Mom the Mystery

We had an oncologist appointment today. Mom’s pain has been difficult to manage, in part because she doesn’t take vicodin regularly due to the digestive upset.

The doctor is still convinced that scar tissue is what’s causing the problem, even though my mom doesn’t believe it. He ordered an X-ray, even if the CT scan didn’t show any physical cause of the pain. He wants to make sure there isn’t a bowel obstruction.

After my mother stressed to him the pain she’s feeling, he decided to try the big guns. He prescribed a fentanyl patch. Although he’s starting on the smallest dose, it’s still an opioid and considered 100 times more potent than morphine. The pharmacist told me that it’s usually prescribed (according to the label) to patients who have built a resistance to the oral form of the medication. But mom has never taken an opioid orally.

Her biopsy test came up negative for HER2, so no herceptin. It’s still a mystery as to why her cancer is reducing in other areas, but grows in her liver.

So the mysteries continue—we don’t know why she’s feeling pain, and we don’t know why the cancer is growing in her liver when it’s reducing elsewhere.

Aside from that, she’s doing relatively well. We had friends over this last weekend for a beautiful afternoon in her garden. Mom made pasteis de bacalhau and was able to soak up the positive energy and love from the group, even enjoying some sips of wine. She was a trooper throughout the day.

So while she tires easily, she’s able to putter about throughout the day.

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