a bad night

June 4, 2009

It’s hard to believe that just 24 hours ago, mom was enjoying visits from Mary Allen and a whole crew of friends from EPU. Although it wasn’t easy for her, mom definitely held up her end of the conversations and shared a few laughs with her friends yesterday.

Things began to change late last night. Mom was not nearly as communicative and became increasingly unsteady on her feet.

By around 5AM, we knew that something was not right.

The cancer has been kind of lurking around like a stalker lately – slow moving, making its presence known than slipping away and lying low for a while. For me, this morning felt like the stalker had suddenly become emboldened. In the light of day, it was there and would not relent, no matter what we tried.

Although I can usually set aside my feelings and reactions to be dealt with later, seeing my mom so uncomfortable started to get to me.

Fortunately, dad was a soldier – he carried us all through until the “backup team” could arrive. So far we’ve had two visits from the hospice team this morning – and regardless of the hour, they always bring their “game faces”.

Mom has a Foley catheter now, and we are doing everything else that we can to make her as comfortable as possible. The catheter – just like morphine and the wheelchair – was one of those markers that we knew would become a part of mom’s care at some point, but tried to put-off for as long as possible.

Mom’s voice has become so soft that when she does speak, it’s often impossible to understand her words. As we work with the hospice team to try to relieve some of her discomfort, we hope that will change very soon.

Sorry to share this “low note” – I promise to post an update as soon as mom’s feeling a little better.

Howard Joseph


5 Responses to “a bad night”

  1. Thank you, Howard, for so ably informing us of your mother’s journey. Even the difficult times, sad as they are for me to hear, enables me to focus even more on my prayers for your mom’s comfort. We are keeping you all close in our hearts.
    Sandy and Chuck

  2. The hospital bed is all set up in the family room, mom is comfortable and sleeping soundly. Dad too. Jane, you are a rock star.

  3. Howard Joseph Says:

    I actually enjoy writing the updates. When I am back in Dallas, it’s not easy to be “out of the loop”. I like to stay connected whether it’s by reading everyone’s replies when I am away, or contributing my own updates when I am in Fresno.

    Also, I am always blown away whenever I check to see how many people are accessing the blog — on average, there’s around 50-75 hits every day.

    But my pen is very selective.

    There are always plenty of those unpleasant details that everyone can imagine but that I prefer not relive in my posts or for any purpose. And there are also private little gems that my mom still delivers in generous portions that I do not post; these are the special moments that I enjoy and selfishly replay in my mind during the hard bits.

  4. Lydia Avina Drayer Says:

    Thanks, Howard. For not only being there through the “low notes” but reliving them as you pen them down for the rest of us.

  5. Linda Haymond Says:

    Thank you, Howard, for taking time to keep us informed. Know I’m with you and your family in thought and prayer. “Low notes” are appreciated,too.

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