When it rains, it really fucking pours

1

May 11, 2008 by 8junebugs

I’m getting used to telling people this, but bear with me if I’m a bit abrupt about it. There doesn’t seem to be any delicate way about it…or maybe it just doesn’t fit me.

My mom has been diagnosed with stage 4 non-small-cell lung cancer. She’d been having a lot of nosebleeds and trouble breathing, and they were checking for allergies and blood clots and blockages. At one point, they were going to try angioplasty, which, given her medical history, was absurd.

On Friday, a proper hospital found that her breathing has been impeded by a malignant tumor on her windpipe. That tumor has grown around an artery leading to her brain. It is large, and it is inoperable.

There are more tumors on her lymph nodes and kidneys. I don’t know the size, I don’t know if there are more elsewhere, and I don’t have a prognosis. And she, understandably, is having a hard time working through the denial.

They will start radiation on Monday to shrink the tumor on her windpipe. Right now, the doctors will do about 15 minutes a day, every day, for two weeks, to try to help her breathe more easily. After that, the plan is to start chemo, which it seems she can do closer to home.

But too many of us probably already know that there is no stage 5; all they can do is try to make her comfortable.

I am driving up to Vermont to be there for at least the first week of radiation and to find out what we can expect. My traditional role up there alternates between hard ass and comic relief, so my goals are simple: interrogate the doctors and crack jokes of questionable taste. The latter is hit or miss, but I’m really good at the former and less easily intimidated than my family.

For the most part, I’m doing as well as can be expected—as much as it sucks, it was not unforeseeable that my mother would get lung cancer. (She hasn’t stopped smoking, for the record.) And I am fortunate to be able to get up there and do whatever I need to do; I have vacation time and some remote working options, should I need a long-term solution. 

So I’ll get through it. In the middle of everything this year, there have been moments of unexpected joy to remind me that I will be okay, that God gives us no more than we can handle. Or He brings into our lives the people whose love and support make us stronger than we are…such has been my blessing.

If you are so inclined, prayers would be greatly appreciated. She believes at this time that she can fight and beat it, and it has been done. But that’s miracle-level recovery, so petitions Heaven-ward couldn’t hurt. 

I will have a laptop and my Blackberry, as well as my cell, but posting will be light until we figure out next steps, if not an actual plan of attack. I will likely drive more than fly, as I will need my car.

My nano now holds Under the Banner of Heaven and Dreams From My Father. All audiobook suggestions for this long-ass commute are welcome. That goes double for a “Fuck Cancer” soundtrack.

One thought on “When it rains, it really fucking pours

  1. Alicia says:

    We love you and let us know what you need.

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