Sunday, September 25, 2005

Mom and Lung Cancer

I’ve been thinking about my Mom today.  My mother had a fast and furious bought with cancer.  She passed away 3 weeks ago today.  She was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer 39 days before she passed.  

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Non-Small Cell lung cancer, my heart goes out to you.  The only sign that she had cancer was her voice had changed an octave or two higher than normal.  Her first doctor had told her she had pinched a nerve in her back.  She went in a few days later, and the emergency doctor referred her to an oncologist after he had taken some X-rays.  

My mother chose not to fight the cancer using standard chemo and radiation treatments.  I know that there were family members that thought this was the wrong decision.  My mother sought homeopathic treatments instead.  My mom was always eccentric, and had to do things her way.

My mom made the right decision in this, because it was her decision to make. It is what she wanted.  It made her feel more in control. In the end, all you have is your dignity.

It was important to me to support her in this decision.  I encouraged my brothers and sisters to support her as well.  In her presence everyone was always positive.  

How can you be positive when facing immanent death?  You do this one day at a time.  Today we can help you with your pain.  Today we can get you more comfortable.  Today we can make you laugh.  Today…  That is all you can count on.

Stage 4 lung cancer will kill you. I repeat this to express my point.  Stage 4 lung cancer will kill you.  The average life span of untreated stage 4 lung cancer is about 4 months.  If you treat it, the average life span is 7 months.

If you know someone who is going through this, make sure their today is as good as you can make it.  



Sara said...

I jsut wanted to say my heart goes out to oyu, I lost my mother some years ago, and it was very hard on me. I was just bored one night and searching through blogs and found yours.... yea.. late night, crying baby, I'm lame. Well I hope you can manange to smile at the good times.

Sincerely Sara

TJ Pierce said...

Thanks for the comment. It's amazing to me how many people have shared this type of experience. I think it creates a brother and sistehood of sorts. At work there were several people that had lost a parent or loved one to lung cancer and they were extremely supportive. They were always willing to answer my questions and to give me the support when I needed it. Thanks Sara.

Anonymous said...

Just last week my mom was diagnosed with NSCLC; still waiting to find out more particulars but seems to be mets to liver. I have encouraged all of my family member to accept whatever decision she makes regarding treatment because it is hers alone to make. I appreciated reading your post