Sunday, May 22, 2011


Today is 5 months since Mom's metastatic diagnosis. December 20th was when they knew for sure that she had breast cancer, but December 22 was when they discovered it in her CSF and bones. Those first days were so heart wrenching: she moaned through her sleep, had visual and auditory hallucinations, endured surgery after surgery and slurred her speech.

And now, 5 months later, her speech is clear as a bell, her sleep is undisturbed, and her strength increases every day. And the cancer has spread to vital organs. I don't know what these new metastases mean for her comfort. Now that the cancer is out of her CSF, she doesn't have pain from it. Now that she has been walking farther and without support, her lungs seem clear and strong; she gets tired after strenuous physical therapy sessions, but she never wheezes or gasps for air. It's always her muscles that are tired. The rash is itchy, but can be controlled for now with a cream that at least makes her comfortable enough to sleep.

Five months ago, we all whispered "quality of life." Now, clearly, she has a wonderful quality of life. It's not what she planned or expected, but like everything else with her, she's making the best of it.

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