The Beginning of Mary's End

The slam came the day before my in laws were to arrive for a weeks vacation in California. My mom had phoned to tell me she had a growth removed from her chest that had come back cancerous.  She said there was another 'lump' in her breast and she said she was going to an oncologist the next day.  I immediately cried when I hung up the phone because my mom is 79, and was a heavy smoker for 57 years of her life.  She only recently quit smoking (5 years ago or so)...and well cancer is not a surprise...but it is a blow nonetheless.  
The oncologist told my mom he suspected lung cancer from the biopsy of the tissue tested and yet my mom was some how hoping it was breast cancer, since she had detected a lump in her breast...So I flew to moms to go through the cancer staging with her.  Each test I felt a knowing it was going to be intense...so when the actual diagnosis came on June 10, the day before my special needs brother's 50th birthday, we all were silent and swallowed the boulder of bad news as best we could without choking out loud. 
Lung Cancer it is.  And it is all over her body.  It is in her adrenal gland, it is in her bones (back shoulder bone), it is in her brain and it is also in her lymph system.  I taped the appointment with my iphone, and transcribed what the oncologist said later -  I knew the diagnosis was blowing through my head with such velocity I could never retain all the terminology and exactly what he was saying-...He asked if we wanted to look at the scans - My husband did but I didn't get up to look at the scans...I was heavy in my chair and the lump in my throat was paralyzing my responses to the news.  After the discussion of treatments (radiation on her brain) and chemo - to be determined after the radiation therapy, - my mom asked the doctor "How long do I have to live?" - his response was 14-16 months,  but also cited (miracles) people with stage four living two to three years.
My husband, my mom and I got in the car and went to lunch after this diagnosis to discuss how we were all going to move forward at this juncture.  My mom has been caring for my brother who turned 50 the next day after this terrible news.  Pete has epilepsy and cerebral palsy and falls into a spectrum of autism to an extent he is a counter, and obsessed with sports and is not an interactive person , but a reactive person. We went home to just lay it out as it is in its entirety.  Not sure how much was absorbed, but that was six weeks ago.  Now mom has finished her radiation therapy, she has lost her hair and is taking oral chemo daily from home.  Her energy is low low low and she sleeps the late afternoon away, and goes to bed before nine.  Her appetite is small, but she is not nauseous (yet).  
I plan to stay on until we get a nursing system in place and then I still will be tethered here to an extent.  It is now July 21 and time has melted into one fat globule that ceases to exsist outside of the walls of my mother's home.  I am now hoping daily Strength can connect me to others who are in similar situations.