Apr 27, 2009 - 1:32 pm
My Mother was diagnosed with nsclc in August '08 and that's when my life as I knew it ceased to exist. She is 70 years old and her cancer had already spread outside the lungs by the time they were ready to do radiation. She was in a clinical trial designed for the elderly due to her frail condition and was taken off of that because she couldn't tolerate the chemo. Her oncologist put her on a chemo break with just Avastin and she was almost her old self again. Then they did another PET scan and he said it had spread but not to worry. He put her on Taxotere and she did that for 2 weeks and nosedived. She was on Dilaudid for pain and it made her hallucinate. He knew this but failed to act on it. We were due to see him to discuss/demand that he make a change in her meds and the morning before she fell and broke her hip. The day of her surgery he showed up at the hospital and said he was stopping all chemo and was initiating comfort measures only. He told my sister (who lives out of state) that she had weeks to live. My sister dropped everything and flew down here (FL). He then said she probably had 6 months to live. He told my mother, while she was alone in her room the day after surgery, that he was stopping chemo. Needless to say we were in shock from all of this. Perhaps the most shocking was when I met up with him at the elevator and he laughed (yes laughed) and said "That's not even the hip she has the cancer in!" During this time he revealed to us that her cancer had spread to 6cm in her lungs, had spread to her adrenal gland, and her right hip. Her primary physician set her up for rehab and gave her a ball park of a minimum of 2 weeks and max of 6-8 weeks before she could come home. An ortho doc backed this up. Her oncologist told her (after this) that she'd be out in a week. These are just a few examples of what we've had to deal with regarding the inappropriateness of her oncologist while she's been under his care. My Mom is my best friend and we've always been extremely close. This whole saga is tearing me apart. I'm already under the care of a psychiatrist for Major Depression and severe anxiety (I had a nervous breakdown roughly 10 years ago). I know I have to stay strong, cherish the time left and all the those things people say and I'm doing my best to do that. I never let my Mom see me "lose it". Sometimes I have to leave her room and find a place to have my meltdown. Other times I make it home and then I really lose it. I've never experienced this kind of pain before. If I did, my Mom would be who I would talk to. People (and God bless them for it) ask about her but they want the abbreviated version and certainly don't know what to do if I start to cry and get hysterical. Heaven only knows what strangers think when they see me walking my dog with tears streaming down my face. I'm crying as I write this. Maybe nobody will read it but I had to write it anyway. I can't listen to the radio because I'm afraid of certain songs that will trigger me. Movies that I will never watch again. Her condition right now is as such that she doesn't even recognize me and that pierces my heart. I hate this disease! I feel like it's already taken her because I haven't seen "her" since before she got sick. She has chemo brain and we won't know if it's actually spread to the brain because her oncologist doesn't see the point in doing more scans. Another quote (given to us when we heard how it had spread) "It's stage IV. There is no stage V so what do you want?" Perhaps this is the most important (and selfish) thing I have to write, the only thing that comforts me, that makes me feel like I can handle the loss when it comes.....is to not handle it at all. When I think about taking my own life when her's ends, I feel at peace. I know it's wrong but right now it's what keeps me going. Sorry for the long read.