I find it very difficult to actually talk about this in real life. So I thought I could vent here.
My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer a few year ago. She is a tough cookie, and refuses to accept anything is wrong with her. No matter how poorly she may actually be. Because of this mind set, she ignored the lump/spot on her breast. She was very good at hiding it from my dad.
One night she was sick in bed and as my dad went to help her, he felt her arm was swollen. He took her to hospital and that was when they found it. The spot/lump had eaten away and made a huge hole in her chest/breast. The swollen arm was lymphoedema(sp?).
It was too late to be cured. Further testing had shown it had spread to her spine.
As the weeks went by, we were given news of different tumours. It was no longer about breaking the news gently to each other, we grew so used to hearing it!
In February this year, it become real again. We were starting to see the effects of the cancer. She flew through chemo without even a sniffle. In our heads, she was fine! So seeing the change in February forced us all to accept that the cancer was really happening.
My birthday in the Feb was the last time I was able to do her favourite thing with her as my mum. Shopping! It was the last day she was able to walk properly. It was the last day she went out for a long time.
On the Easter weekend. My mum had a seizure. We found out this was due to two brain tumours. Radiotherapy was an option and she took it. They took too long, I think. After a week of coming out of hospital, she went downhill. She could barely stay awake. She was losing more and more words as the days went by. By the second week, she seemed to be just a shell of herself. Her body was there, but she was not. I took time off work to help care for her. We grieved for her. I was losing hope. There was still 4 weeks before the radiotherapy appointment!!
The doctors increased the steroids while we waited for the appointment. It worked, she came back for a bit.
She had the radiotherapy. Completely unaware of any of this. By her 5th session (out of ten) we had seen no change, and were feeling like we were putting her through something so harsh, for nothing! The 6th session came and she could not swallow her medication again – I knew she was getting better! I told my dad and he smiled. We were so close to giving up! My mum can not for the life of her swallow tablets, it takes her absolutely ages! When she was really poorly and just a shell of herself, she was swallowing the tablets no problem what so ever. By the 10th session my mum was back to herself. Apart from no longer being able to walk.
This week, I have noticed she has been a lot more quiet than she was. She has been having more naps. Today she is in hospital. She is confused again, she cant see out of her left eye and her left arm is swollen and weak.
I fear this is the steroids losing their effect as the doctor said they will only work for so long. It is either that, another brain tumour, or one of the four have grown. There are no other treatment options.
This has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, and the hardest thing to write! Many tears have fallen when typing. At least I am getting it out as, like my mum, I let everyone believe I am fine. I am really not.
My mum is really, really strong and such a fighter. I hope to god she can pull through this.
If you find any lumps, strange spots or anything unusual on your breasts, or anywhere! PLEASE, PLEASE get checked out. Don’t risk going through what we are going through. My mum’s breast cancer was easily treatable…had she have had it seen to. Now she has cancer in her breast, spine, bones, lung and brain.