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My Mom's Journey with NSCLC


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My mom's journey started back in April 2008. She had a cough that she couldn't get rid of. She scheduled appts. for she and Dad on April 10th. The internist thought that she had a bronchial infection so he prescribed some medication. I think that it was Z-Pak.

She and Dad were told to come back for follow up eight days later. She had a chest x-ray done then. The doctor didn't nnotice anything. However, the radiologist did.

On Monday, April 21st, the internist called and said that she and Dad both needed CT scans. She and Dad went for their CT scans on Wed., April 23rd.

On April 28th, the internist called with the results of both Mom and Dad's CT scans. He told her that there was a nodule on the left lung. My life was forever changed that day.

On May 8th, my sister-in-law and I took Mom to her internist. I will never be impressed with the internist ever. He was like "Well you have decreased breathe sounds due to your years of smoking." I am sitting there thinking.. Uhh, you have been her doc for nearly 18 years and you are just now noticing this??? It was sending red flags to me.

On Fri., May 9th, my sister-in-law and I took my mom to meet with the pulmonary specialist. The pulmonary specialist did some breathing tests. A chest x-ray was done. My mom did not want to see the actual CT scan. I did. The pulmonary specialist showed me the CT scan. I knew in my heart of hearts that it was cancer, especially when she showed me the enlarged lymph node. The brochoscopy and PET scan were scheduled that day for May 13th and May 14th.

On Tues., May 13th, my sister-in-law and I took Mom for her brochoscopy. I will never forget when the pulmonary specialist came out and told us that Mom more than likely cancer. She said it was a different kind of lung cancer than my dad has. I seriously hate the fourth floor waiting room of the Peet Center because I have got nothing but bad news there. Anyway, my sister-in-law and I got on the elevator and hugged each other as we were riding down the elevator. I cried but managed to pull myself together before we got off. My dad was sitting out in the van waiting for us. We walked down the walkway and both said that our lives that we once knew were over. We went out and told my dad. Then we went back up to wait for Mom. She was pretty groggy and nauseated after the procedure.

The next day she had her PET scan. That went OK.

Late on Thurs., May 15th, the pulmonary specialist called with the results of both the biopsy and PET scan. It was definitely cancer... a non-small cell cancer. The PET scan also showed a light on the colon.

On May 19th, my mom had to meet with the gastro NP to go discuss the colonoscopy. The colonoscopy was scheduled for Wed., May 28th.

On Wed., May 21st, my mom met with the oncologist for the first time. He knew all of us already. He told us that mom definitely had cancer.. He felt it was lung cancer. But h wanted to make the final determination after her colonoscopy. We scheduled a follow up appt. for May 30th. I can't remember if it was at this appt. or the follow up appt. that I asked him two things: Had he ever had any couples in his practice with cancer at the same time and why he went into oncology. He said that he had six couples in his practice diagnosed with cancer at the same time and he liked oncology... getting to know his patients.

On Wed., May 28th, my mom had her colonoscopy. The prep made her very sick. I thought that she was going to pass out on me the morning of her colonoscopy. Mom made it thru the colonoscopy OK. She did not have anything wrong.. no cancer, no polyps. She just had a hemmorhoid.. very minor.

On Fri., May 30th, My sister-in-law and I took mom to the oncologist. He officially diagnosed her with lung cancer. The onc is going to scan Mom after the second round to determine if she needs four or six rounds of chemo. Chemo mixture of carboplatin, taxol, and avastin was scheduled to begin on Mon., June 16th. Mom wanted to wait until after my oldest niece's wedding. An appt. was scheduled for Fri., June 6th for Mom to meet with the nurse practitioner to go over the chemo regiment.

On Wed., June 4th, Mom had her port placement. She had it done in Intervention Radiology. Mom had to be at the hospital at 7:30 AM and her procedure did not happen until after 9:30 AM. She was out by 11. The procedure was originally scheduled for the day my dad had his port placed. Her port placement was going to be done at another hospital. I was like no can do. Besides I wanted it done at the main hospital. I got my wish. :) It was done at the main hospital on another day.

On Fri., my aunt (a breast cancer survivor) and I took Mom to meet with the nurse practitioner. The NP went over the chemo regiment. One day of treatment once every three weeks. My mom was prescribed steroids to take 12 and 6 hours before chemo.

On Mon., June 16th, my mom went for her first chemo treatment with my aunt and her cousin (colon cancer survivor). So far so good. But I do notice that the chemo is starting to affect her like she gets cold easily.

Mom has had minimal side effects this first round. She had joint pain that lasted a couple of days. She is starting to lose some of her hair. :( It shows that the chemo is working.)

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