Thursday, November 1, 2007

Where are my feet?

I've said it so many times, but it stays a fact: you girls rock! Thanks for your comments and support, you're really awesome. :)

And to answer my own question: my feet are still firmly on mother earth, despite my seemingly euphoric post on Tuesday. The changed situation didn't bring sudden healing or an overnight cure; the road ahead is still going to be very rough. As Geohde rightly said in her comment: metastasized ovarian cancer is NOT good.

My mom's been suffering from it's side effects since last year this time, the origin of the disease having been misdiagnosed more than once, and because of that it has spread beyond her ovaries. Make no mistake: this is stage IV ovarian cancer, it's very serious.

Then why do I think of it as a miracle?

Because it could so easily have been otherwise. The decision to go to a different radiology unit, and thus having to change oncologists, (long & rather unpleasant story) was made in a split second. If my parents didn't decide to go to this new hospital, and making the leap of seeing a new oncologist, she would've been treated for something minor, and the cancer cells would've had a field time growing bigger and stronger. (I am sooooo sure God had something to do with that machine breaking down when it did!)

Now, despite the fact that she needs chemotherapy once a month for the next 6 months, we all feel that the doctors finally got to the root of the problem, and that it is being addressed properly for the first time since all the bad stuff started.

The good news is that there is no cancer in her lung any more. The patches of cancer found in her stomach lining, on her backbone (not 100% sure about the exact location but it's in the bone in the surrounding areas to her ovaries) and in one of the lymph nodes in her chest is really small. Doc S referred to them as "a few granules". Those of you with a medical background, please help me out if I got this wrong, it IS good news isn't it? Even though it's not in her ovaries but surrounding tissue?

Something that is very strange to me is the fact that they couldn't find any sign or spot of cancer on/in her ovaries by way of the scans. The radiologist said something about them being too shriveled up and small for him to make out anything properly. That does make sense to me, but I'm still wondering about it. If any of you know something about this, please let me know?

Despite the reality of a less than great prognosis, I see these latest developments as a new lease on life for my mom, a kind of second chance. Yes, the statistics I see of life expectancy for ovarian cancer patients is nauseating, but you know what? I choose to believe that my mom will be with us for more than just a few more months, and I'm praying really hard that whatever God has planned for her and our family, we would handle with the grace that only He can provide.

5 comments:

Lori said...

I've heard it said that each of us is living and each of us is dying. But that those who are aware that they are dying are doing the best living, for they appreciate life more.

So I hope this "bonus" time with and for your mom is filled with joy and love and peace.

Geohde said...

Karen,

It is good news in that now your mother will get appropriately directed chemo. I'm going to have to be a little guarded about prognosis, but I really really hope that your mother does well. She has a fantastic daughter,

xx

J

Bea said...

I know what you mean. It's not that it's "good" news, but at least the news has moved slightly in that direction. Getting appropriate treatment would be #1 there.

Bea

Pamela Jeanne said...

I don't know if you've heard of Elizabeth Edwards but she's the wife of a presidential hopeful here in the US and she, too, has been fighting cancer. When asked if she would slow down or withdraw from helping her husband's campaign she responded "the minute I stop living is the moment I start dying." I have taken this philosophy to heart...and it sounds like you and your mother have as well.

Kami said...

I can understand seeing this as hopeful too. I have heard that ovarian cancer is hard to diagnose. Strangely enough, my mom's doctor recently told her, "We used to think post menopausal women didn't get ovarian cancer because the ovaries are so small and shriveled, but now we know better."

My mom is fine, it just happened to come up in conversation and she happened to tell me.