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The Momma files(it's a long one!)

mcflii's picture
mcflii
Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2011

Boy has this been the longest 5 months of my mommas life!!! Not to mention mine as well! Being a caregiver is extremely stressful! I feel like I am leading two totally different lives.
Anyway, my momma is not doin the greatest. To recap, she has primary lung cancer with mets to the brain(1 tumor in the brain stem) and now a tumor has popped up in the humerus bone in her right arm(and of course she is right handed, silly cancer) AND her bone is fractured as well. Whew, how much more can a body take? Oh wait, that's right, I forgot about the diabetes that almost killed her in the beginning of this journey and now most recently the staph infection she is still fighting that reared its ugly head into her left knee.
Sooooo, she was in excruciating pain with her arm and her knee when she was at home. I called her family doc and they said to take her to the ER. So we are in the ER for about 5 hours and we are finally called back to a room. Come to find out that she is so anemic that they had to give her 2 bags of blood cause she was losing blood somewhere. Then they also said that she has septic arthritis in her knee. At midnight they finally admitted her to the hospital where she spent the next 2 weeks. They took blood and found the staph infection in her knee.(septic arthritis/staph infection same thing? I don't have a clue) Finally, they put her under to clean her knee out. They cleaned most of the infection out of there and also did an x-ray on her arm and found the tumor and fracture. So I am all by my lonesome in the waiting room when they are cleaning out her knee and in walks the doc to update me and in a very loud manner proceeded to tell me that the surgery on her knee went well and they found the tumor in her bone. Say what?!?!?! I then proceeded to tell him, sarcastically of course, that I no longer liked him, and what is the next step? He told me that they will wait for the infection to get out of her system and then do surgery on her arm by taking out as much of the tumor as they can and put a rod in there to prevent further breakage of her arm. If they can't get all of the tumor out then they will do radiation to the rest of it. Now they are talking about doing either a full or partial shoulder replacement. Man does it ever end? Oh wait, again of course it doesn't, I forgot about the staph infection that they also found in her shoulder, she had to go under again to have that cleaned out too!
Well, she is in her 3rd week away from home in a rehab center where she has been for a week. They are tryin to get rid of all of the infection so they can do surgery on her arm. I also forgot to mention that she hasn't had the thing she needs the most right now which is the chemo!!! She hasn't had any chemo treatments since all this went down and that is making me and her also very very nervous!!! What to do, what to do, but sit around and wait to see what happens next.
I am exhausted to the point of no return it feels like and I can't even imagine how my momma feels. She is on constant pain meds(percocets and oxycodone) but atleast that takes the pain away.
The good things about all of this so far is that: 1. She is constantly hungry, eating all the time, 2. She hasn't lost any weight, 3. All of her vitals are strong! So atleast there are some good in all of this bullcrap. Her spirits are so so as they tend to go up and down with twists and turns along the way like the rollercoaster she is on! Well I think that about does it! That's enough right?
To whoever reads this or replies, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart! It helps me sooooo much to write it all down and know that somebody else actually reads it and gives us advise or just a happy thought helps tremendously!!!

Thanks for listening! Don't forget to breath and cancercankissit!!!!!

Deb

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

So sorry to hear about everything you and your mom have been through and are still dealing with.

One of the things I love about these forums is we can come here to vent and everyone understands what we are feeling. I've received bad news this week and it has helped me to come here and tell everyone about it, not that I want sympathy, I just need to say it (type it) out loud but don't want to scare my family by telling them the whole truth about how bad it is.

Sending positive thoughts for you and your mom that they will get these infections under control and proceed with her surgeries and chemo.

We are all here to listen whenever you need a shoulder.

Stay strong,
Glenna

grannylove
Posts: 183
Joined: Apr 2011

So sorry Deb. You and your mum are going thru soooo much. As a mother myself, I know your mother finds great comfort knowing you are her advocate and caretaker. You are such a positive influence and a pillar of strength for her. I know you are exhausted....mentally, physically and emotionally, so try and find just alittle time to rejuvenate yourself too. You are a truly wonderful, selfless daughter. I hope and pray that this infection will get under control and tx will be able to continue. Stay strong! I will keep you and your mother in my thoughts and prayers. Cancer totally sucks!
Cheryl

ButterflyLake's picture
ButterflyLake
Posts: 44
Joined: May 2011

From one caregiver daughter to another...you're doing a great job! And it sounds like there are some silver linings in your mom's experience (no weight loss, vitals good, etc.), despite her discomfort and complications/roadblocks to her cancer treatment.

I'm at the year anniversary since my mom's diagnosis, and like you, it's been one thing after another (after another, after another, after another). I remember the five-month mark after my ma's diagnosis, and I was not in a good way. Exhausted can't begin to describe it, but that's how I described it too. The wait-and-see game is awful, and receiving information from doctors on your own is rough. You will get through it!

Background on us is that my mom was primary lung with mets to brain, and was diagnosed after getting an MRI for headaches. It sounds like you got as sucker punched as we did.

If you ever want to talk, please feel free to message me!

Sweet blessings to you and yours.

ButterflyLake's picture
ButterflyLake
Posts: 44
Joined: May 2011

From one caregiver daughter to another...you're doing a great job! And it sounds like there are some silver linings in your mom's experience (no weight loss, vitals good, etc.), despite her discomfort and complications/roadblocks to her cancer treatment.

I'm at the year anniversary since my mom's diagnosis, and like you, it's been one thing after another (after another, after another, after another). I remember the five-month mark after my ma's diagnosis, and I was not in a good way. Exhausted can't begin to describe it, but that's how I described it too. The wait-and-see game is awful, and receiving information from doctors on your own is rough. You will get through it!

Background on us is that my mom was primary lung with mets to brain, and was diagnosed after getting an MRI for headaches. It sounds like you got as sucker punched as we did.

If you ever want to talk, please feel free to message me!

Sweet blessings to you and yours.

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Ex_Rock_n_Roller
Posts: 273
Joined: Mar 2011

... with that informal style of yours! You are a GOOD writer!

And you've got great spirit. Your mom is very lucky to have you around. Keep it up!

mcflii's picture
mcflii
Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2011

My momma will be comin home on Tuesday next week! If only for a couple weeks she will be happy. Then next week we are off to yet again more doc appointments! I am pretty sick of lookin at their ugly mugs, no offense docs, atleast you are savin her life, so I guess you all are not too ugly! Anyway, the onco will do his thing and make sure she is well enough to have yet ANOTHER surgery and then we go to the arm doc dude and talk about what to do with the tumor and fracture in her arm. Good times, good times!! So far momma is finally comin around pretty darn good. She is up and walking good, still weak, but who wouldn't be with all she has been through in the past month. Man is she my superhero or what! Well, wish us luck!!!

Deb

Don't forget to breath and a greeeeaaaatttt big gigantor CANCERCANKISSIT!!!!!

grannylove
Posts: 183
Joined: Apr 2011

Hello Deb,
Thinking of you and your mother. Hope all went well with all the docs and positive thoughts and prayers coming your way! God bless
Cheryl

mcflii's picture
mcflii
Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2011

We went to the onco yesterday for a follow up appointment. The onco seems to think that since she has had all these treatments and it is still breaking off into other parts of her body that there is more of it somewhere. We go to the doc today to see what he says about doing the surgery on her arm. So depending on how today goes Mom will probably decide what she wants to do regarding treatment!! I am still pushing for one of the docs to have her go in for a PET scan to see if there is and don't know if it will happen, but I can always ask. Thanks for listening everybody! Thanks Grannylove for thinkin of us even though we don't know each other and to everybody else, THANK YOU!! I'll be back with more news when I know it.

Deb

p.s. had to come back and edit and say CANCERCANKISSIT!!!

grannylove
Posts: 183
Joined: Apr 2011

Geesh Deb, hope you were able to convince a doc to let your mom have a pet scan and maybe bring alittle bit of assurance to you both regarding tx. Has the onc suggested changing tx options since he/she feels it is not being as successful as hoped? Hopefully someone on this board will be able to relate to what your mom is going thru, and will have some suggestions. Continued prayers and positive thoughts to you both. I agree....cancercankissit!
Cheryl

mcflii's picture
mcflii
Posts: 28
Joined: Mar 2011

My mom has been home for only a week and a half and she is already back in the hospital. This time it started with a 103 temp and the next thing I know we are back in the ER sitting and sitting and sitting and sitting, waiting for a room to open up. We finallly got to a room again and they did their thing and found out that mom has pneumonia! They admitted her yet again and now she in on 3 different kinds of antibiotics. We will have to wait yet again on what to do on her arm as we were supposed to go to the radiation doc on Monday to see if he wants to do radiation on the bone tumor in her arm bone. The pain in her arm is getting worse and we are afraid that the tumor in there is getting bigger and possibly fracturing her arm even more. Still not sure yet! We will hopefully find out more in the next few days. Thanks for reading yet once again and of course CANCERCANKISSIT!!
Deb

grannylove
Posts: 183
Joined: Apr 2011

So sorry to hear your mom has gotten pneumonia! I can only imagine how hard all of this is to handle. What a dear daughter you are, to be there to comfort and take care of your mom. As a mother, I know your mom really appreciates you. I wish I could provide profound wisdom but alas, I have none to offer. Hopefully her stay in the hospital will show some positive results. My prayers and thoghts are with you both. Stay strong Deb.
Cheryl

smneider
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2011

Thanks for your posts. My Mom was just diagnosed 2 weeks ago. Tomorrow she begins her 1st treatment.

Hope your Mom is doing better.

Sharon

jennymiller
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2010

my mom was just diagnosed 8-22-11 of sclc after several biopsys. can't believe we have to wait two weeks to see oncologist for the first time, is this common to wait two weeks? I'm scared I'm an only child and no other relatives live near us I'm all alone.

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