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Quendi

Quendi

PICU Nurse
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  1. Quendi

    Mother just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

    Esme, you touched on it exactly. I know it will get better, and it definitely comes in waves. I will make it through though, I have to for her. It always made her so sad to see me upset, and I know that even now she wants me to be okay. I want ant to thank everyone so much who has been kind enough to post and help me through this journey. It was a relatively short one, but very painful nonetheless. The support from this site has been invaluable for helping me keep perspective. I cannot thank you enough.
  2. Quendi

    Mother just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

    Well guys, this will be my last update. As predicted, mom ended up in the hospital last Tuesday due to problems breathing. On Wednesday, she was admitted to the CVICU as she began to crash. They put her on a ventilator and couldn't figure out what was wrong. When I arrived, they finally found that her right lung had collapsed. What should have been an easy fix with a chest tube really did a number on her body as her BP dropped drastically and her O2 saturation was very low. The on call doctor came out and told us they were doing everything they could, but this was it. Amazingly, they were able to bring her back. She steadily improved on Thursday and Friday, although they still couldn't figure out why she was doing so terrible. Her oncologist said it wasn't the cancer, and firmly believed it was an infection (likely run rampant after the first chemo treatment). I spent every spare moment with her on Thursday and Friday, and left Friday evening in good spirits. We were warned that she may never get on the ventilator, but in my selfish hopes, I believed she would. That night, her bp dropped again (they had tried weaning her off the meds again), and her O2 saturation crashed once more. The next day, they took her off of sedation at 9:30am because my father wanted to talk to her. She never woke up. We got some reflex reactions with the eyes opening, but she never focused on us, and couldn't squeeze our hands when we asked. My dad and I knew she was gone, and her brain just couldn't cope with the damage to her lungs and lack of oxygen. We made the decision to take her off the vent and let her finally rest without pain. She went quickly. Her lungs unable to support her any longer. I am crying uncontrollably as I write this. My mother is my best friend, and I can't believe we lost her. I believe we should have lost her on Wednesday, but she fought for us for two more days to allow us some closure and a chance to tell her how much we love her. With the vent she couldn't tell me she loved me, but the squeeze of her hand and the look in her eyes was enough to tell me on Friday how much she loved me. I think she was able to let go that night and was already gone by Saturday. My my dad and I talked last night, and we both finally realized how much pain and suffering she had endured for the last few months. She couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't breathe, and she was so scared. I love her so so much and I'm glad to know she isn't in pain any more. The pain is ours now, but it is nothing to what she must have suffered through... For us. I love you mom, so so much. I can't wait to see you again... Someday.
  3. Quendi

    Mother just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

    Thanks nursefrances. :) I suppose it's time for an update. Mom has completed her radiation regimen for the bone mets, and now has virtually no back pain. We are very thankful for this, as she was basically crippled due to it. Crazy to think she was going to go through back surgery when it turned out to be cancer that was causing the pain. She he also started her first chemo treatment last Wednesday. It is a very aggressive cocktail of drugs, so she has been warned to expect virtually every side effect. She has sores in her mouth, but hasn't lost her hair yet. She has experienced very little nausea thus far, which we are thankful for. However, her cough is back with a vengeance, and she is still having trouble breathing despite the constant oxygen she is receiving. I am worried that she might have fluid in her lungs again, which landed her in the hospital a few weeks ago. They drained the fluid then, and I have a feeling she will be back for the same thing soon. I'm kind of hoping she is, simply because she stopped eating and drinking as of today, according to my father. At least if she is admitted she will receive what she needs, even if she doesn't want it. Her refusal to help herself and her resistance toward my fathers help is completely understandable, but she needs tough love right now, so we persist. I find I often forget that my mother has stage four lung cancer, and it's a strange feeling when I realize I'm not obsessing over it 24/7. I am just trying to live my life, and visit her every week for a full day. Mostly we just hang out and watch TV together when I visit, and I know it makes her happy when I'm there. Life goes on, as they say... Until it doesn't. I'm just hoping the chemo will hold off that day for now.
  4. Quendi

    Mother just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

    Thank you all so much, the community here is incredible. You guys have no idea how much your support means to me. And mc3, I have definitely made it my mission to spend every moment I can enjoying our time together and reminding her how much she is loved. My mom felt a bit better today. Her bone mets present as pretty acute pain, so some days she is mostly bed/couch ridden. Today was a good day, however, so we decided to treat ourselves to a long overdue (emphasis on long) trip to the hairdresser. It made a huge difference, not just in making her feel better about herself, but also experiencing something that used to be routine. Normal is what we are shooting for, or at least as normal as we can get. I am spending as much time as possible with her, and am taking reduced hours at work (thankfully possible as a private tutor). I am also working on reconnecting with two friends who are being very supportive. With all the stress and uncertainty of the past few months (we had suspected breast cancer mets initially due to her history), I had really become withdrawn. I know it is not healthy, and places unnecessary worry on my mother. I refuse to let myself sink into a depressive state when what I should be doing is enjoying every moment I have left with her. I am actually in the process of applying to nursing school, so it will be interesting to see how things progress. Thankfully, I live only 30 minutes away from them, and the school I am hoping to attend is actually right in between.
  5. Quendi

    Mother just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

    Thank you all so much for your support. Knowing that there are others who have been through this helps, and being able to talk about it means the world to me. I will be sure to keep you guys updated as my mother begins treatment.
  6. Quendi

    Mother just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer

    Thank you so much for your kind words. Thankfully, my father has really stepped up to help my mom get through this. He is able to take her to all of her appointments, so that isn't an issue. We are very lucky in that respect. I appreciate the support website recommendation as well. Apparently the oncologist was not very supportive when he gave them the diagnosis and treatment options, so they are seeking a second opinion. She is already undergoing radiation to treat the bone mets, which thankfully should require only ten treatments. We are trying to stay positive, but it is a lot to take in. My mom and I were able to talk and cry about it together, and I think that made us both feel a lot better.
  7. We just found out today that my mom has stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer that has also metastasized to the bone (pelvis). I am devastated. My mother is my best friend, and the idea that she may not be around to chat with me everyday, support me when I'm feeling lost, and comfort me when I'm depressed is intolerable. The worst part is I have no idea how to support her, and I feel guilty about needing comfort but being unable to get it from the person I depend on most. I'm 27, single, and I live alone. I don't really have a support group so I'm coming here. I apologize if this post seems incoherent, I'm in the process of a total breakdown at the moment. Any advice or words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.
  8. Quendi

    My Joy of Audiobooks

    I am an avid fan of audiobooks. My main reason for giving them a go was how busy my life is. This combined with being a student (really, who wants to read after spending hours studying a textbook) pushed me to try them out. I had a friend lend me one that I was able to put on my iPhone. I found myself listening 24/7. In the morning, in the shower, cleaning the house, doing yard work, drives to and from school and work, you name it! I now go through 3-4 books per month, way more than I ever did while reading (it's so hard to find the time!). I'm a member of audible.com, and I have loved every minute of it. I'm so glad to hear you have been able to rediscover your passion for books despite the obstacles. Technology really is an amazing thing.
  9. Quendi

    Any horse lovers out there?

    That's such a great way to give back! I worked with Horses and the Handicapped for a while. They actually kept a couple of their horses at the barn where I kept mine. Do you have a preference for riding discipline? You definitely made the right choice for careers. The poor economy has really hit the horse industry hard. I spent most of high school planning to be a trainer, but once I hit college I realized I loved biology. Cue the plans for a equine veterinary degree, which never panned out once I realized they make little money. I think in the end, it's for the best. Making a hobby your career is not always a good thing. Instead, I'll pursue my love of science and medicine, and enjoy my riding as an escape from reality. :)
  10. Quendi

    Any horse lovers out there?

    While meandering through the numerous threads on allnurses, I see several people with either horse related pictures, or riding related usernames. I was curious to see how many nurses enjoy horses, have one of their own, and who out there rides! As a pre-nursing student, I'm a bit worried about finding time to follow my passion for riding once I enter my ABSN program (haven't been accepted yet, but I'm thinking positively!). I've been riding for over 10 years, primarily hunter/jumper which I competed heavily with my own horse during my first BS degree. I did a brief stint of 3-day eventing in Texas and absolutely loved it, but once I moved back to south Florida, I found that it is pretty well nonexistent this far south. However, the bright side is that the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) is basically my back yard, so I get to go to the big Grand Prix competitions and watch the Olympic riders. I am actually tutoring young riders this coming circuit on the show grounds themselves! It will be fun to hang around horses all day without the pressure of competition. Extra bonus, we will be located right next to the pony ring (those little ones on ponies are the cutest thing ever). Currently, I ride with my friend who owns some top notch Dutch Warmblood horses. I am truly blessed to have such an amazing friend who is willing to let me ride these fabulous competition horses for free. I don't have the time or money to have my own horse or compete, but I'm hoping to be a horse owner again someday. So now that I've told you my rather long-winded abbreviated story (I swear this is the shortened version!), I want to hear about yours! (Wasn't sure whether this should be under "hobbies" or "animals", but I figured there are probably plenty of horse lovers who don't have the time or money to make horses their hobby.)
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