Mums chemo is coming to an end - i'm scared again

Hi All,

I think I’ve come full cycle!! Mums just about to finish her last FEC chemo this week having had a double mastectomy with 2 tumours in each breast and 1 lymph node affected. Through chemo she has been amazing taken everything on the chin - kept going even with infections, stomach bugs, ulcers and DVT!! I am so immensely proud of her I cannot describe it - She has been so strong and positive and sometimes i forget she’s ill.

This week she’ll have her last FEC and be put on hormone treatment to reduce oestrogen (the one beginning with L) and to stop osteoporosis.

Whilst i should be happy as her and my dads life has revolved around hospital for the past 6 months I am now scared as she won;t be there so won’t talk for nurses to pic up some of the oddities that have led to discovering infections etc and what if now the chemo stops the cancer is about to rear its ugly head again.

My mum and dad are So precious to me and the thought of anything happening to her or her being taken from my dad terrifies me. Spoke to someone today who’s mum had recently died after having BC but in only one breast so now my stomach is doing somersaults as its bringing to the forefront of my mind again what she’s fighting and what the ultimate outcome would be - I’d rather die first than have to lose her as she is my mu and my best friend and my dad would be ripped apart! I know she’s fine now and worrying is wasting time we should all enjoy but now I feel like i did when she was diagnosed!!

Anyone know how I fell got any good advice??

Love to you all and wishes of strength to keep fighting!!


I felt exactly the same way when my chemo finished in January and I think most of us do.

An old lady I met at chemo told me that in all but rare cases chemo ‘covers’ the tumour or tumours and stops the cancer progressing. That is a very comforting thought and once that safety net is removed, yes, the panic starts to set in.

Here are a few things that may help when the fear becomes overwhelming.

Your mum’s cancer was hormone sensitive which means that hormone therapy forms a crucial part of her ongoing treatment plan. It is now thought that in cases where there is a strong hormone receptor status (I was 90% ER+) hormone treatment is more important than chemo. Drugs such as Tamoxifen and Hereceptin have drastically reduced recurrence rates and have increased survival rates.

Survival statistics are taken from the date of diagnosis so the further your mum gets away from treatment the closer she gets to becoming a long-term survivor. I will celebrate my one year ‘cancerversary’ on the 14th of this month, even though I wasn’t considered cancer-free until my surgery in February. Psychologically it is important to move on. I only have to get through another year to have reached the first milestone of two years.

Although you probably feel right now that you will live the rest of your life in fear it important to realise that panic comes in waves. You will have periods of panic interspersed with periods of calm. The periods of calm, with time, apparently get longer. I recently read a piece of advice that I thought was pretty poignant. It is from an oncology professor, herself a 10 year breast cancer survivor, to an anxious patient.

“If you spend the rest of your life worrying about recurrence and it doesn’t happen then the disease has won anyway.”

Try to get out of the habit of comparing your mum to other people. Cancer is not a single disease; it is a collection of diseases with similar characteristics. Just because you know someone who died who had cancer in only one breast and your mum had it in both breast doesn’t mean she is going to die too. It doesn’t work that way.

It’s a radical thought but have you considered giving into your fears of your mum dying and actually allowing yourself to ‘go there’ and work through your feelings? It worked for me when there was a possibility my cancer had spread to my liver (it hadn’t, thankfully.) Accepting the inevitability of death whether it is from an existing condition or something else in the future can help loosen its grip on us and lessen the fear. It is a way of taking some control from a situation that is otherwise outwith our control. Many cultures do this as a matter of course and seem to deal with death far better than we do.

I hope your mum manages to get through her final round of FEC without any complications and lives a long and happy life.

Lola x

Wow Lola, what a great answer! That’s so clear and makes such sense. Thank you.
And ILMM, it must be hugely scary, suddenly losing all that regular support. I have nothing to add except to say i agree with Lola, and I wonder if it would help you to ‘go there’ and contemplate the worst. Maybe with the support of someone like a counsellor who can help you sort out your feelings. I know for my daughter (8), we had to have a long conversation about ‘what would happen if you died, Mummy?’ as she simply couldn’t imagine any kind of life. I had to ‘paint a mental picture’ of how she would carry on living in the house with dad and siblings and she would still go to the same school and see her friends and how they would all be really sad at first and after a few weeks and months would start to be interested in other things again etc etc. It really helped her to have opened the lid and had a look at it. Now it’s kind of contained by some parameters, instead of being a huge faceless fear.
I expect your mum feels very similar to you, so it may be good to talk to her about your fears. Then you’ll feel like you’re in it together, and can support each other. Oh, and plan some treats to look forward to…
I wish her all the very best for a long and happy life

Hi Ilovemymum

Please try to stop worrying,you don’t want to make yourself ill with worry, your mum is having all the treatment she can and that is good, breast cancer is so treatable now and has one of the best survival rates out of all the cancers, try to focus on people that have had it and made a good recovery like Kylie Minogue, Olivia Newton John, Anastacia and there are many more but I am not sure you will know them.

chemo is given to kill of rogue cells and with only one lymph node effected with so many tumours, I would say that your mum is doing pretty well and she sounds like one determined lady to beat this disease from what you have said…try to look to the hear and now and not what may or probably may not happen. I wish you and your mum all the best wishes in the world.


oh and I forgot to say, they will be constantly checking your mum after her treatment of chemo etc has finished, so things should be picked up pretty quickly in the future should they arise, it’s not just a case of chemo over and that is it, I think maybe that is what you are more worried about…and you can always speak to the breast care nurse with your fears.


Ladies, Thank you!! This site always amazes me with the strength and support everyone gives!!!

I have TRIED to consider the ‘What if’ but it scares me in case I am making it OK to happen (I know what we think can’t change health) but my problem is I have depression and whilst I was seeing my counsellor I admitted my biggest fear was losing mum or dad which worried more as they got older and friends lost their parents. my best friends mum died a year ago and i was a mess he coped so much better than I did! When I told my counsellor about mum she said to me panicing, worrying and crying is wasting time you have with her and reiterated that BC is so much more advanced now in treatment and cures but again its the ‘C’ word!!. Then went on to say she’s not changed when you feel scared think of something you love doing i.e. eating chocolate - but it creeps back again and again its the fears of thinking it and making it OK (God I do sound like i’m loopy!!)

I am very lucky in the fact mum is determined to fight it as she knows I am scared and knows how it is manifesting itself in me (depression is back!!) if i do get upset she says we’ll all fight together but thats just it I can’t help her and thats what I can’t deal with - Recently I have become so protective of mum and dad like i’m the adult.

I think I will speak to her BC nurse as i am gona drive myself mad and how will that help mum. So weird during treatment things went back to normal and I was fine - sad she was changing so much but glad she was being looked after!

Thanks again everyone - People on here are so amazing!!

Hi I love my mum

I just wondered how you and your mum are doing???



I have not long ago discovered my mum was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and it is both a scary and upsetting thing to deal with, i love my mum loads too and it is hurting me to know that this is happening to her and how i wish i could take the pain away both from the physical and mental aspects of it. I feel that i need support of some kind just now, to speak to others that have been through it or are going through it so i can gain more insight and be able to support both my mum and others in my family, like my dad as it is a big thing for him also but sometimes i find it hard knowing what to say or do and am i doing enough.

You also make sure that your looking after yourself too, reg the depression.

Hope you & mum keep well and if you ever need to talk?


Hi Ilovemy mum

you mentioned that you are very protective of your mum and dad - I thought i would add that since dx my girls ages 24 and 26 have become very protective towards us expecting us to ring or text them when we get home after a day or night out - it’s like role reversal. so it could be a natural thing as my girls were never like this before dx