It has been a long time since I updated on my Mom’s battle with colon cancer. Since I took some pictures the other day, I thought I’d share.
I think my last report was regarding her liver surgery. While we really thought – from the initial scans – that we had beat the beast, it wasn’t long before another tumor was found to be forming on her liver. About three months after the surgery, Mom kept having a “soreness” at the top of her head… only in the mornings, just until she was up and moving. About a week after that feeling started, we started noticing a lump at the top of her head. The lump kept getting bigger, and it was determined that it was the colon cancer spreading. There was some concern – the colon cancer was not following its “normal” course.
(*oops, guess I did write about the head surgery – HERE)
The tumor was removed from the top of her head, and a series of radiation and chemo followed. During this time, Mom lost most of her hair. In an attempt to “stop shedding”, as she put it, we went to her favorite hairdresser and had her head buzzed. Not sure it will grow back, but we can hope.
We have had some bad days. Bad enough days that Mom took a “chemo vacation” from just before Thanksgiving to almost Christmas. During that break, Mom started developing more and more tumors that could be seen at the surface; not unlike a tumor removed from the top of her head back in August. Because of those new tumors, and the growth in size of existing tumors, it became evident we needed to start the chemo back up.
However, by the grace of God, during that break in chemo, Mom put about 5 pounds back on. This is not much, BUT it was something. She is currently down to about 116 pounds. Her mouth has been extremely sore and eating has not only been unappealing, but painful too. But God(!) has once again shown His grace. From the cancer battle of my cousin Ray, we learned of a mouth rinse exclusively used in Indiana. Cousin Brenda was able to call their pharmacy, talk to the compound pharmacist, and get his agreement to give the formula to our oncologist here in Omaha. I cannot tell you what a godsend this rinse has been to Mom. She now can eat without pain.
On a recent visit to the oncologist, we had a chance to speak to a dietician and gained some valuable information. Mom has had to forget everything she has learned about nutrition – the eat three squares and stay out of the kitchen inbetween mentality – and learn to graze constantly. She heard the golden words every woman dreams of hearing, “Don’t worry about the calories – just eat whatever sounds good to you.” Seems her food and thirst triggers aren’t working properly. The brain sends the signals, the body doesn’t respond to them. Because of that we have had several bouts of dehydration – several severe. But God(!), again, has used each of these things for His purpose.
I have had many interesting conversations about Christ and God with Mom in the past months. God has orchestrated a bevy of quality time for the two of us – time I might not otherwise have had. I truly believe it is God that stalled my attempts at employment these past six months – in order to make me available for the times Mom needs me. I am honored to be there for her.
Not only have I had opportunity to talk to Mom, I’ve had more than one chance to speak with both staff and patients at the oncology office about the grace and mercy provided by God through my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This past weekend was a good weekend. Mom stayed hydrated, she ate well, and she has built up a bit of energy. We are praying that she will have white cell counts high enough to allow for her treatment this week.
Please continue to keep my mom, Venus, in your prayers. It is the one thing we can covet.
I’m just saying…