When Cancer Strikes Close To Home

awareness cancer design pink

It’s been at least a week or more since I’ve updated my blog. It’s been even longer since I’ve updated my e-mail list and my Twitter really.

Here’s what’s been going on recently…

First I’d like to start off at the beginning. This would have been around November or December of 2015.

I was working my job as a reader when my Father called me on a Friday night and told me that he needed to talk to me. I asked him what it was about and he said that he would rather tell it to me to my face than do it over the phone.

I knew something was up and I knew it wasn’t good if that was what he wanted to do. I also knew that my Mother was in the hospital at the time. I believe at the time it was because she had blood clots either in her legs, her lungs, or both.

I tried to get my Dad to just tell me what was going on, but he was having none of it. I would have to wait until the next day to find out what was up.

I couldn’t wait, so I called my Mom on her cell phone. She answered and I asked her what was going on.

That was when she told me that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. At that time, it had spread to her liver, her colon, and a few other places in her body.

She went in because she thought there was blood clots going on in her lungs or legs, or both, and found out she had cancer instead.

The doctor’s were optimistic. They thought that surgery and chemotherapy would take care of this particular cancer. And in the beginning, they were right.

She had her ovaries removed and had several treatments of chemotherapy over the next few months, so early to mid 2016, and the chemo killed the cancer. All of her test results came back negative. She appeared to be cured.

About 6 to 8 months later she went back for a follow up visit, only to find out the cancer was back.

She then went through another round of chemotherapy, this time a stronger version of chemo. This particular chemo almost killed her. Luckily she was already in the hospital at the time of the treatment, or she would have never made it there. It was touch and go for about two weeks initially. Would her body recover from the chemo or succumb to it?

She recovered, went through a little physical therapy because of how much the chemo had weakened her and then was initially given a choice: go home and let the cancer do its thing and die, or do another round of this particular chemo and have it kill her outright.

There was another option though. She could go back to the original chemo that wasn’t as strong, but it wouldn’t kill her. It would never “cure” her cancer, it would just hold it in limbo. Keep it in check. She would have to get treatments on and off for the rest of her life, but in theory, she could live a full life and possibly die of old age.

She chose that latter option, and that’s what she had been doing from late 2016 until a few weeks ago.

On September 1st of this year, she went back in to the hospital, she was weak and was thinking that something was wrong with either her gall bladder, or that maybe she was having blood clots in her lungs again as it was hard for her to breathe.

The doctors ran all of the usual tests on the usual areas, looking for any of the usual signs and found nothing physically wrong with her.

The only thing that was off was her blood platelets. They weren’t going back up after her last chemo treatment from a couple months ago. In fact her platelets kept going down.

The doctor wanted to check her bone marrow and see what was going on there. In order to do that her blood platelets needed to be over 50 or higher. She was at 50. Apparently if your blood platelets are at 50 or under and you get a puncture, a cut, or a wound, you can bleed to death. You don’t have enough platelets to create clotting.

So they gave her a transfusion of blood platelets and got her numbers up to 75 and were able to do the procedure. They drilled into a spot in her hip bone and extracted some of her bone marrow and sent it off to the lab to see what was going on.

The preliminary results are back and they aren’t good.

Her stem cells in her bones are damaged. They may be damaged beyond repair. If that is the case, there is nothing the doctors can do for her.

Her options will be to either receive blood platelet transfusions a few times a week, but she will never get better, she will still stay sick. Not much of a quality of life there. Or she can come home and get her affairs in order, or she can go to a center and have hospice come and administer morphine to keep her comfortable until the end comes.

My family and I knew that someday something like this would happen. We knew that the cancer itself or something related to the cancer would be what ultimately ended her life.

I know about this latest procedure she had because again, my Father called me, again while I was doing readings on a Friday night. Just this last Friday night. So three days ago as I publish this.

My Father asked the doctor about an approximate time line from the day that the test was ran until the results come back definitively.  As I write this and post this, I haven’t heard the exact and final analysis. So I’m holding out for a miracle there. But I’m not going to delude myself.

Even knowing that cancer in one way or another is what is going to kill my Mother, and I’ve had a couple of years to prepare for that, it still took the wind out of me when my Father gave me that estimated time line.

Four to six weeks. That’s her time left. That’s what she has remaining.

 

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