Mom is home!

We just received a text from our big cousin holding down the fort in Vtown:

“Nana has left the building!!!!”

Mom is making her way back to her beautiful home and garden. Dad is her sidekick helping her on the journey ahead.

At home, they have a nurse coming in every day to check mom’s vitals, blister packs of pain killers and anti-nausea meds, a new chair for hanging out, a cleaner coming every couple of weeks and everyone ready to help out as needed.

My dad has also taken a cooking course and made his first chicken broth from scratch as well he has learned how to give mom a needle. Go dad!

Next chemo is on September 3rd. Enjoy being home Mama!

Pictures coming soon. I just had to share the news.

Be Asking For Help

I have a hard time asking for help. Whew, I said it!

Until recently I have viewed asking for help as a sign of my own incompetence or a sign of weakness. Really, I should be able to do it all right?

Now I don’t give a shit. I am completely humbled and gobsmacked by this whole thing.

Yup I haven’t shaved my legs since my mom went into the hospital and I don’t care.

I don’t have the energy to really do more than care for my family, a few close friends, spend time with my mom and pray. Sorry everything else is bonus.

So in a moment of weakness, at least that’s how I perceived it. I sent out an email to ask for help.

And was I ever blown away – people offering to let us stay in their house, hospital toys for the boys, friends stopping in to our new house with new pool toys and special salad dressing, a few treats for me and food: Soups for mom, food for our family visiting, muffins, cookies. And all these treats have been delivered to the hospital. I don’t think this hospital has seen such fine food before!

I am definitely going to ask for help more often. What a blessing! What a way to show love. I have always enjoyed helping others, but being helped isn’t so bad either.

Thanks for blessing our family.

Here is what one of my boot camp bible study buddies dropped off today.

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Lasagna dinner and treats too!

And here are the new pool toys arriving at our new house. Thanks CC and your beautiful blonde.

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Be Getting Ready To Go Home

Wednesday – Day 17 in the hospital for mom and possibly mom’s last day in the hospital.

Bye bye room.

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We can see the light. This afternoon, my sister, M, heads back south to join her girls and C. She has been here the entire 17 days.

Mom “got out on parole” from the hospital and spent a few hours at home today. Here she is enjoying the view from their porch

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Mom has a few hoops to jump through before she is able to go home full time:

– off her oxygen – done!
– bowels moving – awesome!
– able to take medication by mouth – yeah!
– off her IV – working on it today.

Once she is at home, she will continue her chemotherapy as an out patient and prepare for surgery in the big city near M in October then more chemo after that.

Me, I am going to go back to blogging about life with my boys.

Enjoy every day and create many memories with my family and friends in our new home, especially my mom and dad.

We might even get adventurous and put some pictures on our walls.

Be Living Through The Unexplained.

I didn’t get to hangout with mom today.

;(

Our usually very healthy CC is very sick. We took him to the walk-in climic and after waiting over an hour, we got the diagnosis, “It’s a virus! It should be better in a few days.”

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Today, I am feeling overwhelmed with my mom’s cancer and now with CC being sick things really aren’t explainable. It sure has been a wild moment-by-moment last couple of weeks.

Life really is unexplainable. Our ways are not always God’s ways.

My mom is super healthy, but now has cancer.
CC hasn’t been around anyone sick.

My mom goes to the doctor regularly. CC rarely goes to the doctor as he is rarely sick.

We moved down to Ktown three weeks ago to be closer to work. The next day we found out my mom has cancer. Now I am commuting almost daily back up north. How’s that for timing?

In my despair today, I do see hope thanks to these encouraging word.

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Have faith in God, in love, in family, in friends, in the doctors, in the nurses.

Matthew 17:20 reminds me, “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

Time to pull out my jar of mustard seeds. (Yes, I do have a jar in my cupboard!)

Be Asking Questions.

I am positive you have heard it before, but when you have a loved one in the hospital you need to advocate for them and ask questions.

I have always believed that kindness kicks butt, but it doesn’t always work in the hospital setting.

I am grateful for all the nurses we have had. But no matter how nice you or the nurses are, you still want to be asking questions. Tons and tons of questions.

I am not going to scare you with any of our near death experiences in the last two weeks nor the exact reason why my hubby Sexy Neck spent a night sleeping in Mom’s room, but I will share this simple example:

On mom’s first day in the hospital, we met with a dietician to help us get mom eating and ready to tackle chemo. We got some information about cancer and diet then we were off or so we thought.

On day FIVE in the hospital, once we arrived on the new ward, one of the nurses picked up this packet that had been sitting on ALL of mom’s food trays for the last FIVE days.

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She asked us, “Are you using this?”
We answered, “No!”
The nurse then went on to tell us the amazing things about this protein powder that had been sitting on 35 different food trays over the last five days. She talked about how important the protein was for preparing mom for chemo. What a missed opportunity!

Be noticing.
Be asking.
Be an advocate.
Be taking your protein powder.
Be mixing it in juice not tea.
Chemo ain’t for wimps.

Be Having A Haircut

Today was a big day:

Haircut day with mom’s amazing hairdresser from Studio 568. What an amazing woman to come on her day off to cut mom’s hair. Mom always has great hair and an even better relationship with her hairdresser.

In my entire life I, think my mom has only had two hairdressers: Diane at the Tabor Store and now Karla.

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Mom is starting to take pills orally and is one step closer to going home. She is keeping her eye on heading home on Friday. She has low hemoglobin so she may need a blood transfusion. I witnessed mom having a wonderful, peaceful sleep before her haircut this morning.

Go Team Mom!

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Be Having A Haircut

Today was a big day:

Haircut day with mom’s amazing hairdresser from Studio 568. What an amazing woman to come on her day off to cut mom’s hair. Mom always has great hair and an even better relationship with her hairdresser.

In my entire life I, think my mom has only had two hairdressers: Diane at the Tabor Store and now Karla.

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Mom is starting to take pills orally and is one step closer to going home. She is keeping her eye on heading home on Friday. She has low hemoglobin so she may need a blood transfusion. I witnessed mom having a wonderful, peaceful sleep before her haircut this morning.

Go Team Mom!

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Be A Nurse

Boys, it’s time to sit down on our virtual couch and have a little chat. I know that you are only six, four and almost two, but we need to talk about your future careers.

We think you should all start out and do the two year LPN program so that you can learn everything we have been trying to learn in the last two weeks.

Two weeks ago your Nana went into the hospital. We knew she had cancer, but we were waiting to hear from the Cancer Clinic since July 20th. Nana is really tough, but she kept getting sicker and sicker.

On Monday, August 5th, Nana went to the ER and was admitted to the hospital because she was dehydrated and it a lot of pain. We found out later that Nana’s tumour was growing.

Lucky for us Dr. Daniels was the Gynaecologist-on-call and she took on mom’s case.

Nana has had Dr. Daniels looking out for her, but it has been the nurses who have worked day and night to help Nana be comfortable.

We have learned the names and kept track of pain killers, anti-nausea drugs, blood thinners, stool softens, cholesterol medication and more powders that I can name. Thank God for pen and paper and the nurse friends we have had on speed dial as well as nurse friends we have run into in the hospital. Here’s amazing Auntie Michelle showing us how to take notes.

We have had many nurses who have touched our hearts, Leslie the first night mom came into the ER, Jackie on 2East as well as all the nurses on the women and children’s ward.

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Nurse Jackie with mom and I

We have probably had over twenty nurses. They know an incredible amount of information about the human body as well as negotiating hospital culture. They have been Nana’s sole provider of giving comfort to us all through medicine, expert knowledge and comforting words.

Today, Nana had a very sleepy day. She didn’t get out for a walk, but she enjoyed some rests and it looks like her bowel obstruction had been healed. Yeah for poo! We put on leg stockings to help the fluid in her legs and she enjoyed some lemon Popsicles made by Rea.

While Nana was in one of her deep sleeps, a nurse crept in to give mom some anti-nausea medication. After she had mom hooked up, she took the time to read this poster you boys made with your cousins.

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The nurse stood with a big smile on her face then whispered “sweet” to me as she walked out the door.

Me, I broke into tears because she took the time to get to “know” about Nana, even when she was only the nurse delivering the medicine.

So boys, the moral of this story is that we aren’t going to insist that you become a nurse, but that you take the time to get to know people God has placed around you at work and at home. If you ever end up in a hospital rely on the nurses because they really are making things happen around here.

Let’s keep praying for Nana’s healing, but we can stop praying for poo.