Friday, April 27, 2012

Days 8-14....

Day 8 was possible the worst day of my life thus far. I received a text from CC, then Mom called and said the scans they did the previous night now showed a tumor on her pancreas, 3.1 cm. I think my heart fell. I thought I was going to vomit, diarrhea and pass out all at the same time. I couldn't catch my breath. I rushed to the hospital, trying to catch the doctor.
Dr. Judy Shumway wasn't there but did come back later to talk with us. She basically told us there is nothing they can do for Mom, she was going to send her home and we should just try to make her comfortable for the time she has left. Mom asked if there was any hope at all, any hope of treatment, any hope at life. She said, "We'll make you comfortable and your oncologist can discuss the rest with you." She said we have "months to a year." When she left the room we, me, CC and Mom broke down. We held each other and cried. There was a knock at the door and it was Mariel. I walked out in the hall and told her. We held each other and cried. She said her brother-in-law Ben was in a waiting room, along with her sister Marcy and some other brother and sisters from the Hall. When I saw Ben I pretty much fell in his arms and cried a way I have never cried before in my life. I don't think I ever hurt that way in my life. Such a hopeless despair.
The brothers read some scriptures with me and reassured me that it was ok to cry. Even Jesus cried. Jesus knew he was going to resurrect Lazarus and yet he was overwhelmed by grief and cried.

We brought Mom home to my house from the hospital that day. I felt like our days were  numbered. Mom didn't have much of an appetite. That's understandable.
Monday she was ok, tired, depressed, ate very, very little, but ok. We went to our first oncology appointment Monday afternoon. Dr. Rao said they would like to start chemo but first needed a PET scan, they were supposed to make an appt and get back to me. I still haven't heard from them. Dr. Rao said Shumway had no business giving us a time frame, cancer is not her speciality, she doesn't see anything in the charts to indicate so and that there have been many complaints about her for things like this.

Tuesday morning Mom was super depressed. I called her around 10:15 and she was still laying in bed and said she was thinking...thinking about dying. I told her she has to not think like that. That is exactly what Dr. Rao was talking about when she told us Mom's attitude was a major factor in how long she does live. That evening Mom wanted Pasha, so we bought her hummus and some kebobs. As long as she was eating we were ok!

Wednesday morning while I was working  Mom texted me and told me she was spitting up blood and having difficulty breathing. I went to the rest room, dialed 911 and had the ambulance take her back to the hospital. I also dropped to my knees in the bathroom stall and prayed.
The doctor at the ER said it looked like she never fully got rid of the pneumonia and she was being released too soon before she was properly healed. They gave Mom a nice big room, the VIP room and we have been here since.

Tonight is my night with Mom. I have been looking forward to spending this time with her. It breaks my heart to see her down like this, fever, coughing blood, having a hard time breathing. I hate to see her suffering.  And maybe this is selfish or ugly of me but I HATE seeing older women driving around or walking around with their moms. It pisses me off...really bad. Because I want to do that with  my mom and I can't and I honestly wonder if I will ever be able to again. I wish just once I could walk into a store with her and look around and then walk out together...and we would talk and laugh and not have this horrible dark cloud over our heads. She can't even walk to the restroom alone with out her heart pounding and without gasping for air. Why didn't I appreciate the time we had more when we had it? I want it back. I would do anything to have it back.

One night I was laying in bed with my eyes closed and this image of Mom came in my mind. She was smiling, had her hair pulled back, she had on a little make up and she had this V-neck sheer kinda  paisley print shirt on. The V-neck was heavily beaded and she was smiling such a pretty smile. The smile I remember her always smiling. Such a pretty smile. Will I ever see that smile again? It's been such a long battle these past few weeks that the image I saw is almost like a stranger to me. I haven't seen Mom truly happy or smile like that in such a long time. I ache for that smile to come across her face again.

I sat on the bed with mom as she was trying to sleep earlier. I was holding her hand. Trying to burn the way her hand feels in my mind, take in every bone, every wrinkle, remember everything. I didn't want to let go. She told me to go and do what I want to do, I didn't have to sit there with her. But I did... I told her I was doing what I want to do. I was sitting beside her holding her hand. There is NO where else I'd rather be.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 6 & 7...

These past few days have been hard. I'm not sure why. But I've been on the verge of tears the past two or three days.

Mom has been very tired lately. She says she thinks it's because of all the physical therapy they have her doing, being woken up all times during the night and not getting a good nights sleep. A case manager from the rehab hospital called me the other day and asked if mom was really coming home to my house. I said she was and she will be released tomorrow. A nurse called with Home Health and said mom will be getting five days a week of therapy for the first two weeks, then three days a week for the next four weeks.

I think mom is excited to be here and I'm happy to have her!! I do still need to go get Bella from moms house.

Today (day 7), mom told me her doctor said the nausea she's bern having is from the liver. I cried after we hung up. I feel so hopeless to make her feel better. I feel like I'm not doing my job as a daughter, but how can I fight her cancer? I don't know what to do.

She rested much of today and sounded so good when I talked to her. I hope she will recover faster once she gets here. The hardest part is seeing her so worn out and exhausted laying in bed tired with no energy. I am aware that when she starts her treatments it will more than likely be more of that. But she hadn't started then yet and I just want her to be the way she used to be.
Like this....

Not like this...

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Day 5...

I got to mom late today. I had a few things to do around the house.

She worked hard at physical therapy today. Maybe too hard. She sounded real down and looked a little depressed. She said she was just so tired.

Mom asked me if she was ever going to feel good again. She said she was so tired of being sick and tired. She started crying and I just held her. I needed to feel her body and my arms, healthy and strong before the treatments make her frail and weak.

Mom wore make-up today it was nice to see her looking a bit more like herself.

I'm terrified of what next week brings. In a way I want to know what we're dealing with but I'm also afraid of what we might find out. We know she has cancer we just don't know how far it is or where it's spread. It's the uncertainty, the not knowing that makes this so hard. I just want my mommy to be the same, to be the way she used to be smiling and happy, always on the go and cooking something.

When I go to her apartment to check on things, I wonder if it will ever be that way again. Her car is parked outside my house and sometimes I drive home and absentmindedly think for second, "Oh, look my mom's here!" Then I remember where she's at and where we're going.

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Day 3...

For three days now we've known mom has cancer. My greatest fear, that my mom has something very seriously wrong with her, has come true. This time though it's not a bad dream I'm going to wake up from with a heavy pounding heart. It's a reality that follows all day and night with a heavy broken heart.

I spent the night with mom at the hospital last night. I was really looking forward to spending that one-on-one time with her. Stacy warned me that she snores alot. It wasn't bad at all. She did have one bad coughing/choking spell. She spit up some fresh blood then felt better and we slept until about 7:30 this morning.

I went downstairs and got us tacos for breakfast. I pulled my chair up to her bed and we had breakfast together. God is this real? I can't really be typing this. I just don't want this to be real. I just want my mommy to be mommy, healthy, making brownies mommy. Not sick with no energy in the bed mommy.

Anyway, I brushed her hair for her this morning and pulled it back in a clip. I'm glad she didn't see me crying. I don't want to think about a time when I won't be able to brush her hair. Her soft soft hair.

I also painted her toes and rubbed lotion on her feet.
And I was so thankful that I could do that.

We moved mom to a rehab hospital today. She was so nervous to leave the regular hospital. CC stayed with her tonight. I gave mom extra kisses. I don't want to pass up one opportunity to kiss her, hold her hand or tell her I love her.

The doctor said she won't get strong enough for treatment if she stays in the hospital on morphine. I agreed with him and told him I want her in the rehab as soon as possible so we can get the PET scan and know what we're dealing with.

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Day 1

We learned today that mom has cancer. They don't know for sure where and they don't know for sure where it started. They are thinking maybe the bile ducts, he mentioned maybe the pancreas or somewhere in that area. The biopsy of the liver they did during her March 30 gallbladder surgery came back positive for cancer.
I feel in a way I always knew this was coming. Both of her parents died from cancer, her mother's was breast cancer that spread everywhere and her father from pancreatic cancer. I just hoped it would not be so soon. I've only had her 33 years. It's not enough. But cancer doesn't care, does it?
I just want to hold her. Look at her. Remember every single thing about her. Every grey hair, every wrinkle, her fingernails, her smile. Too soon the time may come that I won't have that.
I don't know what I'm going to do. How can I be without my mommy? She's my everything. How can I go a day without hearing her voice...hey, baby. I love my mom so much, probably too much. I think we all live each other too much, if that's possible.

Today we were saying something about her hair, something about washing it and she touched her hair and said,"Yeah, while I still have hair."

I just want her to stay positive. I often hear that's the key. I come home and bawl my eyes out. My heart is broken. But I'm strong in front of her. That's what's important not what the outcome is.

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Dsy 8 & 9

First of all, this new blogger lay out sucks... I can't see anything above this tiny box and I don't know how this is even going to turn out...

Yesterday Mom was feeling really bad. Her right shoulder started hurting and she was getting pains through her right side when she would breathe. Of course I worried it was another blood clot. She was having a slight fever, feeling nauseated, hurt to breath and was coughing. She HATED being in Global Rehab. She feels her health declined while she was there. She's right. It did.

Yesterday was a pretty big day at work. The trainers from upstairs we down in the lab with us. I also had my first coaching on my first call. Needless to say I didn't do that good. There are TONS of room for improvement, but it was my first call, in a state I'm not licensed in yet and I have all this other stuff on my mind. It's not so easy to leave these problems at the door once I get in to work. Anyway, I did love getting critiqued, I feel it helps me now, even yesterday, to improve the quality of my calls.

All day yesterday, during each break and all through lunch, I was on the phone with several of Mom's doctors trying to find out what we should do. Something needed to be done. Her surgeon, Dr. Vish, even called me back from the operating room to tell me he and Mom's oncologist want her to go to the ER for an emergency evaluation since they didn't know what her INR levels were. I called her Dr. Mulroy from Global Rehab and advised him of this. All I got in return was, "Honey, I understand you're worried. But sweety, let me do that for you, ok hun? I've got this honey. I want to see you're mom better as much as you sweety. I know what I'm doing. Her levels are fine honey. I checked them this morning hun. Honey, hold on, ok sweety...."Yes, I'd like a tall iced coffee with a little sweetener." Ok, honey, I'm back. Sweety, everything is ok. If I didn't think I couldn't take care of her I would be the first to send her back to the hospital. Ok? Don't worry honey, I've got this. Just call me if you need to later,ok sweety?" I wish I was joking about all the honey's and sweeties and sweethearts...but I'm not. That's the only comical part of this situation. I guess I forgot to mention that when he handed me his card he held my hand and said, "This is my cell phone number. You call anytime, day or night. It will be MY PLEASURE to talk to you...anytime."

ANYWAY..... an internist (sp?) did some tests and found that Mom's blood levels were way off and her blood is way too thin because of the coumidin and sent her via ambulance back to the hospital. She's been there since last night. They were running lots of tests on her as late as 2:30 a.m. I left the hospital when the tests were completed. She was so nauseated and sick and felt so bad.

Mom told me, "I wonder how much the human heart can take." I asked her what she meant and she said, "How much suffering can the body and heart take? When does it give up?" I told her SHE can't give up, this is just a little bump on the road to getting better and she WILL get better now that she's back in the right hospital and away from Global Rehab.

I have been so unbelievable stressed out. I needed to just get away. I went to Austin with Emil and Lena today. We came home around 2:30-3:00. I talked with mom on the phone a bit, picked up her medicines, packed some items for her, ran to Ingram for Emil and then headed over to the hospital. CC was hungry so I took her to Las Palapas and by the time I got back to the hospital it was 9:30 and the nurse told mom she needed to take her medicine so that she could get some rest. I didn't get to spend nearly enough time with her today and I feel so damn guilty.

 Mom was talking about a lot of things this evening. Like when Lena first came home from the hospital and Emil and I were nervous about what to do with her. Mom pretty much raised CC because Emil and I were so young and inexperienced and we really had no clue what to do. Mom said she sat in the rocking chair and held Lena up to her should and Lena snuggled her head into the crook of Mom's neck and just looked up at Mom with those big blues eyes. Mom said right then her heart melted and she fell instantly in love with Lena. She also asked Lena if she remembered their walks in North Star Mall in the mornings after Lena spent the night and how they would go to Wendy's for breakfast. Mom always wanted me to go walk with her just one time at North Star and I never made the time to go. You have NO IDEA what I would do to go back to last summer and do that, even just once. I would do anything to have that time with her. She also talked about how much fun she had going to school events that the girls had and how one time she went to Lena's school for something the day after she had rhinoplasty...again because I was too busy working and didn't make the time.

I hope her bringing up those memories aren't because she's giving up. I know she's tired and I know this is so hard on her. I see the changes on her face, in her skin. She's exhausted and we haven't even begun treatment yet. I am so freaking scared and worried. I am trying to give this to God but I still have all these emotions running through me. I'm fine at time and then times like now I am confused and lost and scared and hurt and I just want my mommy.

Lena cried hard the whole way home. Mom couldn't eat much, she's lost nine pounds in one week. I keep telling myself it's because of the medicines, even though it's a classic symptom of liver cancer. My poor Lena keeps all her feeling and emotions bottled up and never lets them out. I guess she couldn't hold it back any longer tonight. When I was telling Emil about how Mom only ate a cracker and two chips, Lena started crying and didn't stop. I told her it was ok to cry. It will help us.

I know I need to try to get some sleep. I'm so tired and exhausted. My house looks like shit. Literally. It's horrible. I try to pick up here and there, but I am never here physically and when I am, I am really never here mentally. I need one day to just stay home and clean. But I want to spend as much time as I can with Mom. I think it's good for her and I enjoy it. I am really thinking about hiring someone to just come help out around the house a couple of days a week. At least that would be one less thing I would have to stress about.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 4...

Today was a better day. I'm happy to say I didn't cry once.

Lena and I went to get haircuts today. Then we visited mom and Lisa and Ashley were there. Shully also came by to visit and Mariel, Ben and Marcie came by when I wasn't there. The outpouring of love that's been shown has been amazing!

This morning I sat and watched some TV. I haven't done that in weeks. I even made coffee. I'm trying to find my new normal once again.

I don't know if I should try to spend every second with her or if I should try to continue my busy schedules and maybe regret it later.

The stress of the past week has been unbelievable. So we came to the gym for the first time in a week. It felt so good to feel my muscles moving. The girls and Emil are swimming and I'm sitting here blogging.

You could almost make believe things are normal.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Going Private....

Yesterday the girls and I went to the park to get some fresh air and smell the wildflowers. We girls needed a breather in what has become so far the most difficult week of our lives.

It was so odd to see almost two completely different worlds. Ours filled with fear and sadness and the one around us blooming with life and sounds and smells. We enjoyed watching a little squirrel fix his gaze upon, then hop over and play with one of the flowers.

It was such a juxtaposition. One I was completely out of tune with. One I never wanted to know or feel but there I was...right in the middle of it. In one moment, one text, can change your life. Break your heart and turn everything you know inside out.

I stumbled upon a scripture yesterday that I often heard but never read myself, Ecclesiastes 3. It says there is an appointed time for everything under the heavens. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to wail and a time to skip about. (I did my wailing yesterday until I literally was unable to breathe!)

A time to throw stones away and a time to bring stones together, a time to embrace and a time to keep away from embracing.
A time to rip apart and a time to sew together, a time to keep quiet and a time to speak.

Everything he has made pretty in its time. Even time indefinite he has put in their heart...

Recently some things have come up that I really need to keep private. I'm deciding between opening a new blog to diary this and just continuing to diary here. For my sanity I need to put my feelings in words. I think it will help me sort out my feelings. Whatever they may be. I have a couple of posts written but still in draft until I go private.

If you would like to follow me through this you can email me or leave your email address here. I'm warning you it will be a roller coaster but I know many have been in this position and I need to find some support through this.
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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Talk About A 180....

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling great! It was pretty early and the birds were singing. Since I started working I haven't heard the birds sing in the mornings. I had just realized that. So I laid in bed, while the rest of the house slept, and listened to the birds sing.

I really wanted to go do some garage sale-ing but didn't feel like getting dressed and didn't want to go alone. The girls were still asleep. I got up, quietly made some coffee and snuggled on the bed with my boys to watch some tv. I can't remember the last time I laid in bed to watch TV. It's been so long that my remote was dusty!

The girls and I headed over to Mom in the afternoon to check on her. She had gall bladder surgery on March 30. She should be healed up and driving by now (at least that's what her surgeon told me.). Instead she is in so much pain across her back and shoulder. It's extremely difficult for her to breathe. She feels like she's going to pass out. Her heart races so fast she can't catch her breath. She said it feels like its going to pop out of her chest. I was thinking she's just stressed and worrying and tensing herself up.
I was SO VERY wrong.
I noticed yesterday her cough didn't sound right. Then she told me she started coughing up blood. I had to convince her to go to the ER. She didn't want to.
The staff took her in immediately. They scanned her for a pulmonary embolism. She has one, or a few.
I spoke with her surgeon twice last night. She has a few small blood clots "sprinkled here and there" in her left lung. She also has pretty severe pneumonia. And they found spots in her liver that "look worrisome".
So for now she is in the hospital and not leaving until the blood clots dissolve.
I never imagined it would be this. Never. I thought I was going to spend this weekend washing all my laundry and maybe get some dusting in. It's crazy the way things can change so fast and unexpectedly. I'm just so thankful she wasn't too hard headed to go check it out. Left untreated, it could have been so much worse.
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Friday, April 6, 2012

Weekend Work...

Our backyard needs attention, desperately bad. I just haven't been motivated to get back there and do something about it.
Wednesday when visiting Sister Lassen, I saw one of her neighbors yard. They always have such a beautiful yard. Every single season. Every single year.

I love it! It's so colorful and pretty....

And it makes me want to come home and work on my back yard..... Then reality hits!!!

It just isn't going to happen. It would take an army to make my back yard look like her front yard!

Oh's to hoping I find some kind of motivation to make me at least go trim it!
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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Clarification on my last post...

First I want to say I'm....

If I offended anyone with my last post.
In no way am I saying obese people "give up". I know and understand everyone has different tolerance levels, stories, backgrounds and circumstances that have brought them to where they are. And not just weight wise, with life in general.
What I was trying to say was when does a person say "enough is enough" and decide to take action. I definitely said it wrong the first time and I apologize if I offended anyone.

I know the struggle it is to be overweight. All my life I've been heavier than I should be. I remember being 12 or 13 and having the flu. When the nurse weighed me I was under 100 pounds and I knew that in all honesty I'd never see that again in my life.
Age, kids, poor eating habits, hypothyroidism, lack of motivation and energy have all contributed to my weight gain. It's been a constant struggle. Always. Now that I work I have even less time to cook healthy meals and focus on me. I'm fortunate that my place of employment is HUGE... a mile from one end to the next. We figured it out that just taking our breaks, walking to the restroom or one of the cafeteria's puts us at roughly a mile or so walking a day.
I can't say I'm going to keep up with this change. I know I want to. I want it more than the thousand other times I've started then quit. And I'm paying $200 a month for us to go. I need to get all the bang for my buck that I can.
Again, I deeply apologize for my words not coming across correctly. I am by no leans judging or putting down anyone. I am that person...the obese person who is not happy with the way I look or the way I feel. I want energy. I want to run a mile with out stopping. I want to set small goals for myself so that I can accomplish things I couldn't before. And I want to say I'm sorry I didn't say it right the first time.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Making Changes

We joined Lifetime Fitness last week. We all realize the need to get healthy. I've often seen obese people and wondered how they let themselves get to that point. When did they reach the point that they just gave up?

I don't want to get to that point. I'm not trying to be a certain weight or fit into a certain size jeans. I want to feel good. I want to be healthy. And I want my family to be right there with me. There have been days where I don't feel like going but I push myself to be there...

And I always feel 100 times better when I leave. I'm even thinking about setting my alarm an hour earlier and getting some time in in the mornings. I already feel like I have more energy. And I like that!

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