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Showing posts from August, 2010

A lazy Sunday afternoon except it's Saturday

When it Rome, do what the Romans do. Today has been a lazy tv watching and magazine reading day. I wanted my last day here at the hospital with my mom to be peaceful. It was! We ate our meals together. Watched disaster movies on the Sci Fi channel. And now we are watching Bridezillas. My mom agrees there is something about watching a train wreck unfold in front of you. It was nice.

For dinner, she had chicken pan pie. I had a nice salad. And for dessert, we had little cups of ice cream that nurse brought us. My mom is a take-no-prisoners type person. Growing up, declarations of love and hugs were given. It was understood that she loved me. It wasn't until I was 22 and in the psych ward for an almost suicide attempt (combination of depression and ED) that she admitted she loved me. I was a grandma's girl so I figured my mother and I were just a lost cause. This is the reason I have lived up to 5 hours away. We have always did well in separate locations. When my grandmother died…

So close but no release

My mom was thisclose to being released today. They are having trouble with getting her pain management under control. I knew this would happen. But my brother didn't want to listen to me. I am just a Godless heathen, who wants her mother dead. Sorry--I needed to get that out of my system. I think my mother is finally starting to accept the magnitude of the situation.

Yesterday afternoon was awful. They were weaning her off of the pain medication pump and IV meds. And had went back to the slow release morphine and some other short-term meds. She ended up in a lot of pain. My brother, being the lovely person he is, was antsy and ready to leave. He drove 30 minutes to deliver some paperwork and wanted to stay 15 minutes. My mom wanted him to stay longer. "I'm tired. I need to go to Wal-Mart."Whine, whine and more whine. It never comes up about me being tired after working 10 hours and driving five and half hours. This is the reality of the situation--things are getting …

Seems like yesterday...

It seems like yesterday that I was worried about being a mother. In the beginning, there were a lot of questions on whether I could get pregnancy. My first was a miscarriage and the second was devastating stillbirth at six months. So a lot of concern was expressed on whether or not I could carry a baby to full term. Or if I was mentally stable to handle it. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy.  It was a daily struggle between ED and I. ED tried to break me but I persevered. I found a high risk pregnancy specialist in Raleigh. Once a week, sometimes even twice a week, I would travel an hour to see the doctor. And JJ would always have a strong heartbeat at every check up. And when he kicked, oh could he kick. I still think that he has a future in playing soccer. I remember when I found out that he was a boy. I was so happy. As a tomboy, I could relate more to a boy than a girl. But it didn't matter, he could have Jaime and I would have been happy. On the days leading up to his birth…

Hospital living--the final week

I am back at Presbyterian for hopefully the final week. My mom should be released on Friday. She will be headed to an assist living facility for rehab. I am so glad. She has come a long way. Twenty-four days ago, I was very extremely worried and scared. I am still worried but a manageable worried.

At first, she didn't want to go to assisted living because she was afraid no one would come to see her. I told her if that was the fear, a facility could be found in RR, where I live. I could see her around my schedule. It put her at ease because it made her realize how much I care about her care and comfort. My brother and I talk on an as needed basis. Otherwise, we argue. I worked an eight hour day yesterday, drove five and half hours and wrote stories for two hours. And before I arrived, my brother complained about inconsiderate I was about the fact that he had worked also and I should have came back sooner. And 45 minutes before I arrived at the hospital, he left to go meet friends. …

Sleep—Best. Thing. Ever.

Last night, I got 9.5 hours of sleep. Good sleep with no beeping hospital machines or nurses coming in the room every hour. I am home. At least until Monday evening and then I drive back to Charlotte.

I have missed my room, the bed and shower. It was nice to work at my desk and see my friends. My mother has improved so much. She is sitting up, feeding herself and just being herself in general. When I left Thursday evening, I was frustrated because my brother had talked my mom out of hospice care. He is still in denial about just how sick she is. I have overhead the nurses and Dr. T talking, things are not good. I think her doctor is waiting until she is stronger before he tells her the complete truth. I see the signs. Her doctor is urging her to go to hospice and to fill out an advance directive. My brother refuses to see the signs and tells me I am being negative. No, I am being realistic. I have to remember that we are two different people with six years between us. Plus, I was ther…

My baby is growing up

My son starts school tomorrow. My little guy! It seems like yesterday that he was learning how to walk. And now, he is heading for school. What if he doesn't make friends or what if he is scared? I think he will do just fine. He's my little guy.

It's Wednesday here--fried chicken day at the hospital. The most anticipated day of the week here. My mom was so excited that she could hardly contain herself. Thank God for the catheter. 

All morning, she was talking about the fried chicken. Apparently, only a select few know about this hidden option on the menu. My mom is one of the special ones. Also, I learned from a nurse today that my mom is something of a celebrity on this floor. She has defied all odds. Her cancer was so advanced when she diagnosed that she was suppose to have only lived six months. Now it makes sense why so many medical folks are in and out of this room. 

It was pretty decent chicken. She was quite pleased with fried chicken day.

Daily Dose

1. My baby …

Not meant for Mondays

Why the chicken cross the road? There are many answers to this question. Unfortunately yesterday, one very nice chicken met an unhappy ending at the hands of a Silly Girl.  I drove home Sunday so I could cover a meeting yesterday. My drive home was quite interesting. It started when I decided to get off I-95 and take the back roads.

On one back road, there was a nice old lady in her yard feeding her chickens. One ran out in front of me. It was a choice of hitting the chicken or being hit head on by an 18 wheeler. I feel bad for the chicken. I stopped and apologized to the lady. Here's the conversation.
ME: I am so sorry about what happen to your chicken. If you want, I can pay for him or her.
HER: Don't worry about it honey. I was wondering what you were going to do. I'm glad you hit him because that truck would have smashed you flat.
ME: Thanks. Well, I should be getting on the road.
HER: Do you want the chicken? It's some good eating?
ME: No. I am on the way to see m…

Without music, life would be sooooo boring

I am listening to iTunes radio as I write. I think I am going to have to buy an iPod to download all of the music I have on my laptop. Music plays a significant role in my life. Even when I am walking down the hall, I can hear music in my head. My friends don't know this but I have created soundtracks for them. Most of the songs picked for my blog are songs I have listened to throughout the day.

My mom is watching Animal Planet. For now, things are pretty decent. She is getting her groove back because she has announced she is ready to go home. Sadly, her body isn't. Her white blood cells are okay but she is going to need some platelets later today. Physical therapy is going well.

After a long week, I crashed yesterday between helping my mom and trying to rest. I was exhausted. So I read some mags and kept my mom's spirits up. I got my greedy little hands on the September issue of Vanity Fair with Lady Gaga on the cover. The article was great and the pictures were awesome. …

There is no shame in admitting there could be a problem..

It is amazing what a few days make. I went home for three days and worked. I missed being at work, seeing my friends and sleeping in my bed.

The mom I left on Sunday is very different to the mom I came back to early Thursday morning. She is quite chipper and very talkative. She is starting to feel better and eating more. But she is still very weak so she has a physical therapist and an occupational therapist.

I saw all of this because now that she is feeling better, she is more alert and notices everything. She noticed my brother eats everything in sight and I hardly eat anything. She said she hoped I wasn't relasping. I will admit I haven't been eating like I should be eating. I have had to cut back on my meds because I have to be alert for my mom. All of this change, uncertainty and stress is kind of taking its toll. I just don't feel like eating. My therapist has agreed to have an emergency meeting when I go home for a day on Monday. Once my mom gets out of the hospital…

The adventures of Silly Girl with special guest Flip Flop Boy

I have returned home for a few days. It was so great to sleep in my bed and not hear machines. I miss my mom but I needed some time away. It is great being back at work. Writing helps to sooth my mind and I can get back into a routine.

I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support. This is a difficult time. I am trying to take care of my mother and myself.

My friends ask me how am I doing. Honestly, I don't know. I knew this day would come and tried to prepare for it. But it is still hard.

Yesterday, as I am driving on I-95 with the music blaring, I felt like a normal person. For a few moments, I didn’t have a dying mother or stressed about anything. In that moment, I was just a Silly Girl singing badly with her favorite song. I can’t sing. I have accepted I will never be on American Idol or in any type of singing competition. But I will not let this stop me from singing in the shower.
Before heading home, I got to spend an hour with JJ at Wal-Mart. My little gu…

The story of how a very sad day was saved by the sweetest little boy in the world

It was not a good day in Room 318. My brother and I met with my mother's doctor. He was very honest and laid it all on the table. I had tried to prepare myself. My brother couldn't do it.
Dr. T told us how strong and resilant our mom has been throughout this battle with cancer. But he wasn't sure how much more of the chemo she could take. He talked to us about the other options--hospice and pallic care and DNR orders. I could tell my brother was about to go over the edge. Then Dr. T estimated without chemo, she would probably have three months to a year tops. She is in no condition to do any chemo. This morning, I watched her put on a catheter and given a medication pump  that constantly drips medicine and allows her to press a button. It was a day I wasn't ready for but knew it would eventually come.
Once the meeting was over, my brother disappeared. Then Dr. T talked with my mother. He admitted to her that he had never had a patient like her who was such a fighter. He…

Sometimes you slip....

I did something this morning that I haven't done in almost six months. I skipped a meal on purpose. Not because I wanted to sleep in or because I planned to eat it later.  My mom had a bad night that turned into an equally bad day. I was tired, frustrated and I just didn't want to eat. I didn't make myself.  I just laid on the day bed watching daytime television.

My mom fell while I was helping her use the bedside potty. I should have called a nurse to help. I knew she hadn't ate well throughout the day and was weak. While helping, she started to slide and I did the only thing I could do. I put myself between her and the floor. Thank God, there were no broken bones or bruises. I am suppose to be here to help make things easier for her. After the fall, she had trouble breathing which upset her even more and resulted in four nurses and two CNA in the room.  I didn't sleep. Later this morning, the doctor wanted her to have a chest x-ray. All of the movement resulted i…

Strolling on a Wednesday

I was given a mission this morning by my mom. I was to walk down the street to the Cancer Support Center and find her the perfect turban that stays on while she sleeps. It was nice to be outside the hospital.

There are two types of cancer patients/surviors--those who embrace relay for life and support and those like my mom, who don't talk about it. It was a big step for her to allow me to pick out a turban.  I picked out two cute ones--a leopard print one (it looks feisty like my mom) and a black one. Black goes with everything.

I have been good but my ED is starting to act up. I don't really have safe and fear foods but there are certain l like to eat throughout a week. Well, I do I think. I have certain food quirks:
--I love peanut butter and jelly but only if it is my pb and j. I need to know when the peanut butter, jelly and bread were purchased.
--Chicken salad has all of the ingredients I had if they were served separately--eggs and pickles.
--Mustard and ketchup are yuc…

Finding my happy place

In life, we all need a happy place. I have several places of those places that calms me. The library is my favorite happy place. There is something about all of those books and magazines that makes my soul happy. I also love going to the college bookstore and seeing all of those pens and notebooks.

But my favorite happy place is being with my son and seeing his beautiful smile. This week has been rough not seeing him and trying to help my mom. I needed a happy place and ASAP. I found it down the street at the building under renovation. Cute, shirtless men with equipment. It does the heart good. It may be hot and humid but I am perfectly content to do my hair, put on my cute flats and stroll pass them. And I'm not the only one. I noticed some women in the high rise across the street watching them.

I took a picture of a spot I like to people watch without them seeing me. It's a nice shady spot.

My mom had a craving for strawberries. So I asked the nice lady who brings the food t…

Far from an ordinary Monday

It has been a productive day. My mom worked hard to eat. And whatever she couldn't eat, I ate for her. I took some pictures to share. This was lunch.

Overall, it was a good day. She sat up a few times. We watched a marathon of her favorite show, The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She loves this show. I'm happy she does but it's not my cup of tea.

Below is a picture of hospital room. My brother was stunned by how big it was. His visit was interesting because he wanted me to stay in the room while my mom wanted me to take a walk. I stayed until her dinner came. Then I did my perimeter walk while my brother got called to the carpet. I have ate pretty good today. Probably the best I have done in a long time. I don't count calories or anything. It takes the pressure off. Hopefully, my mom will be released Wednesday or Thursday. Dr. T and her discussed chemo. It is definitely off the table. Which is awesome. Her body needs time to heal.

Daily Dose

1. Had the best gril…

Without dignity, there is nothing

If anything I have learned from my mom is to keep your dignity and self-respect at all cost. She has lost all of her hair but none of us have seen her without a scarf. She had a partial mastectomy. No one has seen anything or tries to because we want to preserve her dignity.

Today has been interesting. With a ton of fluids, antibiotics and other things in her, she woke up at 4:30 a.m. on a mission--to have a bath. I will admit I was tired but I'm a team player. She had overheard the nurses talking about a patient who hadn't bathed in five days. "I feel decent. I don't want to smell. You can sleep later," she said. After this, she swished with her magic mouthwash. By 5:15 a.m., we were both headed back to dream land when we heard the most saddest cries. A patient was in a lot of pain and fighting the pain meds. My heart went out to her. My mom got a little upset because she felt the nurses could have done more. At 8 a.m., I was awaken out of a sound sleep. My mom …

New things I learned about my mom

This post is going to be long because it has been a looooooooooong day.

My mom is in the hospital. I had the scare of my life when I went to wake up around 11:45 p.m. last night. She was laying there with eyes wide open and not moving. For a few seconds, I thought she was dead. I screamed. She screamed. We had a moment. After that, I realized something was majorly wrong. After a quick confab with my aunt and called to my drunk brother. Yes, my brother used me being in town as a stress reliever. I am not mad or judging him. Being a caregiver is hard especially seeing your vibrant mom reduced to a skeletal pain ridden person. I understand. I just wish I had had some heads up. Once the three of us talked. They bundled my mom up and I prepared for the 30 minute drive to the PRES in Charlotte.

Once there, we discovered my mom was severely dehydrated, low white blood cells count, low potassium, low blood pressure, sores in her mouth from chemo and pain. Despite all of this, she never lost t…