My mom is about to start her 3rd cycle of Ibrance, and has been feeling pretty crappy throughout the first few months of treatment. She keeps asking me, "When does this get better? Will I ever feel even half like myself again?" but I am stumbling around in the dark as much as she is. This message board has been a great source of information and perspective (my mom is not on the boards but I often read posts to her), so, I told her I'd pose this question to you fine folks: Was anyone super sick when they started Ibrance/treatment? Did you eventually start feeling any better? What helped?
Some background: While in many ways my mom is doing better than she was, it feels like she is stuck in this revolving door of symptoms and side effects--nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, low blood counts, fatigue, alternating constipation and diarrhea-- most of which we are able to manage pretty well with the help of her palliative care team, but it's taken a lot out of her. She's lost 60 pounds since May (dx was in August) and basically only has the energy to leave the bedroom for the the living room for a few hours, and then back to the bedroom again. She was very independent before all of this, and it's been tough for her mentally to have to rely on my brother and I for most things now.
She hears stories of others carrying on with their normal lives while in treatment (such as her brother, who has prostate cancer) and while she is happy for them, it makes her feel like there must be something wrong with her that she can't do the same. The nagging thought, "Am I always going to be this way?" is becoming louder and louder lately, despite the fact that she is feeling better, even if only incrementally so.
The good news is that we know the treatment is working, even after a dose reduction and a long break between her first two cycles. She had her first PET scan 2 months into treatment (1 month earlier than planned, due to a second opinion we got at the nearby teaching hospital), and it showed significant shrinkage in all of her mets, which were extensive. Her oncologist was practically jumping out of her seat to tell us!
So, my mom wants to stay the course and is heartened by this latest news, but also is looking for a little hope that she's not always going to feel this way (even knowing she'll probably never feel 100% like she did before cancer). Any stories to that affect would be much appreciated! ❤️
Daughter (38F) to MBC Thriver (69F) diagnosed August 2021
8/2021, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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