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Mom's Post Op Pet Scan Shows 2 Lymph Nodes Lit Up

Heeran's picture
Heeran
Posts: 173
Joined: Aug 2011

I'm absolutely devastated, my mom is still recovering from her esophagectomy and we had her 3 month PET scan results and 2 lymph nodes lit up right near her neck. My mom was shocked and I started freaking out inside. The same scared grieving feelings I had when we first found out her diagnosis 7 months ago came right back. She starts Chemo and Radiation again on Wednesday. Doctor is telling us that we only have a 5-10 percent chance of a cure at this point. She was just starting to eat a little more and gain her strength. And then to get this news. I keep looking at her and feel so guilty that I didn't get her to the doctor sooner a year ago. I'm in Vegas right now with her and we're having fun and then we both realize the reality that at any moment, the cancer could spread quickly. I don't know what to do. I feel so helpless. I love her so much and I can't deal with the thought of her actually dying. I feels surreal. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and wonder if it was all a bad dream. Sometimes I feel like i'm going to have a panic attack.

Heeran

Ginny_B's picture
Ginny_B
Posts: 537
Joined: Sep 2011

Honey, I know your emotions. I knew from the beginning that this was terminal for my mom. Still we fought it. Prepare as best you can. Have long talks with your mom about everything. Find out what she would like done and how she would like things handled. And make arrangements, in advance, according to her wishes.

My mom was given a similar prognosis and survival rate. We just moved forward. Do what you're doing now - enjoy each other every moment. Help her through this. Sounds like you two are very close. There really are no words adequate that will help your heart get through this.

Just fill up your heart with love.

stephikindred's picture
stephikindred
Posts: 153
Joined: Mar 2012

I have a somewhat similar experience, in terms of the feelings I had. When we found out my mom had EC, we were under the impression it had not spread and were preparing for surgery. We even met with the surgeons, everything was looking up and we thought there would be a cure for her. On the second meeting with the thoracic surgeon, the results of the second PET scan showed mets to the bone, and he said surgery was no longer an option, we are stage 4 and that's a wrap. So that was the first big dip in the roller coaster ride. It is like the world falls out beneath you and you are falling fast. Such a scary feeling.

I must say, once we got the news, I tried to get my mom to go to Vegas, or anywhere for that matter while she still felt relatively good, but she would not do it. She insisted on chemo, clinging to anything that would make that dreaded cancer go away.

I will not forget the day that we were told it is stage 4 mom, dad and I were in the room together and I started to cry. I asked the doctor to show me the MRI, and as we left the room with my parents in it, we walked down the hallway together to go to another room and the doctor turned to me and told me I have to be strong for her and not cry in front of her. That made me feel guilty for expressing my emotions. I am a human being, and yes, I do have emotions, and yes, sometimes I do need to cry. I guess I have to cry alone.

It is very difficult and for many months after the diagnosis I woke up at 4 am and had that strange feeling, asking myself if it is real and trying to make sense of it all. Its tough when you love someone so much that you are hurting for your mom and you are trying not to panic and hold it all together. Sometimes you need an outlet so you can regroup and get yourself together.

This is a difficult and painful journey, but the best we can do is find as much beauty and joy along the way and enjoy every moment we have together and cherish those memories for the rest of our lives.

Sending love and hugs your way, Heeran.
Steph

Ginny_B's picture
Ginny_B
Posts: 537
Joined: Sep 2011

Steph, mom and I cried together! I say crying is ok.

stephikindred's picture
stephikindred
Posts: 153
Joined: Mar 2012

It is weird, every time I told someone about the diagnosis, they said be strong for your mom. People forget that its YOUR MOM. The one who was always there for you, the one who always took care of you, the one who made everything better all your life. Trying to be strong all the time can just add to stress. Thanks Ginny. I think you're right. Better to get those feelings out than bottled up inside.

sandy1943's picture
sandy1943
Posts: 883
Joined: Jun 2010

So sad about the latest test results. Enjoy your mom and talk alot. if you haven't started a journal, do so. Write down good things she shares with you.

Theres nothing wrong with crying.so many times after diagnoses I wanted my husband to just hold me and for us to cry together. He thought he had to be strong for me and I wanted to cry and get on with my life which is what I did. I cry easily and I'm glad I do. I am brought to tears over all my friends on here, Even though we've never met in person, I feel the hurt and the joy over the good happenings of you all.

Sandra

JReed's picture
JReed
Posts: 463
Joined: Nov 2011

Heeran:

I know exactly how you feel. You and your mom seem like a pair of fighters that I would not want to mess with. You've been through so much and now to have a setback is very upsetting. Seems like the treatments of chemo and rads is payment enough for this cancer, and then some go on to have the surgery and that certainly seems like overpayment, and then a scan or pathology report than comes back not good seems so cruel. No one should have to go through this.

We will be praying for your mom that this time around will kick the cancer to the curb. We are never guaranteed tomorrow so we should live everyday to the fullest and do and be our best. That is so easier said than done. I know you all will take the lemons handed to you and make the best lemonade in the world.

Hugs and FEC,
Judy

TerryV's picture
TerryV
Posts: 915
Joined: Jul 2011

This is NOT the news I wanted to hear from you. I fully understand that sick scared feeling.

Your mom has been such a tough fighter, and you have been right there beside her. I'm so sorry that you both have to go through this again. I hope your mom handles the next rounds of radiation and chemo well. Our prayers and best wishes go with you both as you move forward.

with big {HUGS}

Terry

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

Heeran,
I think you are my sister from another mister. My mom's 3 month post surgery scan showed recurrence as well and now she is suffering and in so much pain. We are only 3 more days away from starting chemo again, and I really don't know if she can hold out that long. Seeing her suffer and lose weight is the most heart breaking thing. I'm here...doing the same thing, with you.

Ucsf_smile's picture
Ucsf_smile
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2011

I should mention, feel free to email me and we can exchange numbers. I feel helpless and so sad from this. My mom said today she thinks she is dying. Doctor said to manage her pain and get her to eat and get strong enough for chemo this Thursday.

Christinegroff at gmail dot com

Ginny_B's picture
Ginny_B
Posts: 537
Joined: Sep 2011

I know exactly where you two are with your moms. It's a very difficult time.

MissusB's picture
MissusB
Posts: 112
Joined: Jul 2011

Praying for you and your mother. She is a statistic of one. Each and every one of us here know your pain and your fear. Please take it one day at a time. Love to you - Kim

Heeran's picture
Heeran
Posts: 173
Joined: Aug 2011

thank you all for your kind words. Yes, you are all the only ones in this entire world who TOTALLY understand what my family is going through. My mom has taken care of people all her life starting when she was 8. She had a mom who had a stroke and was paralyzed that she took care of for 5 years. Then she passed. Quickly after that, she had to take care of her dying father. Then a couple years later, she got pregnant with me and my brother while my father got drafted to the army in Korean. After he got back, she moved us to the states so that my brother and I could get an education. It has always been my dream to financially take care of my parents since I was young to repay them for the sacrifice they made for the family. I was finally in a position starting last year to do that and then all this happened. My mom has been working non-stop all her life, I just wanted to make retirement fun for her and I almost achieved it. We never got to take family vacations growing up and I barely saw my parents because they worked in the restaurant industry. And now to have the doctor tell me that the treatment didn't work, I feel so helpless and can't bear the thought of losing her. And thinking about the pain she will suffer again, seems very unfair and cruel. I keep saying there's child molesters and murderers out there. Why her?

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