Tim said it very well, your mother's diagnosis, surgery and clean cystos would not lead one to think that aches and pains are due to metastases. How could you know.
I think it's great that you took some time off to be with your family. It's a very hard time. Make sure you take care of yourself as well, as cancer is hell on caregivers. I didn't follow that advice while caring for my sister during her fight with breast cancer, to my own detriment, the stress can be overwhelming.
All the best to you, you sound like a wonderful son.
with that pathology and the fact that the lymph nodes were clear it's not surprising that you didn't link the two. especially at your mums age. we all get aches and pains as we get older and if I was to link every one of mine with my TCC (I had my neobladder last Oct) I'd be camping out at my docs office on a permanent basis! it's just not practical to live like that. if you and your mum are guilty of anything then you are guilty of getting on with your lives and putting the trauma of cancer surgery behind you. and who could possibly blame you for that? there are many people on this site and all over with far worse prognoses who haven't experienced the progression your mum is going through. the fact is BC and all cancers can behave unpredictably. you have to find a way to move forward from this point and away from the "what if..." scenarios to seek the best treatment and care for your mum. that's the best and most useful way. hopefully someone here with a similar pathology will stick their head up and give you the benefit of their experience.
Son of 59 year old female diagnosed with T2 TCC last year (her operation was literally a year ago). Partial cystectomy at that time, doctor took lymph nodes . . . they were all clear. My mom has had cystoscopies every 3 months RELIGIOUSLY and NOTHING showed up. Last week she had some leg pain and she went to the ER. The Alk Phosphatase was SUPER HIGH and the bone scan lit up symmetrically all over the place. Bone marrow biopsy showed evidence of TCC, she is scheduled to begin chemo on Tuesday. I am SO SCARED. I am in my last year of medical school and have taken the rest of the year off to care for my mom with the rest of my family. I just need people to talk with and to exchance ideas with. The cruel thing is that I feel SO guilty for not thinking (the worse case) that the lower back and leg pain my mom has been complaining of periodically is metastatic bone disease. She is a female, she has NEVER had a cigarette in her mouth, has had clear cystoscopies for the last year and now this. (SIGH). I just don't know what to expect. Anyways, thank you for listening.