Thank you for the calm

I am so grateful for a calm weekend. To do things that we take for granted and consider normal have been such a joy for me. Yesterday I went out to breakfast – WOW. I also went grocery shopping – DOUBLE WOW – what fun! The truth is, it was relaxing and calming to do just mundane things and not to worry about life or death or making health care decisions or worrying if someone is going to recognize me.
I visited my mother yesterday afternoon. My aunt, Sister Teresita, was there along with her travelling companion, Sister Grace Carol. My mom was very lucid – like she was entertaining guests in her home. I could tell she was feeling more like herself because she was not liking the fact that her meal tray was still in her room (my mother is anal about neatness – the second you are finished eating, according to her, you are supposed to get up, clear up the dishes, wash them, dry them and put them away. Oh, and dishwashers are a no, no – use the sink because the old fashioned way is better). Then I got a compliment from one of the sisters and my mom’s reply was – of course she’s good – she’s my daughter (another innate part of my mom’s true personality – I am not good on my own, I am good because I came from her). And then the orders started – Jan you need to do this, and Jan you need to do that….   Normally, these aspects of my mother’s personality are the one’s that always drive me insane and the ones that generate the most tension between us. But, I have to admit, with being faced with not being able to experience what is truly my mother again, I was able to let things just roll off of my back and simply be grateful for the fact that she was with us in her true personality and in her own unique way.
She also got a new medication patch put on yesterday so we will see if there is some sort of correlation between her delusionary episodes and putting on a new patch. According to the hospice nurse, this roller coaster of ‘"is mom going to be playing with a full deck today" could be a result of the changing of the patch and the initial infusion of the strong medication, or it could be the cancer spreading to the brain. We’ll see what happens with the patch change.
It was so nice to spend so much time with her and with her being as clear as a bell. Everything was going along very pleasantly and then she started to feel some new pains in her back and so we had to call for some pain medication. It was almost a cruel joke – she seemed so normal, almost like she was ready to go back home, and then the cancer reared its ugly head in the form of pain and reminded us that it is truly lurking in the background. I am so glad we have the ability to manage pain now and keep people as comfortable as possible while the cancer does its dirty work. That is definitely a comfort.

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