I had expected that tonight I would be posting an update on our trip to Disney, but honestly I am exhausted from feeling like my world has been once again turned upside down and shaken really hard. Shortly after we got home last night, my dad called to update me on my mother. As many of you know, she has not been well for many months now. She has seen doctor after doctor, and told she had anything from stress, to heart burn, to the flu. We hoped having her come to Colorado for our family reunion would be a change in scenery and climate to help – it didn’t. She had persistent coughing which led to extreme exhaustion and loss of voice.
After returning home she has again seen doctor after doctor, and a slew of tests. Still no real answers. This week she awoke with her face and neck swollen to where she was unrecognizable. Unable to open her mouth much, she was not able to even hold down pureed food. My father (Alan) took her to a different hospital where the “chiefs” got involved. On Wednesday – two years and three days after Peter was diagnosed with leukemia – my mother was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in her lung (aka – lung cancer). On her request, my dad did not tell us until we got home from Florida.
The news is not even 24 hours old. We know very little right now – but what I do know is that she is not having surgery to remove the tumor. She began radiation, and tonight had a port inserted so she can start chemotherapy. With a little research, I know there are different types of lung cancer, and am anxiously awaiting more information about the type and stage. We know she has had symptoms for about 6 months which have led to paralysis of a vocal cord amongst other challenges. She is in good care at the American Clinic in Lima (Peru). My aunt Lesley – a nurse practitioner – is on her way to Lima this week to assist my father in digesting the information as it becomes available and caring for my mother. My father has asked that my brother Roger (who lives in Spain) and I remain on standby until additional information becomes available over the next week or so. I know we both feel so helpless right now.
But this is where you all come in! Over the last five and a half years my mother has read every CarePage post, every comment and word of encouragement many times over. She has rallied her troops, and been amazed and how many folks reading this page rallied their own troops around praying and positive thoughts for Peter – she is convinced that no corner on this earth has been left out, and that it is through that power that Peter has overcome what appeared to be unsurmountable challenges. My mother is a woman of amazing courage, stoic strength, and deep love for family and friends. She is a lioness of a mother, and a pillar of strength to all who have needed her support. Right now she needs ours. I am asking you to please include my mother – Christine Mortimer – in your thoughts and prayers, and for all the Mortimer family, as we prepare to support her on this very difficult battle. I ask that you please share this with your friends, family, loved ones, and support groups. We don’t know what lies ahead, but we know how comforted she will be knowing that she is being lifted up in thought and prayers.
In advance I thank you on behalf of myself and all my family as we pull together our shattered hearts, and learn to be the pillar of strength she needs in ways only she has been able to teach us.