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Topic: Mom Diagnosed Again

Forum: Caring for Someone with Breast cancer —

A place to share your struggles and concerns about supporting and caring for a person you love diagnosed with breast cancer with others who understand.

Posted on: Jun 28, 2017 10:40PM

Constable wrote:

I was here earlier this year for my own scare, which thankfully turned out to be no concern. Now I am back because the support here is unparalleled. Sorry this is long, I just need to get this off my chest.

My mom had breast cancer 26 years ago. She said it was "in situ" and she had a bilateral mastectomy. She was cancer free! Fast forward to a couple years ago. She noticed a small lump growing on her chest. The x-ray showed nothing concerning. Over the years, she noticed the mass growing. She thought it was scar tissue, a keloid. She has no other symptoms. Her dermatologist told my mom to go get checked out because it did not look like a keloid scar. That was last week.

Tuesday, I got the call from my dad. My world changed in that moment. They found spots on my mom's lungs in an X-ray. She got a CT scan, which also showed a small spot on her liver. The oncologist said her organs were mostly healthy looking. He said 90% of liver and lungs were tumor-free. Biopsy was Friday. Doctor called yesterday. He said it was breast cancer. He believes it was there all along but it was dormant. Something "woke it up". He told my parents that the cancer is slow growing. He said this was the best possible outcome. My parents said that he was very encouraging. Doctor said he knew many women with stage IV that have lived a long time after diagnosis.

Doctor prescribed my mom Arimidex to take daily for 6-8 weeks. He said her treatment had a 80-90% success rate. He said it will stop the growth and possibly shrink the tumors! No chemo or radiation. She has a PET scan Friday AM and then a follow up with the oncologist Friday PM. I am scared they will find more tumors on other organs. I understand it is stage IV. I just pray since there are small tumors on lungs and liver, that that's as far as it's gotten.

Other than the horrible news, the worst part of this was seeing my mom change. She has always been so strong, a very tough woman. I go to her for everything. She is my support. She was shaking so hard when we first found out. She slept the majority of each day. After the doctor called them with the news, my mom has been her usual self again. She has hope again. That gives me hope.

2014 - BRCA gene test negative. Elevated risk with family history. Annual mammo and MRI recommended. January 2017 - Diagnostic Mammo/Ultrasound shows no issues. July 2017 - MRI, shows no issues. Radiologist wants a follow-up ultrasound and biopsy.
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Jun 29, 2017 10:01PM MinusTwo wrote:

Sorry to hear about your Mom. You didn't say how old you are, but it's time for you to step up to the plate now and support your Mom. No need to "go to her for everything" when you know she's trying to deal with a lot of changes.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Jul 2, 2017 11:25PM Constable wrote:

I am 30 years old. When I said I "go to her for everything", I meant that I go to her for advice, for opinions, for laughs, to vent, etc. She is my best friend.

As for needing to support my mom and "step up to the plate", I didn't realize that my lack of certain information would make it sound like I haven't. I understand that I didn't include the fact that I dropped everything I was doing and went to the hospital the minute my dad called me. I didn't say that I sat there with her, hugging her and telling her it would be ok in the waiting rooms. I didn't mention how I took the rest of the week of work off to be there with her. How I sat in the chair in her bedroom as she slept, looking up survivor stories online. Looking up any information that I could share with her that would give her hope. I ran errands, called appointments, and literally did whatever my mom and dad wanted.

To be honest, MinusTwo, I am not sure how you meant your comment-- but the way it sounded wasn't very nice. Thank you for responding, even though it took me aback at first.

2014 - BRCA gene test negative. Elevated risk with family history. Annual mammo and MRI recommended. January 2017 - Diagnostic Mammo/Ultrasound shows no issues. July 2017 - MRI, shows no issues. Radiologist wants a follow-up ultrasound and biopsy.
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Jul 2, 2017 11:32PM MinusTwo wrote:

Sorry if I offended you. I just mean that you need to be the strong one & not let the changes that you see & that your Mom will certainly go through throw you for a loop. Sounds like you're doing everything you can.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Jul 2, 2017 11:55PM Constable wrote:

Thank you for explaining your comment, MinusTwo. I feel better, I'm sorry that I took your initial comment the wrong way. You're absolutely right, I am terrified of this but I know I need to do this and be there for her.

2014 - BRCA gene test negative. Elevated risk with family history. Annual mammo and MRI recommended. January 2017 - Diagnostic Mammo/Ultrasound shows no issues. July 2017 - MRI, shows no issues. Radiologist wants a follow-up ultrasound and biopsy.
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Jul 3, 2017 01:30AM - edited Jul 3, 2017 01:37AM by marijen

Constable I hope my kids will do all that for me when it becomes necessary. Good job. And also that you are seeking information for your mom. Gves me hope

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Jul 3, 2017 04:26AM Falconer wrote:

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's recurrence, and how much the stress took a toll on her, and, in turn, you. You are both lucky to have each other.

I do remember reading a thread about AIs and one woman posted that her tumors had reduced significantly after several months. The prognosis does sound hopeful in your mom's case. Holding you all in the light.
Strong is the new strong. Dx at 45. Onco 16. Monthly Lupron shots Nov. 2016-December 2017 Dx 7/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/2016, DCIS, Left, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/29/2017 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 3, 2017 07:08AM ElaineTherese wrote:

((Hugs)) I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. Yes, many women begin their Stage IV treatment with aromatase inhibitors, and some even achieve NED (no evidence of disease) while taking them. If you feel up to it, you might visit exbrnxgrl's "Life does not end with a Stage IV diagnosis (really!)." On that thread, you can see that many women manage their Stage IV lives fairly well. Best wishes to you and your Mom!

DX IDC June 28, 2014, 5 cm., 1 node tested positive (fine needle biopsy); 0/20 after neoadjuvant chemo + ALND; Grade 3; ER+ PR+ HER2+ Neoadjuvant chemotherapy starting 7/23/14 ACX 4, Taxol X 12, Perjeta X 4; Herceptin: one year Chemotherapy 7/23/2014 AC Targeted Therapy 9/17/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/17/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/17/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 1/12/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 2/25/2015 Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 3/9/2015 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jul 3, 2017 09:59AM kira1234 wrote:

Constable good for you for being there for your mom. She will need your support for sure. I might suggest she looks at the stage IV groups. The ladies there are extremely helpful to each other.

Dx 6/2010, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/8/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 8/3/2010 Hormonal Therapy 10/5/2010 Aromasin (exemestane) Dx 2/2017, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 3, 2017 12:15PM - edited Jul 3, 2017 12:15PM by Constable

Thank you everyone for your comments, I really appreciate hearing from you all!

2014 - BRCA gene test negative. Elevated risk with family history. Annual mammo and MRI recommended. January 2017 - Diagnostic Mammo/Ultrasound shows no issues. July 2017 - MRI, shows no issues. Radiologist wants a follow-up ultrasound and biopsy.

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