My best friend

Hi everyone

I don’t really know what to write or how to start but I know I need some guidance and support right now. I’m writing about my beautiful mum.

This June my mum got sick with pneumonia, completely out of character for her to get Ill, she doesn’t even catch a cold normally. My mum has always been a hard working, tough cookie. Mum couldn’t shake this cough and started to become really Ill because of it. Eventually her husband forced her to go to the hospital, they diagnosed her with pneumonia, gave her antibiotics and she went home. The antibiotics didn’t seem to work and she ended up going to the emergency room where after multiple scans / blood tests they found she had metastatic breast cancer. The cancer had spread to her liver and the scan showed a 7cm mass on her liver. The doctor told my mum she had to have emergency chemo else she would be dead in weeks. The chemo was that strong they had to do scans on her heart to ensure it was strong enough to manage the chemo. Her prognosis from the doctors is 12-18 months. On hearing that my beautiful, loud, bubbly, cheeky, independent mum has now disappeared, she is so low I really don’t know how to help her. My heart is breaking, watching and hearing her some days. I understand completely and I get it but she is so low most days it scares me. And here is the plot twist to my mums story, before covid she met the man of her dreams and decided to move out to America with him and marry, finally she was getting the love she always wanted and deserved. When she got diagnosed covid restrictions were high and travel to the USA was banned. My mum has been there nearly three years and has been going for immigration but again due to covid that’s been slow. So for anyone to visit her was impossible. I had to write to the U.S embassy stating my reason for travel and prove she was sick. I did get approved and travelled over in August but had to return last month due to ESTA. When I first saw my mum, her beautiful blonde hair had gone and she was suffering from Edema, she looked nine months pregnant. Eventually the hospital kept her in and got rid of most of the water, she’s now on water pills at home. Mum had chemo through her port and has now been given chemo tablets at home. My mum had stopped showering and eating when I saw her, she had completely given up. She recently had her big check up and the doctor said for the cancer she has she couldn’t be at a better place with it, the mass on the liver has shrunk her bloods are good and the chemo is containing it. Which was great to hear but my mum still says each month “oh ten months left” like she’s counting down when she’s going to die. I try everything, I originally joined this forum to show her that there are people in the same boat and they have guidance and can offer real support as they know what she’s going through. I personally found so many helpful things on this forum to take over to my mum to help with her chemo such as queasy drops, lemon sherbet sweets, the creams and mouth washes. My mum hasn’t really had a break since her diagnosis she’s had the edema then suspected heart failure, blood clots on her heart, couldn’t walk, sickness, constipation, sciatica (had for years but constant as she’s not moving around much), can’t sleep/too much sleep, mouth ulcers, cracked skin, bruising. I’m debating sacking everything off here and moving to the states the be with her, she gets so lonely and feels so isolated she only has her husband there and he’s never cared for someone sick never mind someone with cancer and he’s kinda avoiding it, he works from home in his garage and will wake up offer her breakfast then sit outside all day working until 6pm. She doesn’t see no one and time difference is a pain. My mum used to be told off all the time for talking, laughing and joking at work and when I got there she couldn’t string a sentence together due to lack of human interaction, it was so scary to see. I’m so annoyed and angry at the world and it shouldn’t be about me but I’m not coping well, I wish I could take it all away from not just my mum but everyone, I work full time as a care manager and some days i really struggle I feel so guilty that she’s there all alone. I tried to get her home but the government requires her to do a test to prove she’s not coming back to the UK to take advantage of the NHS (face to palm) she’s having such great treatment in America and if she needs to have scans they are all done in one day ok the same day so for her to come home would probably take an impact on her treatment anyway. It’s just so hard :frowning_face: I really wish I could support her better, we have always been so close, she is my best friend. I’m the youngest of 7 (28) and im having to support my other siblings as they are in denial she will get better, they haven’t even been over to see her yet so they don’t understand how bad her days can get. Im sorry for ranting on and taking up probably a whole page, I just wondered if there’s other ways to support my mum or suggest to show/tell her, she feels she is the only one to “look” and feel so old and useless - her words. Especially when she was going into chemo, she would cry and say nobody else gets taken in via wheelchair, no one else looks as bad as me. Anyway enough of me going on, I’m sorry if I’ve written they wrong terms or anything, I write how I remember things and I do go on and on haha. If anyone has any advice or has been in the same boat I’d love to hear from you. Thank you again for letting me post x


first of all what a lovely compassionate daughter you are to your Mum and I’m so sorry you are having to deal with this and help your siblings and the geographical distance between you and your Mum.

my first thought is that you need support. I would contact Macmillan. Google then and there is a phone number or you can chat online. They are a wonderful cancer support team. Tell them exactly what you wrote above. They offer support to cancer patients and relatives.

Regarding treatment, your Mum is in a better place as in the USA they have better access to newer drugs and also less waiting time. Her oncologist is pleased with how she is responding but your Mum seems understandably depressed. Can her hospital give details of a support group near to where she lives?

Also, don’t listen to time scales on life expectancy. People live for many many years with stage 4 breast cancer including those with Liver metastases.

There are many ladies all over the USA  who you’re a forum called breast  there is a community site much like this one. They might have more information relative to the USA

Please continue to message on here also we support each other.

with love

Debs x