May 08, 2006
After sleeping on it last night, and in the context of my own life here in Kansas, here are my thoughts about my mom, and my dad, after seeing them this past weekend.
The visit with my mom was as good as could be expected. She is very depressed now, sleeping most of the day and hardly eating anything. She had a CAT scan on Friday, the results of which they'll get from her oncologist Tuesday. Both of my parents are expecting that the doctor will discontinue the chemotherapy as it seems it is only killing her blood and not impacting the cancer at all. While he told them both her condition was terminal in February, reaching this milestone puts a fine point on it, and accepting it has been hard for both of them, particularly my mom.
I am not planning on going back now until Memorial Day weekend. The trip is too far, and too exhausting to make in a two-day weekend, plus I need time to recover emotionally - and to prepare for the next visit. The person I saw this weekend was much less my mom than even two weeks ago. While in my mind I have been going there to see her I realize that I'm really supporting my dad, who has stepped up to the responsibility beautifully, but who still needs a place to talk. I am honored to be there for him, and I am proud of him for the caring, loving attention and support he is giving my mother.
Not going back for at least two weeks, and maybe three, increases the likelihood that I'll never see her alive again, but I think I am prepared for her death (as much as anyone can be prepared for the death of their mother). I've said the things I need to say and I feel balanced in my relationship with her right now. The waiting is the hard part now. For her, for my dad, and for me.