My Mom

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My Mom

Postby Kat12 » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:28 am

Hey Guys,
I've been away for awhile because my Mom is really sick. She was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer a few weeks ago. It's been a real nightmare, but she started treatment in a city 4 hours away from us today (our city is in Northern Ontario and we don't have radiation treatment here). I talked to my parents tonight; they're both in good spirits considering. My Mom needs 30 radiation treatments and 2 chemo treatments. They're hoping to drive home on the weekends if my Mom is up to it.
Please send your good thoughts my Mom's way.
Thanks,
Kat
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Postby mercedes » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:44 am

Oh your from Northern Ontario...your probably not far from me..I live in Ontario as well..I wish your mom well..and your family..Stay positive Kat..I know it's hard..cancer is a horrible thing..It knows no bounds..and it's unforgivable..
PPl have been known to beat it though..so Stay positive, and pray.. I'll say prayers for you and your family.:)

From a sister Canadian..:)~
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Postby reneuend » Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:53 am

I'm sorry to hear about your Mom, Kat. I'll definitely keep her, you and your family in my prayers.

We're all here if you need some friendly chat! :)
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Postby Vairon » Tue Jul 07, 2009 8:01 am

Hi Kat12!
Really sorry to hear this, from my own experience I know that it is a long and hard way.
My aunt also suffers from colon cancer, is now with treatment and it seems that all is well.
You have our full support.

A hug to your mother. :wink:
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Postby Lyberodoggy » Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:50 am

Sorry to hear that.
My uncle has been diagnosed with a lung metastatic cancer a few months ago and they couldn't do anything for him... Let's hope that someday we won't need to talk about cancer because it 'll be out of our genetics.
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Postby Kat12 » Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:57 pm

Hi Everyone,
Thanks so much for the prayers and support; I really appreciate it. I'm fine during the day, but I'm having trouble sleeping because as soon as I lay down my mind speeds up.

The thing that really gets me is that we don't have enough doctors here in the North, and the ones we do have are a mixed bag. Some are wonderful, but others probably wouldn't be allowed to practice in areas without such a dire need for doctors.

My Mom saw a doctor on the 9th of April. She told him that she had laryngintis since before Christmas and he blew her off and told her it was nothing, without even checking her or doing tests. So she asked if it could be an infection; he agreed and gave her antibiotics. They didn't work, so she went back, and he blew her off again; said it was nothing...still no tests or anything.

She told him she was a smoker, had smoked since she was a kid (she's 65 now), and asked for an xray at least. He said "If you think you need it". He sent her for the xrays, and when she went in for the results he told her there was a "thickening" in her throat, but it's "nothing".

My Mom asked him to refer her to a throat specialist and he refused; he said "we don't do that at our walk in clinic" (he runs his own walk in clinic; he's the only doctor there).

My Mom told me that he said that if she found the name and number of a specialist willing to see her, that he would then write the referral, but she'd have to find one and call around to see who would look at her. He also told her there were no specialists in town. Well, I couldn't believe it when I heard this; I was certain that my Mom must have misunderstood. I called his office and his receptionist said "No, we don't refer; you have to find someone."

So I did; I found a guy who works here in town...he doesn't live here full time but has an office here. The nurse who works with him, Janice, was really nice; when I explained what was happening she said it sounds serious, especially since my Mom is a smoker. She asked me to have the doctor write "urgent" on the referral form, or else my Mom would have to wait 6-8 months just for a phone call to set up an appointment.

So, I called the original doctor back and spoke with the receptionist. I told her what I was told, and she put me on hold. When she came back she said "He says he'll write the referral but he's refusing to put urgent on it. He says it's NOT urgent, it's nothing."

I told my Mom that the doctor was behaving like an arrogant jerk and that she should go down to the ER for a second opinion. She wouldn't though; she believed him when he said it was nothing. It took me, my brother, and my Aunt over a month to convince her to go to the ER, and the only reason she did go is that she was starting to cough and the original doctor was on holidays. Or else she would have gone back to see him again.

Well, the doctor at the ER asked my Mom what the results of her bloodwork had been, and my Mom told him that the original doctor hadn't sent her for bloodwork. He was outraged. He examined her, sent her for bloodwork, and when he got the results he said there was a good chance that it was cancer.

As it happened, Janice (the nurse who works with the specialist) was also working at emerg that day and the emergency doctor asked Janice if she could get my Mom in to see the specialist without waiting for months on end. The specialist was out of town but Janice arranged for my Mom to see him as soon as he got back, within 2 weeks.

My Mom saw the specialist on Monday June 15th, and he sent her for a CAT scan and a biopsy the very next day. That's when it was confirmed that it was cancer, but at that point they thought it was the early stages and that it would be easily treated.

The specialist sent my Mom to Sudbury the following Monday, and the specialists at the cancer clinic there ran more tests and told her it was stage 4 throat cancer, and that she was going to need extremely aggressive radiation treatments for 6 weeks, plus chemo. They pulled out all of her teeth because some had the old fashioned fillings that would have melted with radiation, and the rest were loose and would have fallen out. My poor Mom, who'd believed that first doctor when he said it was "nothing", was in shock over everything and couldn't believe what was happening.

Last week they gave her surgery to insert a feeding tube because the radiation may burn her throat and leave her unable to swallow. The feeding tube became infected on Sunday, but they had to drive to Sudbury before they could go to the hospital to have it looked at because her treatment started yesterday (it's a 4 hour drive to Sudbury). They waited 7 hours before a doctor would see her and prescribe antibiotics.

Despite all of this, when I spoke to my parents last night they were in good spirits. My Mom is a fighter, and she's strong and healthy, except for the cancer. My parents are very close and my Dad is with her every step of the way.

So, we're hoping the treatment will get rid of the cancer and save her voice box so she'll be able to speak again.

I'm sorry to go on like this; I am so angry about that first doctor that I want to tell the world. Instead, I filed a complaint with the college of doctors and they are conducting an investigation. My Mom just has to sign the consent form so they can look at her records first, and i'm still waiting for the forms to arrive in the mail.

That's about it here, I'll let you know how the treatment goes. We're all praying that my Mom will be cured, and we appreciate your prayers very, very much.

Hugs,
Kat
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Postby saturn » Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:12 pm

Best wishes and best luck (sometimes you need both...) to your Mom Kat. I believe you'll get through this.
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-Gimme 5 minutes!
-Oh, and tell Rutger so!
-4 minutes!
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Postby reneuend » Tue Jul 07, 2009 11:05 pm

That's outrageous! :evil:

I hope they disbar that first doctor. He's a danger to society. If he had any conscience at all, he would quit on his own! Man, that got me worked up! I need a wall to punch. :evil:

Please do what you can to keep your mind off of the negativity. Your Mom and Dad both need you healthy.
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Postby chickens1127 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:24 pm

That's crazy! I thought those doctors had to go through like 10 years of training before even examining a patient.

Best wishes to you and your mother.
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Postby Zenoc2 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:09 am

Oh, wow, Kat. I'm so sorry. I've lost more than one relative to cancer, but never one that close. Of course we all have you in our thoughts and prayers, and you can feel free to vent here any time you need to. Stay strong for your parents too, Tiger. ;)
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Postby Kat12 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:52 pm

Thanks again everyone,
Reneuend, I feel like punching something too at times.
I'm going to have to be out of my house for a week or more soon, while it gets some renovations done on it, and I'm hoping to find a laptop so I won't be totally offline during that time. I've been thinking of getting one for awhile, so I'm going to go look at some later today, I think. That way, even if I don't have access to the internet, I'll be able to still work on my writing, and hopefully get working on my game, if I can concentrate, that is.
Take care,
Kat
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Postby Mystery » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:56 pm

I'm very sorry to hear the sad news Kat :(
My best wishes to your mom, I hope she can keep her courage, and that she'll be better soon.
Stay strong, and take care :)
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Postby ZeornWarlock » Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:44 am

I have been a way for a while and I will be so again. However, I wish the best for your mother.

ZW.
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Postby Kat12 » Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:28 pm

Thanks again everyone, for your kind words.
My Mom is doing OK; she's on her 3rd week of radiation treatment. She needs 7 now altogether, so next week at this time she'll be half way through.
She had some bad side effects from chemo but she's doing better now.
She met with the doctor yesterday and he said that her throat is going to hurt more and more now, because of radiation burns, so he gave her something to numb her throat so she can still swallow. She's still eating by mouth, which is good, but she can only eat soft foods.
My parents have been home every weekend so far, so it's great to be able to see them. I talk to them on the phone every night too. They're in good spirits, which is good. They met several other couples who are going through the same thing (in one couple, both the husband and wife have cancer, can you believe it?).
I hope to become more active here again soon.
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