Well, this was not the news we were hoping for but nonetheless it is the news we were given. It's easy to cry. Easy to get angry at the world and ask why. What's not easy is accepting the fact that one of the greatest women to walk the face of the earth has been diagnosed with Lung Cancer. I get frustrated when people look at me and say, "Your mom smoked?" Let me tell the world... SHE DID NOT SMOKE... HAS NEVER SMOKED..... and HAS NEVER LIVED WITH A SMOKER. Bad things happen to good people sometimes.
Here is what we know. Good things first. We know that my mom loves her doctor, Julie Wood, and refers to her as her "new best friend." We know that the cancer has not spread to any part of her body other than her lungs. We know that her blood work looks good and her attitude is as optimistic as ever. She is also loved more than anyone I know, so that can't hurt. Those are the good things.
The challenges that we face are: the lower lobe in her left lung is 70% infiltrated with cancer cells. There are little traces of cancer cells in her upper left lobe as well as lower right lobe. Although the cancer cells in her right lung are not abundant... they exist, and that means the cancer has spread from one organ (left lung) to another (right lung). Her cancer is considered to be in Stage 4. It may sound bad, but I think the fact it is in Stage 4 will just make her survival story that much more impressive.
She will get a chest x-ray every month and a CT scan every 2 months to see how the cancer is reacting to the treatment. Her treatment will likely be Tarceva, a new drug that reacts to her kind of cancer (B.A.C.) the best. As long as the Tarceva is working, it will likely be the only treatment she does for now.
More to follow....
You can reach Doreen at firstname.lastname@example.org