After five days of worry and one panic attack, my mother finally saw her oncologist for the first time yesterday. My hope was that the doctor would be encouraging and that her load would be lightened.
One of my biggest concerns was the treatment, which is sometimes worse than the disease. My mother turns 83 tomorrow and was not in the best of health (COPD) before the lung cancer diagnosis. I felt like surgery was a bad option, because I don't really think she would survive being fileted like a fish. Chemo can also be rough, so I was hoping the treatment might be limited to radiation.
I wasn't disappointed.
Her cancer was in the stage 1 category. She will undergo five "cyberknife" radiation treatments, one every other day for 10 days. Her doctor said the success rate of the cyberknife procedure is comparable to surgical removal, and the side effects will be minimal. Mainly tiredness.
She will go back for a check up to see if the radiation was successful two weeks after the treatment is completed. I know oncologists have a habit of feeding you a little information at a time, possibly to keep you from becoming overwhelmed by the situation. I hope the check up will be the end of it, but I won't be surprised if more treatment is required.
For now our family can finally exhale.