After a wonderful Thanksgiving, Mom begin a new journey which started with a trip to the E.R. I started a journey as her caregiver, in a way that I had not before.
Mom's journey took her from Advocate Trinity Hospital, to Christ Hospital, finally to Manor Care Oak Lawn West skilled nursing facility. Mom was gone from home 113 days and 114 nights, returning home on March 19th, 2013. There was a time, though not giving up hope we did not think she would return home. The diagnosis is a serious one, and her prognosis still uncertain, but for the moment, Mom is heading toward her 95th birthday and we're doing all we can, with God's grace and mercy to see that she gets there!
On November 4th, 2013 Mom celebrated her 95th birthday.
Nothing fancy. Surrounded by 6 of her 8 great-grandchildren. Back at home! It has been some journey to put it mildly. Since she came home on March 19th, her days have been filled with doctor visits, chemo treatments, attempts to find good in-home help for the 20 hours she is allowed to have help. Finding that help has not worked out. Well meaning friends have urged me to relegate her to a nursing home. At times it seemed like that was the best thing to do given how tiring it can be to be the only caregiver in addition to all the other responsibilities of one who is a member of the Sandwich Generation. Though not the ideal (is there really any such thing?) being surrounded by the noise and functions (and dysfunctions) of day-to-day living is something that will not let her wither away as most folks often do in institutionalized settings of nursing homes.
She has a most wonderful oncologist who specializes in cancer treatments for the elderly. He put us at ease with the chemo treatments which have just recently ended. Mom weathered them as well as she did the radiation treatments. There is no longer evidence of the disease in her blood. She will very shortly have an xray of her lower back done, where the huge tumor was first seen. The radiation did what it was supposed to do and shrunk the tumor to almost nothing. The only worrisome thing now is her low weight. A huge part of it is due to her finicky eating habits!!!!! It bounces in one and right out of the other ear when I tell her if eating sandpaper would help put weight back on her then don't be so finicky!!!! Happy Birthday to a tough lady!!!