Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I'm still in shock and disbelief. But I am so at peace that she finally has no pain.
Thank you to everyone that has been leaving messages and emailing me with their support and concern.
I have not been to sleep since last Thursday and think I will try to catch a few minutes of quiet time.......
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A week ago today my mom seemed fine. Not fine in the sence that she was well but fine for a dying woman. Her nurse came to see her and I told Berta that mom keeps getting out of bed and it was scaring me. She brushed it off and said she seems fine. Her colors good she's talking and knowing all of us. I said but I don't think she is.
Well darn it all about three in the afternoon my mom is in bed and sounds like she's on the phone. I think how'd she get the phone? I quietly go to the door of her room to listen and this is what I hear.
Mom: Here kitty kitty.
Mom: Marian, did you bring grammy a kitty?
Mom: Thank you for the kitty, can you bring him here?
I stick my head in the door and say what's up mom? She says nothing, the kids brought me a kitty. Oh I say and walk back out to the kitchen. (My kids are NOT at the apartment) A few minutes later I'm getting ice out of the freezer and as I turn there's my mom not two inches away from me. It suprised the daylights out of me.
Mom: I can't find kitty. Will you help me?
Me: Umm, sure. What does it look like?
Mom: It's a yellow kitty.
I start to walk around singing here kitty kitty. Then I asked her if kitty had a name.
Me: Does kitty have a name?
Mom: Yes. Then a long pause. Kitty's name is Meow.
So now I'm really getting into this whole thing and I'm looking under furniture and opening cupboards all the while my mom is crooning in a child like voice kitty kitty.
Then she decides that I should call my sister to tell her to bring cat food and kitty litter. So I did.
Sister: Hi, what's up I'm about ten minutes away.
Me: Could you bring me some water?
Me: Cause the water here tastes like shit and I'm sooooo thirsty.
Sister: I guess, is that all?
Me: Well, now that you mention it, (as moms still calling out for kitty kitty) mom wants you to pick her up some cat food and clitty litter. (I don't know why my sister and I have always called it clitty litter. We are sick)
So I told her what was going on.
Sister: You wait until I get their. I'll set her straight. You can't be going along with her like that! I"m not picking up fucking cat food!
Me: Okay see you soon.
Carm brought me a case of water and went right in to see mum to let her know she was here, (She came up from Jersey) and as I was putting the water away my mom and sister were chit chatting. The next thing I know my sister comes out of the bedroom calling,"Here kitty kitty."
See, I said, I knew you couldn't break her heart.
Over the coarse of the evening and into the the night the illusive cat had more than one name. Meow, lucifer and then finally son of a bitch. It was at that point we gave my mom an anti hallucinogenic called Haloperidol. It didn't kick in for quite awhile after that and we listened to my mom have conversations with dead people and people that she worked with thirty years ago before she finally drifted off to la la land.
Monday, September 28, 2009
So here's a summery of what's been going on. I will try to make it brief but hey we all know I like to ramble.
Mom is still alive. Barely
We believe she had a stroke two Fridays past. At that point they didn't feel she'd make the weekend but didn't tell me that until after she'd made it the weekend.
In light of that my sister drove up from Jersey. My brother also flew in from Nevada. Which I found out I pronounce incorrectly. PS, it is scary to watch your mom have a stroke!!!!
After speaking to all parties involved it still seemed like mom was holding back dying. So in a conversation with her I found that she wanted to see my father one last time.
Now the dynamics of this whole thing are incredible. My father lives in Florida. For him to come and come quickly is a big deal, and would he do it? They have been divorced for eighteen years and have only seen each other once in that time. Now my mom and dad have not seen my brother in twenty years. Are you getting the picture here? I had also not seen my brother in that period but talk to him quite a bit.
So after talking with mom I went out in the hall of her apartment building where no one could hear me and I called my dad.
Dad: Yes honey.
Me: Mom is close to dying but we think she has some unfinished business to take care of first.
Me: Dad, do you think you could come?
Dad: I'll call you back as soon as I confirm reservations.
Me: I'm sorry dad, I know you didn't want to do this. (me blubbering)
Dad: It's okay, I've been expecting this call.
Me: I love you, Bye.
Dad: I love you too.
My dad and his wife flew in late the next night. The next morning my dad came to visit with my mom and his wife went with Dave and the kids to watch Mimi's soccer game and then on to an apple orchard to pick apples and tour the farm. They also learned how to make apple juice. My kids already knew this but my dad's wife was born and raised in the Tampa area so this was really great for her. She also didn't interfere with anything, just gave everyone her support. She said to me that it was a shame that my parents never could be friends. She didn't know my mom.
I've read a few books on dying and I believe my mom will die within two weeks. Maybe sooner. Her oxygen is at eightyfour percent right now. She breathes hard and has been sleeping all day. Which makes up for her being up all night last night. (For the second night in a row) Last night I couldn't get her to stay in bed no matter how hard I tried. She is a large woman and if she falls I can't get her back to bed. It was ugly. After many calls to the night nurse I gave up and said I'll just sit and watch her the rest of the night. This morning a new nurse called me and I asked her what could be done about mom getting up (she can't support her weight) because I was worried about her falling. She told me if I couldn't reason with my mom and couldn't medicate her properly with what I had here for her than they would put her in the hospital. She was bitchy while saying this.
I replied in a SUPER nasty voice: If they put her in the hospital they will drug her so she doesn't get out of bed. So you had best send someone over here today to re access her and her medications so she doesn't get out of bed here. Do you understand? She must have because the apartment was a flurry of nurses and doctors coming in and out. Hopefully my mom will be comfortable now and not feel the need to keep getting up. The bad part is now she'll have to wear adult diapers and I'll have to change them. Eww. My sister said I can blog about the first poopy one I change but only after I tell her about it first. So you have that to keep you on the edge of your seats!
Dave and I are back on schedule of me staying at my moms full time and him bringing me the kids before he goes to work and picking them up on his way home. It seems to be coming routine because today Dane took a nap for the first time here.
I have more to say but my jaw hurts. Over and Out. Or Peace Out. Or Bye.............
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday morning my mom woke and was out of it. I tried to talk to her and she couldn't put any sentences together. She would try to stand to go to the bathroom but could not. It was ugly. As she sat on the side of her bed, her body shaking, I thought , "Oh Lordy, is this it?" I have to say I was having a hard time keeping it together. I looked at the clock and knew that "Berta" would be either at the office or with another patient. I ran to get the phone to call her and as I picked it up it rang and was Berta. I don't remember much except for crying. The next thing I knew, we had ten people in moms apartment. The HealthReach office is in my moms building so everyone that has worked with my mom came running upstairs. They really they took the elevator.
My moms blood pressure was 190 and her oxygen was bad. She didn't know anyone. The social workers kept asking me when my sister was coming. I kept saying the end of the month and they would say no, when is she coming. I was like, do you mean I should call and tell her to come? No one told me no. The people came with the hospital bed for my mom and the social workers told me I should move mom back to my house. AGH! What a morning! During all of this the kids were trying to do their school work. After awhile they just stopped and stared at the ensuing mayhem. Every time we turned around the door needed to be opened or the phone was ringing. Dane was so upset that he peed his pants and it filled both of his shoes. I couldn't get a hold of Dave, cause you know someone has to work. My mom would get upset because she wanted her bed back, it was a real trip.
I finally talked to my sister and told her what was happening and we both cried. I cried for mom and I think my sister cried for me. Dave finished work went home and got the truck and came and took the bed away so my mom wouldn't have to see it anymore. It was so I don't even know how to explain it. Pretty much what it came down to was them explaining to me how to use the Care Pack and that the couple of months that the doctor said on Tuesday wasn't gonna wait.
At three my mom got out of bed sane as could be and told me she was going to take a shower. What the fuck? Four hours before we thought she'd never get out of bed again and now she's taking a shower. After that I fed her Haagen Daz ice cream. She didn't remember anything about what happened earlier in the day. Oh I tried to tell her she had to go back in bed that she shouldn't walk to the shower and she grabbed my arm and told me to get the Hell out of her way. Then she proceeded to tell me how she fell Wednesday night (Which she had thought she'd kept a secret from me) while Kadie was watching her. The whole time I'm flabbergasted.
This evening my mom asked me to cook her steak. She said, I want steak and not a cheap one either. I'm hungry.
My life is weird.
Friday, September 18, 2009
After a few times of her trying to use the stove and a time of telling Hospice workers she was going to the store I didn't have a choice. We are lucky she didn't burn this place down! Her progression rapidly worsened two weeks ago. It was sudden and overnight. I'm so thankful my sister was here or I don't think she'd have believed me.
So now I'm sleeping on my moms couch and have been pretty much all week. In the morning Dave will bring the kids to me and I'll keep them until he is out of work. I have most of their school stuff here and we'll just do our work here. I keep telling myself that we can all do this without missing a beat.
I went to bed at eleven which was two and a half hours ago only to be woken by my mom. She had wet her bed and was wondering around trying to find a light switch. I don't think she even knew who I was at first. She was in so much pain. I cleaned her up and changed her bed but she couldn't lay in her bed straight. Just sideways. She is a very large woman so I just left her. I also managed to get some morphine down her throat. I pray her pain stops. She keeps grabbing her side and crying.
The doctor seems to think that the non cancer mass in the front of her brain has caused swelling. She is confused and asks like she has dementia or at the least had a brain injury. Also not helping is she went years with untreated mental problems. So they have started her in on a drug to reduce the swelling. We started it this evening. It is some sort of steroid. If it is going to work it will in the next few days and supposedly it will make her not confused. (Understand that?)
The social worker told me that it would get easier when mom became bed ridden. When she told me this two weeks ago I was floored and even a bit angry. I thought to myself Bed ridden? Not my mom. Now I understand. It's not pretty here folks. Death is ugly and makes people ugly and act ugly. And not necessarily the person that's dying. But the people who surround them. I have never been so sad in my life but on the other hand I see joy all around me.
The doctor was here on Tuesday and told us mom has a couple of months. When I told a worker (I won't say which one) the responded with , "Oh when I hear that I always half it." They also said that since my mom is so large she may linger. So ever since then losing weight has been a top priority of mine. Of course its only been two days since I heard that but I haven't had any junk in two days. So there.
Right now the downtown is quiet. Not many cars coming or going. Every couple of minutes I stop typing to look out the window. When she first moves in we said we couldn't wait to watch the snow fall from here. I don't think she'll ever see it.
Soon, I don't know when, they will order a hospital bed for my mom and we'll set it up here in the living room. I don't know how much longer we can keep mom here or if we'll have to move her back to my house. I guess it depends on how much Dave and I can take of all of this running back and forth. I'll write more later.
I just want to say thanks to everyone who emails me and leaves comments. It really helps.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Then as night really started to roll around, and it was such a beautiful evening, it was perfect I tell ya, I asked the girls if they wanted to sleep outside by the fire. There wasn't a no in the house. (so to speak) The girls were running around squealing trying to get their stuff together when Chrissy pulls a sad face and said, "But wait, we have school tomorrow!" To that I replied,"School schmool, we're home schooled!" Mom was number one that night I tell ya. Not so much the next morning when we had to actually had to do our school work.
We decided to take the seats out of the van and put an air mattress in the back of it. as you can see Dane made himself right at home.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I know I'm twisted. What a view she has. I sit at her computer and try to blog but I can't concentrate because of all the action outside the windows. I could sit forever and watch. Not because it's peaceful or exciting, but because I'm nosey and like to watch the people get pulled over. I'm kind of weird like that.
We had a long weekend. Or I guess I should say, I had a long weekend with my mom. After working at the fair Friday night and the whole day Saturday I was beat. I went to mom's and got her something to eat and gave her pills. Then I sat down beside her and told her we had to talk. She had been crying. From the looks of her she cried most of the day. She asked me why the doctor wouldn't tell her what was going on. I really didn't want to have this conversation with her. As a matter of fact I had been avoiding it for two weeks. Now I wasn't going to be able to squirm out of it. Damn I thought.
mom: Why won't the doctor tell us why I'm so sick and in so much pain?
me: Okay mom, it's like this, um, we have to be honest here. You know?
me: You know how you have more spots coming through your skin under your arm?
me: You know how your shoulder hurts and none of the fluid will drain from your arm?
me: You and I both know what that is, don't we mom?
mom: (crying) Yes, it's the cancer.
me: Yes mom, I too think that it's the cancer. I also think that we both know that the cancer is spreading faster than we anticipated. Do you think that too?
mom: Why can't I just shut my eyes and go to sleep and not wake up?
me: I don't know mom, (now I'm bawling) maybe God thinks you have some unfinished business here to take care of.
mom: I just want to go.
Now this is real life people. The stuff they don't tell you in school.....
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Yesterday was a really hard day as we spoke with the Social Worker who informed us that my mom should have around the clock care because of her confusion. Our family has discussed this and decided against it. Life Line is coming in on Sunday to install their product. If she falls and isn't too confused to push the button she'll be okay. If she falls when someone is with her (say one of us or an aide,) that person will not be able to get her up on their own anyway. If she confused and wondering what is this fucking thing hanging around my neck with the big button and pushes twenty times a day then she does. They'll answer her. I hope they don't call her on the phone though because ninety percent of the time she doesn't know how to answer it. Either that or she puts the remote control from the TV on her phone charger and tries to answer that. Now that's not working out out too well for her. Tonight I'll be taking our phones to her house and switching with her. Our phones are white. Hers look like a remote for the TV.
We are frantically trying to obtain a lawyer to put stuff in writing and by Monday afternoon we should have this done. PRAY that she doesn't get anymore confused before this is done. (Or the lawyer won't be able to do this.)
My sister has been her all week and really has been a HUGE HUGE help. We've laughed and cried and cried some more. Plus we've played Rock Paper Scissors a few times in order to see who gets what. We are REAL mature. I'm better than Kadie and my sister. (The TV is mine!) Hee hee.
I just tried to call my mom she didn't answer. She's done this all week to me. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I jumped in the van and made a sixteen minute ride into twelve. That includes the elevator ride also. I would bust in to find her sitting on the couch or chair talking to the Chaplain or nurse like she doesn't have a care in the world. I later found out that she is doing it on purpose. (Probably just to see how fast I can get to her.) So as much as its killing me, I am not driving to her apartment right now. If she has died there isn't anything I can do anyway. Of course it would get me out of working at the Parks and Rec Boothe at the fair today. I worked four to ten last night and today I'm scheduled eleven to five. I hate this kind of thing.
I'll keep everyone posted, thank you everyone for all of the support. It's what getting me through.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I need a peaceful easy feeling today.
I don't have much time so I'll be brief. Mom is not doing well. Confusion has set in and along with confusion comes the agitation. Her cancer is spreading like a wildfire and we are powerless to do anything about it.
I have a big black hole in my heart right now that I wonder if it will ever close. Not even a smile can make my tears stop flowing. My schedule is so over whelming to me that I wonder when and where and who I'm going to flip out on. I pray it will be a stranger that I don't know and not someone I love.
I've been going to my moms at least two times a day for the past week. Sometimes three. Today my sister and I have a social worker coming to her house to meet with us so she can help my mom understand that we need to check her finances to make sure her bills are paid. We are going to try to marathon through this and pick a funeral home plus my moms two brothers are coming. On top of that I have to volunteer at the fair tonight I sent an email asking someone to step up for me but no one has responded. My sister leaves tomorrow so we have to get stuff done. She won't be able to get back for a month unless mom dies. I don't want to have to make all the decisions.
I'll post more later.
Please don't forget all of the men and women that died today because of the people who Hate our contry.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I'm also not a very up on things parent. I'm getting old.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
It's me and I want to come home. It's Hell here there's no ups just downs. My address is on the front. I'll call at some point. I really, really, Really miss everybody so much. So I'll write again soon. I love you all so much Tell the girls Hi and I them too.
Do you know what happens to a mom who gets this letter? She goes Nuckin Futs. Nobody messes with my baby! I was going to drive to North Carolina an open up a can of whoop ASS! I cried for days. I mean just look at the little Troll! Did she or did she not know just what card to send me? Yes she did! That was the first of many cards and letters that she sent home. We would fight to go to the mailbox. I laugh thinking about it now. In every letter she sounded better and better and more positive.