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How Did We Get Here?

hope0310's picture
hope0310
Posts: 324
Joined: May 2010

The Talking Heads asked that....and I have many times.

For years.....46 exact, I would hear of someone I knew, someone I used to work with, old family friend, friend of a friend of friend.....whoevever...who one day was full of life and vibrant and the next day....the dreaded C word. How? Why? Never understood.....until March 1st, 2010 @ 3:20.

Last week of February....my young 66 year old mom, who had retired 13 months prior, re-done her entire house, added the inground pool of her dreams.....went to Houston to visit her SIL... her brothers widow....a brother who past away September 2008 of lung cancer. The same brother who quit smoking 27 years prior after a favorite uncle died of pantreatic cancer....

So,mom comes home the last day of Feb....something is wrong..she is slurring,but does not realize it. Her balance is out of whack...but she does not realize it.

Monday March 1st, my stedad takes her to the doctor,she had refused going to the ER the previous day.....too bad, GP sends them straight to ER. I get the call and rush down there.
Mom asks...What are you doing here?? Because you are mom, because you are.

Tests,test and tests.....we are thinking she had a stroke. Mom tells us she had a horrible headache the whole time she was in Texas.

3:20. March 1st..."Folks it is worse than a stroke...you have cancer in your right lung that has spread to your brain".....Everything goes BLACK...........

Biopsies and tests confirm...SCLC, 5cm tumor in upper right lobe.....20, yes TWENTY mets to brain.

March 3rd - start WBR
March-30th -started Chemo
March 31st - cannot walk - Med Onco sends to ER and refuses chemo
March 31st - spread to thoratic spine...no big deal per rad and med Onco....Spine rad starts..
April 28 - back to chemo

Scans and chemo continue,scans of brain and spine great!!!
Chemo ends.....trouble walking....test and retest...not in spinal fluid, no medial reason that she is unable to walk.....

July 13th - REMISSION!! WHOOP!!
Still cannot walk -so off to inpatient rehab.

Aug 5th - tell my stepdad to take mom to onco......seems like she is backsliding..
Aug 6th - ALL BLACK AGAIN - cancer is back in moms brain . . no further treatment.
Aug 9th - Mom comes home under hospice care - doc says 4-6 weeks.

Me,my brother and stepdad (who is 48 at that time - yes. mother was a cougar!) . ..we all tell work see ya later~~

Mom was with us about 7 weeks. She was never in pain....and passed away holding my hand @ 10:20, Thursday September 23, 2010.

So.....HOW DID WE GET HERE?

<--------MY BEST FRIEND,MY ROCK,MY CONFIDANT,MY HERO - MY MOM!!!!

Be good to yourselves......I am trying.
Elysia

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Oh all of that sounds so familiar. One day we are just doing our usual thing and a phone rings with a doctor's voice telling you that a normal test has come back the big C. Or a regular visit to the doc produces the same outcome. Shock sets in. We are then so busy seeing this specialist and that specialist that time gets forgotten and then one day we seem to 'wake up' and so much has passed us by - appointments, diagnosis, tests and more tests, bad outcomes, good outcomes, more tests, lots of crying, rushed moments we might have normally savoured and taken out times with but the diagnosis consumes us. Then all of a sudden it's weeks gone by.

That's what shock does. It puts a hold on all of the regular stuff that makes life pleasant and fills it instead with the 'have to do's' and fears and survival mode and days and days of teary eyes - then it's tomorrow before we know it.

It's natural for the body to try to protect us with the shock state to some degree - softening the blow of traumatic news with a type of frozen state yet allowing us to go into survival mode for our own good. Trick is to come out of it as soon as we can for our own goods as well.

Yup, as survivors we have a great deal in common when it comes to emotional and physical issues when cancer comes knocking. Thank goodness for the internet - bringing us all together so we can share in the validation of each other. That helps us through big time.

Over 2 centuries ago when I was first diagnosed there was nothing like this that I knew of. The profession was so invalidating because they just didn't realize then what they do now about how we function, and don't. Today there is so much emotional support out there for survivors and their caregivers and there is still a long way to go. As one oncologist said to me not long ago 'cancer is still a relatively new science in the sceme of things - we have a long way to go in understanding and dealing with it'. We forget that sometimes I suppose.

I lost my Mom about 8 years ago, not to cancer but to old age - just wore out - and I miss her everyday. Like you I was close with my Mom, talked to her everyday by phone (sometimes more than once) by phone long distance as we lived far apart. I wish I had those years back, I would have lived closer to her. However when I start to feel too sorry for myself I remind myself that we did have a good relationship and some Mothers and daughters do not so for that I am greatful for our time together.

Sure wish though I could pick up the phone right now and call her, the phone has been so quiet since she passed, or so it seems.

Take comfort in the good memories you had with your Mom Alysia, she would want you to carry on with your life, helping others along the way too perhaps who are have just lost someone dear on support boards like this.

Blessings Alysia,

Bluerose

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