ParkPeach

Mom Died From Metastatic Breast Cancer

2 posts in this topic

Alright, I'm going to give you the whole story, but first let me tell you a little about me. I am a 15 year old, male, who was very close to my mother. She had been dealing with cancer almost my whole life.

Let me tell you a little about my Mom. She was a nice, caring, and stubborn person. Her favorite drink was diet coke and she smoked cigarretes since she was 16. DON'T ANYONE SAY THAT IS PROBABLY THE REASON SHE HAD CANCER, BECAUSE IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. SMOKING IS NOT EVEN PROVEN, FULLY, TO CAUSE CANCER. LEAST OF ALL BREAST CANCER. She got married in the 80's and had two children, my older sisters (27 and 28). She got divorced in 89 and married my father in 98. In 2001, I was born. Shortly after she got cancer.

In 2003, my Mom was diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer, in her breast. It was "simple" back then. She had a double vasectomy and that was the end of that. The doctor said that the surgery was 99.99% effective.

Well, in 2010, she was diagnosed again with stage 0 breast cancer, in her breast. Alright, this is slightly more complicated because it came back. She went on chemo for about 8 monts, had radiation, and had a total breast reconstruction. This route is even more effective than a double vasectomy, especially for a stage 0 breast cancer patient. The doctors and us all thought, ok what are the odds that the cancer will come back after all the treatment she went through.

Again, well, in 2013, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that had metastisized to her brain, back, lungs, liver, and lymphnodes. After she was diagnosed, she took off disability from her job because she knew that she couldn't work and have treatment. Her doctor at the time, same doctor she had in 03 and 10, was ready to get on it and battle it with as much treatment as possible. As much as my mom wanted to be treated, she didn't want that to be the doctors only focus. As some of you may know, when you have stage 4 cancer your doctor should focus on two things treatment AND quality of life. As a result of that, she switched doctors. This new doctor focused on treatment and quality of life. My mom spent the first two years after diagnosis doing different chemos, and had back and brain radiation. She would take a week off here or there to go on vacation. Year three she definitley lived her way. She went on four cruises, two trips to Las Vegas, and two cabin trips, all while taking different chemo therapies. Until, in June 2016, she took a chemo called Doxil. Doxil is a very bad, hard, and strong chemo that take a grear toll on the heart. She started taking this because her cancer had been declared too aggressive, and it needed to battle back with a very aggressiev chemo. After taking two rounds, she was unabe to handle it so her doctor took her off of that chemo and switched her on to a pill form of xillota, I think that's how you spell it. She got scans soon before she started that new chemo and they showed improvement in the cancer. She started xillota in late August. She was on it for about a week then she started having bad diarrehea and was getting dehydrated. She went to the doctor and she set up an appointment at the hospital on Saturday for her to get fluids and orderd for her to stop taking the chemo. On Saturday she went to the hospital and got fluids, but she started throwing up, so they decided to keep her overnight. She was in there from Saturday and was discharged on Tuesday. Everyday she was in the hospiatl she was getting weaker and weaker. She had to start using a walker. Her brain function had dramtically decreased since she was discharge (confusion, halucinations, etc.). I was having to help her around the hause even with her walker. The following Staurday she was being unreponsive and refusing to take her pain medicine, which she took on a regular basis for back pain. My dad called 911 and she refused to go the hospital. My dad tried to get her to at least drink something and she wouldn't. About an hour later he called 911 again and she went to the hospital. They ran a CT scan and they noticed that her cnacer had shown improvement, but her blood work showed an irregularity in the liver. Her oncologist ordered ot do an MRI of the liver on Sunday to closely examine what is going on their. On Monday the doctor came in with the results. Her cancer had almost completley taken over her liver. In other words, her liver was failing. The doctor said that there is no chancer for a transplant and that she estimates that the end will come in the next two days. The hardest thing my Dad had to do was tell me and My sisters that our Mom was dying. On that day, the nurses swithced over to comfort care. If you haven't noticed by now my Mom is a fighter. She made it from the Saturday she was brought in until 1:25 A.M on Saturday, September 3rd, 2016. All of the doctors and nurses were in awe of how long she made it.

 

This is the hardest thing I ever had to go through. I, luckily, was ablr to get time alone with hevr in the hsopital to tell her how much I love her. It was terrible being in that hospital everyday and watching her slowly die. The important thing is that she was comforatble. However, I was fine the first week but when the second week came it all hot me. I was in the shower listening to music. I was begging and pleaing for my Mom to come home and give me a hug one last time. Then, all of a sudden, the music changed to  one of my Mom's favorite songs. I started crying hysterically becasue, in my opinion, I knew that she was there and hat was her way of letting= me know that she us allright and  I will be fine too. However, it is still too hard. I constantly think about her or things I could tell her, but then I remember that I can't.

 

Please give me any advice you have on how to cope. Also, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I will answer to the best of my ability.

 

One of my main reasons of writing this is so all of you Stage 0 or Stage 1 and even Stage 2 people realise that it could very EASILY happen to you too. Spend time with your family and tell them everything no matter how hard it is.

The only thing my Mom kept from me during this whol etime was her life expectancy. Apparently when she was first diagnosed she asked the doctor what the life expectancy is. The doctor said, a "typical case" last about three years. My Mom made it three years and two months.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

If anyine has any suggestions on how to cope with this, it will be much appreciated.

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Hi there, so sorry for your loss.  It sounds like you've been on quite the grief journey in the last several years coping with your mom's illness as well. I wish had some words of wisdom for you.  As I was telling another poster, this phase of fresh grief has to be dealt with.  I don't think there is a beneficial shortcut.  I know you say your family seems to be moving on, have you asked them how they are feeling. Often people grieve in private so as not seem weak, or because it helps them function to put on a happy face.  

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