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Trying to find answers

jzubrzycki
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2011

Hi Everyone,

My mom was diagnosed with endometrial cancer back in 2008 and my husband and I had been doing everything we could to help her out throughout the years (and to help ourselves cope)...including joining this site. We never would post anything, but we would read the boards and found so much hope and comfort. So thank you! My mom passed away this past May and I feel like I have a lot of questions. Her passing came on very fast and I think all of us were/are in disbelief. I'm wondering if anyone here has heard of anything similar to our situation. I'm an only child and it's devastating to lose someone so special and close to me and someone still young and vibrant...up until about 3 weeks before she passed. Here is what happened...I'll try to make it brief.

My mom was diagnosed with endometrial carcinoma in November of 2008. I didn't ask the staging, but I knew it was all contained in the uterus with the exception of spread to 1 lymph node. They took out like 20 something nodes and 1 showed cancerous cells. After a full hysterectomy she had traditional chemo of carbo/taxol and internal/external radiation. The cancer then recurred in October of 2010 by showing up in multiple lymph nodes. She had one biopsied and it was indeed the endometrial cancer. At that point, her doctor had her on a trial drug for a year, one that focused on stopping angiogenesis. It held the cancer at bay and shrank most of the lymph nodes quite a bit. About a year after that a small nodule showed up on her lung and because of that, she no longer qualified for the trial drug. She was taken off and put on Megace. Again, that worked for a while. Things shrunk but then started growing again. It was about a year. In the meantime we saw and intervention radiologist for the lung nodule and the decision was made not to do anything since it was difficult to get at and the cancer was/is systemic so chemo was the best option. At that point she did 5 rounds of carbo. She took a break for 3 months (the lung nodule doubled in size during these 3 months off of chemo), then she started on Doxil.

I know that this all sounds like a lot of drugs, but she handled all of them REALLY REALLY well. I know she had neuropathy from the very first chemo and she also had a cough that never really went away...and of course some of the other stomach stuff that happens and bone aches, etc. But she was happy and never seemed to be affected TOO much. So the latest chemo, the Doxil...my mom did really well on this. At this point, the only cancer SEEN on scans was the lung nodule which majory decreased in size and 1 "hot" lymph node. I realize there is still cancer in her body but what I'm trying to say that nothing really showed up...her organs weren't ravaged by cancer... anyway, the Doxil did start taking a toll on her...major mouth sores and she could barely eat. She had 8 rounds of it. It was so hard to see her in pain like that.

About a month before she passed, she was starting to feel really tired and didn't have any energy. We called the doctors and they said that's normal with lots of chemo. But her energy kept getting worse and then she was having trouble breathing. I kept calling the docs and they said it was normal. She had a magnesium infusion, hoping that would help. It didn't. Then a blood transfusion a week before she passed. To be honest, I don't think she needed the transfusion.

Then the week she passed...it was a Monday and she could barely even walk. We took her to the ER and she had a collapsed lung. We thought, "okay, they'll fix that and that was the problem and she'll feel better" but it didn't work out that way. The collapsed lung wasn't the problem. The next day the xrays showed that her right lung was all white now (the other lung)..well actually both lungs appeared white in the scans overnight. The docs thought it was a sudden inflammatory response to all the chemo that she's had over the years. The lung doctor said that he's seen this before and that it comes on sudden and fast. And you can't predict it. It could be because of a chemo she did even back in 2008. I just can't believe it. I keep wondering if we failed her. Why didn't the oncologist warn us about this? I was so worried about the cancer and I never saw this scenario coming. We looked back at her last scans, in March (not even 2 months before she passed) and it said her lungs showed "ground glass opacities and haziness." Her oncologist sits with my parents to discuss all of this and NOTHING was said or mentioned about those words. I'm now thinking that somebody missed something along the way.

Her oncologist thought the cancer would catch up to her eventually though. Ugh. And seeing her take her last breath...it's torture. Just torture. I know this is a long long message. I'm sorry. Any insight that anybody has would be so greatly appreciated. If anything, I just needed to get this out of my system.

Peace,

Jessica

It happened to Me's picture
It happened to Me
Posts: 206
Joined: Apr 2014

I have no words to express my sadness for your loss.  I also have no answers or suggestions to help you.  I just wanted you to know that I'm so sorry for your recent loss.  I can't imagine what it would be like to lose my mom.  

I'm sure the ladies on this board will have some words of wisdom and encouragement.

Jeanette

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1980
Joined: Nov 2009

Dear Jessica:

So sorry for your loss.   Please don't beat yourself up.  There are so many unknowns.   However, this is a good place to rant.

Sending you comforting hugs.

Kathy

Goldheart
Posts: 36
Joined: Sep 2013

I am sad and sorry for what your mom went through. It seems she sruvived for 5 years. i would search for answeres too if I was you. I hope someone would help you. xx p

jzubrzycki
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2011

Thanks for the replies! I really appreciate all of you listening and for your prayers. It's comforting to have a place to share my story and to know that people care!!

Thank you!

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 2667
Joined: Mar 2013

Jessica,

I am sorry about your mother.  What a wonderful daughter she raised and it sounds like your husband is a good man as well.  I don't have any answers for you but thank you for sharing everything with us.  Maybe it one of the lovely ladies will read it and remember your mother when something isn't right, and it can help all of us.

I pray for you and hope you can find a beautiful way to honor your mother's memory. 

 

SUNGRANNY
Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2012

Dear Jessica, 

What a loving and supportive daughter.  Your mother must have been comforted by your care and help.

As others have said, no one can say what did and didn't effect her, nor what might have happened if she did not have the treatment. 

May you be comforted by your good memories of your mother, and not dwell on the end.

Sara

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