This is not in chronological order from the last entry but today was a roller coaster. My little sister flew in to join us today to get the results of Monday’s PET scan. Again my digestive system let me down and I felt positively nauseous from the moment I woke up. We made small talk over coffee and during our time in the waiting room. My sister and I played ‘ Perfect Match’ where we looked at couples and decided if they were made for each other or not. Mum was clearly nervous, quite quiet and at times short with us. After a 70 minute wait mum’s name was called. I was a bit wobbly on my feet but pulled myself together and followed the Dr in. Surpringly we were all relieved to hear that there were mets in mum’s lung and liver- we’d all been expecting an even further spread. Our mood was much lighter than last week when we’d learned there were satellite tumours around the original site and a met in a lymph gland. We were all really down after that. So Gerry, our doctor said she’d do a referral to an oncologist- we requested Rosie who has an outstanding reputation with melanoma. Gerry explained surgery was unlikely but we all chose to ignore the implications of that statement and left feeling ok. Mum chose our lunch venue and all was well. We spent the afternoon in my backyard before heading to the airport for Belinda’s flight home. Mum was happy- if dad was still alive today it would have been their 54th wedding anniversary: mum believed dad was watching over her and had even made a tree flower a month early for her💐. I came home happy, feeling like we had a reprieve for awhile anyway. Then I spoke to my med student daughter, she seemed down and wasn’t sharing my joy. I did a bit of research and discovered just how shit today’s news actually was: 4-12 months is the prognosis. FAAAAAARRRRRRKKKKK!!!!!!
My mum asked me to drive her to a Drs appointment to have a lump cut off the top of leg, almost on her butt really. The appointment was on the 15th of September. Didn’t think much of it, ducked off out of work for an hour and all was good. The next week, 22nd Sep, we went back to have the stitches out. I was just going to drop her off but I had a feeling that I should find a park and join her. The surgeon came out to greet her and asked ‘Is this your daughter?’ Mum answered that I was. He then asked if she’d like me to join them and she said no. Mum is an incredibly private person and wouldn’t want me in a room where her pants might be on display while she got her stitches out!! The surgeon almost shut the door then clearly had a change of heart , reopening it and saying very definitely ‘ actially I’m inviting you in’. My anxiety levels began to rise then.
In a nutshell, he told us mum had an aggressive malignant melanoma, already 33mm deep. He explained a depth greater than 4mm had a very poor prognosis!!! I swallowed my vomit and clutched mum’s hand. She remained expressionless. This woman with fair skin, who had never sun baked a day in her life and certainly wouldn’t have had her bum on display if she had, had a deadly disease usually associated with the sun.
We were told CT, PET and MRI scans would all be needed and surgery was booked for the 30th, when the rest of the tumour would be removed and lymph nodes sampled.
I needed my lighthouse.