We went to meet the oncologist, Dr. Dayton, Friday. It was a long afternoon which none of us were prepared for truthfully. Mom's appointment was at 11:15am. She and Roger arrived about 10:45 and I was behind them about 10 minutes. Mom had filled out all the paperwork by the time I arrived there. All we had left to do was wait.
Finally about 11:30, the nurse came and took us back to a room. She took the usual vital statistics and histories, then left us to wait for the Doctor. Finally a half-hour later, he arrived.
In walked a tall, very slender man with a handle bar mustache. He was very cordial. Of course he didn't have all the results from Mom's test the week prior, so first thing he did was have the nurse obtain and bring him those. He asked mom, "So, if were weren't poking and probing you, basically you'd not know anything was wrong with you, would you?" Mom answered "no". Not very long afterwards, in came the results.
He proceeded to tell us that mom's Mammogram was fine, which was a major relief to me. I was hoping that was not where it started, as Breast Cancer tends to be genetically passed on. It turned out however she wasn't so lucky elsewhere.
It appears that her cancer started in her Lungs. He said she had a 1-2" Mass on her upper right lobe. She has Non-Small Cell Adenocarcinoma and because it had already spread to other parts of her body, meaning her Liver, that put her in Stage 4. There is no cure for this once it's reached stage 4. The average survival after diagnosis with Lung cancer that is in Stage 4 is only 2-5 years. Dr. Dayton basically said they will be trying to improve the "quality and quantity" of her life. That is all they can do.
Mom is awaiting phone calls. One from Dr. Haddad, who will be placing a port in her, so she can receive her treatments that way, and another to schedule a PET scan. Apparently with the PET Scan,
Positron Emission Tomography, is a scan that traces the way the body cells act on sugar. PET scans can find cancerous tumors because of their ability to take up radioactive sugar.will show how aggressive the cancer is and enable the doctors to see if it's spread to other parts of the body besides the Lungs and Liver in her case. She is also going to have to have a Bone Scan as well.
Once the port is in place, they will be able to start her chemotherapy immediately. Her treatments will be done at the IMA facilities. Initially, they are going to start her on Taxol and Carboplatin. She'll go through 1-2 rounds of treatment with those, then they'll add Avastin. They cannot add Avastin to her treatment until her port has healed from the surgery.
After the doctor left, another nurse came in and took blood and brought mom information on drugs they will be using (same information in the links above). The hope is to kill the veins that are supplying the cancerous tumors with Blood which feeds them and enables their growth and spread. She then took us to see the outpatient clinic where the treatments will be administered. It was a nice area. As nice as can be expected considering the situation patients are in when they go there. It is right there in the Doctor's office, so that is one good thing.
I am so thankful that I was able to go to this appointment with them. They were very overwhelmed, of course. It was alot of information to take in. Luckily I had a notebook with me and tried to take notes the best I could. We were all pretty devastated of course. We knew it wasn't good. As mom kept saying, "It's not like we weren't expecting it," but it's still hard to hear. Knowing that she has only five years at best is a very difficult fact to face. We'll just have to keep praying for a miracle in the mean time. A miracle that they can come up with a cure or that God will shine down on us and give us more time.
The weekend was long and a very difficult one for all of us, especially mom. Aunt Sharon came over and stayed the weekend and she and mom went down to see Uncle Fred. It's really sad that this terrible disease is trying to take the two youngest members of the Divine Family. One is bad enough, but two?
I believe mom's greatest grief is that she is not going to be able to watch Devin grow. He still doesn't know the extent to which she is sick. I am waiting for an appropriate time to let him know, but is there ever a good time? All he knows is that MiMi is really sick and needs our Love and Prayers. Mom claims she's not afraid to die, but truth is....I'm not ready for her to go yet. I was already robbed of one parent. I didn't even get a chance to know him. God did bless me with a WONDERFUL step-father, but still the thought of losing your only living biological parent is haunting me day in and day out. I want to be married first. I want her at my wedding. I want her to be there when Devin graduates, gets married, has babies.... I realize that's not very realistic, especially now. Perhaps it's a bit selfish, but I cannot help the way I feel.
I don't blame anyone or even God for this. It is no one's fault. It is just a fact of life we must learn to live with. We must take every day and live it to the fullest and appreciate every single day we have left on this earth together.
Cancer is a hideous disease and it's claimed to many innocent lives, but now it truly is personal. I will do everything I can to fight this with my mother and once she's gone, I will do everything I can to fight it in her memory. I hope you will too.