Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010

Have you ever done something and then thought afterwards if that was really the right thing to do?  Of course you have.  Everyone has at one time or another.  It only becomes a problem if the consequences of that action (or non-action) have a negative impact on our lives.

So you will recall that after weeks of praying,  researching, thinking and talking, Mom bravely opted for the cranial radiation.  She was all done with radiation and chemo and then we had the option of doing preventative cranial radiation.  This was to hopefully kill off any cancer cells that may have secretly migrated to the brain to hide out, which is what they often like to do.

The arguments about the consequences of cranial radiation are about as varied as the opinions as to whether or not to do it.  Both patients and doctors are really on the fence about it. I spent many sleepless nights pawing through tons of research materials. I emailed doctors in several hospitals around the country and even one in Holland.  We knew that memory and cognitive issues may come up as a result of this procedure.  The bottom line is no one could tell for sure one way or another.  So Mom bravely did it.  And we think it was the right thing to do.  Afterall, there was a 70% chance the cancer would go to the brain and as of right now, the brain scans are 100% clear!  Praise God!

Mom has been experiencing some shaky arms and hands.  It's been frustrating for her as it affects her ability to write and sometimes to do things in the kitchen. Lately she's been having some minor, and I mean MINOR memory issues and some difficulty concentrating.  A recent email she sent out had to be explained because the words and sentences just didn't match up right.  This is all so hard for Mom.  We know what a tremendously strong woman she is and to have this happen to your body and mind is so hard.  We see Dad going through some mind issues but he doesn't know/remember that he has a disease called Alzheimer's.  For Mom, she is completely aware that she's having some issues and that just adds to the frustration.

We are confident this will pass and her doctors are confident that things will return to normal.  We wish we could speak to someone who has had chemo and radiation at the same time and cranial radiation so we can share our experiences and feelings.  At times this road is horribly quiet.

We continue to work very hard to get Mom past this hurdle.  We know we will pass over it and move on but when you are walking in the muck and the mire it just never feels like you'll get to the other side.

As we end the year 2010 we have so much to be thankful for and then again so much that we would like to forget ever happened.  But we cannot.  It all continues to weave itself in to the fabric of who we are.  I'm very proud of my mother.  I don't hear many kids say that about their parents but I'm not afraid to tell anyone I'm proud of BOTH my parents.  Through all the hardships they have endured, when the odds were not in their  favor and the cards were stacked against them they fought and came out winners.  Next year will be 50 years of marriage for them and I could not be more proud.  As you reflect on 2010 I pray that you will take a moment to tell the people in your life how proud you are that they are in your life and how proud you are of all that they have accomplished.  Don't delay.  Do it now.

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