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Our Story

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Our story started in February '06. My mom and I were frantically planning my April '06 wedding. Both of us were stressed with all the arangements that needed to be made. Both of us struggled through cold after cold. Like normal, our colds both went to our chests. We hoped and prayed that the cold would leave before the wedding. Thank god, it did! My wedding was beatiful and our families were having the time of our lives. Shortly after the wedding, mom's cough came back. She new right away, that this was right. She wasnt sick anymore. The end of may she went in for a check up. We all new she had Pneumonia. My mom was 56 years old and has never smoked a day in her life. What else could it be. The doctor sent her for a Chest X-ray. He called back a few days later and said it was inconclusive. This was our first scare. I remember crying to my cousin. Scared to death that it was something bad. My cousin's dad, my paternal uncle, was diagnosed with Lung Cancer a month a half after her wedding five years ago. There is no way that this could happen to me too. Mom went back in for a CT scan. We waited and waited. No phone call.. no nothing. One minute we were rejoycing, the next minute we were biting our finger nails off. Then Friday, June 9th they called and said they needed to see her right away. My heart sunk. I knew it was bad. I rushed to my parents house and I could see by the look on their faces that our lives would never be the same. My mom did have lung cancer, and it was big. The tumor, located in her right lung was 5.5cm by 5cm. We spend the entire weekend camped out at the house.. But Monday we put the kleenex away and decided we were going to do whatever we needed to do to fight this. Mom went through all the tests.. Needle biopsy, pet scan, mri of the brain. In the end, mom was diagnosed with NSCL IIIA or IIIB. We had hoped that mom would be able to have her lung removed, but it had spread to three lymph nodes. Chemo was our next step. WE felt really confident until we met her Oncologist. Mom wanted to go see him by herself. She said she was stronger going to the doctors office by herself. She was so worried about me and my dad, and what this was doing to us. She knew she could concentrate better with out us there. My dad and waited and waited for her to return. When she walked in, I could tell she was upset. The man who were were anxious to talk to looked my mom in the eye and said that the life expectancy rate was 2-5 years and that she wouldnt be here in 5 years. At that moment in time my mom gave up. My mom spent that weekend telling me about life insurance and all the business stuff I would need to know to take care of my dad. I couldnt believe that just a few months ago, I was getting married and looking forward to the rest of my life and now I was looking at my moms diagnosis with cancer. We took my mom for a second opinion at the University of Chicago. He made us feel like it was at least worth fighting. My mom was, until then, in good health, and she was still young. She started chemo in July, over a month after diagnois. She is on taxol, carboplatin and avastin. I have gone with her to every treatment. We were so excited, even Doctor Doom and Gloom (the oncologist) when we got the reports back from the CT scan after two rounds of treatment. Her mass had shrunk by 52%. Her lymph nodes had shrunk as well, but not as much. It was then that we decided we were going to make Doc. D&G eat his words. She was going to make it to see her grand kids and all the other exciting events that would happen. My mom has just completed her 6th round of chemo and she has one more left. Her last CT scan showed that the mass shrunk again by 50%. THe mass is now 77% smaller than when she was diagnosed. THe lymph nodes are still there, and so we keep praying that they will continue to respond. WE dont know what the next step is.. but we are definitly in the fight. We have to be, the other option is just not acceptable.

Sorry for the long entry, but it was actually felt good to sit down and write this. To see where we started and were we are today. Dont get me wrong, I think I still cry daily about this.. but I feel more and more every day like it could be possible.

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