Progression. It is one of the words you never want to hear. It means that cancer is growing – it is getting worse.
For a couple of weeks now, mom has been noticing some shortness of breath. It has been getting progressively worse. We set up on oncology appointment on Monday before the schedule cyberknife radiation.
The oncologist took one look at mom and admitted her. The immediate thought was that she might have a blood clot in her lung. Her oxygen sats were low. They put her on oxygen and gave her a couple shots of hyperin (to thin the blood in the event of a clot). They then did a chest CT. She was feeling a little better on oxygen.
Unfortunately, the CT results did not show a blood clot, rather they showed cancer progression. Severe progression. They were surprised at just how quickly the cancer was growing. Mom’s lungs were full of tumors. The oncologist has started her on Sutant – she cannot wait for the trial or any other medication options. There is hope that Sutant will slow the growth of tumors. Without it, mom is looking at 2-3 weeks of life. This was a shock to everyone. She was fine a few weeks ago.
The doctors have recommended in-patient hospice (since she lives alone and the level of care she needs is increasing). We are making plans to be there.
Yesterday, I spent most of the day crying. It is the first time since this started that I’ve been able to just let it all out. I needed it.
I have a couple apts of my own early next week, so I won’t get there until Wednesday. Tuesday is an emotional day for me – it will represent four years since I first heard the words “you have cancer”. I don’t celebrate those words, rather I reflect upon what they mean and what this experience has meant for my life. This month I’m acutely aware of the things I did four years ago … feeling the hard spot on my left breast, going to see my family doctor, the look in her eyes when she ordered the diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound.
And now I will add to that the words I hear from my mother. Without the Sutant, 2-3 weeks of life.