Mar 24, 2013 - 12:23 pm
I haven't posted in a while. I came to this board often when I was seeking information about treatments, surgery, etc. My Mom was diagnosed in Nov. 11th after having, what she thought was a heart attack, but what ended up being food stuck in her esophagus. She had 5 weeks of chemo and radiation in early 2012 followed by a THE in April, 2012. After dealing with a tear and infection, she recovered fairly well from the surgery and was feeling good by Memorial Day. We had a fabulous summer and did a lot of shopping, dining, vacationing, etc. Just before Thanksgiving the illness began to rear it's ugly head again. Mom thought she had a pulled muscle -- and several MRIs, x-rays and ultrasounds came up inconclusive. She had a clean scan just in October, so we didn't suspect that it was cancer. Her mobility deteriorated greatly in December and January. Meanwhile she was becoming very dehydrated. She had 2 successful stretchs/dilations over the summer, but the latest ones didn't seem to be working. In addition to be dehydrated her doctor, in extremely poor judgement, prescribed her pain meds (for the "pulled hip.") that wreaked havoc on her kidneys. You can't take pain meds and be dehydrated. We didn't know any better at the time, it's all hindsight now. She just knew she was in terrible pain. I took her to the ER on her 66th birthday because she woke up shaking. They admitted her, diagnosed her with renal failure, and declared that her cancer had spread. It ended up that she had multiple hip and pelvic fractures (that not a single xray or MRI detected) and that the pain medicine that she had been taking for 10 weeks caused her kidneys to fail. She died in the home we shared less than 3 weeks after that 66th birthday - with my sister and I huddled around her and holding her in our arms.
I'm heartbroken and I'll miss her forever. I'm sorry for all of you that have to watch a loved one struggle. I comfort myself by telling myself that this earthly life is very short and temporary - I find myself wanting to go where she has gone and do what she is doing. It's an unjust way to die, but thank God it's not the end.