That’s exactly what happened to my beloved 78-year-old mother last week.
Mom recently flew in from Las Vegas, where she was living, to attend my son’s high school graduation. Shortly thereafter she wasn’t feeling well and had a swollen belly.
I took her to the hospital and the doctors found, unbeknownst to all, she has metastatic ovarian cancer that has spread throughout her pelvis, abdomen and possibly the lymph nodes.
Needless to say we rushed my mom, Judy, a retired college professor, to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she spent the past week meeting with a variety of doctors and undergoing a slew of medical tests and procedures. This included a biopsy, which confirmed our worst fears — Mom has six months to live if she doesn’t undergo immediate cancer treatment.
Here’s the good and bad news. The good news is her cancer, as bad as it is, is likely treatable. The bad news is the process of getting rid of Stage 4 ovarian cancer that’s metastasized is a hellish undertaking that will require months of chemo, then surgery, then more chemo — a grueling process her oncologist warns will take approximately six months — to buy her three to four more years of life.
Needless to say, we’ve all been in tears.
My kids — who love their Grandma dearly — took it hard. As did my rest of my family.
Mom is living with us now as she’s a widow and needs round-the-clock care. We are grateful for the love and support of friends, extended family and colleagues during this difficult time, including our lovable golden retriever Ziggy, who hasn’t left my mother’s side throughout her health crisis. It hasn’t gone unnoticed that our dog, who normally slept in the family room, started sleeping next to my mother’s bed every night keeping her company.
Dogs are loyal friends in good times and bad and ours has been glued to my mother’s side buoying her spirits.
Please say a prayer for my Mom. She’s a wonderful woman we love dearly.