My Mum has just been diagnosed with Secondary BC

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
This will have been a terrible shock to you all, and you are bound to have all kinds of worries at this point, as it sounds as if the tests are not complete so there is no clear treatment plan as yet. Normally it is a little bit easier to deal with once we have all of the facts.
I cannot offer you any direct experience or re-assurance (although I am currently undergoing tests myself), but there are a number of threads for ladies with secondaries on here, and many of these ladies have lived for many years with secondaries - there is no cure, but there is treatment available. Hopefully someone with direct experience will respond to you soon to offer some insight.
You have come to the right place for help and advise here. But just keep doing what you are doing and being a fantastic daughter-in-law - that will mean more than anything to her right now.


Hi Projectwoman,
Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my post and i wish you all the very best with your tests x
You are right, there is no real plan right now as the next set of scans to check for signs of spreading are not taking place until the 2nd April so then we will know more.
Just in the short amounf of time i have been on this fabulous website i have seen posts of real hope and encouragement from people in similar situations to my mother-in-law and the whole family. the standard websites givin out facts and stats have been so scary that i know being on here will be of more help and support than i could have imagined.
Thank you once again
take care
Lou x

Hi Lou, I was in a similar situation to you Mother-in-law I think. I was diagnosed with secondary bc in my right lung 2 and half year ago, my primary bc was treated in 2006. At first I was devastated as were all the family but now life is going on fairly normally. I am having hormone treatment, letrozole,which is keeping my tumours stable, I have Ct scans every 6 months now and had my last one 2 weeks ago and still everything stable with no spread elsewhere, so I feel very lucky. I have 2 grandaughters 4 and 2 and my son has just got engaged and is getting married in August, I also have a holiday booked for June to Pollensa in Mallorca. I am just telling you all this as I want to give you hope and show you life does go on, once yoou mother-in-law has the results of her scans and gets a treatment plan I think you will all feel better and come to terms with it all, I know at first all I could think that this was the end but it wasn’t and life is sweet.

I wish your mother-in-law luck, please let us know how she gets on, do try not to worry too much. Do hope we have all given yoou hope and inspiration.

Take care
Marina x

Hi Marina,
Firstly i would like to thank you so much for sharing your experince with me, i know each case is different but this has shown me that there is hope and right now im willing to cling on to any hope thats out there :slight_smile: I am so pleased to hear that your recent scan was positive, long may it continue that way.
your timings between being diagnosed with primary and secondary are extremly close to my mil case so this is also reasurring to hear as all the reports i have read seem to say that if bc is to return it is likely to be within 2 years. which obviously worried me to think maybe she they found this too late but clearly that is not the case…where theres a strong woman involved theres always hope :slight_smile:
i am so pleased i joined this site to recieve message like yours. it really does help. I will keep everyone updated too.
Have a fabulous holiday and congratulations to your Son.
Take care

So pleased you came on this site the ladies on here are all a true inspiration. My daughter also used this site for help both with my primary and secondary diagnosis. Your mother-in-law I am sure is comforted to have such a caring daughter-in-law as yourself. Look forward to hearing hopefully promising news from you soon.

Marina xx

Hi Lou,
So sorry to read about your mother in-law, and like Bertie has said you have come to the right place for support and advice, I was dx this time last year with both primary and multiple lung mets to both lungs at age 43, it is truly terrifying to be told that the cancer is on your lungs and I totally sympathize with her and the family at this difficult time, it is always worse when you first find out, especially as you have no plan yet, my own plan was chemo first to shrink everything down, then surgery to remove the mother lump in my right breast then 3 weeks of rads which I finished in Jan this year, I am now permanently on herceptin and take tamoxifen tablet daily for the next 5 years or until it stops working.

The chemo worked beautifully at shrinking everything the primary lump was 6cm reduced to 2mil and the mets on my lungs also shrunk to now tiny and classed as stable. When your mother in-law knows what her cancers pathology report ie: whether its ER PR or HER2+ is then a plan can be put into motion whether its chemo or whether its the same as me heceptin/tamoxifen, I would like to post this link to a story I found sooooo inspiring when i was first dx, so far I am symptom free and living life as normal as possible under the circumstances. If you need anymore info or just a chat feel free to PM (private message) me.
Sending you love and light
sarahlouise xxxx

Hi Sarahlousie,

Thank you so much for sharing some of your story with me and im glad to hear treatment is working well for you :slight_smile: It really has been such a comfort to read so many peoples comments on here through the forums about how well treatment can work and that all hope is not lost.
I spent the day with my mil yesterday and we chatted alot, she wanted to explain a few things and talk about the “what ifs and whens” which were of course incredibly hard to hear but i had to respect her wishes to talk through the practical things in the event of worst case scenarios. I managed to hold it together for her and my OH. I was so shocked with my own strength…so was she…after living with her for a few years while saving for our own place she often caught me crying at tv soaps hahaha so she knows what im like. funny how you manage to cope for others, although it is all a complete front and when im alone and even now sat at my desk at work im sobbing. im so terrified about what the future holds for her. The next few weeks till the full results come back will be tough and uncertain but we have agreed to stay posative and hug alot :slight_smile:
As the tumour is in the tube her breathing is so restricted and she sounds terrible but says she doesnt feel at all unwell which we are trying to keep in mind to stay positive.
Thank you for the offer to pm you…i will take you up on that im sure.
Thank you again, take care
Lou xxx