This week my mom finished radiation. I was so pleased and proud of her for seeing it through until the end. I know there were times she wanted to give up. I don't blame her. It's a big commitment to go every weekday. Especially when fatigued and not feeling well. But it's done; another hurdle complete. Radiation, while, kinder than Chemo is no walk in the park. My mom has suffered a slew of side effects during treatment. The worst being nausea, skin and esophagus burns. A few weeks ago, she developed a cough and it was thought to be bronchitis. She's completed a round of strong antibiotics, but there is no improvement. In fact, it seems it has worsened. I started to wonder if it is another side effect, radiation pneumonitis. Her radiation oncologist says it usually doesn't show until much later after treatment. However, if she doesn't show improvement by Tuesday they will do a CT scan. The cough is violent. It's made her hoarse, weak and terribly sore. Relief must be insight. Breathing is a big chore. The coughing leaves her short of breath, she juggles breathing treatments and oxygen. Thank goodness for both; otherwise, we'd be in the ER a lot.
It could be as long as three months before her next PET scan. The wait will be brutal. I certainly hope the test reveals no evidence of disease. Only time will tell. In the meantime, mom needs to rest and recuperate. If she can rid herself of that nasty cough, I know it will do her good.
Also, this week, my aunt started treatment (chemo/radiation) for colon cancer. I was happy to hear she's had no symptoms thus far. I hope it continues. Yesterday, my boss announced that his colon cancer has returned. He'll need surgery and then he'll undergo chemo. It is terrible to have the constant reminder of how cruel disease is. I wish no one had to endure it. Unfortunately, it's all around. At least with advances in treatment, there is hope.