Friday, May 25, 2012

My Mom...Days 24-34

Mom had some very good days in there. On May 8 we brought Mom home from the hospital and my friend from middle school (James) was her nurse. He was amazing, getting all of her meds in order, calming her and our worries and concern. We had oxygen tanks delivered to the house. Mom was up and walking around without oxygen. She was eating good, we had even planned to go to a movie together to see Johnny Depp's movie, Dark Shadows the weekend after Mother's Days. Her port was supposed to be placed that following Tuesday, May 15 and then she was to start chemo Monday, May 21. Towards the end of the week Mom wasn't feeling good. Her stomach was very upset. First she wasn't able to go potty (#2) then she couldn't make it stop. We thought it was just a virus she had picked up from me, that I had picked up from work.

Momday, May 14, Emil had to call 911 for Mom to go back to the hospital. She was weak and sick and in alot of pain. I went straight to the ER from work and stayed with her late into the night. She kept saying she was in so much pain and she never felt that bad in her life. I didn't know that would be the last day that we would really be able to talk to each other.

Tuesday, May 15,Mom was saying she was just so sick and she is tired of being sick and not sure how much longer she can go on like that. I felt so bad and would have done anything to make her feel better. She wasn't able to eat anything, just take little sips of water here and there.

Wednesday, May 16, CC was calling me at work asking me when I could come to the hospital, and could I leave early. I told them that I had to go to Austin with Emil and that I would be there as soon as I got back to San Antonio. Mom kept saying she didn't want to die alone. I told her just hold and I would be there as soon as I could. I was there about 9:30. When I got there Mom said. "April, is that you? I can't see too well." Then the nurse came in and she said the same thing about him. She started getting nervous and a bit frantic asking why this was happening, why does she feel so bad and can't see and why is she on a liquid diet. She knew she was on a liquid diet because she hadn't been able to keep any food down. Despite how bad she was feeling all her vitals were still perfect.

The nurse administered her the Morphine around 10 p.m. and that's when all hell broke loose. Mom didn't know who anyone was. She was calling me her mother and grandma. She did have moments where she was coherent. I ran and picked Emil and Lena up and brought them to the hospital. I was thinking this might be the last time Mom would recognize them. I am so thankful they came. Lena asked Mom between tears, "Nanny, do you know who I am?" Mom told her, "Of course I do. You're Lena. My sweet, sweet Lena." When we left Mom even told Emil, "bye Emilko.." (her nickname for him.)

CC called me around 6:30 in the morning Thursday. She said the night was horrible. She didn't sleep at all. Mom was calling her MeMaw (her grandmother), Toody (my brother that died), Daddy (could be her dad or her grandfather), Mother (her mom). She said she needs help but when CC would call the nurse she said she didn't know what she needed help with. I talked to Mom on the phone for a minute. I told her I was on her way and she just kept asking when are you coming, when will you be here, I need help. I got there in a few minutes, she recognized me for a moment. She was saying, "Where is that man? He's supposed to come help me. Call him! Call him!" She made a fist like she was gonna hit me or the bed or the "man"... she was in pain I now realize.

Her mind just got worse and worse. She was calling everyone MeMaw and kept asking MeMaw if they could go to sleep. Her Morphine was making her so hot and she was wanting to take her clothes off. My sisters got there and they would fan her. She was mixing up words and couldn't complete her thoughts. She kept grabbing at her side and saying pain, hot, MeMaw. One time she told my sisters to be quiet. Mom said to me once, "I guess MeMaw doesn't want to put the ice under the bed. She doesn't want to be cold. She wants it hot."

Once James got there he was able to calm her down a bit and keep her in bed, something we were having trouble doing. She kept wanting to go, let's go, let's do it. Are you ready? Let's go.

We think she was having so much pain in her stomach she thought she was having a baby. She asked "MeMaw" if he was ok and could she hold him. She was even patting her own chest as if there was a baby on it.

Once the oncologist came around 7:30 p.m. she told her there was really nothing we could do, just make her comfortable and she recommended a hospice. I did the paperwork and we just sat with Mom. I think Mom understood what was said because she was uncontrollable after that conversation. The nurses gave her the three medicine combination that is given at the time. I remember adavan, morphine and something that started with an "H".

My sisters and my neice and I took turns sleeping in the waiting room on little love seats, then going in and sitting with Mom. Even then she was still trying to mumble to us. My sister told her, "Mom, Tony and Jr are coming tomorrow to see you." Mom mummbled, "Tttony, jjjjr..." That night a sister from our congregation said she would send her husband over to pray and Mom said "bible".

Friday morning Mom's breathing was getting labored and getting rattle-ly. We suctioned her twice and the third time the respiratory therapist said if it was her mother she wouldn't do it again. This whole morning the hospice man was snappy and grouchy wanting us to hurry up and move her. It was obvious she wasn't going to make it much longer. We kept putting him off. He told me if we don't pick a place to move her the hospital would kick us out....all the while my mother is laying dying in the bed.

Mom was fighting so hard still, trying to breathe, she was sweating all over her face and her nailbeds were beginning to turn blue. I saw her breathing wasn't looking good so I ran home to get Emil and the girls. My sister Stacy sent me a text that I need to get there quick.

By the time I got there Mom had gone to sleep. I am so thankful I didn't see her take her last breath. I think in all honesty it would have lived through that.

We all sat and held her hand. Emil cut her mothers ring off. The day before when we were discussing cutting it off Mom said strongly, "NO CUT!" I held Mom in my arms. It was so wierd because her face was cold as ice and her back was still warm. I told Mom I promise I will see her when she awakend in Paradise. I looked at her one last time, kissed her eyes and forehead, cut a piece of her hair and left.

I have never felt so much heaviness in my heart. I miss mom profusely. I feel like it's enough already. I haven't ever gone this long without talking to her. I miss her I need to hear her voice. I need to get to the hospital and see her. I just kinda accepted the other day that she isn't on vacation or just really sick...she's gone. I am without a mother. I miss her more than words can say. I may have even held her purse one morning and laid on my closet floor and fell asleep. Never in my life did I go a day without speaking to her. I can honestly say I have no regrets other than she wanted a peach her last day here at home with me and I couldn't find one. Today is her memorial service. I am dreading it. It's like that makes it real, there is no denying it after that.

I made her flyers and had an 8x10 made. I don't know how I will do tonight.

Tomorrow is like the real first start of my life with out Mom. I don't like that. I try to think of the woman Mom would want me to be. I never really had to grow up because I always had Mom there to do everything for me and save me when I got in trouble. I no longer have that and now have to see what it's like to stand on my own. That's scary.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Poppy Seed Muffins and Bananas Foster Bundt Cake

I didn't go in to work yesterday because I wasn't feeling well, and I think I may have gotten Mom sick as well...not good!

CC started the morning off by making delicious lemon poppy seed muffins...

That girl can really bake! She is such a huge help and a really good girl... She is such a blessing!

We each made us a cup of coffee and then dug in on those muffins!!!

We pretty much laid around and did a whole lot of nothing the rest of the day. I took out my new Italian cookbook I bought at Dillard's a couple of months ago and started reading through it. It's funny how fast your life can change and the things you once really enjoyed doing and looked forward to doing mean absolutely nothing anymore.

Last night the girls and I were watching Bridesmaid's. Mom slept on the sofa. I think Emil called, so we paused the movie and while talking to him I started making a Bananas Foster Bundt Cake.
Melted almost 1/2 cup of butter in the bottom of a greased Bundt pan then sprinkled brown sugar over that...

I then sliced one large banana and placed the slices on the bottom of the pan. Next I sprinkled half a bag of pecan pieces over the bananas.

Mom woke up a couple of times and asked if the salmon was ready. I had it marinated so I took out a piece, placed it in foil with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and tarragon,salt and pepper. I made a little pouch and threw it in the oven. She loved it!
By the time her salmon was finished, so was my was really delicious! Of course CC and I made coffee to have with our cake, Lena had hot tea.

I'm doing better with giving Mom her lovanox shots. I didn't hurt her yesterday morning. Last night might have pinched a bit. James said I'm doing good. We also heard her bottom left lung is opening that's wonderful! Her port will be placed early next week and her PET scan next Thursday I think. Her first round of chemo will be the following week. We are scared, worried and nervous but we are also ready to get treatment started.
I have lots to catch up on and am only off being private for the weekend. I might be crazy and participate in Pink Saturday. I'm trying to make myself do things I used to enjoy doing. It's not easy. But I think it's necessary to help us find a new normal.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Days 15-23

My posts are becoming farther and farther in between. I think because sitting down and typing this out is just so hard. It brings up so many feelings.
I know what we are dealing with. I know the odds aren't good. I know what's ahead...and it's not pretty.

Last Saturday I spent most of the day with mom. I brushed her hair. I love brushing her hair. It's so special to me. I feel a connection, a bond, that I'm giving back to her for all she's done for me. I love feeling her hair in my hands.

Sunday I let her stay alone some of the day so she could get some rest. She coughed alot Saturday and was tired out from the hard night Friday.

I brought CC back to the hospital to stay with mom because I had to go to work the next morning. CC texted me in the morning and said she woke up in the middle of the night and nanny and the whole bed were gone. I finally got on touch with Mom. She said she got up to use the potty in the middle of the night and then could not breathe. At all. A whole team, the respiratory therapists, techs and nurses ran in there to get her breathing. They took her down to do scans and x-rays and hooked her up to a full face oxygen mask at the absolute highest level.

Monday I received a phone call around 3pm looking for permission to do an emergency procedure that would place a filter under her heart via a placed tube in her artery from her right groin. The nurse told me the whole team was assembled downstairs in the emergency room and we had no other choice, the found another blood clot in her right leg. That evening Moms oncologist came in and told us that they now believe the aggressive cancer has spread to her lungs and unless she eats and can breathe on her own, she can't start treatment. With out treatment she won't make it.

Tuesday was one of our hardest days yet. Just letting that all sink in was hard. I left work early. I just needed to be with Mom. Stacy, Lisa, Ashley were all there too. A doctor from the hospital came in Tuesday and told us they have about run out of options. They have tried all the medicines they have and unless some huge turnaround happens, things won't get any better for us.

Then Wednesday something did happen. She woke up and felt better. She stated eating. Even asked for fried oysters, which we happily bought for her.

She's been doing great everyday. This morning she and I walked from her bed to the curtain, then we sat in our chairs pulled up beside each other and watched the news. She got up and walked to the window a couple of times.

Then the coughing started. She asked the respiratory doctor why she has this constant cough and he said because of the nodules on her lung. First they were telling us it might be cancer, then it was shadows and definitely pneumonia and now nodules.

Whatever it is, she's off of IV antibiotics and morphine. Mom will be reevaluated tomorrow to see if she's ready to come home.
I just want her here to get her strong and start treatment. I just want my Mom better.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone