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Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Dramatic Worsening of Her Condition


On Sunday, my mother awoke with no sensation in, and no functioning of, her right hand. She didn't do anything until the next day, when she told my aunt who then travelled to be with her. On Tuesday, I felt a need to call my mother and was given the news. The doctor had been in to see her and was unsure if it was the result of a mini stroke, or was something to do with the cancer.

She was rushed into hospital, where she's been for the past two days and nights, undergoing a battery of tests and scans. It now seems that the tumor has grown and is pressing on her heart. At least we know where the tumor is now, we hadn't since she was diagnosed. I don't know much more than that, until I get a hold of her doctor.

Yesterday afternoon and through the night I spoke with my mother (x1), my aunt (x3), my brother (x2), my sister (x1), the Borders Hospital (x2). I think I got a total of two hours' sleep and I'm on the wrong side of fuzzy today. Coffee is helping a little.

Basically my mother doesn't want to talk about it, my aunt is telling me to back off, my brother says he can't go to visit and my sister wants to get on a plane right away. I'm hoping to get a hold of the doctor later today to get answers to my battery of questions. Once I have some more information I'll feel better. I don't buy into the 'leave her alone to make all her decisions' approach as she's not doing that. She's refusing to face the seemingly very real prospect of needing some proper care at home, if not elsewhere. My aunt is there now but she can't stay forever and she, herself, has only limited use of one hand/arm as a result of a car accident many years ago. The neighbours have been phenomenal but I can't expect them to be there 24/7 for her. There is already some indication that we have to modify the staircase to add on another handrail. I think we should be modifying the house to exclude use of the upstairs section.

So it seems I'm going to be the bad guy (gal?) again, having to push for some things to happen. Perhaps now is the time to exercise my power of attorney. I've advanced my leave by a week and will arrive there on 23 December, my brother (of course) is too busy to make the trip, my sister is not the coping sort and wants to jet off tomorrow (might I add without a passport but she assures me she can get out of Tenerife but getting back in would be an issue). Her presence isn't really the best thing on her own, she'd just add to the issues needing to be addressed. I'd rather be there when she is there so that she doesn't just become one more problem. I've tried to explain that this week we are covered but we need to think about next month and however many months there will be after that.

This is not looking good. The tumor will grow, keep pressing on her heart and goodness only knows how that will affect her body if she's already lost the use of one hand. Everyone around me is burying their head in the sand and saying just leave her alone and take a day at a time. Maybe I should be doing the same but that's not in my nature. I believe in facing the truths and responding to them. I've supported all her decisions so far, probably more than anyone else in my family as I've been the only one keeping in touch with her doctors and specialists. But I believe support can also include looking out for her, understanding what lies ahead, and being prepared. That remains the battle I have with everyone around me.

May I please ask you all to send good thoughts her way.

20 comments:

Miranda said...

Im sending prayers your way. Stay strong ((((Big hugs)))) to you

Charmed said...

I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. May God send you some peace and reassurance.

Jonas said...

Your family will remain in my thoughts, Fiona.

kimba said...

Wishing you well darlin'.. xxx

freebird said...

You know my thoughts are with you and your mother, Fi.
(x)

D said...

Fiona - good thoughts and wishes to her and all your family. You personally can only do what is within your nature and you alone know how to react. What I will say is that you are the daughter she doesn't deserve and you will care and attend to her needs no matter that she may shun that love. You can only do what will make you feel right about the situation and to that end you have the love and support of many people. You wont bury your head like others have and therefore you will take more of the pain than you should but you are doing the right thing as you always have. Take care and a safe journey back to your homeland. D x

Sunny Delight said...

Dearest Fi,

I wholeheartedly support you in all the decisions you must make, you and your mother will be in my thoughts. I can only echo what D said, 10 times over.

Sending love, lots of love your way.
I only wish I could do much, much more.

anna said...

I'm so sorry that she's suffering. I will definitely keep you and your mother in my thoughts and hope that you can do something to help her. I also hope you have the support YOU need to get through this difficult time.

Big hugs to you, sweet Fiona.

happyme said...

Oh Fi. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your Mum and family x

deb said...

My father in law never really accepted the fact that he was dying either. His method of dealing with things was denial. He had no other way of coping with things, no other skills or coping mechanisms. Sounds like your mother doesn't either, or your brother and sister.

She will need more care but I doubt the hospital will send her home without care set up.

It's good that you're going to visit but I imagine it'll be tough.

Take care sweetie and sending both you and your mother good thoughts.

Jac said...

You will, no doubt, give her all the care that you wish she could have given you. You've spent your whole life missing her -- in some ways even more than you miss your dad. Because now, as you reach the end, you have to concede that she can't be who you needed her to be. I just hope that there is a healing for you, in giving her, what you needed, and knowing that in her own way... she loves you --she just doesn't know how to show it. Hugs to you dear friend.

Gillette said...

Sending prayers and hugs across the ethers to both of you.

sophie n said...

fi,

my thoughts are with you and your family in this time...

you are so strong that whatever happens, you will get through this with dignity and integrity...

please let me know if there's anything i can do...

xoxo

soph

S'mee said...

Power of Attorney has been altered in England and anything signed before October 2007 hasn't the same power of the new EPA. I don't know whether this applies to Scotland, but it might be worth checking.

Sorry to hear of your troubles. I was only an hour and a half away from my mother, and that was too far.

Princess of the Universe said...

Oh honey, I hope it all goes alright. I understand your need to be there and demand answers- it feels so much better to be doing something rather than nothing...

D said...

Just a quick note on S'mee comment about power of attorney - my understanding is that it has changed but that previous agreements still have the same power it's only the new agreements that are under the new rules. Dx

S'mee said...

d is right. The old EPA's are still honoured, but the new L(lasting)PA's are geared to social and health welfare rather than just financial, and give greater protection to the subject.

Fiona said...

Thank you all for your concern and good wishes, I feel the goodness from each one of you.

I am in search of the truth while I'm over there, I hope I can find some. In order to push us away, my mother is now telling us that she feels so good she could run up the brae (hill). Yes, this is the woman who can't walk up one flight of stairs before her lungs make her stop.

Actually that statement of hers for some reason feels doubly worrying to me. If one's mind is saying one thing and one's body knows another, that can't be a good thing, there's a temptation to push too far? I don't know what medication they gave her but it sounds a bit iffy to me.

Thank you S'mee and D for the info. I've got all bases covered with two separate PoA's, welfare and continuing. It seems there is a legal system for England and Wales and an altogether separate one for Scotland.

Work is manic, manic, manic, I was supposed to be here until the 28th, now I'm only here until this Friday.

Sunshine said...

I'm sorry to hear your news. I will be praying that God helps you to get all your work sorted, for a smooth trip and for healing and comfort for your mum.

anna said...

Just wanted you to know I'm still thinking of you and your mother and hoping things will get better.

Your strength and caring nature are inspirational.

 

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