My mum was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and a secondary brain mestases in February. She had been having tests for 4 months before I requested she have a brain scan. She had been suffering from weakness in her left leg and arm (similar to the effects of a stroke) to the point where she was crawling up the stairs.
On that test it revealed a tumour in the brain and 2 in the lung. Within a few days of those results, she was in having the brain tumour removed however they couldn't remove the tumours in the lung. After the op and a biopsy on the tumour it was revealed that she had lung cancer and that it couldn't be cured. The only hope was that chemo would reduce down the tumours in the lung to prolong life.
She had been in hospital for 6 weeks as the weakness in her left leg did not disappear so she is wheelchair bound when outside however can just about manouever herself around the house to go to the toilet, get to bed etc. Once they thought she was well enough she was discharged and then has since had 3 sessions of chemo. Before the first session of treatment it was discovered that the cancer had once again spread into the brain, however it was small so they hoped that the chemo would help. My mum has been relatively side effect free from the chemo aside from a little nausea here and there but other than that it's going well. The latest scan revealed that the chemo is working and is shrinking the tumours slightly and keeping them at bay, for now.
Now for someone who has rarely been ill in her life, the last 5 months it has been a whirlwind for my mum, dad and me and my husband. To look at her, you wouldn't even think there was anything wrong. Apart from her sat in a wheelchair, she doesn't look ill. She's having no side effects from the chemo or any symptoms from the lung cancer at all. And that's the hard part. How can someone look so well, and on the inside be so ill? How long can the chemo hold off the cancer until it wins?
I am so grateful that the chemo is doing it's job for now....but it hits me all the time as to the enormity of it all. My mum is my best friend and my rock and now times have changed and I've had to be hers.
My husband has been amazing and is my pillar of support to help me help my mum and dad. He is my positive side through all my negativity. You never want to hear that someone so close to you has the "C" word and I'm not sure it's really sunk in for any of us. I'm positive for my mum but when I'm alone I just can't help feeling low.
I'm not really sure what I hope to gain from posting this, but I know so many others will be in this position. I don't want people to think I'm looking for sympathy, but empathy I suppose. And someone to talk to that isn't connected....thanks for reading xxx