That Dreadful Word No One Wants to Hear

Vortex, a photo by Fergiemoto on Flickr.  (click on photo to enlarge)

This post is different from what I normally post.  Over the last several weeks, I’ve felt like I’ve been in a constant spin cycle, increasing in speed and turbulence due to escalating health problems and other issues.  Constant shaking, rapid and forceful heart palpitations, passing out, and intense stomach pains landed me in the emergency room the first week in June, hooked up to several wires and an IV.  Eventually the doctor determined the main issue was “extreme stress.”  Some of these symptoms still continue.

In my last post, I talked about spending several days in the hospital with my Mother because of an unexpected surgery.  That occurred in the middle of June after my own ER visit.  Last week, after recuperating with us, she had what we thought would be a routine follow-up with the doctor, where we would be told she was progressing as expected.  We spent a few minutes talking with the nurse and telling him how my Mom was doing since her surgery.  We had no inkling what was to happen next.  He handed us some papers and said, “I have your pathology results here…there is cancer present…”   What!?!?  The chance of cancer, we were told after surgery, was remote.  But now, that “remote” chance was smacking us right in the face!

We were both shocked.  My Mom’s eyes were welling with tears and her voice was shaking.  I held her hand.  I saw the nurse’s mouth still moving, seemingly in slow motion, but I didn’t hear the next few words.  I was shaking uncontrollably.  My stomach was knotted and churning so violently I thought it was about to explode out of me.  The room was spinning and I felt like we had been yanked right into a vortex.  It is a very rare cancer.  “I’m so sorry to have to give you this news,” he said to us.  The doctor came in next.  We asked him several questions, then he gave us the next steps.  We would be continuing her care with a surgical oncologist.

A few days later (last Friday), we met with this oncologist.  More tests and scans, another surgery, and more cutting and removing to determine the extent of the cancer and further treatments, if necessary.

We are still in shock with this new challenge and we’ll have to take it one step at a time.  Yes, it’s scary, and yes, we have cried.  This is my Mom’s second battle with cancer.  Both cancers are rare and both are unrelated to each other.  This second cancer is even more rare than the first, and because it is so rare, its treatments have not undergone clinical trials.  There is also no known cause.  However, she will receive care at a good cancer hospital just 40 minutes away from our house.  My Mom is strong and healthy for her age, and a truly wonderful, genuine, generous and compassionate person anyone would feel privileged to know.  She has been there for us consistently to help out, provide support, and pull us out of the deepest, darkest holes.

This is not just her battle, it’s our battle, and I will be with my precious mother every step of the way supporting her the best I can.


Linking up with:
Flickrcomments Tagged V – Vortex

108 responses to “That Dreadful Word No One Wants to Hear

  1. Reading your post reminded me to look up the test results for today to see if my white blood count had climbed again…not so, another short reprieve. I have another six months to fill every conceivable moment. I am trying to learn to laugh, and smile, to cry, and to share it all. Good luck on your journey.

  2. Very sorry to hear of your mother’s health problems. I will be praying for you and your mother and your family members. I know God hears prayers so I am praying for healing, strength and comfort for all of you.


  3. The unexpected surgery may be your mothers life saver. Sharing with others your burden will be your life saver. I do not doubt your devotion to your mother but you must let others help carry the load. It is really not all on you and I speak from recent experience.

  4. I am so sorry to hear that your Mother has been taken down with a second bout of cancer. It is as much a shock for the family as the patient and I can only express my heartfelt wishes for successful treatment and a cure.

    No wonder your own health has deteriorated. Shock has more repercussions than many of us understand and I hope you are able to gather some strength and improve. Try hard to think positive. Spent some time in mindful exercise and deep breathing to still your heartbeat and slow down those churning sensations before they get too far out of control. Be mindful that you don’t allow your thoughts to sink down into fear and dread. If your Mother can get through one bout, I’m sure she has the strength to get through a second. With the advances of modern science, no doubt there are solutions and treatments to try – you just need to research and find them.

    Loving Thoughts and Prayers have a positive effect and knowing that her family is there to support her is the best that any Mother can truly have.

    Mind, Body & Spirit are interconnected and illness of any one of these three will affect the other two in some way. Before you sleep each night and when you wake each morning, remind yourself that positive affirmations and selfless gestures of love are what your Mother needs at this time.

    I believe in miracles (in having passed through some really scary health situations myself) but I know how one’s mind can play tricks and imagine all sorts of terrible scenarios. Take each day one at a time.

    Forget about yesterday as it is past and cannot be changed. Don’t worry about tomorrow, as everything in the future is not here yet and can change in many directions before arriving. By only thinking about the present moment, you make the load of worry so much lighter and more bearable.

    Sending love & Healing Thoughts across the miles.

    • Oh, Vicki, thank you so much for your heartfelt words and the time you put into this! You remind of what I’ve learned and must continue to practice. You have been a great support through all the challenges I have blogged about and it means a lot. I really, really appreciate it. I know you understand and empathize because of your own struggles.
      Always sending you healing thoughts and hugs, and wishing for improvements in your own health.

  5. So sorry to hear this. Your lovely photo says it all. Sending you and your Mum the very kindest wishes, and be sure to look after yourself too.

  6. The big C. as we term it here. And yes, people don’t want to say it. Anyone who has not been through the massive upheaval – physically, mentally and spiritually – a diagnoses of cancer causes will find it very hard to talk about cancer with you.

    Knowledge is good, love is even better. My thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.

  7. I’m very sorry to read this news. My thoughts are with you, your mother, and all of your family. She’s lucky to have such a loving and brave daughter by her side. Sending you all a hug.

    • Thank you so, so much, TBM! I am so lucky to have her for my Mom.
      You have been there with constant supporting and encouraging comments since I first started blogging and it really means a lot.
      Sending you hugs also from across the miles!

      • ah, thanks! I love having connections in the States since it makes me feel closer to home. I hope all is well and all of you are in my thoughts.

  8. Hope may sound like a poor word to choose….but hope is what you have to have. Strength is what you will need, not just for you but more importantly for Mom…..and hope and strength both need courage. Dig deep and blessings.

  9. stay strong, keep on blogging, that reduces stress – and so you have more power to stay strong supporting your mother step by step daily walking near that abyss …

  10. I don’t know what to say, my dear friend… it seems that sometimes problems come in buckets. As for that word, it has become so common, it is scary. Try to keep your mind clear at all times and full of positive thoughts. You can fight this all together as a family and as hard as it may seem, with a smile. It is cancer’s worst enemy. Sending you and your family my warmest wishes for a swift and complete recovery! m

    • Oh, Marina, thank you so much! Your continued support and encouraging words means so much to me!
      Sending you many hugs and gratitude from across the miles! 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Christine! Your kind well wishes and encouragement are so helpful and very much appreciated!
      Sending many healing thoughts to you as well!

  11. Firstly let me say we will immediately add your Mom to our prays.. and for you as well, as this is the time you have to step up to the plate and be strong for her…
    I live with and am married to a three time cancer patient, who has had 3 unrelated cancers as well as a rare disease called Onco Cytoma, that took 3 months to diagnose and end with her having 90 odd facial glands removed as well as saliva glands… Linda was as strong as an ox with all the news and as frightened as I was of loosing her I never showed it.. I had to be the strong support, or crutch I like to call it, for her to have her odd wavers of worry… It is hard on you, I know that, but for her one has to hide the feelings from her, give her lots of love and like Linda she could end up in remission… Tell Mom from Linda and Bulldog, we are praying for her and she must fight the good fight and kick the big C butt, we are routing for her… and for you as well, be strong, specially in front of her…

    • Oh, bulldog, I’m so sorry your wife has been through so much, and it’s good to know she is in remission.
      I really appreciate your kind well wishes and encouragement, and for sharing your story. My Mom is incredibly strong and has many things in her favor to beat this…mental and physical strength, health, support from close family members, good doctors, good hospital, etc.
      I will pass on your sincere words to my Mom. She will appreciate it so much!

    • Thank you so much, Gian Paolo! I so appreciate your kind words and well wishes.
      I’m so sorry you understand this anxiety. I guess you have heard news like this, also?

  12. I am so sorry to hear about your mom’s health problems, Fergie. I know how hard it is, but stay strong. Prayers for you, your mom and your whole family.

  13. Oh gosh – I know what that feels like to get news like that. I’m so sorry to hear about this and am sending your mum healing thoughts.

  14. Heavenly Father we pray for this dear woman today, we thank that your presence is surrounding this family and bringing them peace during this season of trial. We declare Lord that by your grace and healing presence encompassing her mother, she will be restored to perfect health & that she will walk in it every day. We thank you Lord that you will continue to sustain this family in all things pertaining to their lives. Her mother will grow in strength in mind, body & Spirit. Lord we declare that she is healed and that the spirit of infirmity that is attacking her must depart from her body. Every cancer cell must leave and be replaced by the fresh oxygen of your Spirit Lord. Lord we thank you that we walk in your divine presence & are blessed and highly favoured by our Heavenly Father. In your name Jesus we Pray. Amen

    ~Sincerely Cindy♥

  15. I’m so sorry to hear that. As you say, it’s our battle. When my wife’s mother had a cancer, all of us battled it together. I wish the best.

  16. I liked this post, but only because I want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom, and all your family. Take care of yourself, too. And feel the love and encouragement that is coming your way. XO ♥

  17. Fergie, this is pure stress and you need to get help for this stress because this stress in itself is sickening. Allow yourself support and help, so that you can help your mum. I mail you off site for more.

  18. Reblogged this on Ichigo Ichie and commented:

    I posted this a few days ago on my other blog, Creativity Aroused. For those of you who follow both of my blogs, I apologize for the duplicate posting.
    I have written about the various tools I have learned to use for anxiety. However, the last week in May and the first week in June was a period of such extreme symptoms that no amount of tools in my toolbox were helping with the anxiety. Nothing was working. Sometimes we have periods like that. My therapist suggested distracting myself, even though it may be difficult to do. She said that although being aware of the emotions and feelings in our bodies is important, this was an extenuating circumstance where distraction was appropriate to use. Yes it was difficult, but I started with little steps, and I’ve had her continual encouragement along the way.
    The challenges, as I’ve talked about in this reblogged post, continue. So, I will keep her words of wisdom constantly in mind.

  19. We need a dislike button on these sites. I couldn’t press like. I am so sorry for this news. Your stress level is just going to rise. Try and breathe and ground yourself whenever possible. We, your followers, are all here to support you in anyway we can. I will include you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  20. So sorry to hear all this for both you and your mother. Stress is a terrible thing in our life’s and then to see our loved ones take ill, is very hard my friend. Your mother is very fortunate to have such a beautiful daughter as yourself my her side. Stay strong…she will need you.

  21. I hope and pray that your mom will get well soon. That is a shocking and scary life changing event. I also pray that you will recover soon and be in great health. You and your mom inspire me in a sense that during your most difficult times, family became a source of hope, faith and strength. God bless.

  22. Fergi – i am so sorry to hear how much challenge you have been facing. I will keep your mom in heart and prayer ~ so difficult and devastating, for anyone but especially those of us struggling daily to manage the chronic pain and disability. Please stay strong my friend ~ much love and hugs to you, Robyn

  23. I am so sad to read this post. I wish both of you a full recovery and extend my best wishes. Your squirrel photo is so appropriate to how you must be feeling. I was wondering what happened to you posting and now I know. I wish you all the best.

  24. Well, I’m glad the cancer center treating your Mom is only 40 minutes away. That is good. The nearest Cancer treatment center for us would be about 4 hours away. I’m sorry to hear she will have to go there, that is so scary. I’ll be praying for your Mom, and for you.

  25. Oh Fergie, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother’s diagnosis. That IS the scariest word, and I wish for both of you that the treatment works well and that she will be fine. Sending hugs and hopeful thoughts to you.

  26. Pingback: Nature Notes (#219) ~You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky. ~Amelia Earhart | ~RAMBLING WOODS~

  27. Oh, Fergie – I’m so sorry to hear this news of your mother. It’s particularly scary when it’s an unusual cancer and the treatments unproven. I can understand facing the uncertainty one step at a time – we’re doing the same with my darling friend S in Switzerland, where the Oncologist said, after outlining the latest cocktail that seems to be getting results “… and then hope for the best”. I hope for the best for your mother too. 🙂

  28. dear fergie, such a shock for you and your family … no wonder you were feeling in a vortex … i hope that you are all feeling stronger now and realise the gift of finding out and being able to address it … your love for each other will help you through … we have seen a friend with a very poor prognosis (no cure) live well for much longer than expected with experimental chemotherapy … it seems miraculous … yet her body and mind are focussed on life and healing, and that seems to be what is happening…. hold strong to hope and live in the joy of every moment … blessings, christine xx

  29. wishing your mom all the best , dear Fergie. Keep the faith and the courage during this batlle. I know it is easier said than done but it’s the only way to fight. you and your mom will be in my thoughts.
    hugs, Francina xx

  30. I received a call one night from my father – the C word – my mother. I understand your emotions. I pray you will all find a way through this. On a positive note, my mother survived and lived cancer free for the remainder of her life.

  31. I will pray for you and your mom. Your blog is one of my best I have read, it addressed a lot of the issues and emotions that I have been dealing with. Thank you.

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