My sister

My sister Debbie was diagnosed in 2004 with stage I breast cancer. After chemo, radiation, and a lumpectomy. She was told not to worry. She was put on tomoxefin, her tumor markers were checked every three months, and in Feburary 2009 our family planned her 5 year cancer free party.

Thats when the headaches started. She was given a CAT scan, and there was cancer in her brain. She then was given a PET scan, and it was in her liver, on her thyroid and pelvic bone. Despite the five years being monitored, her cancer came back with a vengence.

Debbie battled stage iv courageously, but cancer doesn't care how hard you fight. She passed away last week, just two years after her rediagnosis.

If I sound angry, I am. I watched my sister die, slowly, and painfully. My sister did everything she was supposed to. She was supposed to be a survivor, a champion over breast cancer.

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I am so sorry. I can't say, enough, how much we care when someone loses their battle. I will keep you in my prayers tonaight.
LW

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I'm so sorry for your pain .......... Misssassy

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I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. Prayers are with you and your family
Cathy

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LaurieAnn, i can understand the anger but decade plus survivors are less than half of breast cancer patients . Nothing is really foolproof . Should Petscans be done every six months , every month or every year . Should they be done even if tumour markers are normal and the patient is fine. Studies have shown that switching from tamoxifen to letrozole results in better survival but i think these studies came a bit too late for your sister. No test or scan is foolproof.

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thank you for the information. I just don't understand how she went from stage I to stage IV while under a doctor's "watch". I understand it happens, its just so frustrating. Thank you for your kind words and support.

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I am so sorry for your loss.
Prayers to those who loved her.
Cheryl

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I am so sorry for your loss.
You ask how it can happen under a dr's watch. For the majority of us who were early stage and then got mets, it happened under the watch of our dr's.
I had just celebrated my 5 year survival with a trip to Hawaii with my family, 4 months later I was diagnosed with liver mets. My dr did everything he could. He ran tumor markers (which were always normal), did physical exams, and sent me for scans if I had symptoms.

My dr was just as shocked as I was when the liver mets were found.

Laurie

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My condolences for your loss. You sound like an amazing sister! She was lucky to have you in her life.

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I am so sorry for your rediagnosis. I had no idea how common it was for women to be under a doctor's care and the cancer to metastasize without warning. I pray for all of you.

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I am so saddened by your loss. Sounds like your sister has an awesome sister! This months marks my third year with mets, so this hits close to home. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Kathy

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I am very sorry for your loss. I also had a sister named Debbie (I was adopted when she was 16) who died in 2009 of breast cancer after fighting for 8 years. Eight months before she died (I was 40), I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had chemo, lumpectomy, radiation, tamoxifen, scans and blood work every 6 months and last June was diagnosed with mets to liver, breast and lymph nodes. I felt amazing. No indication at ALL that I was sick again. Everyone was shocked. The hardest part was telling my mom that it came back.

Best wishes to you. Celebrate your sister's life!!!

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To make you feel better, I was getting yearly Petscans and it still came back....seemingly out of no where....it is the nature of the beast--- it just isn't fair. We sometimes lose sight that dying is just the last challenge of life...It sounds like she was very brave and that you were her solid support. I am sorry for your loss and hope with time, your anger and sadness about her death, will be replaced with the loving memories of her LIFE!

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LaurieAnn..... I am so so sorry for your sister, for you, for all your family.
I have a sister also named Laurie Ann. She and I are both struggling with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. I understand your feelings.
I feel your grief and your sorrow....

kathi

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I'm so sorry for your loss.
I am another one who went from stage 1 to mets in the bones under my doctor's care. Blood work always came back in the normal range and I felt just fine. Maybe I had a little pain in my back from time to time, but who doesn't at 60 years of age?
Yes, it's a sneaky disease. It sounds like your sister did have very good care- but that, unfortunately isn't foolproof.
When my cancer returned, my dear daughter had exactly the same feelings that you have. It's so hard to stand by and watch someone you love go through this. Try to let the anger go and remember the wonderful times you had with your sister. Best wishes.

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I'm sorry too for your loss. I lost my sister to breast cancer in 2000. She was young, a new mother and it made me VERY angry to see what happened.
I was diagnosed at stage 4 right off the bat in 2003. I had been to doctors. I had mammograms that were always normal.
Sometime this is just the way it is with cancer. It is sneaky and unpredictable. I think that is what I (and my family) find most frustrating.
I would second what sorrybones has said - " Try to let the anger go and remember the wonderful times you had with your sister".
Time will heal this wound.

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I am so sorry for your loss. Almost all of us did everything to stay on top of breast cancer, but still it came back for some of us. It is a terrible beast.

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I am sorry for your loss, maybe one day there will be a cure for cancer.

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Laurie,
Very sorry you lost your sister, Debbie to this terrible disease. Wishing your family peace & comfort at this time.
Terri

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My condolences.....dealing with a family member's cancer is never easy and it sounds as if you have been through the ringer.....you have to remember that your sister gave it the good fight and for that thought alone should comfort you. Sometimes we grow weary and tired but it sounds like your sister gave it all she had and she had a loving sister like you for support! Things don't always turn out the way we hoped and then we become angry-please don't allow yourself to suffer that way....I want to share a piece with you that I retained from the advancedbc.org website. I hope you can find your way out of the dark clouds and step into the light , allowing yourself to find some sunshine on your face and see your sister's reflection as a sign of rejoice! Go in peace my friend.

"Why wasn’t my metastatic breast cancer found sooner?"

Some women blame their doctors or themselves because their metastatic cancer wasn’t found earlier, through follow-up testing and scans after their initial diagnosis of breast cancer. They worry that they might have been cured, had the spread of their cancer been found sooner. But research shows that when it comes to metastatic breast cancer, the concept of "early detection” doesn’t apply. Finding the cancer’s spread before there are symptoms (with tumor marker tests and scans) and treating it a few months earlier offers no benefit in survival or quality of life. While metastatic breast cancer is often very responsive to treatment, and there are many treatments to be tried, in the overwhelming majority of cases, cure will no longer be possible. So, doctors treat metastatic breast cancer as a chronic disease that can hopefully be controlled for many years.

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You will have so many feelings during this time of deep grief.
They are your right to have and to feel.
Just remember - she's always with you.

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