My only sister died on May 28th . 1983. Her funeral was June 1st. She would have turned 43 in Sept. of 83. She died from breast cancer. Even though she had a radical mastectomy in April of 82, apparently she already had spots in her lungs that the technician did not catch while they did her first chest x-ray when they removed her left breast. It wasn't until Aug. of 82 when she found a lump in the right breast and told the doctor she wanted it removed whether it was cancer or not, she didn't want to worry about it all the time.
Again, as part of the pre op back then, they did a chest x-ray, and found spots in both lungs. Since they wanted to check this out first, they put the breast surgery on hold. They also got out the x-ray from April and since they now knew where the spots were located, they also saw them on the April x-ray. Of course it was a little late to find them now, since her doctor told her they got it all and she wouldn’t need any follow up treatment. So for four months, she received no follow up treatment of any kind, and these spots were just growing.
I kept asking her, are you sure you shouldn’t be doing something more, but she had a lot of faith in her doctor.
The technician got fired, big deal, all he/she had to do was go to another hospital and get hired on. That’s why you need to ask questions. Plus I think doctors now a day seem to start treatments and so forth so much earlier and just seem to take better care in general then they did even 25 years ago. And like my oncologist says, every year they come up with something new or a different way of doing things.
They sent her home, and they started her on some type of chemo, where she would take so many pills a week and several shots. By Thanksgiving she wasn’t improving, so she was sent to a specialist in the field of lung cancer. He started her on some kind of chemo that caused her hair to fall out after the first treatment. Then her husband got laid off work, they had no hospitalization, and when he found a new job several months later, their company would not insure my sister.
Thank goodness her church members, friends and family came together to help them out to pay for the treatments. Also back then she got the treatment at the doctor’s office and I believe it ran around $300.00 including blood work. But it would still take almost all day for it to drip through her body. She did a total of seven treatments, when she found it wasn’t shrinking the tumors; in fact she was getting them all through her esophagus and even had one on the back of her head which was very visible. She said since they weren’t doing any good, and since she was so sick between treatments, why keep doing them. She said she just wanted to live long enough to see her youngest child, a son, turn 16, which he did on April 18th.
The last few months she was alive, I tried to have a small bouquet of flowers sent to her house every two weeks. And I can remember as people came through the line at her viewing, one young woman asked if I was her sister and when I said yes, she said, you’re the one that sent her flowers all the time. She had many, many people, come to her viewing. In fact the funeral director said they usually have to remove pages from the guest book, but they had to add pages to her book.
Her husband was brought up in a German Baptist home; he did not join the church, but instead joined the Church of the Brethren where my sister belonged. But even though he wasn’t a member of the German Baptist, his family was, and almost all that came through the line handed him an envelope which I’m sure was money to help him out with the expenses.
Today would have been my sister’s 68th. ,
Happy Birthday Nancy, Love You