Monday, December 27, 2010

A First For Us

Well, we've never spent Christmas Eve anywhere but home. When the children were growing up, we always stayed home, and allowed them to open one gift. It was always from us, because of course Santa doesn't come until they are fast asleep. It always helped to get them to settle down and go to bed.

This year, we spent Christmas Eve at the hospital with my Mom. She had been extremely sick all day Friday, but was alone for most of the day, and didn't call anyone. By the time Baby Sister arrived for the weekend, Mom was in distress and had to be taken to the ER. After a good dose of Morphine and Zofran, she was much better, but wanted to stay the night. I remember when my father was battling his cancer, he always felt safer in the hospital. And I can understand it too, because if you start feeling bad again, all you have to do is push a button and they bring you the joy juice. 

I sent the rest of the crew home, and stayed with her overnight. Christmas morning the oncologist arrived to discuss some treatment that would help her discomfort, and released Mom. Sister #2 had come by then, and she took Mom home, allowing me to go home to take a short nap, and finish up some cooking. Mom was NOT going to miss Christmas supper, so I had to finish up my list of foods.

We gathered at 4:00 p.m. and did all the cooking, heating up already cooked food, and set out plates, and the necessary things for a meal. Mom finally relented and allowed me to make her famous "Won Tons" as she always calls them. They are actually named "Sausage Stars" and for the first time, I believe I did a pretty good job. Everyone said so anyway. I also cooked a HUGE pork loin the same way I normally do a roast, making gravy with it. My nephew nearly made himself sick on it, he loved it so much. I always make Cookie Dough Heath Bar Pie, and my other nephew told me for next Christmas, he wanted one for his gift. So, considering I was exhausted, aggravated, not in a very Christmassy mood, my spirits were lifted.

It wasn't the Christmas gathering I would have wished for, LeLe and her family couldn't attend for one thing, but I am still thankful we were able to gather at Mom's house and not at the hospital.  So, I can still say God is good!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I hope you all have a blessed Christmas and the happiest of New Years!

Many thanks to everyone who reads my blog and for all the kind comments over the past year.



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Not So Fast

Hold on there. At our last chemo appointment, (the first one of the new medication) the nurse told us Mom wouldn't get sick. Huh? But the doctor said..... Well, we like what the nurse is saying better!!! And this is Wednesday, and she's still not ill. Yayyy.

We met with Mom's primary care doctor today, regarding her pain meds and nausea meds. He's a pretty smart guy, and is trying very hard to do all we need him to do. Good man. We are changing some things up, and trying some new things, in hopes it will make her more comfortable.  I feel I can call his office anytime and will be taken seriously, and they will try their utmost to help in any way.

I appreciate the staff, and so I took a plate of brownies and some potato chips dipped in white and milk chocolate. Ever had those?? Hmmmm, shut my mouth! The mixture of salty and sweet is wonderful.

I did a dumb thing the other day. I dropped my camera. Boo dat. The lens wouldn't focus so I had to go buy a new one. I really didn't want that to be my Christmas gift, but I had no say in the matter, since there was NO WAY I could go through LMW's first Christmas without a camera. I bought a Canon, and so far, I am lovin' it. It's only a 10 MX, but that's five more than I had, and it seems to take better pictures so far. Case in point....

Uhhh, Nanna? Needz a litta hep heah......

Yah, dayz all minez. Jealiss?

You lookin' at me?

 Oh yah, I can dooz whateveh ah wants an day jess laffs.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


We saw the oncologist a week early and will begin a new chemo medication on the 20th, in an attempt to control the swelling and pain. Mom was so anemic, she needed a transfusion, and she received that yesterday. It did perk her up quite a bit, but according to both the doctor and the nurse, the chemo will break her back down. It will make her very ill, but at this time, she is believing it won't actually be that bad.  I'm hoping she's right, because not only will it be hard on her, but it will hard on us to try and care for her. There is no easy way to watch your loved one suffer that way. We went through it with my father so we know.  Right now though, she is in good spirits and refusing to believe anything but the positive. Good for her!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Learning Curve

We always learn from experience don't we? I've learned that I will tell my kids to stick my butt in the nursing home when things get too hard. I think I've learned that I will not opt for meds that will not prolong my life long enough to warrant dealing with the awful side effects. I've learned that I will need to have hope, yet be practical and face the truth. But, I've also learned that what you've learned goes out the window when your body is attacked and your mind can't keep up.

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Another Untitled Post

I have no name for this. I could label it "Dark Post" or "Unhappy Post" or even "Not Really Sure What's Going to Happen Post".... But, the thing is, I feel this dark heavy cloud over me and this will "Not Be a Very Positive Post.

We spent another night in the ER with Mom. She was in a lot of pain, and none of the medications she had at home was doing enough to help. I knew already that the fluid was building back up in her lung, so the only option was to head to the ER. While sitting there, I tried to second guess myself, and questioned whether she really needed to be there, or if we could have called the ER OB-GYN on call instead. Turns out, she did need to be there.

She was given morphine for the pain, and it did help. Unfortunately, it effected her differently than it has in the past. She was pain free, but nervous as a cat in a room of rocking chairs.  The ER doctor decided to do a CT scan as well as an x-ray. I was very impressed with him. He didn't blow anything off, didn't act as if this was all part of the deal and we would just have to get over it, or that we didn't really need to be in the ER.

The X-ray showed the fluid in the lung, and fluid in the abdomen. We knew that too, because that is what the cancer does, it makes fluid called Acities. He wanted a CT scan, because she hasn't had one in 4 or 5 months. The thing is, we don't really know exactly what it showed. The an GYN doc came in once and a team of OB-GYN doctors came in twice and they only mentioned the fluid. The nurse however, mentioned "hematoma". What?! So, I feel we weren't told everything. The doctor(s) did discuss that there would be no draining of the fluids, and that pain relief was the only option. The last time a doctor came in, she had talked for a minute with Mom's oncologist, and she did mention the possibility of another type of chemo med, since the current one obviously isn't helping. We'll find out day after tomorrow.

Folks, this doesn't sound promising. And to be perfectly honest here.....I don't think there is much time left. There. I said it. Mom's brain function has diminished, and she didn't understand anything that was told her. She doesn't understand when I explain it to her after wards, and blocks out what she doesn't want to accept. So, she still believes there is the possibility of a cure, even after one of the doctors looked at her and said point blank..."You DO know there is no cure, and only pain management is possible now?" Mom was so drugged up by this time, she just looked at him with a blank stare. How do you repeat that to your Mom? HOW do you try to convince her the end is coming? Especially when she has denied it every step of the way.

There is something to be said for that kind of attitude. It helps you get through, gives you strength, helps you cope. And to be honest, it's much much better than wringing your hands and wailing all the time about how bad things are. But, how do you deal with a loved one who lives in denial? How do you answer her when she continues to wonder why these things are happening, and trying to find any other reason than the correct one?

I've decided to try to get all my Christmas things in order this weekend. And I've canceled a big family gathering that was to be at my home. I just don't know what is going to happen, or how many times I will wind up driving to the ER at the last minute. Since Mom denies it's terminal, she waits until she can no longer stand it before she tells anyone she needs to go. It usually happens at about 9:00 at night. She thinks she can make it through the night, but realizes late that she can't.  I'm also going to cancel a New Year's Eve gathering I had planned with friends. Things are just too up in the air and unsure right now.

So that is my not so positive post. The sad truth my friends. And I posted it as therapy, and it helps to get it out. I covet your prayers and I will keep you "posted" about how things are going, when I can.

  I have prayed for a cure, a miracle, a healing, but God obviously has said "No." this time. I've thought about praying that she won't suffer, but He said no when we prayed that for my Dad, so I am leaving it up to Him. I guess there is a reason for the suffering, and to be honest, how does it compare with the suffering Christ endured? God is good all the time. He is in control, and He will get us through. I thank Him for that, for the meds, for caring hospital staff, for my siblings to help me in this, for my children's support and understanding. And I especially thank him for LMW who distracts me and gives me something positive to think on. Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.

Right after I posted this, I saw this scripture verse and thought I MUST add it:
"And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you." - 1 Peter 5:10

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Life or Something Like It

It's winter, so it's cold folks. Colder in south central Arkansas than normal, but I don't mind because it feels more Christmasy. Unfortunately, we had a little power outage thing going on this morning and it was not pleasant for a while around here. Still, I found some heat to sidle up to, and some painting to keep me occupied until the central heat came back on.

I've been sewing and painting for Christmas gifts. Can't post until after they are given and opened of course. Wouldn't want to ruin it for anyone. 

Life lately has been dealing with illness of one kind or another, and trying to get Christmas gifts purchased before the last minute. I invariably wind up having to shop a couple of days before Christmas simply because I forgot something, or need to get more food supplies. I would dearly love to have it all done two to three weeks ahead of time. That would give me comfort and joy.

LMW is pretty much over his illness and back to his normal happy self. SR and I are still dealing with residual effects, but feel fine.  I went with Mom to see her general practitioner yesterday for a follow up after the lung draining. I heard what I feared I would.... The fluid is building back up. The doctor said that is what it does. You drain it out and it comes right back.  Unless she is unable to breathe comfortably, we won't do anything until we see the oncologist on the 20th. I'm sure not looking forward to that visit, nor having to navigate the week of Christmas traffic, but we do what we have to. A lot of what the doctor said went right over Mom's head, and I'm not sure that is a bad thing. She continues to keep a good attitude and hopes for the best. I would love to have that same attitude if I was facing what she is.  We hope and pray that Christmas will be fairly normal this year.

I've looked at all the pretty decorations on all the blogs I follow and sometimes people just amaze me. And I wonder how in the world they fit all that busy creativity into their lives. Some folks come up with a post every day, and some come up with a new project every day. Some are so quick with their quilting that I don't see how in the world they get anything else done. I guess some folks are just that talented and much better organized than I.   I did get more painted than I thought I would this morning...simply because I could do nothing else until the power returned. Maybe that should happen more often......

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmastime is Here

I keep hearing that Charlie Brown song in my head. And it's appropriate for the decorations in my house this year. I decided not to go whole hog as I usually do, for two reasons. The first is because there just isn't room with all of LMW's stuff crowding up the space. The second is because with his latest ailment, catching it myself and feeling rotten, and being busy with my Mom's latest issues, I just don't feel like it. That's a terrible thing to admit here at Christmas, but it's the sad truth.

My tree is not what I would have wished, and not what I had planned. I wanted one of those crazy decked out trees you see in the Christmas shops. Unfortunately, that was cost prohibitive. I never was able to get the frou frou stuff to go in the top, or get that wonderful wide ribbon to go around and around it. And as small and inexpensive as it is, the poor thing might collapse under all that weight anyway. Still, it's not so bad and I did enjoy making several of the ornaments.

The birds, balls, peppermint candy and the odd peppermint striped ornaments. I really love to do something new each year. It seems to get me in the spirit. I may be a little under the weather and busy, but I'm still in the Christmas mood. I'm really looking forward to watching my loved ones open their gifts. I meant to cut down on my spending this year, but alas, that just didn't happen. And you know, I didn't even tell LeLe for the umpteenth time, that this was going to be a smaller Christmas. I've told her so many times, she just ignores it now. 


Merry Christmas to All!!
May God Bless you and your family this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What Now?

I haven't posted much about my Mom lately. Things have been rocking along and there really wasn't anything major going on but, she hasn't felt well for a few weeks. This cancer thing is really cramping her style.

She has begun swelling again, and the chemo only helps for a short time. Before she's scheduled for a dose, her stomach is big again. She's moving a little slower, eating a little less, and having some trouble breathing.

Today she visited her General Practitioner, and he was concerned enough to send her for labs and a chest x-ray at UAMS. Looks like fluid in her lung and it will be drained on Friday. The fluid could be caused by the tumor pushing on her lungs, or any number of other things. Or it may not have ever cleared from her last trip to the hospital for pneumonia. Who knows? The thing is....I believe that at this point, it will be one thing or another regularly, until the end. Yes, I said it. Not pretty, but it's how I feel. I think I'm up for it, I hope and pray I'm up for it, and I believe I can handle it with God's help . I did it with my Dad, so I can do it with her. I just keep repeating that "God will give me what I need as I need it!" And He will.

Just remember us in your prayers. It may not be immediate, but the road ahead is going to get bumpy.