Thursday, November 10, 2011

Update on Mom and Dad

We managed to get mom and dad moved in to a senior living place about a month ago.  They seem to really like it there. They have multiple activities they can be involved with which helps keep them social.  Lots of shops nearby and great places to walk.  There's a path right from their back door that leads around a church and they walk Rita every day.

We are hopeful that some of the issues mom has been having lately are NOT a result of the brain radiation but of something else that is easily managed.  Right now she tends to list to one side occasionally and she is having some vision problems. She has also been having difficulty getting some words out and it frustrates her tremendously. Today while visiting with me she showed me that even when she hand writes something she cannot read what it is.  She wrote something and showed me - and I have no clue what she was trying to write.

I still remember about one solid month of very little sleep for me while I researched the pros and cons of prophylactic brain radiation. As you may or may not recall they doctors strongly suggested it because, although they do not know much at all about this form of cancer, they know that it acts a lot like certain lung cancers, especially the ones that like to hide out in the brain during treatment. Because treatment does not get past the blood barrier to the brain, radiation to the brain will typically kill any hidden cells.  The risks included vision and hearing issues and a possibility that it could "ignite" dementia.  I truly don't think its dementia primarily due to the fact that she is completely aware of what's going on and aware of her current issues.  A trip to the doctor next week will hopefully help us gain insight.

This journey never ends.  Although I have taken several months off of blog updates the fact remains that Mom is a cancer patient.   Although there is no sign of the cancer, she is still a cancer patient and lives every day with a little bit of uncertainty.  Did we really beat this cancer?  Is it truly gone or is it hiding out?  Will we experience consequences of so much radiation and chemo even though she responded amazingly well to the treatments?  The list goes on.  But one thing stands:  my mother's strength. 

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