Bad News

Sorry to start Monday's blogging off with something not so positive, but here goes.

My mom underwent some medical tests (bone scans etc) last week to check on her cancer status. The results were in on Friday, and they're not good.

Her liver is "basically shot", and there are spots on her spine, skull, hips and ribs. The liver is inoperable, and so are the rest - but if you know anything about cancer you'll know that liver damage is basically terminal. They're going to try and treat it with chemo. She's having a small operation to insert a permanent "needle" in her chest, by which they'll give her a weekly dose of the chemo. She's been told she can stop it at any time.

Needless to say, it's got the rest of the family in a state of shock - or something very similar. We've realized that mom might not hold out too much longer, and are not sure how to handle this. She's far away from all of us, which makes it somehow unreal.

But as harsh as this is on her, it's even worse for dad. His biggest fear is losing his perfectly-matched soulmate, his wife of 35 years and the person he loves with all his heart. I don't know how he'd survive if mom died. I certainly don't know how he'd survive without a single family member on his continent to support him.

With a job offer in the works, we're thinking once again of how we can get over to Australia - and how quickly we can. We'll be needed in coming years (months?) I suspect.

I haven't really had time to talk this through with my brothers, but I suspect it's going to get tough from here on out.

It's starting to sink in. I've been doing some research this morning, and found that only 13% of patients diagnosed with liver cancer live up to one year after diagnosis, 3% for 3 years and 0% for 5 years. This is based on treatment with chemotherapy to help prolong life - but there is no cure. Mom stated it's inoperable, so it's already beyond cure. It's starting to sink in. Mom is dying.