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My mom's chemo doesn't seem to be working

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2013

15 years ago at the age of 37 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double massectomy. I was only 13 at the time and didn't really understand what was going on. I remember seeing her sick and being scared.

In her late 40s while I was away at college she had surgery to remove tumors from and replace vertibrae in her upper back. I was busy and away from home. She didn't want to stress me out while I was at school so she never let onto the severity or if she was sad or scared or needed me. 

I graduated from college and I am back in my hometown, close to my mom. And a few months ago the first time she has opened up to me about what she is going through. That she has tumors in her adrenal glands, liver, lungs, and marrow. The gentler treatments stopped working and now she began chemotherapy this summer. It has been SO hard on her. She can't eat, she throws up easily, she can't sleep, she can't walk far anymore. And her tumor marker went up again. I don't see how it is possible for to do anymore treatments. I am truly afraid she is going to starve to death.

it hurts me that she is suffering. It hurts that she feels scared and sad. The worst is knowing that she is sad about the possibility of not being there to see me get married next summer. I hate the thought of her being alone in her house. Her wonderful boyfriend lives with her but he works during the day. My grandparents visit her and I take care of her when I can. But the thought of her laying there alone KILLS me. 

Relatives are visiting me and my fiancé at our new house tomorrow. We are having a BBQ. But she is too weak to come over and it breaks my heart that she can't celebrate with us like she wants to. I don't even want to be at my new house tomorrow. I need to be with her, caring for Her. Just as she cared for me all the times I was weak or sick, I need to care for her. She deserves it. 

I am scared she won't live much longer. I can't sleep because I'm so upset that she is so sick, that she feels sad and scared. No matter what happens, if she dies soon or lives for 20 more years, I want to be there next to her to help her through. no matter how bad it gets have to do everything I can to comfort her. this life is too much. how am I going to do this? I'm not sure i can.


coco2008's picture
Posts: 420
Joined: May 2013

You sound like a wonderful loveing daughter. First, talk to your mom about how you feel and ask her what her oncologist is saying.  Ask her if she has let her onco know she is still having nausea and vomiting.  There are a lot of meds out there for this problem and she needs to find one that works for her.

You may want to ask to accompany her to next Dr appt.  That way you can ask any questions that are bothering you and also ask what you can do to help and support your mom.

My prayers are with you and your mom.  Let us know how you both are doing.


camul's picture
Posts: 2541
Joined: Dec 2010

Inam hopingnthat it will be the 20+ years that you have her. Chemo is really rough on her system and it may take amfew before they find one that will work. The doctors may decide to give her a break from the chemo which may bring some of her strength back. I am stage iv and my body could no longer tolerate chemo. That may or may not change. The cancer has spread and after 2 1/2 years on different chemos it just got to be too much. I have been off it for 3 months now. I am careful what I eat but make sure I at leadt hage a yogurt, soup and some protein every day.
There are no guarantees that anything will work, but I remain hopeful. Foods that may agree with me one day, turnnmy stomach the next. You may want to talk to her doctor. There are some things they can do to increase her appitie, even medical weed if you live in a state that allows it.
I foundnthat smoothies with yogurt, ice and fruits help. Also, if I can keep the pain under control I am able to tolerate more foods as well as keep a positge outlook.
I wish you all the best. You are about he same age as my boys and they were 15 and 17 wyen I first started on this journey with the beast. I know that it is usually harder on them to see me sick and hurting than it is on me.

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

This has to be upsetting for you and your family.I didnt need chemo or radiation.I hope I was the lucky one.Stage 0.Others i know though who've had chemo it seemed to  work and are still living.I know of one lady(not BC) whose been fighting her cancer over a year,Tumor doesn't seem to shrink.Her doctor changed chemo.Still the other didn't work.Now just the last few weeks she was changed to radiation Mon-Fri for the next 4 weeks.1/2 way through her doctor said the tumor has shrunk. 

No 2 people seem to be the same and that's what is so hard.Something might work for one and not work for another.

You are such a wonderful daughter.I'll pray and think about your mom being at the wedding.That would be the happiest day of your life and I hope it happens. 

Chemo can make some people very very sick.A friend got so sick each treatment her doctor said he wasn't sure she will make it if the cancer ever comes back. She had a very fast growing breast cancer and she's living a great life after 9 years.  This very well could be what is the problem with your mom.She can't tolerate the chemo.My friend went to the hospital after every treatment,She became dehydrated and had to be admitted.Seems like something your mom is going through.

Wishing your mom  is able to tolerate the chemo soon.  I don't know I could tolerate it.

Lynn Smith

Lynn Smith

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