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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/14/2009 8:33 AM (GMT -6)   

I am a very concerned husband. My wife, 36yo, has stage IV (area on her sternum). She is on Ixempra and Avastin.

Can anyone tell me the longest known survivor of stage IV, TRIPLE NEGATIVE disease with local mets only in the sternum?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 10/14/2009 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Jo-Ann is probably one of the longest living stage IV survivors. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer over 12 years ago she was given 9 months to live. She had very strong chemo and double radiation, treated very agressively for that time period. Remember chemo has changed a lot even in 12 years. After a couple of years Jo-Anne had a second breast cancer that was totally different from the first. She had a mastectomy and that was her only treatment for that cancer. She has other health problems now like diabetes, some artery blockage, etc. She is now 60ish. AND she just drove to Florida from Texas, took a cruise and is wending her way back home visiting in SC, GA and God knows where. Nothing keeps her down.

My daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer in 99, had one round of chemo was not Stage IV at that time, but 8 years later cancer was found in lymph nodes and bones, then went to bone marrow. She has been treated with chemo weekly since the bone marrow was found and was clean for a year or so, but now it is back. The chemo was changed and she is still is functioning far more than anyone would expect. Avastin was one of the drugs that kept her clean for that year plus. She was 39 when first diagnosed.

My husband was diagnosed this year with lung cancer. He had no symptoms, but bone mets were found during an injury to his chest. He has really bad mets to his sternum and the pain has been horrible. Chemo didn't do much for him, but radiation to his sternum kept him pain free for a few months in that area. He is now on Hospice care but insists he will be up and working again next spring. We have a small farm we bought for his retirement.

Each person is different. Each treatment reacts differently to the individual. I hope your wife is able to conquer the pain and the spread for several years. I'm sure you have heard that breast cancer, actually all cancers are being treated like diabetes as a chronic disease that must be watched, tested and treated the rest of your life. I was lucky in the cancer area, I was diagnosed at 58 with breast cancer and have had no more signs of it, but have other health issues now at 71 that makes life difficult. I am thankful for my situation and would gladly trade places with my daughter. I hate seeing all these young women being diagnosed.

Give her a hug for me, Mary K.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 10/14/2009 5:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Our friend Deb was dx'ed in 1985 and had mets to the sternum in 1988? She's still very alive and kicking! She had chemo and radiation to the sternum. I think she's been NED ever since. Deb is one of my heroes! Jo-Ann is quite a living, breathing miracle as well. And there is Jackie... I don't know how many times Jackie has been through chemo, but she just keeps fighting this disease off. There are a lot of inspiring stories out there! And what about Cyndi? She's put up on heck of a fight, too. She's had widespread bone mets, and I think she's been with our group for about 10 years. I remember her telling me that her oncologist said he looks at Stage IV cancer as a chronic disease, like diabetes. Yes, it may shorten your life, and yes, it may eventually take your life, but but managed properly, there can be a lot of living left to do.

Best of luck to you and your wife.

I agree with MK... give her a hug from me, too. I hope she'll visit us, too!

"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 10/16/2009 10:41 PM (GMT -6)   
The others have given good info. Bev told you about Deb, the longest surviving warrior we know! Yes, it has been at least 20 years I think that she is NED. She was actually cured from mets to sternum. Others can co-exist for very long time with stable disease, a chronic situation. Hopefully your wife can have a great outcome too. Research what you can, interview doctors, get multiple opinions and just make sure you are comfortable with the your choices. Keep us posted!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 10/20/2009 12:52 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi. My name is Debbi and I have stage IV bc. I was first diagnosed in 2001. At that time I was staged between II & III. I had a radical modified mastectomy w/ 19 of 21 lymph nodes positive. I had 4 chemo treatments, 36 radiation treatments and was deemed clean. Then in 2002 I had a recurrance. It was found in my sternum. I have been on monthly chemo treatments, herceptin and several other, and am doing fine. My last pet scan (last month) showed no difference in the scan from 2005. I have a pet and bone scan every 3 months as well as a mugga to make sure that my heart is ok from the meds that I take. I feel great. I look good and am constantly told that I really can't have cancer and be taking treatments because I don't look sick. Now what a person that has cancer is suppose to look like, I have no idea. lol I won't lie and tell you that I don't hurt but there are meds that I take to ease the pain. And I still function fine. My bones are a little weaker from all of the chemo but I get a med every month w/ my chemo to strengthen them. I believe that the most important thing is that you have a POSITIVE attitude. Not only your wife but you also and your family. Understand that your wife is going to be frightened at times. Each new little ache and pain will make her wonder if the cancer has spread. But she has to remember that this is, as the other gals have said, a MANAGABLE DISEASE! If she doesn't have faith in her onco, then find another one. I have gone thru 3 since my journey began.

I hope that things go well and please come back and visit us. Hopefully your wife will join us. This is a wonderful, knowledgable group of women. They are very compassionate


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