Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bring on the drugs, baby!

Mom heard about a new chemo, called "warmed chemo". She went to talk to the oncologist about it yesterday. Apparently, it's for use in the abdominal cavity if the cancer hasn't spread. For example, if there was a spot on her liver, they could use it there. Essentially, they cut you open and apply the chemo directly to the spot. Doesn't sound pleasant to me, and most people who have this type of chemo end up with peritonitis. Also not pleasant. These things are beside the point, because mom can't do it.

The cancer is spreading again. They found it in her liver and lungs. The hydrocodone she's been taking is no longer effective, so the doc is now giving her oxycontin. If that doesn't work, it's off to happy happy morphine land for her. She's looking into starting hospice, because they can't put her on the morphine unless she's in hospice care.

Mom says "I'm starting to feel discomfort around my liver." Discomfort?! I know my mother - if she's mentioning it, she feels like hell and hurts very much. She has a high pain tolerance, way higher than mine. This is the woman who drove herself 20 miles to the hospital with a rag around her finger after she pulled the tip of her index finger off! Evidence of this pain? The drugs they're giving her. These are end stage drugs, from what I can figure out.

The train is rolling, and it's gaining speed. Not that I didn't expect it to - cancer grows exponentially...the bigger it gets, the faster it grows. If I keep thinking of it in terms of biology, I'm ok. Once I start thinking about what's actually happening...not so much. I feel like I'm in shock. I don't know what to say to mom, what to do, how to act. I'm going down there next weekend and I don't know what to expect. I'm scared, I'm worried...and you're all I've got. And my husband, but...I'm trying to save him for when I REALLY fall apart.

Oh mommy...what am I going to do without you?


Jess said...

I'm just so sorry. What is there to say, really?

They DO sound like end stage drugs, but it's also good that she is getting some relief. I'm glad about that.

You don't have to know what to say or do anything special. Just being with her and letting her know you care and are there for her will be what she needs. As for yourself, try to take care of you, too. Cancer is a hard thing for the person who has it, but it's also v hard on that person's family, as you know, and you need to be able to function, too.

Thinking of you.

A Journey of Hope said...

I don't even have words. I have imagined being where you are and wondering how will i cope... this life just doesn't make sense without our moms. i just make sure i tell her that lots now, how much i love her. my prayers are with you and your mom. i'm so sorry you are going through this.

Zee said...

Tigger, I'm so sorryv that this is happening. I'll keep you and your mom in my prayers.

(And I second what Jess says, take care of your mom in any way you can, but don't forget to take care of yourself. You can't put it out there if you're completely depleted. And no, it's not selfish, so don't even go there!)