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Nikki M.

My name is Nikki. I’m a caregiver to my mom, Bonnie who is battling Stage IV lung cancer and this is my story.

In the later part of 2017, my mom started having a pain in her side. Some days she’d say she felt better and other days she was in pain. She’d brush off the fact that anything was majorly wrong and didn’t need to go to the doctor. A few months went by and in March of 2018 I finally got her to see her primary care doctor about it. That appointment as we later would find out was the beginning of my mom’s battle.

She went thru testing, bloodwork and CT scan. At the follow up appointment is when we were told mom had a tumor in her spleen and she would need to have surgery to remove it. At that time we were told it was very unlikely that the tumor in her spleen was cancerous. We left that office that day relieved to finally have answers to her hurting and that it wasn’t anything major. Before mom ended up with a surgeon she began having severe pain, I couldn’t watch her hurt any longer so I brought her to the emergency room. They checked mom in, started running test and getting info about the tumor on her spleen. That day they came back in the room and told mom they would be admitting her to do surgery on her spleen. Finally something was going to be done so mom wasn’t in pain anymore.

We got settled in our hospital room, they gave us the information on what would be going on, tests that would be run, surgery would be scheduled and once healed mom would be able to go home. Well once surgery was performed and the biopsy was tested, the doctors came in with the news. The news nobody ever wants to hear. The news that brought tears to our eyes. The news that informed us that my mom had Stage IV Lung cancer.

How? Why? Why was this happening to my mom? Along with all the other million questions that came overwhelming my mind. That day changed our lives forever. I did not know where to start, what to do or how to help my mom with the news she had just received. I had a long talk with God, took a deep breath and moved forward right along side my mom taking care of everything. I became her 24 hour caregiver but most importantly I am her daughter and her best friend and we were going to get through this together. Her battle is my battle!

Mom did chemo and radiation extensively for 6 months. Through it all I saw the strongest bravest woman in my mother. She absolutely rocked that treatment. She did her follow up CT and thank God we wereseeing good results from treatment. Then, just recently, at her oncologist appointment she was informed treatment was no longer working how we had hoped and prayed. The tumors in her lung, and the latest one on her adrenal gland were growing. Still holding on to the fact that her tumors have not spread anywhere else. That is a blessing itself.

Here we are September 2019, mom is going through radiation on her adrenal gland and the oncologists are going to put together the next step of treatment. I’m thankful each and everyday that my mom is still here with us. I have been by her side through all treatments, appointments and hospital stays. I read all the information I can find, I ask questions (lots & lots of questions), I volunteer at cancer fundraisers, and I’m there to talk about it anytime I see someone else having one of those bad days and just need a little compassion and encouragement.

Lung Cancer became front and center of our lives overnight basically. From day one I started a medical binder/ journal that I carry with me all the time. It has mom’s journey from the very first day. Along with all the answers to my many questions:) The nurses all love it they call it my handy dandy notebook. It has been an overwhelming journey filled with ups and downs, sad times and happy times. No matter what we still make the best of them and love hard! My mom is a strong woman who is giving this lung cancer a hard fight! That is my story...I pray there is a cure for all one day ❤️

First published: October 3, 2019

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Hero stories are the point of view of the Hero and not necessarily the American Lung Association. The Lung Association does not endorse any specific provider, facility or treatment.

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