Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Welcome to the Cancer Center

Today was my mom's first appointment with her cancer doctor. She was a nervous wreck to say the least. She had been waiting and worrying about this day for a few weeks. I had spent countless hours at night going on websites and visiting blogs about people with the same kind of cancer as my mom and I was pretty positive I knew what the doctor was going to say. I had so many questions all written down ready to ask her doctor.

Entering the Cancer Center did not help ease the tension my mom had at all. So many people, surprisingly mostly women I assume because the breast cancer center is located here as well, and so many of them with no hair. One of the many fears my mom had. The loss of your hair was a big factor in letting the world know you are sick, which I don't think my mom is ready for at all.

Soon our pager was lighting up and it was time to face the truth. Everyone we met was so amazing and so nice. They nurses and other staff members were very great at taking their time and not making you feel rushed or like you were just another number on a chart. They really listened and took their time and that helped to ease my mind a lot. They made us all feel very comfortable, and by all I mean my grandpa, Brandon, my uncle James and my mom and I. She has so many people who love her and are thinking of her and praying for her daily but this group of people are always there. When something happens, or an appointment is scheduled we all are always there. I hope one day when this is all over my mom will see that  all those people who SAY they love her and are there for her will be seen for just that. Just words. I hope she will always remember the ones who always are there. No matter what needs to be done that day or where else they need to be that day the same few people are always there by her side encouraging her and loving her. Time after time. THOSE are her family and THOSE are the ones who are praying hard every night that she stays strong because deep down we all know one thing.....we need her just as much as she needs us.

Her doctor was a very polite, straight forward, and kind person. He really took him time to explain everything to us in a way we would understand and he was very open to all our questions and taking as much time as needed to explain them. He showed us diagrams and drew things out to show us the degree to which her cancer had made its way through her colon. I knew from all the research I had done that he was probably going to tell us it was stage 3 and I was right about that. He confirmed that because it had spread to her lymph nodes it was stage 3 and that she had probably had it in her body for the past 3 or 4 years. That was scary. It's scary to think any one, even me, could be walking around with something like this in our body and look and feel totally normal for so long. He also told us something we weren't expecting to hear, that the cancer was in 9 of the 10 lymph nodes that were removed. That was a huge relief because it meant that this chemo was really just taking place to kill any small cells that could be floating around.

She decided to take the option to do chemo in the office every two weeks and wear a pump home for 48 hours after each chemo with a second type of chemo call FOLFOX. They decided that these two types of chemo would be the best for her situation. Her doctor also told us that her case would presented at a conference for a few other doctors to look over and decide if radiation would be a good addition to her treatment plan. Her doctor assured us that she was young and other then the cancer she was very healthy so this should just be a bump in the road for her. He was very confident that the treatment that was going to take place would put her in good odds to be in remission from all this. Genetic factors were a big part of all this with the cancer my grandma had, my grandpa mother had, and now my mom. It is very important that I take it seriously and get checked very early which I plan to do.

She is very scared but I think after talking to the doctor and getting all of our questions answered we feel a little more at ease that she will have very good doctors looking after her. I pray it's just a "bump in the road" as they say.

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