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.