5/03/2012

Optimism Is Not My Strong Suit

I think I mentioned before (I meant to mention it, if I didn't) that my mom has started back with chemo. Two years ago when she was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer, they were unable to remove all the tumors surgically for various reasons. At the end of her first round of chemo, they had shrunk to nearly nothing and were stable (i.e. not growing.) This continued for 2 years. Then her CA125 started going up and a CAT scan revealed that yes, in fact, the tumors were again growing. We were grateful that there were no new tumors and optimistic that another round of chemo would do the trick for another few years. And, since it'd been over 2 years, she could use the primary chemo drugs instead of having to use a different regimen (which is usually not as successful - to the point that they call it "last ditch chemo"...encouraging, no?)

And so mom started back at chemo a few weeks after we brought the little one home. She goes every 3 weeks. In between, they recheck the CA125 to see if the tumor growth has stabilized or diminished or what have you. At her last chemo appointment (3 weeks ago), she had a mild allergic reaction to the 2nd drug. This isn't horribly uncommon, and it was mild enough they thought it would be manageable. Then, at her blood check this week (before chemo yesterday), her numbers had nearly doubled. This really shouldn't happen while on chemo. (In an effort to find amusement, some of the causes of this could be pregnancy - so I'm holding out hope for that. What do you mean you have to have a uterus for that? Oh. Bummer.) Then at chemo yesterday, mom's allergic reaction to the 2nd drug was so bad they had to discontinue the treatment, so she didn't get her full dose and they'll be switching her to a different drug from here on out. (I don't know the drug names, my sister keeps track of it all and could rattle it off, I'm afraid that as soon as I hear the gist of the bad-to-worse news, my brain shuts off and all I can hear is a primal wail that I'm surprised is not actually audible outside my head.)

Today she's off for more CAT scans to see what they can see. New tumors? It's likely. If I had to pinpoint a location, based on the breathing difficulties we're seeing and hearing, in her lungs.

I've been trying to be positive. I know, in my head and in my heart, that God is absolutely in control. He can choose to heal her. He can also choose to take her home. But even knowing that, I can't get beyond the fear that my mom is going to die this year. And there's nothing anyone can do about it. I try to stay positive when I talk to mom. It wouldn't help her to know how freaked out I am. (Hi mom - look away, k?) I try not to freak out when I talk to my sister - she's doing so much, bearing so much more of this burden than I am with running mom to the doctor and chemo and here, there, and everywhere. She doesn't need my stress, too. I try not to dump my stress on Tim, he's stressed enough at work and, honestly, my freak outs are not his strong suit. He's just as liable to say "I wouldn't worry" (which for him is comforting and encouraging and he means well, I get it, he does...but it doesn't help me.) And if he did, right now I'd likely have to hit him. And so I spend a lot of my free time (during naps) with my head buried in my arms, sobbing. Because I just don't know what else to do.

I know God is in control. I believe it with my whole heart. But I don't want my mom to die.

Cancer sucks.

4 comments:

Gwynne said...

I'm so sorry, Beth. I don't want your mom to die either. Praying for a better outcome.

beth said...

Thanks, Gwynne.

Jen said...

Oh, Beth. Praying with you - for a miracle healing, peace and comfort for all of you, and for God's will.

beth said...

Thanks, Jen.