Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mom Update: A Week Later

This is a pretty simple update, but I wanted to keep people in the loop.

Mom is currently in a nursing facility for rehab.  The nearly week-long stay in the hospital along with having a drain put in left her week and fairly immobile.  She tired quickly and her legs lost a lot of strength.  That combined with the amount of pain she was in made me realize that I just couldn't take care of her directly from the hospital. 

The good news is that rehab has been going VERY well.  I no longer worry if she just has to use the bathroom, and I've noticed a HUGE improvement in her walking.  She's getting occupational therapy, speech therapy (for memory), and physical therapy every day.  It's leaving her completely wiped, but it's good.

The other good news is that after the original draining and the one after it, they haven't gotten much fluid out.  The slower the fluid reproduces the better, so that's all great.

Mom and I are now having some harder discussions.  They're hard for two reasons: 1) They're kind of complicated and in-depth, and Mom's exhausted. 2) The subject matter.  We're talking about things like long-term care as we progress forward.  What do we do if she gets better?  What do we do if she gets worse?  And then we're talking about things in case she doesn't get better.  What happens with her dogs? (I'll keep them, of course.)  What paperwork is there to be done?

At this point, I'm just looking at the positive side of things.  It's all very hard.  Mom will be home soon, and I'm excited to have her back, but I'm also terrified.  It's hard living with my Mom, and this past year certainly hasn't been easy.  I want her to know I love her and care for her, but I'm also worried about my family and my sanity.  So, I have to stay positive.  Here's to staying sane!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mom Update

Mom is still in the hospital.  It was just supposed to be a one night stay to ensure she got her tests and whatnot in a timely manner, but she was in so much pain after her drain was put in they decided to keep her another night.  She's most likely going to stay tonight as well since the pain hasn't diminished.  She's on three different pain meds and is still asking for more.  At this point, I'm working with the doctor and other hospital staff to figure out the next steps.  She's really not strong enough to come home, but we don't want her to stay in the hospital forever.  Ideally, I'd like to see her go to a rehab facility to regain some of her strength.  She was already having some issues with walking, and these past few days have caused her to greatly decline in that area.

Frankly, I'm not quite sure where we stand at this point.  One moment, I'll be fine thinking about how well Mom is doing given the situation, and the next moment I'll break down crying because I'm scared of losing her.  This round of things has all been so sudden and things have progressed so quickly.  Just a month ago there were just a few concerning spots, but Mom was acting and eating normally.  Now today, she's just getting some appetite back, but she's exhausted after a shuffle down the hall. 

Things to know medically: They removed 1300ccs of fluid from her left lung yesterday.  For comparison, most people normally have about 4 tsp.  The brain MRI came back, and that was clear, which is good, but her chest CT showed more activity (which is kind of a well-duh).  I can't help but wonder what another bone scan would show.

So, for now, I'm back off to the hospital.  I'm hoping I get to see the doctors again and maybe we can figure things out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I've had better days...

I'll keep this short, as I'm currently sitting in the waiting room at the hospital.  Mom is being admitted for the night.  Fluid in her lungs as increased causing,her significant pain and discomfort.  The doctors decided to admit her for scans and then for a drain to be placed.  Can I just say it's really hard to go through this?  It's not fair!  The end.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mom Update

Mom had more scans a few weeks ago.  I'll just cut to the chase.  They weren't great.  Of course, we were hoping for completely clear scans like we'd seen before.  Heck, we were kind of expecting it.  Unfortunately, the scans showed a few new nodules and some "suspicious activity."  Everything is fairly small (the largest is only about 10 mm), but it's still not great news.  Our original reaction after hearing the news was to start chemo as soon as possible.  You know, let's kill this while it's small.  However, after chatting with a few different doctors we decided to wait.  The more we find out about how it's going to progress, the better we'll be able to treat it.  Plus, Mom's body kind of needs a rest from all we've put it through.

So, those are the facts that we know.  Where things get difficult is in all the unknown.  Mom hasn't been feeling well, but it's difficult to pinpoint why.  It could be due to the cancer, it could be depression, it could be the pain meds, it could be chemo/radiation, or it could be all of the above.  No matter what the cause, it's still horribly difficult to watch.  She's nauseous and lacking appetite, she's tired, she's hurting.  It's hard to watch this woman who once helped me move an entire apartment up 3 flights of stairs to now have difficulty getting up out of bed.

It's also hard not knowing what comes next.  What will the next scans say?  Will there be more chemo?  More radiation?  Mom is so happy that her hair is starting to come back.  Will she end up losing it again?  If there is more chemo, will it work?  I have moments where I think, "If this is what does her in, then let it be swift", and then I feel instantly guilty because I want to spend as much time with her as possible.  So then I think, "Let us just be over and done with this quickly and hope for the absolute best."

To add to all the stress, Anna's 1st birthday is at the end of the month.  I'm thrilled and excited about it, but it often leaves me feeling like two different people.  When I'm focusing on Anna I'm the happy mom, but then I'll be hit with this overwhelming wave of sadness.  I'm never quite sure how to feel.

I won't ramble on any longer.  I'm utterly exhausted, but I thought y'all should know what's happening right now.

Thanks for listening.