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AnnieRSA - Hello from South Africa

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Craig is much more knowledgeable than I when it comes to technical questions such as why some cancers are so aggressive and some are not - but I've often wondered that myself. I pray that your mother has a slow cancer that responds well to treatment and allows her to enjoy many more year of life.

As for your feeling that you must leave your job - that is a very personal decision. Basically I do agree with Craig. And a temporary leave of absence would be perfect if that is a possibility. As a mother, I would not want one of my children to drastically change their lives to be with me. However, as a daughter who has lost her parents, and who gave up her job to relocate to be near them near the end - it is a decision that I would make again without hesitation. The time I got to spend with them was priceless. However, it did not irreparably damage my career. There are lots of issues to consider - not only what is good for your mother, but also what makes you feel more at peace as well.

Sorry - I know saying that it's an individual decision is not much help - but I am sure you will make the best decision for you and your family.

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Thanks Craig and Diane :)

I just got back to SA.

Mum is doing great and we Skype'd last night. Her coughing has been increasing again but everything else is looking good. The doc said the coughing is because of the chemo. That's weird. Isn't it supposed to subside like it did last week?

We are anxiously waiting to hear about the EGFR test results. She has been tolerating the second round of chemo (carboplatin) quite well. Although her weakness persists.

When I tell her of all the inspirational stories everyone posts on here, she says she wishes she could regain her energy to get up and do much more. Nonetheless she is trying.

Regarding my job, you both pointed out some really valuable things. Thank you!

I realized I am maybe getting too emotionally charged and need to take it down a notch or two. It's just that the pathetic nursing care at the hospital frightens me. Then I wonder how they will cope without us kids being around.

I will however need to look at other alternatives too. Including starting up my own business or something. I know I've always had it in me but never really took the first step :)

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Glad you made it back safely and it sounds as though things are going well for your mom. I would not worry too much about the cough as it seems to be a fairly common side effect. I coughed for months - and still do at the slightest thing. Tried everything, and the only thing that helped (a little) was a vaporizer at night. Many other people get some relief from tessalon pearls (a prescription). Like many side effects, some people have more trouble with it than others. I am glad to hear she is tolerating the carbo well. That is good news.

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  • 4 months later...

Hello all. It is with the heaviest heart that I announce the passing of my mummy to be with The Lord last night around 6pm IST.

She had very bravely been undergoing chemo for NSC lung cancer and had shown very significant improvement (almost 95 to 100%) in her lungs.

But that 18mm 'spot' in her pancreas which was overlooked ended up getting more and more aggressive with chemo.

She had ascites and according to medical opinion did not respond well to gemcitabine combination. The ascites affected her breathing and comfort and I even suspect it spread to the liver etc but the gutless doctors couldn't bother to explain anything to us.

I had resigned my job and was fortunate to spend every possible moment with mummy. Even when they wheeled her into ICU she waved goodbye with the best smile she could force amid her struggling to breathe. At that moment she looked as pretty as the happiest days I remembered her. She showed no sign of the pain or suffering she was going through for the past 6 months.

Much love and prayer to everyone that helped us through this tragic time in our lives.


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Thank you all. I had the most rewarding time with her. My sister also spent 3 months continuously with her.

Echoing what Craig said, I'm glad it didn't get too far before our good Lord decided to step in and take matters in His hands.

It's hard to think she's gone. But I made a resolution to only think positive thoughts of her presence with us instead of the sad latter times. As easy as it is to make resolutions though, it's so damn hard to stick to them.

I hope you guys are doing well too. It's so awesome to see all the positive replies. Gotta love the hope and inspiration it gives!

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