Thursday, June 11, 2015

We're Not Doing So Well

First of all, let me apologize to all you wonderful people who have been calling and sending messages.  I'm sorry I have not answered or responded.  It's just to hard to tell each person individually what's going on.  This is my best place for updates.  Know, though, that all those calls and messages are noted and appreciated.

Second, let me apologize for all the depressing posts.  The reality is that I just haven't been able to muster the time or the energy to post everything.  Certain things have been good, great even.  Hans' family came for a visit, Anna had her 1st birthday, and Hans' old roommate and dear friend came to visit.  Things with Mom, however, tend to overshadow everything.  It's all-encompassing and if I'm going to write a blog post at this point, it's most likely going to be about her.

Now, on to point of this post.

Mom isn't doing well.  She has continued to decline over the past week.  She's not eating and she's dropping weight.  Her last weigh in was 128 at the previous doctor appointment (down 14 pounds since her scans).  Now she's too weak to stand on her own, so weighing her is difficult.  She's on a good deal of morphine and often isn't 100% aware of her surroundings.  On Monday, though, we got the worst news of all.

Mom was supposed to start chemo on Monday, but the doctor told us they couldn't do it.  She's too weak.  Chemo would cause more harm than good.  So, at this point, unless there's some miracle, we're really just wondering about time.  We're trying our best to manage the pain and yesterday we gave her IV fluids to see if that would help anything (it didn't).  Mom doesn't really understand.  The doctors tried to bring up Hospice to her yesterday, but she just said she was too tired and didn't want to talk (we'll try again next week).  She told me she was happy that the doctors thought she was doing so well.

How am I doing?  Well, frankly I'm an emotional mess.  When I posted my last post, I got a lot of responses as to how I can get more support, and I feel I need to explain a few things.  First, the closest family Mom has is her half-sister in Arizona.  She's always had a lot of friends, but never a bosom-buddy, so that's out too.  As for the kennel, I'm making changes to make it easier for me and the rest of the staff, and in the mean time I have some really great employees.  Still, though, I miss being there.  When it comes to Anna, she's in part time daycare.  We've talked about moving her to full time, and we have a lot of family encouraging us to do so.  Keeping her home with me a little, though, while sometimes harder, also forces me to take a moment and enjoy life.  I love being with her.  My only regret is that I don't always have the energy to do the things I want to do with her.  But I do try to interact and let her know that I'm always here for her and she comes above anyone else's needs.

So, the emotional mess part?  Yeah, there's a lot factoring in to that.  Hormones and sleep deprivation are two factors (yay baby!).  Of course it's hard watching Mom go through all this too.  And then there's the guilt factor.  I often find myself just wishing it to be done.  A month ago I was praying that she would get better faster.  Now I just want her out of pain, however that may happen.  It's kind of hard to admit that, but I know she's miserable, and it's certainly no walk in the park for anyone else. 

In addition, I was surprised when I realized the other day just how lonely I've been the past year.  Hans is wonderful, and he's always there to support me, but he spends his days at work and often times we're both busy at the kennel in the evening.  He also isn't going through the same things I am. He isn't the sole care taker of his mom and she isn't gravely ill.  He isn't the head decision maker at the kennel (although he is a very important adviser and he often does make decisions).  He doesn't hear all the complaints unless they've been filtered through me.  It's very isolating.  When it comes to friends, my new mom friends aren't dealing with the same trials, and let's be honest.  Even if they were, I don't think I'd see it that way.  My childless friends, well, they don't quite understand some of the difficulties in parenthood or the fact that I actually enjoy spending time with my child.  No, I don't want to hire a sitter and go to a party or a club or out for drinks.  Those never really were fun things for me anyway, and now I'd much rather spend it with Anna.

I came to this realization while Hans' old roommate was here.  I've known him for all of 2 days less than I've known Hans (12 years), and  many college days (and nights) were spent with Hans, my old roommate, and his old roommate.  There's a bond there.  I found I felt comfortable talking with him the same way I do with Hans- free of judgement and open to almost any topic- and he was a HUGE help when it came to running quick errands or visiting Mom.  He was a second set of hands for Anna.  (Quick note just in case some of you have bad thoughts: Hans has NOTHING to worry about).  I just came to the stark realization that I really miss having that trusted confidant who's not my husband.  I miss just being able to kick back and remove myself from life a bit.  So, now I'm working on fostering friendships and relationships.  I have plenty of friends, but too often I ignore those friends to focus on other things (kennel, Mom, baby, etc).  So, while I don't always want to go to a party, I will hire a sitter because my friend wants me there.  And while I sometimes just want to stay home and hibernate, it may be better to call a friend for a brief outing.  And then, when I just can't do it anymore on my own I know I'll have friends nearby to call on.  And for the dear, dear friends I do have, whether you're near or far, know how much I appreciate you.  Even though I'm not great at calling or hanging out, your friendship is precious to me.  And someday, when you're in need, I hope you feel comfortable calling on me, and I hope I can take a moment to focus on you the way you have on me.

Alright folks, that's all I have today.  I have a tired baby who wants to nap, and I'm going to take that opportunity to get a little more rest as well!

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