Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cancer Sucks

The journey of taking care of someone with cancer goes on. GaGa has her ups and downs. We all had a really hard week last week, and she probably doesn't remember much of it. During the midst of it, I finally called to get more information on Hospice services. GaGa had not been interested AT ALL and I could understand that. I kept getting recommendations that hospice is not necessarily called when you are on your deathbed, there are other services they offer and it was time to find out.

I had several tense moments last week, and some lasted for hours. GaGa had a fall and cut her eye which required stitches on Sunday at the ER. She had an episode on Wednesday when she couldn't speak to me over the phone and was breathing heavy, but she did get out that something was wrong with her. It was frightening to say the least. She has been battling pain on a regular basis for over a year now. Her narcotic pain patch has been increased to try to deal with the pain level. It turns out it was probably too much and they had to remove the patch to see if that was causing the disorientation. She ended up in the hospital that evening. In order to have a conversation about her going to the hospital I had to talk with George via a third party while he was operating. Our only in person conversation that week because he was so busy at work was after he got home at midnight one night and for me that means, I REALLY need to talk. It was a bad week.

On Thursday, I watched her writhe in pain for nearly 2 hours waiting for pain medicines to kick in, and to go through the process of asking for more, and the nurse consulting with the Hospitalist, and the Hospitalist coming to see us, and then the hospitalist putting in the orders, and then the nurse fulfilling the orders. GaGa is known for using the same face with the doctors to say she is at a level 10 with pain as she is a 1. It is hard to decipher but that day, she let it out. It was horrendous.

Last week jerked me back to reality after having a smooth course fo many weeks which included shopping excursions, and eating out on Saturday night with no indication of what was to come. You never know what is coming next and it can turn on a dime. George and I are alone in the overseeing of her day to day care. And that can be overwhelming at times. And I feel guilty for saying that because for some reason, it is in my programming that I am not only supposed to take care of her but do it with a smile on my face with no negative emotions.

After getting GaGa back to St. James over the weekend, and getting hospice in place, she calls me three times on Monday morning, the first one before I even get out of carpool. I was tired, overwhelmed and didn't want to deal with it anymore. I came home addressed the issues and then proceeded to have many emotions, anger, sadness, frustration. I didn't want to feel what I was feeling which is a normal occurence for me and then...I thought about it. I heard my therapist's voice say that taking care of ailing parents is one of the most difficult experiences in life. More thoughts came and I said to myself it is okay for me to have a bad day because...






And it is not going away.

After I gave myself permission to have a bad day, I lightened up ever so slightly and then it was time to pick the girls up from school, and being in a bad mood, they annoyed me. And then I thought it's okay to tell them that I'm not in a good mood and my temper is a little short. I have had a hard time learning athough this is SO critical, that I am teaching my daughters to take care of themselves when I take care of myself. It has taken me a long time to understand that fully. From the very beginning of my journey to heal, I'd heard the important message to be kind to myself but this was the lesson up close and personal and I had done a lot of work to get to the point of putting it into action.

The next day, I ran errands and got my toes done a beautiful shade of pink, bought some "orthopedic" sandals to wear to help ease some foot pain that I had been having and I felt like a new person. I accepted the emotions, had time to renew a little bit and was back on the journey called life.

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