Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mixed Bag

It’s 4:20 a.m. and sleeping is just not an option, I guess. I went off to sleep well enough at 10:00 or so, but I got awake around 3:30 and that seems to be it for the night.

Partly it’s the weather, I think – warm and rainy and so humid that it’s hard to breathe sometimes. This is weather that I do not have to deal with in my new hometown out West, and this is weather that I have not missed since I moved away from the East Coast seven years ago. Ugh.

Yesterday was a mixed bag. I arrived at Mom’s around 11:30 a.m. to find her feeling pretty awful – weak, mostly, but she’d also had a good deal of pain in the morning and had taken a painkiller. The Hospice nurse arrived shortly after I did and she had a long talk with Mom about the various painkillers that are available if/when her present painkiller isn’t enough. She also persuaded Mom to order the oxygen generator so that it would be immediately available in the house should Mom need it (which she most assuredly will at some point). She failed to persuade Mom to order a hospital bed. There was frank talk about how Mom’s condition could decline very quickly at any time, and the nurse seems set to come every day from here on out.

I spoke with the nurse out on the porch afterward. She suspects that the cancer has spread to the lymph system and that possibly the kidneys are starting to shut down. We probably don’t have much time left.

Once the nurse had gone, I came back inside the house to find Mom still sitting at the table, but with her head down and resting on her arm. I helped her up and we slowly made our way to her bedroom. On the way, she gave me some instructions about clothes she wanted brought downstairs for good (her bedroom now is the former living room on the main floor). Once I got her settled in bed, I headed out to pick up some items that we could use to organize her clothing plus another pair of soft shoes that would accommodate her swollen feet. Thankfully, the current trend of “ballet slipper” shoes works perfectly for our purposes, so I purchased a pair that is two sizes larger than Mom’s normal shoe size. She loved them!

Mom was still in bed when I returned with my purchases, but she was awake and expressed amazement that she had slept so long. She said she’d slept deeply during those 90 minutes and she felt much, much better. She also remarked that the next time she felt that bad in the morning, she’d simply go back to bed. I agreed. At her request, I stayed for dinner – a dish that we always called “Glop” when I was growing up. (It’s a mixture of ground beef, cooked macaroni, canned tomatoes, onions and seasoning, all stirred up in one pot. It’s pretty tasty, actually, depending on how you make it. The name “Glop” stems from the sound it makes when you dish it onto your plate.)

Mom cracked a few jokes and ate really well. My stepfather was very affable and helped me with the dishes. I cleaned up and then headed back to my temporary home in town well before dark.

And here I am, at 4:45 a.m., sitting up in bed and writing my blog. My mind began racing as soon as I woke up and there seemed no point in tossing and turning. I usually pray when I can’t sleep, but I couldn’t get my thoughts to be anything but frantic and scattered, so I finally turned on the light and my computer. Now that I’ve done some writing, perhaps I can also have a lucid conversation with my Creator.

Yesterday was a mixed bag. Stay tuned for the next report…

Once again, I send my love and gratitude to all of you who are supporting me in prayer and tracking me through this journey. I could not do it without you!

- Catherine


2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I came here to read your answers to the Random Dozen, but I read this first, and I have to tell you I just feel so moved by this post.

It's like I can feel the quietness around you. You seem calm and serene and yet you're describing a distressful situation and telling about how it's affecting you.

It's just so sweet how you describe all of the details, sweetly poignant.

My heart goes out to you. My parents are elderly, 87 and 83, and I know I don't have much time left.

Christy said...

Definitely still praying. Hope you sleep well tonight.

SouthLakesMom said...

Cath, I'm with Lid -- came for RD and was touched by your next post. I pray that the Creator is wrapping His arms around you -- well of COURSE He is! I pray that you FEEL them.

All of the hospice people I've dealt with in my life have been true angels of mercy. Many of them are believers. Lean on them if you need to -- that's part of what they're there for.

Just posting RD will bring you lots of prayer support. This is an amazing group of mostly women and I can guarantee you're gettin' lotsa prayer.

Katie said...

We love you, Cath, and we're praying for your mom, you, and the rest of your family. I know we are thousands of miles away but let us know if there is anything we can do.