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Oct 10, 2018 Latest post:
Nov 17, 2018
Welcome to Mary Gorman's CaringBridge website. Nikki and Lisa are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
In late September, Mary had a CT scan of her chest which suggested she has widely metastatic lung cancer. She underwent subsequent imaging which revealed metastases to her brain, liver, and bones (Stage IV - the most advanced). Mary's primary care provider and radiation oncologist both recommended she start whole brain radiation immediately. She began the two week radiation treatment program on October 9th. Her doctors also recommended that Mary undergo a biopsy of her liver to determine the exact type of cancer and to clarify treatment options - this will occur on Wednesday, October 10th. Pathology results are expected around October 24th and a meeting with a medical oncologist will follow those results. Surgery has not been recommended at this point.
Although no doctor has a crystal ball, Mary's doctors shared that her cancer is not curable and that the focus of her treatment will be to extend her life and maintain the quality of it. The radiation oncologist said that the average survival for patients with stage IV lung cancer is one year - meaning that some people live longer than that and some live less. Much will depend on her reaction to her treatment regimen. Undoubtedly, time with Mary is precious and special right now, particularly as she retains her sense of humor and unique perspective on life. She welcomes phone calls and visits from family and friends (503) 333-9647.
Mary has few physical symptoms right now besides a headache and fatigue, but we're told that it is likely that her fatigue will worsen in the weeks following the completion of her radiation treatment (last day is October 22nd). In addition, depending on the treatment recommendations (chemotherapy/immunotherapy/targeted drug therapy), Mary may experience additional symptom burden in the coming months. For now, she has been told that she should not be driving and this is infringing on her independence!
Mary is not ready to quit smoking yet, although considering it, and is aware that smoking would inevitably impact her health and longevity - "not if, but when". She is happy to open doors and windows to flood her home with fresh air if a telephone call is made in advance of your visit. Mary welcomes visitors to her apartment, but more sensitive individuals may prefer to meet at another location or make a phone call instead.
From Mary - "I appreciate all of your love. I am not afraid of what is to come as I've had three second chances already in my life - I hope I've done what I'm supposed to have done in that time".
We appreciate you support and love during the journey to come - Mary, Lisa, and Nikki