Before you begin reading, you should know that this is undoubtedly going to be an extensive post. I've kept most of this bottled up throughout the years and, because of that, I feel that I need to get everything out at once as I am rapidly approaching a point that reveals truths that I may not be able to deal with. I also think that it would be best for me to inform you that at this point I'm about neck deep in whiskey, which is a horrible way for me to try to deal with the pain, I know, but it is honestly a something that I have decided to use as a last resort, so please kindly disregard any grammar or spelling errors.
It began when I was a freshman in high school, a little under a dozen year ago. I was happy with my life, I feel that I need to point that out. About half way through the semester my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. My entire family was rattled with disbelief. I was only 13 at the time, so it was a boulder of a burden on my emotions. Teachers would bring up the issue at school and I would unwillingly burst into tears. I couldn't even think, or much less talk about it without my emotions being twisted to the point where I would want to yell at the top of my lungs. My mom was set up for chemotherapy and radiation, both of which help tremendously. Surgery followed soon after, and, as far as the doctor could tell, my mom was cancer free. I was ecstatic. My mom, her parents and I were on cloud nine.
Months went by without any problems. The next obstacle revealed itself when I was a sophomore -- a mere 11 months later. My mom began having problems walking distances that exceeded 20 or 30 feet. She would give out of breath and almost suffocate. She would often find herself sitting in the grass if she made as attempt at walking a long distance outside -- a distance that, to us, would seem minuscule. After a visit with the doctor, and a few scans later, a large tumor was found, resting just below her heart. This was, as you may expect, an almost uncompromisable moment for me. It was hard for me for focus on school work. In fact, I began looking for any excuse I could to get out of school. Don't get me wrong, I was a good student. I had great grades and conduct. Without the interference of all of the health issues surrounding my mom I would have soared through high school happily, and with well above average grades, as I was highly motivated. My mom had a very vigorous round of chemotherapy followed by radiation treatments, both of which did an excellent job of targeting my moms cancer. Again, she had surgery, but this time the recovery was extremely long and tough for both her and my family. She and I stayed at my grandparents house following the operation, where my grandmother, my grandfather and I did all we could to help her heal as fast as humanly possible. Months later she was as good as new. She had a new feel for life and began enveloping herself with her enjoyments quite vigorously. My family was more than happy with the outcome. Again, all was well. All was more than well.
A little more than a year passed. My mom underwent scans every 3 or so months. Again, the doctors diagnosed her with cancer -- this was the third time. It was in her chest area, just as the previous two instances. More than one tumor was found. This was largely discouraging, but we fought our way through. Again, she was scheduled for chemotherapy, which was closely followed by radiation. Both treatments helped tremendously and, as my you have guessed, surgery followed. During the operation my family and I waited in her room. We were beyond the edge of our seats. The phone rang, which was quickly answered by my aunt. "We had a minor issue during the operation. Although everything went well, one of your sisters' lungs collapsed during surgery, but we were able to fix the issue. She's in recovery now and you should be able to see her in a couple of hours", said the doctor. Who wouldn't be happy at this point. Even though everyone had been through a literal hell, she was alright, which is what really mattered. After a week or so in the hospital she was sent home, again to my grandmothers house.
After five or six months she began to have pain in her chest. She was prescribed opiates for a while after her surgery so she was able to cope with it for a while. The pain was being caused by an infection. After visiting the doctor she was placed on some of the most potent antibiotics available. The following day she was prepped and rolled into surgery. They found a wall of pus in her chest. Prior to showing up at the hospital her temperature had reached nearly 104 degrees. The pus was removed, and the infection ceased to exist. She healed quickly.
About two years ago my mom began having issues walking. She would randomly lose her balance. Her hearing was marginally sub-par. We didn't think much of it. We quickly blamed an inner ear infection and went on our way. A few weeks passed and she was only getting worse. After visiting her previous doctor a scan of her head was set up -- just in case. 3 - 5 tumors were found in her head. I can't say that even throughout the past 4 years we had been hit with such an immobilizing diagnosis. It was a nightmare -- my mom had brain tumors. She was sent to a specialist, who worked extremely quickly. Her treatment began with radiation, which was hastily followed by localized radiation. This completely destroyed the tumors. After her last treatment none were to be found. The doctor thought it would be better to get a chest scan now rather than later, given the circumstances. The scan revealed multiple tumors in her chest. She was set up for chemotherapy. She was not only taking IV chemotherapy, but she was also undergoing a regimen of strong chemotherapy pills. A months or so went by. Although she was receiving large doses of chemo, her health was not diminishing. A few days later, a scan revealed why. The chemo was not working. The tumors had not shrunk. After a meeting with the specialist she was sent to a doctor who was said to be in the top of her field. She was very positive toward my mom. My mom was in good health overall, and was told that there were over half a dozen options that could be attempted, although they were "trials".
This is the present day. The hospital has still not contacted her to set up a date to go over her first clinical trial.
I had began having anxiety attacks when I was a junior in high school. Upon becoming a senior i had already been placed on an SSRI and klonopin. The klonopin didn't do much with helping my immediate anxiety, although others helped tremendously. I am currently off of both the SSRI and the klonopin, but, with the circumstances, I am in dire need of something to help me cope with the anxiety. I refuse to go back on any anti-depressant, but I welcome anything that can take away the anxiety that I feel on a daily basis. It's almost unbearable. All I can think about is the outcome of her situation. What if they can't help her? What if they give up? Just typing that makes me weep.
I'm posting this here with the hope that there will be at least a few people who can chime in on my issues. I'm just about to set up an appointment with my family practitioner to discuss my options. Should I ask for a benzo? I know I said that I refused to take another anti depressant, but is this wise?
I am past the point of no return. I need help, and I need it quickly. If you've read this far please take the time to, at the very least, make some kind of comment on my post. What do you think I should do? What should I talk with my doctor about? What should I ask for at my appointment? Any advice is appreciated -- it's quite honestly appreciated more than you could possibly imagine.