Wednesday morning, we met with a hospice nurse from the home healthcare company.

On Friday, I took Mom to see her friendly neighborhood oncologist.

We had a lot of questions.

What were her treatment options? And what the hell was with this COUGH? What was Mom’s prognosis?

Cancer patients apparently have four treatment options available to them: surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and oral medications. Mom is probably too weak to make it through surgery. Radiation didn’t work. Chemotherapy and oral meds would give her side effects worse than the symptoms (right now, NONE) of the actual disease.

Her prognosis? Her oncologist shrugged.

I pressed a bit.

“Are we talking on the order of ten years? Five?”

“Less than a year,” he admitted.

That was tough to hear.

I took Mom out for margaritas. We stopped at Red Robin and ordered HUGE mango margaritas (yum!) and drank to life.

We both (eventually) drained our glasses.

Life is good.


About Kathleen

Kathleen Heuer is a serial arts advocate and volunteer. She is the mom of two beautiful girls, wife to a brilliant nuclear engineer, and referee between her golden retriever and her hissy 18-year-old cat. For more, go to
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6 Responses to Prognosis

  1. Aimee says:

    I am really sorry to hear this. Enjoy every moment you have together, which it sounds as though you already are. {{hugs}}

  2. tangled zen says:

    I am truly sorry to hear the news of your mom….

  3. Natalia says:

    I’m sorry that you received such hard news! I love how you handled it! I don’t want to make this post about me….but I lost both of my parents without much warning. This is going to sound strange, but I’m happy that you know how much time you have. Make the most of it. Tell her whatever you want/need to tell her. Give hugs! Take pictures! Enjoy the time, make memories! Live, laugh, love!

    Take Care! and Big hugs to you both!!!

  4. Sandwiched says:

    Thanks…it’s good to hear your perspective, Natalia. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been on DeathWatch for years, and I start to envy the people who lose loved ones quickly. I guess the alternative sucks, too.

  5. Natalia says:

    Well I think that probably no matter what way it happens it all sucks! We can agree on that I’m sure. My relationship with my parents was troubled, so there was a LOT left unsaid and I have a lot of regrets there. So that factors into my perspective! Just know that you and your mom and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers and if you ever need to talk or vent….I’m here!

  6. Pingback: Keep walking | Sandwiched

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