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LUNG FORCE Heroes

Shawna Z.

My mother was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer 2.5 years ago! She immediately started chemo and radiation. After her six month round she then went on to what they called a maintenance program. Up until February of this year 2015 she had remained on the maintenance program. That was until my mother started having other issues.

In February of this year my mother had a heart attack and was in the ICU for a week. She was told then that there were no more options and that the doctors wanted to stop the chemo. They told her the chemo was doing more harm then good for her body, and that her body was starting to shut down. From February to May my mother was in and out of the hospital. It seemed like every two weeks we were calling an ambulance for her.

In May the doctors in the hospital brought in a hospice team to speak with my mother. The family gathered around and all listened to their program. We decided as a family to do in home hospice care and up until about three weeks ago my mother was able to remain at home with us taking care of her. Three weeks ago today I received a phone call that my mother was unresponsive. I got in my car and drove the 40 minutes to get to her and sat with my dad for four hours waiting for an ambulance. They cited my mother was a non-emergency and that is why it took so long. My mother was taken to the Ray Hickey Hospice house in Vancouver where she is still receiving care. My mother hasn't eaten or drank in five days and they say it will be any time now!

Watching my mother go through this painful event has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do! If there was more research, and the doctors back in Missouri were not behind time, my mothers cancer would have been uncovered sooner and she might have been able to get treatment sooner!

First published: December 20, 2017


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