For about a month now... maybe more - my husband can correct me if I am wrong... we have known there was something just not "right" with his mother. But of course, our assumption was that it was depression... she went through so much earlier this year, and ALL of last year, and even the year before that with his father... battling his illnesses, being there for him, night and day - it was an impossible job - and she was nothing short of saintly for it.
So, we made an assumption. It seemed like a practical one. Then, a week before Thanksgiving she let my husband know she was having problems eating. She basically was not able to get anything down... so - she made a doctors appointment for Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
At the doctor, they did not find an immediate cause of her problems, but did see a major problem with her heart - saying something like she could have a heart attack at any moment... and in the X-Ray's they took, there was a "shadow" on her lungs. So, they scheduled a chest and stomach CT scan for this week.
Now, I was very worried about something like Lung Cancer, my mother-in-law smoked for 40 something years, before quitting just a few years ago. But I had told myself even if it was the worst case scenario (lung cancer) there are all sorts of treatments for that... and that there would still be hope.
Now... I wish it was something as simple, as my previously envisioned worst case scenario.
She has "advanced pancreatic cancer." It has spread to her stomach (causing some sort of blockage) and has spread to her lungs. My husband also said there is some sort of tumor around her heart... I don't know if it is related to the pancreatic cancer or not.
It sounds like it is all inoperable.
It sounds like it is beyond chemotherapy - though I am staying hopeful on that... the last thing I want to do is think so negatively... she meets with the Oncologist sometime next week, I think. I guess we will know more then... like a "time frame."
I can not even believe I am uttering those words. I can not begin to fathom that this Thanksgiving, may have been the last we all shared together. I always take moments to look into our future - with Jillian and Aidan in grade school, and even further, and I would see her there... sharing in all of the joys of the grandchildren she cherishes so deeply with us.
Today I have been spending a lot of time researching everything. I found a support group that I have to look into further... maybe it will help myself, and my husband prepare - if - or when, things reach a "caregiver" status... I looked and looked for any sign of hope - but everything seems so redundant. 20% chance of survival past one year. And that is best case, I assume. It was worded a bit funky.
I am terrified.
My husband asked me "are you ok." I had no idea how to react to that question. My initial thought was.. of course not. But then - I need to be strong for him.. she is HIS mother. And he JUST lost his father. We knew his dad was sick... we expected what happened, we knew how inevitable it was. But this... it just seems so unfair. His mother is still so young (she was much younger than her husband) and she still has so much left to do.
And all this news came, on the eve of my sweet husband's birthday. So, I spent today, researching cancer... and baking his cake. It was such an odd combination. I just realized I did not even do the laundry yet... I always do it on Friday's. I guess it will just get tackled this weekend... or maybe even Monday.
I just feel a bit lost. And I am hoping with every bit of my soul that in her next doctors visit - she gets news that it is nowhere near as bad as she was told... and that just maybe - everything is going to be ok.