i'm just a little more than numb this morning. my mother started her chemo and radiation just over a week ago - had 2 "rounds" of chemo and i think 5 rounds of radiation - she was half-way done that aspect of her treatment. when she was at my house monday, waiting for my husband to take her to radiation and then home, she started having stomach pains. he gave her ginger ale, but it didn't seem to help.
i spoke with her later in the afternoon and she was lying down, had taken her compazine (because she thought it would help, even though she wasn't nauseous) and after a horrific day at work (another post for another day), i went to my brother's house to check on her.
she wasn't doing well.
by 7:30 p.m., i summoned a "limousine with christmas lights" to take her to the hospital. by midnight we learned she had a perforated bowel, caused by one of the "large tumors in her abdomen," which tumors we just learned of on monday when we got her pet scan results.
by 4:00 a.m., she was in the OR. i slept for two hours on the floor of the waiting room and the doctor was grim: she's in critical condition and her "prognosis is poor."
when she was back in ICU for recovery, she was awake enough to write me two notes: "thirsty" - to which i answered, "i know, ma..." and smiled and "will i be okay?" i said "ma, you're gonna be better than ok." that was the last communication we had.
yesterday when i arrived, her kidneys were shutting down and her heartrate was going up to 190 and did that several times. i met with her infectious disease doctor, who was the first doctor who was completely honest with me: she is not good. you know what her wishes are (she and i had that difficult talk last month when she was in the hospital and we signed the advanced directive). you have some decisions to make because this is pretty much the very beginning of sepsis and peritonitis. he wrote an order for a palliative care consult and i met with a compassionate soul, along with my brother and a friend, and we discussed what measures would be taken to assist her into her "hereafter."
my siblings assembled with me. we decided: this morning at 9 a.m., we will be disconnecting her from her ventilator. (that's the short of it.)
so i spent the night at the hospital. held her hand, told her i loved her. apologized for any wrongs i had done while growing up, but this morning i realized something i have to still say to her: that i forgive her. (again, another post for another day.)
my husband picked me up at 5:30 a.m. i went upstairs to pick out something to wear today - usually, it would be jeans and a sweater, but i'm plumb out and haven't done laundry - but it hit me: what do i wear to something like this?
i am going to shower and go to my morning meeting to hang out with my sponsor and my AA friends, and after the meeting, go back to the hospital to spend what could be a few precious hours with my mother.
your prayers would be coveted.