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.



April, know that she is resting at the feet of Jesus & is in no more discomfort/pain. God is there holding you up, sweetie. The pain is raw, I know, but hold your memories closely & cherish them ... it helps so. You are deeply loved & prayers are lifting for her soul & for you & your family. If you need to talk just write me ... I am here ...

Hugs of love, sweet friend ~

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