[MOL] Mom's lung cancer and a new twist [00329] Medicine On Line


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[MOL] Mom's lung cancer and a new twist



Hi all!

Long time, no post.   Been kinda busy at work and spending time with my mom 
(plus MY family!).  Mom had a lumpectomy yesterday.  The doctor removed 2 
breast lumps and says the large one is "highly suspicious" and believes it 
may be malignant.  He performed the surgery using "twilight sleep" where mom 
never really went "under" because her lungs are in such bad shape she can't 
take a general anesthesia.  Our day started off bad, though.  Mom's legs and 
feet have been swelling horribly the last week.  Yesterday, they were 
terrible!  When we were walking to the elevator, she tripped and fell flat on 
her face - AAGGHH!  I screamed, my son (11) panicked, and 3 WONDERFUL 
hospital workers got a wheelchair and helped her into it.  Mom had refused a 
wheelchair in Admitting.  I've given up arguing with her about them.  She 
insists on walking.  Anyway, she was bleeding from a cut on her right arm 
(she has paper thin skin) and said her head hurt.  What a way to start the 
day!   She had wonderful care after that and my sister (who arrived later) 
and I kept questioning nurses and doctors about the swelling.  Not until we 
were in pre-op and her anesthesiologist was talking to us did he tell us that 
the reason she was swelling was probably because she wasn't getting enough 
oxygen (her sat. level was 82-85) and the swelling was a symptom of right 
heart failure.  Mom is on oxygen at night, has portable tanks, but doesn't 
use them during the day.  Her doctor decided to keep her the night in the 
cardiac unit to see how she did.  She had pressurized cuffs (can't remember 
their name) on her legs and she was given Lasics (sp?).  By morning she was 
lucid and the swelling was gone - yahoo!!  I wonder if she hadn't had the 
lumpectomy what would have happened.  My sister and I had agreed the day 
before that if the swelling wasn't gone yesterday, we'd either have her in to 
see any doctor we could find (her's is on vacation) or take her to the ER.  

The possible breast cancer diagnosis means 6 more weeks of radiation.  Oh 
boy.....   Her oncologist says that he should be able to arc the beam to 
avoid the areas that have been damaged from previous radiations.  Anyone 
heard of this?  Her doctor believes he got everything, so our worry is not 
the breasts.  I'm worried about how mom will do on another round of 
radiation.  I guess it doesn't matter what I worry about, it will happen, 
we'll make it through it, and I'll keep hugging her every day.  It's 
difficult to watch a loved one in a hospital bed, but I still have her!  
Because of her stay in the hospital, mom's agreed that she needs to use the 
oxygen 24/7 and this time I think she'll actually do it.  Whew.....!  She was 
so much more "with it" this afternoon!  Her new project is to make stuffed 
animals for the pediatric oncology units at our local hospitals.  She's made 
over 30 so far and was crocheting a blanket today in the room!   

I've written a book, I'm sorry!!  It's been a stressful last 2 days.  Thanks 
for listening!

Hugs!

Susan C.
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