Thursday, May 17, 2012

We're all okay -- except the dog

It's been one heckofa month. On April 14, my stepdad called to tell me that my mom had a major seizure and was in the hospital. On Sunday, they found a brain tumor. On Tuesday, she had brain surgery, and we were told that it was cancer -- brain cancer (GBM to be specific). That's serious.

She recovered really well from the surgery. They allowed her to wake up after surgery (sometimes preferring to keep the patient in a medical coma to let the brain recover). I went in to see her and tell her goodbye so I could head home to my family, and she said, "Give the kids a kiss from me. And you can give Terry {my husband} a French one." Yep -- that's my mom!

And then there was Mimi. My 91-year-old grandmother had been living alone in her home, which I had rallied against for the last couple of years. But my mom lived nearby and looked after her, so that was her business. Knowing that Mom -- an only child -- was going to be treated for cancer and couldn't drive due to the seizure on top of it, made Mimi my responsibility. I spent the next week researching and visiting assisted living facilities on my side of town.

My mom, sister, Mimi and I, Mother's Day 2012

 In two weeks, I put many miles on my car driving from the NW side of town where I live, up to the far North (Houston truly excels at Urban sprawl), down to the SW side where Mimi lived. I got Mimi moved, but in addition to visiting my mom in the hospital, I had to check in on Mimi daily to help her adjust to this big change. I have been thankful for many things:
  • a teenage daughter who could take care of her brother after school on those long days I didn't make it home until dinnertime
  • my husband and father who have both helped me take up the slack
  • the fact that I CAN do these things -- that I didn't have some sort of job that would have hindered my desire to help
But the dog? As I mentioned, my dear children survived a couple of weeks with little attention from dear old Mom. They were capable and understanding. But even though Shadow spends 80% of the day outside (at her preference), paying NO attention to me, she decided that she should eat and claw her way through the fence to escape her poor neglected doggie existence. She got out numerous times over a week or so. I'd ground her if I could. But to my thankful list, I can add a neighborhood that truly cares for pets, so even when she did escape, she was captured and held until I could get to her.

After a busy and very atypical month things are beginning to stabilize. Mom is home and started radiation therapy yesterday. After 3 weeks, Mimi is sort of adjusting to her new living situation. She still has good days and bad, but fortunately doesn't really remember the bad days.

 Last weekend, we finally got the fence repaired, and Shadow will have to learn to deal with it. I'm learning to accept and even appreciate my own "new normal."


Owlhaven said...

Praying all goes well with Mimi's adjustment to the new place and that your mom does well too.


Karla E said...

I think you should also be thankful that you live in Houston, and not CT...God has an interesting way of putting you where you need to be. And your dress in the Mother's Day pix...that rocks!

Livia said...

I hope all goes well for you the next month.
But most of all, all of us should thank our family for being
there for us...

morninglight mama said...

I've been thinking about you a lot lately, Jennifer. I hope things start to even out a bit for you all. :)

Carrie said...

You have indeed had a month!! Not a single one of those things are easy. Yay for living close enough to be able to be so useful to everyone. I, too, hope that things settle down for you a bit and that you are able to recharge.

corinne said...

Jen, I'm sorry to hear about all this. Will pray that your mom's health and Mimi's situation continue to improve, and that you'll have the strength to keep up with everything!

Stephanie said...

Wow! You have had a stressful month! I'm sure you're glad to be in Houston now instead of CT. Glad you're OK and I'm sure the dog will adjust. :)