Friday, June 03, 2022

Today is the Day


     Today is the day. Today we find out if my mother’s cancer has spread or not. If it has not then she will be able to take a chemo pill to help stop the cancer from coming back. If there is cancer …the doctor feels that she cannot tolerate treatment. He said “She is so frail that she’d end up in the hospital if she is put on treatment” . I find that statement odd. So the alternative is let her die?

When my mother was resistant to going ahead with earlier medical intervention, a friend told me…”maybe she just wants to die”. That was not the case. She was scared….And in denial. She wants to live the amount that God wants her to live, not the amount that cancer chooses. Her life is worth saving. Even if she is 87. 

I am scared.

She has been through so much.

And now this.

I don’t want her to be in pain till her last breath.

Cancer is evil

It is not God given

It's a thief

It's a destroyer

It's a heart wrenching bastard and I hate him.


So today I’ll walk into that Oncology appt with my mom. I promised her that I will be with her every step of the way….every step.

Good news or bad…Mom, I’ll be right beside you…the same way you have always been there for me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Day Three With Mom


                                                Patient clipart cartoon nurse, Patient cartoon nurse ...


          Today a nurse came first thing in the morning to check on mom. She was all masked up and ready to go. I am always amazed at their knowledge and quickness. I also find that it doesn’t matter what procedure is being done…every nurse has a different way of doing things and each one has tricks and hacks to find solutions for common and uncommon problems.

                                  Cute Nurse Flying Superhero Cartoon - Nurse - Baseball T ...


Nothing seems to phase them or gross them out. They can handle any smell and visually disturbing scene. Their facial expression will never betray their calm demeanor.

My mom has been very lucky to have such great nurses both immediately after surgery and in her last rehab hospital. When I was younger my mom wanted me to become a nurse… I wanted to join the Air force and become a nurse there but I allowed myself to be talked out of the first part of the plan (my one true regret in life). I was accepted into a local program and sometime during my second year in college I knew that I would never become a nurse. It was my mother’s calling, not mine. I know that it disappointed her, but she knew it wasn’t ever going to be my passion.

Now in a way I think I am becoming an official/unofficial nurse without a degree. So in a way Mami is getting her wish….she always manages to get what she wants…😊

                            Honorary NURSE Certificate EDITABLE Printable INSTANT | Etsy

Monday, May 09, 2022

Day Two with Mom


 Its been two days since my mom was discharged from the rehabilitation hospital. 

She came to my home with a lot of physical issues. 

I was/am  completely unprepared. I was sent home with too few supplies for her needs and the instructions which seemed easy...(as it turns out) are not....well, not to me anyway. Mom is patient as I try to navigate my way through this new stage in both our lives. 

It's been two days and nothing that I learned about the procedure to take care of her particular problem has worked. I have had two nurses come in to assess and start the process of help coming in to care for her and give her therapy. 

I feel guilty, because I feel completely inept, and because there are moments that I want to run and keep on running. Its that fight or flight thing. I have taken care of her for so long (15years) since she moved near me and now when I need to really keep it together… I find myself falling apart. I have trouble catching my breath and I feel heartburn in my throat…is that a thing? But thats what it feels like. Last night I started to have a panic attack. I had a few growing up…but for the last few years I have had a resurgence of them; not many, but enough. I went to my husband and he talked me through it. I brush it away thinking how utterly pathetic I am when my mom is facing the fight of her life.

 “Get your act together Jo, stop your wah wah cryin’. You have a job to do…now do it.

Today another nurse came and promised to bring tomorrow some supplies that my mom needs desperately. I feel like I’m turning into Blanche Dubois from A Street Car Named Desire.. “Depending on the kindness of strangers.” I’m completely dependent on others right now…on their expertise, kindness and compassion. And my mom is dependent on me to make the right decisions for her.

It feels like when I had my first child. I was completely out of my comfort zone. Overnight my well organized nursery was a mess of diaper and wipe boxes. Within a few days I had already run out of onesies and the laundry hamper was full of tiny clothes soaked in spit up and explosive poop. The diaper genie was consistantly full and it made me gag to empty it. 

I remember sitting on the side of the bed, breast feeding my baby and feeling like a total MeSs. Showers were like a mini vacation and everything I owned had stains of spit-up breast milk, and tears...(the tears were mine mostly).

I am back there again. In that disorganized mess. I'm feeling tired and only days in to this current adventure in life. The house is disorganized and I seem to have that mommy brain again where there was room for one single thought…take care of the baby…only this time…my “baby” won’t grow,  there won’t be any joyous milestones to mark life's progression, but there will be joy…and there... is where I want to be beside... my dear Mom.

Monday, April 18, 2022

My Mom, Surgery, and What Happens Now

                    old young holding hands | Zion United Methodist Church in ...

            So.... the last 8 months have been stressful... and when I say stressful...I mean  STReSS-FILLED. There hasn't been a few days to go by where there hasn't been an emergency, new illness, death of friend or friend's close family. After a week of my elderly mom finally having an appetite and eating regular meals...she may be sick again.  
My mind goes catastrophic. Cancer has taken a turn with our family and with many, many friends at church. After my breast cancer, just the thought that anyone I love may get cancer makes me lose sleep. Just recently a church member lost her husband after a long long battle with cancer. They fought together and in the end she was (as always) by his side and her faith assures her that she will see her husband again. 

Worry for my mom starts to rise and choke me.

I turn to my husband and tell him..."I can't take it anymore. I can't cope. 
I'm not strong enough. Its never calm. Its like we are in a constant state of alarm 24-7.

He is used to this. At least once every few months I have a mini breakdown. Months ago I decided to try and change the way I
react. Trying to find the joy in everyday. It was working for a while but now I just feel overwhelmed and so very weary. I ask God for relief and I am impatient.

A month and a half later:

                      3 weeks ago I had to bring my mom to the ER. they told her she needed surgical intervention. She decided she wasn't ready and signed herself out. A few days ago, the wait was over and she had surgery. as expected she had a tumor and though they removed it there is still he chance that there are cancer cells floating around trying to attach themselves to another internal structure. The absolute high of knowing she survived such a big operation was marred two days later when the doctor told me about the chances of more cancer. I have decided to accept the miracle and rejoice in that.

                       I love my mother and I have been caring for her for so long. Sometimes I feel like I have failed her. I should have pushed harder for her to get surgery sooner. She resisted so much. She's so little and frail but the doctors are amazed at her progress so far. They thought she'd have the breathing tube in for days and yet the very next morning she had it removed. They thought she may not be able to walk and yet the physical therapist has had her walking further each day.

                     After rehab my mom will be moving in with us, and my family and I are preparing for for the change. Mom has always been a big part of our lives and even though she lives just a minute a way the change will undoubtably be a big one. She will come to us with physical needs that I will have to tend to 'round the clock every 4 hours day or night. I have no clue how I will do it, but I know I will. Later this week I will have a meeting with my brothers and we will discuss how they can help in this new stage in our and our mom's lives. 

          It's going to be hard
                   I am scared.

                         I have no idea how anything will get done.

But she has put her trust in God and for better or worst I have been given the honor of caring for her until she leaves this world.

Am I ready? No

But God is God in good times and bad. And I have to remember He is the rock I'll lean on. So ready or not, Here I go. 


Sunday, April 17, 2022


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                                                            HE IS RISEN