August 9th, 2007
It’s been several weeks since I updated here about my Mom.
Several weeks ago I visited my family in Virginia, primarily to see my Mom, who recently had a stroke and was subsequently diagnosed with Stage IV Renal (Kidney) Cell Carcinoma, Cancer. She also has metastases to her brain, lung and mediastinum.
I had a great time, despite the somewhat grave circumstances. I have come into contact with several people with cancers of various kinds in the past few years, and so far they’re all still around. Frankly the diagnosis my Mom got is quite a severe one, but the predictions as to prognosis are not set in stone. There’s data that she could go years, after all, the first symptom she had was the stroke. She’s in otherwise great shape, no smoking, good fitness, walks stronger than I can, as evidenced above. She is doing great.
She was started with CyberKnife, mentioned before, and now, the current regimen is every Friday she gets chemotherapy —
Torisel, to keep the cancer at bay, or even to get at diminishing the cancer. Cancer is now thought of as a chronic disease, and it’s managed as such. So far, so good, she’s getting back to “normalcy” as much as that is possible. The chemotherapy does create some fatigue for her, but while I was there she felt pretty good. Good appetite, good energy mostly. Here’s a photo of her getting chemo:
My Dad has been 1000% supportive of everything she needs, and got housekeepers to help take some of the load off of my Mom in terms of the house. He’s a good man.
My sister and her fiancee have likewise been ultra-supportive. My Sister lives four hours away and comes down whenever she can. She was critical in the first stages of my Mom’s hospitalization, helping out at home and keeping the extended family in the loop.
And my Mom has friends, holy cow does she have friends! I was taking several calls a day, and I wasn’t even answering them all. People dropping by, dropping off flowers to say “hi,” stopping in.
So there’s lots of hope in the realm of my Mom’s illness. I try and keep in touch with email and iChats periodically. I miss them all, but everything seems to be going about as well as it could. There’s a great deal of hope, though any spare prayers you have are appreciated.