Finding things difficult

Hi anyone out there, mines a long story I suppose, I was adopted when a small baby by the most special people that I have ever come across, my mam and dad. I found out about the adoption probably about 10 years ago as a sibling who I knew nothing of and who lives in Australia traced me and that my birth mother was in fact one of mams sisters, she died 15 years ago of BC. My mam has now reached the ripe old age of 91 and up until recently was still full of energy and zest for life. she was diagnosed with BC last year and has been on Letrozole which seemed to be doing the job. The past few weeks though have resulted in a marked change as she has now developed worrying spine ,bum and thigh pain. Called GP out and she is now booked in for X-rays week on Friday. Mam has always been very fit and active for her age but this has really incapacitated her. I,ve got 2 brothers but my mam and me have a really strong bond and I am especially close to her . I am her eyes and ears and am being told everything concerning her treatment and illness by the medical team but if after xrays turns out to be not so good news am not sure how I will react.I remember when we went for the dx and they asked about her medical history the story of my adoption came out and I,ll never forget the look of love on her face when she looked at me and I just feel so bloody helpless coz I love and owe her so much. Feel frustrated, angry and powerless, don,t know what to do !

Hi Emperortooco

What a difficult situation you are in and what a special relationship you have with your mam. The results of the x-rays may not be what you are fearing so if you can, try to keep an open mind. It’s awful to feel as you do so helpless but you are helping and have been all your life. Your support and love are invaluable to your mam. You only have to read some of the posts on this forum to realise that not all people have such love a devotion from their families.

All I can say is continue to love and support her and treasure every day. I really hope that your fears are unfounded.

Keep posting on here. You will find information and love and support. There’s always someone on here who’s been there and done it.

Sending you love and strength.

Jan xx

Your emotions show just how much you love your mother, however painful they are. There is a temptation to blame every ache and pain on BC or the medication, but at your mother’s splendid age, there may be other causes and these too need to be checked out so they can be treated. It’s great that she has you to support and help her and return some of the care she has given you.


Thanks for your kind comments; I think that it’s human nature sometimes to look on the blackside and it’s something that I need to get out of the habit of doing as I am normally a half cup full type of person.It did me a lot of good last night just pouring my thoughts and tears! out , it’s just good to know that there are people out there like yourselves that have shared similar experiences and understand my frustrations and concerns.x

Well today’s the day for my mams X-rays, case of fingers crossed. She is no better I,m afraid probably worse as she can no longer go out or keep on her feet long enough to put her make up on, the pain is too bad. The breast care nurses are going to intercept the x rays and try to get them in front of the specialist so should get a quick answer hopefully, will keep you posted.

Hi Emperortooco
I have just read your post and wanted to say I hope everything goes well today and that the specialist can sort out your Mums pain soon.
I can understand how helpless you feel as I too am supporting my Mum and like you I usually am a positive person but this horrid disease certainly tests every emotion humanly possible!
I am keeping everything crossed for you and your Mum.
Esbee x

Hi , just wanted to give you an update. my mum had the x ray on the 20th and the doctors surgery rang yesterday to say that they were arranging a one scan. Hey presto letter with appt for 8th June arrived today. don,t know what to think really, so want it to be positive but still have that nagging doubt at the backof my mind that all is not well but will know soon enough I guess.

Well today being Monday is my most unfavourite day of the week and even more so today as I got the news that I feared that my mum has indeed got bone mets. They are in her lumbar spine, pelvis, s I joint and also some signs higher up innT3 region, am gutted and I had to be the one to break it to her but being the trooper that she is she has took it in her stride. Now waiting for onco and then course of radiotherapy

Gosh what a blow. your mother sounds a real hero though. It sounds as if you two have a wonderful loving relationship.

I nearly did not post, I could not think of anything that sounded right, but I see that this thread has not as many replies as most. I think you want to say something to express sympathy and support but everything sounds abit lame given the courage and affection you two have

Thanks for your kind words. My mum is an inspiration with the way that she has handled things so far and I’m sure that she will continue to be.Just wish I could swap places with her as I hate seeing her suffer but thats life at its cruelest I suppose, still we are both half cup full people so its a case of onwards and upwards and dealing with the situation.

Hi emperortooco - I just read your thread today half suspecting that this was the news you were going to get. You clearly do have such a lovely relatonship with your mam and I can understand how hard this must be for you,and how helpless you must feel. But I think given the relationship you have, just being there for your mam must mean so much to her.

On a practical level - no one wants to hear that they have 2ndaries, but I have lived with bc for 21 years now, and with extensive bone mets since 2002. Hopefully they will give your mam bisphosphonates and this will help strengthen her bones, and also help with some of the pain. They may also offer her some radiotherapy to the painful areas. I found it took a few weeks for this all too start working but I went for a number of years without any problems or pain after having the radiotherapy. I don’t know if at her great age they will subject her to the misery of chemo. I am trying not to use abbreviations etc. here but if I can help answer any questions please do feel free to ask or pm me. I do hope she will be more comfortable soon.


Hi Dawn, thanks for your advice it is much appreciated. My mum just has to have one dose of radiotherapy and that is in a couple of weeks as soon as I get back off my holiday that I no longer want to go on. They have now signed her over to the oncology unit in Middlesbrough as opposed to staying at the breast unit and the doctor also wants to take bloods for "tumour marking " but not sure what that means really. Does it mean that they can spot potential activity elsewhere ? She has also the past couple of wks lost her appetite and is losing weight probably just over 1/2 stone in a few weeks, which might not sound a lot but she is only a little thing to start with. Am probably reading too much into all of this but especially at night my mind starts to race with a thousand and one thoughts.
Any advice again would be most helpful.xx

Latest update… I went quite reluctantly on my holidays and struggled to relax even though I rang her every day, however when I got back I must say that she looks smashing. She had lost a little bit of weight following secondaries dx but that seems to have stabilised. On Wednesday she had her radiotherapy session and apart from feeling as though she has been kicked in the back she isn,t doing too bad. Follow up appt with onc in 6 weeks.

Hi Emperortooco,

I’m so glad to hear that mum sounds a lot better than you dared hope for :). She may well feel a lot more discomfort from the rads for a little while. But I do hope that once she gets past that time she will start to notice an improvement. Some of us have tumour marker blood tests done regularly, and some oncologists just don’t set too much store by them. They are usually best done on a regular basis so they can have comparative readings to look at. It is when the pattern changes that they can see some activity going on with the cancer. Normal would be up to around 30, but when there is a lot of cancer activity they can rise into hundreds. They are just one of many tools in the armoury that some oncologists will make use of. Do keep posting and let us know how she gets on. If it helps and you want someone to ‘talk’ to then feel free to pm me.


Thanx Dawn much appreciated.xx

Oncologist review appt tomorrow, fingers crossed. Mam is good at the mo apart from her appetite but looks like rads has given her a break from the pain in her bones.

fingers crossed, hope you both have some good news

Not sure what to think really. We didnt see the onco it was the breast clinic team. He examined my mams breast , said the femera was definatley working and when would we like an appt 6 months or a year! He asked how her back pain had been since the radiotherapy and up until the appt had been nil but typical she has been suffering a bit since then!,He just said if there were any changes to get in touch and would make an appt to see them.Although I am pleased that the medication seems to be doing a good job at present our last appt with the onco was very different following the diagnosis of secondaries to the bones. She said that mam would have regular appts to see how she was doing and would have bloods taken for markers to monitor activity but absolutely nothing was said at this appt. Are they just not thorough because she,s 91 or is this normal. Plus she had a bone density scan a few weeks back and no mention of this either. Should I contact the breast nurse as I feel that so much is up in the air and unanswered ?

Well seems as though my mums appointments were wrong after all and she is under the oncologist which is good news. On bone medication now and she seems quite perky in herself it,s just the tiredness that is getting her down. Anyway today has been a good day as it has been her 92nd birthday, she,s my hero and always will be

Well i am glad you are back on track with the appointments. Must have been a letter missing from the breast teams file–typical.

its good news that the femera is working and hopefully the bone medication will do the trick too.

She sounds a real trouper and you must love her to bits.

happy birthday to emperortooco’s mum