Driving home the other night tears started to stream down my face.
A spirit crushing, transient thought had captured my heart unexpectedly.
While Mom is preparing to die, I’m simultaneously required to prepare to live without her.
It all feels surreal.
In the last few weeks whenever I visit with Mom she’s making lists of stuff to give away or handing me a bag of things I need to take home. As we move from room to room in her house conversationally we dart from one subject to the other. But she almost always comes back to the question: “Do you want this?”
I don’t want any “thing”.
As Mom mentally and physically mucks out her closets, I consider hiding in mine. It’s did that when I was a kid and I felt frightened or overwhelmed.
The house I grew up in was built in 1950 and had these extra deep, raised closets with oak floors and drawers underneath. The closet in my bedroom was my sanctuary. One half was for my clothes, and the other became my hideaway. A place I felt safe.
Right now there are no closets in which to hide.
It’s a powerless feeling, yet somehow I’m finding a way to make peace with my discomfort. Reluctantly growing through it.
Break From Chemo
The two weeks off from infusion treatments came at a good time for Mom.
The toxic mix has given her the Tijuana two-step after every meal.
Over the counter anti-diarrheals don’t really touch it, so we called the Oncology office for something a bit stronger. They were quick to call in a script that is helping, but eating small meals of low fat foods is always important.
Mouth sores also appeared after the 4th week of this new chemo regimen, but they seem to have subsided with no further chemo this week.
Fatigue and weakness are constant, but not as bad as a few weeks ago without steroids being in the mix.
Weight loss continues. It’s part of the disease process, however not being interested in eating because it often hurts to do so or has her in the bathroom for the day, are probably as much to blame.
We picked up some protein drinks that are tolerable if blended with ice. Almond cookies found at Grocery Outlet for .99 a box are a big hit, as are Trader Joe’s artichokes and tapioca pudding.
If there’s anything good about having cancer, it’s that you get to eat anything you want!
May 1st I’m driving us to the beach where we’ll stay in an oceanfront house for a couple of nights. The weather is looking like it might even be sunny while we are there.
We’ll watch the ocean, sleep in the same bed, look through boxes of family photos and drink from those little liquor bottles they give you on the airlines.
We are both looking forward to getting away.
Mowing In Circles
Last weekend I was on my lawn tractor mowing what we laughingly call our lawn. (Moles and a dachshund who is an excavation hobbyist have produced a rural vista akin to Mars, yet it somehow still needs human attention.)
I usually do the edges and then work my way inward using straight lines and right angles, but this time I was going in circles.
I would start a section and for no apparent reason start to veer right.
Then I started making figure 8’s in the high grass.
Occasionally I’d look over my shoulder and see a section I missed and take a hard left to go back to it to knock it down. The entire half-acre was done this way.
As I finished the job I realized that my mowing technique now reflects my current state of mind.
While I can get things done, I see no linear path to accomplishing each task and I’m easily distracted. Often feeling like I’m running around in circles.
Mom feels that way too.
And neither of us have any real idea when this might change.