Saturday, January 10, 2009
This is the 10th of January, day 10 in the middle of my chemo schedule. What that means exactly, is that I am officially neutropenic. What that means, is I have no infection fighting cells. But I am home, safe and sound with "my" germs, teehee. I drove up to my mom's house on Wednesday afternoon, and we sat around and watched TV, just enjoying each other's company. I had made some home made "Corn Potato Chowder", so I carried some up there with me for us to have for supper. Mom did get out that day, and attend her Bible Study at FBC-Festus. She said she knew I was coming up so she didn't do her usual running around, going to Wal-Mart, etc. Mom was so talkative!! You could tell she had been cooped up in house all alone for a while! But, I enjoyed hearing her bring me up to date on all the Herky/Festus news, teehee. We got up early the next morning, and we left the house by 9 am to head south on 55 to Portageville, MO. Mom has such a good memory, when it comes to stuff years ago. She was telling me to get off at this exit (not the P'ville exit mind you), and it will bring us in on the north side of town, closer to Thelma's house. We went by there, and there was no one home. She then said, "well, they are probably at the church, turn up here and let's go by there next." She still remembers each street, every turn, was right on the money. Amazing. We drove up to the church, and the parking lot, was indeed full. Mom hopped out of the car, and I followed her in the door, as she made her way to the fellowship hall where the family was indeed being served a meal. Everyone got up and came to greet us as if royalty had arrived. It was so cool. They treated mom as the Queen! We fixed our plates and sat down with the family, and began to share old memories and stories of the past. That church is still full of the same people, many many familiar faces. All my girlfriends from my youth are not there anymore, but their mom and dad still go there to that church. It was so wild. As we all finished up our meal, we all began to make our way to the auditorium for the memorial service. There were several other familiar faces already in the church, and they all got up to come and hug momma and share the love. The service was wonderful. It is always good to be able to actually enjoy the memorial service, and that is made easier when the pastor actually knows the loved one, and you felt that with everything he said. We were all, including Mrs. T, laughing at some of the memories he shared about Bro. Freddie. It did feel more like a celebration of his life, than a sad remembrance. We then all filed out, got behind the hearse, and began to make the hour long procession to the Veteran's Memorial Burial site, in Bloomfield, MO. There Bro. Freddie was honored with the guns, the folding of the flag and the military burial. By the time it was all over, it was 3:30 or so, and mom and I said our goodbyes and headed north. We stopped once for a break, and grabbed something to eat, but then drove on into Herky. By 6:30 or so, I was sitting in the recliner, with mom's sweats on. I didn't even unload my bags again. I left them in the car, but once in, and relaxing, decided, I'll go home tomorrow. I was tired. Mom, on the other hand was wired. She talked and talked, and I remember seeing the clock at 11:42pm, LOL. Needless to say, we slept in the next morning. After a slow morning, we got dressed and decided to go do some of mom's running she needed to get done. We drove up to Keith's work site, picked up a check, drove to the bank, got payroll money ready, then to State Farm to pay mom's insurance bill on her caddy. From there we went to her other bank, made some deposit's there as well. From there, it was on to Wal-Mart to pick up the things on her list. We ran into people she knew every where we went, so every stop was more than a 15 minute stop, teehee. Finally, we made it back to mom's, put the groceries away, and settled in to relax. It was such a nice day, for Missouri!! It was 65 degrees, and the sun was shinning, everybody was out!! You could tell people were tired of being cooped up in their houses with all the nasty weather we had been having. Every where we went, people were smiling, talking, enjoying the day. As much as I hated to leave my mom, I knew I needed to get back home. But I so enjoyed the last 3 days of spending time with her. Not once did she ask me about my treatments, or my breast cancer. So, I think, by spending time with her, doing normal things, she was more comfortable with the idea that I am fine, gonna be fine, and that alone makes it easier for me. Everyone keeps telling me that I need to concentrate on me, and not worry about my mom. Easier said than done, folks. I know that my mom depends on me, I know this. I call her everyday, twice a day. That is part of her routine. Mom's ability to be "normal" is based on her routine. If she is allowed to have HER routine, she is so much better dealing with life and issues. Although, I would love for her to get out, see people, fix her hair, her make-up, get on with life, the reality is, it is not about me. It is about momma. Momma needs to FEEL safe, FEEL comfortable. It makes it so much easier on me, if my momma FEELS safe and comfortable. So, yea, I am on a mission to help her get back to that feeling of safety. I find myself again, at square one, basically. Right after daddy passed away last year, mom was worried and stressed all the time that she was going to lose her independence, lose her ability to make her own decisions. And, anybody who has ever been around anybody with Alzheimer's, knows, and can see the correlation between their ability to deal with life is directly related to their "external stimuli". You mess with their routine, and they are "off" for several days, sometimes, several weeks. My diagnosis has definitely messed with her routine. There was about 4 days there, that my voice was as weak as a kitten. Everyone that talked to me, and heard me, had a picture in their mind, I am sure, that I was near death. Especially my mom. She cried for days, non-stop. She let herself go, she didn't fix her make-up, nor her hair. It was scarey, folks. She was convinced, in her mind, that I am gonna die. Hopefully, after spending these last 3 days with her, doing normal things, talking normal conversation, she has gotten her mind off of that negative stuff. But, as I have been reminded by my sisters, it ain't over, and I can't be there all the time. Yes, she may be fine, while I am there with her. But when I leave, she may listen to the voices in her head that will take her back to the "Deb's gonna die" place. I am praying that won't happen. I am calling her several times a day, about little things, like, how to make Mexican Stack-up, to "Is it raining up there?" I am trying to get it "stuck" in her head, that I am normal, fine. Those of you that deal with ALZ, or attend ALZ meetings, know what I mean when I say that. I need mom to get stuck there. It may take her several days to get back to a place of normal routine without tears, but she can get back there. That just means, no cancer talk. Normal conversation, normal stuff. Right now, I NEED to hear her laugh, and tell me for the umpteenth time about Martha Mae being on the pulpit committee at her church, or that Becky Boo is a busy busy bee, she's always running here and there. (Smile) Mrs. T called me yesterday, and told me that she wants mom to come stay with her next week! So, I told her to call mom, and work out the details, and I was sitting on ready to drive her down there and drop her off. What a blessing that would be, for both of them ladies!! I can just see them running around P'ville, just like old times. Brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. That could be the distraction I need for mom the next chemo round, when my voice goes away again??? Maybe her and Thelma will be so busy being the church ladies of P'ville, that I won't even need to call her for several days!! I'm praying........hard.