Lahdeedah's World

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Location: Colorado, United States

I've found a place to be, here in Colorado. I am enjoying what comes my way while raising my children and writing my head off in this crazy, chaotic life.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Going Natural

My mother said it was too much to take, the chemo, the pain, the medicines, so she has decided to go natural.

My father saw that she wasn't comfortable, and wasn't happy, he thought he could make her comfortable, and tweak her medicines and make her feel better, but it didn't work, and he finally talked to her about what the doctors said.

She decided to go natural, and will be telling the doctors on Friday that she doesn't want chemo, since it's only making her sicker, and make her hair fall out, which she happens to love, her hair. It's great hair, I don't blame her. A beautiful salt and pepper color that will never now turn fully salty.

She called and when I said hi, she said "I'm going to go natural' calm as could be.

We talked, she asked me about my dreams, about what I thought would happen, where she would go... lovely morning coffee conversations...

Soon, there will be a day I don't hear her voice on the phone. A day for the first day ever, I don't call her, because she won't be there to call. My phone won't ring every morning, with her voice on the other end.

Yeah, we were close.

So I will see her one last time, hopefully, if she surives til then. If not, well, I knew in June it might be the last time. And I have her voice every day for a little while longer.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Home not so Sweet Home

My mom is home, and has a nurse come and visit most of the week. This is nice. However, due to insurance reasons (from what I understand) she can't leave the house, because if she does, she loses the home visits. Now, she's not exactly in the mood to leave the house, but it'd be nice to leave the option open.

She needs the home visits. My father has to work and already took a chunk of family leave, and is already working a mixed 'at work/at home' schedule. She can't remember all the medications she has to take and when, and already had to go back to the hospital Saturday for dehyrdation.

So yes, she's home, which she likes, but not really able to do much. She started chemo and goes once every three weeks. This is to shrink the tumor as much as they can. They can't get rid of it. I've been on about that.

I talk to her once a day and on some days she's chipper and on others not so much. Understandable. It varies, but she's in pain so chipper is fantastic for me.

I'm hoping to see her mid to end of May, after I talk to my sister to find out if the end of May would be better.

She was feeling better, just getting her spirit and energy back, and this damned thing came back, and knocked her out again. It's hard on her. She has a lot of spirit, a lot of will, but this is, like so many things in life, not fair.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ah, the rat out of the bag

As I mentioned, that sneaky suspicion that my father knew...

He did.

My sister ratted him out.
They had a huge fight over it. Nothing to stress about over that, that is normal.
She has an optimistic nine months, at best. Could be less. Weeks, to a few months.
Perhaps the test results will change that estimation, making it less.

The one thing that is important, that my father isn't understanding, is that we, the family, are adults now, and whether or not we can handle it is not relevant. We have to handle it. I understand he wants to protect everyone, and I'm not going to yell at him about how he's handling this, my sister has taken that fight on. My sister and I have figured it out. He should tell my brothers, her sisters, the people that love her... but most of all...

Most of all, he has to tell my mother. Why keep it from her? She is the one, after all, dying.

Waiting, waiting waiting

We could have had the results today, to my mom's tests. But my father went to work. I don't blame him. He hsan't scoured the net like I have, like my sister has. Nobody has really told him much of anything. Or, or maybe they have and he's thinking he's protecting us. The results are not going to be good. We know this, now. After my father left in the morning, he was told by the nurse upon his return he HAD to be there tomorrow. Nurses talked to my mother about how yes, it'd be nice if she got better, but how she was very very sick.

I do not know if my father will call and tell me anything tomorrow, or the day after, or when. I hope he has simply been trying to protect us. I hope he will not be devastatingly crushed with this news, that he has been preparing himself for it.

I also wish that I was not so sure that the news would be so bad.

...

Also, today 33 people died senselessy in a mass shooting in Va. I am sorry for their families, and for their friends, and angry that in America, this happens. It makes the news. But nothing is really done.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Metastasize

My new word of the month:

Metastasize.
1.Pathology. (of malignant cells or disease-producing organisms) to spread to other parts of the body by way of the blood or lymphatic vessels or membranous surfaces.
2.to spread injuriously
3.to transform, esp. into a dangerous form: The KGB metastasized after the fall of the Soviet Union. Truth metastasized into lurid fantasy.


As in, my mother's cancer may have metastized, and has been found in another location.

Now, they don't know if it has, they, at last check, did not think so, but it may have, and that is what the CT scans are for (I think). I wouldn't be surprised if it did, it's rather a large mass, but I'm not going to try to guess.

The good news of the morning:

She is eating again, yay, and we did talk on the phone. She didn't want me to get off the phone, so I rattled nonsensically, until she became too tired to talk. She then did the same with my sister.

So she can talk, and is more coherent, which means she can potentially go home next week. My sister and I are making plans to see her, at different times. I will know on Monday when I'm going, and we are going to beg a ticket off of my mother-in-law's wonderful husband, who has several gazillion free miles he can't possibly use. I'm hoping to go out end of this month or early May.

The prognosis is still poor. It's just, she may have a little time left, before she passes away. Weeks, maybe months, but no more. She can't beat it, but at least she has time to prepare (if somebody will get around to informing this wonderful woman that she is dying, it seems they all want to protect her.... argh....).

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My game

Every now and then I play a neat game.

I pretend the phone rings, and it's my mom, and she's telling me that she feels better. The phone call says that it's going to be alright now, that they found the cause of the nausea, and she's able to eat solids, and they are starting the chemo, which will shrink the tumor, and she feels great, and doesn't need to be on so many medicines that she's too tired to talk. She'll say "I know I'm dying, but I feel really good, so I won't die sick. I won't slip into a sleep, medicated or otherwise, and drift away day by day until one day I'm gone, suddenly." She'll say, "you need to come visit me, and when you do, I'll be awake and happy, and you can hug me without hurting me, and won't that be nice, and I have energy, too now, so I'll talk to you about writing, astrology, politics, religion and our crazy relatives, just like we used to. We'll talk for hours, not a mere minute or two."

That's my game. It's very childish, I know, but can you blame me?

The other game is her calling me up, telling me the cancer is gone and she's going to be fine, but that is too absurd. I played that game five or so years ago when she had cancer the first time. She had the cancer five years ago, and throughout the diagnosis and treatment, she wasn't this sick. She called me up and we talked a lot throughout that process. We visited her when the treatments were done. She was happy and perky and lovely and beautiful. Even when she was sick the first time, she wasn't this sick.

The update is that she can't eat so won't be going home on Friday. They don't know why she's so nauseus and not able to eat. I'm sure I spelt nauseus wrong and I don't care. I'm sure the news they give us will not be good. I can hear it in the voice of my father, who is bearing this on his own. My older brother calls me every day. He's never talked to me that much. My sister is 'worried' which translates to 'I think it's as bad as you do but I'm not going to say that.'

To which she would say, 'how much worse could it be?'

The truth is, this didn't just show up. It's been in her for some time, maybe months, maybe a year or two, maybe longer. Despite the constant medical visits, the constant monitoring, it slipped behind an organ and nobody saw it growing, and now it's grown to big, and too complicated, and the only worse news I think we could get would be that it metastized, into something even more worse.

That is the update.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Eh

I didn't talk to my mom today. She wasn't feeling up to it. I talked to my dad this morning and he said he'd call later but he didn't, the bum.

Tomorrow is the biopsy, last I heard. My dad said they may not do it, depends on what they find with whatever they did today.

So today I'm just, eh.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Hospital

My dad took my mom to the hospital last night, on Easter. She wanted a ham, because she believes in celebrating holidays, but the ham was too much.

She's been throwing up everything, including liquid, and the pain medication stopped working.

So she is now in the hospital, on pain medication and being treated for dehydration. Hopefully she's feeling better.

My dad will call me tonight with more information. I'm hoping she'll feel well enough to talk, but I had this awful nightmare last night and I can't shake it. It's normal to, I know.

It's just, Easter was the first time I can ever remember, that she was too sick to talk to me. I talk to the woman practically every day, even if only for her to say she'll talk later.

They do the biopsy on Wednesday, but just two weeks ago, this was just a small pain. Now, she can't even eat.

I'm afraid of what they will find.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Bad News

Like I mentioned in February, this is my wax on post, my bad news post, my mopey post.

So yesterday afternoon I got The Phone Call.

There are a few of The Phone Call calls. They are never good, and nothing ever stays the same or is the same after.

The Phone Call puts you on a path you can't get off, it's a road you're forced to take. There are no u-turns allowed, no stopping on the shoulder, no right or left turns onto unknown, secret back roads. The Phone Call comes, and you suddenly realize you're on a road and you don't know how you got there, except that the Phone Call came, and that was what put you there.

This call was to say that the 'mass' discovered lurking malevolently and without invitation in my mother was most likely cancerous, most definitely inoperable, and really, only treatable.

There's a few problems with this, of course.

She is a cancer survivor, cervical cancer (get your damn asses to the doctors once a year women, because not going CAN kill you), and had lots of radiation pumped into her. The radiation did something wonky so she can no longer make her own iron. It also makes her leg swell up something fierce. Anyhow, she usually goes and gets an iron booster shot and occasionally, a bag of iron. The problem is, they can't operate because this 'mass' is too large and interconnected beween organs. They can't give her radiation, because they gave her so much the first time. The first time was five years ago, so this is a real kick in everyone's gut. I mean, talk about a sucker punch... Look, I survived cancer... oh, never mind, the bastard's back. It's unrelated to the first, but I read somewhere once that radiation can sometimes cause secondary cancers later on. What can you do right? Anyhow, they can only give her chemotherapy. And when it is time to decide if the cure is worse than the cancer, they will discuss options.

They don't discuss time, of course. Nobody knows how much time is left, not for anyone, but it's inevitable now. She won't live to be old. She won't be kooky and quirky at 80. This wasn't supposed to be what happened. This wasn't supposed to be a long ending. This wasn't supposed to come back.

No one is expecting next week's biopsy results to be good. See, at first they told her, no problem, we're going to operate and hey, while we are there, we'll give you a hysterectomy and fix your hernia. Then, it became 'it's inoperable and incurable, but treatable.' So we're not really looking forward to next week's prognosis, because if it's an aggressive sort of cancer, and really what cancer isn't, there isn't much anyone can do. They don't know how treatable it is yet. It's not what anyone wanted to hear, least of all my mother.

A road we can't get off, none of us, we have to travel it, even though we know it ends somewhere we don't want to go. And where we go from there, well, we certainly can't go back the same way we can.