is wearing an Apple Watch. Do they know something I don’t? The other consideration, my sister is well off financially. If she wanted an Apple Watch, she’d get one. Although — I don’t know if she knows what they can do. But I’m not sure what exactly they can do for someone in her situation. Just looking for advice, I guess.

What do you get the girl who has everything? Everything, that is, except a clean bill of health. I’d love to get her something helpful to her health. I’m open to any input or ideas anyone has.

These boards have been extremely valuable to me for 19 months. So I also wanted to express my appreciation



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Nov 30, 2021 06:14AM DivineMrsM wrote:

Nett, your sister is so fortunate to have such a caring sibling!

It can be challenging selecting a gift for the person who has everything or can afford practically anything! Would it have to be a surprise? I am wondering if you might bring the subject up with your sister. Maybe tell her you were thinking of getting her something for Christmas and wanted to know what she thought of your idea for an Apple watch. She might say, oh I can buy that for myself, and you could say, sure but how about letting me gift one to you this Christmas.

Personally I think it’s a great item to give to someone. My son and I love our Apple products. He’s happy with his watch ( I don’t have one) and I like that the different Apple electronics all synch with one another. I don’t know about any of the apps you’re asking about but surely you can do some googling on the subject to find more answers. All of that research ends up being part of the gift!

It’s always a challenge for me to figure out what gift to get my mother in law who is in her early 90s. Even tho it’s his mother, dh never has any ideas whatsoever! She lives with her daughter and needs nothing. This year I found a lovely soft pink and gray poncho wrap and a pashima scarf with coordinating colors and I’m giving her the old stand-by, a candle—orange/cinnamon/clove scented.

found lump 12-22-10—ilc—er+/pr+/her2—stage iv bone mets—chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex—March 2019-ibrance/aromasin* —Sept 2019-verzenio* —March 2020-xeloda*
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Nov 30, 2021 12:34PM moth wrote:

I would look away from the glucose monitoring because I don't think any wearables really do that now but instead consider it from the fitness tracking perspective.

I'm an android user & I have a fitbit to track my steps, my heart rate, my workout intensities. It also tracks my sleep quality. These are all things an apple watch will do too.

ime, drs & nurses use apple watches because they can see urgent text msgs & emails without pulling out their phones.... also, status lol. There isn't anything magical about their health scanning apps. Some of the models can run an ECG and supposedly tell you if your heart is out of rhythm but I don't think any dr trusts that technology yet.

hth

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 2/14/2018 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 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Dx 12/9/2020, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, PR-, HER2- (IHC) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External: Chest wall Dx 1/28/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External: Bone
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Nov 30, 2021 01:19PM ShetlandPony wrote:

Just a thought -- I think I would rather receive a gift not related to cancer. Something that promotes creativity or time outdoors can be a happiness booster. A craft kit? Bird-watching binoculars and a bird identification book? But you know your sister best.

2011 Stage I ITCs sn, premenopausal, Oncotype 16. 2014 Stage IV mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD 1 1/2yrs. GI/perit mets Dx 2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2014, ILC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/other, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Surgery Lumpectomy
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Nov 30, 2021 03:03PM HersheyKiss wrote:

Would your sister enjoy a gift (or gifts) of stress-relief and relaxation such as a massage in her own home, a pampering facial, or a mani-pedi?

Dx 3/1/2017, ILC, Left, 2cm, Grade 1, 3/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 30, 2021 03:07PM - edited Nov 30, 2021 03:07PM by Spookiesmom

Monthly subscription for coffee or tea? Some kind of gourmet food?

First time IDGgrade 3, stage 3. Second time, found lump myself. That made me stage 4. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Nov 30, 2021 06:42PM moth wrote:

Your question prompted me to get my Instagram post on this topic finished & uploaded

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CW6u-qKAkpV/?utm_sour...


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 2/14/2018 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 3/19/2020 Tecentriq (atezolizumab) Chemotherapy 11/26/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Dx 12/9/2020, IDC, Right, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, PR-, HER2- (IHC) Radiation Therapy 12/9/2020 External: Chest wall Dx 1/28/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone Radiation Therapy 3/3/2021 External: Bone

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