The Very Latest Update, About My Mom's Cancer (please read)
The Very Latest Update, About My Mom's Cancer (please read)
To all of my dear friends,
First of all, please let me apologize, for not being online (lately), as much as I would like to be. I do value all of you, who are on my friends list! Also, please forgive the length of this Bulletin, and please excuse any typos, or puntuation mistakes. I am writing this to let you all know, what is happening with my Mom (and me). For the past couple of months, my family and I, have been going through a lot. As for myself, I feel that I have reached my breaking point! I will now, bring you, up-to-date, about my Mom's condition. My mind is a bit "scattered", so please bear with me. It has been awhile, so I will write a quick re-cap, for you.
Back in May of 2006, my Mom's oncologist ordered an "early" bone marrow biopsy, because he was concerned with her blood count, and they had found protein in her urine, a sure sign, that the cancer had come back. (Please note, she wan't supposed to have another biospy until June.) When he did the biopsy, he found that he cancer, had indeed returned. His new course of treatment, was to put her on the chemotherapy drug Velcade. He also planned to continue her treatment with the Thalidomide and the Aredia (that she had been on, in the 1st place). Mom had all of these new medications that she was suddenly put on, and she is still on them.
I need to interject something here......when my Mom was 1st diagnosed, the doctors decided that they would put a "port" into her left arm. This port is a device that allows for blood withdrawals, and to receive any chemo, or other medications that she would need. Basically, the doctors didn't want her to become a "pin cushion". The port would spare my Mom, the pain of receiving too many needle injections. This port was connected to a vein that led directly, to her heart. The nurses,who withdraw blood and administer chemo, are responsible, for "flushing" the port Every 2 weeks. (All of this is relevant to my mom's condition.) Flash forward, to present day. A couple of months back (I believe it was August.) My Mom's port became so infected, that it looked like she was trying to hide a "baseball" under the skin, of her arm. (That is how terribly large, the lump in her arm was.) Her oncologist, had NO idea what was wrong (also, he seemed to think whatever it was, would clear up, on it's own). Well, finally he sent her to the hospital, for tests. She had already suffered with this for about 4 weeks, and it took the hospital nearly 2 weeks, to figure out, what was happening! Basically, what it comes down to, is that the nurses, did NOT do what was required of them, to take care of my Mom's port. They put her life in danger, simply by the fact, that the port was connected to her heart,and they neglected to "flush" it out, when they were supposed to, and they just kept on "assuming" she would be fine. The hospital decided that the port Needed, to be removed. My Mom had had this port, for so long, it had "grown" to be a part of her body. Of course, my Mom had to be Awake, during the surgery (because the port was connected to her heart). As if she "needed" to feel anymore pain, or suffer anymore......during the emergency surgery, the port did not want to "budge", or to come out, at all. The doctor began "tugging" on it, and my Mom could barely take it. The doctor kept apologizing, to my Mom, over and over. They did finally remove it, and found that it, and the area around it, were really infected. To add insult, to injury, my Mom's oncologist, acted like it was No Big deal. He pretended everything was fine. We believe that he did that, so that she would not attempt to sue him, or his negligent staff. Little did he know, my Mom has no idea, which nurse actually caused her, all of this grief, so she wouldn't know who to sue! To top it off, this oncologist, is a man that she has credited, along with her faith, for saving her life, in the 1st place. He was wrong for acting that way, because as I said, they found a great deal of infection, inside her arm. My Mom, is still feeling pain, in that area of her arm, and she is having difficulty healing, due to the chemo, that she is receiving.
On the heels, of that fiasco, my Mom's oncologist "suddenly" decided that he would change, one of the drugs that she was on. She had originally been receiving Aredia ( a type of bone strengthener, because Multiple Myeloma makes your bones look like swiss cheese). The doctor changed her to a drug called Zometa, they are both supposed to do the same thing....strengthen bones. Her oncologist, never told her why he made the change. The Zometa, proceeded to try to "kill" my Mom, and I am not exaterating. My mom is already weakened by her disease and the Velcade. So, here comes this medicine, to try to finish her off. This drug, made her to where she couldn't eat, AT ALL. She lost control of bowel function, in a painful and terrifying way. She couldn't even "walk" to the bathroom. I had never seen her that ill, in ALL of my life! She did complain to her oncologist, and he took her off of the Zometa, and put her back on the Aredia. But, she had to wait, for ALL of the Zometa to leave her system, it kept her very ill and that was a true struggle, for her. She is stiil VERY weak from the ordeal.
For the past month, my Mom has been so ill, this time, due to the chemo drug Velcade. It makes her have, no appetite at all, it causes her great pain, in her legs. She has to use a walker and a wheel-chair to get back and forth to her doctor's office, etc. She has all of us, very worried, because she can only eat a few bites of food, a day. Whenever I go over to visit her, she is laying "helplessly" on her couch. (That makes me feel so helpless, let me tell you.) She has complained to her oncologist, that she can't take all of this illness and pain, anymore.....but there is nothing that he can do, because Velcade is the "last ditch effort (so far) in battling her kind of Cancer. There is no cure, and you can't "radiate" this type of cancer. Also, if her disease had been found out early enough, she might have been a candidate, for a stem cell transplant, but they caught her Cancer way after the age deadline, to perform such a procedure. :( (With Multiple Myeloma, you have to have the stem cell procedure done, before the patient is 55, for it to be of any help.)
Here is the very "latest" on her condition. I do know that her doctor (oncologist) cares for my Mom, a great deal (even with his dumb mistakes, in regards to her arm and the port). At her visit, on Sept. 22nd, her doctor asked "how's my girl?" because she just looks so "defeated" and weak, and when she answered, "you know how I am feeling doctor"......he gave her a sweet little kiss, as a parent would give a child. Then he told her that she would be getting another bone marrow biopsy. She said that she didn't think that she was strong enough, to submit to another one, right now. He said, "I am sorry it NEEDS to be done." She has gone in for her bone marrow biopsy, today Oct. 4th. I am worried, and I have "knots" in my stomach. This biopsy, is again early. (She is supposed to have them only every 6 months, as a routine, to make sure her cancer is under control.)
To change the subject, but it still pertains to all that is going on, with my Mom. I had asked my Mom, awhile back, if she would officially Adopt me, so that if anything happened to her, I would be recognized, as her Daughter, for the rest of my life. For those of you, that don't know, my Mom is my maternal Grandmother, who raised me from a baby. To me, she is MOM. My birth-mom was too young when she had me, and I have always understood that. She was only 19 yrs old when gave birth to me, and at 19 yrs, I know that I certainly wasn't ready, to take care of kid. That is why I waited as long as did, to have a child. I have always thanked my birth-mom, for having the courage, to give me away, to have a better life. I have always thanked her for giving me to the lovely woman, that I have always known as my Mom. The reason, that I bring this up, is that I had forgotten my request, to my Mom (about adopting me), because I have been so worried (not to mention ill) about what is happening to her. She reminded me, of my request, just a couple of days ago. She told me to start contacting lawyers, to get this done, for me. I fear, that she is truly going to "leave" us, soon. I think she feels that her time is coming too, because she is the one, who asked me, to get this started. I am of two minds about this. I just can't seem to bring myself, to begin making these phone calls, because I am not ready, to lose her yet, and maybe if I delay calling, I can keep her with me longer. I know that sounds silly, but it is how I feel. I am sure, that people will ask me, "don't you want your mom, to be at peace, with no more suffering?" My answer to that is...Of Course, I don't want her to suffer, but there is more to this story. For example, I am going thru the stages of grief, a second time around (the first time, was when she was 1st diagnosed). One part of my emotions is anger! You see, we come from a long line of folks, who lived long lives. My great-great Grandma lived to be 96 yrs old. My Great-Grandma Auttie lived to be 92 yrs old. Heck, even my Great-Grandpa lived to be 85yrs old. My Mom is only 74yrs old. To me, that is still young! The main health problem, in my family history, has always been heart disease.......but my mom has to have years taken off of her life, by a type of cancer, that most people have never heard of?! So, yes....I am bitter, about my Mom's suffering. My Mom is one of the most unselfish, giving, and caring people, I have ever known! She doesn't deserve this. No one, deserves any horrific illness, that is terminal, but especially... Not her! To make things worse, I know that when the "time" comes, it will all be up to me, to deal with laying my Mom to rest. I will have to pick out her dress, casket, and cemetary. (None of that has been done yet.) My birth-mom is a nearly 450 lb invalid, and she is quite ill, too....so she wouldn't be able to help in any way. My Uncle, who takes care of my Mom, is in such a denial now, that I know, that he will be a basket case, when the time arrives. I do not look forward, to that. In fact, he has been so ill, watching my mom become weaker and weaker, that I fear he could end up in the hospital too, if she passes on. So, it will all be up to me.
As for me, I have been ill, at least once a month, for so long, I don't really remember what it is like, to be perfectly well, and happy. My body, can't handle the stress, and I have had all kinds of ailments. Everything from a throat infection, to a "bloody" urinary tract infection, to major insomnia. I haven't really been eating or resting well, at all. I feel like my whole world is falling apart, and I just can't see straight. I have been so down and depressed, due to everything, and yet, it just keeps coming. We were having great financial difficulty, for a long while, not to mention the health problems, and all kinds of other problems. Finally, the cherry, on the icing on the cake, of my life.....if my mom passes on, what do I tell my 3 yr old daughter, who thinks that the sun rises and sets, with my Mom? She doesn't understand heaven, or death. I will be so distraught, I won't know what to do.
There you have it, the many reasons, that I haven't been online, all that much. I kept wanting to write a Bulletin/Blog about this, for a long time, but I could never bring myself to do it. I finally felt, that the time was right, and that I needed to. I will thank all of you, in advance, for reading all of this. I apologize, for it's length, but I had a lot to say. I will wind this down, by saying that I know that I am not the only one, with "troubles", and there are people worse off, than me, but my strength is waning. I don't think that I can take much more. My Mom has a saying that she made up, years ago. "Even Rocks break." I believe in that saying a lot, because I don't know how much longer, I can be strong, for my Mom and my Family. I am paying the price, for her illness, too. I haven't been healthy, for a very long time, and the stress is using me, as a "punching bag".
I will post another Blog/Bulletin, when my Mom gets the results, of this biopsy. I don't know, if it will be good news. One of the things, I don't think that I have ever explained, was that....10 yrs after a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, it can turn into Leaukemia. So, I have every right, in the world, to worry about my Mom's condition. I will keep everyone posted. Lastly, I will ask again, that you please don't give up on me, as a friend, and delete me from your friends lists. I need all of the support, prayer, and positive thoughts that I can get. Thanks so much, for being good friends. It truly means a lot. ((((((hugs))))))
P.S. One last thing, that is incredibly alarming is that my Mom has not been eating enough, at all......and it has caused her to lose over 40 lbs, in less than two months, and that is SO NOT OK! Her clothes are falling off of her, and I can't bear to see this happening to her! Lately, everything has just been a "hellfire" struggle!