Haven't posted since October of last year..Mom is on oxygen 24/7 now, but, thank you, God, still no pain.  Just pressure and difficulty breathing as tumor progresses upward/outward. No nausea at this time either.  Treating with Ativan, to take the edge off, and help her sleep.  It is so strange how this disease affects people in so many different ways.  I feel we have been so fortunate thus far.

We are in the St. Louis area and have been blessed to have not only a wonderful, caring hospice nurse, but a chaplain who sings/prays/talks with Mom, a music therapist, (truly an angel), who sings non-stop for 40-45 minutes and a Luminary volunteer who is summarzing with Mom some of her favorite life memories.  There are no words to describe hearing your Mom singing along with either hymns or "happy" songs and sharing life stories you've never heard before.  Take advantage of all they have to offer--we feel blessed indeed.  And on this roller coaster ride, it's nice to have another sounding board. 

I read all the posts and want to thank you all for sharing..it helps, doesn't it?  Praying for you all.

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(6 replies, posted in General Discussion)

First, thank all of you for your comments and suggestions, which I am now going to discuss with Mom and my brother.  I was so ashamed after I read my initial post...how did I become such an angry person?  When I rethought the past 3 years and all the hospitalizations from the brain tumor alone, my brother was there with me every single day/night, attending to her personal needs even though I know he was uncomfortable.  And when I brought mom to our home it was with the stipulation that he would not second guess every decision I made on her behalf.  I think that he is leaving this decision about whether we come back home up to mom and myself because he knows how hard it will be on my family if I have to be there for a while.  He's always been here if I/Mom called on him.

Today the Palliative nurse came by to see mom and after seeing that she is more short on breath brought up whether she would want a code should her heart stop.  She doesn't want a code called and signed a paper to that effect.  Tomorrow or the next day will try once again to discuss her wishes as to whether she wants to go home to Alabama.  Just want to make sure she is for once voicing her wants/needs, not what she thinks would be best for me.  She is truly the most unselfish person I've ever known. 

Please keep us in your prayers.

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(6 replies, posted in General Discussion)

It's been a long time since I've posted..stayed up reading your blogs, both old and new, last night and think you'll understand and help more than my family.  Last admittance to hospital we found out mother's CC in liver and bile duct had grown considerably and there were 4 new satellites.  She's still not in pain, thank you, God, for that blessing!  However, although her SATS are staying around 98 with oxygen, she is so totally out of breath and when she gets that panic look in her eyes my heart just breaks into...how to help...she has short term memory loss due to previous tumor removal from pituitary which left her with diabetes insipidus.  She knows she has cancer because she's been told and we've discussed it ; however, it's not something she brings up and I hate to remind her.

In the 3 years she has had to live me with in MO, she had never once complained about having to leave her home in Alabama.  In fact, she doesn't complain ever about anything!  I know she would rather be in her home and I'd like to grant that unstated wish.  HOWEVER...I have one sibling, an older brother who has been up to see mom once on the day the biopsy was done, once when we met with the oncologist (stayed a day and a half each time) and a week the last time Mom was in the hospital because I didn't think she was going to come out.  He is retired.  Just returned from 11 day trip to Alaska with his wife for the honeymoon they never had.  He takes care of Mom's house, seeing that grass is cut, plants are watered, house is dusted and vacuumed and bills are paid.  He has to have surgery on his shoulder in the next week. 

I know Mom is at the point where if I'm going to take her home I need to do it soon.  My husband had to take a new job in December 2010 2 hours from our home and his own mother has had to move in with him because of mini-strokes, loss of driver's license and early Alz
heimers.  Our 2 children, ages 25 and 27, live here in the same town with me and help out when they can, but I feel I am relying on them more and more.  If I take Mom home to Alabama, will I actually have more support from friends and neighbors or will my brother just come by for short visits and I'll still be on my own and in addition I will have to argue with him about life-prolonging procedures.  I want Mom to live as long as she can, but it's also about the quality of life vs. quantity.  I wish I knew what will happen next..  I know no one can tell me what decision I should make, but it helps to sound off.  Thanks for listening.

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(15 replies, posted in Introductions!)

My mother who survived heart tumor, (benign), pituitary tumor, (benign), which left her with diabetic insipidus has just been diagnosed in Sept. with CC (bile duct cancer) because of some tenderness in her pancreas area.   Aside from some shortness of breath, some nausea and a bout of pneumonia she has had no other symptoms..because she is 85 years of age, she was not a candidate for chemo or radiation.  They have just suggested we call in hospice.  I am her caregiver and just wish I knew what to expect.

Trying to pack up a house to sell and wanting to spend all my time making memories with Mom.

Marcia