Here’s the latest update.
We went to the oncologist on Wednesday. Really nice man. His son goes to the same school as Duncan and Berry. He was compassionate, kind and funny. Well, not exactly funny, but warm.
The news isn’t good. Mum has a lot of masses in her lungs and liver that shouldn’t be there. He clearly explained the chest x-ray, telling us what is normal (lots of black space) and what isn’t (all the white bits that look like cotton balls). In her liver, she has a 13 cm mass.
In terms of prognosis, she has a guesstimate of 3 to 6 months until either her liver or lungs fail. Chemotherapy is the only conventional treatment available and that may prolong her life, on average, for an additional 3 to 6 months. However, the treatment lasts 4 months and comes with a host of unpleasant side effects. There is no known cure.
The current plan is to reduce her symptoms (coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping) so that she can feel as well as she can, for as long as she can. We’re also upgrading her diet to include lots of nutritionally supportive foods — flax seed oil, chlorella smoothies, fresh vegetable juices.
The oncologist mentioned a naturopathic physician he’s worked with. Mum has an appointment with her on June 20. Hopefully she can recommend the right supplements, dosages and diet to support her body’s own healing ability. We’ve got lots of people praying for us, too (which is very appreciated — thank you).
I seem to be compartmentalizing things. There are the things I need to do to make sure Mum has what she needs (insurance, medications, people to clean, make juice, help watch kids, etc.). There are things I need to do to make sure I’m OK (exercise, sleep enough, eat good food, keep my own doctor/therapy appointments).
At times it’s overwhelming but, so far, I’m so busy I’m handling it OK. It’s the quiet times when it gets hard. And I know there will, eventually, be harder times ahead.
But today, I have my Mum. Today is what we have.