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I posted earlier about the quick progression of Becky's disease, and got a couple of questions pm'd to me. That was in the newcomer's forum that I posted.

To summarize, Becky had very little progression of the disease through March. The scans we took in March basically showed that the main tumor in the right lung had increased in thickness somewhat, and there were two spots in her left lung, one the size of a nickel and the other a dime. Those had been there since December but basically not growing through the first week of March.

When we went to the hospital on March 28, basically the entire right lung was gone and the tumor/pneumonia was covering between two thirds and three fourths of her left lung.

Here are the questions I got in one of the pm's, which were typical:

I truly don't mean to pry. Your post this AM, however, did give me concern. Besides feeling badly for Becky and you and Katie, I also wonder if it is often that tumors progress that rapidly, especially after having stayed about the same for so long? Did the onc say? Also, in retrospect, did you or Becky suspect that this was occurning? I guess I am trying to prepare for things that could happen, though I know it is impossible to do so.

The oncologist said nothing about this. Bottom line was by that point I really didn't care how usual this is.

Yes, we had suspicion. I can't confirm it for sure from Becky, but she was less confident than she had been. On the monday before she died, she told me "this is so unfair." That was the first time she ever said anything like that. We were both pretty good at not dwelling on this type of thing.

Her breathing definitely got worse the last week. But we had been on that elevator so many times before in the previous nine months, as her breathing would get better for a few weeks and then be bad for a week. We were constantly juggling her steroids to get the right balance. The last week was the worst though, for sure. But the one thing I noticed that I had not before was that she was no longer symmetric. Her right lung had collapsed, that we knew, and her right shoulder was sunk into her chest so that she was surely slanted. So I had a sense of things getting worse.

But on the other hand, the picture attached here was taken 11 days before she died. And her best day of all of 2004 was the first weekend in March, when she was off oxygen for several hours at a friend's birthday party, walking across the house and gigantic yard more comfortably than ever.

Bottom line is that two hours before I told the doctor to turn off her ventilator, I assumed she would be teaching her classes by the end of the week. So all of the signs I point to are clearly in retrospect.

I don't mean to scare anyone or whatever. I just wanted to respond to the questions in a forum everyone could see.


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I want to say thank you for sharing your experiences, when to do so must be painful for you.

I know that we are all different. Our disease progresses differently, we handle the progression differently. But we can learn from one another, and take what we learn and apply that which is appropriate to our own situations.

The "hard questions" should be asked, and answered.

Thank you.

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Thank you for your post. Your information is invaluable to us here. I, too was wondering about the speedy progression for Becky.

She is in my thoughts constantly. Hope you and your daughter are doing ok and I pray for your strength.


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Thanks for posting Curtis. We all cared so much for Becky and wish you and Katie well. Maybe it was a blessing that things progressed so quickly. At least she was not in that awful postition for months at a time. She knew how to live life and did so up to the very end. We all admire her for that. Keep us up to date on you and Katie. All information is important to all of us.

Again, thanks for all of your posts.


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