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May. 26th, 2008 08:36 pm
spiffikins: (alien)
Talked to my brother today - my mom had a followup appointment today - apparently I haven't heard all the information, because some of the stuff he told me was news - they did tests last week, and the tumours are larger now, although they are apparently still growing "relatively slowly".

He said something about the "ones in her lymph nodes" being larger - I hadn't heard about those, I was under the impression that she had 2 - one in each lung.

The doctor also said something about something suspicious in her stomach - she's had all kinds of issues with her stomach, so they can't tell at this point if this is a tumour or just other problems.

She has an appointment on Wednesday to get briefed on what to expect from chemotherapy, and then her first chemo appointment is Friday afternoon.

I had bought plane tickets to be home Thursday through Sunday a few weeks ago - not knowing when her chemo was scheduled for. I'm glad though, that I'll be home during the first round.

I have a ticket for a concert Friday night - at this point I don't know if I'll be going or not - in the great scheme of things, it's not that important at this point.

I guess I still had this absurd hope that somehow the chemo would gain us some time - as long as the tumours weren't growing measurably, as long as there were only 2 in her lungs. But to hear that they've grown, and that they are in her lymph nodes, and possibly her stomach. It just seems so much scarier.

I don't know what to do now - I wish someone could tell me "this is it, it's time to go home and stay there" - but nobody knows. I love my family, but we do better not living together - and I don't want to cause more stress by going home.

I don't know what to do - all I know is I'm not ready to lose my mom yet.
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Mar. 22nd, 2008 10:47 pm
spiffikins: (Default)
Talked to my mom tonight - she's known from the first dr's visit back in January that her cancer is terminal - she never came out and said it to me though, till tonight when I asked her about the results from the PET scan.

Basically, there is a small 3/4 inch diameter tumour in each lung, and the PET scan showed some "dark spots" in the lymph nodes near her lungs. Because she has tumours in both lungs, they can't do radiation. Because she doesn't have enough healthy lung tissue, they can't do surgery to remove the tumours.

So, they're going to start a round of chemotherapy at the end of May. The dr asked her when she wanted to start - she said "when do I need to start?" and he basically said that the tumours have not changed in size since early January when they first found them, so it's not aggressive, and she can wait a month or two without making any real difference in the outcome. So she's waiting until after tax season (she's a tax preparer and bookkeeper and March/April are her busy months).

Basically, they do 3 sessions of chemo, and then look to see if it made any difference - it if does, they do more of the same. This doesn't get rid of the cancer, it just "buys her some time". There are typically 3 types of reactions to the chemo - either you get so sick that it's not worth doing it any more because the benefits aren't worth the side effects, or you have a bad reaction for a few days, and then recover in time for the next session, or you say "are you sure you gave me something?". And, any of these reactions can result in some benefits or no benefits at all.

She asked the dr how long she has - he said, generally, they say about 6 months. But, since she's a woman, they generally can expect a couple more months. And because the tumours haven't changed in size and she's not in any pain, maybe a few more months on top of that. And if the chemo works, maybe a few more months.

But, it's official - my mother has terminal cancer.

I'm not surprised - I have been basically preparing myself for this, since there didn't seem to be any urgency on the part of the doctors, it wasn't like they were really coming up with any plans. But still, it's hard to hear it said out loud.
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(no subject)

Feb. 21st, 2008 09:16 pm
spiffikins: (Default)
time flies - was making my list for "things I need to get done at work in March" and the results are rather intimidating O.o

adventures in hiring )

fun with coworkers )

This week sucked for me personally, as my mom had her first appointment with the specialist, who basically looked at her results and did some tests and told her that because she has a tumour in each lung, they can't really do the standard radiation therapy because her body won't handle that much radiation.

They won't come up with any treatment plan until after they do a PET scan which, looking it up, appears to be a test to see if the cancer has spread elsewhere in her body.

She sent us kids an email giving us that much information and saying she wasn't ready to talk to anyone about it yet, she's still trying to come to terms with it.

I finally did some research online about lung cancer and the statistics are pretty grim. I guess I'd been naively hoping that this could be beaten - but realistically it's looking like I shouldn't be expecting to have my mom around in 2009. She turned 61 in December 2007.

I haven't been sleeping well since I read up on this stuff - and I know that I've been extra specially stressed and touchy at work too, because of all this.

And I'm sure it's only going to get worse.

FUCK
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(no subject)

Jan. 23rd, 2008 10:33 pm
spiffikins: (Default)
I found out tonight that my mother has lung cancer.

I don't know any curse words strong enough to express how I feel.

I'm scared - I'm not ready to lose my mom

I'm furious - She did this to *herself* by smoking for 40 years

I'm selfish - What will this mean for me? Will I have to turn my life upside down to deal with this?

I'm guilty - I should have prodded her more to quit smoking - I avoided the topic because it was uncomfortable and she didn't want to discuss it.

I'm not surprised - Deep down inside I've always sort of expected this day to come.

I'm pissed off - She knew there was a problem before Christmas and didn't say anything - she didn't want to ruin Christmas

I'm pissed off - She wasn't going to tell anyone - my brother was talking to her, and she misspoke and he pried it out of her

I'm scared.
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