Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Fight Resumes

This morning I drove to mom and dad's house and greeted them as they pulled in from running some errands.  Rita met them with the usual glee and vigor and led Mom out for a brief walk down the path outside.  We helped Dad unload some groceries and were almost done when Mom came back in.

I sat Mom down and told her that I talked to her primary doctor about the physical issues she's been having and that the doctor wanted her to go to the ER and get a CT scan.  This was to rule out a stroke as most of mom's symptoms were indicative of a stroke.

Within a few hours we had our test results back and confirmed.  No stroke - but a significantly sized tumor on her brain.  The look of shock on Mom's face is still burned in to my mind.  I held her hand tightly.  Dad was at home with the dog because we all assumed this would be a routine doctor visit.

Since we were at the emergency room of a different hospital than our usual one we immediately began making preparations to have mom transported to her doctors and her hospital.  We assumed I would transport her.  We assumed wrong.

Because mom's blood pressure had become elevated it was critical that we decrease and stabilize her pressure before transport.  Any drastic change could cause major conflicts with the tumor and blood and swelling had already begun to gather around the tumor.

Mom responded really well to the medication and her blood pressure dropped to normal ranges.  We met up a few hours later in room 2013 where we were met an hour later by an oncologist.   He delivered the news to us.

Yes there is a significantly sized tumor.
Yes it's probably causing all your symptoms.
We need to run more tests and begin preparing you for brain surgery to remove the tumor.
If you choose not to have the surgery - you will have approximately 2 months to live....

Just like "envelope please", no drum roll...but come do you deliver that kind of news? He did it the best way he knew how.  Just say it...

We don't know what type of tumor - don't know if its cancer or not - in fact, we are not 100% sure it is completely operable although the odds are in our favor.

Mom is resting well tonight.  Dad is in a cot about 5 feet from the foot of her bed.  The lights are dimmed and the floor and staff are quiet.  I'm in the family lounge with Robb doing research and preparing our questions for the surgeon in the morning.  The coffee isn't the best - smells, well, old.  I had a cup of chicken broth which actually tasted really good but it was basically a cup of salt.  We will pause throughout the evening to play scrabble.  The nurses are watching out for us.  We don't plan on sleeping because we have lots of questions.  Terri is back home but will be here tomorrow to stay the night so Robb and I can return home for a nights' sleep.  We will take turns being here with Mom with the goal of never leaving her.  We will care for Dad and get him home to shower and nap and then return to the side of his bride of 50 years.  Their love is still as strong as ever.

Mom is tough.  You can see the fight in her eyes.  She's angry and wants to fight.  She will fight.  She will win.

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