Last summer, June 2013, my mother went for a normal heart check up after we bugged her. Short story is she had triple bypass 6 days later that she came through with flying colors. They said she should have been dead. Even walking to the mailbox could have killed her.
Recuperating at home she was getting stronger when 1 month later, July 3, she seemed very confused then passed out and we thought she was having a stroke. 3 days later after many tests in the head trauma unit of very modern hospital we still had no real answers. She improved from not being able to speak or know any of us to much like she was on July 2 with some confusion. Day 5, we went home with a diagnosis of “most likely scenario is a seizure”. At her age, 75, she will improve slowly, but should be relatively fine.
3 weeks later, not much improvement and the home nurse asked for a new MRI. We were told to see a brain surgeon, who on Aug. 5th, one more month later showed us a mass in her brain that could be a infection or something else like a tumor. He wouldn’t know for sure until the biopsy, again, almost a month later. Silly us. We thought it couldn’t be that serious if the could wait 3 more weeks to look, besides, they didn’t mention this in the head trauma unit.
Aug.28, 2013, biopsy & diagnosis. Inoperable tumor and 1 to 1.5 years. We were told that 5 weeks of radiation was the best thing we could do. The radiation would only halt the advancement or maybe shrink the tumor a small amount.
My mother never seemed to know why we were going to the cancer institute on a daily basis. She knew it was for “what’s wrong up here”, but never questioned us about death or the diagnosis and hasn’t to this day. My father made the decision not to tell her that she was dying unless she asked and we all have honored his wishes.
Radiation went smoothly, no sickness, not much changed except she lost some of her hair in the back. No improvement. I guess we won’t know if we bought time or not.
Only 5 years ago we lost my mom’s mom in her 90’s and my mom started calling her “My Little Mommy” as her Alzheimer’s progressed and she was more like a child. Now here I am and it seems just the right thing to call my mom. She is so much smaller now, she can not talk to us. She tries but the words come out as nonsense mostly. She smiles so sweetly when she is “with” us. She is with us less and less now.
Last week she lost her ability to walk and started falling. She has a wheelchair this week. I don’t expect it to last too long. We are having trouble getting her up, dressed and to the bathroom. She can’t feed herself anymore and forgot how to eat an apple just the other day.
It is so hard to watch this happen to a lady that was once such a vital, intelligent, witty person.
My dad has risen to the occasion in such a way that it breaks my heart. He was never a very sensitive emotional person but he has loved my mom for 60 years and been married for 56 years. He makes her laugh and holds her through the night. He cooks and cleans and has learned how to do the laundry. Real love in action.
I guess we will be saying good bye soon. We hope to have a nice Easter next week. We prayed for her to be healed knowing that God would answer that prayer one way or the other. I expect her to be healed completely and be with her “Little Mommy” one spring morning very soon.