Some months ago my friend Rita was having trouble breathing and was perpetually tired. After the condition persisted a while she went to see her doctor in Califonia who diagnosed her as having a bronchial infection and prescribed antibiotics, steroids and inhalers. After a month of this treatment Rita was no better. She returned to the doctor and he repeated the same regime. Again, no improvement.
Rita is the principle caregiver to her three grandchildren and her 80 year old mother. She is the lynch pin in her family. Because my friend Rita has the gift of precience, at this time she decided to sell her home in California and within 2 weeks of making that decision moved across country to be near relatives living in Arkansas. She just <i>knew</i> she needed help.
Shortly after her arrival in Arkansas she sought out a new doctor, who took chest films and a radiologist discovered an abnormality in them. It was discovered that Rita had, what by this time, had become a rather large tumor attached to both her esophagus and upper lung. Her doctors told her that due to the tumor's location it was inoperable. A bone scan revealed no skeletal invasion.
Rita last week completed the last of 34 radiation treatments, and is about halfway through a course of weekly chemotherapy treatments(4 weeks to go I think).
She will then be re-evaluated from my understanding as to how beneficial the treatments were. I don't know if shrinkage in the tumor is found, if it would then be operable.
Anyway, the preceedng was all just background stuff to give context to my purpose. Rita is a phenomenol individual who throughout her life has risen to every challenge(of which there have been many), and has served as a rock of strength to all around her. This thing has devastated her though. She is in near constant despair, she's lost so much weight, and I'm scared to death for her. AND I CAN'T HELP HER!
She asked me "Ken, be honest with me. Have you ever heard of anyone ever recovering from this?" I tell her "of course, many people, more everyday", but the fact is, I have abolutely no idea what I'm talking about.
Last time we spoke, I asked her if she'd be willing to talk to some people that have been through this, who have survived, who could inspire. She said yes, that would be OK. So, that's my plea. Is there anyone here, better equipped than myself, able to talk to my friend Rita? She's a gem and you'll get back as much as you give, I promise you.
I was so grateful to SamQKitty and JayTor for their kind responses to my first post here. I think in part thanks to that, Rita's weight has at least stabilized the past couple of weeks.
She's not up to sitting at her computer anymore, so any communication would have to be by phone. I would certainly provide a phone card or something to mitigate any expense.
I know it's asking a lot, but this is such a great forum, I thought I'd at least ask.
As for phone contact or a phone buddy for Rita, I would recommend a local Cancer Survivor Group as a first choice. I'm already a volunteer in this capacity for the Bone Marrow Foundation. Not sure whether there's a similar organization/patient resource network available for patients with Rita's cancer.
[This message has been edited by moderator2 (edited 02-23-2003).]
I Completely feel your pain. My mother is the rock in our family. She has taken in the homeless, strayed animals, has never in her life frowned away anyone or thing that was needy. She volunteers for Red Cross, and other foundations in the past. To see her suffer the fear and pain is a total heartache. My prayers are with your friend. Its almost funny how sometimes you dont realize things until it hits so close to home. Instead of feeling sorry for someone you have 'heard' about having cancer you REALLY know whats going on when that person is a closely knit member of your life. I just found out yesterday of my moms situation and already I worry for individuals in her state that have no one to help them. No one to check to make sure their sleeping peaceful, check to make sure their relaxed, even the small things like checking ingredients in food prepared to make sure that its packed with vitamins and protein.