Skip to content

Pat Dryburgh

To get you up to date

About a year ago, my mom was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. At the time, her back was in a lot of pain (which we later found was caused by the cancerous tumours). They started chemotherapy treatment soon thereafter, eventually going through 8 treatments total.

After the 8th treatment, the doctors performed a CT scan to see how things were progressing. They were happy to report that the tumours had shrunk considerably, and that they may be able to remove all of it by removing her right lung. It was a risky proposition, but the alternative was to do nothing and maybe have another 6 months.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, the surgery that had been scheduled was cancelled on the spot after my mom’s arm went numb during the application of the epidural. While the family thought this was caused by the epidural (she has had history with them in the past), it turned out to be low blood flow due to a narrow vein in her neck that had been constricted.

After a couple more weeks of waiting, the surgery was rescheduled for yesterday.


Yesterday, my mom went to the hospital for her rescheduled surgery to have her right lung removed. The epidural went in well, which was a great sign. After several hours I had not heard anything, which I took to mean things were going as planned. However, at around 3:30 my dad returned home with bad news:

When the surgeon opened my mom up, they discovered that the tumours had spread to the muscles, which they could not remove the cancer from. This made removing the lung a pointless procedure, as it wasn’t worth doing if all the cancer wouldn’t be removed (the recovery time from losing a lung is very long and arduous). After 3 hours, they closed my mom up and brought her back to the recovery room.

The best the doctors can do now is treat my mom with radiation, which should reduce the pain she is experiencing considerably, which will at least allow her the mobility she has lacked over the past several months. They are impressed at how well she has been doing over the past year, and therefore weren’t willing to give an estimate on how long she has.

So, that’s what I know. I won’t get into the emotions I’m feeling, because emotions won’t help the situation. All we can live by are the facts, and we don’t have them all yet. I will do my best to keep you updated when I know more.

Permalink for “Another Update” published on date_to_rfc822