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.

therapy in Lethbridge

Annette: Dr. Sinha phoned and said that I can take intense therapy in Lethbridge, and I was extremely glad that I didn’t have to go to Calgary because I would have to stay alone or Floyd would have to go along, and it’s a long time to stay.  Otherwise, I’m alone for a whole week, for 4 or 5 weeks.  Anyway, he said that I can have that intense radiation in Lethbridge for only 2 weeks.  I’m not sure why 2.  So now we’re waiting for a call from Calgary to set this up with a doctor here in Lethbridge.  In the mean time, Calgary phoned and was going to make an appointment for intense radiation in Calgary, and I said, “No, they told me I can have it in Lethbridge, so she just said, “Sorry, I didn’t realize that.  Good-bye.”  And now I’m just waiting for them to call, and if they don’t call by Thursday, I will phone them.

friend’s radiation

Justin: radiation Mom was talking with a friend who successfully had radiation therapy to shrink a tumor, but the tumor was benign (not cancerous).  Mom was distraught because she believed that radiation therapy could only shrink non-cancerous tumors.  I told her that it shrinks many kinds of tumors, not just benign ones.

the cancer has spread

Justin: the cancer has spread
What a letdown.  At about 5:35PM today, right about suppertime, the phone rang.  It was the doctor’s office in Calgary.  The cancer had spread to Mom’s lymph nodes behind her lungs.  So no surgery after all.  Mom was devastated.  Floyd got the details from the doctor since Mom couldn’t cope with the news.  The next step for Mom would be radiation therapy to shrink the cancer cells or, at least, stop them from growing.  I guess we have to discuss this more later.