Thursday, September 25, 2008
Yes, you may have noticed that I have not posted in AGES. You may have thought that something happened, and you would be right if you guessed that.
Once I stopped posting it was so hard to start again. Partly guilt, partly depression, partly inertia.
I did miss this blog though and I think I finally feel up to starting again.
First step: go back to where I left off and tell you what happened. So here we go.
I was flying to Barcelona to train a large group of people during a business meeting. But after the meeting, I had planned a few days of sightseeing and shopping with friends.
On the way there, I had only one layover. While I was waiting for my transatlantic flight I a got a phone call from my mother’s apartment. She lives in an assitied living facility and the staff had found her on the floor, somewhat disoriented. They had her up and she was sitting on her couch She seemed like she wasn’t in any acute danger but they wanted to send her to the hospital for an assessment.
How bad was it? I really couldn’t tell from what they told me.
I called my husband – luckily he answered – and told him the story. He rushed off to see my mother and get more details.
He didn’t think she was disoriented (not more than usual as she has some dementia). But she had told him that she had been vomiting during the night (flu???) and that there had been blood in it (effect of the warfarin / blood thinners she was on???). She really didn't think she seemed too bad but he was going to take her to the hospital and keep me updated.
What to do? I still had a chance to turn around and go home and gone home. But what if it was a false alarm and she was really OK.
At this point, my husband and I aggreed that I would continue my trip. He kept calling me with updates from the hospital up until the time I got on my 9 hour flight.
You can imagine how worried I was during the trip. I couldn't get any info until I got to Barcelona. The moment I landed I called my husband.
The update: my mother’s red blood cell count was very low and they suspected internal bleeding. She’d received 3 units of blood and she was going to have an endoscopy to see what was going on inside. And they thought she’d been in the hospital for 4-5 days.
Feeling terrible about it, I decided that I would go to business meeting but fly back as soon as my presentations were over.
I kept getting updates. They found bleeding in her stomach, which they cauterized. They also did a biopsy. After the transfusions she was feeling better. She would be discharged sooner than expected. Yay!
I spent 3 days in Barcelona, then flew back home just in time to rush from the airport to get to the hospital and take her home.
Not a good trip at all.
Since then, a lot has happened.
The biopsy came back positive and she was diagnosed with a gastric adenocarcinoma. She had to go into a nursing home for a short time after the hospitalization for rehabilitation. (She didn’t like that, let me tell you. She can be feisty!) After the bleeding stomach was cauterized, she’s felt much better. (She probably was bleeding for a long time and it was never caught.) We’ve been to an oncologist and have had all types of tests.
At 89 years of age, she’s decided that she does not want to have surgery or chemotherapy or radiation. I really don’t know how much time she has left, but she seems to be doing quite well. And she is still with us.