Friday, November 4, 2011

THE JOURNEY OF MY MOM'S HEALTH

My Mom: When school started in Sept of 2010 Mom had to break-in a new kindergarten teacher (fresh out of college) and a class that went from 18 to 29 students - a huge jump in snot-nosed brats. :) Mom started feeling tired, stressed and began napping when she got home (she is 69 after all.) Then she began getting nagging little colds or aches that she never had before and we continued to think stress and too much work. The doctor agreed. Around Feb/March Mom started getting B12 shots but the doctor found nothing until Mom lost her voice and sent her to an Ear/Nose/Throat doc. He sent Mom for a CatScan cause he needed more than an xray. Turns out she had a tumor in her lung and thus began the journey. To shorten a long story, she has stage 3 lung cancer, does not have classic presentation or additional complications and was/is in good health for a 69 year old. All of which increase her odds of survival and of course she has a great support network and excellent doctors.

She started a combo treatment plan of chemo and radiation immediately but this proved a bit too much at once. We learned a lot about the importance of eating, hydrating and listening to one's body. They give you tons of info but until you have cancer care experience, there is still a gigantic learning curve. Mom completed 39 radiation treatments by Aug and is on a new three week cycle of chemo for about 4 months.

I've been doing most everything - cooking (anything to get her to eat), cleaning, driving to the doctors, tracking her meds (excel is great for this and the docs love it) and medical records (for the trips to the hospital (which have averaged about once a month) and pushing, pushing, pushing to eat, walk, get up and dressed (which of most days is a major accomplishment to be proud of.) Taking care of people just isn't my Dad's thing and he's completely stressed and my sister has her own family of a husband and three boys 23, 21 and 14 and if you remember my 21 year old nephew fell off a roof and was in a coma. He's made a complete recovery but there is an incredible story to still be told about him. So it's been mostly me and it has cost me.

Mom just got out of the hospital after being there 3 of the past 4 weeks. We were both in at the same time for about a week. First for a caught-early case of pneumonia (the biggest threat to any cancer fighter) and then after 5 days home she was back because she caught a virus while in the hospital that caused complications. This turned out to be a good thing in that they discovered a pre-existing arrhythmia. It was at this time I was hospitalized for the second time and will post about late today or Monday.

Mom continues to gain strength and today we are going to Costco and then Jones Beach and Robert Mosses (the very far end/beginning of Fire Island) for a walk and lunch at the marina. Up next is a PetScan, 11/09, which will when read on 11/16 will finally tell us how successful the treatment has been so far - FINGERS CROSSED!

I have not written about this because it is very hard and emotional for me. I feel a bit better and thank you for reading.  Sean

BTW - no pics because my scanner is a piece of crap.

16 comments:

  1. Continued wishes for strength and stamina for all of you through all of this.

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  2. Thanks for sharing Sean!
    My thoughts a still with you.
    Take care!
    Hugs
    Jon

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  3. I'm really sad about your mother's poor health but am glad you are there to take care of her through this rough time. I'm also glad you shared this with us. Don't forget to take care of yourself along the way.

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  4. It must be a great comfort to your mother [and father] that you are there to help.
    Take care of her, and take care of yourself, Sean.

    Sending lots of positive energy your way.

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  5. I hear you. My own mom's health has been in steady decline since a botched knee-replacement about 6 years ago. And the diabetic shock incident two years ago only made it worse. I have since moved her in with me, so I can keep an eye on her. And yes, getting her to eat is a chore.

    My good thoughts are with you and your mom, my friend. It's good to know we're in the "Good Son Club."

    Bri

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  6. Big hug.

    Prayers for patience and confidence to keep plugging along step by step.

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  7. Thank you for the update, Sean. I'm keeping you and Mom in my thoughts and prayers and I love how you're doing everything you can to help your Mom.

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  8. Bless both your hearts! You and your Mom are in my thoughts and prayers also.
    Big hugs,
    Stan

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  9. Thanks for sharing Sean. I'm glad you're there to help her, even if it has cost you some of your health too. There's only one of her.

    Your words paint a picture of love, no scanner needed.

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  10. Oh Man... sending you hugz and good vibes. Stay strong, Sean

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  11. sending you and your mom lots of love and good vibes. will throw out a few prayers as well. hugs to you both

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  12. Gosh, that is very distressing. Best wishes to your and your mom.

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  13. It's wonderful of you do take care of your mother, but it's hard to take care of someone. You sound like you're doing a lot. I remember watching my mother take care of my grandmother and how it used to run her down. Make sure that you take time for yourself as well!

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  14. Bummer. Yes, a lot of work goes into trying to remain healthy when you're going through cancer treatment. It seems like you should get a pass, but you don't. You gotta work for it right when you don't want feel like it.

    I feel for her and you - and your dad. Keep strong.

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  15. I'm keeping you and your mom in my thoughts.

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