up North

Justin: Mom & Floyd are on vacation now up North to see Floyd’s brothers.  When they left and each time I spoke with her, Mom seemed okay.  Of course, she still gets a little tired sometimes.  The doctors tell her she’ll feel tired three or so weeks after the last treatment.

asbestos, black mold at Extendicare

Justin: Now we know the probable reason for Mom’s lung cancer.  She worked for 14 years at Extendicare, a nursing home.  There are 16 people who worked there who died of cancer.  Why?  A) Asbestos was used in the building.  The managers knew about this and did nothing about it.  They were told by authorities to put up signs for both workers and residents, but none were.  (There was one sign put up in a nurse’s room behind something so it could not be seen.)  Finally, the building was closed down by authorities, but it’s too late for those 16 who have died already.  B) Mold.  Yes, toxic black mold, the same thing that is making me ill right now.  The roofs leaked, but they put … get this … bales of hay in the ceiling to absorb the moisture.  Of course, everything got moldy.  There was even a flood once, but, instead of taking out mold-damaged building materials, they painted over it.

There is now a class-action law suit brought on by two survivors.  Mom is now considering joining them.  I’ll post more here as I hear it.

maximum radiation

Justin: Mom’s doctor told M&F that she’s getting the maximum allowable radiation therapy and that there will be no chemotherapy as the difference it would make is minimal.  The doctor says eat as much as you can and, if you find you like something, just eat it.  Also, lay off the salt.  Your taste buds cannot pick up the taste anyway, so there’s no point in pouring salt on everything.

Mom is coughing a lot from the time she gets up in the morning until she goes to bed.  She is often tired and cannot stay up late.  The doctor did warn her though that this would be the case.

back pain

Justin: Mom thought she’d have to go to the hospital last night due to back pain.  She complained about a sore back just before bed – lasted maybe a half hour.  But then the real pain started.  It went from 11:15PM to 12:15AM.  “Worst I’ve ever had in my whole life,” she says this morning.  “I’ll take the chest pain any day.”

week of radiation

Justin: Mom has had more than one week of treatment so far.  As I told Glenn last night on the phone, the idea of the doctors changing Mom’s treatment from 2 weeks to 5 and upping the dosage of radiation sounds to me like they are hopeful of the treatment working.  If it knocks the cancer back and prevents it from growing and / or spreading, then great.  We’ll see how things go after.

first radiation

Justin: We just heard from the doctor’s office here in Lethbridge that Mom’s first radiation therapy treatment will be this coming Monday, February 13, 2012, at 10:00AM.  It’s been a year since she started developing symptoms, and this will be the first treatment for it.  Every other visit to a doctor’s office was been for tests, tests, and more tests.  Finally, something being done.  The therapy will be for two weeks.  “We can do some travelling in a couple weeks,” she said to Floyd and me.

coughing

ustin: It’s late at night, and Mom is coughing and clearing her throat.  She is not getting better – rather, slowly but progressively getting worse.  “When is your consultation for radiation therapy?” I asked yesterday.  It’s apparently not until the first week of February.  Well, that’s not very good.  She’s ill now.  We discussed radioactive pellets that are sometimes used, but the tumour is apparently too big for that.  I told Mom that I wish she’d use whatever money is at her disposal to try for alternative therapy … now.  She doesn’t believe in “that sort of thing”, so she will not try it.  I’m afraid she cannot get a decent night’s sleep these days because of this, and it appears to be getting worse week by week.