Monday, November 27, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family. Mom is home from the hospital. She actually called me yesterday on my birthday! I was so surprised because she hasn't used the phone in a long time. It really warmed my heart. I think she's feeling better and has more hope for the future after the wonderful care she got at St. John's hospital in Anderson. John fixed up a cute little bag of gifts for my birthday, including a tin of mixed nuts, candy, a candle and a few other things. The best part was a love letter that he wrote. I'll always cherish that...he is so sweet...I'm very blessed. He and I are having a quiet little Thanksgiving dinner here at home today. We may go out to see Mom later this evening. Our celebration with the kids will be at Joel and Wendy's on Saturday since I have to work tomorrow. May God bless and keep all of you. Remember to give thanks to Him for all His amazing blessings!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
My friends, Joe and Stephanie, are in Ukraine to bring home a child they're adopting. This trip is a leg in the long journey they have travelled to have a child. If you'd like to read about their experiences and how God has given them a child, you can find them here.
Mom was seen by the gastoenterologist today. He did a CT scan and found nothing amiss in her abdomen. They admitted her to the hospital in Anderson and they're doing a colonoscopy tomorrow at 7 am. I sure hope they can get her some relief. I've had a stiff neck all day so I'm not feeling too great either. Thanks to all for your prayers. I'll keep you updated.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Gary was able to find a gastroenterologist to see Mom tomorrow! Also, Dad and Mom and Ruth met with a nurse at home. She is a good friend and she agreed to help them get a referral for home health care. I'm so relieved for Dad. I just pray that they will be able to get Mom's digestive system working right so she can eat and regain her strength. Thank you to all my praying friends...keep it up!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I haven't written on my blog for a long time...so much of what we've been going through with Mom's cancer has been so personal and so painful...I couldn't put it into words. If you're squeamish, quit reading now. I'm going to document the past couple of days just so I'll have a record of it...my mind's so tired I don't think I will be able to recall all this later. For the past several weeks we have been trying to help take care of Mom at home. John and I haven't helped as much as Ruth, Sherry and Steve...mostly because of our work schedules. Dad has really come to rely on them because they know the routine and are able to help Mom so efficiently. But we're learning. Mom finished 30 radiation treatments a week ago Friday. Each day of the treatments she grew weaker and sicker. She is now to the point that she can barely move in bed. We were taking her to the bathroom but she has gotten so weak that she uses a bedside commode when she has the strength to be moved to it. Otherwise she just goes in a Depends. Because of terrible hemorrhoids, her bowel movements have been excruciating. I don't know when it started to get really bad...we've lost track of the time. The Dr. told us to give her Gas X and Imodium to help with the loose BMs. But nothing was helping. Finally my two sisters told the cancer doctor they couldn't take her home and keep going like they have been...she's so sore and weak she just wants to die. The doctor got mad and agreed to do a rectal exam. He discovered she had a blockage and said it was caused by the Imodium...which they'd been telling us to give her! Thus began a new course of enemas and laxatives. Dad has spent over $700 on Depends, bed covers, ointments and medicines in the past few weeks. We can't get Mom to eat and about the only thing she'll take is Pedialyte and water. She's been given IV fluids twice because she became dehydrated and her blood pressure fell so low. None of this is a result of the brain tumor...it's a result of the medication and the radiation treatments. Her hair is mostly gone and her scalp and ear were so badly burned that they bled. We have to clean and dress her scalp and ear twice a day. She's taking so many medications that Dad has to keep a chart and write them down several times a day. As far as we can tell the tumor is in check and the Dilantin has stopped any seizures. Saturday, I worked 9 to 5 and then John and I headed out to spend the night helping Dad care for Mom. We've had someone with him at all times for the past few weeks...Mom is just too heavy for one person to move. The washer and dryer are going day and night to keep up with the towels, wash cloths, scalp scarfs, sheets, blankets and gowns that are soiled each day. We took out Chinese food for supper because Dad loves it and hasn't been eating much. Everyone left and we sat down to supper...then Mom needed toilet help again. We had to put the food in the frig and never did get to eat. Dad was trying to stop a nosebleed that he'd had all evening. He is so thin and tired...I don't know how he keeps going. We finally got Mom settled back down after many Depends changes one after another...around 11:30. We decided to try to sleep. Dad was in the recliner by her bed so he could hear her if she needed anything. I slept in the recliner in the living room and John headed upstairs to sleep. Just as Dad sat in the chair, the bowel problems started again. We were up all night...one clean-up after another. We slept about an hour and a half all night. Dad finally made a pot of coffee around 4 am and gave up on sleep. By that time we were getting slap happy and making stupid jokes just to stay awake. I don't know how Dad keeps going...he's 80 years old and down to skin and bones. He showered and headed to town to get more Depends, meds, etc. and John and I were joined by Ruth and Chip. Eventually Sherry showed up too so we actually had enough people there so I could fix lunch for us and Dad could finally eat a meal without interruption...except for 2 phone calls. Someone always calls to check on Mom when we're eating. After lunch we continued to help Mom with the bowel movements and cleanups...got her settled. John and Chip sat on the bed loving her and comforting her...they were all crying...it was such a tender moment. John was crying and hugging Mom and she reached up with her poor tired palm and patted his cheek to comfort him! She told me I was so lucky to have found him...and I agreed. Finally Fred and Linda arrived to stay for awhile and Dad headed to Muncie for more supplies. John and I headed home...crying as we thought of Mom's suffering. This has really tested our faith. It hasn't caused me to doubt God's love for us...I just don't understand why she has to suffer like this. If you've read this far...please keep praying for us. We are all so tired and discouraged. Tomorrow, Gary is going to try to get Mom a consultation with a gastro-intestinal specialist to see what is causing her constant bowel movements. I think we've finally talked Dad into getting a home health care evaluation to see if there's more we can do to make Mom's care easier on her and all of us. Throughout all of this she has remained loving, considerate and so grateful to each of us. Dad said he and Mom were really lucky to have seven kids who were so loving and caring. We told him it has nothing to do with luck....any good that we do for them comes from the loving, Christ-like example they set for all of us.