In April my mom was told an MRI found spots on her pancreas and liver. Having just lost one friend to cancer, it hit me hard. What made it worse was when I found out I was at work. Now I challenge you to find a place when you can go that is private in a high school with 2200+ students. I went into a staff bathroom and cried. I texted a coworker who came in with me for a few minutes to give me a hug. Talk about awkward, when she walked out and told another staff member that the single person bathroom was still being used! In a small town that is sure to start a few rumors.
As time passed my mom had 3 stents put in to keep her bile duct open while waiting for surgery. She ultimately has part of her pancreas removed, gall bladder and part of her stomach. My oldest sister has been added to the HIPPA form my mom signed so that Dawn can just call the hospital or doctor directly to get information. This reduces how much our mom needs to constantly explain to us kids, ensures we receive all the pertinent information plus enables us to bypass talking to my step-dad on the phone as he is just hard of hearing in person. Speaking to him on the phone will make your voice go hoarse! My brother was able to go to Seattle the week she was in the hospital and help my step-dad get there to visit her. As he can no longer drive this was a huge deal. My brother took a picture of her and texted it my sister and myself. I did not recognize my own mom. She had aged so much in such a short time I could not believe who I was looking at.
It was a good visit and made me wish my mom lived closer. They live in a retirement community where the residents look out for each other. Plus their church has been great. While I was there a friend of my mom’s came by whom I knew as well. It helps knowing she and her husband go by to check on them and see if they need help with anything. For now, we wait for the next appointment in a week to see what the next step is. Meanwhile, my son who is deployed is receiving updates via text so he can get it quickly when he can access his phone. My daughters are quickly learning a lot of medical terminology as well.
We are going through something that so many other families deal with every day. What have you done to make it easier in your extended family?