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Not sure what to think... or what to do.


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First of all, I should probably update... after the PET scan, we found out that Mom has Stage 4 Non-small cell. There were no mets in her liver or brain, but the cancer has spread extensively to her bones--which explains the tremendous pain she's been in. She has started chemo (don't have the name of her first round right here with me at present) and today started radiation.

I have been thinking and thinking about what my role needs to be and where I should be in the next months. I thought I had come up with a decent solution last week and felt pretty peaceful about it, but now I'm not sure.

My husband will be gone a lot this year. He is in the Navy. His squadron is gearing up for a deployment and they take several smaller trips out to the ship before they actually go do their official deployment. His first short trip (they call them dets.) is in January. I am planning on going to visit mom and dad during that time (about 2 weeks). He'll have several other of these small trips and then sometime in the second half of the year he will leave for his deployment.

My plan was to go spend time with mom and dad during the longer dets (smaller trips) and to go live back in my hometown during the deployment (6 mos, could be longer, won't be shorter). I hope to get an apartment there in my hometown so as to allow mom and dad their alone time and to protect them from screaming baby at all hours of the night after my little one gets here.

But then I talked to mom last night and started thinking about the other phone calls I've had. She just doesn't sound good at all. She sounds weak and wan and very sick. For Christmas dad bought her a lift chair because she has so much trouble getting out of regular ones and bars for the bathroom to help her lift herself up... She just sounds so bad that I'm afraid the time we have may be very limited and that scares me so very much.

So now I don't know what to do. I don't know if I should go back the first of the year and plan on living there as soon as I can get it arranged to maximize time with mom... That will limit my already very limited time with my husband this year. I don't know if I should wait and see what happens and if dad calls and tells me coming soon would be wise, to do that. Or do I ahead with original plan of going back for longer dets/my husbands deployment?

And then I wanted to ask some questions. I know the bone mets can be very painful... is that what I'm hearing in my mom's voice? Will the treatments help ease some of that pain so that my mom will sound like my mom again? Or... is this indicative that time is short and perhaps I need to get moving now?

I also worry about the baby. She is due in March. My doctor and doula, not to mention my husband are all here. I don't know what being away from my husband VOLUNTARILY and seeing my momma so sick will do for me during these last months before the baby is born. I need to be in an ok head space for the baby. The idea to go back when my husband was already gone seemed so ideal because then I'm just sort of dealing with 'situation normal' and have the hometown support system going for me for both situations to boot. The baby also puts some restrictions on timing for travel. I am assuming right before and after the baby is born, I'm not going to want to travel 2000 miles and set up house somewhere new. So wherever I'm going to be when she arrives... I need to just plain be there and be prepared to be there for a bit.

I guess the plus side is.... I know I am planning on going back to my hometown--that is decided in my brain. My mind is made up on that. I just dont' know when to go.

I feel like I am dividing limited time that I need to spend with key people in my life... and I don't know how to do it. I just feel so conflicted about what to do and where to be right now... do any of you have any insight or advice? I know each case is different... and I know there are no guarantees one way or another with this blasted disease... but... any help?

Sorry this is so very long... Bless your heart if you made it through it!

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Have you spoken to your husband about this yet?

Your situation was different from mine in that your husband will be gone for at least 6 months!! That is a very long time to be apart...I can't begin to imagine how that will be like... AND you are just now expecting a baby!!! all I can do is tell you what my husband said in my own situation.

"I will be here when everything is settled. Go do what you have to do."

And I did. I took care of my father for 11 months and 21 days. I am married and at the time had a 5 year old son. I didn't spend any quality time with them that didn't include my father and I was at his house more than I was at mine. I missed alot with my own family.

I think Rick knew that my dad's time was short. And I needed to be with him all that I could. There would be time for the two of us later. "Time" was something my dad didn't have-

I don't remember anything about that year that didn't involve my dad's care or his cancer or the memories we made with each other. I missed a year of being close to my husband and my son---but we survived and grew closer after my dad died.

and I have no regrets today.

I don't know what I would do if I were you. Is it possible for your husband to relocate to your hometown until his deployment so that you could get settled into your hometown and get ready for the birth of your baby?

Maybe it will be best to get your moms complete dx. and location of bone mets, her treament plan information and then wait until her next CTs/PETs to see if the treatments are working--before you make any quick decisions?

What does your husband say? Does he support your moving back home now?

Wishing you nothing but support and success for your mom-

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KatieB--I am SO blessed that my husband has indicated that he will support me regardless of what I decide. There is no way he could go to my hometown before deployment. Just not something the Navy does...

Thank you for telling me some of your story... I really resonate with the idea of wanting to be there for whatever time we have with mom... I just feel crazy at the same time because as a military couple our mindset is constantly, "how can we make the most of time between deployments?" Of course... we will hopefully have time together later... I just feel overwhelmed by all sides of things.

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Tree,

Talk to your husband, speak to your father, then talk to your mother. You do not say where your husband is to be deployed, yet he is in the Navy and we have a war going on. Time with your husband could be limited, too. I do know (from experience) that conversation with your husband will be limited once he is deployed while you can talk to your mother on the phone right now.

Whenever you decide to move, your parents can help you settle in to your new place. Newborns sleep a lot, your mother can be the doting gramma with the baby sleeping in a bassinette next to her while you and your father do the moving in (and find some of those ex-high school jocks from the hometown to help moving anything big). OR, if you go back before the baby, you can resort to calling in favors from old friends/fellow church members to help you move to be closer to Mom and Dad for a while. What ever time you choose to move, you CAN make it work.

My thought would be to spend the time with your husband while you can and talk to your mother every day. Maybe not hours and hours on the phone, but talk to her.

As for your head, you need to spend the time with your husband, that limited time you have. Set that to rest in your mind and then focus on worrying about your mother so you aren't worrying about your husband so much. Right now, your mother has your father to lean on, give your husband someone to lean on with all that he is going through, as well.

So, I guess my final thought is to discuss it with your husband, and hear more than his words, listen to his body language. Make a decision, speak with your father and make plans...and be sure to talk to your mother as much as you can.

Take care, the baby will be fine. Just find a "place" to go (as they'll teach you in child birth class) that is quiet and peaceful so you can relax and work through all the tough spots you have right now.

All my best,

Becky

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Hi! I know this is hard, but -- try not to panic! Take a deep breath and try to relax. I think your outlined plan is the one you should stick with unless something comes up to tell you different. You need the time with your husband since you will not be together much.

Your mom is taking chemo now and starting radiation. That is enough to make her very tired and very sick. I would guess that is the reason she sounds like she does. Is she on pain medication? She should be because bone mets can be very painful. 'As the chemo and radiation work, the pain should lessen.

My wife is Stage IV NSCLC, and has had numerous bone mets. She is 27 months out from diagnosis, so hang in there, and hang onto the hope. Good luck, and keep us posted. Don

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yes, I agree with everyone else. Right now, your mom is in the midst of treatments....chemo and radiation made my dad extremely fatigued and physically ill- he was not up to visitors for long periods of time.

I still say find out her dx.-location of mets, her exact treatments and medications and talk to your dad alot. Researching and finding out exactly where your mom is at in this cancer fight will help you make a better decision and hopefully (I'm praying for the best for you both) you'll be able to stick to your original plan!

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Dear Tree,

I'll let you listen to the others' advice about what to do with your move, etc. Those are some very smart folks above me.

Also, I have to ditto what some of the others said about the husband understanding that you have to do what you have to do. My husband gave me his blessings to spend as much time as I needed with my dad when he was in bad shape. He was a good man to do that because I wouldn't have had any peace had I taken care of my dad and known hubby was bitter at home because I was gone. Your situation is a little different since your hubby will be leaving, so it's a tough call.

I'm assuming you meant your mom is getting radiation to her bones. Is that correct? Aren't you the one who they haven't found the primary in the lung? If not, I apologize for getting you mixed up with someone else.

I wanted you to know that you should expect your mom to get some relief from the bone pain 5-8 days after radiation to the bones. My husband had excruciating shoulder pain from a met that was close to causing his bone to break. He was on percocet and ibuprofen before the radiation kicked in and did it's job. Once the radiation started knocking the cancer to death, the bone healed, and the pain just began to disappear and it has never come back.

One other thing you might ask her doctor about is Zometa. Zometa doesn't fight the cancer, but it strengthens the bones. It's really working well for my husband. He has many bone mets in his spine, pelvis and ribs but none of them are giving him any problem right now. It's given via i.v., takes less than 30 min. and there are virtually no side effects. However, I think some have posted here that they had some bone pain a few days after they would receive the Zometa.

Hope this helps.

Love,

Peggy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Val - My mom to has just recently started treatment and is very weak and tired and just doesn't look nor sound to be herself. I think the treatments are very rough and that time will tell you what needs to be done. God will let you know where you need to be and when! Just ask :?

Calintay

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