April 28, 2012

My thoughts are unorganized.

This is a compliment, almost, compared to how I actually feel. I compose this sitting in a taxi heading south on Lakeshore Drive toward Midway airport, to board a plane that will take me more south, still, to Sunny Florida. Sunny Florida, where it’s raining this weekend. Like in my head.

Full circle.

I meant for my last post to be from a much more emotional angle, but ended up spilling facts, just the facts. It’s okay, I guess. The facts remain as they are, while my emotions change from moment to moment. A roller coaster seems mild, by comparison. What is turbulence like on a space shuttle?

My mind races: what will happen, what has happened, what did I forget at home, what did I forget to do, what do I need from Target? The mundane and the urgent jumble together.

Almost at the airport. More later.


Spring Haze

April 27, 2012

Mama is in a bit of a haze. She cannot retain information -within- a conversation, much less any history of it. She forgets that I’m coming to see her, every day. It’s one of the things that used to excite her most.

March 27th we had the most difficult conversation I’ve ever had to have with anyone, ever. I had to tell her that, if she was ready to, it was okay to decline any further treatment for her assorted cancers. I had to tell her no one was going to blame her for stopping the abuse that is unleashed on her body every time she submits to another round of radiation. I told her that even though she thinks I am one of the strongest people she knows, that I would not have allowed all of this to go on for this long.

I told her she’s in charge of her own body, and only she is the boss, and only she could make that decision. No one else, not even the doctors.

Only she could say, “Enough.”

Two days later, she went into her doctor’s office and did just that. She was set up with hospice care in her home, and the visits started, and everything was okay. The hospice nurses, the case manager, the doctor, the social worker – all of them are top notch professionals on top of their game, my first experience with people of this caliber in what is the shithole that is healthcare in the state of Florida. It’s a shame that patients are not given this level of care until they’ve decided they’re giving up the fight.

On April 13th, I got a call on my cell phone while at the office. It was the hospice nurse, calling to tell me she had found my mother on the bathroom floor. She had fallen, been unable to get herself up, and spent the night laying on the bathroom floors, flowing in and out of consciousness from what it sounds like. We think that now that her brain tumors are going unmonitored and untreated, they are growing exponentially and causing mini strokes or mini seizures, or both.

Her 70th birthday is on 4/30, and I’m visiting this weekend to celebrate with her, time that I’m sure will be dedicated to observing increasingly sad and bizarre behavior.

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