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Worried about Mum - 3rd cancer diagnosis in last 2 years

25 Nov 2022 20:00

Hi

My mum was diagnosed with Triple negative breast cancer in 2020, had a lumpectomy and lymph nodes removed for testing, but part of tumour had been missed.  Month later had mastectomy to remove all tissue, but did not remove any further lymph nodes for testing.  Was told that the cancer was agressive but as it had not gone into lymph nodes, chemo was not required.

In 2021 had a large mole on her leg checked, biopsy taken, found that it was skin cancer.  had mole and surrounding tissue removed, tested lymph node, no cancer found, so no chemo required.

Mid 2022, Mum went to doctor suffering from dreadful pain in back, (she presumed it was a bad fibromyalgia which she has suffered with for years). Doctor checked pulse which was racing (149 beats per minute) did ECG and found heart out of sync.  Refered to cardiologist, put on lots of meds & few months later had heart shocked to get back in sync.  Whilst all of this was going on, Mum lost interest in food and was losing alot of weight, we presumed that it was the meds that she was on.  Last week, pain in back and chest got unbearable, took her to doctor, got urgent chest X-ray done at Urgent Treatment Center (local hospital), which shows evidence of secondary bone cancer in her ribs & small shadow on lung.  The hospital said that they couldn't refer her for CT scan, they would request her GP to do that.  We saw the GP yesterday, he said that her blood tests have indicated that the primary cancer may be located in her ovary, he says he is not allowed to refer her for CT Scan of chest, he has to refer her for urgent ultra-sound of her ovary & they will hopefully refer her for a CT Scan.

Sorry for long drawn out story,  but I just cannot believe that 1 person can have 3 separate cancers diagnosed in 2 years & for them not to be linked somehow, and now I feel like Mum's case is being played like some "pass the parcel" to see who's budget the CT scan is going to end up on.  Meanwhile my Mum is now so weak and frail (she is late 70's), any treatment that she may be able to have to prolong her life, may be too late!

Worried about Mum - 3rd cancer diagnosis in last 2 years

25 Nov 2022 22:54 in response to marie54

Marie,

          Absolutely devastating news and so unfortunate, Cancer is so insidious and can be persistant, and breast cancer can metastsis to the bones,not only through the lymphatic system,but also through the bloodstream,which would have a large presence in the breast. l am no expert but tests on the bones should show this either as primary  and unconnected or secondary breast cancer spread, and l suspect your suspicions will prove to be well founded for at least two if not all three

Unfortunately any test only supplies a snapshot of that moment, another day,another time might highlight cancer cell movement at that instant, so its easier to understand the advantages cancer has to hide within a body and quietly go on about its business until a threshold of visibility is reached

l hope both yourself and your Mum can find some peace and happiness in the time ahead of you,

                                                            David

                                                                                                                                        

  

Worried about Mum - 3rd cancer diagnosis in last 2 years

26 Nov 2022 11:03 in response to gruntifen

Hi David

Thank you for your kind reply to my "Friday night, red wine fuelled rant".  Yes, in my logical times (like this morning) I realise that even if Mum had been offered chemo on the previous 2 occasions, we could still find ourselves in the same place as now, also, the doctors really aren't going to submit a patient  through that unless they really are sure that it is required.

I guess the hard thing is stepping back onto the emotional rollercoaster that is cancer diagnoses & treatment.  My sister died 13 years ago after a brutal 3 year battle with breast cancer, so unfortuanately as a family we feel like we have trod this path before.  To be fair to the medical profession (which I wasn't in my previous post!), I cannot really complain about how mum was treated, in both cases within a month of diagnoses, Mum was being operated on, I know through reading other posts that some people have had alot longer to wait than that.

I just have to count my blessings of which I have many.  My Dad is still fit and well & devoted to my Mum and at present able to help care for her, I took early retirement in 2019 and am able to take her to all doctors / hospital appointments and generally do whatever is required to support them both, and I have a fantastic husband who I can cry all over when it gets too much!

We will take one day at a time, get the full results and then find out treatment options, but ultimately it will be Mum's decision on how much or little treatment she wants, I will support her whatever she wants.  As long as she can be kept as pain free as possible through however long or short this journey is, that is the main thing as far as I am concerned.  Her GP has already given her stronger painkillers & told me to let him know if she is still in discomfort.

Thank you for your reply, I have never been on this forum before, with hindsight it probably would have helped alot through the loss of my sister.

Kind regards

Marie

Worried about Mum - 3rd cancer diagnosis in last 2 years

26 Nov 2022 21:59 in response to marie54

Hello Marie,

                   cancer diagnosis always arrives with a unique brutality for those standing to the side of the main target, and in so,so many ways in way much harder to deal with than for the recipient. Emotional rollercoaster is a very polite description that somehow only manages to sidle up to the reality of the situation, goodness knows most view it quite rightly in far more colourful terms.

Travel as safely and gently as circumstances allow, along with the occasional rant to keep you grounded, and l am told that a glass or two of red wine is good for body and soul, 

                                                                                                                                 David