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Update on my mom....


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Hi all. Geez, I haven't posted in so long that I don't even know where to start! I have been reading posts and thinking of everyone over these holidays. It's been a bumpy ride already. We are two months' post-diagnosis and one month into treatment. The first combo of chemo drugs did not work out. Serious reaction to Taxol - stopped breathing within 2 minutes of the first dose. Fortunately, the nurses were fantastic, they reacted quickly and it turned out alright. So we were forced to move to Plan B - Navelbine.

Also, concurrent radiation 5 days per week. Unfortunately, she developed esophagitis within 3 weeks and hasn't been able to swallow even liquid protein mixes or pureed foods. This snowballed over one weekend into dehydration, low white blood cell counts and hospitalization since this past Monday.

Christmas Eve dinner has always been very special tradition for us. Every year, my mother outdoes herself to make her home beautiful and absolutely glowing with a candlelit ham dinner. We all dress to the nines and sit in her living room and exchange a gift or two. Christmas is her favorite time of the year and she makes it special for all of us and she always has. We have held this night sacred above all else....until this year when cancer reared its ugly head.

This year, though, I knew it was time to tell her that I would handle Christmas Eve dinner - that she would relax and be waited on for a change. I went all out to make it beautiful for her. Unfortunately, that never happened and my poor mother spent Christmas Eve in her hospital bed in pain with me by her side and a stupid plastic tree on her night table. I decorated her tree with ornaments we made together when I was a child and she had given to me when I moved out. I decorated her walls with ornaments she made herself and also gave to me years ago when I had little money for new things. We laughed about these things coming back to haunt her after all these years! Then she sent me home to be with my family. I cooked the ham dinner and my girls dressed up and said Grace around my candlelit table (not quite the same) and we opened a gift each and decorated the tree.....all by ourselves. And it was sad but I did what she taught me to do since I was a child...carry on the tradition with my children.

Christmas Day was terrible. She developed serious lower back pain that morning and the lousy hospital could not control her pain. She was wearing a Fentanyl patch, taking Atavan, Dilautin and Valium all simultaneously. Still in pain. Doctors feared mets to spine. Orders x-rays and total body bone scan. Of course, it was Christmas Day and nobody wanted to do anything at the hospital. I hate that hospital, but she wants to stay close to home. So we waited for them to run all their tests in their own sweet time ....

Today, results of bone scan showed no hot spots. No mets to spine...or anywhere else that they can see. I'm taking this as great news.... she has to get better so she can continue to fight this beast. She will follow-up with nerve studies and MRI's for sciatic pain. Has anyone had experience with this?

I'm sorry this is so long. I think it all caught up with me today...I'm exhausted and relieved and worried everyday and I needed to share my story with those who are in my boat, too. I put on a brave face every day for everyone in my family. But part of my Christmas is still on hold waiting for us to sit in her living room and enjoy the moment of Christmas and family together again. All presents remain wrapped.

Anyway, I hope everyone has found some Christmas spirit and happiness despite the stress.

Thanks for just listening...


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I , too, remember the first holiday-Thanksgiving of 1992 when my mom was in chemo and unable to do the holiday dinner. It was my turn to start. Very uneasy feeling. Mom was able to be there but she fell asleep on the couch and the kids were running around-noisy but she did not wake up. That was the beginning. Easter, Mothers Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas all done at my house. This year was the hardest one for me. I am doing well-cancer wise-but I sure do not have the strength I used to. My sisters and sister in law are not much in the cooking field :lol: We had a good holiday tho.

Hope you will remember the special Christmas memories you made with your mom at your own private Christmas at the hospital, Love Cindy

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Thanks Cindy! Despite my own limited cooking abilities (haha) it all turned out alright...just a few mistakes (no gravy for potatoes, no napkins..oops..lol). Lots of help from husband and girls. My sis is a neo-natal nurse and worked Christmas Eve until 8:00..next year she's helping!Glad to hear you had a nice holiday with your family. It is really all that matters.

Take care,


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