I started this blog shortly after receiving my mom's first follow-up CT results. It was only a little over a month ago, but it seems like forever ago. Back then, I knew that while those particular results were positive, my mom's cancer was much more advanced than I had realized. I was in a pretty bad place emotionally. I had lost most of my hope and I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to deal with anything.
I am in an entirely different place now - thank God. Because seriously, while this blog may be about me and my journey - my Mom's cancer is about HER. And I need to be able to be strong and hopeful for my Mom and Dad.
Mom's results came back and they continue to be good. The MRI still shows no new/recurrence in the brain. WHEW! The CT continues to show improvement - most of the lung nodules are gone, the liver tumor is smaller as is the main esophageal tumor. Sis and I went to the Dr. with Mom this Monday. Mom asked the Dr. if he ever saw this just "go away." He said...yes. Mom pointed out when we spoke about it later that there was a long pause there. So, not likely, but possible. I do have to say, I wish these doctors would stop handling us with kid gloves. When we ask these questions, we want realistic answers. He could have said - yes, but it doesn't happen that often. Or, ever? Sure. But, it's not the most probable scenario. Or, whatever the truth is. (In fairness, I suppose we could have asked a follow-up question.)
Mom has been worrying that she's going to be on chemo forever, so Sis asked what about a break in chemo. Do you see that? Dr. said yes. (No pause there.) Problem is that Mom has that pesky second cancer - so if they think that she's well enough to go off chemo for at least six weeks, they'd probably be scheduling surgery to remove (at least part of, if not all) her kidney. Which kind of sucks, but what can you do? As we all know, Cancer Sucks! And, it doesn't play fair.
Here's the thing though...I mentioned that I signed up for an EC listserv back in December. And, while there is a lot of hope there, there's also a lot of people that have horrific side effects from their chemo. And, Mom? NONE of that. First, unless you really know her, you wouldn't know she was sick just by looking at her. Her worst side effect is fatigue - she tires fairly easily nowadays. She's nauseous for the first few days after chemo, but she can control it (mostly) with meds. Some people on my listserv are too fatigued to do much of anything - Mom babysat yesterday for her two precious (and active) grandchildren. Yes, she was tired at the end of the day (but, no more than I would have been!). So, she's lucky. We talked about that on Monday, too.
On the last day of National Women's History month, I thank my favorite woman in the world. For teaching me to be me and instilling in me a strong sense of self-worth. For handling a crappy diagnosis with grace, dignity, strength and amazing spirit. I love you, Mom.