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Very frightened for my mother

DeeS
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2009

Hello,

I just joined this site because I am very confused and frightened and so in the dark right now. My mother ended up in the ER last week with a collapsed lung. She had emergency surgery and a cat scan which showed a mass on her right lung. The doctor also mentioned that her lymph nodes were swollen. They immediately put her under to biopsy her lung and some lymph nodes in her chest. She doesn't have a follow up appointment for the results until the 24th of this month and of course all of us are scared to death in the interim. Is it normal to wait so long to get biopsy results?? None of this makes any sense. She has always been so active and vivacious. Could this all just be nothing but a false alarm?? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated...This has just all come as such a shock wihout any warning whatsoever...

cobra1122's picture
cobra1122
Posts: 245
Joined: Jul 2009

From what you have written, I can understand you fear. But most of what you have written is from uncertain conditions. It does take time to get the results back and for them to set up the appointment, Because their office maybe busy and other considerations. Though this doesn't make it any easier, you just need to relax a little and releaize that you don't know whats wrong don't feed into the fear that it is something bad. Start thinking positive and remember that if there is anything at least they have caught it now. What you have written are very common thing. The biopsy and the time waiting.
we waited almost amonth and a half before we found out, but we refuse to let the wait run our lives, the out come was not what we wanted, but then again they have been able to help me live a little longer.
If and when you find out then you take in that monster, but until then try and live as you did the day before your Mom went to the Hospital. You can battle what you don't know, just try and relax right now, and touch base with the Docs and see if they have any info, if not then relax and live life as you have, when the time comes yuo will know what direction you need to go in, and these people will be here to lend support if needed at that time....
Prayers and beat wishes to you Mom and Your family and You...

Dan and Margi Harmon

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Cobra makes some excellent points, not the least of which is that you both need to keep enjoying life. Even with the worst possible results (and that can happen), what is the use of being miserable or worrying? ESPECIALLY if that is the case.

As Cobra also acknowledges, that is easier said than done, but it is something worth pursuing.

It may be dating me, but I happen to think Tom Petty's song, "The Waiting is the Hardest Part" should be the cancer survivor/caregiver theme song. It IS a tough job, regardless of which role you serve.

Adding to what Cobra wrote, I would suggest that your mom's doctors have done a wonderful job so far! From what you write, they got her in immediately and were able to make some determinations at once. Believe me, in this time of Baby Boomers and carcinogen city, cancer is a rather hot fad at the moment, and getting your mom in for biopsy is a great thing on the part of her doctor(s).

Now, as Cobra describes in remembering his own experiences, the follow-up is not necessarily so quick. There are a number of reasons for this, as far as I can tell. First, as mentioned above, things have to fit into schedules, not just the doctors' schedules (they apparently do not even have time to go play golf anymore, as the stereotype would suggest), but also the load on others involved with this process.

Before your mom's doctors even see these results, they will be touched and evaluated by any number of other folks, including a specialist or two, evaluated carefully so that opinions are as accurate as possible, even before doc sees the results to provide his/her own opinion.

In addition, believe it or not, it appears that cancer does not hit you one day and kill you the next. Some, perhaps many, will argue that an earlier diagnosis might have saved a significant other. I would argue instead that the diagnosis came too late in those cases.

As a rule.

Finally, you indicate that mom has always been a lively, a 'vivacious' person, suggesting that she should not have cancer. I do not know what your image of a cancer survivor is, but, trust me, and I think you know this now, cancer is the least prejudiced of things.

It hits folks of all ages, races, religions, habits, the gamut. The fact that mom has been active, as you suggest, is a good thing for her, to be sure, but, on the other hand, cancer doesn't look for losers, if you will. It does not prey only on the smokers among us, or the shipworkers, or the roofers, or the coal miners. Whatever you might have thought before: it has no prejudice.

Mom is fortunate to have a caregiver such as yourself, Dee. Stick with it, continue to ask questions, continue to seek support for yourself (you, as a caregiver, need to take care of yourself as well).

And, as Cobra suggests, if you can, worry if and when you need to worry, when you have some answers and some new questions.

We are here for you and for mom.

Hope and Humor!

Take care,

Joe

MarykayUSMC's picture
MarykayUSMC
Posts: 9
Joined: Jul 2009

good advise from both prior.

My cancer was found on a Wednesday from a ultrasound - the same day they did a CAT scan and another more complete CAT scan the very next day. By Friday they did a biopsy - by Monday I saw the doctor and started chemo that same Wednesday. It is true that it does take time for the results but I have found that if it is real bad they call right away. I now have the "no news is good news". Waiting is scary however when they call too fast and rush too fast - it's scary too.

I've found this site and the advise from others here very helpful.

Prayers are with you and your family.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I LOVE a woman in uniform! (That is probably why my mail lady leaves my mail at the end of my driveway, but still!)

:)

Best wishes to you.

Take care,

Joe

MichelleP's picture
MichelleP
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2009

Joe,

Down boy...down. LOL

DorothyClarice
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2003

LOL!

DeeS
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2009

Thank you so very much for your input and kindness...It is so much appreciated. I will keep you posted.

DeeS
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2009

I just talked with my mother and she said the Doctor called her and said that the test results were negative!! We are so grateful and happy!! What I don't understand is why he mentioned he would be talking to her on the 24th about surgery. There is no way she (or my 78 year old father) will let anyone poke and prod her any further. If there's nothing there, why continue with any drastic measures?? I'm so confused...

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

This is just a guess, Dee, but in your initial post, you do state that the scan revealed a 'mass'. While the nature of the mass was not yet then known, its existence is apparently a certainty. Even if it is benign, as the doc has indicated, it may still be a problem, something to be removed.

That is just conjecture. Only doc will have the answers.

Best wishes to mom and her family, with congratulations to her for the negative results!

Take care,

Joe

DeeS
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2009

Good Point Joe, I guess we will just have to wait and see what the Doctor has to say on the 24th...I guess. I just really want for her to be alright...all of this has made me realize just how quickly life can change...I don't ever want to take moments shared with loved ones for granted...Not that I ever really did...I just never had to face the thought of something being so wrong so unexpecedly...
Thank you for the kind wishes...

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