Went to visit my Mom today; last visit was two weeks ago. Unfortunately, her condition has significantly deteriorated since then. Briefly, Mom was diagnosed with cancer (likely ovarian in origin) back in mid-January; the tumor was too large to operate on. She went on chemo for a while (in the hopes of shrinking the tumor enough to operate), but after three treatments, there hadn’t been enough shrinkage. Because of the location and size of the tumor when it was discovered, she hasn’t been able to have solid food since (mid-January); at first, she was on TPN, nutritional feeding via tubes. After the third chemo in mid-March, though, she made the decision to discontinue both chemo and TPN, and went on hospice care. She spent three weeks in transitional care then a nursing home, but didn’t like it–she wanted to be in her home but couldn’t be there by herself. So my daughter went to stay with her and became her primary caregiver. She’s been there for 7 weeks now, and this past week has been the hardest for her.
My Mom is in pain constantly; she hasn’t been able to keep anything down (all she’s been taking has been liquids) in several weeks now–everything comes back up. Hospice is doing all that they can to make her as comfortable as possible; they brought her a hospital bed two Mondays ago, and this past week they tried putting a tube to her stomach so that she wouldn’t be throwing up constantly. That isn’t very comfortable for her either (she’s pulled the tube out twice now :(), and she’s also beginning to have hallucinations–seeing things and people that aren’t there, and making accusations about my daughter, saying that she’s playing tricks on her. My daughter hasn’t had more than a few hours sleep the past few nights, because my Mom has kept waking in the middle of the night, ranting and raving.
One of my brother, my Dad (my parents have been divorced 25 years) and myself were there with her today, though, and she seemed a bit more calm during the day–she definitely had some very lucid moments but she also told us about what had happened last night; she feels so confused much of the time, wanting to know what to do next. My Dad and I (I am the oldest) stayed with her while my brother and sister-in-law took my daughter out this afternoon, and we were able to play a CD for her so she listened to some of her favorite music for a while. It’s uncomfortable for her to talk much, though, because her mouth is so dry. I gave her some ginger ale and she drank it, but it came right back up.
When I left, I hugged my Mom and kissed her, thinking that it may be the last time I see her alive. I didn’t cry, though, until I was on the bus coming home and saw a landmark close to her house… then I nearly lost it. Honestly, she is suffering so badly, I am praying for her to be released from the suffering.
Sorry for such a sad post. I do wish there were better news…it does help some, though, to be able to share. Thanks for “listening.”