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Topic: starting to wonder

Forum: Stage IV/Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY —

Please respect that this forum is for members with stage IV/metastatic breast cancer only. There is a separate forum for caregivers and friends: Caring for Someone with Stage 4 or Mets.

Metastatic breast cancer (MBC; also called stage IV) is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, most commonly the bones, liver, brain, or lungs. Metastatic breast cancer can be treated but not cured. Metastatic disease is NOT hopeless. There are a wide variety of treatment options for metastatic breast cancer, and new medicines are being tested every day. More and more people are living life to the fullest while being treated for metastatic breast cancer.

Note: Please contact your doctor for any specific concerns about symptoms you are experiencing or your course of treatment.

Learn more about living with MBC.

Intro medically reviewed by: Brian Wojciechowski, M.D.
Last review date: November 22, 2020

Posted on: Jul 24, 2007 02:51PM

CJAY wrote:

so i have been doing weekly chemo (avastin and abraxane) for about 11 months for mets to the lung. i first found out about the mets last august. i have been real deliberate about not doing alot of research, leaving that to my onc. i also have not wanted much info on my prognosis, or life expectancy or any of that type of info. well, i am wanting a little more info and will be asking the onc next week, but thought i would run a few questions past you ladies. should i pretty much expect that i will be on some kind of chemo for the rest of my life? i am 40, turning 41 next week. is it possible to go into a remission and not be on chemo for an extended period of time? my onc has mentioned that at some point we will adjust dosage/frequency of chemo to try to lessen the side effects. please feel free to weigh in, but remember i want some info, just not too much, ok?

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Jul 24, 2007 04:10PM PJB wrote:

CJAY, I can certainly understand not wanting to know too much. When I had recurrence and probable spread to some nodes, I was lucky in that my onc didn't tell me a stage, didn't try to give me a how-many-years prognosis. I live in Denial Land with some other lovely women here.

I can't speak to the chemo being lifelong or not. My guess is, if you stay stable for awhile or achieve remission, you'll get a break. But there are much more knowledgable women here and I'm sure they'll be along with more concrete info for you.

Hugs,
Paula
May 2004, Stage 2 IDC. Recurrence in 2005. On Femara til mets diagnosis in Feb 2009. On Faslodex 8/11. Brain mets in April 2012. Progression in liver 6/12. On to Etoposide. Dx mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 24, 2007 04:21PM boobbuster wrote:

CJay-
God is able! I have been in both remission and stable. I too have lung mets. I was first in remission for almost a year and then I think after the tragic death of my brother progressed again. I have been stable since November of last year and not on chemo since May of this year. There is hope. Take care of yourself, stay informed and stay hopeful. Life is good; even with breast cancer. Stephanie
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Jul 24, 2007 10:29PM katie11 wrote:

CJay,

I was diagnosed with liver and bone mets at the same time as the bc itself was discovered a year ago. Since then, I have done lots of chemo. The first one, the 'red devil' led to some progression, so we changed to taxotere and xeloda, which has led to my disease being stable for the last 8 months or so. As I had been diagnosed with mets from the get-go, I hadn't had surgery to remove the primary tumour in the breast, but as my mets have been stable, they have gone ahead with the surgery and I have been on a chemo break since April. I have just had a CT scan to check the situation and it has shown that my mets are still stable. Shortly, I will either be doing some more chemo or going straight to hormonals.

I know there are women here who have been in remission for a long time and have therefore had a chemo break. Others, like me, have had chemo breaks when their mets are stable and it is also possible to not do chemo and do hormonal treatments instead. Do you know what your hormone status is?

My onc has never talked to me about how much time I have left. He has always said that stage 4 is now something that they are able to stay one step ahead of and control for many years. Just the other day, he was talking to me about his treatment plan for the next few years - yes, that's YEARS!

Hope this helps and take care,

Katie xx
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst! Dx 7/15/2006, ILC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 25, 2007 04:37AM CJAY wrote:

thanks girls! you are reinforcing what i have come to believe in my own head. that remission is possible, that i will not be on chemo forever, and that i will be around for a long time. these are the reasons i dont want too much info, because if this is what i believe, then i live my life as normal as possible. thanks again!

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Jul 25, 2007 06:47AM Member_of_the_Club wrote:

I just want to pat you on your back for your terrific sense of self-protection. I know I have sometimes posted questions that got people to post responses that really scared me and I've learned to be very careful about questions I post. I think it is true for how we deal with everyone around us. We need to tell people what we need, not just physically but emotionally. Good for you.

Dx 9/30/2004, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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