Need help, have questions...mom has stage four breast cancer

Hi,

My mom was diagnosed last summer with stage 4breast cancer. Her mother passed away from it and its a long story that is irrelevant at this point but they missed it on her yearly mammogram for two years then locally she hasn't gotten the best treatment,
We are now going to MD Anderson for treatment. We have only been there one time so far. My questions are first does anyone k ow anything about Dr. Kimberly Koenig? What is her reputation? She seems very good but I really have no clue. I would greatly appreciate any info.
Secondly mom was supposed to start radiation and had already been marked when we went down there. Dr. Koenig told her she the radiation would cause more harm than good. The radiologist here has called mom and even had a meeting with us yesterday. He believes mom really needs the radiation. Mom is in good health other than the cancer. She hasn't even missed a single day of work through chemo and all else. She is up and going every day. Not as strong physically but she is truly doing very well. The radiologist here said in her case and due to her doing so well the radiation would be a benefit. I'm not sure what difference it makes but that was what he said. .....does anybody have any thoughts or experience with this???

I truly appreciate any help I can get. It has been a battle but the horrible part of the battle has been not having her treated properly.. Like the oncologist ga e her injection blocker drugs instead of chemo then the cancer spread... The chemo came next and it of course really helped. Now the sheis on a daily tablet that is stronger than the original injections. That just isn't right. ...not to mention they missed the cancer at her mammogram for two years while she role them her lymph nodes felt heavy and she thought there was a lump...and that her mother died from it. Yes, she takes responsibility for not having had things checked further, I don't have much faith in doctors right now and want her to go to the best. If anyone can help or give me advice I cannot thank you enough..
Sincerely, Cndy

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Hi Cindy, I am sorry about what your mom is going thru. How old is she and where are the Mets located?

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Dear CCC2,
Are you referring to a radiologist technician or a radiologist oncologist? Depending on the age, an Oncologist will do radiation rather than chemo but given the fact that you are stating that she has done chemo, she is more than likely not over 70? You have two choices, you can seek a second opinion on the matter or you can follow the oncologist's advice, the radiologist oncologist is not her treating physician so his opinion is always going to be in favor of treatment, if her treating oncologist has a differing opinion, please sit down with him and have him/her explain their reason for opting out of radiation, could it be a misunderstanding? Maybe they want to wait until she feels better, I was told that you can do rad's up to 6 months after chemo which is what I did. If your at a big cancer center like MD Anderson, you can sit down with the genetics counselor and because of the hereditary risk, they can do a BRCA test on her. It's great to see you being proactive on your mother's behalf.

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Hi, you are a good daughter..I'm sure your mom is proud of you..I would think a hospital like m d Anderson who is the leader in cancer
Treatments. Would only have top ranked dr. It looks like you already fired one dr..you have to be watchful but, you have to trust they
Know what they are doing ..if she said wait then I would do what she said..radiation kills cancer cells but, it also hurts good ones.
I just had it ..I didn't want to do it but, I had no choice.
Hang in there.
METSISTER.
Clara

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If it were my Mum, I would want to sit down at a table with her Oncologist and find out the best treatment plan they would start her on. Is she in any pain? Please get a notepad and write down all your questions, then sit down with her Onc and discuss everything, side effects etc.,
I would also like to welcome you to this site, although I'm very sorry that you and your Mum need to be here.
Susan xxx

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My mom is 73yo. She hasn't missed a day of work through all this. It's truly amazing. One would never know she is even sick! ....she has spots on her hip, sternum and thyroid. There were spots on her liver but those went away.
The local radiologist is the one wanting mom to have treatment. The oncologist at MDAnderson said it would cause more harm than good. She told us when we were there last month we could meet with the radiation oncologist and they would tell us the same.
After meeting with the local guy and him causing mom to have so many questions I arranged for us to meet with the radiation oncologist at MDAnderson as well as her oncologist. We will meet with them next week. I know that will give us our answers.

Thank you all so much for writing!! ...I've been so upset over this for two days and haven't slept a wink I am going to try my best to sleep... I will write more then...I really cannot thank you all enough for writing! This has been one huge nightmare. ...I admire each and everyone of you for what you are going through... Nobody can imagine what the person and a family goes through until it happens...

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There is a big difference between a radiation oncologist and a radiologist.

Usually radiation for bone mets is not the answer. Usually it is only used for pallative care. To ease pain.

I think your oncologist is on the right path. But having an appointment with the radiation oncologist is the right thing.

But more importantly, try very hard to stop worrying. This type of stress isn't good for you or your mother.

Keep us up to date. Best of luck. You are in god hands at MDA.

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Thank you all for your comments and help. I arranged an appt with both the radiation oncologist as well as the oncologist for next week.
I am one who is able to put my head before my emotions most all the time but last week the local radiologist had me so upset it was too much. Who keeps people in their office for 2 hours trying to scare them into treatment?? I knew all along that's what he was doing and was more angry than anything. It's just sickening to think people are so unethical and all about money.... Thankfully I've had to deal with several serious surgeries and illnesses myself and it gives one a great perspective on it all. I've had those things pulled before... Angered me then as well...

Anyway, I will let you all know what happens after next week and can't thank you enough for your advice!! I hope you are all doing well and had a good holiday weekend!!

Cindy

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Just my two cents - radiologist and radiation oncarevery different. I, too, question the use of rads to where you are describing. Glad you have an appointment with both at MDA and hope you have the great experience we are having. Maybe we'll see you in the building since we will be there until next Wednesday.

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My onc just told me yesterday that if radiation treatments are not good if they cant do radiation on the full area because it can be more harm than good however if they can do the correct area it will probably help, good luck to your mom be positive, trust in God, claim victory for things like this sure stinks. When I was stage two I did both chemo then radiation and had almost nine years before it came back and they missed it in my blood work. My grandson felt the lump in my back area. I am a fighter and plan to continue this way with blessings on my side, i pray for your mom to have all types of blessings which she already has in you and your love:-):-). Thank God for wonderful families anf friends:-):-):-):-). God blees you:-).

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I had radiation to bone mets in 1998 after chemo... But your mom's case is different and I doubt they will do it. Here's what: my mets were in one spot on the bone. Your moms is in several places including the thyroid. The thinking nowadays in cancer treatment is to use chemo to fight various locations and. Radiation for palliative care ( that is pain) in this case. You usually only have one shot at radiation and depending where it is it can be hard on organs in the area. Talking to the oncologists to understand a treatment plan is your best bet,

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I really cannot thank you all enough for taking the time to share your knowledge!!! I have called my mom and told her each time someone posted:) She of course feels so much better about it all as well!
We will be going to MDA next week... Meeting Monday with the radiation oncologist and Thursday with the oncologist. I want her to have COMPLETE race of mind on the treatment...her and me too.... Because it has been nothing but worse and worse locally...
Tank you all so much and I will update what the docs say next week.
I hope you are all doing well. It's is a horrible battle... God is the ultimate healer...and he will get us all through what we are given in life.. I pray for all of you.. Strength, comfort, peace and healing...
Love,
Cindy

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God bless you and HOPING for the best for your mom:-):-).

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