Tuesday, January 08, 2013

[The Life of Shaun #461] How are you?

It's a question I've been getting a lot lately, so I thought I'd answer more broadly.

I am however Mom is.  When she's having a good day, I am too.  About five days ago, Mom had a really bad day; she was trembling and sobbing from the pain, and we ended up doping her up pretty heavily to get her through it.  But since then, we've had pretty good days, at least with the pain mitigation.  We're honing in on a regular and (so far, touch wood) effective rotation of her meds that keeps the worst of the pain at bay.  Mornings are the worst, as she has the longest period without regular "top-ups", so we have a routine to get food, morphine and pills in her as quickly as possible.

The disease is definitely progressing, though.  She has several golf ball-sized tumours protruding from various places, and these have grown noticeably since I arrived a month ago, and we see new ones starting to rise.  They get red and sore, so we have to be careful to avoid putting pressure on them.  Mom's legs have continued to grow weaker and she relies on us fully to help her up from bed and to her wheelchair and back; she can't walk more than a few steps, even aided.  Amazingly, for a lung cancer patient, her breathing is still fine.  We have an oxygen tank on hand, but she's not needed it yet.

So how am I good these days?

It's odd how your perspective changes when caring for someone you love.  I don't think much about the big picture of what's happening, I just think about what Mom needs right now, and that's what I do - that's as big as my world is.  Every now and then, my perspective pulls back, usually when I am thinking about Mom when she was healthy, and that's when it can hit.

Mom's spirits are still high.  I don't know where she pulls that out from, but she laughs and jokes a lot, and loves playing cards with us and working on her puzzle.  She still goes through all the trouble and effort to go outside and have a cigarette, so we know she's OK!  So there's still life to be lived with Mom, and we are all enjoying living it.

Cheers,
Shaun

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Shaun H. Coley | At large in Naperville, IL | shaunism.blogspot.com

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