Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hour long phone conversations...

That's what makes my world go round right now.  I love the fact that even though I just spoke with my Mom on Sunday for 30 minutes, and on Monday I called her this evening and we talked for 59 cherishing minutes...about nothing and about everything.  About the weather and the sky and the way I parent my children.  About life and counting blessings, and her grandchildren, and death.  About renewing her driver's license, grocery shopping, doing chores for her husband, and her dog.  About her wanting to give my oldest son a gift, being soo very very tired she can barely hold her eyes open at fifteen minutes until eight, and breakthrough pain that required extra pain medication.  And about the 'shoulder shawl' she received from Hospice yesterday with a prayer attached...it was in Kansas City Chiefs colors, her favorite football team.  A woman that had lost her daughter to a form of cancer makes these shoulder shawls for Hospice cancer patients and I could tell my Mother would forever hold it near and dear to her heart.  As she was reading the prayer to me that was attached to the shawl, I could literally hear the tears swelling in her eyes, her voice cracking with emotion, and by the time she reached the end of the prayer...full on crying.  I paused for the first time during that 59 minute conversation and said "Can I ask you a question, Mom?  Why are you crying?  Are you crying because you are sad or are you crying for some other reason?"  Her response was purely perfect.  She said "I am crying because I am grateful."  I sighed a rather large sigh (loud enough to be heard over the phone) of relief.  I told her "Ya know, when YOU are the way you are it is very easy for people to do nice things for you.  You are a loving, talented, independent, strong willed, BADASS Mom that has endured the worst that life has to offer.  You would move Heaven and Earth for any of your family members, and you pretty much have moved Heaven and Earth already just by being you."  I reaffirmed to her the amazing life she has led for herself and what she has accomplished.  I gave her ALL the credit for raising me the way she did, and in turn helping me to raise my own three children to be confident, polite, independent souls.  It's what she does and what she will do and what she did that makes me who I am today.  And a very tiny part of that is the wisdom I gain from those 59 minutes of pure bliss chatting on the phone with her.

It has been a few days of ups and downs with her being soo incredibly sleepy and nodding off all day long.  The pain is minimal and breaks through in late afternoon, but thankfully being handled at home.  So the update on her is not bad and it's not perfect, but it is her 'today' and tomorrow could be totally different.  Right now her biggest complaint is the constant lethargy....unfortunately that will probably not go away.  Today is another day 'in the books' and we are looking forward to a productive and lovely tomorrow <3

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Working on the guilt...

dealing with guilt is something NO ONE wants to do...because it usually means you have done wrong.  In fact, the actual definition of guilt is the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; culpability.  Guilt is oh soo two sided though.  Have you ever thought if it that way?  You can be guilty of a crime or wrong doing but feeling guilty is self induced.  It's ashamed - feeling shame or guilt or embarrassment or remorse.  I suffer from the latter....self induced guilt, and there's a rhyme but no reason for me to feel that guilt.

I started feeling my 'guilt' the day my Mom was diagnosed.  I thought...Why not me? Why her?  Why do I get to be healthy and happy when this woman busted her ass day and night and on the weekends too as a single mother to make damn sure I had a roof over my head a new car to drive when I turned 16?  This woman who was now diagnosed with a terminal cancer would have and STILL would crawl to the ends of the earth just to see me smile.

The guilt continued on through all her treatments. If I missed a treatment because of work, guilt was thick.  If I could not be there for her to hold her hand and chat during the 6 hour infusion, I was riddled with shame.  Granted there were good reasons as to why I couldn't be there for every treatment, but nonetheless, the self induced guilt was there.

After the disease metastasized and progressed, the guilt came in a different form.  It's a guilt I should not feel, but I do feel shame somedays for 'having a life' and having fun'.  I feel guilty for being able to go out in the hot son with my son and play some baseball.  I feel guilty I am healthy enough to work and can't spend every single day with her making more memories.  The shame rears its' ugly head some days just when I laugh.  I catch myself saying "How dare you enjoy yourself when your Mother is at home dying?"  It honestly is the hardest form of feeling to shake.  It's not like a bad mood.  Those usually go away after I get a good nights' sleep.  Not guilt....it's just hanging on.  

I have postponed any vacations or trips or outings too far away from home because the guilt I would feel IF something happened while I was far away is too much to handle.  That would be something I could NOT live the rest of my life feeling.  But I know what I need to do now to get over the guilt that rears its' ugly head.  I need to give myself PERMISSION to be guilt free.  To be happy, carefree, and enjoy my health.  That permission in the long run will serve to make me a better person, a better mother, a better daughter.  Working on that....

Tomorrow is the visit from Hospice and my Mom told me she asked them to bring a scale so she can weigh herself.  When she mentioned that to me, my heart stopped and I instantly bit my tongue.  I was ready to spew out insanity asking her WHY she would want to do this?  She has lost a TON of weight and is very thin.  This is what happens to pancreatic cancer patients.  They lose weight rapidly until there is no more weight to lose.  I think curiosity is getting the best of her.  I think that if she could choose her day or week to make her transition into Heaven, she would definitely do that as well.  Maybe seeing her weight on a scale is her way of gaining control over her feelings?  Or maybe not?  I am baffled at this thought of her wanting to see her weight loss on paper, per say.  But it is what it is and if she wants to be weighed, then let it be done.  I will support that decision.

I will leave you with a quote, because if you know anything about me, you KNOW I am always reading quotes, soaking in inspiration and looking for ways to make my thoughts better....

Sometimes it's easy to feel like you're the only one in the world who's struggling, who's frustrated, unsatisfied, or barely getting by.  That feeling is a lie.  And if you just hold on, just find the courage to face it another day.  ...we all need a little help sometimes, someone to help us hear the music in this world, to remind us that it won't always be this way.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Soul ALWAYS knows what to do to heal itself...

The challenge is to silence the mind.  A more daunting task for me recently.  There has been an abundance of noise going through my mind 24/7 for the last two plus years.  And not just all negative noise either.  There was a time where we always had glimmers of hope...that the chemo would work, that the radiation would melt the cancer away.  My mind was buzzing with emotions the day the oncologist delivered the news that the chemo was not helping.  After that day in April, my mind could not 'shut down'.  It never silenced....EVER.  And this went on for weeks and weeks.  It was pure torture for the soul, for my family. and for me.  I was not the same person after that day.  I became a better person.  My soul started to heal itself, but it didn't happen overnight.  Slowly I realized that this was God's way and there was nothing on this earth that I could do to stop it.  So why burden myself with a buzzing mind full of negativity, grief, sadness, and turmoil?  My soul and my mind had it 'out' with each other.  I am here to tell you my soul won the fight.  

I have self healed some of the wounds in my psyche that cancer has ripped open for me.  The thought of being without my mother is the last wound standing.  We can never change the cards that have been dealt to us, but it's up to us on how we play the hand.  And I plan on playing this 'hand' as gracefully and courageously as I possibly can.  Healing your own soul is something you have to work on.  For me, at least, it didn't happen naturally, but happened over a span of about one month.  One day I would wake up and stuff the negativity down and out of my head.  The next day I would let it all surface and have a good ole ugly cry (which I highly recommend to ANYONE going through this sort of ordeal, you NEED that release).  As the days passed, I became better.  I woke up wanting to start the day off on the right foot.  Positive.  Grateful.  Happy.  It became easier each day and now here we are, approximately three months since the last chemotherapy treatment, and I am ready to say my soul is healed.  The true definition of 'soul' is...

the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body;the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.

My principle of life has changed drastically...and if I can do it, anyone can.  I used to be a Debbie Downer, I used to fly off the handle all too quickly, and I used to not use a filter before thinking of what I was saying.  My soul is healed...still working on healing the heart.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Caregiver Stress?

In my 38 years of life on this earth, I have never heard of such a thing as suffering from Caregiver Stress?!?  I'll just put it out on the table right now...I am first and foremost my Mother's DAUGHTER, not her caregiver.  Her hubby is there for her day in and day out, each and every minute he can helping her regulate her pain, take her meds, help her with housework, grocery shopping, and whatever else needs to be taken care of.  I get to float in an out of the house at will, coming by to visit, bring smiles and memories to chat about, and most of all just being there for her....being her 'friend',  her sounding board, her listening ear, her shoulder to cry on.  So to give me the title of caregiver is a bit deceiving but in the grand scheme of things, and in the official definition, I am a caregiver of a pancreatic cancer patient.  So with that said, this stress that they speak of...now that I read more about it (and TRUST ME I read far too much on the internet about pancreatic cancer and stress) I'm pretty certain I qualify as a candidate to be labelled as such.

"Because our definitions of what constitutes stress are fairly subjective, some people may be under great stress and not really be conscious of it, so they may not report being stressed when asked."

If someone asked me "Are you stressed?"  I am fairly certain I would say some days yes, others no way.  Caring for my mother seems to be the only logical thing to do considering she brought me into this world and raised me to be the woman and mother I am today.  SHE is the one I give credit to for teaching me morals and manners and etiquette.  I pass on what I learned from her down to all three of my children hoping they can one day grow up to be like her.  I care for her....therefore I am a caregiver.  It's the natural human thing to do for the ones you love.  Is it stressful to return the favor?  No....not ONE bit.

Now if someone asked me "Are you stressed?"  when Mom is having a bad day?  The answer on the flip side of things totally reverses.  YES....stressful.  Very.  I'm petrified of the future and I want to make sure that whatever that future brings, it does not involve suffering or pain or embarrassment for my Mom.  She has worked too damn hard in her life to go out like that.  A woman of her dedication deserves the utmost peace.  All the way to the last minute.  Stress.....yes.  That would be one form of stress.  But honestly, really....that's what stresses me.  Making her as happy and comfortable as possible.  If I miss a phone call or a text that says she is having uncontrollable break through pain, if I happen to not wake up if the phone rings late at night when something goes wrong, if I don't visit on a day that she needs emotional boosting....that is my stress.  And I am living with that stress e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y.  I am living up to what I think is the best job that I can do and we are still all smiling and making memories and reminiscing and hugging <3  

Today was a visiting day from Hospice....blood pressure is good, lungs sound clear.  Slight changes, but they are slight.  She told me for the first time today that she can feel two different lumps in her abdomen now.  Not the news I wanted to hear, but alas I knew I would hear it.  I am just grateful for her brutal honesty with me.  We are not sure if it is the tumors getting that much larger or she is getting that much skinnier.  May be a bit of both.  Nothing we can do about either of them, so we talk about it, and then we move onto bigger conversations....like my little pickles' birthday today <3  So today was an eeeeeeeeh ok day, but it was not a bad day, so we will make a check mark in the 'win' column, cuz that's how she rolls ;)  We have great conversations today, an AMAZING visit yesterday, and right now I am at peace, and I think she is too....

Sunday, July 22, 2012

60 years on this Beloved Earth...

Honestly it's a birthday for my Mom that I thought she would never see when she was first diagnosed.  To live for 2 1/2 years with pancreatic cancer is nearly unheard of.  But here we are, tomorrow is the day.  It's her birthday, and she will be 60.  Another milestone to check off the list, a small celebration to be had.  I wish it was all cake and ice cream and balloons and streamers.   I wish there was a big ole birthday bash planned with a Tony Stewart cake and black balloons and "Over the Hill" signs posted prominently in her front yard.  There's not.  It's not that we don't want to have an elaborate party.  Trust me I would love nothing more.  I think for the benefit of her, we will pass on that this time.  She is not herself.  She is exhausted.  She is sleeping a lot more, having some issues with vomiting and fever, and breakthrough pain seems to be coming through bigger each day.  The breakthrough pain is not a good sign.  It's manageable with the meds that she has for right now.  For that I am incredibly thankful.  The pain meds do NOT take the 'scary' out of the pain.  The pain meds do NOT take the worry and the fretting and wondering and waiting out of the pain either.  The pain meds make her comfortable physically and that is crucial right now.  If you don't know anything about pancreatic cancer, I will educate you briefly...

Pancreatic Cancer metastasizes, and it's a very fast cancer.

Managing pain and other symptoms is an important part of treating advanced pancreatic cancer. Palliative care teams and hospice can help with pain and symptom management, and provide psychological support for patients and their families during the illness.

Ninety-five percent of the people diagnosed with this cancer will not be alive 5 years later...OUCH.  Talk about a staggering statistic that needs attention!

Pancreatic cancer often has a poor prognosis, even when diagnosed early. Pancreatic cancer typically spreads rapidly and is seldom detected in its early stages, which is a major reason why it's a leading cause of cancer death. Signs and symptoms may not appear until pancreatic cancer is quite advanced and surgical removal isn't possible.

It can be one of the most painful cancers to die from.  And that alone is enough to scare even the bravest of souls.  So I am asking you this...any of you reading this blog, please pray.  Pray for comfort and peace and love and relaxation and time.  I cannot forsee the future, nor do I plan on predicting the outcome, but my gut feeling right now is that things are not ok.  Things are starting to go downhill, and I have just lost the brakes.....

Friday, July 20, 2012

I'll stand by you

Take me in into your darkest hour, and I'll never desert you...

One song that I listen to over and over....I"ll Stand By You by Carrie Underwood.  It speaks what I cannot say.  There are times when I stumble over my own thoughts and can't spit out any sort of words that make sense.  I get flustered that I can't SAY what I am thinking, and then I just don't say anything.  So I turn to music.  I'm sure a lot of you do that as well.  "I'll Stand By You" has played repeatedly in my head for the last week.  I keep thinking of the darkest of hours and the brightest of days.  I think of the good days that my Mom is able to experience, but we all know that with the good days, the bad days will come as well.  Today was one of those BAD days.  Not a good day.  A bad, very bad, not soo fun, let's call Hospice to check on her Bad Day.  Yeah....-----sigh-----  After having three or four good days in a row, it crushed her spirit I am sure.  So goes the story....

Waking up early in the morning to vomit is not the idea of a fun filled day for a pancreatic cancer patient who has already had her insides 're-plumbed' during whipple surgery AND has had hernia surgery that went drastically wrong (but that's another story altogether).  Even the thought of vomiting scares the dickens out of my Mom.  It's not a pleasant act for ANYONE let alone her.  Well that's how her day started today...and vomiting for a p/c patient could be a very very very bad signal that things are going terribly wrong.  It could be a bile duct obstruction, which is the worst case scenario.  It could be viral.  Could be a flu bug.  Could be something she ate.  Top all that off with the fact that she ran a fever of 101 all day long, and you have the ingredients for a horribly rotten Friday.  Her hubby texted me right away letting me know what was going on, of course I was at work and I FROZE right in my tracks.  I could feel my chest getting tighter, my eyes welling with tears, and I was on the verge of dropping to my knees in utter fear.  BUT I didn't. I wanted to, but didn't.  I took a 'break', gathered what courage I could and waited for Hospice to call. After waiting no longer than maybe 30 minutes, Sarah was nice enough to let me know they did NOT think it was a bile duct obstruction.  My lungs filled back with oxygen and I picked myself back up and put myself back together and went on with my day.  I literally BLOCKED what just transpired out of my head until check out time.  I have not one single clue how I did it, but I just worked.  Didn't think, didn't talk, didn't break, just worked.

This afternoon and evening was better for her, no sickness, just fever, LOTS of couch time and went to bed extremely early.  She was exhausted but refused to cancel our 'date' for tomorrow.  I honestly don't care if our girl date includes time watching t.v. in her living room at this point.  I am excited, I will bring chocolate to share, and I will go where the day takes me.  Because HONESTLY today scared me.....a lot.  A whole lot. I am strong most days and I am brave other days and I am weak in the knees most days.  Today was just another gut check.  Another bad day...and a grim reminder that I am in no way, shape or form ready for her to leave.  Nope.  Not yet.  Paralyzing fear is how I would describe it...but are you ever ready to say goodbye to any loved one??  I doubt it.  I'm normal....for now.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I've got a DATE...

Yep, you read that right....I gots me a 'day date' with one of my best friends in this world <3  My Momma <3  Thanking the Lord she had another GREAT day today and we have made tentative plans to go out and about caterwalling the big ole town of Belle Plaine for a couple hours on Saturday.  I can't even tell you how excited I am.  This was HER idea.  While chatting with her on the phone this afternoon, she said "Hey, when was the last time just ME AND YOU went and did anything?"  Silence.....honestly, don't know the answer to that question.  I had to think long and hard.  During the entire phone conversation I couldn't recall the last time we spent time alone together.  there have been brief visits at her house when my kids were not there, maybe an hour tops, but other than that, I had no clue.  I finished the phone conversation with the LARGEST smile on my face thinking about Saturday afternoon shenanigans with her. ;)  Now I am sure there will be no mischief or law breaking or anything of that nature, but I am sure the conversation will be amazing and the memories I will surely treasure.

Then it hit me....I actually DO now remember the last time we spent quality time together.  It was at the most inconvenient of times, and one of the very most critical moments in her cancer journey....it was during her radiation treatment.  Six weeks, mind you SIX STRAIGHT WEEKS staying in a hotel up in Rochester, Minnesota to have radaition treatments five days a week for six straight weeks.  Talk about brutal.  I visited Rochester three different times during her radiation treatments, two with the kids, once by myself.  And the one time I went alone, we went shopping....granted she was exhausted and couldn't do an all day bender like I wanted her to do, but it was honestly the last time we spent together ALONE.  That's got to happen more. I know that my children put a smile on her face that is almost impossible to remove for days after their visit.  They lift her spirits, nurture her soul, and make her feel alive.  They make her feel needed, wanted, and most of all loved.  BUT there has got to be more time made for "her and me".  I am certain that she will be able to let go of some of her demons and talk to me honestly about how she really feels about her future.  I will listen.  I will listen with intent.  I will listen hoping to soak in some of her bravery and fearlessness.  I have soo much to learn from her.  I will continue to learn from her as we go down this unforgiving road cancer has dealt us.  I must learn from her.  I know of NO ONE on this earth that has faced the demons head on like she has.  She has given cancer one helluva fight.  Almost 11 months of THREE different types of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation.  If she can go through that with a smile on her face and a will to keep going, I am certain I have soo much more knowledge to gain from her.  I mean, really????  Who goes through all of that and still has faith?  I know who ;)

So this 'date' of ours is incredibly important to me.  More important than most of you with healthy parents realize right now.  I'm going to take my camera and embarrass her by taking photos of us shopping at the thrift store, and probably at Subway if she decides she wants to have lunch out. We will gossip and we will talk and we will solve all world problems.  We will laugh, I'm sure there will be tears, and giggle and frown.  But I am quite certain this will be the BEST Saturday in recent memory.  And for that I am thankful <3

If you have time, please pray for my Mom's husband...his elderly mother is not expected to make it through the night :(  My Mom and her hubby are heartbroken, but they understand it is her time to leave this earth and leave it with her dignity in tact.  No one has a better understanding about that than my Mom.  So say a prayer for them if you can <3

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Settle Down, It'll all be clear....

Don't pay no mind to the demons, they fill you with fear.  Thank you to Phillip Phillips and his song entitled "Home" for the blog title and the quote.  I live that blog title....LIVE it....  I am constantly telling myself to 'settle down'.  It's those moments that trip me up that others take for granted...like the sound of my cell phone ringing.  That ringtone alone is enough to make my heart stop beating, my breathing becomes erratic, and it feels as if the 'elephant in the room' is sitting directly on my chest.  Just because of a ringtone...  Some days I am paralyzed with fear upon checking caller I.D.  Once I see it's not a phone call from my Mom or her husband, I have to 'settle down'.  What takes a total of maybe 10 minutes for me to regain my composure feels like eternity.  All because of a ringtone.  And this happens almost EVERY single time my phone rings.  It's not.any.fun.  Most people love to get incoming calls.  Most people spend half their day on their cell phones and take for granted that they are not receiving a call about a loved one becoming ill or passing away.  These little things like ringtones on a cell phone, well I don't take for granted anymore.

I am relearning how to live life and trying to cope.  I try to pay no mind to the demons...they DO fill me with fear.  Fear and anxiety, pain and depression are just a few of my demons.  But I am learning to cope with those demons and pay NO mind to them.  How do I do that, you ask?  Well about one year ago, I taught my Mom (and she taught herself, too) how to text.  I know, crazy right?  Everyone knows how to text.  Ha! But that has become my way to 'talk' to her each and every single day, sometimes five or six times a day.  She is a very proficient squasher of my demons, and texting has been a large part of the squashing.   I go to work and fret and worry and think and ponder and sulk.  And just as soon as I am off of work, I send her a text to check up on her, and she sends me one back saying how she spent the day making not one but TWO loaves of banana bread for her grandbabies <3  Aaaaah yes all is right with the world, and the demons that filled me with fear all day long have been abolished.  Funny how comforting a text can be.  Trust me, I don't take texting for granted anymore, either.

Today was obviously a better day for Mom.  Up and about and making banana bread.  Being in the kitchen doing what she loves to do...and I don't take that for granted!  God has blessed her with another good day today and for that we are BOTH incredibly grateful <3

So if life is dragging you down, just know you're not alone.....Settle Down, It'll all be clear.  Trouble, it might drag you down.  You get lost but will always be found... <3

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's up to YOU to find the beauty...

even in the ugliest of days, you have GOT to find some thing or someone that makes you smile...that makes you stop and say "Wow that's really amazing."  Soo many times we run through life with blinders on.  Not noticing the patch of clovers in the grass, with that one four leaf clover waiting to be wished upon.  I used to be guilty of rushing through my days, never noticing the butterflies, or the shapes of the clouds, or the days when the sun shines just warm enough to make it a perfect summer evening...all of that changed when my Mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  Cancer is UGLY...there's just no getting around that chaffingly obvious fact in life.  Cancer does not discriminate, it cares not about age or gender.  Cancer is all consuming and cancer is selfish.  So finding the beauty in Cancer...that's difficult.  The first year, to be honest, I found NOTHING humorous about the fact that Pancreatic Cancer had picked my Mom to invade.  I was angry and I was distraught.  I tried to open my eyes to the bigger picture, but it didn't work.  But then came year #2...and what I realized is that I had grown as a person.  I was seeing the different shades of blue the sky could be.  I was seeing the happiness in my children as I become increasingly more patient with them.  I saw the four leaf clovers in the grass.  What I realized is the ugly, putrid, mortifying disease called Pancreatic Cancer had indeed made me a BETTER person.  I was more patient, more aware, more thankful, and the biggest acheivement of all.....Grateful.  Grateful for the fact that Cancer opened my eyes to a world I might have not seen for a very long time.  I have grown in ways I never thought I would.  Don't get me wrong here, I would move the Heaven and Earth to blast pancreatic cancer OFF the planet and have it never invade another soul again, and I DETEST the disease.  But what I detest has made me better, has made me more driven, more focused, more loving, and more receptive to others than ever before.

So before you go to bed tonight, count your blessings, say your prayers and think of all the beautiful things in your life that you have.  And every morning that you open your eyes to start a new day, make it your goal to Find the Beauty Even in the Ugliest of Days....you will never get today or yesterday back.  Make it worth your time, take each step with joy knowing you are blessed <3
I am certainly blessed and if you would like to see just how blessed I am....I encourage you to watch my video <3  It's worth every single second <3

Monday, July 16, 2012

I've got to start somewhere..

The whole premise behind this blog of sorts is to document m thoughts and fears and hopes and prayers for my Mother who is nearing the end stages of Stage IVB Pancreatic Cancer.  I am an avid fan of facebook and posting updates with what has been happening during her weeks, but as of now I feel a bit more unconfortable doing just that.  Everything that is going on is NOT all roses and sweet smelling lillies and flowers and butterflies....we all wish that was the way the story was going to end...quite like a fairy tale.  But reality reminds me on an hourly basis, sometimes minute to minute that that's NOT the way this is all going to go down.
Let's just say for any first time readers sake, My Mom was diagnosed in February 2010 with Stage 2 resectable Pancreatic cancer.  She had the whipple surgery, everything DID come out roses with that.  She did the suggested treatment of six months of chemo, and six straight weeks of radiation five days a week during those six weeks.

In that time, I saw the fighter in my mother...the smiles, the hugs, the 'look of no fear'.  It was there and she wore it on her face like it was meant to be there.  She held me up when I was fearful of the huge biohazard bags that they brought the chemo in, and covered my eyes so I didn't have to watching the insert the ports for the infusion.  She was my ROCK and her positivity kept me on track.

Its safe to say our world was absolutely thrown into dismay once the cancer metastasized to her liver.  We tried three months of double doses of chemo, which made Mom very dizzy, sometimes nauseaus, and experience lots of neurapothy....only to find out that the tumors had more than doubled in size WITH the chemo treatments being administered.  ...it was one of THE absolute hardest doctor visits ever...to sit in a private room with your mother being told there are no other options, to go home and live your life, contact hospice and get your affairs in order.  It sucked the air right out of my lungs, it paralyzed the muscles in my legs, and I could literally feel a fog move in around my head that took weeks to shake off.  It was the one thing we never wanted to hear....Scientific Medicine was not and will not work.  She was sent home to die.

Hospice started coming in mid May 2012 and has been our Godsend, our helpers, our teachers, our friends, and our confidants.  I love them all with all of my being.  I am very grateful for each and every one of them.

What I can't post on facebook, I will post here.....my Mom is not getting any better...in fact she is deteriorating quite quickly.  It frightens me, I'm not gonna lie...it's a feeling I get in my chest just typing this out...harder to breathe and feel like I am constantly trying to find a way to fix things that are unfixable.  She is more and more tired every day.  The pain is starting to come and stay more than come and go.  She is weak and frail and skinny.  BUT to talk to her, her soul is amazing....she finds it in herself to give er grandkids the best 4th of July EVER, sit down on the floor with them and color, go outside and sit for spells and have chats with each kid seperately, and take that time to put her arm around me and tell me "every little thing is gonna be alright".  We know its not.....we are walking around wearing our faith on our shirtsleeves, leaving nothing unsaid EVER and never missing an opportunity to chat on the phone or make a visit to Belle Plaine.

So what I want to use this blog for is the TRUTH....about how she is really doing, about how I am really doing, about how my kids are coping, and my family, too.

Her update from Hospice today was not all horrible, lower blood pressure, a little breakthrough pain, but got that mamaged, sleeping more, eating about the same.  I see and I feel her slipping away a little bit day by day.  Everyday she takes a little piece of me with her...God this woman is my best friend and I beg of you to NOT let her suffer.  She has been my EVERYTHING, my anything, and always will be. Mom and I both think that the end is much closer than others think, so we are preparing for what that really means.  You can't always be prepared but you can be made more aware.

So  I will end my first post saying I love my mother with all the love that God has given me and I will walk on hot coals if that's what it takes to make her comfortable.  Right now its day to day and we are ok with that....