Saturday, December 23, 2006

My Mom At Christmas

frosty leaves at the river's edge, © Joan Z. Rough, 2006

Dear Friends and Family,

I want to update you all on my mom's health and the most recent events effecting her health. This past June, after 6 months of remission, her cancer showed up again, in exactly the same spot ... very small but back. She has gone through another 5 months of chemo, to find that the cancer is still there, but smaller.

She has "chemo brain fog," which plagues most people who go through extended treatment. She is very tired, forgetful, loses her balance often and tends to be confused alot of the time. She is currently taking a break from chemo and checks in with the doctor every 6 weeks. She'll probably have another scan sometime in February to see what is happening with the cancer in her lung.

Just before Thanksgiving we asked her to give up driving and after one last car trip to the supermarket on a very rainy, windy day, she said okay, enough!

This past Sunday, the phone rang at 7 AM. It was Mom, saying she had gotten tangled in her oxygen line and had just fallen. We called 911 and she was whisked away to the ER where she was diagnosed with a fractured shoulder. She was put on pain killers and told to take it easy and not use the arm ... there was only a sling to hold the arm, as the bone was lined up nicely and there was nothing else to do. She experienced a great deal of pain and was very shaky on her feet. She needed lots of help moving around.

Yesterday, we began preparations to have her admitted to an assisted living facility for a short stay of 3 weeks, where she could have around the clock nursing care and expert pain management. At about 3 pm we heard her calling from her apartment downstairs. She had again gotten tangled in her O2 line and once more had fallen. This time she suffered a spiral fracture of the femur just below the hip. Both the shoulder and leg fractures are on the left side of her body.

She is now at Martha Jefferson Hospital, here in C'ville, where her doctors are trying to get her blood thickened up so that she can have surgery on the leg. They will place a rod down the center of the femur to hold the bone in place so that she will be able to walk again.

She has a dynamic set of doctors and is getting blood transfusions and Vitamin K to reverse the affects of the blood thinner she has been taking. If they can get it to acceptable levels she could go into surgery tomorrow, but most likely it will be Sunday, Christmas Eve.

After her surgery she will be in the hospital for 2 or 3 more days before being transferred to a rehab/nursing home facility where she will undergo physical therapy to get her back on her feet ... probably for about a month.

Needless to say, it's been a difficult time for all of us, but Mom continues to joke around and be as fiesty as ever. Please keep her in your prayers over the holidays and into the New Year. She joins Bill and I in wishing you all a Happy Holiday Season and a New Year filled with peace on earth, good will toward all beings and lots of belly laughs ... probably the best medicine of all!



paris parfait said...

So sorry to hear of all these troubles your mom is enduring now. Thinking of you and your family and keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing your mom better health and hoping you manage to find some joy this holiday season and in the new year. xo

Becca said...

You and your mom are certainly in our thoughts. We are going through a similar situation with my mother in law - two trips to the ER in the last couple of weeks resulted in a move to another apartment within her assisted living facility where she can receive more care. It's so difficult to watch them decline.

Hoping for better days ahead for you and your family.

Visual-Voice said...

Plain and simple, this is not fair at all! Give your mom a hug for me, and then have Bill give you a hug for me, and then give Bill a hug for me too. I wish I could hug you all at the same time and make it all just go away. I'm holding all of you in the light ~ always do. You'll get through this. I know you will.