Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3.Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    My Mother Dx with BC. Life is so Cruel.
    GGrandmaJan posted:
    UGH---was hit in my gut on Tuesday. My 92-yr old Mother has had drainage from both breasts. Possibly for a month but due to her dementia she didn't know to tell any of the nurses at her assisted-living place. One of the aides saw the drainage in her bra last week. Sunday Night the RN called to inform me. Took her to Primary Dr on Tues, did a slide cytogoly--results was atypical cells for possible ductal ca.

    Now What?

    Have a US scheduled but as there are no lumps not sure what they will find. I didn't think she could stand long enough to do a mammo and she would not tolerate the pain of being squished. So US was the least of the invasive procedure I and the Dr could come up with. Have an appt with my Onc Dr on the 17th. Need to pick his brain on how aggressive we treat this.

    I WILL not put my Mother thru a mast or chemo. Am I right or wrong?

    As I am the sole person to make any and all decisions for her---I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place.

    She has had 2 heart attacks in many years past---osteoporosis---arthitis. Last time she had any surgery was in 2007 when she had her Lt knee replaced. By that time her dementia was getting so bad they had to restrain her in bed so she wouldn't un-do the surgery. It was not fun for her.

    Geez, I am devastated!!! I always thought she would pass away in her sleep or have a heart attack. I know we are on borrowed time and we just enjoy each day we have together. Even tho her mother died of bc in 1941---I never thought in my wildest dreams my mother would get it. She has always been so terrified of getting bc but now due to her dementia she did not understand what her Dr was saying to her. We were talking in the room with her sitting on the bench and did not pay any attention to our conversation. She had had an infection in her belly-button and was more concerned the Dr check it. I know really kind of funny but that is her life right now. She gets one thing stuck in her mind and that is all there is room for.

    Sorry I am rambling but Holy Moly!!!!

    Thank Heavens, I trust my Onc Dr totally. I know he will give me the best advice possible. Also will listen to me and not judge any of my decisions. After all he took such good care of me and still does.

    Please pray for her and me.
    rachael67 responded:
    My Dear Friend!

    How my heart goes out to you! I will reply in a separate email later today, but wanted to make sure I sent you my thoughts and prayers immediately!

    Please know we are beside you, holding your hand and giving Mom very gentle hugs. Pinkie and all the gang will escort you both to her appointments.

    How difficult life can be at times!

    Blessings always.
    A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.
    Maya Angelou
    judyfams replied to rachael67's response:
    Oh Jan,
    It is unimaginable that you have to go through this with your mom.
    I will keep you in my prayers, and want you to know that you are in my thoughts.
    I hope your mom is not in any physical pain. She is very fortunate to have such a caring, compassionate daughter.
    You must remember to take care of yourself during these trying times.
    We are all here for you, you can see our footprints in the sand right next to yours as you take this joiurney withyour mom. You are not alone.
    Much love,
    mhall6252 responded:
    Oh Jan, I am so sorry you and your mom will have to go through all this.

    Your mom is 92 and not in good health...I know what I would do if it were my mom (who also has dementia at 82). I would choose the absolute minimum treatment approach. Maybe a lumpectomy, but no rads, no chemo, no anti-hormones.

    Wishing you strength and courage...

    Read my blog at
    Smile and the world smiles with you!
    GGrandmaJan replied to judyfams's response:
    Thanks for your prayers and good thoughts. Yes, this totally blind-sided both of us. No she is in no pain. No lumps fetl either just the drainage from both breasts.

    She did not hear the Dr say this might be cancer. She was more worried about her navel that HAD an infection but was healing up with the ointment. It is very difficult to get her to comphrend due to her dementia. I am sure the US is not going to show anything as there are no lumps. Just the cytology from the slides came back abnormal.

    Hey, at least I have a wonderful Onc Dr to take her too. I respect his opinion on this totally.

    Thanks loads for repling Judy. This is all such a shock.
    Sunny skies to you.
    GGrandmaJan replied to mhall6252's response:
    Thanks Michelle for the kind words.

    Yes that is why we chose an US rather than the mammo. She can not stand unless she has a grip on her walker. It might be we will have to do it but I hope not.

    Yes, I agree the minimum of treatment. PCP Dr. said at her age this would or should not be an aggressive kind. I only pray he is right. He said it is in her ducts and that is the reason for the drainage. So don't know yet about any lumpectomy. It is just so sad as she was so terrified of getting bc in her earlier days.

    Thanks for the wish of courage and strength which I really need right now.

    Isn't it strange this topic of treating elderly mothers came up some time ago. We do learn a lot on this board.

    Do get started on that garden. It is so much fun and easy.

    supergrangran responded:
    Hello Jan

    I so feel for you when I went through BC 7 years ago a dear friend I met at the hospital was going through cancer at the same time as her mum. She would come home from Radiotherapy and go to her mums home to do house work, get her shopping and give her some company.

    I was amazed at her courage given what she was going through herself and her mum, who didn't have dementia would often say to her 'at least they can do something for you' and Susan just took it on the chin. She did pass away about 2 yrs ago.

    You have my utmost respect for your strength and faith. I will light a candle for you both tomorrow in church and add you both to our St Perigrins prayer list. He is the Patron saint of Cancer sufferers and we meet once a month in an informal way to have tea, cake and a chat.

    Remember to take good care of yourself through this. Sending you both love and hugs

    Christine x
    brcansur responded:
    Oh I am so sorry to hear about your mother I knew something was up when I hadn't seen much of you or heard from you by e mail either. I knew baseball was on but that wouldn't keep you totaly away from us now would it no you would still come and say hello every now and again I would think !! LOLOL.
    I agree you need to do what would be best for your mom but not cause here any more pain or discomfort she is 92 and doesn't need that in her life now. So go with what is the safest and most comfortable for her and what your doctor feels is best at this time. You also have to remember to take care of you because if you don't you will not be any good to your mother.
    Now saying that if I was your mother I would only do what would keep me comfortable and that would be it. I wouldn't want surgeries unless it was something easy and I would heal fast with no problems. No chemo because at that age you never know how the body is going to act to it and she will not understand what is going on so I wouldn't want to go through that if I was her. That is just my thought on that one hope it helps you some. Please know I am here for you if you need someone to talk to any time as alway I am just a phone call away. Please let us know what you find out and if you need anything. Take care and try to get some rest make sure to eat and drink plenty of fluides. Angel hugs Roberta,
    shell1007 responded:
    So sorry to hear about this. You and your Mom will be in my thoughts & prayers.
    I am glad you are going to your oncologist. It is so important that you trust him & he also listens to you.
    Please do not neglect yourself at this time.
    Take care,
    GGrandmaJan replied to brcansur's response:
    Thanks Roberta for your kind words. Yes, I have been pretty busy. I just replied to your post and BINGO the stupid thing disappeared. UGH.

    So will try again.

    At least I have an Awesome Onc Dr and he WILL listen to me. I just hope I don't break down in his office as I need to be strong for my Mother. She did not understand what her Primary Dr was saying to her. UGH. She had been so terrified of getting bc when her mind was working. I feel so sad.

    I am feeling better today---guess the shock has worn off. Now I am in a fighting mood as much as we can fight this with her. I have already decided to do the miniumum of treatment. I feel at her age Quaility of Life is better than Quanitity. Right?

    She is having no pain just drainage from both breasts. Dang it. Not just the one but both. So unfair.

    So I have my Warrior gear on and ready to go!!

    Thanks for all your concern.
    brcansur replied to GGrandmaJan's response:
    I am so glad to hear that you are taking her to your onc he sounds like a very good doctor and he listens and really cares about you as a person that will be good for your mom and for you. She is in great hands with you by her side and your onc she will will be ok and get through this with peace of mind and comfort both of you will. I know she doesn't really know what is going on but he will make it easy on her any way I feel he will understand her and help her with this all the way plus be there for you too. I am so happy to hear she is in no pain that is one good thing she doesn't need pain on top of everything else. Keep up the great work and stay positive but if you don't feel strong all the time know there are always angel there to help with the load and god ! Just hang in there my friend you are a fighter and you will be able to get through this also just like everything else that has come your way in your life time. Shine up that warrior gear and get ready we are all doing the same and are here right beside you all the way. If you ever need and ear to listen I am here any time ok ? ! remember that you are no bother I like talking and listening when we do chat. Try and get your rest to and take care of your self while careing for your mother you have to stay strong and healthy. I am keeping you in my thoughts prayers and near and dear to my heart along with your maoth. Have a great day angel hugs Roberta,
    jenna291 replied to brcansur's response:
    I am so very sorry for this sucky news! I agree with others that the most minimal treatment should be given because of her age and health. Boy, life is so cruel sometimes. This is the times that I find it hard to look at the positive.

    Just want you and your mother will be close to my heart and in my prayers. I am glad you have a great oncologist. Will be watching for your update on what the next step is.

    Take deep breathes and vent away.... I know it is much needed.

    GGrandmaJan replied to shell1007's response:
    Thanks Shell for your reply and kind words.

    Our appt for the Onc Dr is May 17th. So will go with what he has to say. Can you even imagine the look on his face when he see's me with my Mother!!! Geez.

    I thank my lucky stars I listened to a good friend of mine and changed Onc Dr's. Guess the Lord was knocking me on the head and told me to change Docs. Now if I was going to my Old one then he would be putting my Mom thru all sort of horrible stuff. BUT my new one understands me. We can joke about things but he can get real serious also. I totally trust him with my life---which I have!!!!

    Thanks again.
    GGrandmaJan replied to jenna291's response:
    Oh Jenna, We have to find positive things in life. One of the positive things is I have found an excellent Onc Dr. He understands me and knows me by now. LOL. He will be so stunned to see me show up in May with my Mother

    Here I was all worried about my up-coming PET/CT scan the first of June and my next appt and now this.

    Another positive thing is: My Mother doesn't really know what is going on. SO---she can't worry her pretty head about what could be ahead for her.

    Come on Gal. There are a lot of positives here.

    Another thing is it is SUNNY today and beautiful out. I already ran to town and did all my errands. Now the rest of the day is mine. LOL. So I am getting off of here and work on my "Oasis" of a garden area. I have so many ideas I want to do in my little space of these 40 ares. Whatever I do out there then I can come in---sit at my computer and see all my handy-dandy work. I even splurged and bought some flowers to plant in my containers. I will not take up my veggie space for flowers. LOL

    As long as I don't make any of my Mom's appts on Mon or Fri afternoons she should remain happy. Those 2 days are her BINGO days. LOL. They play for quarters and she never misses a day. So funny.

    Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to GGrandmaJan's response:
    I love that your mom is into BINGO!

    (((hugs))) to you and your sweet mom. As my 3 year old says: NOT FAIR - but finding the positive will get you out of bed in the morning....Would love to see a pic of your oasis - I'm sure it is beautiful!

    Thank you for sharing and feel free to vent here anytime!!!!


    Helpful Tips

    How to more easily read discussions
    Exchanges provide a more dynamic way to keep up with ongoing discussions. But If you're finding how discussions and responses are ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    28 of 47 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Breast Cancer Center