94 Year Old Mother Just Diagnosed - Breast Cancer Haven

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94 Year Old Mother Just Diagnosed

Eightbar
Eightbar
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Hi - I'm a man, so I hope I am not out of place posting here. FWIW I have advanced prostate cancer and share information about that on another forum with other men and any number of wives, daughters, and girlfriends who post there.

I'm posting here because my 94 year old mother was diagnosed with breast cancer after discovery of a 4+ centimeter lump that was causing a discharge. She still lives on her own. My wife takes her to medical appointments and does the shopping. I do house repairs, lawn mowing, etc. And she has a house cleaner who comes in once a week.

Because of her age and other health problems - congestive heart failure, borderline kidney function, and diabetes - surgeons don't want to risk surgery or general anesthesia, or radiation. She now has an oncologist who has started her on Arimedex (Anastrozole). My wife and I have moved her into our house (over my mother's protest) for at least a few weeks to see how she adjusts to the new additional medication. Needless to say we are reluctant to let her go back to her own house.

So - can anyone give me some first-hand experience of what the side effects are with Arimedex. I've read lists of possible SE's, but none of them say how soon or how long, or how typical, etc. I'm concerned that she may be doing well enough that she will fight to go home in a couple of weeks. But does it take longer for SE's to set in.

We are on the tipping point of having to insist she can no longer live on her own. Any thoughts or advice is welcome.

Jim

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Lainey66

I am so sorrry to hear about your Mum. I think you are really good reaching out on her behalf and checking up on what is to be expected. I am on Anastrozole and I have had a lot of bone and joint pain. However, I have become used to it at this stage. Some days are worse than others. Mind you, I already have arthritis so that won't help matters. Your Mum will have such mixed feelings at the moment. Her independence will be valuable to her, so kid gloves will be needed. I wish you well with your own health too. Things certainly are sent to try us. All the best Lainey66 🌻🌻

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MrsNails

Hi Jim,

Although I’ve had Breast Cancer myself l do not have any experience of Anastrozole l just wanted to reassure you, you are perfectly welcome to post on here & would also recommend Breast Cancer Care UK breastcancercare.org.uk

Which l hope will be of help to you.

breastcancercare.org.uk/inf...

Wishing your Mother, You & your Wife All The Best.

MrsN 🌷

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Rayswife

Sorry to hear about your mum. (Men can get breast cancer too). I was on Arimidex for 11 years. I had a few aches but no major problems. I am unclear as to why you feel she can’t live on her own any longer? She has a number of health issues but with your support would seem to be coping at home. I hope you all are able to agree on a way forward for your mum. Best wishes to you all.

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PerformancePoet

Dear Jim

I’m sorry to hear about both you and your mother’s cancer. Of course, you are welcome here- it’s a great support group ❤️

I’ve not taken Arimedex. However, have and am on other hormone therapies and my oncologist told me that my Letrazole ( also an aromatase inhibitor) would take six weeks to get to therapeutic level in my system and by that stage I should know what all the side effects might be for me.

That’s said, if I get to 94 and the Onc team decide they want me to be taking some

sort of drug I’m sure by that stage I will be point blank refusing!

It sounds to me that your mum is super resilient and is clearly very independent with the support of you and your wife. If to return home is her choice, I would let her do that until such time that she is physically incapable of doing so with some support. Respecting her wishes might be the best Love you can give ❤️❤️ Particularly as the cancer that she has sounds like it is not causing any physical disability (and who knows how long it’s been there and she’s been doing fine on her own up to now- with your support) Try to remember that your fear about what she might be going through is no indication of her ‘struggle’ or ‘suffering’ or perhaps distress is a better word. Having seen my grandmother and aunt get to ripe old ages and be fearlessly independent and adamant about staying so (albeit with a bit of Family support), I’ve come to the conclusion that that generation are super hardy -(they’ve been through wars etc

too) and perhaps we are less so!

Love her ❤️

Sending love to you all.

Fiona

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PerformancePoet

PS For your health, try not to worry. Your mother knows you care, and will be clear by now that if she needs to move in with you and your wife at some later date, she will be welcomed with open arms and will not be seen as a burden ❤️

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Bluemoon46

I am on Anastrazole and have been since November 2018. I have very few side effects if I drink plenty of water.

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Lainey66
Lainey66
in reply to Bluemoon46

I think I need to take a leaf out of your book and drink more water. xx

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Eightbar

Thank you all for your welcome to this forum and your replies so far. As of now, we are planning to take her back to her own house toward the end of July unless she has complications such as dizziness or confusion. She lives 40 miles from us, so we can't be there instantly, though we do call every day. In her own house she wears an alert bracelet and has our home phone number on speed dial on her cell phone.

We have a fairly large house and our (former) dining room and living room double as her personal living space here. That way she lives on one floor with easy access to the kitchen and downstairs bathroom - which is fully equipped with grab bars. My wife and I use one of our upstairs bedrooms as our own living room. She has had a number of extended stays here over the years - sometimes just for holidays, other times to recuperate after a hospitalization.

About three years ago she was hospitalized for a TIA - a minor transient stroke-like episode, with confusion and slurred speech. She recovered in her local hospital, where they found no permanent damage, after which she came to our house to recuperate. A few days later she had another episode and went by ambulance to our local hospital - an affiliate of the U Massachusetts medical school. A doctor there reviewed all of her meds - eliminated one, changed dosages on another and she made an almost immediate recovery to her usual lucid self.

Our biggest concern is another event like that one caused by a confusion or mismatch of meds prescribed by different doctors who aren't looking at the entire picture. This is why we want her with us for at least a few weeks to be reasonably sure that adding another strong med to the chemical soup she is already on, doesn't cause a similar event.

As for myself, my cancer can't be cured at this point but is under control with intermittent androgen suppression. I am now on break after a year on Degarelix, in which I had minimal side effects - none of the hot flashes or mind fog, many men report. From discussions with other men who are on this and similar drugs, I know that different people can respond in different ways to these kinds of systemic hormonal treatments. I'm hoping my mother has the same tough old codger genes I seem to have got from somewhere.

Jim

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PerformancePoet

Very likely you got those genes from your mother I’d think!

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waveylines

What a lovely caring son! 😊😊😊

I think the best thing to do is to talk it through with your Mum & create a plan you are all happy with. Its good that your mum has things set up so well at yours and is used to coming to stay for recuperation & holidays. After her recent diagnosis she may well enjoy a little break away from hers, especially as she will still have her own space. No matter the agee, as you know so well, such a diagnosis is a shock & a bit of pampering will be Im sure much appreciated.

As far as Arimidex is concerned I am also on a simular inhibitor called Aromasin. Been on it over 4years. It doesnt interfere with my other meds. Side effects have been fatigue, stiffening and some aches. They put me on a bone stregthener, which they may consider for your Mum as bone loss is the main big effect of this type of inhibitor. Hopefully they will assess her bones with a scan. Im also on calcium & vitamin D3 which also helps with maintaining bone health.

Your Mum is a marvel living independently in her 90s. Am quite sure that your care and love has encouraged her to remain so, knowing she has loving family relatively close by am sure makes a big difference to her.

Wishing you both the best. Xx

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Eightbar

Thanks again all for your support and comments.

Waveylines, Thank you for your kind words, but you give me way more credit than I deserve. If it weren't for my wife who is diligent and fierce in monitoring my mother's doctors, medications, etc. my mother wouldn't be here today. And thank you for you report on your experience with Arimidex.

Buy way of update. My mother had a fall - or actually more of a slide -- to the floor getting out of her chair at our house three days ago. We called the ambulance and she was admitted for observation for a few days - nothing broken, but the imaging done by the ER department confirmed worsening heart enlargement. She wasn't hurt but was scared and now agrees that she will not move back to her own house. We will arrange several trips back to her home so she can sort through what she wants to bring to our house and what she wants to designate to go to others. My younger sister will be visiting from Georgia (about 1,000 miles from here) in a week, and if my mother is up for the 40-mile drive, we will arrange a family gathering at my mother's house including also my older sister who is recovering from recent knee surgery.

My wife and I are now accelerating plans to purge space in our house - having an old upright piano, which is pretty much beyond restoration, removed to make room for a dresser and my mother's electronic Yamaha piano - which she hasn't played now for a couple of years but could - and should- again with a bit of encouragement.

My wife and I will now cancel our couple of planned trailer camping trips over the rest of the summer, but will line up someone to stay with my mother next Sunday. We have tickets to see Liverpool Football Club play at Fenway Park in Boston, and missing that event isn't negotiable. My wife is from Liverpool and her grandfather was a star striker for Liverpool and for England before WWI.

Thanks again to all of you.

Jim

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