Dec 21, 2020 Latest post:
Jan 17, 2021
Hello, this site is to help keep everyone up to date on moms journey as she battles a new diagnosis.
This journey began only a few months ago, unknowingly moms body was beginning to tell her something was wrong. Back in October 2020, mom was scheduled to see her Multiple Sclerosis doctor via teleconference. She complained of no energy and complete exhaustion, she was also enduring a lot of headaches (this is not something that is entirely uncommon when you have MS). Her MS doctor recommended that she get a blood pressure monitor, get some lab work done and to schedule an appointment with her regular MD. Mom was able go in for her MS infusion a few weeks later which typically makes her feel a bit better within a few days.
On November 18th 2020, mom saw her MD. She told her about her exhaustion and that she had also discovered a few lumps, one of which was causing quite a bit of discomfort to her jaw line. Her MD did not like what she was hearing and scheduled her to get a CT scan and further bloodwork done. The very next day, we got her CT scan and bloodwork out of the way.
December 2nd 2020, Mom received a call from her MD. “I’m sorry Julie I hate to give you such bad news but it appears that your CT scan is showing cancer in several areas of your body. This would explain why you are so exhausted, your body is trying to fight this cancer.” Her doctor recommended that she see an oncologist and scheduled the appointment for December 14th 2020.
Mom received a call from the oncologist, and after reviewing the scan they would like to see her sooner, new appointment scheduled for December 7th 2020.
December 7th 2020, we are waiting in the exam room for the oncologist to arrive. Mom, weak and tired is ready to get some answers. Her oncologist came in and showed her the CT scan results, of which showed many “lit up” areas to her lymph nodes in her neck and chest. He examined her and she showed him the several other lumps she had in her neck, arms, breast area and back. He wanted to do further testing to get a definitive diagnose of the type of cancer and staging process she is in. He said based on her history he felt he has a good idea of what was going on. I asked him, “in your professional opinion what do you feel this is?” As he stood up to exit he said “I believe what this is, is lung cancer”. So, with that we left and waited to be told when she will go in for a PET/CT scan and Biopsy.
December 10th 2020, Mom goes in for her biopsy, they were able to do a local anesthetic which mom says still HURT! 😊 The surgeon removed a lump she had located on her lower back (flank) area. Fairly straightforward with no issues, the nurse called to let me know she was trooper and handled it well. Easy peasy.
December 11th 2020, after chugging 2 big jugs of contrast mom spent most of the day at AMI for her PET and CT scan. Other than being tired and it being a long day, Mom got her scan completed and the wait begins again.
December 16th 2020, we meet with the oncologist for the results. I had scoured the internet (right wrong or otherwise) for any and all information on lung cancer. I had an idea of the terms he may say and was aware of the levels of severity. When he entered the room he sat down and pulled up the screen. It wasn’t long before he said “Well, Julie it’s not good, as I suspected you do indeed have lung cancer, the biopsy results show Small Cell Carcinoma of the lung.”
Interestingly enough he received an urgent call and had to leave the room for what seemed like forever. Mom and I just looked at the screen and she began to cry. I held her hand and told her it was going to be ok. But I wanted more information and I wanted it now!
After several minutes he returned to the room and continued to show us the scans. He showed us the areas that had cancer, her lymph nodes, both lungs, liver, bone, and the area on her back indicated it had also metastasized to the skin. Having done a little research I knew the staging. He confirmed this is a stage IVb cancer and “unfortunately I do not have a cure for this, we can not do surgery either as this is a small cell cancer and travels in the blood stream. What we can do is make you feel better by starting chemo and shrink some of the cancer that is taking over, but this cancer will come back.”
What a whirlwind, there really weren’t any words I could say at that point. Mom didn’t seem to show much emotion in front of the medical staff but I knew deep down she knew this is bad.
December 18th 2020, Mom went in for her port placement so that she can begin chemo treatments.
I will continue to update as I can, Mom is in fairly good spirits but as humans we all have our moments.