Metastasis = spread of cancer from one organ to another non adjacent organ or part.
One year ago in May, my mom (Patty) was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a year long treatment of chemotherapy, radiation, and a double mastectomy….she was deemed cancer free….
For exactly one month!
Then the word metastasis was uttered….. It was now in her brain.
Since this May, she has balanced doctor visits, radiation treatments, and a solid work schedule. She maintains a good attitude and has become more spiritual, feeling closer to God than she ever has. She has been tired and anxious…hopeful and scared….. positive and grateful for everything she has.
She's too far away, and I wish so much that she was closer. She has endured so much and I just want to help her….I just want do something! But…she wants to maintain her normalcy, and rightfully so. So I can only rely on phone calls, texts, and my one short visit to see her….to know how she's doing. She always says she's doing great and that she is in the hands of God :).
About a month ago, she was deemed cancer free again! We were all so happy and feeling blessed. The chances of the radiation getting all of the tumors out was questionable, so it was a miracle to all of us, that it was so successful.
One month later, the word metastasis comes out again! She had exactly one month of a reprieve before starting the process over. Honestly, reprieve isn't the word to use, since the whole month she was nauseated, and fighting to get food to stay in her stomach. On top of that, she somehow pulled her back out, which has been unsuccessfully treated thus far, and she now has difficulty walking.
Since learning about the “swelling” in her brain, her phone calls to me have decreased. She was remaining hopeful that these spots were not cancer, but just swelling. I learned for sure a couple days ago that it was cancer…..but not from her.
I haven't cried tears as of yet, and I'm having a lot of trouble processing through my feelings right now.
I've been a nurse for many years, and have even worked with patients who have had brain tumors. I have worked with many families who had to process through the new diagnosis together, yet I have no idea what to do or how to feel for myself…..and we are not together!
I feel like I've been punched in the gut…….like the wind has been knocked out of me. I don't feel less sad about the news than I did the last time, yet my response to it is so different. I long to hear how she feels…how she's doing, but yet I don't. Instead, I try to talk professionally about it, and try to keep myself preoccupied.
I feel selfish and angry!…..I love her so much!
Through my dad, I have learned of her scheduled PET scans, CT scans, fine slice MRI…AND her gamma knife radiation therapy to treat the cancer…..I feel numb. I hear him saying the words, but they wont fully register. I don't know what the recurrence means……except a long road ahead…I just want her HERE!
The lump in my throat grows bigger every time I think of it. I need to call her…and I will.
My thoughts keep wrapping around the fact that she hasn't called me either…which is unlike both of us. I fear the reasoning behind this is because we both know that when we do finally talk, the reality will set in, the flood gates will open, and neither of us will stop crying……
But I need her here..
I need to comfort her while hugging her….and I need to be comforted by her too…..I feel useless….
I guess I'm writing this to try and process through my thoughts, but also to ask a favor. If you believe in a higher power, please pray for her….send positive vibes her way, so that she can stay strong through her new treatments, and hopefully beat this cancer for good.