Update on My Mom

Thanks for all the well wishes, all. Here’s the latest on my Mom’s diagnosis. The stroke turns out to have been the thing to point out what’s really going on, and that’s Stage 4 cancer of the Kidney. I will be traveling to Virginia next month some time to assist where I can during her chemo.

When I last spoke to my sister she mentioned Mom has Christian, Catholic, New Age prayers going. My father added that she also had agnostic prayers going. I mentioned the kids and the Roberts’s were also praying, so add Mormon prayers to that mix. Thanks all!

This is my sister’s last update (from 3 days ago now)

Hello Family,

Mom is recovering from her stroke at lightning speed. She is looking great and is progressing neurologically as the swelling in her brain goes down. The waver in her left-hand is much less pronounced today than it was yesterday and the strength in her left leg is much, much better. She can walk unassisted and was even dancing in her room when dad came to see her this morning.

The bad news is that the doctors have determined that mom has Stage 4 Renal Carcinoma, i.e. kidney cancer. She has a 7cm tumor on one of her kidneys that has metastasized and spread in a small area on one of her lungs. The doctors have also determined that it was a metastasis that traveled from the kidney to the brain stem that created the bleed that caused the stroke. The team of doctors who are working on mom’s treatment have devised a plan that involves a new chemotherapy drug to rid her body of the carcinoma in the kidney and the metastasis in her lung as well as more specialized and highly advanced, surgical technique to rid mom’s brain stem of the metastases that they think is there.

While the above diagnosis sounds bleak, the prognosis of mom’s treatment is really quite hopeful. The urologist has determined that mom’s survival from renal cancer is better than excellent based on a chart that predicts the outcome of patient survival depending on factors such as kidney functioning, diabetes, obesity, and smoking habits to name a few. Mom doesn’t have any of these things working against her and so, as Dad says, mom is “way off the charts,” “in the 96th/99th percentile,” and “is going to blow them out of the water.” In summary, if there is one person who can beat kidney cancer it’s going to be mom.

Mom’s spirits are high and has her head in the game. She said to us this morning that she’s done crying and has put on her big boxing gloves on and is ready to win this fight. She says it’s not going to go twelve rounds, but rather it will be like the Joe Louis and Max Schmeling’s fight. Not losing the first flight, but a fight that is only going two rounds.

The road ahead is going to be tough. However, mom has a great support structure from her friends and family. She is highly networked here in the community and I am overwhelmed by everyone who has come out to rally around and pray for mom. Thanks so much to all who have called or sent emails. It has made all the difference in her morale and the flowers you have sent have made a virtual garden in her room. My father is being my mom’s greatest advocate for mom and is getting the best doctors and nurses on board for mom’s care.

two comments so far...

hang in there! my sister has stage 4 metastisized breast cancer.. it was also in her lung, and brain (where it caused her seizures) and her bone and liver. chemo has been a godsend for her. And three years later she is still here. She is doing great. They are “managing” the cancer. She has had gamma knife procedure twice now to eradicate cancer cells in her brain. There are lots of options out there. She had chemo yesterday morning then in the afternoon had a gyrotonic session with a client, and today she was off to the DC area for a Dance School reunion….

We’ve had some tough times to be sure, but bottom line is there is a lot doctors can do these days, and in some ways they treat cancer like a chronic condition.

I’ll keep the prayers coming, however… can’t hurt that is for sure!

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