Topic: Hi, I am Lamia from the Washington D.C area
Hope you are all having a peaceful night. It is late and I am up searching all that I can about CCC. My mom was diagnosed with the disease in October 07, but Let me first introduce myself.
My name is Lamia and I live in the Washington D.C/Maryland area. My mom was diagnosed in Belgium. After 8 sessions of 5-FU, she seemed to be fine, so she decided to visit my brother and I in the U.S. My brother and his wife were having their first child, which made my mom a grandmother for the first time. Because of the miles that separates us (I study in the U.S.) my parents decided to keep the disease secret from us. While I understand their decision to do so, it kills me to know that my mom had to go through it alone. The burden of keeping it secret from us must have hurt her deeply. My parents have always been very protective. I talk to my mom twice a day if not more often (on my way to school, and on my way back!), and still I didn't know what was going on.
Anyways, she came in May to visit us, and I had noticed an extreme weight loss. To make a very sad story short, we ended up at the ER where my sister-in-law works as a PA. It is such a blessing to have her in our lives. She was able to get us immediate treatment. My mom was not able to keep her food down for a few days, which is why we ended up at the ER. They rehydrated her, and had all types of tests done. The CT scan and MRI were clear; we later found out that they are not always reliable tests. The endoscopy revealed a mass close to her duodenum, which explains the partial stomach obstruction, thus the vomiting. Few days later, she had a PET scan that revealed that the tumor had come back.
The surgeon wants my mom to get a gastric bypass to help her keep her food down. According to him, if all goes well and "God willing" she will be able to start chemo about 3 weeks after the surgery.
The problem is that my mom was only visiting us in the U.S., so, she needs to go back home to have all these procedures done. The surgeon has advised against having the surgery here and traveling for the chemo. All has to be done in the same place.
I cannot even begin telling you how hard it has been to try to work out all the details. My brother has been working hard translating the doctors' documents from English to French, so that the treating doctors (back home) can fully understand the PET scan results etc. My dad and my younger brother, back home, have been looking for surgeons for my mom. Because I am an International Student in the U.S., I have to be able to travel out of the country and make sure that I can come back to finish school. I absolutely have to go with my mom! She not only isn't well enough to travel alone, but I also cannot stay here knowing that she will be having a surgery. I need to be with my mom.
It is so hard, other than my older brother and his wife, we have no family here. If I drop out of school to take care of my mom here, then I would become illegal (I have to be a full-time student to remain in-status). I just can't do that, it would defy the purpose of my parents keeping my mom