Saturday, June 28, 2008

My Mom


So here is the latest on my mom. Let me give everyone a quick recap on the past several months. In August of last year she was diagnosed with metastasized cancer. It was actually found in her pelvis on an x-ray. Being metastasized means it has spread to her bones but did not start there. After having mammograms, blood work and a CT scan her Oncologist believed (let me say that again BELIEVED) it has come from her breast. (She has lumps all over her one breast that have been there for quite sometime come to find out but the one person who saw her on a regular occasion never thought to send her in for a mammogram, we believe she hasn't had one in many, many years) In order to give a definite diagnosis she would need to have a biopsy of her breast which would be done in a doctors office and be minimally invasive and cost around $400. The oncologist said there was some evidence that it may have come from her colon. Well that person decided it was in my moms best interest to not have a biopsy because they weren't going to treat it regardless and why spend the money (Us kids have offered on many occasions to pay for it but have been told NO). "She was terminal". Now in all fairness me and Jen and James have always known that my mom if diagnosed with a terminal illness would choose not to have extraordinary measures to fight it. The problem we feel is that we do not know what she has and how far it has progressed. From all of the research us kids have done once the cancer has spread to the bones you are given no more than 6 months to live. Well that was almost 1 year ago. In that time my mom has not been to a doctors office since that meeting with the Oncologist (do I sound bitter). She has been taken home and is waiting to die. It is very sad to watch.

The other issue for her is her Alzheimer's. She has a fraction of the mind that she used to. Some days she can comprehend who we all are, what year it is, who the grandkids are etc. Because of her depleting mental state she really isn't able to make any medical decisions for herself. She is a handful to care for I know this. Her husband works 3 days a week and does have 2 college girls living with him helping care for her during the day. Hospice is coming in (an aid see's her a couple of times a week and helps her bathe and do her hair, she also sits and talks to her and many of you know how much she likes to talk.) I don't believe an actual doctor from hospice has been in to see her at all and I know a nurse comes on occasion. She is on ALOT of drugs. Anti psychotic, sleeping meds, anxiety meds, morphine and much more. So we think what little mind is left is greatly altered by them. I do think she needs them, without it she is running around a million miles and hour and having a bit of psychosis.

Physically she looks so thin, maybe 100 pounds, she has edema in her legs (that means they are very swollen and full of fluid) and walks hunched over. Remarkably she looks pretty good for someone who is dying. She still has a fun witty personality even if she is confused about what she is talking about.

I talk to her several times a week lately. She calls me sometimes 5 times a day and can't remember she called me 10 minutes before. She does the same with Jen. I try to see her weekly. I know us kids are openly criticized about how little we visit but we try hard. One of us is there once a week and we talk to her on the phone frequently. Jen has had her at her home a couple of times for several days but Jen has her hands full with her own kids, daycare and trying to get her realtor license. James is living in Provo, finishing school, working and does the best he can. I try once a week to see her and would like to have her at my home more but she literally runs around and is harder to watch than Ridge. I have alot of guilt about not being able to do more for her (I only live 15 minutes from her). Most kids in there 20's don't having dying parents. I try to raise my family, work, hold a very busy church calling, and so much more.

This week I was going to bring her up to watch Hunter's baseball game but the game was cancelled so I picked her up and we went to Brigham City to the fruit stands, well they are closed. So we went to Leatherby's (who new Brigham City had a leatherby's and we went to Maddox and got take out for her to take home for dinner and went on a drive. After about 2 hours my kids were sick of being in the car so that was it.

If anyone has any grand advice on my mom I am open to hear it.

3 comments:

The Naylors said...

This isn't an easy situation for any family. Don't be so hard on yourself :) All I know is that if I were her, I wouldn't be 100 lbs, I would eat myself silly. Why not get the full rack of ribs?

Tif said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. You are an amazing person and accomplish so much that you make the rest of us look bad. :) Your mom knows you love her and that's the best gift you can give her right now.

zazu said...

Jori,
I didn't know you were going through this. (Hope it's OK that I snooped on your blog) I'm sorry to hear about your mom's health problems. Take care,

Emily (Holly's Sis)