My Friend Who Was A Second Mother To Me Died From Cancer That Was Misdiagnosed

I met my friend about 12 years ago when she became my co-worker. She was old enough to be my mother (25 years older than me) and interesting enough some of her life experiences were similiar to me. Both of us grew up in single parent homes and both of us were very young when our fathers left.

My friend had worked hard all of her life and for nearly 20 years had done house cleaning. When you do this type of work it takes a toll on you're joints (wrists, knees, back,ankles, etc). Over the years she had her aches and pains.

The last couple of years she had had severe pain in her back. In the fall of 2011 the pain was unbearable. She had her back area x-rayed but no one told her that the spots on the x-rays might be cause for concern. She was told it was arthritis. Given that she'd done a lot of cleaning which involved bending her knees and carrying things, it wouldn't be far fetched to say that the pains in her back and hip area wouldn't be related to this. It never entered her mind that the back was caused by cancer. A lot of people have back pain and don't have cancer.

She went to a chiropractor and a physical therapist for treatment and this made the pain worse. She then went to a orthopedic doctor several months later who had done a hip surgery on her a couple of years earlier. All he was concerned about was doing the surgery. I've heard there a test that you can take for cancer which one would think would be routinely taken just as a pre-caution.

This didn't help her. She went to another orthopedic doctor who had done knee surgery and when he saw the x-rays, he was alarmed. He didn't really have to say anything to her.

Within days she found out that the spots on the x-rays were cancer and she had cancer all over her back and in her hip bone. The cancer was also in her breasts. Chemo didn't work and made her very sick. She ended up having to retire several months earlier than expected. Friends stayed with her to make sure she was okay. I spent a couple of nights at her home.

The last night I stayed with her she was almost herself again. It was the Memorial day Weekend. I was sitting in her room telling her about an article in People I had read about the Kennedy Family. We were laughing and it was like she wasn't ill.

She got worse. She could barely walk and it got worse. She would scream out in pain which was very difficult to watch. In June of this year her son came down. A friend of hers called him and told her that he needed to come ASAP. My friend had downplayed to a certain degree how bad she was.

She ended up in a Hospice Center while her son made arrangements for her to go back to New York where he lived and where she had grown up. The last day I saw her she was surrounded by many friends and co-workers. There were about 10 or 12 people in her room. I think everyone knew that this would probably be the last time we would see her.

She went back in late June. Before she left, she told me that I would get a new car. This happened. The last time I spoke to her was three days before she died. It was a brief conversation. She died on July 12, 2012 between 7-7:30 p.m. She was 76 years old.

I knew something was up as she hadn't called me in 3 days which would be unusual for her. I found out at work the next day. I finished out the day and then went home and cried.
nascarlucy nascarlucy
46-50, F
1 Response Nov 27, 2012

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