Thursday, May 20, 2010

Processing lots of stuff these days...

I signed on and was surprised to see that I had not been on here since March. Life has been so incredibly busy. On March 15, I had my port removed. On March 17, my mom had a fainting spell at church while at her Wednesday bible study. On March 18, I took her up to Excel Imaging to have an ultrasound done to check for blockages in her veins that might be a contributing factor to these dizzy spells. On March 19, her neurologist called and suggested we add another drug (Trileptal) to her prescriptions. On March 20, I moved up to mom's so that I could watch her for any reactions to this new drug. I figured I needed some quite time to work on her tax return anyway, so I packed a bag and moved up there. It also was spring break for the Sullivan kiddos, so they came to my house for their spring break! On Monday, my sister Lois came to mom's to join us. Mom kept asking me how I was coming on the tax returns and why don't I take a break and come join them, so eventually I just closed up the laptop and went and sat outside in the swing with them. We did lunch with mom's friend from House Springs, and mom really seemed to be having a good time. Not long after we laid down to bed on Tuesday night, Lois stuck her head in the bedroom telling us that she was heading up to pick up my sister Becky from the St. Louis airport! Beck had been somewhere to watch her daughter play volleyball for her school, and because of a huge snowstorm in the Denver area, her flight had to be re-routed! Woohoo! So, it took an act of God, but all three of mom's girls were there with her for her birthday! Beck and Lois arrived at mom's a little past midnight, and were leaving the next morning by 9:30 a.m. I don't mind telling you, I was hoping for a little longer lay-over, but it was nice that momma got to see them and spend some time with them both. Then we made it through Palm Sunday and Easter, got mom started on Meals on Wheels program, and finished up the tax returns and got them in the mail. On April 20, while up there to get her grass mowed, we found termites. We made the appropriate phone calls to get someone over there to inspect and confirm, and yes, it was confirmed. He did a walk through of the basement to make sure there were none on the inside, and there were not, thank God! There was some damage to a door frame on the outside of the basement, but that was minor. We made the appointment to have her house sprayed on May 12th, the soonest he could come. After giving me the instructions to have her garage cleaned out, everything away from the walls before he returned, we made the appointment. April 22, mom had another doctor's appointment, that was just a check-up to make sure everything was fine. They doubled her Aricept and her seizure meds based on their assessment after giving her the MM test again. She is now on 10 mg of Aricept once a day, 1000 MG of Keppra twice daily, and 300 mg of Trileptal twice daily. We keep her pills in a pill box with the days of the week to help her know if she has taken them or not, and Kelly makes sure she gets the morning dose before she leaves for work and I call her around 5ish and remind her to take the evening pills. Sometimes Kelly has to work until closing (8pm) and mom will go to bed before Kelly gets home. Other than the Dementia issues/Alzheimer's issues, mom is doing great. She is still considered to be in Stage 5, with some days (her off days) some issues that are considered to be Stage 6. You can read through the stages on But most days, she is a solid Stage 5.

That's a quick update on my life with my momma. The update on my cancer walk has been pretty much normal until this week. I have enjoyed having a life that resembled my normal before cancer life. My energy level is still not what it was before cancer, but I am getting there. It has been 6 months since I finished my last radiation treatment. It has been 3 months since I got my port removed. So, without the regular trips to Barnes, I have fallen into the feeling "I am done". And, with that feeling, I began to feel good about continuing on with the "next thing". That next thing is re-construction. I thought I was ready enough to go to my doctor appointment by myself. Bad decision. I took two of my daughters, Jen and Jess, and of course, my grand baby, Quincy. They sat out in the waiting room, which put me in there alone, with the doctor that was giving me a run down of all the procedures that this would entail, as well as all the worst case scenarios. The more he talked, the more light headed I got, and it wasn't long before I was feeling the intense need to lay on the floor and feel the cool tile against my face. I told the doctor I just wanted to sign the consent form and leave. I had told him what I wanted, based on my research, made sure he understood that, and said where do I sign. He said, no way, that I needed to take it home, think about it, look it over with my husband, and fax it back to him. This was a huge surgery, and possibly life threatening and not to be taken lightly. It was not a "boob job". He said, he does those, and most of those girls return to work rather quickly. But reconstruction after mastectomy was a totally different animal, and involved severed veins, damaged veins, brittle bones from radiation, damaged skin, etc. Veins, arteries, important issues, these things would need to be moved around, reattached in other places to make sure that adequate blood supply was in place in order for tissue and other things to be able to survive. It is a 6 hour surgery. I should plan to be in the hospital for a minimum of 4 days, some require a week long stay. I need to report for surgery at 5:30 am the day of surgery, with nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before. This surgery is a standard 6 weeks recovery, and I should expect to walk like "an old man", hunched over for at least a couple weeks, maybe longer. Lots and lots of details that I won't share here, but suffice it to say, I was feeling more than a little nauseated. What was I thinking?? I don't know why I thought I was "ready" for this. I came out of that office, trying not to run down the hall, down the stairs, and across the parking lot to my car. I wanted to be home, sitting on my deck, watching my birds, listening to my kiddos play in the yard....I wanted to be HOME. I know, I know that God is in control, and that God's got this, and I have faith He will see me through all of this, but I was feeling like a big fat human being, with a whole bunch of emotional hormones running rampant. I felt like that Amy Grant song..."they don't know that I go running home when I fall down". I wanted to run home. I called Keith, met him at the parking lot of the local gas station, and just cried as he wrapped his arms around me right there on the parking lot. It's not over, by a long shot. More surgery, more drains, more pain, more recovery, more bed time, more down time, more "he maketh me lie down" time. I will get through this, I will, with God's help.

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