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Stage IV Breast Cancer
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Stage IV Breast Cancer

My mom is 64 yrs old & she unfortunately hadnt seen a Dr in over 10yrs..got really sick & weak to where she could eat & swelled up w/fluid so bad that she was drained 3 times (7liters, 5 liters, then 3.9) all within 3 weeks, she is in the hospital now becuz she cant eat anything, they just got her strength up so she could get a biopsy & medi port...the Dr/s have confirmed breast cancer & that its spread to her bones, but they keep SPECULATING on her bone marrow, liver & i even heard 1 out of the 5 dr.s say possible pancreas! this is sooo frustrating for my family becuz she has had all the scans, xrays, blood tests, w/in the last 5 wks & we STILL dont have a game plan to her treatment & how agressive the cancer is & if its spread to her liver since we know its in her bones can someone tell me what to expect, my moms spirit is so low becuz she cant eat & keeps swellin up she has lost so much wait & her color is awful, she was such a young 64 yr old, could out shop me anyday & beautiful now she cant hardly get up without help, its soo hard to see, can someone please help me out & give me ANY information on Stage IV cancer that has spread to her bones & possibly beyond what is up with her not being able to eat, drink, she throws it up, or cant do it?? help please anyone?
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492898_tn?1222247198
I am really sorry this is happening to you and mother and family.

it also seems to me that spread to the bones alone would not cause the swelling symptoms and that an organ like liver is affected. The swelling usually happens in the abdomen or the lungs, or both.
my sister is in the same situation and I think it is very serious.

Hopefully, chemotherapy will help your mother and better the quality of her life to something considerable better than now.

it's otherwise impossible to speculate about her life and I think we have to take it one day at a time.

All the best to both of you, Kat
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962875_tn?1314213636
I, too, am sorry for all that your mom and your whole family are going through. You must be experiencing a great deal of shock and disbelief, to see your  so-recently young and vibrant mother suddenly so sick.

Unfortunately, when BC has reached Stage IV, there is no longer an expectation of a "cure" and the goal of treatment becomes prolonging life and reducing discomfort. (This is why there is so much emphasis on regular screening, to catch BC at the earliest possible stage, when it is often highly treatable.)

Some people with Stage IV breast cancer that has metastasized to the bones respond well to tx and are able to live relatively comfortably for years. Unfortunately, when the metastases are to what are called "the vital organs" (liver, brain, lungs), the situation is more serious and the outlook more bleak. When a patient develops ascites (the swelling  from the accumulation of fluid within the abdomen or lungs), and cannot eat, the situation is generally even  more serious.

I am sorry to the bearer of such bad news, but I believe it is important that the patient and the family members understand the situation and have the opportunity to say their goodbyes and to make all necessary plans, in case things progress rapidly. If, on the other hands, things go better than expected, then you can all appreciate whatever time you have together.

Some doctors are very open with patients and their families, while others feel it is better to only answer questions that are asked in a very direct way, convincing them that the askers truly want the answers.  You and other family members may have to decide how much you really want to know, and then make your feelings in the matter clear to the doctors.

Best wishes...
bb
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I am also sorry to hear the bad news. If the swelling and fluid is drain from her bellt, than her liver may be involved. Has she ever spoken about what she did and did not want when she was well? hopefully so because now is a hard time for descision making.
It must be very hard to see your mother like this, it has to be awful for her also.
Make sure you get your regular mammograms and stuff to prevent this from happening to you or other females in your family before your time.
At this time the cancer is probably aggressive or it would not have spread so much, but than we don't know when it started.
The medi port is prepration for chemo.
The Bx will tell which kind of breast cancer and enable treatment for comfort and prolonging life based on that.
When all the test, including the path report are back, they will then come up with a game plan.
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thank u all for ur comments to me, unfortunately I just read them today, my mom passed away on June 18, 2010 this has been sooo hard on my dad, my brothers & my 2 kids 14 & 12 whom were my moms entire world! she was hospitalized to get stronger & start her chemo 3 days before her sudden death, she didnt do well on chemo was in real pain & so they thought it was the fluid again NOT the chemo & sent her to be drained (in her stomach) AGAIN (5th time) & this time they saw infection~they immediately sent her for xray & the evil cancer had put a hole in her bowels, so they did emergency surgery & said it would be a miracle if she made it through~SHE DID BUT~when they opened her stomach the CANCER was like "CEMENT" on both sides so aggressive & nothing more they could do I AM ANGRY becuz i feel like she didnt get to fight this battle she just started she lived 34 hours in ICU after surgery & was in no pain, but selfishly I wanted her to stay with me here Today is my 40th birthday, my 1st bday without my mom, so upset, I had promised her that she would BEAT this once she started Chemo everything would be alright, like I let her down! I am so sorry mom, I love u & miss u terribly! thanks again for ur comments & hate to say it I wish I would 've read & taken ur advice bluebutterfly2222, I was fortunate my parents lived right beside me, my brothers on the other hand, lived states away my little brother made it here the day before, but she was not awake, he held her hand til the end we all did, my older brother didnt make it tho! just sad all around my dad is having bad days they were married for over 45 yrs! his soulmate is gone...she was my best friend, the best NANA to my children & nieces & nephews ever!
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962875_tn?1314213636
My sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved mother.

I can understand your anger related to your mother's never really having a chance to fight this awful disease!  Unfortunately, it was probably so aggressive and so advanced by the time that she got to medical attention that nothing that was done would have made a real difference.

It is important that none of you "beats yourself up" for anything that happened. It all occurred so quickly, and most of us have no preparation for going through something like this unless we've been through it before, so generally everyone is in shock and just trying to understand and cope with each new development in the medical cascade on a day-to-day basis, with little time or energy to deal with anything else. I'm sorry your bothers didn't get there earlier, but when family members are at a distance, timing is very difficult.  All too often dedicated family members make trip after trip for what turns out to be "false alarms," or are assured that the loved one is stable and they can leave, only to find out that the end came while they were on their way home...

It sounds as though you have a wonderful, loving family, and I hope you will all be able to console each other and help each other through this difficult time.

It must have been especially sad and painful for you, to reach your 40th birthday without your mother there to help you celebrate it.  In her memory, when you are feeling up to it, this would be a good time to begin having annual BC screenings, in the hope that your children will never have to go what you are going through--losing a wonderful mom far, far too early.

Warmest regards,
bluebutterfly
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492898_tn?1222247198
I join bb2222 with her thoughts and feelings, I am sorry you have to go through the pain and it's  harder when everything happens so quickly, and you are so unprepared.

But what you have to hold on to is knowing that your mom loved and cared so much about you and all of you, and that you felt the same way about her, and that you both knowit/knew it.

This is what you will carry in your heart with you, and it would be so much worse if  there were all these negative feelings and  unspoken words left, and never addressed.

I think when someone dies, the relationship continues and that why it is so much better if there was much love rather than not. It will givwe you strentgh in the pain and for the future, the memories.

KAT
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