Thursday, March 19, 2009

How much worse can it be?

Yesterday I answered the phone while my mom was at the hospital getting a Mugga scan. (scan on her heart) Since it's my house I normally do answer the phone. I knew it was her doctor because of caller id. This is how the call went...

Me- Hello

Dr. K- Hi, how are you?

Me- I'm fine and yourself? (I always do that)

Dr. K - Fine, is your mom home?

Me- No she is getting her Mugga.

Dr. K- Oh, okay, well we have come up with a chemo regimen for her. I think we'll start her on Herceptin and Abraxane.

Me- Okay. How often? (He sounds very upbeat.)

Dr. K- I think we'll go every three weeks, that way she can get her feet under her and really start working on this cancer. ( My mom has a very hard time with chemo and last time almost kicked it twice.)

Me- Alright, so the cancer isn't anywhere else?

Dr. K- I'm afraid it it. It's in the wall of her chest, in her lymph nodes and I'm afraid it's in her liver.

Me- Really!? Are you sure? She just had a test on her liver because of her diabetes and that came back okay.

Dr. K- No, she really has cancer in her liver. I took her results to the conference yesterday afternoon and we all agreed after looking everything over.

Me- Well, (pause) what does this mean in terms of ( Dr. K cuts me off nicely)

Dr. K- Liver cancer is not curable. The only thing we can do is hope that the chemo/herceptin combo responds well. She has a very aggressive form of cancer.

Me- (I don't exactly remember how I put this, I was getting flustered at this point.) How long does she have?

Dr. K- Well, if she responds well to the chemo she could do fine for five years. People with liver cancer do not generally live beyond five years. If she doesn't respond well, three months, six months a year or two. It's really hard to tell until we get started.

Me- Okay then I will let her know what you've said. I'm sure we'll have a list of questions for you on Friday.

Dr. K- Yes, that would be great. I'll call back either tonight or tomorrow about this time and talk to your mom in case you don't tell her.

Me- Yeah, thanks that would be great. Thank You.

Dr. K- Bye.

Me- Bye.

So yesterday I told my mom she has liver cancer. I got to tell my dad and my brother. Plus my moms best friend (who I must say took it worse than me and my mom together) I did make my mom call my sister and tell her right away. I just couldn't do it. I'd had enough. I'm one of those people that will cry it out right away and then it's over and I get aggravated with others for not getting over it. It does not help in this kind of situation.
I have not handled this very well and need to suck it up. I have a family to run first and foremost. I can't drag them down with me. To top it all off I'm PMSing and am a roaring bitch. My husband said he wanted to tie a block around my neck and throw me in the river. Had he'd been serious I might have tied the rope and block myself and jumped. (Not really)


Mama Goose said...

I'm so, so sorry Melissa. This just sucks. Please let me know if there's anything I can do.

Anonymous said...

When the s*it hits the fan, we keep going. It's what we do.

Philly said...

This is alot to take, been there done that. Right now take one day at a time. All the appointments can be overwhelming. We always made sure we laughed during the hard times.
Don't want to sound horrible but make sure your Mother has a living will. My Mom had one and DID NOT want feeding tubes. The so called "executor of the will" didn't bother to go over it and gave permission for it to be inserted. Big Mistake.
Good luck and keep us updated on her health.


Stacy D. Briefing said...

So incredibly sorry to hear the diagnosis! Your entire family is in my thoughts/prayers.

My MIL had terminal cancer. (She lived 6 hours away from us. )Hospice was a great help-came to her house, helped give her meds, took her to appointments, etc when needed. Maybe they could help lighten your heavy load as well.

Wish I could do more for you! Stay strong!

KimberlyDi said...

I'll be thinking of you girl. Be good to yourself. Don't be hard on yourself. You have a tremendous weight on your shoulders right now. So many parts to play. Wife, mother, caretaker and daughter.

FishermansDaughter said...

Echoing the sentiments of all and none more strongly than look into hospice and BE GOOD and GENTLE to/with yourself. This is an incredibly difficult road to hoe - wanting to make a hoe joke to lighten the mood but coming up empty -