CDC Symptom Diary Card

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"One Tough Cookie"

As my mom lay there after her heart surgery, I told her that I had a new nick name for her, "One Tough cookie".  She says, "oh ya?  I like that one".  She then smiled and closed her eyes.

It has been a heck of a week.  Our family is deeply concerned for mom as she is in hospital, from a heart attack and complications from diabetes and kidney disease, among other things.  I had called her home one evening, no answer. I waited and called again, no answer.  I went over and heard her sort of talking and she did not respond to the knock on the door.  I went in and found her in need of urgent care.  This was so scary and I thank God for the whispers telling me to call her.

I was coming back from Gig Harbor after a visit with my friend Joe.  He invited me up for a daytime retreat, to honor Heidi, his sweet beloved Heidi.  He was so generous.  He took me on a nice kayak ride in the cove and a short little hike on Heidi's trail.  We talked about cancer, life, suffering and God.  It was a Sunday.  The previous day I was able to attend mass, and I was feeling so grateful for life, the breath of air, the ability to exist.

As I approached the Seattle area, and the exit to take to mom's house, I felt a strong pull to call her house.  I knew something was up, but not what.  I exited I-5, and called her.  I got lost, of course, and eventually found my way to her neighborhood.  I called again before knocking on the door, because it was already dark and did not want to scare her.  I was hoping that she would call out to me "is that you?"

No call out to me.  My mom has been through so much, it's just indescribable how much work she puts into living each day.  Every task requires an extensive amount of energy and dedication, and she does it.  She fights her way through each necessary task. She so wants to be free from all this suffering.

She has such an amazing core group of medical professionals, she really does.  When she is in the hospital though, because she has such a complicated body, someone from the family needs to be there.  My sister and I rotate shifts.

I had my chemo yesterday and cannot go today or tonight.  My sister has a family of her own.  Mom's family loves her so much, but there aren't enough of us here when these things happen.  My sister and I need to take care of ourselves too, so that we can do what is needed.

Mom has had such an amazing attitude, offering smiles and little laughs as she copes with the cascading consequences of this ordeal.  Her doctors are working to resolve all the issues so that she can get stabilized. She misses her home, her window to the neighborhood, her neighbors.

We spent election night together, in ICU.  I smiled and told her Obama won, and she said, "That's the right thing, good, good, good."

So now I am praying as much as possible for her recovery and for the well being of my sister.  For our loving neighbor who is helping with the house.  Mom has the best neighbors in the world.  She really does.

I will now get back to resting, per the strong recommendation from my sister.  I just wanted to share with you that we love our mom and hope that her courage and desire for life inspires you to keep on living a life of love.  Offer to your neighbor a strong smile, and you will receive the same.


PS.  My tumor markers are slowly improving, yay.  I am so fortunate that I will also receive an extra dose of IV emend later this week to address the extreme abdominal pain and nausea.  Last time I was totally incapacitated a week out from chemo, and had hellish nightmares.  Do not want a repeat of that, need to be there for mom and keep working too.  Love you.


  1. I was worried about your mom and glad to read how God led you to stop at her home. Also very, very glad to read your tumor markers are going down. I pray God blesses both of you!!!

  2. Hi Whitestone,

    You are a dear friend, thank you for your support. I will let my mom know you are thinking about her. I pray you also continue to get better, peace and hugs.


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