Now for the good news! My Grammie went to her radiation oncologist the other day and learned her prognosis is not so bleak after all! (Damn that first doctor for scaring the utter shit out of all of us.)
Her cancer is stage 3, not stage 4. Yes I realize that this is not excellent, stage 3, but stage 3 is a helluva lot better than stage 4. Secondly, unlike what her first doctor told her, the cancer has not spread to all of her lymph nodes in her body. Just the lymph nodes in her neck! Much more manageable! So, while her oncologist could not make any promises, he told her there was a good chance to treat this damn cancer! Yay!
She will still have to do both radiation and chemo. She will lose her hair. During chemo she'll lose her taste buds. Her mouth will completely dry out and be cotton-mouth for the rest of her life. She might have to wear a feeding tube for a while (something to do with the treatment for the cancer at the back of her tongue.) She will get very sick and puke-y. She will lose weight.
But it's not the death sentence her first doctor led us all to believe!!
We all have very high hopes about Grammie's prognosis now. I'm not naive, I know there is always the chance that this cancer will kill her. But now I'm feeling more optimistic about everything and not so quick to automatically assume the words. Fingers crossed.
Optimism is good.