top of page

Not in Vain, A Promise Kept' describes the author's mother's 8-month battle with ovarian cancer and the medical errors that made her even sicker.

HOLMES, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, December 20, 2021 / -- Renowned author Melissa Mullamphy is pleased to announce the release of her latest book, Not in Vain, A Promise Kept. Available on Amazon and other major retailers, the book relates the heartbreaking account of the numerous medical mishaps and mistakes that occurred after her mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. On a mission to share her mother's story in the hopes that other families don't have to face the same issues, Melissa ends each chapter by explaining to the reader what she learned from her experience, what she would do differently, and how readers need to find their voice and that they do have control and the obligation to help their loved ones during any health crisis.

Not In Vain, A Promise Kept (Paperback)

SKU: ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1734802634
  • At 68, my mother calls me crying. She's been hiding a distended abdomen. It turns out she has ovarian cancer. We schedule surgery to remove the mass in her stomach, but her platelet count makes the prospect too high risk. We postpone. Days later, they again determine she is too weak for surgery. I am livid. We still don't have an official diagnosis confirmed with a biopsy. The possibility of chemotherapy is discussed, instead of surgery. The fluid around her tumor is sent for biopsy. We are promised a 24-hour turnaround, but four days later, nothing. Until a nurse walks in and states she's ready with the chemo. This is how we learn she has cancer. We learn she has stage 3C ovarian cancer. After my mom's second round of chemo, her numbers improve! The tumor seems to be shrinking. We are fighting this. We begin to have hope. We are wrong.

    After a month, my mom is scheduled for another round of chemo. She is getting sicker and weaker by the day. We order a cat scan first because we are not going to continue treating with chemotherapy if it isn't helping; we can only see suffering. A nurse practitioner from oncology tells us that the tumor has shrunk by half. We celebrate and schedule the third round of chemotherapy. The day after her third round, her surgeon calls. The nurse practitioner was wrong. The tumor had not shrunken. She is sick, dying, and we gave her more poison, thinking it was doing...anything. She opts for surgery but has to wait until the chemo leaves her body-a month. And at the end of the month, while she wastes away in front of us, they push it to fall. I refuse. I will not leave the room until they get it on the books. They tell me I have to leave. I won't. They can call security. Finally, they schedule it.

    The evening before surgery, her surgeon enters the room and asks me to step out. She proceeds to tell me that the surgery will most likely be palliative, and she is extremely concerned as to whether my mom will make it through surgery. But it's wildly successful, more than we could have hoped.She is in the hospital almost a month post-op and inpatient rehabilitation. What was pitched as a layup was the need to start some cleanup chemo to kill any straggler cancer cells left in her body after surgery, and it's horrific. She hallucinates, becoming listless, has every symptom of toxicity. I tell her doctor, who says she's fine. Her condition worsens considerably. A nurse that we befriended calls me before giving her the third out of four inpatient chemotherapy regimens. She is worried about the way my mom looks as well as her speech. I go to the hospital immediately and find my mom flat on her back, very close to aspirating and choking on her vomit. After the final dose and a very long holiday weekend, her oncologist stops in to see my mom and admits I was right: she's toxic. All it took for me to find this out was Google.  The cancer comes back with a vengeance-worse than before. Nothing is helping her, and the negligence of the hospital does not let up. The last option is to go on maintenance chemo. She becomes deeply depressed. Her condition worsens; she is tired, having fought for seven months, and initiates hospice. In December, she passes away. The hospital agrees to zero my parents' bill because I threaten them with a malpractice suit. Life goes on, and I choose to remember my mother every day. I want my readers to learn from my experience and advocate for their loved ones.

Related Products