December 2019 my mom, Vicki, was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. We were all so surprised to learn that the little nagging cough she had been suffering for some time was actually due to a tumor in her right lung. She quickly moved into treatment with a terrific oncology team in Palm Desert and has been hopeful to beat this thing and get back to her active life she loves so much with her friends and family. She endured 9 rounds of chemotherapy and 40 radiation treatments and even though these treatments left her tired and nauseous she continued her daily walks and yoga. She is the perfect patient doing just what her medical team suggested to make her experience as tolerable as possible while trying to maintain her sense of normalcy during these very abnormal times. Despite all of the aggressive treatments, the cancer has continued to spread over these past 8 months.
Vicki is currently working with her medical team to adjust her medications to help control her pain but has chosen to not do anymore chemo because she cannot withstand the side effects including the terrible quality of life that it brings. She spends days resting in bed or on the couch, napping and reading. It is difficult for her to talk much because it makes her short of breath plus it just takes too much energy. Her plan is to most likely move onto hospice when the time comes. She will make that decision when she feels ready. We are thankful that she is no longer nauseous now that chemo is finished and that is a godsend. She is trying to up her calorie intake and eating food like it’s medicine which is difficult when nothing sounds good with no appetite but it’s slowly improving.
Mentally, she is her usual beautiful self, just much more tired. She continues to process this situation and has taken the perspective that now she can make plans for her time…..she has tried to find any positive that can possibly be found. Her oncology team has tried every treatment they can to pause this cancer and my mom has fought so hard these past 8 months but seeing that treatments are ruining her quality of life and the cancer has continued to spread she is choosing quality over quantity of time. I am just cherishing every day that I get to talk/spend with my mom. She is not really talking on the phone to people. She may email but does get too tired to do that sometimes. Just wanted you to know that in case you email her, she may not respond but is reading them. She loves hearing from people and reading emails. I encourage you to share a note, some fun stories, memories or even a picture or two that you may have with her. Please feel free to email, call or text me if you have any questions or messages to relay…..I will be happy to talk with you. My mom adores you all. She has so many good stories and experiences of the times you have shared over the years. I thank you for for being great friends to my mom, bringing love and laughter and making her life so complete.