johnny_cubert Posted April 27, 2008 Share Posted April 27, 2008 Hello, my mother told me thursday night that she has stage four large cell lung cancer. when i spoke to my step-father he said the doctor(s) in Dubuque, Iowa also mentioned stage three lymp nodes, cancer in bones and in the blood. I write this as he said it - as a list. Since speaking with him, I've learned that it is not "large" but "non-small" and that it is only stage four not stage three lymph and stage four blood... now I understand fully why he and my mother want me to accompany them on the visits to take notes for them. My mother was a smoker from the ages of 15 to 50. She is now 58. Winston 100's were her choice. She also took the birth control pill for at least two decades. (She was a highschool dropout runaway, I was the result of her teen aged pregnancy... She and my father married on her 16th birthday, I was born shortly afterwards, she married met my step-father in 1990). I immediately demanded that they leave Dubuque and come to Chicago -- I assume the "big city" has better options, better doctors, perhaps even a little more progressive/experimental treatments. In Dubuque, they told her it was terminal and that they could do nothing for her -- and from my calls around Chicago and to friends, it seems they are right. It is not about saving her life, just prolonging it and making it more comfortable. My aunt Joanne was the first person I called as I stood at the cocktail party with my cell phone and martini. I stood against the wall, my back to the 300 people in the room, my sobs quieted by the soft wallpaper. My mother and I just had our fist conversation... My aunt told me to call Stephanie Williams (northwestern?) to make an appointment. I called and left a message. I then called some friends on the north shore of Chicago, I trusted them to know "the best" and asked for a referral. They made some calls to friends and got back to me with Tom Hensing. "THE doctor to see" they said. "Hospitals around the country have tried to get him -- that's how good he is." And I trust these people. So I called. I was really happy with the outcome. I spoke to Gail (847-570-2000, Evanston Hospital). Gail spent (what seemed like) 20 minutes on the phone with me asking me questions, telling me from her experience what I should expect, regardless of whether or not my mother sought treatment from their hospital. Luckily, there was an appointment available Tuesday. Dr. Williams' office got back to me and we got a wednesday with her. My parents have insurance, and very little debt, so why not see two oncologist? My parents were reluctant -- my mother wants to be close to her husband, he needs to plant the crops over the next month... but they both want what's best for her. I told them to hire someone to plant the crops and I would find them a house to rent if it came to that, near the facility of her treatment. Gail told me that sometimes it's not having the best doctor in a big city that matters, that sometimes the comfort of being home means more -- and that depending on what exactly needs to be done, Dubuque could suffice. Everyone considers this a pronouncement of death... but we all die -- at least we now have the chance to enjoy my mother's company. I've called her everyday, three times a day... my sister and she have made up -- as have others who weeks ago may not have been getting along. I've decided not to "come out" to my mother, it no longer matters to me that she knows that I am gay. i began to google and found this sight, but on my way here I have seen (read) so many contradictions... I look forward to the meetings on tuesday and wednesday and look forward to being there for my mother as she goes through this horrible experience. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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