Sometimes life just has you tossed around like a beach ball floating on rough water, doesn’t it? One minute it’s straight in front of you, and then almost as fast as you can blink your eyes it’s changed location. Up and down it bobs along – riding high, then sinking low. Then another wave lifts it back up again! To make it worse, all of a sudden a gust of strong wind comes along and starts blowing it to the right and left – it’s out of control!!!
That was how our life seemed to be going once we had finally mom moved into her new apartment (Time To Move Mom Into A Home).
After just a couple months, we noticed that mother didn’t seem to be herself physically. She had no appetite, and she was getting really thin. Overall she was just not looking well, and she was having a harder and harder time keeping her balance when walking. Finally we had to take her keys away and not allow her to drive her beloved car anymore which was really hard.
One day mother finally admitted to us that she had discovered a lump under one of her breasts months ago but hadn’t said or done anything about it. We started taking her in for a lot of tests, and it was discovered that she had cancer.
Only 4 months after mother had settled into her new apartment, my sister and I ended up going with her to meet with an oncologist. The prognosis? Lymphoma, and it was spreading fast…
The oncologist stated there was no hope for a cure with the type of cancer she had, but told us that taking her for radiation treatments would lessen the pain, and hopefully extend her life for a short time. He confirmed that it was a very aggressive form of cancer, and that even if the radiation helped diminish this particular lump, there was still a very good chance that it could return, or that other lumps would start turning up on her body.
The doctor also told us she would probably have tremendous pain as the cancer spread, and it would get to the point where she wouldn’t be able to take care of herself. We were thankful that the residence home that she had moved to had the option of adding assisted living, which we quickly upgraded her to.
As my sister Sonja and I continued to question the oncologist, he stated that if she declined radiation, she would probably only live about another 3 months; with radiation there was a possibility of extending that an additional 3 months. Bottom line? In 6 months time mother would most likely would be dead…
Sonja and I put on the bravest faces we could as we heard this news. But interestingly enough mother seemed to take it pretty well. Was she really understanding what the doctor was saying?
The oncologist told us that one of us would have to drive her 5 days a week to the hospital to receive the treatments. This was tough as Sonja had 4 little kids at home, and I was struggling with Jeffrey and his special needs.
Yet we knew we needed to somehow do this for her, so we worked out a plan.
After mother completed her last treatment we were all pleased to find that it had totally diminished the lump, which was great! The problem? The radiologists had handed mother a certificate congratulating her in finishing the radiation program, but mother thought the certificate meant she’d been completely healed from the cancer!
All the way home she was so excited about receiving the certificate, and as soon as she got to her apartment she proudly hung it on her refrigerator and went around telling everyone that she’d been healed! My sister and I did our best to explain that it was not what the certificate meant, but she wasn’t listening to us.