Many of you who are on Yahoo groups with me or on Facebook know that my mom is pretty sick right now. In fact, the thing I didn't ever want to have to write? My mom has the "c" word - cancer. No one ever wants that for a relative.
It's been a really long journey & at this point, it's really just beginning. Here is the full story. If you want to skip to the bottom, feel free.
In November my mom went in for a pre-surgical cardiac stress test. She was due to have carpal tunnel surgery done at the beginning of December & the doctor wanted to make sure everything was okay. My mom has taken heart meds for years. The stress test came back showing something was "off." Added to that was the fact that my mom had been having a toothache for a few days. How is that related? When they put her on a nitro patch in the hospital the toothache went away. Women present much differently from men with cardiac issues.
The frustrating part here was that Mom was admitted on the day before Thanksgiving. Just like doctor offices, there is nothing going on during holidays or weekends in a hospital. Just basic care to get you through until Monday. That's what happened for her. She so wanted to get out of there & go home.
Monday came & they did a heart catheterization which showed nothing. Take some pills. Watch yourself. Your good to go. Basically. Oh, but by the way....they found a large tumor on her ovary & that really should be removed. They thought it was a fast growing cancer. It really should be taken out of ASAP. We want you to go to the big city (3 hours away) to have it done since they are the best in the state. Well, the "best-in-the-state" practice couldn't even see her until January 2nd to even discuss when they could do the surgery. We settled in to praying & waiting fearing the worst.
Things appeared to be going well though until just before Christmas. At that point my Mom started developing horrendous pain in her leg. Pain that would just put her down. Pain that started requiring multiple narcotics to even make life bearable and barely at that. In & out of the ER she went trying to hold out until January 2nd for that coveted appointment.
Finally late one night a decision was made. My father drove her to my sister's house & she then drove them to the big city. It's a 1-1/2 hour drive for them to my sister's & then another hour or so from there. It was a long night at around midnight to begin this journey. My sister plays an intricate part though. She's an ER nurse & knows her stuff. She's not afraid of any doctor & will call it like she sees it. She makes an amazing advocate for our mother.
My mom is now at the hospital in the big city, close to the "best-in-the-state" practice. But first they work on the pain. The pain that is so bad it has her laid out like never before. Finally we are told, it's just a badly pinched nerve. We have some drugs to fix it. We'll start on that & take out that tumor too while you're here. You'll be good to go soon.
The tumor is removed. The pathology report finally comes back. Benign. No cancer. Nothing. Just a tumor. Go home. Rest. Recover. You'll be fine.
But she wasn't.
The pain was still there. Getting better. Getting worse. Taking away her joy in life. Back in to the hospital she went at the end of January.
Tests upon tests are run. Lesions discovered all over her bones with no explanation for what they are. Bone marrow biopsy is done because her blood counts have dropped in a week - significantly. Pain still there. Drugged so badly she can't stay awake at all. The sleep gives her some relief.
A week ago (2/13) they do an "open bone marrow biopsy" & place a rod in her left leg. The lesions they fear will weaken her bones & they may break just by walking on them. Now we wait to see what the biopsy shows. And wait. And wait. One doctor tells us that without the pain they would just send her home to "wait & see" what develops. Test after test comes back negative. What is going on? We just don't know.
Until February 17th...the day before she was to be discharged to a nursing home's skilled unit for recovery (washing their hands I think....)
Biopsy results - full results - are finally in. It's cancer. The word no one ever wants to say, read, or write. That hideous word that changes families forever.
My mom has lymphoma. I still don't know what stage it's at. She was diagnosed on Tuesday. She started chemotherapy on Thursday. It's an aggressive form we've been told. It will require aggressive treatment. It's already started. Chemo will last for 21 day cycles with 6-8 rounds. So it's just the beginning.
Prayers for my family would be wonderful.
But, we have Hope. Ironically, I bought the bunny for my mom & named her "Hope" before we knew the extent of what we were facing. But I pray it's a good reminder for her. That Hope is always there - in the room with her - holding her through the treatments. Hope in the true Physician. The One who gave her life.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.