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9/25/2016 Latest post:
So as many of you know my mom was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2005 and on March 17 she had a kidney removed. In August 2011, we found the cancer had metastasized to the bone in her hip and lungs. She completed two weeks of immunotherapy for the nodules in the lungs and radiation for the hip. Unfortunately, the immunotherapy did not work but she was lucky enough to be enrolled in a study drug (ifinitor) and responded well...so well that after the study was over she was able to stay on the medication. She is proud to say as is Dr. Hauke that she is the longest person in the WORLD to still be on this medication!!
Fast forward to Monday August 29 - I received a call from my dad around 6:30 that mom had fallen and he called the rescue squad (my mom fell back in April 2015 and they called me - a teaching moment - "Dad call the rescue squad before you call me if she falls again) so dad got a A++ for following those directions.
Looking back to earlier in August, I noticed mom getting a bit more confused, having a bit more memory loss, complaining of a bit more pain (mom never complains about her pain but I know it is a 10+), increased weakness and being more tired. Denial is a strange thing - "mom it's the humidity, you're tired because you are worried about dad (dad was in a roll over accident Friday August 12 and in the hospital for 7 days), you're tired because you are not sleeping, etc..." So back to August 29 - mom was taken to the ER and they did a CT scan of her head since she had fell. It showed the spot on her brain had gone from 1cm to 3cm (the CT scan in April showed this spot but Dr. Hauke said it may have been from the fall and they would monitor - it may or may not be metasis). She was admitted to the hospital.
Mom was in the hospital for nine days and had more tests...her calcium was up (due to cancer in the bone), the MRI showed a spot on her skull and there were more nodules in the lungs. The MRI also confirmed that the spot in the brain was most likely metastatic. While we know her disease has progressed, she was positive and always said her goal is to get home. She was open to doing rehab therapy at a "home" so she could go home and lucky for us Brookstone Meadows accepted her. So on Wednesday September 7, she was discharged from the hospital but not before meeting with the radiologist. In order for her to get better, she was told she would have to do radiation. She was adamant she was not going to do the radiation but got fitted for the apparatus and her appointment was scheduled for Monday September 12.
After a family reunion on Sunday, dad and I stopped to see her and she told us she was not going to do the radiation. We keep telling her that it is her choice and I think she is at peace with her choice. Her appetite is well, she is enjoying meeting the other residents (she told me she is one of the youngest there) and tomorrow she plans to go to BINGO and go to the International Chocolate day celebration. She continues to do physical therapy and occupational therapy but is still pretty unsteady, even with a walker. Even today when I visited, she told me her goal is to still go back home and get back to normal. I tell her this may be a new normal but not sure she gets it. She says her pain isn't that bad but once again, she never complains.
So for now, we take day by day, tomorrow mom has a couple of things she is looking forward to and to hopefully get used to the new normal.