That July Mom went in for her CT scan. The results were definitely not what we expected. Mom's cancer had recurred. According to her doctor, it was the fastest recurrence she had ever seen. See - CT scans can only be done once every three months, something to do with the radioactive junk they have to drink. Too often and it's lethal...or something like that. I don't really remember. My job was to take care of Mom's job while she did the medical stuff. It was my sister's job to deal with the medical stuff. It worked although it meant I really didn't know too much of what was going on, unless she was hospitalized. Then I was there, often only slightly less than my father was.
What the doctor assumed, based upon what she saw in Mom's CT scan results, was the chemo combo she was on for those first 6 or 7 months stopped working after 2 or 3 months or so. Mom was riddled with tumors. All over her abdomen and she had a golf ball sized tumor sitting on her pelvis. She knew her pain was more than it should be and that tumor confirmed what she had suspected.
We were in shock, we were angry and we were frustrated. How was it possible? The doctor had TOLD us - if they could cure ANYONE they could cure her. How was she so wrong? How is it, with all of the people who go through this treatment, MOM is the one who is chemo-resistant? Why did she end up with the "aggressive" cancer, the one that could overpower the poison they had pumped into her system religiously, week after week.
We did not know what to think. Mom asked her doctor what came next, would there be more surgery and the doctor said no - there were too many tumors to remove. They would have to tear Mom apart and they still couldn't get them all. Additionally, Mom had that "flakey" cancer - if they went in and removed any of them, the cells would flake off and only God knew where that cancer would end up next.
Of course...it ended up in places it shouldn't have anyway but here we were. July, 2010 and Mom was starting her second round of chemo. She and I went to lunch to talk over her options. There were three types of chemo to choose from but really only two that made any sense to consider. There was also talk of her possibly taking Avastin but the possible side effects from that, including stroke, made her very nervous and since it was still new in the fight against cancer, Mom didn't want to risk it. Part of me often wonders if she had started on Avastin would it have meant more - maybe even "better" time but there really isn't much point in going down that road for long. She made her decision and so there we were. Round two.