is this really it for mum?

Hi, not sure where to begin or where im going with this. But i m hoping someone here maybe able to answer my questions.
Yesterday my mum was told she wont be having anymore treatment for her secondary breast cancer. She was diagnosed back in April with secondary spread in the para arotic nodes around her stomach area, under arm, small nodule in her lung with minimal plural effifusion. She underwent one dose of taxotere chemo at end of May to which she then became really unwell and on the verge of dying when they diagnosed hydrocephalus on the brain. She underwent a brain shunt op and at that time discovered she’d got skull mets but the soft tissues in her brain were clear. They did also find very tiny particles in the celebral fluid which surrounds the brain. She made a massive recovery and was almost back to full health, other than a few minor mobility issues. Her other body scans had shown the cancer hadnt progressed and was quite stable so they put her on Aromasin tablets to help stop the growth. She then had 5 days of whole brain radio therapy in august to zap the cells in the fluid, which she recovered from really well.
She had a follow up appointment with her oncologist, during her peak health, in early sept. It was decided that they would re scan her at the end of sept to check on the spread and if still stable she would hold off having more chemo and remain taking the tablets. A few weeks later she became unwell with what they thought was a urine infection, she had all the symptoms including some mild confusion. She was given antibiotics and sent home. A week later she hadnt improved so spent a week in hospital treating the urine infection and sent her home when her markers had returned to normal, although her confusion remaind. Her appetite had gone right down and some of her sickness had returned. Another week passed and she was back in hospital again. Out of all of this nothing was ever found.
She had her routine body scans in October and saw the oncologist yesterday. The oncologist has decided not to continue with anymore treatment. The head scans have shown no change, no better, no worse and def no mass in the brain itself. She has some more growth with in the nodes so was taken off the aromasin as it wasnt working.
I guess what im asking is why have they stopped? I spoke with my dad last night and now on thinking it all through im at a loss as to why they are stopping. I dont want to ask my dad again today as i know this is all very stressful for him right now. Hes questioning has he done enough for her. I thought they only give up when they have exhausted all treatment, yet my mum has barely had any. I can see that giving chemo is not easy, its a tough treatment and maybe because my mum is weak right now she wouldnt be strong enough. But why else do they not try anymore? i know a few weeks ago when my mum was in hospital she said she wants a shot at treatment.
Thank you for any advice you can give xx

Hi Clare

I am sorry to read that you are having a difficult and worrying time and just wanted to mention the helpline, you may find it helps to talk to one of our team about the concerns you have about your Mum, lines are open 9-5 weekdays and 10-2 Saturday on 0808 800 6000, they are here to offer you support and a listening ear whenever you need it

Take care


C1are_uk, it might be worth having a chat with your mum’s onc to find out what’s what, and why they’ve decided the course of (in)action they’ve decided. You would of course have to do this with your mum’s permission, perhaps at her next onc appointment you could go with her.

I’m fortunate enough not to have secondaries, but I understand there are several other chemos they sometimes use for secondaries that don’t appear to have the drastic side-effects that Taxotere can have.

Definitely worth talking to the helpline about it first though, they are extremely knowledgeable and aren’t going to hurry you up when you’re talking to them and asking questions. And if they don’t know an answer they’ll do some digging and will find out for you.

Good luck to you and your mum and dad, it’s a crap thing to get hit with.


Clare, I’m sorry your family is going through this.

How does your mum feel about her onc’s decision? If she isn’t happy, could she go elsewhere for a second opinion? She may not be able to cope with chemo, but has she tried all the hormone therapies? They can be just as powerful as chemo, but more gentle on the patient.

But if your mum has agreed that it is time to stop treatment, because it will only make her more ill, you will just have to accept that, be there for her and for your dad, support them as best you can and enjoy the time you have left together.

Sending gentle hugs and my very best wishes to all your family. xx

Thanks ladies for all your kind words and advice. Because of mums confusion she can’t really say what she wants. When she was told of the spread recently her words were ‘we’ve got to give it a shot’, which sums my mum up through this whole thing this time around. She was looking forward to so many things.
Angelfalls, she’s had one dose of taxotere. She had arimadex after her initial diagnosis in 2006 and after falling ill from the taxotere they put her on aromasin. That’s all shes had.
Today I’ve spoken with my dad and it’s been decided mum is going into the hospice today…

Clare x

Clare this is one heck of a roller coaster ride you’ve been on these past few weeks.

Can I just say a word or two about hopsices? In a hospice the care your Mum gets will be aimed at one thing and one thing only, giving her the best possible quality of life for however long she has. They will manage her pain, and help her to have the best possible time to spend with you all. Beyond that, there will be support available for you, her family - people to talk to not just now, but on into the future. Most hospices are calm places with a surprising level of laughter and lots of love. If you are able to, sit with you Mum and share memories, especially funny ones. Play her favourite music for her, make sure that if she likes make-up it gets done for her, her hair brushed, and her favourite clothes or nighty on. There is still time to make more memories, and I firmly believe that she will not leave you until you are all able to cope. Remember she loves you, and that will never cease to be true, and she will know you love her. Hold her hand, talk to her.

Also, be kind to yourself, make the space you need to rant or to weep, whatever you need. You will never find the answers to all your questions, but you will get through this, and one day you will smile again.

Revcat,youve just made me cry.Clare,this brings back memories of 18mths ago when my dad was in a hospice in his last 2 wks of battling lung cancer,That was a lovely calming place where we were able to spend our last few days with dad and his pain was no longer there and we had a few days of peace and even some laughter,God bless you all through this difficult time.
Love and best wishes,Di.x

Sorry Di, hope they were healthy/healing tears…

(((((((Clare))))))), I’m so sorry. I hope that hospice will help make this next stage as comfortable and peaceful as possible for your mum and for all your family. Sending strength and my very best wishes to you all. xx

Hi Ladies, I just wanted to let you know my mum passed away in the night. It was a bit of a shock and a little bit un expected.
I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your help, advice and support you have given me. It has really helped me understand what’s been going on with my mum and this awful disease. I hope you all continue to stay strong and be healthy and continue to win the battles.
Much love
Clare xx

So sorry Clare that you didnt get a bit more time with your mum, at least she is no longer in pain.
Sending lots of love and hugs to you and your Dad xxx

So sorry to hear this Claire, love & prayers for you & your family at this terribly sad time.xxxx

So sad to see your news Clare, condolences to you and your family xx


Sincere condolences from everyone at Breast Cancer Care for the sad loss of your mum.

Best wishes to you and your family at this sad time.

Kindest regards.

Louise, Facilitator

Clare I am so sorry to read your desperately sad news. There is little I can say, except that now your Mum is free from the pain and struggle of the last little while, and at peace. I am sorry you did not get more time with her, but she will have known your love to the very end. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad time.

RIP Clare’s Mum.

So sorry for your loss Claire

Hugs and love to you and your family

With Love

Rosie xxxx

So sorry Clare xxx

Hi Clare

Just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. Just found your post and I am so saddened for you.
I miss my Mum massively and I feel your pain so much.
You and your family are in my thoughts.

Sending lots of love
Viv xxx

Hi Clare

I am so very sorry for your loss and send you lots of love and hugs. I have just lost my mum and know how heart wrenching it can be. Thinking of you and your family. xxxxx

My thoughts are with you, you were incredibly brave to write down your thoughts. and i hope some of the messages will be a comfort, just treat yourself gently.
Thinking of you and your family, just big hugs
anne xx