Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010

It is 9:30 p.m. and Mom is just fading off to sleep with Dad sitting next to the bed in the chair watching television. One of the interesting aspects of the Alzheimer's that my father has is the adherence to a schedule. Everything works better if there is a schedule. For me - I go to bed when I want to. For dad - he watches the news and then goes to bed. God love him for it but I don't know how he does it. He's an amazing man though and as I've mentioned before we are assuming this blog will morph from my mom's cancer journey, to the journey in to Alzheimer's.

So today my dad stayed home while Mom and I ventured to the hospital. Dad is ok at home by himself for a few hours at a time as long as it's the daytime. We left lots for him to do and when we returned the house was dusted and cleaned. he did his chores! yeah Dad! I'm so proud.

On the way to the hospital mom and I tried to have some fun so we began waving at every car that passed by. Some waved back but most of them didn't. It was fun.
Mom had her radiation and the mask was a very tight fit today. Mom was holding a little bit of water today and that made it really tight. The neck is really burned now and tender to the touch. We'll be taking pictures this week and will post them.

We met with the oncologist and he is very happy with mom's progress. He was afraid that after the heart episode it was going to be very tough to complete all 33 treatments. But we told him today we're in it to win it so full speed ahead. Let's get it done!

I asked the doctor point-blank what we can expect in the weeks after radiation, while mom is 'resting'. He said the neck will get worse before it's better. we can expect it to start feeling hot like a really bad sunburn, itching and maybe some blistering and then peeling. He didn't sugar coat anything - he said it's going to ba a touch couple of weeks but the big news is - she's made it this far.

Tomorrow morning we leave around 6:45 a.m. to get dad to his doctor to check the skin cancer that was removed from his back. Hopefully it's all been taken care of and that's the end of that one. Then off to the hospital for a very long day. six hours of chemo and then radiation so tag on about an hour on both ends and we're looking at a full 8 - 9 hour day. Long day but we're on the home stretch.

I was talking to a friend of mine tonight from new york. He is a friend that intrigues me. He is doing a lot of things in his life that I wanted to do but either didn't follow through with things or didn't have the same opportunities as he. He is a professional actor and singer and has cd's and does tv and...ok so basically he's a star, ok? He has an amazing voice and a face that can play a variety of roles. I'm anxious to see him in action one day. I've never met him face to face but I feel a connection to him. we can talk about stuff that matters, not just exchange pleasantries.

The reason I bring him up is this: if you had the chance to make one dream come true today, what would it be? You know that when we work hard to make one dream come true, I believe that we are awarded a few additional ones on top of that. But what happens when people or circumstances get in your way and try to block you - either on purpose or just by their mere existence? Maybe the thing that's blocking us is our inability to say "no" when we really needed to say it.

My mom said, "NO" to cancer. Not everyone who says no will get their way but she took a stand and said, "NO" (ok, it's barbara...she said, "HELL NO"). We don't know if she's fully done and beaten it 100% but the important thing is, she's had a great "run" so far. We'll get the "reviews" the end of august and see if the critics feel we've won but we know that we did the absolute best we did and were we to do it all over again - we really wouldn't change a thing.

Sometimes we need to stop and care for ourselves. To hell with what the world wants of us - they can't have us if we're not taking care of ourselves. You are the only you, you will ever get. Because you do that doesn't guarantee your outcome - it just makes the getting there, a little easier.

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