Sunday, February 27, 2005

Vertigo

Short note,
I am with my husband and daughter. Kay was admitted on the 21st for pre-meds and her chemotherapy treatment began on 02/22. She did well until Thursday evening and then she was taken to St. Frances for further treatment. When I spoke with her last night, she was not sounding so strong, but I am told she is doing well. I have no plans to return to the States until her surgery date is closer.
A better detailed entry will follow in a few days. Until that point, thank you all for your concern, love, and prayers.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Exhausted

Where do I begin?
I am sitting here crying as I type this, mainly because I can’t hold back the tears anymore. I have been forcing myself to not cry all week long, today the dam broke and the tears haven’t stopped. I miss my husband, my daughter, my job, my life. I am worried about Kay (worried is an understatement, I am scared), I am tired, and I am trying to keep everyone else together. I just don’t have it in me today to hold my tears back.

Since I last posted, Kay has been hospitalized twice. She is home once again and is just as weak as she was when I last posted. I don’t see any improvement, but then again, I don’t see that she is any worse than she was a week ago. She is now to a point where she is sleeping more than she is awake. They tell us that this will change as her body begins to respond to the daily shots of Neupogen and the three weekly shots of Epogen. She has received three transfusions of red blood and five platelet infusions since this all began. None of those have had lasting effects as we hoped. She was able to feel "alive again" (her words) for a matter of hours and then it was back to her being exhausted.

She walks to another room and then has to sleep for hours to regain the energy she lost. She can’t do this unassisted. She is just still too weak. This frustrates her and makes her even more depressed. We don’t know what to do, except push her harder to do those things like walking, so that she regains the strength. We will deal with the emotional aftermath as it comes, I guess.
We are going to Tulsa, Oklahoma tomorrow to prepare to meet with a surgeon on Tuesday. There are many qualified surgeons in this local area, but her doctor has recommended two surgeons who only operate on cases like Kay’s (high risk, family history, etc.). We will meet with the first of two and hear what he has to say.

Due to Kay’s blood counts and her current condition, her chemotherapy schedule is on hold. We will wait to hear what the surgeon says before making the next choice (surgery vs. chemo first, or chemo vs. surgery first). She should be having chemotherapy on the 18th, but I don’t see that happening. Her oncologist doesn’t want to veer off track for too long, but I am not sure what will happen.

As soon as we know for certain when her surgery is, I am going back to Germany. I need to be with my husband. Emily will fly back with me for the time being. I will return before Kay’s surgery. This will only happen if the surgeon postpones her surgery. If not, I will remain here until after her surgery and then I will go home for a few weeks. I need to be with Alex and Emily. Emily is talking so much these days, and it breaks my heart to hear her on the phone. I want to hold her, remind her that I am her mother. She is in good hands right now, but she needs her mother.

My Dad is holding up well. He stays busy most of the time, which is good for him. He is in love with the new puppy, Mollie. She seems to be good for everyone, including Kay. Mom would have loved her. She is so soft and playful.

My Aunt Sophie is holding up like a trooper. She had a whirlwind trip to Hong Kong, came home, stayed at the hospital with Kay for four days, and the night Kay came home, Sophie got the flu. She was isolated at another house (Kay’s counts are too low to risk getting the flu) and has now returned back to our house to jump right back into caring for Kay. So much for the flu shot, it obviously has done us no good!

Not a day goes by that Mom isn’t in my thoughts or her name uttered from my lips. I constantly find myself thinking of something I need to ask her, only to realize I don’t have that ability anymore. My heart aches for her, my body craves one of her massive hugs, my ears long to hear her laugh once more. She had the best laugh you have ever heard. No matter where you were, if you heard her laugh, you couldn’t help but smile and usually laugh along with her.

My Mom loved music and while I love it as well, I do not have the passion for it that she did. However, this song seems to sum up everything I am thinking today.
Hold me
Even though I know you are leaving
And show me
All the reasons you would stay
It's just enough to feel your breath on mine
To warm my soul and ease my mind
You've go to hold me and show me love
Give me
Just one part of you to cling to
And keep meEverywhere you are
It's just enough to steal my heart and run
And fade out with the falling sun
Oh, please don't go
Let me have you just one moment more
Oh, all I need
All I want is just one moment more
You've got to hold me and keep me
Tell me that someday you'll be returning
And maybe
Maybe I'll believe.
It's just enough to see a shooting star
To know you're never really far
It's just enough to see a shooting star
To know you're never really gone
Oh, please don't go
Let me have you just one moment more
Oh, all I need
All I want is just one moment more
Oh, please don't go
Let me have you just one moment more
Oh, all I need
All I want is just one moment more
You've got to hold me and maybe I'll believe
Maybe I am just feeling sorry for myself, but today I need my Mom.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Help

I am coming to you this afternoon to beg for help. The help is not for me (but if you have some to spare, I could use it), but instead is for my Aunt Kay. As most of you are aware, we came very close to losing her just over a week ago. While she is going to be okay, she isn’t right now.

I have never seen her like this and it scares me. Her physical needs are not something you can help with, I know. With that said, I will still tell you what is going on, maybe you can offer help in some sort of area. She came home on Thursday evening still needing constant care. She is gaining strength daily, but it isn’t in areas she would like it to be in. She is not requiring constant care now, just assistance to do pretty much anything that takes strength.

Her pulmonary functions are down. Basically she is having some problems catching her breath after exerting her energy. This means she is just trying to rest and for that, we are so glad. She has already started pulmonary rehabilitation and this will continue until her lungs are back to normal. There is no end in sight as to how long this will take. She came home on a plethora of medications to keep her body afloat. Keeping these organized and on the right schedule is taking everything I have right now.

Her body is weak, but it will recover. Her inner fight is what is frightening to me. I can’t see it. She won’t talk to me, she cries and she sleeps. She scares me, her lack of caring concerns me. I am sure you are wondering how you can help . . . I don’t know, but I am open to anything right now. Please help. I can’t lose her.

As far as my previous post is concerned, I will touch upon that subject later. Right now, I just need to help Kay, she needs us.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Protecting

My post this evening will be jumbled. It may be a post that tells you of the hell our family has endured this week. It may be a post that lets you hear how joyful we are that we made it thru the week, alive and together. This post may just be a venting of all my anger that I have right now. This post may just be one that tells you that while I am so anger I could scream, I am also weeping. My words may be words that make you sit back and ponder life and all it consists of. My words may make you question everything you know to be to true.

However, I know what my words will end up being. This will be a post that results in several of you asking yourselves if I am talking about you. You will know if I am. I hope you know how angry I am that you have done this. How you could do this to our family, after all you know that has gone on here? How could you walk away now? How could you just abandon me, all of us, convinced that your stupid little problems were so damn earthshattering that you didn’t take into consideration that you were NOT the most important issue at hand? How could you do this? Maybe I don’t want to know how. I am afraid of knowing how you could do this, what type of cold-hearted person this would take to do something like this. Instead, I want to know why.

Why did you do this? I demand answers. After all of this, I need answers. You owe me that much. My family has bent over backward for you and your petty wants and you did this. Why? Just tell me why before you leave. I need to know why. I need to know why you thought this would be okay. Why did you just think that we would just hold our heads high and let you do this. Why? Why did you let me down this way? Why did you choose to give me comfort, only to rip it away when I needed it the most? When I asked, you turned a cold ear. Why did you offer concern and care to my family and then revoke it without even a thought? Why did you do this to Kay? Do you know how much she needed support this week? Was it too much for you? Why?

This week has been hell, a week of pure hell. Then again, maybe the straight run of hell hasn’t ended in months. Who was I kidding thinking that the seas were calm for the moment? This past Friday, Kay had her second chemotherapy treatment. She declined to stay an inpatient and asked to come home. I obliged (although I did argue and try to talk to her out of it numerous times) and conditions were set into place. Saturday afternoon she began to show signs of a fever, within hours she was being taken by ambulance to the hospital where she was placed in Intensive Care for the night.

When my Mom died, I promised myself I would never be responsible for another person’s right to decline treatment. That choice should be left each person, I knew I would never again control that, I didn’t want to. However, Saturday night I was asked what to do if Kay’s heart stopped beating. Did I want her wishes followed? Did I want to use my authority as her temporary power of attorney and avoid her wishes, ask them to save her life? It was not a choice that I wanted to be making and I prayed I wouldn’t need to press my authority.

Kay gave cause for several small heart attacks this past week, but finally she has pulled through it and was released from the hospital late this evening. She is weak and very tired. It will take time for her body to recover from this, what was essentially toxic poisoning from her last dose of chemotherapy. She is not up for anything after coming home this afternoon. Seeing her this way, she is too much of a reminder of my Mom.

Maybe that is why this, what has happened this week to our family is so hard. I remember how hard this was to stand by and see Mom go thru this and not be able to help at all. This time, this time I can help. I can help Kay by not letting her get hurt by you. I can help her by stepping in and letting you know now that this was not acceptable. She doesn’t deserve this and either do I. You know this and you know this path. I know you do, how can you not? My anger is back once again, and I can’t let you do this to my family. I will protect us at all cost. I will do it for Kay. I will do it for us.

I will do it for my Mom.