Bone met advice for my mum

Hi everyone,

I have posted on here before, and I find it such a useful website, that I thought I would ask a few questions again. Basically, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer initially in 2003, and was diagosed with secondary bone cancer in 2007. Since her secondary diagnosis, her hormone treatment was changed from Arimadex (sorry if I don’t spell this right!!) to Letrazole, and she has been having IV bisphophonate every four weeks called Pamidronate. She could not tolerate the tablets.

Since she was diagnosed she has had virtually no pain, and, as the trooper that she is, has continued working 4 days a week, going on regular shopping trips and going on holidays! However, she has been experiencing a little more pain in the last few months or so, more what she describes as a ‘dull ache’. We went to the oncologist for her 3 monthly check-up last week, and an x-ray showed nothing, so she is getting another bone scan done.

I was just wondering what treatments other people are receiving for bone mets. I’m just worried that the current treatments she is on are not working, hence the ‘dull ache’ she is getting, and has anyone else changed treatment for bone mets? My mum has had no painat all previously so has felt no need for painkillers. Just want to be clued up to ask as many questions for the oncologist! I would appreciate any advice anyone has.

Many thanks in advance

Nicola x

Hi Nicola

I’ve been living with my bone mets for the last 4 weeks and was originally on bonefos (tablets) but found them such a pain to take as having to remember to take them an hour before food, etc. I was on pamidronate for 3.5 years and have recently changed to Zometa because Pamidronate stopped working for me at the beginning of this year.

I suppose it’s difficult to tell whether the dull ache your mum is experiencing is down to activity in her bones again or whether she’s just been overdoing it.

I sometimes get a dull ache and then it goes - so difficult to know!

Hope this helps in a small way.

Hi Pinkdove,

Thanks so much for yourm post- it helps alot! My mums dull ache does come and go, and she does not get any pain at all when lying in her bed etc, so its difficult to know what it is. I will keep Zometa in mind if there has been some progression.

Thanks for your post, and glad to hear you are keeping well too.

Nicola x

Hi Nicola,

I have had extensive bone mets since 2002 and been on pamidronate all that time. In the early days I had further progression but it is now well control. I do get odd patches when I seem to ache quite a bit - not bad enough for painkillers. But that comes and goes. Recently things got quite bad so I had radiotherapy to one of my hips, and lower spine. If her pain gets bad that is an option - but I would keep it in reserve for bad pain. I have no idea what age your mum is but I am in my 60s and have now been told that the xrays show I also have degenerative disease (i.e. arthritis!) so it is hard sometimes to know what is causing the pain. It sounds like the hospital are keeping an eye on things.


Hi Dawn,

Thanks for your post- my mum is in her early 60’s too, and also has some arthritis in her knee, but her bone mets are in 2 areas of the spine, and in her lower back. Its good to know that you are on the same bisphosphonate also- gives me hope that it is working! Only time will tell, but the hospital are good at checking things out.

Its great to know that you are keeping well also.

Thanks again


Hi Dawn,

Thanks again for your message, my mum lives in Hamilton, near Glasgow, and unfortunately there is not much secondary cancer support up in Scotland in regards to groups and meeting others. She is not on the internet yet, though is hoping to treat herself to laptop at Christmas! She only has work e-mail at the moment. I don’t know if you would be happy to use the phone, but I can pass on my mums number? It’s totally up to you.

Thanks again for the lovely message,

Nicola x

Sorry - didn’t read my post (duh!) I meant to say 4 years not 4 weeks - thanks Dawn!!!


No probs pinkdove- I knew what you meant!! Nicola.xx