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Blossomsmom

Update from what feels like the twilight zone

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My Mom is still in the hospital. The Taxotere she had a week ago Friday started a firestorm in her body that they can’t seem to stop. Everyday since Wednesday something new has arisen from blood pressure and heart rate bouncing all over the map, to respiratory distress from what they think is aspiration pneumonia to a GI bleed to bloodwork that goes up and down like a yo-yo to heart failure thrown into the mix. What a nightmare. She has and continues to handle it all with such grace and strength. I on the other hand can’t sleep, can’t eat and go from being angry to scared to flat out heart broken.  At this point it looks like she’ll be in the hospital for at least two or three more days and during that time the doctors will determine what the next step is. I’m pretty certain the next step will be discharging her with a referral to hospice. Time will tell. 

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I’m so sorry.  This is an agonizing battle and you are at a very difficult part of it.  When I went through this with my dad there was a sense of calm and relief after the doctors recommended no more treatment.  We all knew what it meant but after watching what the fight did to him there was some relief for him for a while.  We were all able to focus on him instead of his treatment.

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I'm very sorry to hear about your mom's struggles.  There was a time I didn't think my mom would make it, she spent nearly 2 weeks in the hospital.  But she did make it and bounced back.  It sounds like your mom is a strong woman, strong women pull through these types of situations, so your mom can too.  

Now, this is a stupid thing to say to a caregiver, but remember to do your best to keep your strength.  Your mom will probably need you when she is released from the hospital, so now may be the time to conserve your energy for when she is released.  I know it's hard to do, but try not to dwell on tomorrow or next month.  Noone of knows what will happen.  Prepare yourself for what you have control over - like keeping yourself sane and healthy so you can care for your mom when she goes home.  A hospice referral may or may not come (and fyi...my grandfather was on hospice for 3+ years with congestive heart failure) and it is out of your control.  Enjoy the time you have with your mom TODAY.  Make the memories with your mom TODAY.

Take care,

Steff

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Thanks you all for your replies, I so appreciate each one. The Oncologist came in this afternoon. He explained that for her to do anymore chemo would most likely shorten her life not extend it and she told him she had already decided she’d had enough. He told her that judging by her scans she could expect to feel pretty good for awhile once she is back on her feet and recovered from this episode. He was so sweet to her and compassionate.  As you said Curt, there was a sense of relief and calm for my mom and for me as well. We know now that hospice is the next step and will deal with it as it comes. My mom at age 90 is very practical and a realist. She feels blessed to have lived the life she has. Steff, it’s not stupid at all to say to keep my strength up. After spending the weekend running at warp speed I am quite honestly exhausted.  I can’t do that again. She will need me and if I run myself into the ground I’m no good to her or anyone else. I will try to focus on enjoying each day with her and not look to the future because that’s way too painful. 

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