The way to love someone
is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul
until you find a crack,
and then gently pour your love into that crack.
~Keith Miller

Monday, March 17, 2014

early 60's

later 60's
I remember that top -
it had an appliqué of a red dog which stretched around from front to back,
and red piping at the neck and sleeves.
Probably the beginning of my inclination towards black and white clothes.
My brother's shirt was his favorite at that time
 - yellow with an embroidered horse with rider.

College - early 80's
taken and developed by a friend
my hair used to be light like that, but it was aided by
almost constant exposure to the Texas sun
I rode my bike everywhere
and swam as often as possible.
Momma gave me these old pictures the other day.

I'm here (Texas - where I grew up) looking after things for my Mom and helping with stuff for my brother (the younger one, those pics were with my older brother and I don't really have many pictures of my younger brother, but as handsome as everyone seems to think he is, I don't think I'll post pics of him ... he is a private sort of guy where this internet stuff is concerned).

Let's catch up on Momma ...

Last Tues. I took her to a primary care appt. knowing that we needed a referral for a dermatologist to tend to a couple of spots on her wrists (basal cell carcinoma ... previously diagnosed, but she was unwilling to have it looked at, insisting that it was nothing that a tube of Neosporan couldn't take care of), a pain in her side which may or may not be recurring and seems to travel from maybe under her ribs to maybe where her appendix is.  Momma has been very private about her medical experiences and we are piecing her medical history together as best we can with the help of her sister and hopefully medical records which I'm on the trail of.  She is 80 and hasn't seen the doctors very often - she thinks drinking distilled water and a clean diet should carry her along splendidly.  She likes very much to tell people that, also that she is not on any meds at all!
We have discovered that she had "a tiny spot" of colon cancer removed and that there was no follow up to that, also that her gall bladder was removed or maybe it was a stone the size of her gall bladder, and maybe she has had kidney stones also removed.  Her sweet sister has been "helping" get her in to the doctor some ... now we are looking after her.
Her memory is practically non existent ... what she does "remember" is largely constructed from flights of fancy.  I'm setting here trying to think of something she does actually remember accurately and all that comes to mind is the fact of the distilled water and no meds.  She does remember that my brother relieved her of her driving privileges and that she can talk to her sister on Saturdays for "free".  She doesn't remember whether or not she had breakfast today.  This is funny ... she doesn't remember the President's name but she is absolutely incredulous that he has been elected twice.
Anyway ... while at the doctor's appointment Momma had a heart attack.  She never lost consciousness and remained able to "supervise" the EMTs as they prepared her for transport to the ER.  She was admitted to the hospital and stayed there 'til an evening release on Friday.
While there it was discovered that other then heart concerns she has lesions on her liver which are malignant.  We were released with referrals to an Oncologist and a Cardiologist.  The PCP is required to actually provide those referrals to meet insurance guidelines ... later today I have scheduled an appt. with the primary care physician.  I've been offered guidance to request that the PCP also make a Hospice referral.  And, I have a feeling that there will be a visit to a Memory Care provider too ... I'll request that if we need it.  Well, I know she has huge memory problems, I just think it may not be the largest flame right now ... seems like plenty of fires need attention.
I know I'm not supposed to do this, get on the internet and read up on cancer, but ... I need information faster then appointments can be set up and I'm trying to fill in basic understanding.
The case worker at the hospital provided a bit of info to get me started on finding proper care for Momma.  At first it seemed like our only option would be a nursing care facility, now it seems like with help from hospice we will be able to let Momma stay at home where she is less confused and therefore more at peace.  On the other hand ... When I am not here she may be entirely on her own which leans me towards the full time care option.
Her appointments on Thursday will fill in some of the pieces so that we might make the best choices.

So ... a lot of really great people have sorta appeared to help us sort through this.  One lady suggested that we pray that people with knowledge and wisdom be where we are headed next to help us along this journey's path.

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