46, three children, terminal breast cancer

Hi all! Delighted to have discovered this community today, and I’m hoping that someone will be able to help me.


My Mum, who is 46, was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 breast cancer about 18 months ago. It’s in her breast (she had breast cancer previously and had a mastectomy), peritoneum, and bones, and is currently undergoing hormone-based chemotherapy to slow the cancer down. She was initially given 2 years, but this was very tentative, given how rare it is for women her age to receive such a diagnosis. The cancer hasn’t progressed at all in the last 18 months, which is great, but she is really suffering and feels terribly alone.


My Mum is single and currently lives with her parents. They are stupendous at looking after her, but she doesn’t tend to see or talk to many other people. She is utterly devoted to me, my sister and my brother (we are aged 25, 23, and 20 respectively), but we all live in different places and can’t see her as much as we’d like to. We also, simply, have no idea what she’s going through. We can imagine, but as must be so common on this thread, we’re just not able to fully understand how it must feel for her. She is suffering with quite severe depression too, which is making things a lot worse for her.


This is where I’m seeking help. She is desperate for  someone  to talk to who’s in a similar situation, i.e. terminally ill as a middle-aged person. She has tried posting on forums before, but hasn’t received any responses, which has disheartened her. If you feel like you could even offer her a few words, please please reach out. She, my family and I would all be eternally grateful. She just needs a friend, honestly!


Thank you so much for reading.

Hi Im not middle aged but lots on here who are noticed there are meet ups in various places for younger women iemanchester liverpool etc. Im in scotland but macmillan give support to families too and are all over plus breast care expert nurses on here too. I dont think you can put a time on survival people are living longer with secondaries 15 plus years. Bless you for helping to support your mum. It can be isolating and lonely and u dont sometimes feel like reaching out for support when u are down. There is help out there just finding what is right for u.I was 13years before secondaries in feb 2018 and been on treatment since april 2018 which has stabilised things.Hope ypou and your mum and family get some help and support. Liz


what a lovely thoughtful daughter you are. Sounds like your mum is doing well in response to treatment but sometimes it’s where our “mind” is with this diagnosis that’s harder to deal with than treatment etc. My hospital oncology department offered counselling which I took and it helped very much. They gave me ways of calming myself when feeling out of control. It might be worth asking about that. Is your mum on anti depressants? They can also help. I wonder if you contacted McMillan? They might be able to put her in touch with other people “ in the same boat” or know of a local support group. Would your mum be able to use this site? We are a lifeline for each other and often rant about this and that but it makes you feel less alone. Please encourage her to join us we are a friendly bunch xxx

Oh Hello there Daughter 14,

Yes, I would love to chat to you and your mum x

In the past I also posted hoping for some company :slight_smile: so I understand. Your mum is a very lucky lady to have you about - I similarly have a daughter who is really supportive. My two sons live with me, one with his whole family, so it’s pretty busy here with 3 under 5s!

I was diagnosed back in July 2011, aged 44, with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma throughout both lungs and liver. The primary had not been found until I was firmly at stage 4. So much to come to terms with, and I became so angry and distressed!

But, so far so good. It will be 8 years this coming July and I remain stable. The cancer appears has shrunk with the treatment and I am enjoying life like I never did before. Oddly enough I don’t think I’ve ever been happier - weird isn’t it!? So I’m not going anywhere in a hurry! :wink:

The title of this forum was very attractive to me; I believe there really are many more people “Living” for longer and longer with secondary cancer (an eminent oncologist up in the Royal Marsden once told me “It’s not terminal till you’re dead”! Hahaha and he was so right!).

Please make sure you look after yourself - you are important too - and you will be best help if you’re looking after your own emotional and physical health as well. That’s not to say that you aren’t, but I also have experience in living as the daughter of a Secondary breast cancer sufferer and I found it easy to neglect my own life because I was so worried about my mum.

Nobody knows what’s round the corner, so do not distress yourself imagining things that are not set in stone.

Huge hugs to both of you,

M xxx