The news. Well, I guess it's time to get this published. I've been delaying and not wanting to write the awful news we have to share, but my mom is incredibly lucky to have a supportive community and network of people like you -- and "you" are anxious, curious and wondering.
Hospice is being set up for mom. We will not pursue any further treatments beyond that, and we hope it will align with the need to symptomatically treat the continuing and growing elements of liver failure.
The treatment that mom underwent in October did nothing (except make her more sick), and the cancer continues to grow. Over the past days and weeks, she has declined and we -- and the many healthcare professionals we work with -- agree that it's time to focus on keeping mom comfortable, hydrated and let her live the rest of her life as she wishes.
We are heartbroken.
My brother and I returned home to be with our parents yesterday and have slowly been processing this information and are beginning to set up a new framework to take us forward.
In many ways, we have been preparing for this the past five years. Everyone says they have the opportunity to be ready for the last stage when dealing with a long-term, chronic illness. But they also say that the realities of where you land when things really get bad are always hard to stomach. And, that's where we are.
Right now. Mom has had a good day today, although she's in bed most of it and very tired. She insisted that Thayne and I sit with her last night as she lay wrapped under blankets and listened to our banter. It was nice, and I have been rapidly reminded of what a great cohort we are, the four of us, in our small family unit. We talked about the things we talk about and that's what we're doing moving forward: bringing the banter back, giving her what she needs and listening.
What can you do? Mom isn't really up for visitors right now, but maybe in the coming days. I know that many of you are at a loss and want to help, but don't know what to do. My recommendation is that you send mom a letter. Tell her why you love her and what an impact she's made on you. I can't keep my phone charged or my email inbox clean from all of the people asking, wanting to know how she is. Don't be afraid of her now. Tell her and do it in a way that allows her to read it or hear it at her leisure. She doesn't have much strength, and talking at length and having people come by takes a toll. We have a core group of people helping us daily and their support is not only needed, but it's imperative to her staying with us.
Please email me directly if you'd like to reach mom, and I promise to respond and figure out a way that you can reach her.