My Mum has been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer

My mother-in-law told my partner yesterday that she has secondary breast cancer in her right lung. It is extremly early days and as yet i do not have all the details as my fiance was in a state of shock and dont think he took all the information in…understandably. I plan to go visit her tonight myself.
She has told him that there is no real cure or operation that can be done due to the location of the tumour. Treatment options i.e chemo etc will be diagnosed once the scan results are back to see if the cancer has spread and how early they have caught the lung cancer. Apparently as this is secondary it could be more likely to spread.
To be honest i dont really know what im asking or why i joined this site but i just feel so lost today. i havent stopped crying and i feel like shes going to be gone tomorrow, i know that sounds crazy and i hope and pray that she has many years left but i guess i just wondered if anyone had any expreriences to share. Im scared about how long she has, how quickly till she becomes extremly ill and how to deal with it. i feel like we will be almost clock watching and thats a horrible feeling. Im also having terribly selfish thoughts about how i will cope when shes not here. Im not close with my mum at all and for the 12 years i have been with my fiance she has been a mum to me and we are so close. my partner and i are currently going through the IVF process and i feel i cant do it without her and cant believe she maynot be here when i finally have a child. She is fabulous with her other grandchild and i want to expereince that with her. My partner and i have also never rushed the idea of actually getting married but now i cant imagen ever having such a day without her. how selfish of me to think about me in a time like this but i guess i just dont want to do it all without her. I keep telling myself not to think its over right now and she could have years but i just dont know. all i keep reading is how people in her condition are gone within months.
Aplogise for my rambling :slight_smile: i look forward to hopefully chatting to others going through the same thing. I love my partner to bits but hes not the worlds best talker when it comes to emotions!!
Thanks for reading this thread xx

Hi loulu711

Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care discussion forums, where I am sure you’ll get lots of good support from the many informed users of this site.

While you are waiting for replies I have put for you below links to some of BCC’s publications that both you and your mother in law may find helpful. Also to further help you both the helpline team are here to support you, calls are free, 0808 800 6000, no question is a silly question so don’t be afraid to give them a call, lines open Mon-Fri 9-5 and Sat 9-2

Secondary BC

Secondary BC in the lung:

Resource pack:

I hope this helps. Take care,
Jo, Facilitator

Hi Jo,

Thank you very much for your welcome message and the links to reference pages. Whilst it is totally scary what i read i do feel i want / need to try to understand every detail no matter how awful.

Many thanks again


Hi Loulu and I’m sorry to hear about your Mother in Law, or Mum (as she is to you). .It is a dreadful shock when anyone gets a secondary diagnosis and I think we underestimate the impact on family and friends. I have secondary BC to my bones and understand how awful things must be right now. However all is not lost! There are many treatments for secondary BC and this will depend on the type of BC your Mum had initially as it is most likely that her secondaries will be the same and therefore the oncology team can assess what treatment is best. Although it is a shock to find out most secondary BC cannot be operated on and that it is incurable that does not mean that it is untreatable. Many oncologists now view secondary BC as a chronic condition to be stabilised by drugs, whether that is chemo, hormones or herceptin. Although I don’t have experience of lung mets myself there is a thread on here, in the Secondaries section, which many ladies with lung mets contribute to. Many are doing really well after diagnosis and it definitely doesn’t mean your Mum’s life is over. It’s worth checking this thread out and maybe asking specific questions on there so you understand a bit more when you see her or when she next visits her oncologist to discuss treatment. It’s always useful to have someone with her at these appointments, especially at the beginning, as it’s all so unfamiliar at first.
Good luck to you, your fiancé and of course your Mum.
Nicky x

Hi Nicky,
Thank you for replying to me and pointing me in the right direction on here for more help and support. I am sorry to hear you are going through secondary cancer yourself, i wish you all the very best too. My mum has a scan on the 2nd April to see if it has spread to any other areas, i believe they are specifically concerned about the spread to the bones as the medication she has been on post primary BC is known to weaken the bones (so im told!) and from there we will know more about the treatment possible etc.
It feels so strange that yesterday i think i stopped crying for a total of about 2 hours and yet today although its been on my mind constantly i havent cried at all. The bizzare emotions and thoughts is something i guess i will learn to handle!
Thank you once again, i really do appriciate you taking the time to reply.
take care, Louise x