I didn’t think I’d be learning the Canadian Cancer system like this

I knew that my mother was not doing well. She has lost a lot of weight and is very fatigued. She is also in a lot of pain.

I was already planning a short visit, since I was going to be in Canada for other business.

I got a phone call from her, while I was sitting in the lounge in Washington Dulles airport between flights – the doctor said kidney cancer with metastasis to lungs. We were shocked. I would not have been surprised to hear lung cancer, given her coughing and issues with the breathing – but I did not expect to hear kidney cancer. I know nothing about kidney cancer.

I think I’m still in shock – for this means me trying to find information and organize information.

I’m here with her now. I’m figuring out doctors appointments and trying to make sense of the information that we have. Stage 4 kidney cancer.

We saw the lung doctor today – the appointment was setup before we knew about the kidney – when we thought it was only the lungs. He said that lung cancer does not typically go to the kidneys, but kidney cancer does metastasize to the lungs. He did not advise a lung biospy at this time. It would not provide any new information that would change the course or treatment, and a biopsy of any kind is not a pleasant experience, and certainly not one in the lungs.

I asked the doctor if we could see the CT scan. He brought it up on a big screen and showed us the kidney first – how one was more than twice the size of the other. He then showed us the lungs and where the tumors where there – multiple tumors across both lungs. I also got a copy of the CT imaging report. It was worse than I thought.

We had a call from the oncologist office. I talked to them and moved the appointed up so that we could get a preliminary appointment the week after next. We also booked an additional appointment with the Urologist (who did the diagnosis), to go through everything again. This will let me ask a bunch of questions and get a better sense of what they are thinking and what additional tests need to be run.

I’m here. My feelings are pretty numb. I’m focusing on cooking – making sure there is good food in the house. I’m also tired. Jet lagged. Emotionally drained.

Please send well wishes via Facebook rather than calling. The phone is ringing off the hook, and we need to keep it clear for doctors appointments at this time. In about two weeks time, things should calm down a little – then mom would welcome calls and visits. Right now we are all still in shock.

PS: I check with mom before writing this post.



  • Becky

One Comment

  • So sorry to hear about your Mom Becky. Being prepared for this sort of thing always seems like a wise strategy but so much of isn’t what was expected…that sounds a wind-up to clumsy advice when you know your own resources best. Soooo, if you need anything blogging friends can provide, let me know.


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