Caught Off Guard

As the sun rose this morning I quickly found myself retreating to the bathroom for a hot shower. This has become my refuge when I am feeling overwhelmed as a cancer caretaker. Last night I tried to be strong as words from my mothers mouth scared me for the first time. As my mom was speaking to Jay (her significant other), I overheard part of their phone conversation.

My mom was having a really tough evening when the call came in. She wasn't feeling quite up to par, but the response that I would overhear took me by surprise. As she spoke with Jay about his progress on building her new home, she commented that not to worry because she didn't believe she would make it back. What? Did I hear her right? I quickly tried to dismiss it as a misunderstanding. As they concluded their conversation, mom closed her eyes and went to sleep.

It wasn't long before another call came in. I answered the call only to find Jay on the other end. He asked me if my mother was okay. Quite concerned by her response earlier, he felt the need to call back. I tried to reassure him that no one can determine the hour of our death besides our maker. I understood his concern, but I didn't want to accept the reality of mom's words. I told Jay that mom has good days and bad days and unfortunately this happened to be a very bad day. The reason it caught me off guard is even when in great pain, mom does not speak negatively. I tired to comfort Jay with my words but I know his heart was hurting. He assured me he would call and check up on her the next day.

Mom and I spoke today about how she was feeling. She said that she was having terrible back pain. I was glad to hear her finally express some of her discomfort. I pray each day that God will keep her spirits high and allow her not to suffer to much. Soon the weekend will be over and we will be back at the hospital. I actually look forward to labs on Monday to see if they can give us some answers.

It is not how we die, but how we live.

Live and love life!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Another year has come to reflect on the many things I have to be thankful for.

At this moment, I am thankful to have the opportunity to spend quality time with my mother as we tackle her cancer together. This has been quite a blessing for me and the reminiscing we have done has brought much laughter along the way. Thanks mom for the memories I'll cherish them forever.

A sparkle in my day was the call I received from my two children who were celebrating this festive holiday together. I am thankful and so proud of my son and daughter. They are both young adults with such good character, who make their mother gleam. I am thankful for their ambitiousness. My daughter the mother, supporter, professional photographer, and my son the student, worker, and entrepreneur. They are movers and shakers who constantly have me boasting (especially on Thanksgiving). Thank you both for being such wonderful children.

I am so thankful for my Grand-daughter Brianna who enlightens me every time I talk to her. She is such an old soul. Although she is only four, her capacity for learning, understanding and reasoning amaze me more and more each day. She is my little ray of sunshine. She keeps me grounded and focused on what is really important in life.

I am thankful for all of my family who continue to love me through all of my little idiosyncrasies. I have been blessed to have a family who loves me unconditionally. You are all so deeply woven in my heart. Our legacy will continue through all the love, caring and compassion you all display.

Let's all live and love life day by day. Be grateful for family, friends and the simple things in life. Make a memory!!

Love to you all! God Bless!

Lazy Day

Today started out with a request for chicken nuggets, peanut butter toast and milk for breakfast. It seemed strange to me, but I quickly fulfilled mom's desires. With her weight only at 86 pounds, I was glad that she was actually wanting to eat. Lunch consisted of a couple of Taco Bell Taco's and a Pepsi. As night fell, mom had some mixed vegetables, potatoes, roast beef and some water.

It was a good day for eating and it may seem silly, but for me it was a big accomplishment. It's crucial to keep mom's weight in check, but there are just many days that food just isn't appealing to her. She may eat a spoonful and then that's her limit. I've gotten to where I don't argue about it, I now accept it as a condition to be taken day by day. It has to be hard for her, so she doesn't need the added stress of me getting onto her about it.

It was kind of a Lazy Day. Mom and I enjoyed one of our favorite channels, the Lifetime Movie Network. A couple of movies that touched my heart were Accidental Friendship and Timepiece. They both had you reflecting on the importance of love, caring, hope and faith. With Thanksgiving tomorrow, it was a nice conclusion to our evening.

I received several phone calls from early well wishers today. The calls came from Tennessee, Wisconsin, Colorado, Pensacola, Tampa and Palm Coast. I loved hearing from both my children, my brother and many friends. The support I have received while being here has just been overwhelming. I am truly THANKFUL for each and everyone of you. You all mean so much to me.

Until Turkey Day tomorrow, everyone have a great night. Sleep Tight, Love ya!

No Chemo Today

It's been almost four months since I left Florida to care for my mother who is going through Chemo treatment here in Hawaii. She has been fighting this monster (Ovarian Cancer) since 2003, and maintains such a great spirit and never complains. She exemplifies strength beyond belief.

She has become stricken with an infection this past week that has temporarily halted her progress. We are hoping that next week she will feel better and be back on track. It hurts my heart to see her in pain throughout this ordeal. I silently cry tears at night wishing there was more I could do for her.

This past week we were told by the Doctor that a Bone Scan was necessary. It has been determined that now the cancer has spread to her lumbar spine (Bone Cancer). This will now also entail a regimen of radiation. Soon we will find out when this will be added to our schedule.

As a care-giver I have found it to be more difficult than I ever could have imagined. I struggle with so many emotions; feelings of helplessness, anger, frustration, and yet I have to stay strong for my mom. Therefore, my feelings remain bottled up or silently unveiled when I retreat outside or to the bathroom. The tears seem never-ending.

I hope by starting this blog it will help me unleash the pain I feel due to the uncertainty of our daily lives. Also, I want to use it as a platform to reflect on the positive things that are happening as we make a difference during these trying times. Mom has touched many people who are being challenged by adversity by continuing to stay focused and have such a positive attitude. Thanks mom, that's why I love you so much.

I will close for now by saying Thank You God for another day. Live and Love Life everyone!