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Weeks to Live Instead of Months


Random Terrain

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Continued from my previous blog entry. A bunch of stuff happened since the last time I posted, but I haven't had enough spare time or energy to type it in. Her chemo doctor's nurse called on Thursday (Jan 26) and said that my mother's blood test showed signs that something was wrong, so they called to have an ambulance take my mom to the hospital.

The chemo doctor told my sister today (Jan 28) that my mother suddenly has cirrhosis of the liver and has weeks to live instead of months.

I'll jump back now and fill in what happened earlier in the month. My mother was doing better on steroids and could walk again with a cane while someone held her other hand. On the way back from a doctor's visit (Jan 3), she started falling on the step up to the patio behind the house. If I would have had both of her hands instead of letting her use a cane, I might have been able to keep her standing. Even though I couldn't keep her from falling, I reached out and helped her fall in slow motion onto the concrete. Not easy to do when the person falling is around 280 pounds. I had to call 911. Three guys couldn't get her up the stairs and into the house, so they called more people and they eventually got her in.

Jan 6 through Jan 9 was her 5 days of chemo pills for the month. It gave her the Manwich poops all over the floor.

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She got slowly worse after that. Hospice was called in when she could still walk with help to the bathroom. Around the 3rd week of the month, she could barely take two steps, then she could barely stand. It was hard for me to get her on the potty that was right next to the hospital bed that hospice rented.

Anyway, mom had an MRI scheduled for Jan 24, but we had no way to get her there. Hospice rented her a wheelchair, but we had no way to use it. My sister called many people to see if a ramp could be built. A church group said that they could build one for $4,000 dollars if we provided the wood. Sure, that was going to happen. Then a friendly customer of hers said that he would build it for free if we provided the wood and nails. Thanks to almost $500 on a Lowe's card, 4 or 5 guys built a nice 2-level wooden ramp in about 7 and a half hours on Jan 21st. It started pouring down rain just as they finished.

On MRI day, getting my mom in and out of the car was even harder than we imagined. My mom was supposed to go back the next day to another hospital for blood work, but my sister begged them to take it while she was there because we couldn't go through all of that again the next day. Now we're mostly caught up. Two days later she was in the hospital. Since she had to go the the hospital, hospice dropped her. Soon she'll supposedly be in some kind of better hospice place where they can take care of her 24 hours a day.

I saved the best part for last. The social worker lady that visited weeks before the first hospice had to be called in asked my mother what she wished she could do before she died and she'd see if she could make it happen. My mother said that she would like to visit her brother in another state, but she didn't know how that would be possible. My mom had her feet up in a La-Z-Boy recliner and the social worker said that we could put that recliner in the back of my mom's minivan and have my mom ride like that for over 8 hours. This lady was not joking. I told her that the recliner wouldn't fit in the minivan and even if we had a van that was big enough, how would we get my mom up into the van and into the chair, then keep her from being bounced to death as the chair shakes and slides around. After she left, I told my mother that the social worker probably watched too many episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies.

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