My mom was detected with a tumor in her breast last February.. Tumor was removed. But the cancer had already spread to the liver. Chemo was aweful. The amount of pain she's gone through. Then herceptin . Treatment for liver was about to end and it spread to the brain. She's going through raditions now. The side effects are aweful. She got diabetes in the process. First chemo now radiation. Its been a year. I cant.. I cant see her like this anymore. She's just in pain. I wish there was something I could do. My family.. Is miserable. We cant face this situation anymore. I cant see her in pain neither can I let her go. I wish there was some way out. I cant even give my exams coz I have to take care of her. And she wants me to give my exams coz she doesn't want me to give up. We're stuck in the situation so badly. I cant. I cant take it anymore. I want this to get over

25 Replies

  • Can someone tell me how to cope with the side effects of radiation. She gets nausea. Constipation. And hardly eats. And she gets angry and screams like.. Very very badly. Is there anything I can do. Anything. Shes sleeping all day. Doesn't talk. Not in her senses at all

  • Hi Komal

    I am very sorry to hear your pain. You have come to the right place for support. Please do not give up on your ambition or your mom. From your words i could understand how bad the situation is. Please be calm and there are lot of expertise you can get in this forum which will allow you to help your mom. Your mother sleeping all day and not in her senses are not her problems..., it is the aggressiveness of treatment side effects. She will be very tired, beyond tired to express. She must be depressed about her health status and she must be sad that she is putting through all into this misery. As a caregiver you have a huge responsibility now. Take a moment for yourself and already you are concerned about this, shows that you want to help her and make her some how feel better which is commendable!!!

    I am a BC survivor, just finished my treatments in Dec 2014. I am into two months since my last radiation.I have gone through every side effects and it is a passing phase. Both of you need support

    I don't know what medication she is on. But nausea and constipation are one of the common side effects of chemo treatment. Those two side effects are manageable .

    Before chemo, Oncologist will prescribe Nausea medications. I don't live in India. I live in Canada. I was given nausea medications to prevent the vomiting and the sensation. Sometimes the nausea was still there and entire tongue turned black and all i tasted was bitterness. I don't want to eat anything. First you should check with her Oncologist about the nausea medication. Second, give her lots of fluids that she can handle. I drank watermelon juice, coconut water, buttermilk,lemon juice.....any fluid that would give her energy to withstand the treatments. I took these fluids once in two hours alternating each.Trust me it is manageable.

    Regarding constipation, you can read my post here....i suffered with terrible constipation....I was give Senokot two tablets to take at night. When that did not help i was given Lactalose...a strong one. It worked for me. When any oral medication is not working the next east option is "suppository" for constipation. Just insert into rectal and it will clear the stomach. It is treatable. Once that is cleared she can continuously take constipation medicine so that it does not get worst. I was on my medicine until my radiation. Even now i take when ever i feel necessary.

    Regarding the tiredness, yes she will be tired.....she is in pain.... be kind to her and help her to do what she likes to listening to music, or talking to some one or reading books....ask her what would make her feel comfortable.

    And YOU, please create a space and take care of yourself. Ask for help from your relatives or siblings. Take a small coffee breaks so that you can be rejuvenated to take care of your mom.That 5 mts break will make lot of difference in your mental status. It is not easy. I totally understand. If you would like to talk to someone, call me or text me 647 501 2005. There is a whatsapp group called " The Pink Initiative", you can join and get moral support from BC survivors and care givers

    With prayers


  • Doctors please help! Please reply! She cant eat coz of nausea.. And constipation. And she's not taking her medincines. Which is very important

  • Komal, Drs in this forum will help you. Please do not worry


  • Dear Komal:

    Please be strong & positive both for yourself & your mother. It is tough but hope always keeps you going. We are all here for you whenever you want to share anything.

    Wait till the doctors reply. You will surely get the right advice and we all are there with you to support you.

    I pray for healthy recovery of your mom. Stay strong dear.



  • PK has given very useful advices above. I put myself in your shoes and can understand how difficult a situation it must be. But you don't lose hope. As for help with medications, we request you to understand that it would not be possible for us to prescribe a medication without understanding her present situation and seeing what all is she taking and assessing her. The right person to do this would be your oncologist; or for that matter, even your family doctor who can come to your home and assess her and guide you. But we can definitely give you some suggestions. Give her some good mouth dissolving medications to stop the vomiting. There are quite a few which are available. Like tablet Ondansetron 4 mg or 8 mg in the mouth dissolving form. For constipation too, there are many over the counter syrups which are available. Alternatively, your doctor might advice on a suppository or an enema if need be. For constipation relief, one of the most important aspects is intake of a lot of fluids. And since there is vomiting, I can imagine her fluid intake must be very less. Try to give her more fluids, even in little quantums if need be.

    And please do visit your doctor, sit with him and explain her symptoms. I am sure once your doctor understands her situation, he will give the right medicines to ease her.

  • She's on cremaffin for constipation. But it doesn't help. Only anema does. She doesn't have the strength to go to the hospital for anema every now and then. And she got diabetes in the process. She has to take her tablets regularly. Cant give her the tablet called deca without insulin and coz of nausea she doesn't want to take tablets. She just sleeps all day Can hardly move. Body hurts like anything. Even if I touch her she screams. Is this a normal side effect of radiation?

  • No, this is not a side effect of radiation at all. She sleeps all day, maybe because she may be on a powerful pain killer like morphine or similar drugs. For enema, you do not have to take her to the hospital. Simple 'Proctoclyses' enema is available over the counter with chemists which can be easily given at home. The weakness may not be because of the treatment only, but may also be because of the cancer in the body. Cancer itself induces weakness and decreases appetite. Give her things which she can eat in small quantities and which can still give some calories. Let her eat whatever she wants, don't restrict because of diabetes. Continue giving her your tender and loving care.

  • How much time does she have? On an approximate? Breast cancer. Tumor removed. Spread to the liver and now brain metastasis.

  • Dear Komal, that is not for us to answer. Every patient is different. And there is a lot an oncologist as to assess before he can guide a patient or relative as to time frame. Cancer is not like mathematics that just by knowing its spread to liver and brain, one can predict the outcome. Each and every patient is different and behaves differently. Your oncologist, who knows your mothers treatment and disease status in and out is the best person to answer your question.

  • I cant ask my oncologist. Coz I'm always with dad when I see him and dad wont be able to hear it. As of now she doesn't look like she is in a good state. Is it possible if I could scan the reports to you and you could give some suggestions? I don't trust my oncologist too much. He doesnt even talk properly.But its too late to change a doc now and dad wont listen to me either.

  • Try not to think of the time she has. Take every day as it comes. Easier said than done, I know.

    You can try to meet oncologist alone and speak, if that helps.

    Sending reports to me won't help, as we are not trying to treat her from cancer point of view. We need to give her a good and comfortable palliative care. We are trying to treat her problems. Important for a doctor or a member from a team of palliative care services to see her, listen to her symptoms, keeping her general condition in mind, give the best possible medicine that can help her. We need to take care of her symptoms. Involve your family doctor. He is the person who will be of most help in this situation.

  • Thank you. Thanks s lot

  • Brain metastasis is not a good sign though right? Her Herceptin treatment was just about to end.. Like we had one last round left .. And .. Out of no where.. Brain metastasis

  • Sorry to hear about your mom Komal. The rapid decline which you have noticed , perhaps may need hospitalisation for her.. One should check her S. calcium levels and electrolytes to rule out any reversible condition here. She needs considerable nursing support and perhaps it might be useful to find out if there is Palliative Care services available in your hospital or in your city. The idea is to address these distressing symptoms very effectively in a compassionate way which they are trained to deal with.

    Only once if her general condition improves and she is eating drinking well and up and about (better Performance Status as we often call), your oncologist can look into offering further options.


    Dr Rohit Malde

  • She was hospitalized for 5days. Got her home yesterday. Electrolytes were checked. Doctor gave medicines accordingly. And the doctor said weakness would persist due to radiation effects and her cancer. I will surely look into the palliative services you referred to. Thanks a lot.

  • Dear Komal, I am sorry to hear that your mom is going through all this.

    First of all, you need to speak to your Oncologist and also find a Oncology Specialized Pallative Care Expert. A Pallitive Care Physician, specialized in Oncology, will be able to best help your mother with all her symptoms. Sumeet may be able to guide you to such an expert.

    (Such experts are usually there in Hospice care services - but do not get me wrong - your mother does not require hospice care per se, she needs a qualified physician that can address all the symptoms that are causing her difficulty).

    She can also get some medicine through a Psychiatrist to calm her nerves. She is going through so much at the moment, and she may need some help - there is nothing wrong or taboo in this! I myself use medicines to deal with anxiety, as my dear wife is dealing with tnbc, and we all need to look out for ourselves. No shame whatsoever!!!

    But very important - You have to check with your Oncologist, Pallitive Care Expert, and Psychiatrist on the medications that are given and their interactions!!! It is important to consult and give full information to your team of doctors.

    My wife is in Carboplatin now, and she is going through a lot of Nausea. A Pallative care expert advised as follows - this is not what you should do, but please take it ONLY as advise and then consult with your physician, before taking any medication.

    They should try (for Nausea, Vomiting):

    1. ginger capsules, 250 mg, at least 4 a day, and 8 likely better. Helps with queasiness and nausea from chemo. (if ginger capsules are not available perhaps you can just boil ginger in water and give her some ginger tea 2-3x a day.

    2. see if they can use Olanzapine 5 mg (should be available) 3 times a day for 5 days post chemo -- this is one of the best drugs for nausea. However, this is a strong medicine and is also used for Psychiatric conditions, so this may not be available to you.

    Emend is another great medicine for nausea. Ask your Oncologist for exact dosage and schedule.

    3. if not, then haloperidol 0.5 mg every 6 hours pill or IV, and metoclopramide (Reglan)10 mg every 6 hours. (Post chemo)

    4. and use dexamethasone (decadron) 4 mg twice a day with all this (post chemo).

    Notice above I write post chemo. I write this as I am referring to what my wife was advised to do. Similar medicines may be used, but the exact quantity and schedules will differ for your dear mother.

    This cocktail should help her feel better.

    For constipation she can take Magnesium oxide, to soften stools. If one tablet is 250mg, she can take 500mg up to 2-3x a day, depending on how the condition resolves itself (again, consult with your oncologist).

    If she has a lot of pain, then you should ask the doctor for a better pain management medicine.

    Keep a dairy for all symptoms that your mom expresses / and seems to show, and then share all this information with you Oncologist, to ensure that your mother is getting all the medicines to better manage her current condition.

    For Radiation burn, your doctor may be able to prescribe a proper cream. Do not just apply any cream as you need something that will cool, heal, and soothe the wound.

    I got my wife products from La Roche-Posay

    Specifically I got,


    Essential, Soothing Skincare Treatment for Sensitive Skin


    Intense, Soothing Care


    Lipid Replenishing Body Lotion

    In India, Kailas Jeevan (a Pune based product), may also be of help, but you need to consult with your radiologist before you use any product - this is very important as the contents within should not cause trouble to your mother, and each person is different when it comes to skin conditions and dermatology.

    Since your dear mother is stage 4 at the moment, she absolutely needs the right Pallative Care support, for all her symptoms - constipation (or diarrhea), nausea, pain, skin conditions, and most importantly Psychiatric Support (medicines). This will surely help her alot.

    Like Dr. Summet said, Hydration (salts and nutrition, water) is very important. Sometimes it is difficult to eat with Nausea. In this case, your mother may need to go into the hospital for Hydration via drip. Sometimes they even put a Steroid into the drip - such as Primperan or Decadron - which helps with the Nausea. But if your mother is not drinking at least 1.5 to 2 Litres of Water daily, then surely go into the hospital for daily Hydration drip so that she is getting her nutrients and salts. This will also help with weakness. As you approach the hotter summer months, this is even more critical and important!

    (Fresh Coconut Water is an excellent source for hydration and she can also try drink some daily at home).

    Also, keep in mind that even though she is Stage 4, there are still a lot of medicines that doctors may be able to use to help her, combined with good Pallitive Care, so do not loose hope. Be knowledgeable, and gather a good supportive medical team to help you (as care taker) and to help your dear mother. And then try focus when you can and study for those exams !!! I know its not easy, but you have to try to balance both, the best that you can. But it is very important to look after yourself also!

    Please take good care of your loving Mother. My sincere warm regards to her. I hope she feels better soon. Best Wishes,

    Your friend.


    (Please - consult on all medication / products with your doctor. Do not just get it over the counter and use any medicines without prior consultation and doctor prescription, as different medicines have interactions and some medicines may not suit your mother. So have your physician review all medicines that your mother is to take. However, the above, should give you some idea on where to start and what to ask your medical team. Talk to Dr. Sumeet also. He is a wonderful man.

    Good luck.

  • I wish you luck with your wife. I hope she does well. Do take care of her and yourself too. Thanks a lot! I will surely take your advice and ask my doctor about the medicines. Thanks a lot

  • Thanks Komal. You've got to get your mum the best pallative treatment for your mom's symptoms. Sometimes she will express verbally what she feels and sometimes scans can tell what your mom may experience (based on doctors experience). However, proper hydration, nutrition, and pain management is critical to keep her feeling comfortable. This is a speciality area, so try to reach out and get her the best care there is (from professionals). When she feels better, automatically things will get smooth for you also. Good luck with your exams. It's going to be OK. Wishing you well.

    I'll take good care of my wife as well. :)

  • Life's just testing all of us the tough way... We'll get through I guess.. She's a little better now.. Very weak coz of the raidiations but bit better.. Thanks a lot. Regards .

  • Hi Komal really very sorry to read the Post and the pains your mother is undergoing. As all have said try to give her the medicines which will give relief from pain. In this situation you have to be very very strong and take care of her. Even if your mother screams - do not take tension - as she is not feeling OK she is behaving like this. Just try to give her utmost love and care

  • Yes. Trying everything I can to be strong . Thank you :)

  • Hi Komal. Really sorry to read about your mother. You have got all the advice you need to keep her as comfortable as possible. The emoticon shows you are already feeling stronger. Take care.

  • Komal

    How is your mom doing? How r u doing? Would love to hear from you.



  • Hell0 Komal, I wish and pray for your mom's recovery. You have enough sugggestions with you just follow your doctor. If she is slightly better let us know too. Abig hug to you.

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