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Re: Help

It's good that you are concerned and wanting to help. Not everyone is comfortable talking about their diagnosis and treatment. It can be a very difficult thing to do, many people have no concept of what a secondary diagnosis means so you have to explain it and that can be very tiring. I also have secondaries in liver and bones and there is no doubt it is terrifying. I'm comfortable talking about it now but I am aware not everyone wants to hear it. It's ludicrous really when someone asks how you are and you say fine because that's all they need or want to hear. There are a few people I can be quite open with but even some close family members don't want to know the details or how you are really feeling. It can often be easier to talk with someone less close.
It's hard to know what her treatment might be. I've had 6 cycles of chemo, it sounds like she is possibly having the same. It's usual to have a scan half way through to check the effect then another at the end. That's how it was for me anyway. She may be feeling OK or she may have any number of nasty side effects. Some cycles can make you feel awful then the next one is OK, it can be unpredictable. Since chemo I've continued on Herceptin and Zometa but every cancer is different and treatments are tailored to the individual.
Not knowing if chemo is working, not knowing what is going on inside your body, waiting for results but not having any idea if the news will be good or bad is very stressful. There is nothing definite it is all so iffy and the time around scans is particularly difficult - my onc calls it 'scanxiety'. So now may be a very tough time. She may not want company or she may be glad of the diversion, hard to know. Sometimes you just want to do normal things so I'd say go and chat to her as you ever did, don't treat her differently but be guided by what she wants to say. Keep it light unless she indicates otherwise, she may welcome a friendly chat about nothing in particular or she may need someone she can open up to if family don't want to talk. Try to speak honestly and let her know you'd be happy to know more if she wants to share it.
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Re: Help

I too have primary breast and secondary mets in spine and liver was diagnosed in jan/feb this year and on third round of chemo and also waiting for dates for ct scan and mri again to see how successful it is being!! She is probably feeling ..if anything like me terrified because the question in my head is..what if its not working??? what then..what will happen. Also my chemo doesnt have sickness side effect and pain i get can be controlled with copious amounts of coc codamol. Your friend will react differently to her drugs I am sure...nobody is the same...but I am so angry and I dont react the way I used to...I will often lose my temper whereas before I had a short fuse ,,,,now I just have a temper ..no fuse left at all!
I am o0k discussing my cancer...my teenagers dont like it...they are in denial and doent want to know anythig I have to say so u may find different family members react differently. andp you. Also you become quite aware that some people find it hard ton talk to you because it makes them think of their own mortality and other people cant alweays deal with it....I have had some very very close friends suddenly stop calling as they dont know what to say to me ...........I always joke about things and other people find this hard as well.
But help your friend to laugh about anything..share a DVD even...its good medicine...

Its so good to have someone with whom you dont have to pretend xxxx

Re: Help

Hi A Friend,

Welcome to the BCC discussion forums. I have put for you below links to some of BCC's publications you might find helpful to read which I hope will explain the process your friend is going through. If you have unanswered questions the users of these forums have a wealth of information and experience between them and are brilliant at supporting each other, alongside this our helpline team are just a free phone call away 0808 800 6000 and are there to answer your questions.



Best wishes,

Jo, Facilitator

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Hello, I am new to this site and hope you can help.
A family member was recently diagnosed with secondaries in both her liver and spine. She is currently on her 4th cycle of chemo with a scan planned in 3 weeks to see how her treatment is working.
Understandably she and her immediate family are having a really tough time dealing with this and they don't not want to talk about it so I know very little.
I am very concerned for her and wondered if anyone with a similar diagnosis could tell me a bit about the treatment she will be receiving.
Thank you very much