I've been putting off writing this post for the past few days... writing it down is somehow different than just talking about it... writing about it makes it more real.
Bad News...The results from the biopsy a week ago Wednesday (12/22) shows that Mom has rectal cancer. According to the doctor, the tumor is a “large” one so she's had it for a while. The symptoms she had were diagnosed as something somewhat minor (hemorrhoids) so it was a bit of a shock when the doctor told us last week that he was sure it was a cancerous tumor. The biopsy has confirmed that diagnosis.
Good News... Mom had a CT Scan this past Monday (12/27) and the results came in on Tuesday along with the news of the biopsy. The cancer appears to be “localized” to the tumor. It has not spread to her liver. In fact, the doctor was “surprised” to see that her liver was in such good condition. She's had other tests in the past year that, considering the fact that she is 82 years old, show her heart and kidneys are also in good shape.
The cancer is by no means an immediate death sentence. Mom is borderline diabetic, has memory issues (diagnosed as dementia), and is very weak (uses a walker). She has had frequent episodes of falling in the past year but, thankfully, has not had any serious injuries from the falls and it has been over a month since the last fall. Various tests have found no cause but I suspect a sudden drop in blood pressure to be the culprit.
The Treatment... She goes in on Monday (01/03) for a consultation with a radiologist in Fort Wayne. The doctor said she would have radiation treatment five days a week for six weeks. Radiation is not a cure. His goal is to shrink the tumor to relieve the pain and bleeding and make her more comfortable. At this point we don't know what “stage” the cancer is in. We might know more about that after Monday. There is a possibility of surgery after the radiation but the doctor doesn't want to do it unless it is absolutely necessary. It would mean removal of part of the colon and the rectum and she would then have to have a colostomy bag.
My plans? To stick around as long as I'm needed or wanted. Family dynamics being a slippery slope, I don't want to step on any toes or make things any more difficult than they already are. As for my plans, the bad news is that I'll miss attending the RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City in February but the good news is I now have some time to review my genealogy database and perhaps even do some local research!
In the past few days my blogs have gotten a little bit of a facelift. Long overdue but rather minor changes. I've pretty much ignored Whitley County Kinexxions over the past two years and that isn't going to change any time soon, but it is still out there and occasionally gets some visitors. The data files on my soon-to-be-defunct website have been transferred to the Genealogical Society of Whitley County website. After nearly eight years, my website has outlived it's usefulness and will drop out of cyberspace the first week of March 2011.
My thanks and appreciation go out to each and every one of you who have commented and provided moral support with your thoughts and prayers these last two weeks. Thank You.
I'm going to steal a wonderful quote for the New Year from Bill West who got it from Cheryle Hoover Davis:
"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself." - Neil Gaiman
May you – my readers – have a safe, healthy and happy New Year and may 2011 be a Great Year!