...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature...divorce...second chances...
and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2017. Hootie~

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

..."good" news...

Mom called last night to tell me that she met with the oncologist yesterday. He did in fact tell her that she only has 10 more treatments left. She was very happy. I heard a little hope in her voice. Maybe it's just happiness knowing the "getting sick" stage may soon be over.

Mom also told me that the stray gray cat that was in Gram's backyard several weeks ago just walked through the backyard with five kittens in tow. Grams was having a fit. But, she was also trying to feed them - they are feral and none would come anywhere near her. Maybe Grams will listen to me about the Feral Cat Friends groups I suggested. I love cats, but a lack of wild cats isn't such a bad thing. Eighty-six year olds...very opinionated they are and set in their ways.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

the waiting game...

Well, now we are playing the waiting game. After today mom will have only 10 more treatments. Then the moment of truth...CT scan.

Life feels like it's at a standstill right now. Things are going on around me, but I don't want to acknowledge them too much. Last night I was on my front porch watching the hummingbirds come to my feeder...if I were in my mom's shoes maybe this would be the last year I could watch hummers. I watched the bumblebees buzzing in and out of my spirea...could be the last time I note them. A lightning bug came up from the bushes as the sun was setting....it's all very sad and I am not ready to be sad again yet.

Last Sunday my sister was visiting mom. She told me she got into a fight with Art on Saturday night. He's limiting mom's nausea pills because they are expensive. She's suppose to take a pill every six hours as needed...he's only giving her 1/2 of a pill. I guess they cost $30.00 a piece.

I'm mad at Art right now because at the end of May when I was visiting he commented that he's so tired of sleeping with someone who keeps waking up and getting sick. I discovered about a month before that Mom and Art have seperate rooms at home. Since she's been taking Chemo he's been sleeping with her at Grams house. What a jerk. I wish I could think of a roundabout way to remind him of his wedding vows.

When I last visited mom, I took my kids up. Art was happy I was there. He said I could sleep with mom, he needed a break. I wish I felt more compassion for him and could understand his thoughts a bit more. I don't. I keep my thoughts to myself. It's probably better that way.

Time to call mom and rejoice that there are only 1o more treatments after today for her.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

...more on the GBM...

I should have realized how bad things were when I found out the nurses said my mom could have WHOMEVER she wanted visit her for HOWEVER they wanted in her hospital room that Sunday. They said no one would be kicked out and even though we got a bit noisy (jovial) ,we all stayed.

Sunday evening after most guests and family had left I got out my cordless curling iron. I asked my mom if she wanted me to do her hair. Surgery was set for 7 am the next day. After hair curling, my Aunt wanted to say a rosary. I do not practice Catholicism anymore, but saying a prayer is saying a prayer.

At about 10pm my Aunt, Grandma and mom's husband went home. That left my sister and I with our mom. We tried to sleep by 11pm. At 3:30-ish the nurses started coming into the room. They really had my mom up by 5 to prep for surgery. Grams, AP and Art came back at about 5:30. By 6:30 we had mom's room cleaned out and we were walking with her to the surgery Pre-op room. Only two people were suppose to be in there. We all took turns, but in the end my sister, Art and I got to see the surgeon and ask any final questions.

They surgery took 6 hours.

When the surgeon met with us again he said, "well, she made it through surgery." I don't think I even thought there was a possibility she wouldn't make it.

We got to see mom shortly after that in the ICU. She was out of it of course, but alive. They made us go see her in twos, no one could go alone and we couldn't talk to her - just look.

By now my brother, real dad's cousin, her daughter and daghter-in-law had showed up. My real dad's cousin decided we shold all go out a get something to eat. Art and Grams decided to stay at the hospital.

That night everyone went home - except me. I decided to stay so incase mom came around she would have someone there. It would be my second night to sleep in my clothes in a chair. Art stayed with me until about 10:15. It's good that he did, my mom came around at about 9:30 and she asked for Art. She also asked for food! I got to see her and I told her I'd be right our in the wating room.

Mom didn't need me overnight. I did go in and check on her periodically but she was always resting. The next morning when I really got up I changed clothes in the restroom. I got to see mom while others were on their way. She again asked for food and her nurse on duty, Christine, who was a tough cookie (but I LOVED her!), said she had a surprise for mom. She brought her a diet gingerale and ice chips.

Shortly after that my sister and Aunt arrived. My aunt would be heading home to VA in a few hours. My sister had been at the hospital since Friday and she needed to get back and check on her business.

Art and Grams arrived just after lunch. I had been in with mom and helping her to eat her clear lunch food. She was SO hungry. She did eat kind of fast - considering she had surgery - and when Art and Grams went in to see her she had just gotten sick.

Mom stayed in ICU until Thursday night, late. Then they moved her to a regular room. She couldn't walk without falling over so they weren't going to let her go home. By the following Wednesday the doctor thought she was ready to get home.

That was just before Mother's Day. I went up on that Saturday to see her and spend the night. Mom is staying at Grandma's. Her own house is just a mile away but grandma's is a ranch style and mom's is a split level.

Grandma insisted that I sleep with my mother. I don't think I have slept with my mother since I was 12.

The living conditions up there are not the same as what I am use to. I think because I like things clean I am perceived as 'I thnk I am better than them'. It's hard to stomach a bathroom when mold is growing in it. Her own daughter, my visiting aunt, had started this conversation with my grandmother in the hospital about her getting someone to clean her house. She took great offense to this conversation. I try to keep inmind she is going to be 87 next month and her muscles aren't what they use to be. Her idea of clean is not the same as my idea of clean. Suggest a cleaning crew should come in and you are saying her house is filthy and she can't manage it. There is a fine line here. People should tread carefully. Her independence is everything to her.

Grams is suppose to be on Oxygen most of the time. She only wears it at night. Her Doctor said she only has to wear it during the day if she wants to - so she says. Although she does have a small tank for when she's out and about, which she will not wear.

My mom didn't have complete muscle control of her bladder while I was up there. She "dribbles" a bit. Getting to the bathroom in a timely manner is a challenge. I cleaned up a lot of accidents. On Saturday night my dad's cousin came over and took Grams to church. The priest had grandma bring mom a piece of host. It was in this little gold box that my daughter would have loved to have. I felt like an intruder for awhile.

On Sunday, my uncle came and took Grams to Chicago for the day. Now was my opportunity. I popped open the trunk of my car and got out my cleaning supplies. I spent the next four hours scrubbing all the bathrooms, scubbing the kitchen floor, and vaccuming. There is so much more that could be done. We were able to get my mom over to her own house for a bit. She hadn't been to her place in over two weeks. She was a bit homesick. While she was there, my sister had purchased flowers for mom's yard for Mother's Day and she and I planted them and did a little general yard work.

I asked mom what she wanted for dinner - it was Mother's Day and she would be starting her radiation and chemo on Tuesday. She wanted ribs. So I ordered dinner for us all. We took it back to Grams house to eat. I stayed until about 9 my time and then headed home. I got home just before midnight and was able to kiss my own children on Mother's Day.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

astrocytoma grade IV...aka GBM

Wow...what a weird 6 weeks it's been. On the evening of Wednesday, April 26th, my mother went to play cards with some friends. She got there and started acting like she was having a stroke. Her friends called 911, they thought she needed to go to the hospital. At the ER the doctors ran a CT scan. They found a brain tumor. The next morning at 7 am I received that phone call. The tumor was small - an inch by inch size. Within a day, another CT scan and an MRI were done. A second tumor was found - it was probably the "parent" tumor. It was about the size of a tennis ball. Both tumors were located in her right frontal lobe. She was told about the tumors on Friday - very late.

My mom lives just over three hours away. My daughter had a huge ballet recital that Saturday. We had a ton of rehearsals during that week. On Saturday before the performance I spoke to my mom. She said she was thinking of having the tumors removed versus just biopsied. She asked what I would do. I told her my gut reaction would be to say GET THEM OUT! But I didn't know all the facts. She told me she wanted them out too. The doctor agreed and said he could operate on Monday morning.

On Sunday, my husband and I drove two cars up to the hospital. We all visited my mom. My husband and the kids went home before dinner - it was still a school night. I stayed up there at the hospital for a few days.

I need to share this computer now so I'll try to write more later.