Grandma got the results of her CT scan a few days ago. Basically, it just confirmed what the X-ray already showed: that she’s got a 3-inch mass in the center of one of her lungs. Foolishly, I thought the reason they were doing a second test was to give us new information. Guess not.
Apparently, we won’t know anything more unless Grandma agrees to do a biopsy. Originally, when the doctor asked her if she would consider that, she said no. She seemed a little more willing to consider it after the CT scan, but now she doesn’t even want to go to the lung doctor for an office visit. So a biopsy is probably not going to happen.
I don’t think we need a biopsy to tell us it’s cancer. She’s a lifetime smoker and has a huge lump of something in her lungs; we know it’s cancer. But as my dad said, there are different types of cancer, and some are more aggressive than others. So the biopsy would at least give us better information about what to expect and how soon to expect it.
Right now she’s about the same as she has been for the past few years: easily tired, with shortness of breath if she walks around for more than a couple of minutes. Her doctor said she’s going to get very, very sick and that lung will probably collapse, but we have no idea when to expect things to go all to hell. Will it be next week? Next month? Sooner seems more likely than later, but we just don’t know.
The lack of information is maddening. It’s like being in hurricane season in that respect — you know things are going to get ugly one of these days, but you don’t know when, so that anxiety just hovers in the back of your mind, wearing you down without accomplishing anything.
And that’s another thing I worry about: we are in hurricane season, and coming up on the time when our area is most likely to be threatened. My parents and I are the ones responsible for Grandma most of the time, particularly when a hurricane heads this way. What’s it going to be like if we have to evacuate her? Will she even be well enough to evacuate? What if she’s in a hospice or nursing facility and doesn’t want to be separated from us?
I know we need to plan ahead, but every time I try, it just keeps coming back to the same issue: we don’t have enough information. We only know enough to worry.
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