Sorry to be away for so long, it was not at all planned, but every time I sat down to write I didn’t know what to say.
The last day of Tour de Fleece my mom called to tell me that she had been to the ER because of some abdominal pain she had been having for about two weeks. Last Sunday my mom died.
While at the ER they did x-rays and a CT, thinking her pain could be from a pulmonary embolism. If only that had been it. Her liver was full of tumors. The next few weeks were filled with doctor appointments, test, biopsies, and the start of treatment. Since my father was in the middle of chemo treatment himself, I went to all the appointments with them, to the grocery store, to the pharmacy, basically made sure they had the things they needed and got where they needed to be on time; all while trying to juggle my own family’s needs. My husband was a champ through all of this picking up the slack without a word from me (well, most of the time at least).
Mom was in and out of the hospital for chemo treatment every two weeks, in between treatments she was in a care facility as Dad was unable to care for her at home, she was too weak to care for herself, and I could not figure out a way to be there 24/7 and juggle the house, kids and their school, but Dad was there with her every day.
At first the treatment seemed to be working, but it became apparent that her liver was just too damaged and she was going into liver failure. She was too weak, from the beginning, to be a surgical candidate, so even if we could have gotten her a liver it wouldn’t have done any good. She took a turn for the worse about two weeks ago, and after a discussion with her oncologist we discontinued treatment and concentrated on comfort measures.
A blessing in disguise was that I was able to be with her every day in her last week as my hubby hurt his neck, went to the ER and was on doctor ordered leave for five days. Mom died the day before he had to go back to work and I was able to be there with her.Through all of this I kept my knitting with me, it kept my hands occupied and brain from exploding. I knit and knit and knit, especially the last week when I was there 12+ hours a day, until the evening of the last day when I just couldn’t knit another stitch. Knitting had betrayed me, not one more stitch could I coax from my needles, all I could do was sit and wait for the end. The end came early the next morning.
I think one of the worst parts of this is that the cancer could have been caught early, when there was a better chance for a full recovery. Mom never had a colonoscopy, didn’t like the idea of it, if she had maybe she would have lived to see her 80th birthday instead of dieing just weeks after her 65th. So if you are a 50yo woman or a 40yo man, suck it up and get in there for your colonoscopy. It won’t be fun but is much better than the alternative, for you and your family.
I finally picked up my knitting again today while at my regular knitting group. I don’t know how I would have gotten through all this without them. They called and let me talk/rant/cry and told me no matter the outcome it would be okay. They fed my family home cooked meals at a time when the best I could do was stop at the drive-thru on the way to or from the hospital. They offered help at a time when just the offer made me feel less alone, and it made all the difference. Mom’s memorial service is next Saturday and these same friends have offered to help with that too, and I am so thankful to them from that, though it might just be for the free shrimp.