#297 In which our hero completes the saga of his mother's health. For now.
I've been very meh about blogging lately—"lately" being the past six months or so. But I feel like I need to come full circle on my posts about mom's health.
Last I wrote mom had been released from the hospital and the girls and I went down to have thanksgiving with her and my youngest sister. It was a nice visit, but I couldn't shake a subdued feeling of gloom… mom's health wasn't good and maybe this was the last Thanksgiving I would ever have with her.
On the table at the time were a suspect spot on an x-ray of mom's lung and an unexplored lump in her breast. I haven't mentioned the lump before, since mom has successfully had a lumpectomy for a small breast cancer tumor in the past and it seemed like small potatoes compared to the possible lung cancer thing.
The really scary thing about the spot in mom's lung were that if it did turn out to be lung cancer, there wasn't much that could be done about it. In fact, mom's doctor told her, point blank: "There's really no reason to biopsy it right now. If it is a tumor, your lungs are too weak to handle radiation, and chemotherapy isn't very effective against lung tumors. So we might as well wait until your healthier and re-do the x-ray."
The doctor didn't say so in so many words, but basically it sounds like if mom does get lung cancer, then that's it. No effective treatment. A death sentence.
I know that's how mom took the news. It took a while to get this particular bit of information out of her, because she didn't want to tell me.
I'm 42 years old, and mom still worries about upsetting me.
But! As it turns out, they did re-do the x-ray when mom was feeling better, and it came back clear. The original spot was apparently some pneumonia that appeared to be a mass on the film.
Then! A week or so later, they re-did the mammogram, and that came back clear, too!
All in all, an amazingly happy series of phone calls.
Now, mom's still compromised and more frail then anyone really wants to admit, I think. And now that winter is here in full swing, she's hunkered down in her house and basically won't leave for the next three months. It's not how she wants to live, but it's how she got through last winter without getting sick and ending up in the hospital again.
Bottom line: mom is pretty much status quo for the moment. Her "normal" is greatly reduced from what it was when I still lived at home. Hell, it's reduced from just a couple of years ago.
But she's not checking out yet.