Justin: spots
I’ll start off today’s entry on a sad note.  Mom went to the doctor yesterday to check up on why she’s been coughing lately.  It was also a follow-up to her CAT scan of her lungs.  <sigh>  Results: she has spots on her left lung now and, yes, they are cancer.  When Mom & Floyd came in from a long doctor’s visit yesterday afternoon, I asked Mom what the results were.  She had a sad, depressed look on her face.  It was obvious what was what.  “I knew it was cancer before,” she said.  “I told Floyd I knew it was cancer when I started coughing.”  We had a bit of a cry, and I hugged her.

I have to admire her strength.  “But I’m gonna make it!” she said.  “I’m going to take chemo.”  She refused chemotherapy before on the grounds it would make her extremely ill.  She’s a thin person to begin with, without a lot of reserve of energy, and feeling sick from chemo would not be in her best interest.  But there was a new doctor present yesterday, and I guess he was convincing that chemo was the best course of action.  “He said it would let me live longer,” Mom said.  “Well, I’m all for that.”

One odd thing is that her nurse (attendant, doctor’s assistant – not sure what to call her) looked at her X-rays before and saw these spots.  She acted like they were not of any importance, shrugging them off.  That was three months ago.  Well it seems to me and everyone else that a somewhat similar situation occurred one-and-a-half years ago when all this began.  Mom didn’t think anything of her coughing for 8 months, and, when she’d west for testing, the testing itself went on for months.  When she finally had her tests done and they discovered it was cancer months later, her treatment finally began.  Why the wait?  Wouldn’t it had been better if they’d started simply done the testing all within one month?  Is the system that busy, that broken, that filled with red-tape?

Mom’s chemo will apparently not make her very sick, and she won’t lose much hair, according to this new doctor.  I’m not sure when her treatments will begin.  She got a package of information to read up on along with a bag.  “You can bring all your papers in this bag when you visit,” the nurse said.  “Or I can go shopping,” Mom replied.  Always optimistic.  I love that.  “I told the doctor I don’t want to be sick.  He said I take these pills whenever I start to feel sick.  ‘Don’t wait until you’re really sick, just take them right away,’ the doc said.  So I won’t get nearly as sick as I thought.”  Strength, determination.  I really admire that.

“The chemo will make me tired, the doc said.  Like I wasn’t tired before.  Like I’m not tired now.  So I don’t know if I’ll be able to make supper if I’m that tired,” Mom said to me.  “Floyd can make supper ’cause you’re working.”  Always thinking of her family.  I told her not to worry, that Floyd and I can take care of ourselves for a while in the supper area.  How do you let a loving Mom not feel guilty about not making supper and still feel like, yes, she’s needed?  Well, she’s also loved, and to see her tired out like this is not very pleasant.  Of course we can take care of our own suppers … for a while.

doing well

Justin: The past couple months have been quite good for Mom.  She’d gotten bouts of tiredness but was for the most part good.  The past week, however, she’s been tired and winded daily.  Today she seems better, but the past few days she’s needed help walking to the bedroom.  As well, she now has a cough.  It’s a dry, wheezy cough and doesn’t seem to be getting better.  She gets a CAT scan soon.  I’ll keep you posted.