Feb 04, 2013 - 1:01 am
I am putting together a care package for my mom, of all the pretty headscarves and 'buffs' that I used when I went through my chemo and radiation treatment, and I am feeling pretty upset that she is going through this right now.
I posted a couple weeks back - she presented at the hospital on January 1st with difficulty breathing. They were able to get an X-ray and a CT scan that showed that the entire right hemisphere of her chest was taken up with a tumor mass. It took another three weeks of complications before they were able to get a successful biopsy that showed it to be small cell lung cancer. It is closing off her bronchial tubes. She has been in and out of the hospital for two biopsy surgeries, a collapsed lung, a chest cavity filled with fluid and a port installation. They would not admit her into the regional cancer center until they had checked her out of the main hospital. Also, it appeared that they also could not get clearance from her insurance to treat her cancer, until she had been seen at the cancer center.
She starts chemo on Tuesday. Small cell is usually treated with concurrent chemo and radiation, but her tumor mass is now so large, she is not able to lie flat in the CT scanner, in order to get the necessary imaging to identify the extent of her cancer to irradiate it. No idea right now if it has metastisized to her brain, bones or liver. So, they plan to treat her with chemo for a while, to try to shrink the mass enough so that she can lie flat to be scanned. Also, to help her breathe.
I don't mean to belittle anything that any of us experienced; and I got the whole Stage 4 shooting match, feeding tube included... but I am horrified about what she has been through already and what she will be facing. I couldn't swallow, but she can't breathe. Small cell is horribly agressive, and while treatment may shrink the cancer, it will come back.
She is almost 80 years old, and at this point she weighs only 113 pounds. But she wants to fight this, at least for now. I finally figured out where all my 'fight' came from. My momma. My hero.