Jaundice/confusion with secondary breast cancer in the liver

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Hi everyone, 

Sorry it's a bit of a long one. 

My mum was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in her liver and bones nearly 3 years ago. 

She has had various different treatments in that time and for the most part things have seemed pretty stable (although often when we tried to ask more in-depth questions she would just say "I don't know" or "I can't remember" ,- which knowing my mum will have been her way of protecting us)

In the past 8 months her memory has been getting progressively worse, at first it was not remembering big events that happened a few years ago, and her personality changed slightly. She wasn't really interested in her grandchildren anymore. Would switch off mid conversation and start looking what the neighbours were doing out the window, small things that began niggling.

We then started noticing her speech was becoming slurred and she struggled to find words, however when this was initially mentioned to her consultant he didn't seem concerned. (Unfortunately no one could attend with her by that point due to covid) 

We started to wonder if she was developing Alzheimer's as my grandma (her mum) suffered from this.

She's had a few admissions to hospital for various things and around October staff at the hospital began to also pick up on the confusion and slurred speech. And referrals began to the memory clinic etc (although despite being chased up the local drs are dragging their heels with this) although she was having these problems the hospital were happy she was ok to continue living alone. 

In December her consultant stopped treatment to see if her memory and confusion improved and to rule out if it was being caused by the chemo. 

It didn't get any better in this period, if anything it got worse. 

The consultant stopped her current treatment as scans showed it didn't seem to be working and said although there were a couple of treatment options left he didn't recommend them as he didn't think her liver would cope. He also mentioned that her memory and confusion was most likely down to her liver getting worse. 

This was 2 weeks ago. He also told us we were looking at months left. 

When we tried to explain things to my mum she had forgotten her cancer was terminal, and seemed convinced she had curable breast cancer.

She's since been in hospital again this weekend following a mini heart attack. Her confusion and memory seem to be getting worse by the day and when she came home today she was noticeably much more jaundice. 

I was wondering if anyone had, had any similar experiences, once jaundice starts getting bad is that a sign someone doesn't have long left? I'm confused that she seems so much worse yet the hospital have let her home, without additional care in place. I'm going to contact the hospice tomorrow for advice but thought I would ask people who have gone through similar rather than trolling through Google and falling into a hole! 

Thanks in advance  xx

  • Hi

    How are you doing and how is your mum?

    I responded to your post in the New to the Community section and I'm glad to see that you joined and posted in the groups I suggested. Although you haven't had a reply to your post here, I don't know if you've seen the reply to your post in the supporting someone with incurable cancer group. If you haven't clicking here will take you straight to it.

    How did you get on when you phoned the hospice a couple of days ago?

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     "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to latchbrook

    Thank you so much, I hadn't seen the reply. 

    Unfortunately mums condition has worsened and the cancer is now in her brain 

    It's such a surreal and heartbreaking thing but we are trying to get our head around it as a family. 

    She is in hospital at the moment and with covid it is difficult as we are unable to visit her. She also seems to have become confused with how to use her phone do we haven't been able to even speak to her, just getting as many updates as we can from the hospital staff. 

    Thanks again for your help xx

  • I'm sorry to hear that your mum's condition has worsened . 

    My dad was recently in hospital (not covid or cancer related) but he has early stage dementia which meant that we were had to phone the hospital every day to find out what was happening and neither me or my sister could visit. I understand how difficult it is to see someone becoming more and more confused.


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     "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

  • FormerMember
    FormerMember in reply to latchbrook

    So sorry to hear that you dad has dementia, it's such a heartbreaking condition. 

    Covid has definitely made an awful situation even more difficult. 

    Sending lots of love to you and your family xx

  • Thanks for your support


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     "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"