Home of Rhett & Link fans - the Mythical Beasts!
Hi! If you would like, tell us your relationship, history, experience with cancer. I know we all could use extra support sometimes. Share what you're comfortable with telling.
My dad passed away almost 11 years ago from Lung cancer and diabetes. He was 54 years old. He had Colon cancer years before that, but it went away. My dad went through several rounds of chemotherapy and had to take insulin. When he got really bad, my family decided to move to my dad's family home in another city. My sister and I lived with a family friend our last years of middle and high school so we could properly finish school. We moved back home that summer before he passed and while he had a few good days, the illness got to him and then he passed. He was a great father to me and my siblings and my mom loved him very much.
In June of last year, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 3A Endometrial cancer. She had a hysterectomy and the doctor got out all she could, but for prevention, mom was recommended to receive chemotherapy treatments. She had one round of chemo, 2 different types of medicine together, and felt bad for a week, then felt really unfocused, tired and disorientated, and while I was at work one day, in August, she had a stroke and seizure at home. My brother was luckily at home, so he called the ambulance. I left work, went to the hospital and she was in ICU in a coma, and the doctor said she suffered from 3 strokes at the same time. She was in ICU for about 4 days, then admitted into a hospital room. The stroke affected her right side and her speech. After 9 days of numerous tests and therapy, she was well enough to go to a local rehab facility to continue speech, physical and occupational therapy. She was in rehab for 13 days before going back to the hospital for a fever and possible infection, and at the hospital, she was diagnosed with blood clots and pneumonia. After a week, she went back to rehab, where she kept taking all her medicines and worked hard in therapy every day until finally coming home in early November. She received at-home therapy for just over a month, and I and my brother, who live with her, have been taking care of her ever since. She's still at risk for seizures and for the cancer to return, so she gets checkups and tests done as needed and every so often. I drive her to all her doctor's appointments, help her at home, we try to take walks every day and we continue daily life activities just as before. She continues to have some trouble with her short-term memory and speech sometimes, but she is still herself and we are thankful for that.
We've had a lot of support along the way. Except for a hurricane that affected our town for a while, I stayed with my mom every single day that she was in the hospital and rehab to see her get better. Luckily, we live in an area where much of mom's family and extended family live so we've had a lot of support and prayer. It's funny. We celebrated my mom's birthday in the hospital and mine in rehab! We still made the best of being there, especially with our other family members.
I'm so very grateful for all the nurses and doctors that helped my family. I think I've gone through every emotion there is in this journey, but ultimately, I like to think I've become more humble from talking to so many people who have had similar or sometimes worse experiences and those who have given very helpful advice. I'm also grateful for my friends here and online who have given their support and thoughts and prayers. They have really kept me going so that I can stay strong for my mom.
So, that's my story with cancer. Hopefully, no one else in our family gets it, and I hope no one else in yours does either. I'm glad the world is more aware of cancer and how to fight it and that so much more is being done to try to help people survive. It's amazing what the human body goes through and how strong it can be sometimes, but I also have seen it hit people hard, so it is not to be taken lightly. In my experience, the love and support from close ones and the power of prayer have been some of the best medicines.