Alice Maguire

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. 

I’ve set up this site to try and keep everyone informed and up to date on my moms health. As some of you may know, in early April my mom was diagnosed with stage iv lung cancer. It all happened very quickly and started with her not feeling well and having swelling in her face. Originally her doctors thought she had an infection or allergies, and after several doctors/hospital visits they sent her for allergy and blood tests. In the meantime, while waiting on results, she continued working. Then one day she started to have pains in her chest. They were bad enough that she went to the hospital and after a ton of tests, scans, etc. the doctors noticed that her main artery in her chest was collapsing because of a large mass in her chest. The doctors put in a stent to open up the vein, and did a biopsy. After a few days sent her home with a bunch of blood thinners. They also sent her in for a PET scan. The results came back that the cancer was in her lungs (around that main artery), her pelvis, lymph nodes in her neck, ribs, and femur bones.  They immediately started treatment of chemo and radiation. Radiation was daily for about two weeks and chemo is every Wednesday. About two weeks into treatment, my mom started to feel pain in her chest again. While at radiation, she told her doctor about the pain and they sent her for a cat scan. She had several blood clots with one in the stent that they had just put in. She was kept in the hospital for a few days and was  given medication directly to the veins affected to dissolve the clots. After 5 days of monitoring her and doing the meds, the doctors were confident that her clots had cleared enough to send her home. They changed her blood thinners and gave her some pain medication and discharged her.  She went home and took a nap, and woke up in pain again in her chest. We took her back to the hospital just to make sure everything was OK. The doctors did another round of ekgs, cat scans, blood work, etc. and determined that the pain she was experiencing was from the mass in her chest. There were no new clots, and the only thing that they could do at that point was pain control. She was kept for monitoring over night and eventually sent home. All while being in and out of the hospital, she was still doing her radiation and chemo, and had a second biopsy. She has completed the radiation and is back on schedule with her chemo. Her team of doctors have said that they would like her to continue with treatment for the next four months. She’ll do three weeks of chemo, then one week off. A few weeks from now, they'll do another round of scans to see if the cancer is responding to the treatment.

As for my mom, I think she’s overwhelmed, anxious, tired, and scared. The chemo has started affecting her. The day of and shortly after chemo, she’s on a high and has a lot of energy. Then she crashes and is tired, depressed, and cranky. Then just when she’s feeling normal, it starts all over again. 

If she does not continue with treatment the doctors have said that she will only have a few months because her cancer is very aggressive.  She knows this, and I ask that all of you encourage her to stay strong, and stick with treatment because she has her days where she’s so tired and overwhelmed that she doesn’t want to do it. 

More than anything she needs encouragement and support. If you can do anything, give her a call, a text, maybe a day out, a ride somewhere, help keep her occupied. Hell if you can, help with her prescriptions. Her nor I are not ones to ask for much, but I know that right now, she needs help in any way that people can.

Please be patient with her and I. She may not be up for responding at times, and I’m still trying to work and manage my family too. I’ll try to keep this page updated as things go on. Thank you for visiting.