Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Living Legacy

I'm back after a fashion. Its been a pretty torrid time. Mom's operation didn't go well, and shortly after we were told that her cancer is widespread, rapid and terminal she had to be re-hospitalized, had a heart attack, developed water on the lung and goodness knows what besides.

As I write, she hovers between life and death in Intensive Care. They've put her under sedation, so she won't know that I'm not there. There isn't any point in being there to watch her sleeping and wired up like the bionic mom anyway.

During the week that she was at home, I nursed her, but now there's nothing to do. If she temporarily recovers from this lot, I'll be needed, so its best I save my time off. In the mean time my brother and worse-than-useless sister in law turned up, and they can keep an eye on things.

I'm pretty proud of myself. I handled the single-handed home nursing darned well and tolerated various bodily secretions and excretions without turning a hair. I remained cheerful (at least on the surface) and in control (ditto).

On the night that she was re-admitted to hospital, I had a good cry and a rant and behaved like a mad thing, but there was nobody to see, so it didn't hurt anyone and it turned out to be constructive.

Then my brother turned up and the first thing he did was to point out which of her antiques he would like to have. I didn't murder him. I think I deserve a pat on the back for that.

My sister-in-law is a bit ghoulish and can't resist chattering about death and illness with hardly a pause for breath. I didn't murder her either, but its a jolly good thing I left them to it or I wouldn't have been able to hold it in and there'd have been bad blood or lots of blood depending on how badly I let go. As it is, we parted on good terms.

They're useless with mom's pets: one of the first things they did was to speculate as to how to stop them sleeping in my mom's room, which they've always done. I raised a hackle at that, and so the status quo remains intact, but I'll be rescuing them from the tender mercies on Sunday when they'll move to my house. I haven't had pets for a while, but now I'll have four dogs and two cats. My brother wants to have them put down, but I promised mom I'd take care of them and that's what I'll do.

If she recovers a little, she'll be moving to my town where she can either stay with me or, more likely, be in a hospice or frail care where I can regularly visit her. To be honest with you, I rather hope she dies while under sedation. It will be a mercy to her. Sounds brutal, but its true. She even said 'If I was a dog, you'd have put me down. I wish I was a dog.'

Oh well, I don't mean to post about this too often, but its pretty much what's on my mind at present. Today's pic: one of the dogs that's soon to be mine - a good legacy to be trusted with - and much better than a bunch of antique furniture I won't have space for anyway!


  1. We live. We love. We die. It's painful; it's pleasurable. Every step of the way, but we endure. I wish I had words of comfort or solace. I can only offer my heart and my best wishes.

  2. This will be a tough time. Hang in there and know that you're doing your best. Remember to take care of yourself--caretakers need breaks. Bless you for taking in the pets.

  3. Your post made me cry. I am so sorry for your grief and pain. I believe in doing the best we can for pets, they depend on us and they deserve all the love we can give, and I think you have lots to give. As for family, I went through that when dad died. My two sisters were talking about who should get the house and things in it, and mom was still alive and living in it. Family can be so cruel at times. I feel for you, and wish you strength and love in the days to come.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. :( I feel sad...

    I'm sure your mom is proud of you (with or without sedation)...!!!

    This brings me to wonder how your brother felt about the whole situation. Is the antique the only thing he's interested? :(

    I don't know what else to say but BE STRONG! Cry if you need to 'cause sometimes it eases the pain... Take care!!!

  5. This is me, dear MM, giving you the largest bear hug I can possibly manage. I'm holding you close, with a little squeeze, then place you at arms length. I look you straight in the eye and tell you, "You are a good person, dear one."

  6. My thoughts continue to be with you and your mom..sorry that she has to go through this. Good people should always just pass peacefully in their sleep. There should be no suffering, and old age should be a pleasant time to enjoy looking back on life. My father-in-law who is like a father to me was just admitted today into the hospital because of bleeding. He has late stage prostate cancer and we are all terribly worried about him. We run around trying to be diligent, getting him to the best doctors we can find. In the end, I am afraid, there will be only so much any of us can do. That is the cruel truth we are going to have to accept somehow. It is very difficult to imagine life without him.

    And just why, pray tell, am I "full of beans?"

  7. Mutter sorry to hear the agony you are going through. It is moments like these that put life and things in perspective. It sounds like a cliche' but it's so true.

  8. I am so sorry sweetie... I know you sound strong, but how incredibly taxing this all must be on you. You are not a good daughter, but a great daughter. I speak for all pet lovers everywhere, thank you for going to take your mother's pets, I never understand why people want to put down otherwise healthy animals down just because they don't want to take care of them.... You are kind beyond words and now I need to go and get a kleenex, because I am weeping a little on your behalf... Even if you don't ask for it, I am still giving this to you "big cyber hugs".. you are a wonderful caring person and your mother raised an incredibly strong woman... xxxooo

  9. I've always thought it was crappy that society won't let us show the same mercy to people we can offer to our pets. Hopefully that will change and one day soon you can have your brother and sister-in-law put down.

  10. After my mom passed, six year ago now, my sister and I fought and fought. It ended with us not speaking for year. I hope that your family is able to be a lot more understanding of your feelings than mine was. Take care of yourself.

  11. I'm so sorry my friend... I just hope I would know how to make you feel better..

    Cheers to you for taking care of her. Stay strong for her.

    Btw, that's an adorable doggie :-)

  12. I'm truly sorry for what your going through. I also know from experience there is nothing any one can say that can help. As others have said make sure to take care of yourself through this time, caregivers often forget that part, but a few moments a day just to regroup does help.

    All the best to you and your mom.

  13. I'm coming back here to say, your "question" is up this week ending Oct.16. Thanks for submitting!

    Once again, take care! :)

  14. Sorry about your mom. I echo the comments above. Wishing you the best and your mom some peace.
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  15. Thanks all of you for your sincere kindness and for sharing your own experiences. Life is rough sometimes! Dan - I'll be thinking of you especially.