In September 2015 my mom began having severe migraines and trouble with her vision. After having an MRI, they discovered something on her brain. They gave us a number of possibilities of what it might be, one of those being cancer. They had no way of knowing for sure without a surgery to conduct a biopsy. In October 2015 she went in for surgery where they discovered she had a stage four glioblastoma brain tumor. They removed as much as they could and gave her 16-18 months to live. After her surgery she began going to Duke for treatment. There is no cure for glioblastoma, so their goal was longevity. She couldn’t care less about the prognosis; she was determined to survive. Anytime anyone would ask she would tell them, “I’m going to live to meet my grandbabies one day”.
She went through six weeks of radiation followed by twelve months of chemo. While going through chemo she also wore the newly FDA approved Novocure Optune Device. It had to be worn all day every and could only be taken off to change the electrodes. She had an allergic reaction to the gel on the electrodes and after a year and half decided she couldn’t wear it any longer.
In October 2016 she found a lump in her breast and she was soon diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. Our world was rocked all over again. Anytime I got worried she would tell me, “This is nothing compared to what I’ve been through, this is easy and we’re going to make it”. Once again, she refused to be shaken by her prognosis she was determined to live. She had a lumpectomy to remove the tumor and went through six weeks of radiation. Due to her treatment for her brain cancer her doctors decided they couldn’t treat her breast cancer as they normally would, so they decided not to treat it any further.
After two years of no change in her brain cancer she was officially considered stable in 2017. After two years of her breast cancer not coming back, she was officially considered in remission in 2018. We finally felt like things were getting back to normal. This year she celebrated her three-year mark of no breast cancer. Her doctors told her it was highly unlikely it would ever return at this point.
She got sick in late October of this year with what she assumed was just a cold. After being sick for a couple of weeks she didn’t seem to be getting any better, in fact she seemed to be getting worse. Right after Halloween she asked me to come over and take care of her. After taking one look at her and hearing her cough I decided it was time to go to the hospital. I suspected she had bronchitis or worst-case scenario pneumonia.
They did a chest x-ray in the emergency room where they discovered she had fluid on her lungs and some “bumps” in her chest cavity. The physician informed us he suspected it to be cancer. It just didn’t seem possible. So, we decided to hold onto hope. After they drained the fluid, they sent it off to be tested for cancer cells, and it came back negative. So, her doctor decided to send her for a PET scan which confirmed it was in fact cancer. They decided they needed to do a biopsy to determine what type it could be. They suspected it was metastatic breast cancer, but they wanted to be sure. After her surgery in early December they confirmed their suspicions and she was officially diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
This leads us to where we are today. We have yet another long road ahead of us and we’re going to need as much help as we can get. Neither my mom nor I are very good at asking for help so we figured this would be the best way for us to go about it. She is going to need rides to the doctor, meals, and sometimes help with the dog. We plan on posting her schedule with her needs for each day. This way people can sign up as they feel lead. Anything helps. Thank you all for your love and support during this time. I can’t begin to express how loved and blessed we feel.