Thursday, October 2, 2008

Well, here it is...

It's like this plan and simple. My mom has stage IV lung cancer. This is the last stage of the cancer. Without treatment doctor says 6 months. With treatment we could have 1, 2, maaaaaybe 3 years left with her. With God and your prayers- maybe a miracle? Yesterday will go down as one of the worst days of my life news-wise.

I am trying to stay strong. My sister asks how can I sound so "together"? Well... honestly, I'm crying just as much as the rest of you when no one sees. I have faith that God will do things as He sees fit and if it's to take my mom from this earth, then that's how it will be. I won't be angry. I can't be angry - not enough time or space in my heart for anger right now. All I have space for is love and care. You see, something stuck out in my Bible study Tuesday night also (on the same eve of such a bad news day): a little story about the patient asking the doctor in the middle of flu season, after one of their many visits during the season - Dr. why are you so healthy in the middle of all this? The doctor replied, " my wife and I really believe that God keeps us healthy so that we can help those who are not. It's the only explanation I can figure."

WOW. Did you get that? That just sort of blew me away. I had already been down this week because since last Wednesday one of us has been sick. It started with Julia Grace- a cold, stomach upset, wouldn't eat, cold chills & goosebumps one minute, then fever the next. Well, by Saturday - JG felt terrific bouncing on our bed while I had the goosebumps and cold chills in the same bed she was jumping upon (I was powerless to stop her you see, this was the most horrid I had felt since Tracy and I had the flu a week after getting married). Daddy Tracy was at Mallory's soccer game, then buying his grandpa black shoes to go referee a game an hour after that. I'm feeling better, lingering cough - Tracy felt horrible Monday through well, today still a little. But it kept us from visiting my mom. I am hoping though that I get through this initial cold spell, get my flu shot and stay well so I can be there for my mom. That I can be the one who is healthy while she is not.

Back to my mom - she's still working. Today was day 6 of radiation. She's feeling tired. She's a little sore and stiff. She's itching to see us and we are beside ourselves wanting to see her. she's going to work, leaving for her tests/radiation, then going back to work. She's so tough! They do know now that the spots on her liver are cancer as well. Her cancer is non-small cell lung cancer. She has one mass at her C2 vertebrae, one at her left lung and lesions on her hip bones and some spots on her liver. Radiation is targeting the C2 and the hip bones. She has 9 more radiation treatments to go. Blood work weekly. Then they discuss chemotherapy and my mom is applying to do a clinical trial. Whoa there. Yep. TRIAL. The good news is this drug has worked on colorectal cancer and brain & neck cancers with a good success rate. It is an injection that goes along with chemo. It has all kinds of side effects, but it is being touted as a "wonderdrug". It is Erbitux.
You're probably hearing about it in the news because it belongs to ImClone (yes, the company Martha Stewart got in trouble for dropping their stock) and Bristol Meyers Squibb, but it's got an offer on the table for it now that it's hot stuff. ANYHOO... trial. the drug (at a staggering $30,000 per 6 week treatment) will be FREE to my mom for doing the trial. the side effects she will incur will be treated for FREE (dr. visits and prescriptions to treat them). any at-home care she needs during this trial will be FREE. Please pray that she's accepted to the trial. She's in EXTREMELY good health for her age and she's younger than most lung cancer patients. The next thing to pray for is that she isn't allergic to it. She's not ever been allergic to any other drugs - let's hope she doesn't start now.
Keep praying for her and all of us. Pray that I can continue to remain strong for those who are not. Thank you and I love you all!