Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Week With Mom

On the night of Adele's birthday (which feels like it was months ago but was really October 6) my Mom had some unexpected health problems that sent her to the emergency room.  Doctors went right to work and got her stable, then started running test.  After a couple days and lots of uncomfortable test (colonoscopies- 3 of them, cat scans, some weird dye thing, tube down the nose, and a biopsy) the doctors changed their original prognosis and concluded it was colon cancer.

Thursday she had surgery to remove the cancer.  They tested lots of sections during and after surgery and decided it was stage 3 (which means she has to have chemo after she recovers from the surgery).  She has been at the hospital recovering from the surgery and today she is suppose to go home!!! All 23 staples are out, no more bags of fluid are running, after two weeks of confinement she is almost a free woman!

Circumstances worked out really well for me to spend Sunday October 10 thru Monday October 18 with Mom.  I think that my Mom did way more good for me than I did for her during the week. I got to watch my Mom's example through this all and forever I will have that example with me when I face trials.  I got to witness the loving way my parents leaned on each other through the week.  And we even fit in some fun!

My wonderful friend Nichole watched my kids for part of every day so I could be with my Mom when my Dad had to be gone.  She never complained even though I know it was an exhausting week having my three kids and her two.  It meant so much to me that she helped me out- Good friends are priceless!

The kids did really well through it all. They went from place to place and although I am sure they had their moments they were great.  One day in the car Garret said I want to make Grandma happy so he decided he would read her a story.  Another day they found five caterpillars and had me sneak them into the hospital so that Mom could see them.  They had fun playing with Uncle Dan for a whole morning.  They played Lego's and thought that was AWESOME.  They were so excited to help with the yard work at Grandma's house and couldn't have been sweeter each night when they said their prayers.  Adele went from taking a few steps at a time to walking across the room.

The week was long and I kept thinking I should be exhausted but I think Heavenly Father gives us extra help when we need it.  I know he helped make it work out for me to be there so I could be near my Mom, so I could help and so I could learn and grow.

My Mom is amazing.  She always has been- this week just reaffirmed that- She is Amazing.  I could never have asked for a better Mom.  She is my friend, my confidant, my example and my Mommy.  I love her so much.  It was so great being with her this week.

Picture taking was not a top priority this week so I didn't get too many.  Here are a few of the moments I did capture-

A normal person drinks one gallon of golyte before a colonoscopy.  My Mom got to drink FOUR.  Here is a picture of her about to go for number three- doesn't she look excited.  She compared the taste to liquid plastic- YUM!

Her diet was severally limited during most of her stay.  A couple days she got to have a clear liquid diet. A few days just water or juice and sometimes nothing.  My Mom coaxed my Dad into letting her have just the tiniest little bit of chocolate from time to time- don't tell the nurses!  When she was coming out of surgery she asked if she could have some we said "NO" she said "Dad knows I can have a little"!  We had fun teasing Mom about the funny things she said after surgery.

In between tests and then waiting for surgery Mom had several days where she was feeling pretty good and just waiting (there is a lot of that at hospitals) so the kids came for a quick visit.
Sunday night Mom and I had a girls night!  I spent the night at the hospital so I could help if she needed anything.  It had been twelve days since she had had anything real to eat.  At 11 pm a doctor came in and told her she could start eating a little.  Even though it was getting late and we were tired she did some eating!

The next day she got a new menu.  Rather than a clear liquid diet she now got the soft bland menu.  The title is not very appealing but after 12 days of liquid it looked pretty good.  Luckily she had not forgotten how to chew.

Monday night we stopped by to say Goodbye.  I loved being there with her and was sad to go.  I can't wait til we get to spend a week together again.  We know she is feeling much better because by the end she was back to teasing the nurses and cracking jokes!

She was looking MUCH better by then and from what I hear she just keeps improving.  Like I said She is Amazing!


Sarah said...

So sorry to hear that news. We'll keep you and your family in our prayers. Your mom is lucky to have such a wonderful daughter!

Miss you!

steph said...

i'm so sorry to hear about that rachel! your mom is so sweet and i know that from first-hand experience. i'm so glad you live out there now so you could be close enough to easily be there. your mom will be in my prayers :)

Marianne Thayne said...

Rachel thank you for this beautiful post. It is always hard to be away from those we love, even harder when they are ill, and your pictures and writing brought me a lot of comfort.

Rachel said...

Your mom is in our prayers! As is the rest of your family!

Kristy E.B. said...

Wow, your mom is amazing! My mom had told me she saw you and your mom and what was happening. That's amazing she has been able to stay so positive through everything. Man, 12 days of no real food--that stinks!! I hope things get better for her soon. That's so great you were able to spend some quality time with her.

brentandkashann said...

It is so good that you guys chose to stick close to home. I am so happy for that. We'll remember your family in our prayers and pray for you mom.

kandis said...

you're mom is such a sweetheart. i have thought about her everyday since i found out, and wish the best for her and your family. we'll keep all of you guys in our thoughts and prayers!

The Bennett Family Blog said...

Your Mom is so special and you are wonderful for being by her side. You guys are such an amazing, strong, loving family and such a great example to all of us. Wonderful post, Rachel. Thank you for sharing!

kristenita said...

Oh Rachel! I'm so sorry to read this about your mama. It is great you're close by now & that you can be with her so much. She's so lucky to have you!
More prayers coming for you from us. I hope she gets well soon.

Alicia said...

Wow - I'm so sorry to hear about her diagnosis. I hope chemo goes well for her and that she's back up and feeling better in no time. You have such a positive outlook on things, and it sounds like you got that from your Mama! =) Glad you got to be with her through so much of it, I'm sure it was a strength to both of you. I'll keep her in my prayers.

Alicia said...

Wow - I'm so sorry to hear about her diagnosis. I hope chemo goes well for her and that she's back up and feeling better in no time. You have such a positive outlook on things, and it sounds like you got that from your Mama! =) Glad you got to be with her through so much of it, I'm sure it was a strength to both of you. I'll keep her in my prayers.