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  1. I haven't been around much since the doc said my mother's cancer was 'in remission' but I still pop in from time to time to see how everyone is doing. Unfortunately, we lost my mother on Oct. 25. She had just started using the oxygen tank about a month earlier and was pretty much fighting us about using it. She was told over and over that she needed to use it 24/7 and she pretty much said she did not want to, even though she knew the repercussions. She kept saying she was going for quality of life, not quantity. On Thurs, Oct 25 she was out playing Bingo with some friends and was using her portable oxygen tank (although we think it was not working properly), and around 3:30 pm she quit breathing and went down. Although someone started CPR right away and she got to the hospital quickly, the doctors did not expect her to ever open her eyes again. They said her pupils were fixed and dialated and that she was not responding to painful stimuli, and they did not know how long she might have been without oxygen after she coded. She did open her eyes later that evening and it was clear that she was still our mom and understood what we were saying to her so they pulled the intubation tube around 11:30. We did not know if she would be able to breath on her own and she said she did not want the tube placed back in if she could not breath, so it was a tense moment. The next day she seemed to be making a miraculous recovery. She was still in ICU and having issues with her breathing and in pain, but everyone was amazed at how well she was doing. She had family members in to see here all day (many came in from out of town) and had a nice visit with her 90 year old sister. Then Saturday they had to dial the pain meds back as her breathing was getting worse and the pain meds were suppressing her breathing. And then we found out she had several broken ribs in the front and back from the aggressive CPR. It was hard to watch her hurt! Sticky situation ~ do you pull back pain meds to help her breath or do what you can to make her comfortable? My sister and one of my nieces stayed the night as the rest of us tried to go home and get some sleep and we were called back at 4:00 am Sunday morning. Her heartrate was fluctuating from 30 to 220 and back, and I don't think enyone expected her to hold on until we all got back. But she did. She even opened her eyes and spoke to us just a bit that day but we knew she was done. We all got to say our good-byes and tell her we loved her and that she was a great mom! And we all took turns holding her hands and kissing her head until she took her last breath around 4:30 pm. She was surrounded by all 7 of her children and our spouses and most of her grandkids. And I STILL can't believe she is gone! http://obit.baue.com/obitdisplay.html?i ... ng=Current The worst part was that my dad had been admitted to a different hospital for an infection in his foot 3 days before my mom coded. And some days the meds and infection made him VERY loopy and just NOT himself. So we spent a few days bouncing from hospital to hospital and then when mom died we had to break the news to him. Then we had to get him discharged from the hospital and into a rehab facility so that we could bring him to the funeral home and to the funeral. He's still in rehab and wants to go home but I'm not sure he will ever make it. He is legally blind and has many health issues. Sorry this got a bit long, but thanks for letting me get out my mom's story. Karen
  2. Hello everyone. Many of you probably don't remember me as I have not posted in quite a while, but I received alot of love and support here 3 years ago when I really needed it! I'm happy to report that mom's cancer is still in remission and we've not had any recurrences since we stomped it out the first time. Mom is still struggling healthwise as her damaged lungs and emphysema make it very difficult for her to breath but she is still lives a very active life. Just recently mom suffered a difficult bout of bronchitis and though her oxygen levels dipped to 85% and then to 76% she was never even hospitalized (though she probably should have been). Oxygen tank has been delivered and though mom is still fighting using it all the time, we know in the long run it is what she really needs. I hope any newbies reading this post will understand that we won our fight with lung cancer. It is the smoking for 50+ years that has damaged my moms lungs and causing her grief today. She will be 82 in December and still lives at home with my 84 year old father. Unfortunately cancer has stricken someone else close to me. My very dear friend Brent has recently been diagnosed with colon cancer that has spread to his liver. He is in his early forties and still has much life to live and dreams to fulfill. If you could keep him in your prayers I would appreciate it! The journey he is beginning to take reminded me of all my old friends here so that is why I needed to come back and say hi. I see we've lost some special people since my last visit. Kasey - I was so sorry to hear about Tracy, I truly prayed she would be one to pull through! And Carleen I was delighted to see you posting again but I am so sorry you are still having dark days. I hope for the best for you and your new hubby and your extra special blessings. Randy - are you still throwing eggs and offering warm fluffy blankets to those having a rough day? Just want you all to know that even though I am not here on a regular basis, I still think of you often. Love, Karen
  3. Hello to everyone! Most of you probably don't remember me as I have not been on in quite awhile but I just wanted to pop in and say 'hi'. My mom has been in remission for over 2 years now and I just took her for her follow up appt with her oncologist and seeing all the sick people there reminded me that many people are still fighting this battle. I wanted to come back here to tell you all that there is hope! We weren't sure mom would last longer than a couple months and here a couple years later she is still trucking along! She has still had some issues, sometimes has troubles breathing due to her emphysema and the damage done to her lungs, but she does not let it slow her down much. We just got back from a trip to Wyoming! My nephew (mom's first grandchild) got married there and mom and dad were determined to get there come hell or high water. (Funny phrase as we've had family here at home battling flood waters lately, and my nephew was planning to wed on a rock bed in a river but location had to be changed a bit as high water kept them off the rock bed!) Anyway, we were not sure mom could make the trip due to the high altitude and altitude issues with getting on an airplane but her doctor gave her some sort of altitude simulation test and she passed with flying colors. Mom did have some difficulty breathing when we stopped for a layover in Denver and once or twice once we got to Wyoming but I know she is so happy she was able to make the trip! Hugs to all of you! Karen
  4. My family and I were also very moved by this man, and I was so sad to hear of his death. Though I am sorry for his suffering and for the loss his family has gone through I am so happy that so many people have been moved by the words of this man. Cancer is a horrible thing but so many people have gotten inspiration from this man while battling the beast! I use the Tigger/Eeyore phrase here at my house often!
  5. I remember you and I am also sorry you are back here for a reason (instead of just visiting!). Hang in there, your all in our prayers. Karen
  6. Littlegirl

    My uncle..

    I'm so sorry to hear about this. Anger and grief all at the same time! Karen
  7. Katie - let me just say in the midst of you struggling to find your new self...look at how many lost souls you have helped to find peace and comfort in their own lives. It's terrible that your dad had to get lung cancer...but look at how many people have benefitted from the results of this tragedy! I guess what I am trying to say is even if you still feel like you are trying to find yourself, look at how many people here have found you (and this forum) and are better because of that. And I hope that lessens the pain a bit. Kind of like being a mother, we sacrifice our own comfort to ensure the comfort of our children. I'm lucky in the fact that I have not lost my parents yet (nor my spouse), but I've faced some difficulties in my life that have changed me as a person. And there are things I don't like about this new person, but I have to admit the adversity has brought out some good qualities too. Nick is right, this is mostly about us not wanting to have to BE this new person.
  8. Just a thought that this might be related to the mass on her adrenal gland. I've never had cancer but was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and I know with that you can have issues with either high or low blood pressure.
  9. Littlegirl

    Spring 2008

    Even in the midst of your grieve, you are inspiring! Happy Spring to you to too! Karen
  10. So sorry Missy! It IS wrong that she is gone. It is nice to hear from you though. How is little Xavier doing? Karen
  11. Littlegirl


    Julia, I am SO sorry for your loss. He was a gerat guy and taken from this earth way too soon. Hugs to you and the rest of Aaron's family. Karen
  12. Welcome Vernon. I hope the others have given you a bit of confidence. I don't think mom was ever given a 'timeline' but when she was diagnosed I was not optimistic about her being here for Christmas the following year. We've celebrated Christmas twice since then and mom's cancer is in remission. There is hope for your future! Karen
  13. I like this explanation about our time here on earth: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." Ram Dass
  14. Sharon, My mom has emphesema/COPD as well and she was told she could not have surgery to remove her cancer due to her breathing issues. The doc said if she were to ever need any type of surgery there was a good chance she would never come off the vent. (I think that news scared me as much as hearing she had cancer!) She had chemo and radiation, and the docs now consider her in remission. Just wanted to let you know it can be done. Also, have you looked into the possibility of cyberknife? My mom's tumor was too big for cyberknife but it sounds like a very good form of treatment. And you know what...no matter shat decision is made, you are not to blame and he is not to blame. It is what it is. It is his decision to make and as caregivers we can give advice but utlimately we just need to be there to support them in any decision made. Hang in there!
  15. Let me start off by saying I think any cancer survivor would be prone to anxiety or anxiety attacks. Some perfectly normal people with perfectly normal lives have them for no reason. Anyone going through any kind of trauma such as cancer would be lucky NOT to have them. Also, there could be physical reasons, unrelated to cancer, that could cause anxiety as well. I was diagnosed hypothyroid just over a year ago and with that came tremendous anxiety. Not anxious about the diagnosis, just had to pace the floors constantly and had days that anxiety was high for NO reason and when the slightest thing went wrong I would fly off the handle. Some days I could not drive and it was even hard to ride in a car with someone else. It did get better when my meds were optimized. People who have radiation and chemo are at a greater risk of having issues with your thyroid. And if your labs are not optimal you will have symptoms, such as anxiety. And being 'in range' is not always optimal for everyone. Its a complicated process.
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