Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Get Well Soon.

Remember when I vowed to not talk about running on my blog anymore?  Well, in the weeks leading up to my first half marathon, dealing with a (weirdo embarrassing) injury and focusing on completing 13.1 miles pretty much took over my life.  Since I was already alienating everyone in my life with intricacies of times, pace, distance, food and fluid intake, and the like, I figured I would spare the blogosphere from my boring details and return when I had something worthy to say.

Since completing the run on February 21st (fabulous and complete race recap can be found here, thank you Emily!), life has been pretty back to normal.  Working, relaxing, spending quality time with my husband and dogs, and attempting to keep up some sort of fitness level.  All of this has been sprinkled with a v. small amount of knitting, but it IS happening, and I am confident that I will not be arriving in Cincinnati for Lindsey’s birthday without a completed handmade gift!

I have also spent time since the race reflecting on why I set out to run it – mini explanations can be found in blog posts here and here.  In a nutshell, my mom battled and beat stage 3 breast cancer, and I wanted to do something that both raised funds and awareness for treatment, research, and diagnosis, as well as take on a goal that would be difficult for me to achieve – something that could be (very slightly) representative of her struggle through surgeries, chemo, and radiation.  Every day, I find more and more people are affected by this disease, and the bravery that survivors demonstrate in the face of scary treatments is beyond admirable.

Last week, I called my mom to see how she was doing, since she had been very ill with what we thought was severe flu for about a week.  She sounded weak, tired, and OVER IT.  The biggest and most lasting effect from my mom’s treatment is that her immune system is just about shot.  Like me, she used to hardly ever get sick, and when she did, it was unavoidable (food poisoning or the occasional cold) and over quickly.  Now, she has to careful around other people with the sniffles, keep a close eye on her diet, and she experiences severe drops in energy.  This particular bout of sickness was really doing a number on her, and I urged her to head back to the doctor if it persisted through Monday.

On Saturday, she noticed pain and swelling in her leg and her right abdomen, in addition to still feeling completely lousy.  Monday she went to the doctor and they performed an ultrasound on her leg, after which they promptly admitted her to the hospital because they found a blood clot.  Further testing at the hospital revealed another clot in her lung, so she was moved to the cardiac unit where they could keep a close eye on her (and make sure the clot in the lung did not move to her heart).  I drove down here first thing Tuesday morning to be with her and help out around the house – she lives with my stepdad, also a cancer survivor, who is currently undergoing treatment to raise his red blood cell counts and was recently diagnosed and severely anemic. 

I immediately set up shop in Mom’s room – arranged her flowers, demanded more frequent water refills, perfected my role as a pillow fluffer, and so on.  By the time I left her late last night, she was feeling a bit better – but she had had a CAT Scan and they still hadn’t figured out what had caused the clots.

This morning, she was feeling much worse.  Her doctor ordered an ultrasound of her liver and kidneys, and professionally stated that her liver is “angry”, but it shows no lesions (which means NO CANCER there, always a cause for celebration).  They tested her gall bladder and determined that while she has gall stones that could be contributing to her nausea and digestive problems, they don’t explain the clots.  They sent her for a bone scan early this afternoon, and we will get the results for that this evening hopefully.  In the meantime, I am staying OFF of google, webmd, and similar cites, choosing to completely dismiss the option of bone cancer, because I am SURE that she does not have it.  They also took a ton of blood samples this morning to test for all sorts of diseases and things, so we’re waiting for results from those, as well.  In the meantime, she continues her treatment of a Heparin IV drip and daily doses of Coumadin, both blood thinners which should work together to dissolve the clots.  Right before I left her room late this afternoon, her roommate was moved (thank goodness, she was a crazy old woman who watched BET very loudly, completely odd) and we were told that Mom would not have a roomie, that she was being isolated for potentially having the Noro Virus.  Her nurses instructed me to wash my hands well and often, and to wear a gown, gloves, and a mask if I was touching my Mom at all.  I am just happy that she is finally in a peaceful room, and after making sure she was situated, I left her to get some rest.

I’m not sure how much longer she’ll be in the hospital, but it will definitely be through the end of the week.  It’s definitely led me to some “deep thinking” on subjects that range from light (why is it so difficult to find healthy food options in the hospital cafeteria? why do nurses have to wake you up to put pain meds in your iv?) to way too heavy to process (when did i grow up and start taking care of my parent? how much longer will my grandmother, whose memory is deteriorating rapidly, remember my face and name?) – I’ve been doing a little writing, a little reading, and a lot of Sudoku playing, iTunes library organizing, and Mom-watching.

And so this post, which I thought would find a voice and a point somewhere along the way, has come to a rambly end with no insight whatsoever.  It was a bit therapeutic, anyhow.  Here’s hoping you are feeling better soon, Mom!

mom and me


Styles said...

Way to be postive. Give it no power over you guys! I wish your mom a speedy recovery!!! You're all in my thoughts and prayers. Please let me know if you need anything at all!!!

Erin said...

I'm keeping all of you in my thoughts, MA*. Here's hoping you get some answers (and solutions!) soon. Send my love to Donna!!!

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