Well today is a somber day. We learned from the doctor yesterday that this is probably as good as mom is going to get. The cancer is Metastatic and may never go completely away. She may need treatments for the rest of her life. It was a hard blow for Mom to hear. Her blood count was down again so no Chemo this week, they think she needs another week off to recover some. She is feeling a little depressed right now due to the news she received. Other than that things are going ok. She is pretty weak with the chemo she is having right now but she should be feeling a little stronger by the end of this week.
Mom is doing ok. She is on her third round of six rounds of the new chemo. It seems to be kicking her but some. She is losing weight, and has been pretty weak. Her blood pressure goes way down the first day or two after her treatment, so she gets very dizzy and light headed. She needed a blood transfusion last week because her red blood cells were quite low due to the chemo. She is still fighting and it looks like the three remaining spots are shrinking, but we do not know if they will ever go completely away or not. We are just keeping our fingers crossed.
Well we are relieved that the rash is just a skin rash with a small infection. She now has antibiotic and skin wash for it. She just started her second week of her second round of chemo. Her red blood cell count is down and if it does not go back up she will need a blood transfusion next week. She gained two pounds this week so we are happy with that. Onto the next week.
Well, Mom is doing better after the surgery. She is recovering ok. She is now on a different chemo for what is left in her body. She goes in one week for a two bag treatment and a shot to pull white cells out of her bones so they do not drop. Then she goes in on the second week for a one bag treatment. She then gets a one week rest, then it starts all over again. She is to do this for eight treatments. After her first full treatment she has developed a rash that is infected on her side. The doctors took a biopsy and skin scrapes and swabs, we will not know what it is for another week. Chemo was cancelled this week until we know what is happening with the rash.
Well here it is after Thanksgiving and on the way to Christmas. Mom had a mastectomy on Wednesday 11/20/13. They pulled a 1.5 pound tumor out of her right breast. It is a cancer that is only in about 1.5% of women. I can not off the top of my head remember the name of it. I know it was a long name with carcinoma in it. She is starting to feel a little better, but the chemo she was on has left her feet and hands tingly and with some feeling loss. She is walking with a walker now because her knees have been giving out and she has fallen a couple of times, thank goodness for the walker being there she has not fallen hard. She is going in for some new tests this coming week to see where we are at and then after that they are going to be starting up a new chemo for her, but we are going to have to keep an eye on her heart. The new chemo could affect her heart. She is in good spirits, and is starting to eat more right now to get her weight back up a little before the new round begins. Here are photos of Thanksgiving at Mom's this year.
Well we went in yesterday to the surgeon. She is having surgery on Wednesday to remove the large tumor. There is no Chemo until she is healed from it. She is going to be in the hospital for a few days after this too. I will know more soon. Monday she goes in for an MRI to see if there is any cancer in her brain, we are praying hard there is not. Tuesday she has an appointment with the oncologist to see the results. On Wednesday we will have her up at the hospital for surgery. She is having trouble walking without her knees buckling sometimes. She is weak and food is still an issue sometimes with things just not tasting too good. We are hoping that with some tincture and rest from chemo that her appetite will come back in time for a nice Thanksgiving. God bless all and will let all know what is happening soon.
Well Mom had a new CT scan. The 4 lumps that were in her lymph nodes went from 6mm to 1mm. Yeah some good news. However the main tumor in her right breast has had no change. The doctor says it is because it seems that the tumor has blocked the blood vessels and so very little Chemo gets to it. They are giving her a week off of Chemo to help with her side effects that have gotten worse and they are meeting to decide if they want to do spot radiation on it or surgery first or more chemo. We should know a little more by the 12th.
Well another week has gone by. Mom was feeling quite ill and weak this week. She was not eating well and feeling very worn out. Work had her working too many hours on top of not having a good Chemo week. When she went this week to treatment we talked to the doctor about her medications for nausea and discomfort. We were able to change those up to not be so rough on her stomach and body. The new medication they gave her seems to be working a lot better. She got some with her Chemo treatment this week and by the time the treatment was done she was feeling hungry and ready to eat. She had Chinese food and even the chow mein and rice tasted good this time. She has eaten pretty good the last couple of days so maybe this new stuff will work for a while to keep her eating for her strength and health. She was only down about 2 pounds this week but her cell count was a little lower this week too. It is to be expected this far into Chemo. She looks a little less tired this morning when I saw her and feels a little better.
Another week has gone by. Mom had another treatment. We had problems with her pick being clogged so they had to go through her arm this week. After treatment went down to the x-ray guy and he did a dye test and with a little wiggle got the pick fixed. Mom is feeling tired a little more and irritable this week. She wants it done and fixed and I think got a little discouraged this week that it is taking a while. She has a quick fuse this week and she lost another pound because she is on her own little Atkin's diet. She has discovered that breads and pasta's do not taste good to her right now and so she does not eat those, but steak and eggs taste good so she is eating more proteins and fruits then carbs. She has lost a total of 8 pounds so far, which is not bad. We are keeping an eye on it to make sure it is not too much weight. She gets tired easier now too. She is trying to limit herself on her work but feels like she has to keep working to keep bills paid, which is getting harder to do. Remember the website for donations is up and running still: www.gofundme.com/4d6v6k if you know of anyone who would like to help out. Otherwise not much else to report for this week. They are talking that at the end of the month they are going to schedule another CT scan to see if the tumors have changed at all. Until then, all fingers are crossed.
Well another week has gone by. Mom is starting to get tired more often now. She has lost all her hair and she lost 1 pound this week. She is still in good spirits most of the time, but as each week goes by she gets discouraged that it is taking too long. I have to remind her that this is just the beginning and we have a long road ahead of us. Otherwise not much else has changed. Hopefully next week I will have new photos
Well another week has gone by. The oncologist visit was very positive yesterday. He noticed that two of Mom's lumps have gone down some. He has decided we are going to go through two months of Chemo then we are going to have another PET scan and see if there is any progress. He will then decide what our next step is. So one more month to go. Mom is starting to loose more hair but it still looks ok on Mom. She had thick hair so it is hanging in there more. But I think by next week it will be mostly gone. She is a little more tired this week then the last few weeks but still in good spirits.
We are through another week of Chemo. She is doing well but has started loosing her hair. We are going to try and take her over to the wig shop in the next week or so and have them show her how to fit the wig and they can style it and trim it if need be for her.
As I write this, my mom is going through her second Chemo treatment.
One month ago our world was turned upside down. My sister and I were told that our mom has triple negative stage 4 breast cancer. The whirlwind of events that have taken place since that day in August have left us all drained and stressed. We try to hide it from Mom because she does not need the stress while fighting this horrible disease, but we can see the stress on her face too.
I would like to start by saying my mother, Sue, is a wonderful person. She has always been there to help my sister and I through some rough times and never complained. Now when she needs us most, we are trying to be there to take of everything for her.
In the last few weeks we have been on an emotional roller coaster. First, we found out there were three lumps, and then she went to a specialist and had a mammogram. They came back and said it was cancer. Then came the biopsy, and we found out it was malignant. The doctor said it was a very treatable kind of cancer. So then it was off to get a PET scan within 3 days. Then we all went to the oncologist and found out that it was all over. There was a large mass on her right side and in two lymph nodes under her arm and a small one on her esophagus. They said stage 4 and my heart sunk. They then said Chemotherapy just to get it under control and keep her alive longer. They would not be able to cure her. He wanted to start Chemotherapy right away. He scheduled her for surgery to insert a pick so they would not have to put in an IV every week. The surgery went well, or so we thought. By the next afternoon she was in the hospital with a collapsed lung. They were able to insert a chest tube and slowly get the lung back up and working. After three days in the hospital she came home. Things were very uneventful for three days, then we had to go in and have the chest tube removed. All went well, and the next day we started chemo. It was a long day; first she had x-rays to make sure the lungs were ok. Then, they did blood work ups to make sure her counts were ok and to check her potassium levels. They were then ready for her treatment. Now a week later we are on the second treatment. They have not said how long this will go on, but I imagine for quite a while.
Now I told you all that so I could tell you that when this all started she had no insurance. She has worked all her life and was in retail when this started. There is no insurance offered to her in her line of work. So the weight of all the bills for the doctor and now treatment are on her shoulders. My sister and I have worked along with a wonderful person, Lynette Basiou of Providence, god bless her, and we have gotten her approved for Oregon Health Plan. We are still up in the air about what they will and will not cover, but it is something. She also has not been able to work hardly at all since the start of this and the bills are starting to pile up. I would love to be able to take care of all her bills and medical, but with my sister and I trying to keep our own families above water in these trying times, I just can not help financially. It is hard for me to say that, since she was always there to help me. We are trying to raise enough to help with paying off the house and having some left over to pay, if need be, any medical bills that will arise, while making sure there is still food in the house and medicine that is needed. We went to Social Security and did all that paperwork, but they are saying it could take up to 6 months before we see anything from them. I have told Mom not to worry my sister and I will deal with it. So it is with hope I ask anyone please help me make some of my Mom's worries go away.
It is very humbling to be in this position and to have to ask for help in this way. But sometimes God has lessons for you that need to be learned at the bottom of life. I am very grateful that you have thought enough of my family to take the time to read this, and any amount you are able to contribute to our goal is tremendously appreciated. If you are unable to help financially right now, believe me, I understand. Sending prayers also helps.
If any of you know of anyone that might be willing to help in this effort in any way, please send them to this site. Thank you for your time, remember every dollar counts. God bless all of you from the bottom of my heart and all of our family.
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