Newly diagnosed
posted by Calico
06 September 2021

Stage IV TNBC

Last reply: 4 months ago

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well.

I may as well jump right in. My mother received a stage 4 TNBC diagnosis a couple of months ago...two small tumours on her lungs. She's mid seventies.

I recently committed the cardinal sin of researching her diagnosis on Google and am sick with worry as a result. I know this is the most aggressive type of BC with limited treatment options compared to other BCs.

She has started on oral chemo and radiation but I know the long term prognosis is very poor (12% five year survival rate). Her medical team have not explained the aggressive nature of this cancer with her and course I am keeping my fears to myself.

I guess I was wondering if anyone had any advice for the journey ahead? There are so few positive stories for this type of cancer. It seems that nobody survives this diagnosis for very long.

I don't know what to do. I'm desperately trying to stay positive but I just don't see how. I can't eat or sleep. Are there trials in Ireland that she could participate in?

Anyway....thanks for reading and best wishes to you all.

2 comments

Comments

commented by Cancer Nurse
13 September 2021

4 months ago

Hi Calico,

Thank you for sharing your story and I am very sorry to read about your mothers diagnosis.  It is very common and understandable to worry and feel distressed about what the future may bring with a cancer diagnosis.  We have support available such as counselling if you fell that may help.

Information that we read online can be very useful and informative from reputable sites, however it is important to remember that it is intended for general purpose and we cannot apply this to our own individual situation as there are many factors that need to be taken into account.  Your mothers medical team have the necessary medical information and expertise to discuss your mums situation in detail.

You mentioned that your mother hasn’t had a conversation about prognosis with her doctors, I wonder would you be able to have a chat with her to see if she would like this information?  Some people would like to know their prognosis as it helps them feel empowered and they can plan, and others would rather not know as it can cause a lot of distress and anxiety.  There is no right or wrong decision, it is about what works best for yourself.  If your mother would rather not know it may be worthwhile discussing with her if she would be happy for the team to discuss this with you?

I have attached information here about clinical trials, we would recommend discussing with your mothers team to see if there are any suitable trials and if she would be eligible.

It may help to phone our support line to speak with a cancer nurse about your situation.  We are available Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm on 1800 200 700.

Kind regards,

Cancer nurse.

commented by Calico
20 September 2021

4 months ago

Thank you so much for your reply and the information about clinical trials. Since I posted she has completed the radiotherapy and the consultant was very happy with her response. The results of the chemo will be next. Hopefully it will be good news and things won't look as bleak. xxx

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