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Family member
Breast Cancer

My mother was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer at the age of 46 and she died at the age of 53. She underwent a mastectomy first, then chemotherapy and radiation followed after a short break from the chemo. She was on her third round of chemo when she died. 

The first round of chemotherapy was harsh. It was injected into the top of her hands and she immediately became ill with heavy nausea and vomiting before even leaving the doctors office. The symptoms would go on for about a week followed by total physical exhaustion for about a week or two. At these times she would lay in bed weak and unable to do much except rest and when she finally gained a bit of strength it was time for the next session of chemo. 

This first round of chemo kept the cancer from spreading for a short while, about two years. There was still a spot of cancer on her spine they could not remove and thatís where the radiation therapy was targeted. It did not do much though and the cancer from that point on began to spread to various parts of her body, her hipbone, neck area and around the top of her skull.

By the time she began her next rounds of chemotherapy new nausea medication had been developed which helped her a great deal and the chemo was slow dripped from an IV. She was allowed to stay and rest until she felt stable enough to ride home which was a great relief not only for her but my family as well, she only had to deal with the weakness and exhaustion. The pain caused by the cancer weakening her bones was only intense the last year of her life. 

Like I mentioned above, the chemotherapies she underwent were very harsh and weakened her to a point were she always had to rest. This frustrated her, not being able to do all the normal activities she was used to. At times she questioned the quality of her life she was left with but she still fought on. She felt she was doing all she could to fight the cancer and even at this advanced stage the treatments gave her hope of recovery and a cure. She was also around to experience several of her grandchildren being born and raised until they were four and five years old. 

I have just begun to research more on breast cancer for myself. I live with the fear that it could develop at any time and I might not detect it in time for a more positive outcome.

Awareness of all issues concerning cancer and health is extremely important. My mother ignored her first concerns, the lump she felt on her breast, until it grew too large to be ignored. This was mainly because she didnít understand the importance of early detection and she also had a great fear of having her breast removed unnecessarily. Her first doctor suggested a mastectomy even though her mammogram and biopsy came back negative. She thought he was crazy for reacting this way especially with the test results in mind. She didnít go back to the doctor until the lump became more painful.

Thank you for this lovely site and letting me share my thoughts on my mother, I miss her dearly.

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