Almost out of options - please help

primaub Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I'm not really sure where to begin. I am 25 years old, my mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer when I was 6, being told she would never see me enter the second grade. Her cancer over the years has spread from the breast, to lymph nodes, to back, right hip, left hip (now has had 3 hip surgeries because the bones are so weak), to the stomach, throat, and most recently the brain. Where now the conversations go in circles because since the brain treatment, short term memory is a little lost. She has been on every drug out there, and even some that aren't on the market. She's quite the guinnea pig. It's been twenty years, and now the chemo is again not working, and there isn't much else she can try. How do I begin the process of grief? How do I start the process of knowing this is most likely the end? If anyone knew her whole story they would be amazed, and I've often thought of having someone write a story to inspire those now dealing with the tribulations of this terrible disease. Where do I start? It's too hard to talk to friends about this, they don't really ever know how I feel. For all you out there, be strong, don't ever give up, I don't care what the doctors say, part of it is in the mind.


  • DiO
    DiO Member Posts: 51
    I'm so sorry for the journey you face. I lost my mother 3 years ago to a brain tumor, so I know what you're going through. It's so hard to watch them get steadily weaker and lose mental capacity as well as physical functions.

    My best advice to you is to try as much as you can to remember how thankful you are for the past 19 years you thought you might never have with her. Try to emphasize the fun times and reminisce about all you've done together as long as she is able--all the school events she was there for, etc. Most of all just be there to hold her hand and let her feel your love, as you will feel hers too. I know how helpless it feels to watch and not be able to do anything, but just by being there it's very meaningful. My mom was in an assisted living home near my house for the last 6 months where they could help take care of her and I could come home and get the needed rest, but I quit work for that time and spent every day there with her. I'm so glad I was able to do that--I know not everyone has that option. Fortunately my husband also was understanding about the time I just wasn't there for him--he knew it was something I had to do for my own peace of mind.

    My prayers are with you as you make this journey. God bless both of you. Di
  • KimInBeirut
    KimInBeirut Member Posts: 39
    I sure hope this response does not come across as flippant or insignificant to you, because it is meant to be neither. I signed into the cancer network tonight, because as a recently trying to recover breast cancer survivor (since 2003), I am already a member. The subject of your post intrigued me, because tonight I was looking for someone to talk to out there because I am battling tonight with the possibility and painstaking decision to put my 16 year old dog to sleep tomorrow. In no way at all, do I want you to think I am comparing your mother/parent to my pet; but I want you to know that in my own personal way, I do know what you are going through. I know this site has a tribute area where you can write the story of the great strength and bravery of your mother. And, believe it or not, those of us with cancer WILL read it and take away what we need from it.... Did she ever cry? Someone will say, "heck, I cry! and look at her...all that power and she still shed a tear or two.' Someone else will read your story and maybe see..."my Mom didn't lose one bit of herself..even when she started to lose her brain.' and they will see and say, "hey, it was only a body part...I won't lose one bit of "myself" either. So, trust me........we will read it, if you will post it! My dog is 16 years old.......she served "tours of duty" (I'm military) with me in the former Soviet Union, Haiti, Kenya (during the bombing of our Embassy), Beirut, Lebanon, Iraq, and now in a place where we are considering evacuating to ensure our safety. Her story, too, is a heroic and brave one. Tonight I am trying to convince myself that this dog has touched more lives in more countries than many people have, and she is trying to tell me that it is time I send out her "thanks" to all who ever fed her a bone or a steak or gave her a pet or a rub. Please, let me repeat that I am not trying to compare my dog to your mother....but, I came out here tonight and read your post, and already it "touched" me and you have helped. I feel almost guilty even trying to tell you that my pet's recent meds are not working any longer either; and all I have left is to look in her eyes and wonder, "are you trying to ask me for one more day? or are you trying to ask me to let you go?" If your courageous mother is still talking - ask her. If your obviously strong, brave, courageous, wonderful mother is no longer able to give us the wonderful lessons she has taught you (and us) for the past 20 + years, then it is time that you take over for her and tell her story as best you can. Gosh, I sure hope both you and I can make the best decisions for the ones we love. God Bless you and I await to see your mother's story posted!
  • 24242
    24242 Member Posts: 1,398
    I think if you and your family have been through this much with your mother you would be trying other alternative therapies available in this day and age. Your mother is a story I would like to hear, can't imagine going through 20 years of treatments for various forms of cancer. One was enough. You and your family are likely the reason she has been so sucessful at this thing called living, love and appreciation go along way. She is very lucky to have had the family she has.
    I wish that we all talked about dying as much as we talk about living for birth and death are two things we can count. I come from a family where my mother was a palletive nurse and helped people get through the last hours and days of life. I am so fortunate that death is just apart of life and something we must accept for none of us are spared from it. Losses are hard and sad, but I have seen over and over how the people I love who die never are lost because I see them in everyone they ever touched in their lives. They live on in me, with me, for they are on my team cheering me on through the rest of my life, Team Tara. We all have our cheering teams.
    My thoughts are with you and your family. One can be only thankful for the many years you have had when so many others have never had that chance.
    Be good to yourself,