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My Mother, Myself

lovingwifedeb's picture
lovingwifedeb
Posts: 184
Joined: Aug 2010

I am realizing there is not a good way to prepare ourselves for the road in life we find ourselves on, Oh... I don't care how smart we are or how much we love them, our Mothers. Our blood does not run cold, we can not separate ourselves from them, our hearts beat as one.

An emergency call took me back home to the small town where I was raised on Tuesday, my mom's declining health has landed her in the nursing home and hospice is now involved... there is no turning back now. She has lung cancer, emphysema and her heart is giving out. She has refused any corrective medical treatment. Pain control is the only option now. She is so very thin, my hands felt her bones poking out of her thin skin as I tried to hug her. The look of horror written all over her face as I approached her as she didn't recognize my face... my heart broke. I am her oldest... her fist and only daughter. We know each other as only mothers and daughters can. I watch as her every breath is a struggle, she looks so tired and worn out. Her eyes open but where is the mother that loves me? The second day seemed better, she recognized my voice. She heard my husband's voice as it is deep and large... she perked up and brightened. She started to sniff... it's her way of smelling me, as she always does when I come to visit. I am not lost in her world today, I am feeling better. We as a family have known this day would come but none of us were emotionally ready I don't think, I know I am not.

Then we have the dynamics of 3 brothers and a sister coming together who can't agree on the principle of care and it doesn't help that I have a husband who will most likely be facing the same future as my mother. I know we all want the best for the one woman who bore us. It is a stressful time in the making for sure. I am the oldest, I know how much my mother's sons are loved. I have listened to her heart over the years and her worry will always be a constant reminder to me that her sons are her world. DNR papers in place, nursing home or home care... who will be there?

My mother was a CNA herself, I was raised with her stories of families who were torn in apart during the end of their days. My mother's words will never leave me as I now watch her trying to catch her every breath... "Debbie, the body knows when it is time, it starts to shut down one organ at a time, it is not a pleasant sight." She was not ignorant to what the end of life was like. My mother would absolutely hate the bickering that surrounds us siblings. If she could, she would tell us all to leave her and go home, I know her well enough to say that for sure.

I'm trying so hard to hold on to the woman I know so well, the mother I want to keep with me forever.

But it is the letting go that is killing me.

Peace to all.

Deb
lovingwife, to Bob stage 4 melanoma

Noellesmom
Posts: 1297
Joined: Aug 2010

My mom entered a nursing home a week ago after being in and out of hospitals for three months with congestive heart failure, COPD and renal failure. I expect hospice to enter the picture any day now. For three months I slept in her hospital room and worked eight hours a day at my job; now sleeping in a straight chair in her room at night alternating with one of my sisters, trying to give each other bits of respite.

My sweet husband had his six-month PET/CT scan Monday with results due this coming Monday. If I stop to think about either of these situations long enough, I think I might start screaming and never stop.

My husband was diagnosed last May the day after my only brother died.

Hugs, hugs, hugs, Deb.

May the moment your mom lets go and moves on be a sweet blessing for both of you.

karenbeth's picture
karenbeth
Posts: 194
Joined: Sep 2010

There are no words...my heart breaks for you. I hope she is pain free and comfortable to the end.

Karen

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Deb,
I guess you knew the day would come when you'd have to do this, but I'm sure it's so hard for you now. I know how hard it was for me when my mom was sick with pancreatic cancer in 89. We took care of her at home and it was hard.
Please know that you did all you could for your mother and now it's up to the professionals to make her comfortable. I hope she doesn't have to suffer. Be strong Deb and remember we're all here for you. Carole

mswijiknyc's picture
mswijiknyc
Posts: 421
Joined: Oct 2010

I'm sorry that things have gotten this way. Love and hugs

lovingwifedeb's picture
lovingwifedeb
Posts: 184
Joined: Aug 2010

I don't know what I was thinking... of course this is life coming at me with everything it has expecting me to deal with it as always. I'm not naive, in the 58 years of living here I have experienced death... As with some here I don't know why "Life" thinks we need to experience so much at once.

My husband woke up yesterday morning and couldn't walk. It took him a couple of hours to work through the pain and empty leg feeling that had him. Today his head pain is severe enough to lay him back down after getting up this morning. The doctors are insisting on not doing a MRI until 6 weeks after radiation... I'm scared

After talking with my brother last night our plan is in place... Mom's wishes is to die at home. That can only happen if her caregiver and angry 3rd brother totally commit... I worry ... I am 5-1/2 hours away, and work full time. I have to let them work through this because I feel I owe this to my husband at this point.

Still...

Deb

lovingwife, to Bob, stage 4 melanoma

karenbeth's picture
karenbeth
Posts: 194
Joined: Sep 2010

You have so much going on right now, I'm so sorry. I hope your husband is only feeling post radiation pain...if you tell them what happened today maybe they will move the MRI date up?

Today was the first day that my husband Frank did not get out of bed. I called in "crisis care" from hospice and have a nurse overnight just in case of anything...she helped me position him more comfortably in bed, as I almost threw my back out trying by myself.

Who knows what the next few days and weeks hold, for any of us...may they be peaceful, free of pain, and full of love.

Karen

luz del lago's picture
luz del lago
Posts: 452
Joined: Jul 2010

Karen,

I hope that Hospice's assistance helps you in any way you and Frank need. Such difficult times. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Take care,

Lucy

luz del lago's picture
luz del lago
Posts: 452
Joined: Jul 2010

Deb,

I simply cannot find the words... Dear one, my heart and thoughts are with you. May your mother find peace, and not suffer. May you and Bob have many special moments in the time to come, and may peace and love encircle you always.

Lucy

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

Deb, I have 3 brothers too and we've managed to form quite a team for my mother, who's been battling ovarian cancer for more than two years. Like you, we have one sib who must take care of his own home first because his wife has serious health issues, and her mother is terminal. He can't be there for Mom the way the rest of us can, but this is how it should be. Never feel guilty about trying to be two places at once. You are totally right to put Bob first.

Good luck with this day. Special prayers, unceasing.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov 2009

Dearest Deb
You definitely do have a full plate. Wow. You can only do the best you can. You can not be at two places at once. Go with your heart and your gut feelings. God understands. Lean on our Lord. You have done the best you could with your husband and now with your mom. No one could ask for more! You are perfectly right in putting your husband first. It will all fall in place. Hugs to you, thanks for keeping us posted. Peace be with you now and always.
Tina in Va

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